Welcome to week 9 of our weekly series of answering prospective MBA applicants' queries about various aspects of the complex and challenging MBA application process, including their profile, eligibility for the program, age, GMAT prep, GPA, waitlist, employment gap, academic gap, job switch, second MBA, and much more.
Today's subject is presenting extracurricular activities in MBA application. In this blog post, we have tried to address two candidates' concerns about extracurricular activities.
Take a look.
Query # 1
Great and informative post about the importance of extracurricular activities in B school applications!
I saw that you briefly mentioned sports as one of the extracurricular activities that an applicant can use to enhance their resume. Can you touch upon sports a little bit more? I have had a long sports history (soccer) since I was a kid. I played soccer in college, and the sport is a huge part of my life. I would love to know how to use that to my advantage in applying to business school.
Also, I have no volunteer experience as of now. I am considering applying to business school in 2-3 years. From your experience, will you suggest the best place to find good volunteer opportunities?
Kiran (not real name)
Thanks for liking the post.
You can sure list your sports activities/achievements in your résumé under the Extracurricular Activities section and discuss them in detail in an additional information essay ( if needed), short answer question about extracurricular activities, or in an essay that asks specifically about extracurricular activities. The key is to stay involved for the next 2-3 years until you apply.
Regarding volunteer experience, accept a role in an activity you are passionate about. For example, you can join a local NGO, sign up for Toastmasters, volunteer in a church, temple, or a Gurudwara, but stay active on a regular basis." Also, it will be great if you could join big organizations such as Red Cross or Amnesty International. Your involvement with any of these organizations for the next 2-3 years will reflect consistency and strengthen your profile. In addition, take initiative at work and lead important projects.
Query # 2
I have a question about sharing extracurricular activities. Is it essential to provide a certificate for every extracurricular activity I have done? For example, I have played synthesizer for a long time but never got any certificate. Also, I have played it in fund-raising events but have no certificate to prove it. Should I still include that in my resume?
Deepa ( not real name )
Thanks for your question. In fact, many people have asked me this question. Of course, you can and should mention it in your resume even if you don't have a certificate. It is your talent that you have acquired over time (specify years) and are passionate about. You have also demonstrated your talent at fund-raising events, so I would strongly recommend you to mention it in your resume. Also, when relevant, you can discuss your passion and motivation in an essay. For example, INSEAD asks applicants to "describe all types of extra-professional activities (clubs, sports, music, arts, etc.)" and how they are "enriched by these activities?"
Regarding the certificate, as long as you are being truthful about your involvement in extracurricular activities, you don't need a certificate to validate it.
I hope it helped.
Stay tuned for another MBA query next week.
Links to previous weeks' blog posts:
MER Answers MBA-Related Questions
10 Key Essay Tips with Examples
Success stories of MER students in their own words
Since 2011, MER (myEssayReview) has helped hundreds of applicants get accepted into the top 20 MBA programs (Poonam is one of the top 5 most reviewed consultants on the GMAT Club.)
You may email Poonam at email@example.com with questions about your application for the 2022-23 admission cycle.