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# The question about comm service/ ec's

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Current Student
Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Posts: 1062
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29 Oct 2007, 12:21
After finishing up one set of essays and almost done with the app- I have a question to ask- where do you guys highlight your involvement in ec's or community service. I was able to talk about 1 or 2 highlights of activities in my essays but there is no other place to "talk" about them. I see that the schools ask for a list of activities that you are involved with and in what position but nothing descriptive. So having said that, unless you have a "Stellar" enough EC experience that you can mold into an essay, you have to rely on the 1 line that schools provide in the app to describe your activities?

Just curious to know what people think...are EC's overrated?
Director
Joined: 03 Mar 2007
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Location: Hong Kong
Concentration: Finance, Economics
Schools: HKUST MBA - Class of 2014
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29 Oct 2007, 12:29
I think most conventional applicants (engineers, consultants, bankers, finance personnel) have too little time to actively indulge in EC/Community service. With that in mind, I think the 1 line is enough to suffice the needs of the school.
Now if you were a non traditional applicant and worked in non-profit/pro-bono enterprises, you could add all the EC stuff to your essays since it will be part of your work.

I think schools look at community service but its just one data point. It does not make ur break ur case.

To think of it, posting on GMATclub is sort of community service. We are all helping each other get into b-school and change our lives. What can be better than that.
Current Student
Joined: 22 Apr 2007
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29 Oct 2007, 12:38
aviroop wrote:
What can be better than that.

Creating a GMATClub tavern on second-life (or something similar) where we can hang out and talk to each other? I don't know if second-life has taverns at all, though.
Current Student
Joined: 18 Jun 2007
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Schools: Emory class of 2010
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29 Oct 2007, 12:58
I don't think its a huge deal to dig too deeply into EC's and community service in the essays, unless that's a vital part of what you're selling to the admissions staff. It was briefly brought up in my interview with Emory, but other than that, I've never really addressed my EC's or community service in any essays.
Manager
Joined: 21 Aug 2006
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29 Oct 2007, 18:36
I think most of us fall into the trap of classifying ECAs too narrowly. I believe there are certain things that you do normally, which might be a novel activity for others. So I believe you should look for such aspects in your life. For example if you regularly host parties for your friends and take the effort to organize such get togethers, I believe that is something that can be shown. It is important to think outside the box. What MBA schools want to know is whether you will have some contribution outside the classroom.
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Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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Schools: The Duke MBA, Class of 2009
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29 Oct 2007, 19:11
I think most of us fall into the trap of classifying ECAs too narrowly. I believe there are certain things that you do normally, which might be a novel activity for others. So I believe you should look for such aspects in your life. For example if you regularly host parties for your friends and take the effort to organize such get togethers, I believe that is something that can be shown. It is important to think outside the box. What MBA schools want to know is whether you will have some contribution outside the classroom.

well said. they like joiners. you are likely to get questions about which clubs you plan to join. better have that planned.
GMAT Club Legend
Status: Um... what do you want to know?
Joined: 04 Jun 2007
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Location: SF, CA, USA
Schools: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA 2010
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29 Oct 2007, 19:12
I used the Haas/UCLA optional essay to discuss my EC/Comm Service. I have the opposite problem of realizing that after adding my hours per month up, they probably think I don't do work at all...

Kellogg has 5 essays, so I can talk about comm service in one of them. Stanford is the only one I can't really put much in, but I used one of their essays to devote to mentoring.
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Joined: 24 Sep 2006
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30 Oct 2007, 12:59
I think most of us fall into the trap of classifying ECAs too narrowly. I believe there are certain things that you do normally, which might be a novel activity for others. So I believe you should look for such aspects in your life. For example if you regularly host parties for your friends and take the effort to organize such get togethers, I believe that is something that can be shown. It is important to think outside the box. What MBA schools want to know is whether you will have some contribution outside the classroom.

Yeah, you got it. Just make sure you don't use the phrase "think outside the box" in your applications and you should be fine.

Adcoms are looking for an interesting applicant who will bring multiple different experiences to the classroom, not just their job experience and that's what you are trying to convey through your non-job activities.

L.
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