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# Successful MBA Applicants who Volunteered Abroad?

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Manager
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17 Apr 2012, 19:06
Anyone with experience volunteering abroad get into a top MBA program this year? This include Peace Corps, mission trips, volunteer vacations, etc.
VP
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18 Apr 2012, 05:14
Every year many people with volunteer experience abroad get into top b-schools. I met several at admitted students weekends. Do you have a specific question or do you just want to know if anyone got into school?
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Manager
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18 Apr 2012, 05:33
The latter, as presented in my original question. I'm trying to get a feel for the prevalence of international volunteering experiences among successful applicants to top MBAs on this forum.

cheetarah1980 wrote:
Every year many people with volunteer experience abroad get into top b-schools. I met several at admitted students weekends. Do you have a specific question or do you just want to know if anyone got into school?
VP
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18 Apr 2012, 07:15
swbluedevil wrote:
The latter, as presented in my original question. I'm trying to get a feel for the prevalence of international volunteering experiences among successful applicants to top MBAs on this forum.

cheetarah1980 wrote:
Every year many people with volunteer experience abroad get into top b-schools. I met several at admitted students weekends. Do you have a specific question or do you just want to know if anyone got into school?

It is very prevalent. However, I wouldn't say that everyone who has international volunteering experience is a shoo-in for admission either. Just another part of a candidates overall profile. I would not think that a candidate without international experience is at a disadvantage.

I did notice people who made a career out of this type of work (i.e. Peace Corps and the like) also had very top notch professional experience in a traditional industry.
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The Brain Dump - From Low GPA to Top MBA (Updated September 1, 2013) - A Few of My Favorite Things--> http://cheetarah1980.blogspot.com

Manager
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18 Apr 2012, 17:05
Agree completely. International volunteering experience shouldn't be a guarantee for getting into the top bschools. With that said, I am intrigued by this excerpt from Poets and Quants:

"Applicants with lengthy and robust work/volunteer experiences abroad have a tangible advantage in the application process (sorry, study abroad programs and frequent international vacations will not cut it)."
http://poetsandquants.com/2011/04/25/wh ... etting-in/

cheetarah1980 wrote:
swbluedevil wrote:
The latter, as presented in my original question. I'm trying to get a feel for the prevalence of international volunteering experiences among successful applicants to top MBAs on this forum.

cheetarah1980 wrote:
Every year many people with volunteer experience abroad get into top b-schools. I met several at admitted students weekends. Do you have a specific question or do you just want to know if anyone got into school?

It is very prevalent. However, I wouldn't say that everyone who has international volunteering experience is a shoo-in for admission either. Just another part of a candidates overall profile. I would not think that a candidate without international experience is at a disadvantage.

I did notice people who made a career out of this type of work (i.e. Peace Corps and the like) also had very top notch professional experience in a traditional industry.
VP
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18 Apr 2012, 17:35
There are a bunch of these people at top b-schools; however, international volunteering isn't that only thing on their resume either. They all have some experience in traditional industries as well. From a b-school perspective, these students bring a different perspective to the conservation. However, at the end of the day, b-schools also want the students to land a job. It's a lot easier if international volunteering is one of the elements on the resume.
Manager
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Schools: Haas '15 (M)
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19 Apr 2012, 18:00
Thanks for the insights!

asimov wrote:
There are a bunch of these people at top b-schools; however, international volunteering isn't that only thing on their resume either. They all have some experience in traditional industries as well. From a b-school perspective, these students bring a different perspective to the conservation. However, at the end of the day, b-schools also want the students to land a job. It's a lot easier if international volunteering is one of the elements on the resume.
Manager
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20 Apr 2012, 18:07
Can anyone here talk about how they approached/highlighted their volunteer abroad experiences in their b-school application?
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21 Apr 2012, 07:42
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swbluedevil wrote:
Can anyone here talk about how they approached/highlighted their volunteer abroad experiences in their b-school application?

Let me preface my answer by saying I never volunteered abroad. However, I volunteer a lot on the local level. I am pretty sure that highlighting these experiences is no different whether you did them in your hometown or halfway across the world.

1) Create an "Activities & Interests" section on your resume and list them there. If you spent significant time abroad on one volunteer project or the Peace Corps then include the experience and details of what you accomplished either in the Relevant or Other Experience section of your resume

2) All applications have a section where they ask you to list and briefly summarize your extra curricular/volunteer experiences. List the organization, position held, and do a short recap of your overall role (i.e. coach local business owners entering microfinance, or something like that).

3) Use a story from your international volunteer experience to answer an essay question. In each of my applications I drew upon my volunteer experiences to answer at least one essay question. These experiences lend themselves well to essays about leading teams, being innovative, overcoming resistant parties, and navigating personal challenges.

4) You can have your recommenders speak to you international experiences in the recommendations or even get a recommendation from someone you worked with during one of these experiences. If you were in the Peace Corps it is perfectly acceptable for one of your professional recs to come from a PC supervisor.

You can use any or all of these areas of the application to make your international experience part of your overall story.
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25 Aug 2016, 19:28
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: Successful MBA Applicants who Volunteered Abroad?   [#permalink] 25 Aug 2016, 19:28
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