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 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. This is far 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 served your community is what will impress the committees.

As you consider your options for community involvement (and we hope began 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.

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