In the world of MBA Admissions, your numbers are not everything. By “numbers”, we’re referring to the ones applicants tend to focus on when they submit an MBA application: Their undergraduate GPA, total GMAT/GRE score, quant and verbal scores, percentile, etc. With limited seats in MBA classes, organizing applicants into rankings and measurable figures to sort out who is “best” for the program is a logical and helpful tool.
But, you are not just a simple sum of your numeric parts. The same way that you are not just left-handed or right-handed — your scores are part of you, but certainly do not define who you are.
We should say up front that putting your best numbers forward is important. That’s why nailing your GMAT and putting your best GPA into your application is a must. However, in our review of a typical MBA candidate, GMAT and GPA alone do not offer any consistent indication of success in the program. Even if you do have a 780 GMAT, this does not automatically indicate to us that you will make good grades, find an internship, thrive in your study groups, or find a good job after graduation. It is the combination of strong numbers, your unique story, commitment to McCombs, and many other things that indicate how well you’ll do in the Texas MBA Program.
To get a sense of your fit in the program, reviewing your work history, academics, and career trajectory helps out a lot. But MBA programs are limited & competitive — a lot of people want to take our classes, have that internship, and work at that company. And frankly, a lot of people have a 700 GMAT and 3.8 GPA. So…
What will make you stand out so that you get a spot at McCombs over another applicant with the exact same numbers? There is no single answer to this question, but here are some good tips to help you get started:
First, it helps to conduct an exercise that creates a personal profile. List your work experience, 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, helping with charities, making films, teaching yoga, investing money, sailing, scaling ridiculously high mountains for no reason but to see the view, eating different foods…etc. These lists will help you see your passions, talents, and interests more clearly.
Next, start to 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 in diverse team settings? 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 unique 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, convince us that you are not only capable, but that you are unique fit for McCombs and we will be lacking something without you as part of the class. It could help to think about it from the perspective of MBA Admissions: 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 contribute something to 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 individuality to the overall uniqueness of our amazing institution.
So, if you sights are set on 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 (the non-numeric) you!
Always feel free to reach out to Texas MBA Admissions with any questions.
Good Luck & Hook ‘Em!