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Volunteer Work?

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Joined: 13 Sep 2010
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13 Sep 2010, 15:11
I am considering applying to Georgetown for Fall 2011. One of the essay questions has kind of stumped me because it asks about postgraduate work in the community and community involvement.

A) Please provide a bulleted list of your post-undergraduate involvement in the community. Indicate the nature of the activity or organization, dates of involvement, offices held, and average number of hours spent each month. B) What motivates you to continue contributing to the community?

With such a busy work schedule I haven't actually volunteered since I was in college. Is there another option/strategy in answering this question? If I aim to apply for the January deadline what is the best strategy in answering the essay question?

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13 Sep 2010, 19:26
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Dawgie wrote:
You should mention it. It is better than nothing.

doesnt sound good... helping my mom's friend' daughter in SAT prep for 3 hours from 2005-2010? maybe helping people in gmatclub?
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13 Sep 2010, 15:56
I'm surprised a b-school would ask this question in their application. As far as I know it's not a requirement to be admitted to b-school to have done any post-undergrad volunteering. In fact, many admits fall into your category. I would just be honest and explain why you didn't have time to be active in your community. At the same time, perhaps lay out any plans you may have to be active in the future.
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13 Sep 2010, 18:27
AlexaSC wrote:
I am considering applying to Georgetown for Fall 2011. One of the essay questions has kind of stumped me because it asks about postgraduate work in the community and community involvement.

A) Please provide a bulleted list of your post-undergraduate involvement in the community. Indicate the nature of the activity or organization, dates of involvement, offices held, and average number of hours spent each month. B) What motivates you to continue contributing to the community?

With such a busy work schedule I haven't actually volunteered since I was in college. Is there another option/strategy in answering this question? If I aim to apply for the January deadline what is the best strategy in answering the essay question?

lets join the club! i basically wrote why i had ZERO hours on volunteering work. i did some study help here and there but they werent worth writing about.
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13 Sep 2010, 18:37
You should mention it. It is better than nothing.
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13 Sep 2010, 19:41

If you haven't done anything, simply say that your work demands have prohibited you from participating. IF you had a strong volunteer record in school you can mention that, but basically just tell it like it is and close. They see plenty of ibankers and that crowd who work seventy hour weeks and then collapse. You won't be the first. It won't help your application, but should not be a killer. If you are starting to get involved, tell them what you are planning and why it interests you and how you hope to benefit the group. Show them that you have thought about it. Just don't try to blow smoke - they are very, very good at figuring that out.

I had been looking to apply to a couple of volunteer programs in my area this month on an ongoing basis so I'm thinking I can touch on that experience and start writing that particular essay closer to the time it's due. It won't be much volunteer experience but like a previous poster said everything little thing helps. Based on the Consultant's reply, it's definitely important to be honest and not overstate the facts. Fingers crossed!

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13 Sep 2010, 22:10
AlexaSC wrote:

If you haven't done anything, simply say that your work demands have prohibited you from participating. IF you had a strong volunteer record in school you can mention that, but basically just tell it like it is and close. They see plenty of ibankers and that crowd who work seventy hour weeks and then collapse. You won't be the first. It won't help your application, but should not be a killer. If you are starting to get involved, tell them what you are planning and why it interests you and how you hope to benefit the group. Show them that you have thought about it. Just don't try to blow smoke - they are very, very good at figuring that out.

I had been looking to apply to a couple of volunteer programs in my area this month on an ongoing basis so I'm thinking I can touch on that experience and start writing that particular essay closer to the time it's due. It won't be much volunteer experience but like a previous poster said everything little thing helps. Based on the Consultant's reply, it's definitely important to be honest and not overstate the facts. Fingers crossed!

beware of picking volunteer work close to applying.... school can smell you doing it for the sake of app a mile away and it seems very disingenuous.
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13 Sep 2010, 22:40
While we're on the volunteering note, how is it that the b-schools are going to be able to tell whether or not you've done the volunteer work? I'm curious because as I'm filling out my extracurriculars, I started wondering how in the world adcoms are going to know whether you're lying or not. If adcom decides to do background check on you after you're admitted, your volunteer work will not be on the background check anyway. Any thought?
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13 Sep 2010, 23:29
shaselai wrote:

beware of picking volunteer work close to applying.... school can smell you doing it for the sake of app a mile away and it seems very disingenuous.

I'm actually looking to volunteer because I got laid off from my company a few weeks back and want to be able to explain my "free-time"

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13 Sep 2010, 23:39
bakfed wrote:
While we're on the volunteering note, how is it that the b-schools are going to be able to tell whether or not you've done the volunteer work? I'm curious because as I'm filling out my extracurriculars, I started wondering how in the world adcoms are going to know whether you're lying or not. If adcom decides to do background check on you after you're admitted, your volunteer work will not be on the background check anyway. Any thought?

Yes I'm pretty sure they don't check this information but definitely not a good idea to make up extracurriculars that you didn't take part in. I'm sure people might embellish slightly though. I guess it goes back to ones ethics too...if I falsely mentioned that I did volunteer work I would feel that I was misrepresenting myself.

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14 Sep 2010, 04:38
shaselai wrote:
Dawgie wrote:
You should mention it. It is better than nothing.

doesnt sound good... helping my mom's friend' daughter in SAT prep for 3 hours from 2005-2010? maybe helping people in gmatclub?

Yea that might raise some other red flags... ...obear!
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14 Sep 2010, 11:25
bakfed wrote:
While we're on the volunteering note, how is it that the b-schools are going to be able to tell whether or not you've done the volunteer work? I'm curious because as I'm filling out my extracurriculars, I started wondering how in the world adcoms are going to know whether you're lying or not. If adcom decides to do background check on you after you're admitted, your volunteer work will not be on the background check anyway. Any thought?

If they suspect something, I suppose they could ask you about it during an in-person interview. Depending on how well you acquit yourself, they may be able to determine that you've made it up or exaggerated it. I don't think it's worth it.

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14 Sep 2010, 14:11
If you are not a good liar, don't lie about your extra-curriculars. Not only you would have trouble talking about your extra-curriculars during interview, but also your essay might not reflect the passion and dedication a true volunteer would have towards his goals.

Adcoms read dozens of applications every day and it becomes their second instinct to sniff the liars out.
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14 Sep 2010, 21:29
bakfed wrote:
While we're on the volunteering note, how is it that the b-schools are going to be able to tell whether or not you've done the volunteer work? I'm curious because as I'm filling out my extracurriculars, I started wondering how in the world adcoms are going to know whether you're lying or not. If adcom decides to do background check on you after you're admitted, your volunteer work will not be on the background check anyway. Any thought?

ok. you dont want them to bust you on this - you will lose their trust and imo it will be auto-ding since integrity is/should be very important. it is better to just make good explainations as to why you didnt volunteer. I know i am a very very bad liar and i would fold pretty much...guess it is a good thing?
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23 Sep 2010, 11:26
Hi AlexaSC

Great question about the emphasis of volunteer experience by the top business schools.

Linda Abraham, Accepted.com's founder and president, expressed on her website, "The top global business programs believe that business leaders are and should be shaping tomorrow's world. For this reason, they like to see a history of that kind of community influence in their applicants. If you really aren't interested in serving the community in any way, then you do not share these schools' vision."

For this reason, perhaps you should consider participating our national pre-MBA professional group, USA Leadership Corps.

USALC structures volunteer nonprofit and small business strategy consulting projects for emerging MBAs who desire to strengthen their leadership, consulting, entrepreneurship, and/or community-involvement backgrounds. Our website: http://www.usaLeadershipCorps.org

Thank you again for sharing a great question, AlexaSC.

Good luck.

Maxwell Roper
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23 Sep 2010, 13:04
MaxwellRoper wrote:
Hi AlexaSC

Great question about the emphasis of volunteer experience by the top business schools.

Linda Abraham, Accepted.com's founder and president, expressed on her website, "The top global business programs believe that business leaders are and should be shaping tomorrow's world. For this reason, they like to see a history of that kind of community influence in their applicants. If you really aren't interested in serving the community in any way, then you do not share these schools' vision."

For this reason, perhaps you should consider participating our national pre-MBA professional group, USA Leadership Corps.

USALC structures volunteer nonprofit and small business strategy consulting projects for emerging MBAs who desire to strengthen their leadership, consulting, entrepreneurship, and/or community-involvement backgrounds. Our website: http://www.usaLeadershipCorps.org

Thank you again for sharing a great question, AlexaSC.

Good luck.

Maxwell Roper
Outreach Director

nice! but probably too late for people applying this year since it would look like the applicant started to fill the void
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26 Dec 2010, 15:14
What are the volunteering opportunities that are considered appropriate for MBA schools?
Should it be something intellectually challenging, as tutoring, for example?
Or cleaning state park by picking up trash is fine too, as long as you are helping community?
Thanks.

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26 Dec 2010, 18:15
Fijisurf wrote:
What are the volunteering opportunities that are considered appropriate for MBA schools?
Should it be something intellectually challenging, as tutoring, for example?
Or cleaning state park by picking up trash is fine too, as long as you are helping community?
Thanks.

I wouldn't think that anything would be looked down on, but try to focus on anything that affords you the opportunity to lead or organize others. Volunteering is pretty easy, but taking a leadership role is a serious commitment and shows your dedication to positively affect the world around you.

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11 Dec 2012, 17:33

If someone reasonably explains why they haven't been a volunteer, does that put them on an equal playing field with someone who does have volunteer experience. Lets take two candidates for an example:

Applicant A. Work 80hrs per week and travel 5-6 days per week for the company. 700 GMAT. 3.5GPA. No volunteer experience since college.

Applicant B. Spends 40 hours per week in the office and doesn't travel for work. 700 GMAT. 3.5GPA. Helped organize their neighborhood bowling league.

From your experiences, if there is only one spot open at said B School, who gets it?
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Re: Volunteer Work?   [#permalink] 11 Dec 2012, 17:33
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