The Covid19 question is of course front and center in this MBA admissions cycle. There will be applicants who have been cut or furloughed, and some who have not, and it’s better if not, but not the end of the world if you are.
This is because a lot of things have been beyond the control of a lot of people this year. You won’t be penalized for this. But the question becomes, so what did you do?
How have you developed–if not something out there–then in yourself? What impact have you made, somehow, even when you have been in lockdown at home, even if it’s only an impact on yourself?
Often MBA applicants think their accomplishments get them in. Or their lack of accomplishments gets them dinged. That’s part of it for sure. But it’s not the whole story.
Another huge part of what gets you in is character. How do you show character? Certainly not by merely awarding it to yourself in empty sentences. You establish your character via evidence, where the evidence is challenges and transitions you have faced, the hard choices you have made (and what you chose), leading to a pattern of personal responsibility and reflective growth.
This is also another way of saying: you don’t need to be some kind of superstar. You do need to stand out, that is be unique in some way, and stories of character can be that way.
Also, character development is often the most interesting thing about someone. What path they’ve chosen and why, how they navigate choices, and what stimulates and inspires a person in making them is much more interesting to Adcom than the bald facts of their career progress.
Furthermore, if you talk about these things, and other things about you that matter to you, you also raise the passion and authenticity in your application which creates a bridge with your reader.
That’s a bridge you can walk across to… you know where.