MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Am a Simple Product

Many candidates who approach us are concerned that they cannot get their stories out in one 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 to make an impression on the admissions committees. But, of course, you are not a simple product with just 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 definitely a mistake that 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 address only his entrepreneurial side in his applications and ignore his empathetic and altruistic treatment of this young baseball player? Why would Jon not reveal his depth and versatility instead, telling both stories and revealing distinct but complementary strengths?

We at mbaMission encourage candidates to brainstorm thoroughly and consider each of their stories from as many different perspectives as possible. No one simple formula exists for presenting yourself to the admissions committee. In fact, showing that you are a multitalented and sophisticated individual is incredibly important. After all, admissions committees are looking for the world’s next great business leaders, and the true legends of international business cannot be easily summarized in a mere handful of words.

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