Improve Your MBA Profile - Featured
Improve Your MBA Profile - Featured

Improve Your MBA Profile – 40 Ways to an Awesome MBA Application!

May 23, 2024

Most MBA grads will tell you that an MBA from a top business school can change your career (and life in general) in myriad amazing ways. Many of them will also tell you that getting into a top B-school requires you to have a stellar profile and a rock-solid application.

If you have your eyes set on a B-school this year or next year, you probably fit in one of the categories mentioned below:

  1. You have great work experience but have an average academic record. Or, you are an academic achiever, but you’ve worked at a not-so-impressive job for a few years and don’t have much to set you apart.
  2. Your GPA is good and your career has been noteworthy, but you are not sure if you have that “X factor” in your profile that can differentiate you from similar achievers.
  3. You have had a great career, an academic record that you are proud of, and also have a differentiating factor or two – but you are wondering what you can do to improve your chances even further!

There must be one burning question that’s on your mind right now…

How can I improve my MBA profile?

Well, there’s a lot you can do!

We have compiled a list of 40 things that can improve your MBA profile and add sheen to your application. Some of these ideas will directly benefit your profile, while some will have an indirect bearing.

Even working on a handful of these tips will improve your candidacy and impress the admissions committees (AdComs)!

In this blog, we have divided these 40 ideas into 5 categories so that it’s easy for you to figure out which one to target.

Let’s have a look…

Personal Development and Skill Enhancement:

1. Continue a Long Lost Hobby

2. Meditate

3. Kick an Unhealthy Habit

4. Read a New Book Every Month

5. Travel to a New Place

6. Write a Personal / Daily Diary

7. Visit the B-School Campus

8. Try Your Hand at Something Creative

9. Participate in a New Adventure Sport

Skill Enhancement:

10. Master Your Negotiation Skills

11. Practice Your Oratory Skills

12. Learn a New Language

13. Learn to Play a Musical Instrument

14. Join a Fitness Program

15. Pursue Your favorite Sport

Professional Growth and Career Advancement:

16. Learn the basics of Finance

17. Start a Small Business

18. Sign Up for a MOOC

19. Work for a Startup

20. Attend Conferences Related to Your Field

21. Pick an Ambitious Project at Work

22. Take Part in Cross Functional Activities at Work

23. Junk TOI and Start Reading “The Economist”

24. Learn the Basics of Data Sciences and AI

Community and Social Engagement:

25. Consider Part-Time Teaching

26. Volunteer in Your Community

27. Contribute to Your Alma Mater

28. Do Your Bit for the Environment

29. Volunteer / Work with Teach for India

30. Volunteer Overseas

31. Join a Political Party

32. Get Involved in Your Society’s General Body

33. Contribute to Newspapers and Magazines

Networking and Online Presence:

34. Write a Blog

35. Become Active on X (Twitter)

36. Create a YouTube Channel and Post ‘How-To’ Videos

37. Become a Top Contributor on Quora

38. Spruce Up Your LinkedIn Profile

39. Be Very Active on GMAT/ MBA Forums

40. Become a Wikipedia Editor

1. Continue a Long Lost Hobby

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Remember the days of strumming guitar chords, sketching in notebooks, or dancing freely? Your hectic schedule may have pushed these passions aside, but reigniting them can significantly boost your MBA profile.

Reviving an old hobby like playing an instrument or painting will, no doubt, bring joy, but it will also sharpen cognitive skills and offer a relaxing break from work demands.

Additionally, joining hobby groups lets you connect with like-minded individuals, expand your network, and refine your interpersonal skills. These are skills that are vital for success in business school.

From a resume perspective, highlighting hobbies demonstrates a balanced lifestyle and proactive personal development, qualities that impress MBA programs seeking well-rounded candidates.

2. Meditate

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Meditation is often seen as a tool for personal well-being, but it can also significantly boost your MBA profile in several key ways.

Practicing meditation cultivates a heightened sense of self-awareness and emotional intelligence, improving your focus and concentration. This mental clarity not only aids in academic pursuits but also enhances your problem-solving abilities and decision-making skills—essential for MBA coursework and future leadership roles.

Moreover, integrating meditation into your daily routine shows a commitment to personal growth and well-being. AdCom appreciate candidates who demonstrate proactive strategies for self-improvement. It’s not just about staying calm; it’s about developing the resilience and clarity needed to navigate complex business challenges.

To get started, check out this fantastic site on the practice of mindfulness in daily life.

You can also explore apps like Headspace and Take a Break to help you incorporate meditation into your routine. Embracing meditation can make a noticeable difference in your MBA journey, showcasing your dedication to becoming a well-rounded and mindful leader.

3. Kick an Unhealthy Habit

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Overcoming an unhealthy habit like overeating or quitting an addiction can significantly enhance your MBA profile in several ways. It demonstrates strong determination and willpower, qualities that MBA programs highly value. Schools are looking for candidates who show resilience and the ability to set and achieve challenging goals.

Successfully breaking a bad habit also gives you compelling material for the ‘What are you most proud of’ essay common in many B-school applications. It’s a powerful story of personal growth and triumph that can set you apart from other applicants.

Embracing healthy habits promotes overall well-being and positivity. MBA candidates who prioritize their health are better equipped to handle the rigorous demands of business school. When you’re physically and mentally fit, you’re more focused, productive, and ready to tackle any challenge.

Think about what changes you’d like to make in your life. Get inspired by reading this (old but) thoughtful article on how to kick a bad habit.  

4. Read a New Book Every Month

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Whether you prefer a library card or a Kindle, exploring a new book each month brings many benefits that can greatly enhance your MBA profile.

There’s no doubt about it that reading keeps your mind stimulated and improves your speaking and writing skills. It also indirectly helps you with writing an impressive application essay. What’s more, you will probably never fumble for words in an interview or group discussion. MBA programs appreciate candidates who are curious and knowledgeable about different subjects.

Reading also improves your communication skills. It builds your vocabulary, improves your language fluency, and hones your writing abilities. These skills will help you write strong application essays, participate actively in class discussions, and speak confidently during interviews. MBA admissions committees value clear communication, making reading an invaluable tool for developing these skills.

Ready to get started? Check out this list of 50 books every MBA aspirant should read.

5. Travel to a New Place

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Traveling opens you up to new geographies, cultures, and economies. The experiences you gain while traveling will develop your ability to relate to others, negotiate well, and work with people from different backgrounds. Taking time off to explore the countries you’ve always dreamed of visiting is not just leisure—it’s an investment in your personal and professional growth.

Backpacking adds an exciting twist to your journey. It’s an opportunity to embrace uncertainty and embrace unexpected experiences. Meeting new people and immersing yourself in cultures from around the globe will greatly enhance your MBA application. It demonstrates your adaptability, resilience, and openness to new ideas and challenges—qualities that are highly valued in MBA candidates.

So, pack your backpack, step into the unknown, and let the world be your classroom. Backpacking isn’t just about sightseeing; it’s about gaining invaluable experiences that will shine brightly on your MBA application.

6. Write a Personal / Daily Diary

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Keeping a daily diary may not directly impact your profile, but its benefits can positively transform you.

Writing every day will help you untangle your thoughts and emotions and improve your ability to express yourself clearly. This is very important for MBA application essays, class discussions, and interviews. Beyond documenting incidents, journaling encourages introspection—you do not just write about an incident, but you go into the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’. This process fosters self-awareness and personal growth and also fosters a sense of accountability.

In essence, while writing a diary may initially appear as a personal endeavor, its impact extends far beyond. It equips you with essential skills—like clear communication, self-reflection, and accountability—that will not only enrich your MBA application but will also prepare you to thrive in the rigorous and collaborative environment of business school.

7. Visit the B-School Campus

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Visiting the school you’re aiming for—whether through freshman visits or group programs—brings unique benefits that can boost your MBA profile.

It’s your chance to chat with current students and the admission team directly and get a clear picture of what the school values in its candidates. These interactions also show your keen interest and dedication to understanding the program—a big plus for MBA applications.

The best way to get the inside scoop on the program is by meeting current students.

They’ll tell you what works, what challenges they’ve faced, and how they’ve grown. This insider knowledge is as good as gold and will give you a good idea of what to expect.

Strolling around campus on a guided tour lets you see the facilities and get a feel for the academic vibe. Think of it as trying on shoes to see if they fit! You’ll see if the school aligns with your goals and aspirations. This will help you write application essays that resonate with the school’s culture.

8. Try Your Hand at Something Creative

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Having a creative hobby, like painting, pottery, or illustrating, can add a unique touch to your MBA profile. A self-taught creative skill shows that you are self-motivated and dedicated—traits that the best MBA programs love to see. Plus, engaging in a creative activity trains your brain to think outside the box, which can be incredibly beneficial in a business setting.

Chatting with your interviewers about your latest painting, pottery piece or other extra-curricular activities will definitely make for an interesting conversation and set you apart from other candidates. Your creative pursuits will highlight your ability to balance work and play and showcase a well-rounded personality.

9. Participate in a New Adventure Sport

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Ever lived life on the edge? Adventure sports like river rafting, rock climbing, or bungee jumping offer a thrill that goes beyond a regular adrenaline rush. Whether you’re a newbie or a hardcore enthusiast, dabbling in these activities shows your willingness to take risks and embrace the spirit of adventure. Success often lies outside your comfort zone, and admissions committees are on the lookout for candidates who are willing to step out of theirs to pursue success.

Engaging in adventure sports also demonstrates your resilience and ability to handle pressure. Not just that, you can bring your application essays to life by recounting your experience of conquering a challenging climb or navigating turbulent rapids. Thrilling!

These activities also foster teamwork and leadership skills. Many adventure sports require collaboration and quick decision-making, which is pretty much the dynamics of a business environment. Sharing these experiences can make your profile stand out and show that you have what it takes to excel both individually and as part of a team.

10. Master Your Negotiation Skills

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Negotiation skills are a huge asset in any career path you choose. But when it comes to MBA admissions, they can be a game-changer during your interview. Mastering negotiation skills enhances your ability to communicate and persuade, but it also helps you see the perspectives of everyone involved in a discussion.

Being good at negotiation means you can understand the dynamics of a conversation and effectively convey why you’re the perfect fit for a particular B-school. It shows that you can navigate complex interactions, which is a valuable trait in business environments where negotiation is key.

Practicing negotiation hones your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities and enables you to approach interviews and group discussions with a calm, strategic mindset. This makes a strong impression on AdComs.

So, dive into learning negotiation techniques, whether through courses, books, or real-life practice.

Grab your free copy of ‘Top 50 Profiles Who Cracked MBA with Crackverbal’

Grab your free copy of ‘Top 50 Profiles Who Cracked MBA with Crackverbal’

11. Practice Your Oratory Skills

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Having awesome public speaking skills is as desirable in an MBA candidate as it is in life. Make use of every opportunity at work to hone this skill. With good public speaking skills, you can reach out to and influence a larger number of people, which is a vital step towards becoming a great leader.

Imagine confidently presenting your ideas to a room full of people—that’s the kind of presence MBA programs are looking for. Strong public speaking skills can set you apart in group discussions and interviews and show that you can articulate your thoughts clearly and persuasively.

If getting up on that pedestal feels daunting, consider joining a public speaking club like Toastmasters. Such clubs offer a supportive environment to practice and get feedback and will help you gain confidence and improve your oratory skills. Plus, being part of such a group shows your commitment to self-improvement and willingness to step out of your comfort zone.

12. Learn a New Language

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With B-schools trying to increase diversity in their classrooms, having a working knowledge of a foreign language can give your profile a significant boost. Plus, did you know that learning new languages actually improves brain function?

It’s true! Picking up a new language enhances your conversational abilities, sharpens your study skills, and heightens concentration—all of which can be channeled to help with your GMAT prep and your application process.

Imagine chatting fluently in French, Spanish, or any other language during an interview. It impresses the admissions committee and also shows your dedication to learning and adapting. Knowing a foreign language demonstrates cultural awareness and flexibility, making you a standout MBA applicant.

So why not give it a go? Enroll in a language course and start impressing the AdComs with your linguistic skills. Duolingo is a fantastic app to get you started on this journey. Need more inspiration? Check out this TED talk on how to hack language learning and make the process even more fun and effective.

13. Learn to Play a Musical Instrument

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Almost nobody is immune to the charms of a talented musician. But how will learning a musical instrument help you impress an AdCom, you ask?

Well, being able to play a musical instrument will not just add to the versatility of your B-school profile, but will act as an indicator of qualities such as discipline and creativity. You can also show the AdCom that you’re never too old to learn something new!

Mastering an instrument requires dedication, practice, and patience, and these are traits that MBA programs highly value. It shows that you can commit to learning and perfecting a skill over time, which is a great indicator of your work ethic and perseverance. Plus, it’s a fun way to highlight your ability to balance work with personal interests.

So, pick up that guitar (or whichever instrument)and start playing. Your musical talent could be the perfect note to make your MBA application stand out.

14. Join a Fitness Program

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Following a fitness regime, whether it be yoga, dance, Zumba, or cross-training, will make you energetic and disciplined, which will help you in all aspects of life, including your MBA admission process. Staying fit shows that you have the dedication and commitment to maintain a healthy lifestyle, qualities that are highly valued by MBA programs.

If you’re already a fitness enthusiast, consider starting a fitness club in your community. Organizing a club involves planning, coordination, and motivation—skills that translate well into the collaborative and demanding environment of an MBA program.

Maintaining a regular fitness routine and leading a club demonstrates your ability to balance personal interests with professional responsibilities. It presents you as a well-rounded, proactive candidate who can manage multiple commitments effectively.

15. Pursue Your Favorite Sport

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If you gave up sports in school to focus on academics, now is the perfect time to pick up where you left off.

Playing sports fosters teamwork and the ability to work towards a common goal. These are the traits that B-schools want to see in an MBA candidate.

Getting back into sports not only helps you demonstrate these skills but also adds a dynamic aspect to your profile. AdComs appreciate candidates who show they can balance multiple interests and commitments. Plus, being part of a team again can be a fantastic stress-buster during the MBA admission process and help you stay focused and energized.

Why not lace up your sneakers and round up a new team? Your renewed involvement in sports can highlight your teamwork skills and add a refreshing element to your MBA application. If you’re looking for teammates or a place to play, check out Playo or GroundWala to get started. Embrace the challenge and fun of sports to make your profile truly stand out. 

16. Learn the Basics of Finance

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This is an important one if you do not have a background in management studies. Sound knowledge of concepts like capital budgeting, capital structure, dividend policies, and risk and return is important for your post-MBA job.

Learning these concepts shows AdComs that you are proactive and committed to filling any gaps in your knowledge. It reflects your determination to be well-prepared for the challenges of an MBA program and beyond. Plus, being well-versed in these areas can boost your confidence during interviews and discussions and make you a more compelling candidate.

Why not grab a textbook or enroll in an online course to build a strong foundation in management concepts? On the one hand, this effort will prepare you for your future career and on the other hand, your dedication and readiness for your MBA journey will impress the AdComs.

Curious about where to start? Check out these online resources to learn the basics of finance and get a head start on your MBA preparation.

17. Start a Small Business

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Ever thought about trying your hand at a start-up idea? Starting small—even a solo venture—can add tremendous value to your MBA profile. Whether you work as a part-time photographer, web designer, caterer, or handmade artifacts designer, diving into a small business venture will expose you to key aspects like pricing, marketing, and other business functions. It’s a hands-on way to learn and demonstrates your entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take initiative.

Also, it shows the AdComs that you’re proactive and capable of balancing multiple responsibilities. This experience will enrich your understanding of business operations and provide great talking points for your application essays and interviews.

So, why not give it a shot? Start that small business and gain firsthand experience that will make your MBA application stand out and showcase your entrepreneurial drive. The internet is filled with ideas for entrepreneurship. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out some interesting business ideas here

18. Sign Up for a MOOC

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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) like those offered by Coursera, Udacity, or edX are a fantastic way to enhance your knowledge and skills from the comfort of your home.

Enrolling in a course, especially one related to the subjects you’ll be studying in your MBA, will demonstrate to the AdComs that you’re serious about your goals and proactive in your preparation.

You can also explore courses on leadership, creative thinking, and other soft skills that will enhance your overall skill set. These additional skills are invaluable, not just for your MBA journey, but for your career beyond business school.

19. Work for a Startup

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If you look back, our parents’ generation experienced career progression in a slow and steady fashion. No matter how sincere and talented they were, accelerating their learning curve was a challenge. Today, however, we see a profusion of founders and CTOs who have not even hit their mid-twenties!!! It’s the age of the startup!

Working for a startup can be incredibly beneficial for your MBA profile. Startups operate in dynamic environments that require quick thinking and adaptability. It’s like a crash course in leadership, dealing with ambiguity, managing stress, multi-tasking, and so many other useful skills.

If you’ve worked for a startup, especially one that’s on the rise, it shows the admissions committee that you have the aptitude to thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing workplace. It also highlights your courage to take risks and embrace uncertainty.

So, if you have the chance to work for a startup, grab it!

20. Attend Conferences Related to Your field

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Attending conferences on topics related to your desired post-MBA career can significantly boost your profile. Many management institutes in your city host various conferences.

These events offer more than just great opportunities to gain knowledge and network with professionals; they provide you with an enhanced perspective that will shine through in your essays and interviews with the AdComs. Engaging with industry experts and thought leaders helps you stay updated on the latest trends and challenges in your field, demonstrating your proactive approach to learning and professional development.

Check out conference listings to find events happening this year, and make it a point to attend those that interest you. Many premier B-schools also host conferences open to the public—keeping an eye on their conference pages can help you catch exciting opportunities. For instance, you can look check out upcoming ISB conferences in this list and see which ones you can attend.

Grab your free copy of ‘Top 50 Profiles Who Cracked MBA with Crackverbal’

Grab your free copy of ‘Top 50 Profiles Who Cracked MBA with Crackverbal’

21. Pick an Ambitious Project at Work

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For a great MBA profile, having a career spike in the last one to two years is crucial. To achieve this, pick up challenging projects at work that align with the career path you aspire to pursue post-MBA and take on responsibilities that you can later highlight in your application essays.

Most schools ask you to describe instances where you demonstrated leadership or problem-solving skills. By starting to build these experiences now, you’ll have impressive stories to share. Make a point to initiate a one-on-one meeting with your manager to express your interest in high-visibility projects. Let them know you’re eager to take on challenges that will help you grow and stand out.

Stay proactive by constantly looking for new opportunities within your organization. Read company newsletters, network with colleagues, and stay engaged during meetings and conferences. This proactive approach will show AdComs that you’re committed to your professional development.

22. Take Part in Cross-Functional Activities at Work

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Participating in cross-functional and cross-organizational events requires a unique leadership skill set. These activities involve planning, coordinating with a team that may have a structure you are not familiar with, and delegating tasks to people you might not know well. Engaging in such events demonstrates your ability to lead and adapt in dynamic environments.

For instance, when your team is hiring a new member, get involved in the hiring process. Help develop the selection criteria, participate in interviews, and provide input on the final decision. Additionally, take part in training new employees and conduct sessions in your area of expertise. This involvement can enhance your credibility within your organization and show that you understand what makes a great employee.

Speak to your HR manager or reporting manager to explore opportunities for projects that cut across teams. These projects will give you valuable experience in managing diverse groups and handling complex tasks and help you create a strong MBA application.

23. Junk TOI and Start Reading “The Economist”

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Switching from a regular newspaper like TOI to a more “serious” publication like The Economist can greatly enhance how you perceive the world and articulate your ideas. The Economist covers international and regional economic trends and helps you understand the workings of the business world.

By reading articles on politics, finance, business, science, and the arts from around the globe, you’ll stay updated on current events and gain thoughtful analyses of important issues. This kind of reading sharpens your ability to construct well-structured arguments.

For a well-rounded perspective, you can also explore other serious publications like The Atlantic Monthly and Foreign Affairs. These magazines will expand your knowledge base and improve your ability to discuss complex topics with confidence and clarity.

24. Learn the Basics of Data Sciences and AI

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The job of a data analyst is one of the highest-paid roles out there. Even if this isn’t your post-MBA dream job, having a basic knowledge of data sciences and artificial intelligence (AI) will greatly benefit you in the data-driven business world we’re moving into.

Being able to manipulate and analyze data, make inferences, and predictions gives you an edge, whether it’s for a job promotion or an MBA admission. Data skills show that you can handle complex information and make informed decisions—traits that are highly valued in the business world.

Familiarity with AI is becoming increasingly important as businesses are now relying more and more on AI for decision-making, automation, and enhancing customer experiences. Understanding AI can help you develop innovative solutions and improve business processes, making you a valuable asset to any organization.

So, why not dive into some data analytics and AI courses? It’s a skill set that will make your profile stand out and prepare you for the future of business. Plus, you’ll find it incredibly rewarding to turn raw data into actionable insights and leverage AI to drive innovation.

25. Consider Part-Time Teaching

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Taking up part-time teaching can add significant value to your MBA profile. You can take up a part-time teaching position or offer tuition classes at home.

This experience will highlight your ability to break down complex concepts, mentor individuals, articulate well, and manage a classroom. Having teaching experience showcases your ability to articulate well and guide a group of people.

Whether you’re teaching a subject you love or helping others achieve their academic goals, part-time teaching can significantly boost your MBA application and make you stand out as a candidate with strong interpersonal and leadership skills.

26. Volunteer in Your Community

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Besides giving you a wider, more humane perspective, volunteering for your community can significantly boost your MBA profile. It improves your ability to take initiative and hones your interpersonal skills. Plus, it’s a great place to network and connect with like-minded individuals.

You could take the initiative to conduct seminars and talks for school kids on important issues like drug abuse, sexual abuse, adolescent health, or staying safe online. The multitude of skills you can gain through such experiences is invaluable. You’ll learn to communicate effectively across age groups, enhance your public speaking skills, and gain valuable insights into these critical issues.

What’s the B-school angle, you ask? Volunteering demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility, showcases your ability to take initiative, and highlights your organizational and leadership skills. These are all qualities that admission officers look for in a well-rounded candidate.

To get started, check out iVolunteer, a social enterprise with a presence in most major cities in India. They can help you find the right volunteering experience that aligns with your interests and goals.

27. Contribute to Your Alma Mater

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Giving back to your alma mater shows your commitment to the institution, and this reflects well on you since top B-schools look for candidates who would be part of their strong and committed alumni network. You can contribute financially, or offer your support as a guest lecturer or student mentor.

Supporting your alma mater also allows you to stay connected with the academic community, expand your network, and continue your personal and professional growth. Whether you’re sharing your experiences with current students or providing financial support, your involvement makes a significant impact.

The best way to start is to go to your college website, check out the alumni page, and find ways to contribute. Your efforts will not only benefit your alma mater but also strengthen your MBA application by showcasing your commitment and leadership.

28. Do Your Bit for the Environment

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Many B-schools prefer candidates who have made a positive impact on the world around them. Some schools, like Said Business School at Oxford, are particularly keen on this aspect, as evidenced by their essay questions. Joining a group or organization that works towards making the world a greener and cleaner place can significantly enhance your MBA profile.

If you commute to work by bicycle instead of a car, consider being part of or starting a bicyclers’ club. You could also initiate a local club focused on planting trees in your neighborhood. Simple actions like advocating for waste segregation in households, encouraging recycling of paper and plastic, and promoting sustainable practices can make a big difference.

There are youth groups in many Indian cities dedicated to beautifying urban areas. Joining one of these groups allows you to contribute to your community while feeling part of a larger whole. Plus, these experiences provide great material for your application essays as they can help you showcase your commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

 29. Volunteer / Work with Teach for India

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Spending your free time on weekends volunteering with Teach for India is a fantastic way to enhance your MBA profile. You can work as an assistant teacher in their classrooms or help out in administration. Alternatively, applying for the Teach for India fellowship can be a strong entry point for your MBA journey.

Volunteering with Teach for India shows your commitment to education and social responsibility. It gives you hands-on experience in leadership, communication, and project management. It also provides compelling stories and experiences that you can highlight in your application essays and interviews.

30. Volunteer Overseas

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Consider taking a sabbatical from work and enrolling in an overseas volunteer program. You can choose a country you’re passionate about and work in areas like community development or wildlife rescue.

Participating in such a volunteering project is a fantastic way to broaden your understanding of social and environmental issues while expanding your global network. It also shows that you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and make a meaningful impact.

This type of experience is not something everyone undertakes. It is exactly this fact that makes this endeavor a powerful differentiator in your B-school application. It highlights your commitment to global citizenship and your proactive approach to addressing important issues.

To find some interesting projects abroad, check out Volunteer Forever for more information on where you can volunteer.

Grab your free copy of ‘Top 50 Profiles Who Cracked MBA with Crackverbal’

Grab your free copy of ‘Top 50 Profiles Who Cracked MBA with Crackverbal’

31. Join a Political Party

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Politics isn’t always a dirty word—there are meaningful changes you can make at the grassroots level.

Being part of a local political party gets you involved in addressing the real problems of your society. Awareness of governance policies and a deep understanding of community issues demonstrate your social consciousness.

Your involvement in politics allows you to diversify yourself as an MBA candidate. It shows that you’re committed to improving your community and have the insight to navigate complex social and governance issues. Additionally, this experience offers a unique form of leadership, as you’ll be leading initiatives and working with diverse groups of people in a completely different environment.

What’s more, engaging in local politics can provide compelling stories and experiences to share in your application essays and interviews.

32. Get Involved in Your Society’s General Body

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Joining your Resident Welfare Association (RWA) is a fantastic way to make a positive impact in your community. You can choose a role that fits your interests, whether it’s serving as secretary to conduct regular meetings or managing funds as a treasurer.

Additionally, you can take the lead in organizing events for your housing society. Plan a festive celebration, a cultural event for kids, a charity drive, or a fundraiser. Organizing such activities will demonstrate your ability to take initiative and will also enhance your team-playing skills. Plus, they can provide compelling stories for your MBA essays, showcasing your leadership and organizational talents.

Start by attending the next association meeting in your society to see if this activity interests you.

33. Contribute to Newspapers and Magazines

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Writing to newspapers and magazines and getting published with a byline is a great way to showcase your knowledge and communication skills. You can start by writing letters to the editor, voicing your opinion on current issues, or crafting articles about the latest developments in areas that interest you. Research publications that align with your interests. Check out the “Write for Us” or “Contribute” sections to figure out how to get your articles published.

Having a publication in a renowned newspaper or magazine demonstrates to the AdCom that you are well informed on important issues, care enough to voice your opinions, and are articulate enough to be published. This endeavor will highlight your writing skills and your ability to engage with broader societal conversations.

34. Write a Blog

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Whether writing has been a passion of yours or not, you will find that polishing your writing skills will pay off when it comes to MBA admissions. Writing in a blog is an excellent way to showcase your communication skills to recruiters. It provides visible and credible proof of your ability to articulate your thoughts clearly and effectively.

To create informed blog posts, you’ll need to do a lot of reading, which will enhance your research abilities. This combination of writing and research demonstrates your commitment to continuous learning and engagement with current issues.

To get started, check out some great tips on starting a successful blog and see if this is something you’d like to pursue.

35. Become Active on X (Twitter)

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Having a lot of followers on X, also (still) known as Twitter, extends your influence. You can spread ideas and have social authority. Posting valuable content that is worth retweeting, and commenting on relevant and trending news will increase your presence on the platform and bring you more followers.

Using your Twitter account effectively shows admissions committees how influential and up-to-date you are with current events and trends. It demonstrates your ability to engage with a wide audience and stay informed about important issues.

36. Create a YouTube Channel and Post ‘How-To’ Videos

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If you have a skill you’re proud of, why not share it with the world?

You can create an explainer video series for any topic you can imagine! You can use different techniques like animation, live-action, or anything else you can think of and be as creative as you want when making your videos.

Posting how-to videos and gaining followers on your YouTube channel is not only a way for you to show off your skills in that particular topic but also an opportunity to exhibit your creativity and increase your circle of influence.

Your ability to create engaging content and attract an audience demonstrates your communication skills and innovative thinking to AdComs. If you are consistent with output and quality, your YouTube channel can become a compelling part of your MBA application.

37. Become a Top Contributor on Quora

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Becoming one of the ‘most viewed writers’ on Quora is a great way to showcase your expertise and influence. You can contribute frequently and thoughtfully with quality answers and solutions.

Focus on specific topics related to your field of study to demonstrate your academic seriousness to the AdComs. Regularly contributing to Quora highlights your expertise and shows your ability to engage in meaningful discussions and help others with your insights.

38. Spruce Up Your LinkedIn Profile

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Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated with your professional experience, skills, recommendations, and resume is crucial.

Since your connections and their connections can see your posts, strong content can get you the right attention since you are already addressing the right professional audience on LinkedIn.

To make your LinkedIn profile truly stand out, create a compelling headline and summary that reflects your professional identity and highlights your key achievements, skills, and passions. Think of it as your elevator pitch, concise yet powerful.

Engaging with your network by liking, commenting, and sharing posts regularly keeps you visible and shows that you’re active within your professional community.

Joining and participating in industry-related groups can also be beneficial. These groups offer a platform for networking and staying updated on the latest trends in your field.

Yes, it can be uncomfortable to ask, but getting LinkedIn recommendations from colleagues or clients adds credibility to your profile and gives others a sense of your professional relationships and your impact in previous roles. Your proactive approach and networking capability can make your MBA application stand out to admissions committees.

39. Be Very Active on GMAT/ MBA Forums

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One of the best ways to enhance your MBA profile is by helping others. Share with your peers all that you’ve learned on platforms like GMAT Club, Beat The GMAT, and any other network you follow. Reciprocity is a powerful human emotion—when you help fellow aspirants, you widen your network with people who may someday help you in return.

Staying active in the B-school aspirant community also ensures that you stay updated about all the new developments and trends in this space. By contributing valuable insights and advice, you position yourself as a knowledgeable and supportive member of the community.

Engaging in these forums will demonstrate your expertise and your willingness to give back and support others. This proactive approach will reflect well on your character and can be a significant talking point in your MBA application essays and interviews. It shows that you’re not just focused on your own success but are also invested in the success of others.

40. Become a Wikipedia Editor

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Anybody can be a Wikipedia editor and work anonymously, but it requires a little effort to become a trusted member of the Wikipedia community. You can create a Wikipedia account and user page to get credit in the community. Creating an account will give you the ability to edit some articles that are locked from anonymous edits.

Also, being a Wikipedian, you will get to be part of meets like Wikimania and Wiknics, where you can socialize with fellow Wikipedians from around the world. How does this benefit you as a B-school aspirant? It adds to your coolness/quirkiness quotient!

That’s a great addition that few applicants can boast of!

And that brings us to a total of 40 doable tips!

Now that you know all the things you could do to improve your profile, here are two important points to keep in mind while you polish your B-school profile.

First, choose activities that would help you break the stereotype AdComs will most probably fit you into.

For example, if you are one amongst the over-represented IIM (Indian IT Male) population, joining an NGO might not really distinguish you that much, because a LOT of Indian aspirants tend to have NGO experience on their resumes.

Try and pick something unexpected that will stick in the minds of the AdCom. For example, if you are an accountant and showcase a skill that is not expected of an accountant, such as writing poetry, your profile will be memorable.

Second, you need to understand the art of storytelling. Telling their stories well is not a skill that comes very naturally to most B-school aspirants.

However, with a little guidance and practice, you can master the art of presenting your story in a way that sound unique and unforgettable.

Ready to take your MBA application to the next level? Whether you’re just starting out or refining your final draft, remember that the journey is all about growth and discovery. So, get out there, try new things, and let your unique story shine through.

Still not very sure about what to take on? Maybe you can start with a quick profile evaluation.

Don’t worry! We’ve helped several students improve their profile and get into the school of their dream. Talk to our experts. Let’s work it out together!

Want To Get Your Profile Evaluated

Want To Get Your Profile Evaluated

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Frequently asked questions

1. What are the key elements of a strong MBA profile?

A strong MBA profile includes a high GMAT / GRE score, relevant work experience, demonstrated leadership skills, and meaningful extracurricular involvement. Strong letters of recommendation, a well-crafted personal statement, and evidence of social responsibility through community service are also crucial. Showcasing unique experiences or skills that set you apart can significantly enhance your profile.

2. How can I improve my profile for top MBA programs?

To improve your profile for top MBA programs, focus on demonstrating leadership, gaining relevant work experience, participating in extracurricular activities, and achieving a high GMAT score. Highlight unique aspects of your background, and consider gaining international experience or learning new skills through certification courses. Engaging in community service and showcasing clear career goals also make your profile more compelling.

3. How can I build a strong profile for MBA IIM?

For IIMs, focus on achieving academic excellence, gaining relevant work experience, and developing leadership skills. Participation in extracurricular activities, strong performance in entrance exams (like CAT), and demonstrating social responsibility through volunteering can also enhance your profile. Showcasing unique talents or achievements can make you stand out in the competitive applicant pool.

4. What is profile-based selection in MBA?

Profile-based selection considers an applicant’s overall profile, including academic performance, work experience, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and personal achievements, rather than just entrance exam scores. This holistic approach aims to evaluate the candidate’s potential for success in the MBA program and future career.

5. How important is the GMAT score in my MBA application?

The GMAT score is a significant component of your MBA application, often accounting for about 22% of the admissions decision. A high GMAT score can increase your chances of admission and may also make you eligible for scholarships. Focus on developing a solid study plan and consider using resources like study groups, prep courses, and practice exams to maximize your score.

6. How can I showcase leadership skills if I am in a junior position?

Leadership is not just about titles; it’s about influence and impact. Highlight instances where you led a project, mentored a colleague, or contributed to team success. Even in a junior role, if your suggestions are implemented or if you take initiative in your tasks, these actions demonstrate leadership qualities.

7. What extracurricular activities can boost my MBA profile?

Extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership, teamwork, and social responsibility can significantly boost your MBA profile. These can include involvement in student organizations, volunteer work, sports, arts, or any activities that showcase your passions and commitment. Activities that require strategic planning or project management are particularly valuable.

8. How can taking certification courses help my MBA application?

Certification courses, especially those aligned with your career goals, show that you are proactive and committed to your professional development. For example, if you’re an engineer aspiring to transition into finance, completing a financial modeling course can illustrate your dedication and preparedness for this new path.

9. How can a fresher build a strong profile for both job and MBA applications?

As a fresher, focus on academic excellence and gaining practical experience through internships or part-time jobs. Engage in extracurricular activities and develop leadership skills by taking on roles in clubs or organizations. Consider taking online courses or certifications to build relevant skills. Building a strong online presence through platforms like LinkedIn can also help.

If you are taking the exam online, you are allowed to bring a transparent bottle of water to your desk.

10. How can work experience enhance my MBA profile?

Work experience enhances your MBA profile by demonstrating your professional skills, industry knowledge, and career progression. It provides real-world examples of your leadership and problem-solving abilities. Admissions committees look for candidates who have made significant contributions to their organizations and have the potential to bring valuable insights to the classroom.

11. How can I effectively showcase international experience in my application?

International experience is highly valued as it demonstrates cultural awareness and adaptability. Highlight any international projects, study abroad programs, or travel experiences that have broadened your perspective and contributed to your personal and professional growth.

12. How important are recommendations in improving your MBA profile?

Recommendations are crucial as they provide third-party validation of your professional abilities, character, and achievements. Strong recommendations from supervisors or mentors who know you well can significantly enhance your application by highlighting your strengths and potential from an external perspective.

13. How can networking help improve my MBA profile?

Networking helps improve your MBA profile by expanding your professional connections, gaining industry insights, and uncovering opportunities for career advancement or mentorship. Engaging with alumni, attending industry events, and participating in professional organizations can also provide valuable experiences and endorsements for your application.

14. What role does community service play in strengthening your MBA profile?

Community service demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility and your ability to make a positive impact. It shows that you are well-rounded and empathetic, qualities that are valued by MBA programs. Highlighting specific community service projects where you took initiative or led efforts can significantly strengthen your profile.

15. Is it beneficial to pursue additional certifications or courses to enhance your MBA profile?

Yes, pursuing additional certifications or courses is beneficial as it shows your commitment to continuous learning and professional development. Certifications in areas relevant to your career goals or MBA studies can enhance your knowledge base and skill set, making you a more competitive applicant.

16. How can a strong personal statement contribute to improving your MBA profile?

A strong personal statement can significantly improve your MBA profile by clearly articulating your career goals, motivations, and what makes you unique. It provides a narrative that ties together your experiences, achievements, and aspirations, helping the admissions committee understand your fit for the program and your potential for success.

17. What are the key types of MBA application essays?

MBA application essays generally fall into three categories: Personal Statements (e.g., “What matters most to you and why?”), “Why this School?” essays (e.g., “Why do you want to attend Stanford?”), and Behavioral Prompts (e.g., “Describe a time you made a positive impact”). Each type requires a different approach, but all should be reflective and provide insight into your motivations and experiences.

18. How can I balance professional and extracurricular activities in my application?

Show that you can manage multiple commitments effectively by highlighting how you’ve balanced work, extracurricular activities, and personal interests. Demonstrating time management and prioritization skills can reassure the admissions committee of your ability to handle the demands of an MBA program.

19. How can I make my MBA application stand out if I come from an overrepresented group?

To stand out, focus on unique aspects of your background and experiences. Highlight any unusual hobbies, leadership roles, or volunteer activities that differentiate you from others. For instance, if you’re an accountant with a passion for creative writing, this could make your profile memorable. Additionally, consider taking on unique projects at work or in your community that showcase your diverse skills and interests.

20. How does volunteering impact my MBA application?

Volunteering demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility and your ability to make a positive impact. It can also develop your leadership and team-working skills. Highlight specific volunteer experiences where you led initiatives or made significant contributions.

21. How can I improve my profile if I plan to pursue an MBA in 3-4 years?

If you have 3-4 years before pursuing an MBA, focus on gaining diverse work experience, taking on leadership roles, and continuing your education through certifications or advanced courses. Engage in meaningful extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and networking. Consistently work on improving your communication skills and building a strong personal brand online, especially on professional networks like LinkedIn.

22. What role does personal branding play in the MBA application process?

Personal branding is crucial as it helps you present a cohesive and compelling narrative about who you are and what you bring to the table. Your LinkedIn profile, personal blog, and social media presence should reflect your professional journey, achievements, and aspirations consistently.

23. How can I use social media to strengthen my MBA application?

Active and thoughtful engagement on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Quora can showcase your expertise and professional interests. Writing articles, participating in relevant discussions, and sharing insights on industry trends can help you build a strong online presence that complements your application.

24. Why are letters of recommendation important, and how should I prepare my recommenders?

Letters of recommendation provide a third-person perspective on your professional and personal qualities. They are crucial because they highlight aspects of your work and character that might not come through in your essays or resume. To prepare your recommenders, ensure they understand why you’re applying to business school and provide them with specific examples of your accomplishments and impact. Early preparation and clear communication are key to getting strong recommendations.

25. Why is storytelling important in an MBA application?

Storytelling makes your application memorable and engaging. It allows you to connect with the admissions committee on a personal level, showcasing your journey, challenges, and growth. Practice weaving your experiences into compelling narratives that highlight your unique strengths.

26. What are some common mistakes to avoid in MBA applications?

Common mistakes include submitting generic essays, failing to research schools thoroughly, not preparing recommenders adequately, and neglecting the importance of the GMAT. Ensure your application is tailored to each school, highlights your unique strengths, and presents a well-rounded picture of your qualifications.

27. How can I effectively showcase international experience in my application?

International experience is highly valued as it demonstrates cultural awareness and adaptability. Highlight any international projects, study abroad programs, or travel experiences that have broadened your perspective and contributed to your personal and professional growth.

28. What strategies can I use to improve my interview skills?

Practice common interview questions, understand your resume thoroughly, and be clear about your motivations for pursuing an MBA. Mock interviews with mentors or friends can provide valuable feedback. Focus on being articulate, confident, and authentic.

Written by Arun J.

Arun, India's leading GMAT and MBA expert, has coached over 30,000 students in his 20-year EdTech career. His alumni have made it into top business schools including Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and ISB.


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