In the world of MBA Admissions, your numbers are not everything. By “numbers,” we’re referring to the stats and scores that applicants tend to focus on when they submit an MBA application– undergraduate GPA, total GMAT/GRE score, percentiles, etc. With limited seats in MBA classes, organizing applications by measurable figures is logical and helpful. That’s why preparing and doing your best on the GMAT/GRE and putting your best numbers forward in your application is important.
But, you are not just a simple sum of your numeric parts– You’re an individual. And your scores are just part of your story. Answering, “who are you?” is a much bigger question.
In our review of a typical MBA candidate, GMAT/GRE and GPA alone do not offer any consistent indication of success in the program. Even if you have a 780 GMAT score, this does not automatically indicate to us that you will make high grades, find an internship, thrive in your study groups, stay positively active and engaged, or find a good job after graduation. It is the combination of strong numbers, your unique story, a commitment to Texas McCombs, and many other factors that indicate how well you’ll do in our MBA program.
Because MBA programs are limited & competitive— many candidates are enthusiastic and have strong professional backgrounds and scores— we have adopted a holistic approach to evaluating your application. So what are the intangible qualities we look for? And what will make you stand out so that you secure a spot in the class over another applicant with similar scores and background?
There is no single answer to these questions, but here are some good tips to offer some insight on the Admissions Committee’s process:
First, create a personal profile.
To get a sense of your fit in the program, reviewing your work history, academics, and career trajectory (in addition to your scores) is a great place to start. Try this exercise to see where you stand: List your work experience (contributions, accomplishments, etc.), your education, your academic and career goals, and where you ultimately want to see yourself in 10 years. Then, list your personal interests: writing, traveling, volunteering, making films, teaching yoga, investing money, sailing, climbing mountains, eating different foods, etc. These lists will help you see where you spend your time & energy, and your passions, talents & interests more clearly.
Next, connect the dots.
What about the various elements of your past, present, and future intersect? Does your drive to reach CEO status have anything to do with your mountain climbing? Does your love of food and travel have anything to do with your unique capabilities to work within a diverse team setting? Does your history as a writer impact your ability to draft great marketing communications?
It is this particular combination of your interests, history, and path that make up your story. And it is how you tell this story that makes all the difference in how we view you as a potential MBA candidate.
Finally, be confident in your ability to convince us that you are not only capable, but that you are uniquely suited for Texas McCombs and we will be lacking something without you as part of the class.
Our goal is to find a group of highly capable people that will not only succeed in this prestigious academic environment (as evidenced by things like GPA, GMAT, work experience, and education), but who will also have a positive impact on our community as a whole. We want people who will leave the program better than they found it. And if we can clearly see who you are as a whole person, then we can picture you in our school, contributing your authentic perspective to the overall uniqueness of our amazing institution.
So, if your sights are set on Texas McCombs for your MBA journey, remember that there are multiple human beings on the other end of your application reading your story, looking beyond the numbers. Convey to us your passion and what makes you unique. We are excited to learn all about you!
As always, feel free to reach out to MBA Admissions with any questions.
Good Luck & Hook ‘em!