How to Create an Epic Business School Application
During my career, I have read thousands of applications, and experienced the joy of guiding prospective graduate students to realize their goal of gaining admission to a competitive graduate program. With the 2019 admissions cycle upon us, it seems appropriate to tell you what few other graduate admission leaders will share. What really makes an applicant or application epic?
I know epic is a lofty ambition, but used to make the point more vividly. The most memorable and highly desired candidates share certain characteristics. You may be tempted to think of a high GMAT or GRE score or competitive undergraduate GPA as key components of an epic application. Certainly, both test scores and undergraduate GPA have value in the application review process, but the most epic applicants who submit the most epic applications share a particular set of characteristics. Epic applicants are imperfect, passionate, and purposeful.
Imperfection can be Perfect
Although we understand, no one is perfect, applicants often desire to appear perfect in their application. When it comes to avoiding typos, you want to be perfect, but other types of imperfection may be appropriate. Applicants who have always achieved, always knew exactly what road to take, always figured out the perfect solution to the most complex problems, always used the right words or examples in new situations, always had their ideas adopted without challenge—these individuals are rare in human nature but appear abundant in the application process. Epic applicants understand that perfection doesn’t exist and rather than use the precious essay or interview to exclaim their perfection, they use these moments as an opportunity to showcase growth, or highlight a circumstance made better through trial and error. Epic applications don’t read like the final chapter of a well-crafted memoir, but rather illustrate a work in progress. An epic application reflects success as well as areas under development and aspirations for the future. Business schools seek to add value to the lives of their students. Perfect students have little to gain. Epic applicants have taken the time to explore their imperfection(s), and show how such imperfections may be improved upon during their journey in business school and life.
The Power of Passion
Passion provides the enthusiasm for deeper pursuits. A passionate applicant is often willing to commit more to discovery and demonstrate the fervor needed to overcome obstacles. Epic applicants leverage their passion and use it as fuel to stick with it—they attend information sessions, do their homework about the school they desire, they engage with alumni, they attend faculty presentations, they interact with admissions staff—these actions aren’t draining—each action furthers their passion for their goal. An epic applicant doesn’t emerge overnight—those who demonstrate the qualities to be epic have undertaken many experiences and used these experiences to deepen their understanding of themselves and their intentions. Passion provides the fuel to maintain focus and enthusiasm toward the goal of attending business school. Passion supports your purpose.
Apply with Purpose
Epic applicants seek purpose to their actions. Going to business school is not simply the next step in their career. Epic applicants consider their options, fully and purposefully select to journey into business school with full consideration around what skills they most seek to develop or improve and the types of opportunities to complement their past experiences. Applicants who have done their homework know the features and benefits of their business school of choice, and more importantly contemplate how these factors align with their goals; In short, they are applying with purpose.
The 2019 application for graduate programs at Babson is live and available online. All epic applicants are encouraged to Apply Now.