MBA Programs, MBA Preparation

“Confidence vs. Arrogance” — Astute MBA Applicants Know the Difference

January 26 2016 By The MBA Exchange
Select viewing preference

As you consider how competitive you are for admission to top business schools, a candid assessment of your strengths is essential. Self-analysis will produce an overall “attitude” about yourself that will be evident in your applications. No matter how accomplished or skilled you are, the tone with which you present those attributes will be just as important that the facts.

As the admissions staff reads essays, they look beneath the surface to project how the applicant will be perceived by his or her classmates, profs and alumni if admitted. There’s one particular metric that can make or break any MBA application:

Are you confident? Or are you arrogant?

Based on our admissions consulting experience at The MBA Exchange with thousands of b-school applicants over the years, here are four illustrations that can help you understand the difference and position yourself in a way that will help maximize the chances for success:

• Confidence is helping make your teammates better.
• Arrogance is feeling you’re better than your teammates – and wanting to keep it that way.

• Confidence is embracing cross-cultural interaction as an opportunity.
• Arrogance is considering cross-cultural interaction as a constraint – and dodging it.

• Confidence is asking questions to avoid repeating others’ mistakes.
• Arrogance is ignoring questions that might delay or change your decisions.

• Confidence is describing what you did to help achieve shared success with others.
• Arrogance is describing what you did as your individual success while disregarding others.

So, as you’re doing your self-inventory — framing and refining your MBA candidacy — consider how you’ll be perceived: confident or arrogant? If in doubt, consider engaging a professional admissions consultant to help you analyze your candidacy and discover the best, most authentic way to present it. Making the right choice in how to position yourself could make a world of difference in the outcome of your admissions campaign.