Mission Admission: Too Late to Start?

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

As candidates start to contemplate next year’s application cycle, many wonder if they still have sufficient time to improve their candidacies. Some wonder if it might be too late to take on community activities. Won’t the Admissions Committee see through these transparent attempts to impress? Well, the key is to make sure that your activities are not transparent but are meaningful. If you commit yourself entirely to an organization and have an immediate impact, then you will have a story to tell, regardless of the time spent with the organization.

Consider the case of an individual who had a family member who was unfortunately afflicted with a rare disease. On his own initiative, this individual raised a significant sum for a charitable foundation related to this disease and was then asked to take a leadership role within the foundation. This entire sequence of events occurred in just three months and yet still constitutes a great story because the individual showed initiative, entrepreneurship, maturity, community mindedness and other such qualities—not because of years of involvement. So, as you contemplate your plans for the next few months, focus on the depth of your commitment, not the time frame.

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