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

It is currently 19 Oct 2019, 10:25

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

Too late to volunteer?

  new topic post reply Update application status  
Author Message
Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 19 Mar 2016
Posts: 32
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V40
GPA: 3.57
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
Reviews Badge
Too late to volunteer?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 08 Oct 2016, 15:04
Hi,

I've been a working professional for a bit over 2 years now. I work in consulting, so I travel Monday-Thursday and did not have very much time to engage in volunteering activities due to workplace attrition that put more responsibility on my end. I've been GMAT studying for the past 4-5 months (finished recently) and have been pretty busy with consulting projects, so my up until now is nil.

I've recently came across much more free time due to a less demanding project, so I want to engage in more extracurricular, but don't want to give off the signal that I'm doing this for an MBA app (in all honesty, I'm not). I am applying round 2 (Jan deadline). Overall, I'm just worried that the EC part of my app will be very weak when compared to other applicants. I've done a lot of EC's when I was in college.

Any advice on how to approach this? I wouldn't want to delay my applications a year for the sake of EC's.
Intern
Intern
User avatar
Joined: 05 Oct 2016
Posts: 1
Too late to volunteer?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 08 Oct 2016, 16:37
DivineJustice

Looks like you work in Strategy Consulting. As a fellow Strategy Consultant, I feel your pain ;)

You seem to have a VERY CLEAR understanding about your weakness my friend. Now, you have two options (1) Address this weakness head on- this involves the risk of the ad-com perceiving you as someone trying to game the system (2) Be a cool dude- and just let it be ;)

As a Wharton alum, I can tell you that both these options are bad and will get you dinged, at least at top schools. The workaround that has worked for some of my clients in the past is to teach online courses on platforms such as Udemy or Unacademy. Or, they have mentored/taught at a local schools. Public schools across many geographies allow Consultants to tutor (free of cost, of course) courses on logic, analysis, public speaking etc. Teaching just before you are about to pursue your MBA is an explanation that has gone well for my clients. Obviously, in the larger context, you need to show an interest (if not proof!) in teaching/mentoring via your essays.

Hope this helps!
_________________
Best,
Kevin- Admissions Consultant
MyMBAJourney[dot]com

If you like the post, give it a KUDOS
Manager
Manager
User avatar
B
Status: Harvard Alum
Affiliations: Harvard University
Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 227
Location: United States (NY)
Too late to volunteer?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 08 Oct 2016, 20:05
1
Let me offer some different advice (as a Harvard alum). Volunteering is not actually looked upon as a category in the way you might think:

What the Top Ten schools are actually looking for is not if you have volunteering experience - they are looking for some indication that your professional career is not all about you. That you can be "other focused." That your job is not just all about yourself.

And, yes, a lot of times that criteria is met by volunteering (though in my opinion, tutoring and teaching never impressed me as something unique, as so many people put that on their applications...however, STARTING a tutoring non-profit in India, for example, did impress me a great deal).

What the admissions committee is really trying to "hunt out" and unearth though, is if maybe you're just a finance professional (for example) who spends 80+ hours a week in the office and is only interested in making money and getting promoted as fast as possible, with no thought or care towards anyone else. The schools want to make sure that that self-centered, self-serving, narcissistic person is NOT YOU, and that they don't admit someone like that into their class.

There are ways to demonstrate that that's NOT YOU though without specifically volunteering, and in ways you may actually already be doing but not even realized.

For example: Do you give to any charities? Have you donated to any humanitarian causes? Have you ever? When you paid your taxes last year did you fill out a line for "charitable deductions?" That counts. Volunteering is not always just about volunteering your time, it can be about volunteering your resources too, and that is an area most people forget.

The strategy is to then make a case for your humanitarian donations in your application as a real and valid thing, and then back that up when necessary in your essays or interview.

One of the best ideas I ever saw that got a client in to MIT Sloan, for example, was just an IDEA to start a non-profit. It wasn't even an organization they ever started to build, it was just an idea on paper. This too can impress the committee and count (of course, I would hope it would be a real thing you were thinking of doing one day, and not just a ploy to get in).

All of these ideas are things that have worked though. I have had MBA clients get into the top schools without having any volunteering experience at all. You just need to show somehow that it is not all about you, and to show something that is hopefully unique, as that will make you stand out in your application.

Hope that helps!

[I'm a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm MBA IVY LEAGUE: Contact me today for more information! http://www.MBAIvyLeague.com]

_________________
I'm a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard grad, and currently run the award-winning MBA & EMBA admission firm: http://www.MBAIvy.com. Check out my blog, and contact me for a free consultation today!
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
S
Status: MBA Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: 99colleges.com
Joined: 02 Jul 2015
Posts: 329
Schools: Wharton
Re: Too late to volunteer?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 09 Oct 2016, 04:38
Hi DivineJustice,

Schools look at EC to know if an applicant has interests outside the professional world. (Remember, MBA programs have much more to it than just Finance, Accounting, or Marketing classes.)

Having said that, what’s more important, as with most things in the application, is level of interest and depth in the EC you’ve pursued (quality over quantity). It’s better to have one solid EC than smattering of 3-4.

Second, adcoms also understand that certain industries (consulting being one) keep the employees super-busy, leaving little time to pursue ECs. Especially in such cases, it’s not a deal breaker if other things are fine in your application.
_________________
Anil, MBA (Wharton)

Contact at anil@99colleges.com for your queries | Consulting
Manager
Manager
User avatar
B
Status: Harvard Alum
Affiliations: Harvard University
Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 227
Location: United States (NY)
Re: Too late to volunteer?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 09 Oct 2016, 08:34
I disagree 99colleges. It certainly IS a dealbreaker at least for the Top Ten U.S. schools if an applicant doesn't have any EC. Again, as I said above, they want to make sure - especially if you're coming from the finance industry - that you are not just focused on yourself.

...and the best applicants are able to balance their full-time work week with select extracurriculars, in the same way that someone going to medical school has to prove they can handle the strenuous work load and expectations.

You need to make a case for doing something outside of work. Otherwise you are just not going to get in.

[I'm a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad and currently run the MBA & EMBA admissions firm http://www.MBAIvyLeague.com Contact me for a free consultation today.]
_________________
I'm a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard grad, and currently run the award-winning MBA & EMBA admission firm: http://www.MBAIvy.com. Check out my blog, and contact me for a free consultation today!
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
S
Status: MBA Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: 99colleges.com
Joined: 02 Jul 2015
Posts: 329
Schools: Wharton
Re: Too late to volunteer?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 Oct 2016, 22:11
Disagreements are always healthy, but I stand by what I said.

ECs are good to have. They present you as well-rounded, but they’re not deal-breakers. (Deal-breaker means one can’t do without them.) Seemingly more important factors than ECs aren’t deal-breakers even at top schools. Case in point: zero work experience.

The admission process to MBA programs is much more holistic than checking few boxes. That’s why applicants with 750+ scores also get dinged (in fact, in large proportion). And that’s why applicants with 650- also get in. This happens because GMAT score, and for that matter other factors, is not looked at in isolation.

Most schools have defined evaluation criteria, and each of them typically needs multiple inputs to tick that particular criterion. HBS, for example, looks at leadership, analytical aptitude, and engaged community citizenship in the applicants. They look at EC as one of several inputs for the leadership criterion. So, is the case for analytical aptitude, where GMAT is one of the factors (and not the sole factor).

Applicants, mainly non-native speakers, have been admitted to HBS with multiple grammar mistakes (not style, but grammar) in essays (reference: Harbus Essay Guide), which may seem odd. But the school must have taken a holistic approach considering their overall profile.

Would the admission committee ding someone just on the basis of EC (especially when they’re in an industry which gives her/ him just enough time to sleep) when other things on their profiles are fine? There is a reason why professional experience gets the most real estate (more than EC and education) in resumes.
_________________
Anil, MBA (Wharton)

Contact at anil@99colleges.com for your queries | Consulting
Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant
User avatar
G
Joined: 12 Aug 2014
Posts: 2763
Re: Too late to volunteer?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 12 Oct 2016, 16:02
Given your timeline, I would pick up what you can now but also look at your past to identify other opportunities that you have already engaged in to showcase your track record of engagement. The more recent the better of course but most schools will evaluate you in undergrad involvement, post-undergrad involvement, and current involvement. So really think through where you have been engaged in the past often you will find you have done more than you suspect. were you in clubs in college, did you play a sport, mentor kids, lead any professional clubs, what was your engagement in work related committees and volunteer orgs. Really be exhaustive here
_________________
Veritas Prep | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant

Find the expert who’s right for you. Meet our team!
Veritas Prep Reviews
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 15 Oct 2017
Posts: 1
Re: Too late to volunteer?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 06 Dec 2018, 09:51
@ MBAIvey
Hi. Thanks for the clarification though the query was not raised by me. Your post did somehow relate to me.
I am planning for an MBA and I too do not have any volunteering experience. However, since I started earning, I have been regularly donating to a charitable organisation, with a specification that the donation be utilised for the purpose of feeding to the nearby villagers. I hope that may be viewed favourably on my application.

Posted from my mobile device
_________________
CA Chinmay Mulay
Personal MBA Coach Founder
User avatar
P
Status: Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting from a Wharton graduate - Helping applicants get into top global business schools since 2008
Affiliations: Wharton, MIT
Joined: 11 Sep 2010
Posts: 1644
Location: United States (NY)
Overall Client Admit Rate: 96%
Re: Too late to volunteer?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 06 Dec 2018, 21:59
DivineJustice wrote:
Hi,

I've been a working professional for a bit over 2 years now. I work in consulting, so I travel Monday-Thursday and did not have very much time to engage in volunteering activities due to workplace attrition that put more responsibility on my end. I've been GMAT studying for the past 4-5 months (finished recently) and have been pretty busy with consulting projects, so my up until now is nil.

I've recently came across much more free time due to a less demanding project, so I want to engage in more extracurricular, but don't want to give off the signal that I'm doing this for an MBA app (in all honesty, I'm not). I am applying round 2 (Jan deadline). Overall, I'm just worried that the EC part of my app will be very weak when compared to other applicants. I've done a lot of EC's when I was in college.

Any advice on how to approach this? I wouldn't want to delay my applications a year for the sake of EC's.


Hi Divine!

Thanks for your post. You bring up a subject that a lot of people wonder about, which is the importance of ECs while working a demanding job.

On the one hand, yes - schools understand that there isn't much time to volunteer or pursue a passion when you are working 80 hours a week and spending a significant amount of time in the air. In this instance, what you absolutely should do is highlight your EC from college on your application. Beginning a volunteer program a month before the R2 deadline isn't going to move the needle in the positive direction, so if you are, I would do it more for self fulfillment.

On the other, a lack of EC (despite a heavy work schedule) could put you at a disadvantage to other candidates from similar backgrounds who have squeaked out time to volunteer over a period of time. With only 2 years of experience, you still have a long runway to apply, but I'd have to know more about your profile to make a more educated assesment.

* On a side note, there was something brought up about donations to a charity. I do not recommend writing about donations on an MBA application. Writing a check to a cause you believe in is not the same as actively devoting time to a cause you believe in!

Best of luck on the application and let us know if there is anything we can do to assist!

Regards,
Personal MBA Coach

www.personalmbacoach.com
_________________
Personal MBA Coach
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting
scott@personalmbacoach.com | +1 617 645 2424
http://www.personalmbacoach.com | http://www.personalmbacoach.com/blog

Sign up for a free consultation!

Image
MBA Admissions Consultant
User avatar
P
Joined: 07 Mar 2012
Posts: 1014
Reviews Badge
Re: Too late to volunteer?  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 21 Dec 2018, 04:04
Extracurricular activities are quite an ambiguous topic, as far as MBA admissions are concerned.

Most MBA aspirants find this aspect of MBA admissions quite confusing.
MBA programs look for “round candidates”, meaning they look for work, academics and “something else”. What is that something else? It can either be community activity, volunteering, an interesting hobby or such like.
We have had candidates get into top schools with no volunteering at all. It is all a question of how you present yourself to the schools.

You might want to head over to https://aringo.com/extracurricular-acti ... plication/ for some clarity over what works and what doesn’t.

Good Luck!
_________________
https://ARINGO.com/ – MBA Admissions Consulting

Specializing in candidates with GMATs under 720 or low GPAs

Try our free Admissions Chances Calculator - https://aringo.com/mba-admission-chances-calculator/

All statistics verified by Ernst & Young - https://aringo.com/aringo-mba-admission-statistics/
GMAT Club Bot
Re: Too late to volunteer?   [#permalink] 21 Dec 2018, 04:04
Display posts from previous: Sort by

Too late to volunteer?

  new topic post reply Update application status  

Moderators: billionaire, Hatakekakashi






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