Mission Admission: Community Service Is Not a Prison Sentence

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

We write our title in jest, but many MBA aspirants feel that the business school admissions committees have essentially sentenced them to community service in much the same way a judge would sentence a petty criminal to perform volunteer work. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you are slogging through your time as a volunteer, you are certainly not helping yourself or your candidacy. “Time served” is not the most important factor of your community work in the eyes of the MBA admissions committees—what is meaningful and revealing is the impact you have on others. Indeed, the spirit with which you have executed your time serving your community is what will impress the committees.

As you consider your options for community involvement (and we hope you have begun doing so long before now), be sure to choose a cause or group about which you are passionate and to which you can commit yourself entirely. By dedicating yourself to an organization about which you are sincerely enthusiastic (just as you would in choosing a job), you will naturally find yourself in situations that will lend themselves to quality essays and powerful recommendations.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Deadlines

  • MIT Sloan (Round 2)
  • INSEAD (Round 4)
  • UNC Kenan-Flagler (Round 3)
  • USC Marshall (Round 3)
  • Carnegie Mellon Tepper (Round 3)
  • London Business School (Round 3)
  • Cambridge Judge (Round 4)
  • NYU Stern (Round 4)

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2020–2021 MBA Essay Analysis

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