GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

It is currently 19 Dec 2018, 08:47

TODAY:

MIT Sloan R1 Decisions - Join MIT Chat for Live Updates | Chat with UCLA Anderson Adcom @9am PT | Chat with Yale SOM R1 Admit 10am PT


Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Close

Request Expert Reply

Confirm Cancel
Events & Promotions in December
PrevNext
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
Open Detailed Calendar
  • Calling all UCLA Anderson MBA Applicants: (2019 Intake) Class of 2021

     December 19, 2018

     December 19, 2018

     09:00 AM PST

     10:00 AM PST

    Chat with UCLA Adcoms in GMATClub Chat Room. With less than a month to R2 deadline, I hope the chat session will prove to be very helpful. Wednesday, Dec 19 @ 9AM PST
  • Yale R1 Admit is Here to Answer YOUR Questions!

     December 19, 2018

     December 19, 2018

     10:00 AM PST

     11:00 AM PST

    One of our forum members, ak99 recently got accepted at Yale SOM in Round 1. He accepted our invitation to interact with the new applicants, share his insights about the application process, and answer the queries of applicants.

"Extracurricular" activities

  new topic post reply Update application status  
Author Message
TAGS:

Hide Tags

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 38
"Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 07 Mar 2010, 21:29
1
Hello everyone,

Sorry to distract you from your nervous nail-biting while you wait for acceptance emails, but I'd like to ask you a question about community service/extracurricular activities. I did a lot of stuff in college, and I'll certainly include that in my application, however, having only graduated in 2008, I haven't had much time to do much community service.

What I have done though, is written articles and reports about my country's current condition that were published in the newspaper. My boss asked me to do them but it's not in my job description and I was handpicked to do it. Is it OK if I consider this something extracurricular even though my boss paid me to do it? Or should I just consider it one of my workplace accomplishments?

Thanks in advance
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Posts: 422
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 07 Mar 2010, 21:34
2
osdihg wrote:
Hello everyone,

Sorry to distract you from your nervous nail-biting while you wait for acceptance emails, but I'd like to ask you a question about community service/extracurricular activities. I did a lot of stuff in college, and I'll certainly include that in my application, however, having only graduated in 2008, I haven't had much time to do much community service.

What I have done though, is written articles and reports about my country's current condition that were published in the newspaper. My boss asked me to do them but it's not in my job description and I was handpicked to do it. Is it OK if I consider this something extracurricular even though my boss paid me to do it? Or should I just consider it one of my workplace accomplishments?

Thanks in advance


That would fall under 'work place accomplishments.' Maybe you can write a story about going above and beyond. But do not spin it into EC.

With EC, I would say do something that you are truly passionate about. Do not get into something just so that you can put it on the resume.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 38
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 07 Mar 2010, 21:43
Wow thanks. Extremely quick response.

Since I have you here, I'd like to ask you (or if anyone else wants to chime in) another question about EC. I do play a couple of sports. I've been weightlifting for 10 years, since I was 13, and I've been playing squash for about a year. I have never competed in weightlifting and I do it entirely for myself, but I would consider myself above an amateur but not advanced. I have been in a couple of competitions for squash but I've never won anything.

These obviously don't compare to the other extremely impressive ECs other applicants have, but is this significant enough? What I'm most worried about is that they have no community impact or team-orientations. Am I being too critical?

There is one other EC I'm very interested in that will have a significant and immediate impact for my community, but I'm not sure if I have enough time to contribute considering my workload, so I'd like to see if my current ECs are enough of a weak point that I really have to consider that other EC.

Thanks in advance
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Posts: 422
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 08 Mar 2010, 13:09
3
osdihg wrote:
Wow thanks. Extremely quick response.

Since I have you here, I'd like to ask you (or if anyone else wants to chime in) another question about EC. I do play a couple of sports. I've been weightlifting for 10 years, since I was 13, and I've been playing squash for about a year. I have never competed in weightlifting and I do it entirely for myself, but I would consider myself above an amateur but not advanced. I have been in a couple of competitions for squash but I've never won anything.

These obviously don't compare to the other extremely impressive ECs other applicants have, but is this significant enough? What I'm most worried about is that they have no community impact or team-orientations. Am I being too critical?

There is one other EC I'm very interested in that will have a significant and immediate impact for my community, but I'm not sure if I have enough time to contribute considering my workload, so I'd like to see if my current ECs are enough of a weak point that I really have to consider that other EC.

Thanks in advance


Both your weightlifting & squash experiences count as ECs, not from a social or community angle, but for personal growth. I think it does not matter if you did not win a gold in olymics, as long as you do some self-introspection and see how these two experiences helped define who you are.

Think of it this way, a lot of us get bogged down into how to talk about leadership when you have not managed a team of 100 people or led a billion dollar project. With respect to the MBA apps, I think those are pretty mundane stuff. if you have led a single person and helped him / her improve themselves, that's great leadership.

Same way, you might have won an olympic gold medal but if that did not help you to learn something new, then that story is no good as far as MBA apps go.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 38
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 08 Mar 2010, 21:55
Wow. That is GREAT advice. You just lit a light bulb in my mind. I can write about so much when you put it that way. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your advice. I think it's kind of cheap to give you only a kudos, but if that's all that's available, a kudos it is.
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Posts: 422
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 09 Mar 2010, 08:47
osdihg, Thanks for the kind words, appreciate it.

Sometimes I wish I had stayed true to my own vision. When I look back at my own essays, sometimes I feel that I deviated way too much from my own advice, in my efforts to take into account the suggestions of my friends.

I think it’s very important that the final product that comes out of these essays are true to one’s own vision and not what others think you should talk about in the essays.

I’m just rambling though, but if it helps anyone to learn from some of my experiences then I’m glad to offer my advice / thoughts.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Posts: 21
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 09 Mar 2010, 15:59
If you come from a common background(the most common MBA applicant type), then you are going to need to show something extra special in your EC's. B-Schools are looking for Teach for America, Peace Corps, Military Experience, anything else that sounds like I just saved the world...... Small stuff is nice but it doesn't help them in their marketing brochures.....If you don't have this kinda stuff, as most people probably don't then u can fall into one category(make it up, like most MBA students do) or just roll the dice with truthful and less save the world type stuff.... sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear, but I think its the truth.... The schools want diversity in every way you can imagine... traveling with the circus for 2 years would probably help you more getting into B-School than a 800 Gmat Score or doing IB at GS.....
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 254
Schools: Booth 2012
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 Mar 2010, 00:30
williamthesituation wrote:
If you come from a common background(the most common MBA applicant type), then you are going to need to show something extra special in your EC's. B-Schools are looking for Teach for America, Peace Corps, Military Experience, anything else that sounds like I just saved the world...... Small stuff is nice but it doesn't help them in their marketing brochures.....If you don't have this kinda stuff, as most people probably don't then u can fall into one category(make it up, like most MBA students do) or just roll the dice with truthful and less save the world type stuff.... sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear, but I think its the truth.... The schools want diversity in every way you can imagine... traveling with the circus for 2 years would probably help you more getting into B-School than a 800 Gmat Score or doing IB at GS.....


This is terrible advice. I challenge you on your claim that most MBA students "make it up".
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Posts: 21
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 Mar 2010, 10:04
1
I accept your "challenge". It is simply the reality... Look at all the BS on most applications, theres a tremendous amount of "new" charities started up or lead by applicants.... That doesn't seem odd to you? My thoughts are truthful and the B - School people don't even care that most of it is made up, they just want to be able to put stuff in their marketing brochures.... I'm not saying everybody has to make stuff up, but I imagine a good majority of it is. Plus, do you really think the Money Hungry MBA type is the kind of person is is MR/MS Do gooder????? Hmmm work an extra 10 hrs a week for that bigger bonus... or go volunteer at the shelter.... Which one do you think most people are going to take... I call BS on much of the Charity/Volunteer stuff on most applicants.....
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 254
Schools: Booth 2012
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 Mar 2010, 10:54
1
williamthesituation wrote:
I accept your "challenge". It is simply the reality... Look at all the BS on most applications, theres a tremendous amount of "new" charities started up or lead by applicants.... That doesn't seem odd to you? My thoughts are truthful and the B - School people don't even care that most of it is made up, they just want to be able to put stuff in their marketing brochures.... I'm not saying everybody has to make stuff up, but I imagine a good majority of it is. Plus, do you really think the Money Hungry MBA type is the kind of person is is MR/MS Do gooder????? Hmmm work an extra 10 hrs a week for that bigger bonus... or go volunteer at the shelter.... Which one do you think most people are going to take... I call BS on much of the Charity/Volunteer stuff on most applicants.....


What's "most applications"?! Are you reviewing every MBA application that people submit? I've personally only seen one MBA application: mine.
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 22 Dec 2009
Posts: 299
Schools: Yale SOM
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 Mar 2010, 11:44
1
williamthesituation wrote:
I accept your "challenge". It is simply the reality... Look at all the BS on most applications, theres a tremendous amount of "new" charities started up or lead by applicants.... That doesn't seem odd to you? My thoughts are truthful and the B - School people don't even care that most of it is made up, they just want to be able to put stuff in their marketing brochures.... I'm not saying everybody has to make stuff up, but I imagine a good majority of it is. Plus, do you really think the Money Hungry MBA type is the kind of person is is MR/MS Do gooder????? Hmmm work an extra 10 hrs a week for that bigger bonus... or go volunteer at the shelter.... Which one do you think most people are going to take... I call BS on much of the Charity/Volunteer stuff on most applicants.....


I don't think you can say that "the b-school people don't even care that most of it is made up" without having some evidence. I highly doubt that an Admissions Director would come out and tell you that even if it is true. I also don't think you can categorize every MBA applicant as "Money Hungry". Sure, there are some people that want an MBA simply for an increase in pay. But not everyone gets an MBA for that reason. Although I don't know how the background check works, I'm assuming it might pick up on the fact that I didn't actually "man the first mission to Mars", had I put that on my app.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Posts: 21
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 Mar 2010, 13:06
2
Wake up and smell the roses people..... perhaps you are among the group that puts only the 100% truth down.... but the vast majority does not...NO I have no evidence, but I have life experience, this is how the world works.... Why do you think admin consultants tell you to start thinking about Community Service... All of a sudden someone who has never done anything community oriented is suddenly a SAINT? WAKE UP ... I'm not saying you should make stuff up im just reporting on what I believe to be prevalent. No admissions staff would tell you that... just like they wont tell you they that they have quotas that they need to fill and not everybody is purely judged on their scores/WE/Grades........this is the way of the world, its cutthroat and it happens on every single level you can imagine................
Manager
Manager
avatar
Status: Darden '12 Alumni
Affiliations: USMC
Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 181
Schools: Darden '12
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 Mar 2010, 13:37
3
maybe most of the people that you surround yourself make stuff up, but in my experience, a lot of the folks i know that are applying are pretty amazing people. personally, i work 60 hours a week on my own start up + approximately 100 hours a month at 3 different charities I volunteer at. Everyone I work with at these charities are amazing folks who spend their own time and money to help because they care. No not everyone there is applying to Business School. But some have already graduated from medical school, law school, grad school, and yes, business school.

Perhaps the crowd you run with like to lie and cheat their way up to the top, and I'm sure there are those who have lied on their apps to try to get in. But the overwhelming majority of alumni that I have met from the institutions I want to go to, continue their service after their MBA and are the most ethical people I know.

My point is, just because its become in vogue to portray the B School student and graduate as the lying, cheating, money grubbing, self interested douche, the reality for most of the students at the top programs are very far from the truth.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Posts: 21
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 Mar 2010, 14:48
thats great that you are such a great person and so are all your friends.... I'm not implying one should cheat or steal or do whatever else it is you think is wrong... i'm merely stating B-Schools love the Community stuff like they love their diversity, and its a game.... if you don't play the game you don't win................I just don't buy that most of the people are such great people as you portray your friends to be.... at most b schools, half the class wants to be a banker or consultant, they don't strike me as the benevolent types..........
Current Student
avatar
Joined: 22 Dec 2009
Posts: 299
Schools: Yale SOM
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 Mar 2010, 16:34
1
You are making way too many generalizations. When I did IB, I was 'truthfully' involved in community service. And I worked 80+ hours a week. And I can tell you, for a fact, that most of the people that I worked with were also truthfully involved in community service, because they genuinely cared about other people. Not because they had some hidden agenda. I can only hope that you don't want to go into banking or consulting, because that attitude won't get you far.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 01 Sep 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Saudi Arabia
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 12 Mar 2010, 10:57
I've read a while ago a book about game theory, called "The Predictioneer's Game" if you are interested, and it certainly does support williamthesituation's argument to some extent. If students can lie and not get caught, the lying is just bound to happen.

I can't comment on what percentage of students lie, but I would guess that it is higher than what we expect. Even those who have some ECs, they are vulnerable to add more ECs, or polish their own, to get higher ranking schools.

I doubt though that more than 50% of the class made up absolutely fictional ECs. I would guess that most of them polished their work. A couple of months of volunteer work might be stretched to 4 or 6 months. Leading a team of 5 might be stretched to 7 or 9.

I certainly don't encourage it though. It could grow into a habit and might bite you sometime in the future. There are great schools that would let you in with almost no ECs. Just explain that your work is taking much of your time, and that you invest the remaining time in your social life.
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 28 Dec 2009
Posts: 245
Location: New York City
Schools: Wharton, Chicago, Columbia, NYU, Harvard, Stanford
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 12 Mar 2010, 11:20
Aldrak wrote:
I can't comment on what percentage of students lie, but I would guess that it is higher than what we expect. Even those who have some ECs, they are vulnerable to add more ECs, or polish their own, to get higher ranking schools.

I doubt though that more than 50% of the class made up absolutely fictional ECs. I would guess that most of them polished their work. A couple of months of volunteer work might be stretched to 4 or 6 months. Leading a team of 5 might be stretched to 7 or 9.


Although I think you're probably overstating this phenomenon: as someone who was wincingly honest on the applications, to the extent that I felt sort of inadequate while completing them... this is still a pretty upsetting analysis.

All this talk of fabrication reminds me of Alexey Vayner, though -- you guys remember him? Impossible: is Nothing!
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 61
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Mar 2010, 07:47
2
All admissions officers will tell you that EC's and community service are one of the most important components, along with your recommendations. Actuallly, you will be hard pressed to find an adcom saying that any of the app components is not very important. However, the reality is a bit different when you try to read between the lines. I think that EC's are probably the least important part, along with recs. Adcomms know pretty well that most people polish their EC's, as they do their resumes. The problem with ECs is that they cannot be verified in most cases. Who's to say that you really play the violin 3 hrs per day? Or that you tutored kids regularly for the past 3 years, and not one time only? Adcomms do not have the resources to track down everything and if you cannot check something for sure, what are you going to do? Clearly, assign less weight to it - that's how you put everyone on an even playing field - cheaters, polishers and honest people. Extras carry considerable weight only if they are very significant in terms of dedicated time and are with some well-known organization (which reduces the risk that you have made it up since you know that it can be checked and would most probably not lie). In most cases, though, ECs are only an additional flavor to your profile and the only thing the adcomm can do is check if your activities fit with your personality that comes through the rest of your app. If, for example, you claim to do something that shows that you care for other people, but at the same time you come across as arrogant and disdainful in your essays and interview, well, you might be done. So, this part needs to just fit, but I don't think it is a deal breaker - it is too unreliable to be. A situation in which ECs might be useful for sifting candidates is the following. Candidate A is an engineer and claims that his only hobby is hmm ... engineering. Candidate B is also an engineer, but he claims his hobby to be painting. All else being equal, candidate B is the more desirable one. Why? Because he is more well rounded. Are we sure? Not at 100%. Candidate B might as well be lying about his hobby, but might be honest. However, we are almost 100% sure that candidate A is not well rounded, because it hasn't even occurred to him that putting your occupation as a your only hobby raises a red flag. So, we take B, taking some risk (less than 100%) that he might be lying, over taking A with a 100% probability that he is not well-rounded. Risks always exist, and the committee just tries to minimize them - it cannot eradicate them. However, in most cases work experience trumps ECs. WE can be verified through background checks and recs. Plus, WE is much more important for recruiting than ECs. ECs are nice to have, but not a game changer. Look at the Admitted Profiles threads over the years. Many people with super ECs dinged at top (as well as at not so top) schools. At a closer look, many of these people are from oversubscribed demographics, common occupations, have sub 700 GMAT, are short on work experience, too young, too old etc. They fail to differentiate themselves on these fronts or are weak on some of them and do not provide anything to counter these weaknesses. ECs do not help them overcome these shortcomings in most cases. At the same time, people with solid WE and 700+ balanced GMAT tend to do well, provided that they are good at selling themselves in the essays and their goals make sense. They usually do not need super ECs to get them in, though some have them. Potential for professional success is a priority for adcomms, as it is a B-school after all, and the best predictor in this respect is past professional success. ECs are unreliable in this regard as they are of very little informational value in most cases. I doubt that any adcomm will openly admit it, though.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 5
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 18 Mar 2010, 08:52
I have to call shennanigans on you lakai777. It's folks like you, who stretch the truth, that make people like WilliamtheSituation believe that many applicants fudge their apps. If we look at our current month of March, your estimated numbers for hours worked and volunteered take up more than half of all hours in the entire month. If we assume you are a machine and only need 6 hours of sleep a night and that you only allocate 2 hours per day to eating, showering, bathroom, etc. then we are left with only 100 hours (of which you must use some time to read these boards). Those remaining hours must be used for everything else - travel time, social life, down time to recharge, and unavoidable wasted time (nobody is 100% efficient). Personally, if I had your schedule, I would eat up 75 hours with travel alone, leaving me only 25 hours to grab a nap because I'd be too damn tired from only 6 hours of sleep every night. Perhaps you don't travel anywhere and then never groom yourself or crawl out of your apartment. However, normal people (including consultants and i-bankers) have social lives outside volunteer work and our professional lives...we also like to be well-groomed and we have to travel to our events and our social outings. Along with all this comes downtime that adds up...we have to fill our cars with gas, wait for the train, and go to doctor's visits now and then.

Perhaps you did have a rough month and these numbers were true...but I cannot believe you do this every month. And while we're at it, I do agree with you that many people applying to b-school are amazing individuals, but I also have a dark view of the admissions process. Someone once said, "if it's worth winning, it's worth cheating for," and this holds true here. The hypercompetitive admissions process is going to spur people to take a chance and cheat and I believe many do - b-schools are only beginning to catch up to this, but they still are likely not going to be calling your volunteer organizations to log your hours or accomplishments. I don't believe people should lie on their apps, but I believe that it happens. Perhaps they don't make up blatant lies, but maybe they just say they volunteered 100 hours every month and worked 60 hours every week when it only happened once.
Manager
Manager
avatar
Status: Darden '12 Alumni
Affiliations: USMC
Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 181
Schools: Darden '12
Re: "Extracurricular" activities  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 18 Mar 2010, 11:34
i'm taking you comment as a general "BS" flag and not a malicious one. i concede the fact that my number are very high. and I'll also admit, maybe some months i volunteer more like 95 hrs but other months can fluctuate to 105hrs. Do I travel? yes, but for my volunteering groups. do i count that as "volunteer hours"? yes i do. traveling 2 hours in traffic back and forth in LA, and taking away from my actual job, I consider that volunteering my time. do i work fulltime and volunteer fulltime on the weekends? yes. do i contact and speak with Marines in afghanistan at 3am and work with DoD officials when most on the west coast and east coast are sleeping? Yes. Do I have downtime? No, not much. do i have a social life? no I actually don't. I have closer relationships with Marines and officials thousands of miles away than I do with people in my own area. the fact is, the GMATClub is actually one of my only guilty pleasures. i come here because its a short respite from my own life, and in its own way, my social life.

you can call throw the BS flag all you want but the truth is the truth. but it doesn't matter if i break it down even more for you hour by hour, because the fact is that you and others who have a more cynical view still probably won't believe me. that's fine. i don't work to please you or prove anything to you.

but one thing you said is right. I do need to groom myself some more. I look like a hot mess most of the day.
GMAT Club Bot
Re: "Extracurricular" activities &nbs [#permalink] 18 Mar 2010, 11:34

Go to page    1   2    Next  [ 24 posts ] 

Display posts from previous: Sort by

"Extracurricular" activities

  new topic post reply Update application status  


Copyright

GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.