Admissions Myths Destroyed: I am a Simple Product!

mbaMission hosts a weekly blog series, “Admissions Myths Destroyed,” for our friends at Beat the GMAT. Check out the BTG site for fresh material and ours for “reprints.” The following piece was penned by mbaMission Founder, Jeremy Shinewald:

Many candidates approach us, concerned that they cannot get their stories out in a single sentence or worried that their personal branding is too muddled. Some candidates feel that they must have a single narrative and continuously speak to it in order to make a point with the admissions committees. But, of course, you are not a simple product with one or two attributes — a Budweiser beer, for example, which can be represented with a straightforward slogan, “The Great American Lager.” MBA candidates are far more complex than consumer products. So, presenting yourself as one-dimensional (“I am an entrepreneur in everything I do,” “I am a finance guy”) is indeed a mistake, which prevents you from revealing your depth of character and experience.

Let us consider a basic example: Jon built a lawn care business from a single truck into ten trucks and he also coached Little League baseball, becoming a de facto “big brother” to one of the kids on the team.  Why should Jon only show his entrepreneurial side and ignore his empathetic and altruistic treatment of this young baseball player? Why wouldn’t Jon instead reveal his depth and versatility, telling each story and revealing distinct but complementary strengths?

At mbaMission, we encourage candidates to brainstorm thoroughly and consider each of their stories from as many different perspectives as possible. There is no simple formula for presenting yourself to the admissions committee. In fact, it is quite important that you show that you are a multi-talented and sophisticated person.  After all, admissions committees are on the hunt for the next great business leaders and the true legends of international business cannot be summed up in three or four words.

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