The 7 Things Every MBA Admissions Committee Evaluates

Given the sheer number of applications top business schools receive every year, admissions committees need an objective, quantitative way to evaluate candidates. The following seven areas tend to be where committees focus their attention. Some schools value some of these areas more than others, but in general, these are the elements of your application that are being reviewed and scored:

  1. Academic Ability -This is one of the more straightforward criteria for a committee to evaluate. Your GPA and GMAT scores are data points that can be reviewed quickly. Your undergraduate institution and your major are also taken into consideration when scoring you in this area.
  1. Career Progress -Schools like to see that you have strong professional experience and that you have taken on escalating levels of responsibilities and/or promotions at the organizations where you have worked.
  1. Career Vision - While you do not need to know exactly what you will be doing in 5, 10 or 20 years, you do need to have a general idea, and you should be able to articulate a story that meshes with your passions and experience.
  1. Leadership Potential - Business schools are looking for future leaders, plain and simple. Find ways to tell stories that show you can develop a vision, engage a group, excite that group to follow a vision, and ultimately, execute and deliver that vision in-market.
  1. Community Involvement - Admissions committees want to admit well-rounded, community-minded individuals. Make sure your passion for community commitment shines through in your essays. Remember that depth is more important than breadth when it comes to extracurricular activities.
  1. Communication Skills - Candidates can demonstrate communication skills in two ways: first, through your written essays. You need to be able to tell a compelling, succinct story.  Second, this skill is shown during your interviews. The ability to weave a story while directly answering a question is something schools value.
  1. Why? - This is the very last question committee members will ask themselves. Why? Why are you applying to business school? Why their particular school? Why now in your life? These are all questions the committee should be able to answer after fully evaluating your application. The answers should organically come through in all areas of your application.

Check back in the coming weeks, as we will post more details on how to develop these areas within your application, as well as how to communicate strength to the admissions committee at your top school.