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Extracurricular's

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Joined: 05 Nov 2009
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11 Mar 2010, 11:13
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Other than being a volunteer, what else can be counted as extracurricular.

Does running a part time business in the same field count as one ? Does running a fitness website or being a Certified Personal Trainer count as one ?
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11 Mar 2010, 19:26
everything other than ur normal full tie job counts ... my friend was a very good stamp collector and ad committee were interested in the aspect while interviewing him ... so u never know ... even falling in love with 10 girls in a year can be an accomplishment ? ... kidding ... but yes .. if ur into stamp collection or maybe a regular marathon runner .. u should mention such small things too ...
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16 Mar 2010, 06:57
HopefulOldie wrote:
Other than being a volunteer, what else can be counted as extracurricular.

Does running a part time business in the same field count as one ? Does running a fitness website or being a Certified Personal Trainer count as one ?

Hi Hopeful (and I am sure you are not old

The point of AdComs asking for extracurricular activities is to have an additional gauge to evaluate applicants besides just their professional experiences or academic qualifications.

I concur with superman - any activity outside your normal routine can be classified as an extracurricular activity. However, the best extracurricular activities are those that demonstrate the personal attributes that the program you are applying to is looking for.

In response to your question, running a part time business, running a website or even being a personal trainer can show a multitude of attributes depending on how you view your experiences. The important thing is to ensure that you are tailoring your takeaways to the program, and if you have to choose, perhaps due to space constraints, picking the volunteer experience that is most relevant to the MBA program at hand.

Email us at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to learn more about how we help our clients tailor each component of their MBA application to the business school program, or check out our affordable Application Packages and Volume Discounts.

Last edited by MyMBAAdmit on 20 May 2010, 06:59, edited 1 time in total.
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30 Mar 2010, 09:57
I am an amateur astronomer since last 16 years, I also fly RC planes as my hobby.

Does that count ?
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08 May 2010, 12:01
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hideyoshi wrote:
I am an amateur astronomer since last 16 years, I also fly RC planes as my hobby.

Does that count ?

Hi hideyoshi,

Both of these make interesting "talking points" in your profile and help to show your diversity. However, hobbies make better extracurricular activities from the AdCom's perspective when they are an additional source of demonstrating some of the soft skills and attributes that the program is looking for. For example, keeping at a hobby for 16 years shows perseverance. Can you demonstrate any measurable impact from this hobby - writing a paper, obtaining a certification, leading a team of fellow enthusiasts, teaching it to juniors? Similarly, for flying RC planes, can you think of examples of participating and winning a competition, or obtaining any advanced levels of expertise?

Any activity that helps to set you apart is useful. However, to best leverage it, it has to be appropriately positioned. This is where we help. During our consulting sessions, we actively pursue additional information and encourage clients to come up with supplemental details on their activities. With the full picture in hand, we help the client to understand the best place in the application to include it, and the aspects to focus on to be appropriate for the program at hand.

If you have follow-up questions, go ahead and post them in the Ask My MBA Admit thread in this forum.

Feel free to drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to discuss your application further. Check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.

Last edited by MyMBAAdmit on 20 May 2010, 07:04, edited 1 time in total.
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13 May 2010, 02:41
HopefulOldie wrote:
Other than being a volunteer, what else can be counted as extracurricular.

Does running a part time business in the same field count as one ? Does running a fitness website or being a Certified Personal Trainer count as one ?

There are extracurricular activities and then there are extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership. You want to focus your message on the activities that demonstrate your leadership style but outside of your normal, 9-to-5, office capacity.

Given the basic info you provided, running an outside business would count as one, given that it is a business with some merit (i.e. demonstrates leadership, has duration, perhaps some revenue or FTE.)

Running a fitness website would be a secondary activity, unless the website has several thousand users, etc. Being a certified personal trainer could roll up into this example but if it not leadership oriented, I would leave it as a brief line item on the application or perhaps resume.

My personal opinion is that outside the office leadership activities that combine personal passions and professional acumen are the best. So if you volunteer for Habit for Humanity, not simply on one-off house repairs, but rather as an IT project manager for a data center (and you are an IT project manager) at work, these make the best examples.

Remember, the point of the essays (in part) is to tell the adcom how it is you lead and why you lead the way you do. To show them that you are not invented or a johnny come lately, you need to show a long line of leadership in and out of the regular workplace or your academic studies. Otherwise, you run the risk of looking invented for the purposes of applying to business school.

In short, extracurriculars are a good way to demonstrate another dimension, but a relevant dimension.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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13 May 2010, 07:06
Extracurricular activities in MBA applications have two basic purposes - one, to show personal attributes and soft skills such as leadership, initiative and communication with (hopefully) measurable results outside the routine activities of work and school. Two, to demonstrate diversity and show that extra spark in your applications. For example, an accountant who is a professional juggler - as one of our recent clients was!

In his case, obtaining certifications over 5 years and leading teaching sessions for junior jugglers showed personal attributes. But, juggling itself showed diversity from his finance-concentrated experience. This added color to his resume and essays and gave an admissions reader an additional point to remember about his application.

Whether you run a part-time business, are a Certified Personal Trainer or fly RC planes, do not shy away from activities that are different from your professional expertise. In fact, embrace them. Chances are, you can show quantifiable results at work and school already. If you show these in your extracurricular activities, you confirm that you haven't jumped into them just for the sake of the application but have actually achieved something in them. Plus, by doing something completely different from your professional expertise, you add noteworthy diversity and the all-important Wow factor.

Best of luck! If you have follow-up questions, go ahead and post them in the Ask My MBA Admit thread in this forum.

Feel free to drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to discuss your application further. Check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.
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25 Jan 2011, 18:39
Hi HopefulOldie. Thank you for starting a great post.

Extracurricular activities can demonstrate great commitment to your own professional development and/or to improving the overall community around you... If you are looking for a great extracurricular activity that will demonstrate your commitment to both of these areas then consider our professional group, USA Leadership Corps (www usaLeadershipCorps org) .

USALC partners with pre-MBAs who are looking to build their consulting, entrepreneurship, and/or community-involvement resumes by leading part-time volunteer nonprofit strategy consulting projects. Please visit our website to learn more.

Thank you & good luck.

Maxwell Roper
Outreach Director
Re: Extracurricular's   [#permalink] 25 Jan 2011, 18:39
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Extracurricular's

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