New York Times: Hot Ticket in B-School

Akiba Smith-Francis, Senior Consultant 

Last week, the New York Times posted an article we were very happy to see, “Hot Ticket in B-School: Bringing Life Values to Corporate Ethics.” It’s not what you might think. This is not about the lessons to be learned from the unethical behavior that brought down companies like Enron and WorldCom. In some ways, business schools addressing corporate social responsibility is “so 2003”.

This article, in contrast, is “so 2008”. It highlights the increased attention business schools are paying to the desire of students and alumni to integrate work and life. Each year business schools churn out graduates who sign up to work 12+ hour days and allow work to creep into their weekends and vacations. Lucky for you, business schools have recognized that professionals want to live their lives as “whole people” who can spend time with their families and contribute to society while they work.

This trend is important for business school applicants to be aware of for a couple of reasons. First, we hope it is encouraging to know that MBA programs are taking a more holistic approach to business education. Second, we hope that it is reassuring to know that business schools are interested in getting to know you as a “whole person.”

You do not need to, and in fact shouldn’t, keep your values and interests outside of work, from the Admission Committee. We are often asked questions like, “what kind of student is X School looking for?” In general, schools are looking for smart, accomplished leaders with a perspective. Other than those broad qualities, there is no recipe for what an ideal candidate looks like. Business schools are interested in getting to know the real you. Have the confidence to be authentic and let AdComs know what’s really important to you – in work and in life.

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