What “color” is your MBA candidacy?

There are many ways to analyze and compare the candidacies of MBA applicants – by rigor and length of work experience, GPA and GMAT scores, prestige of undergraduate institution, etc. However, beyond the facts and figures of someone’s background and credentials is emotion – the feelings that the applicant conveys in describing his or her past, present and future.

In crafting an application that you’d like business schools to perceive as convincing and compelling, the following framework – based on colors — may be helpful.

There are three primary colors. Most people would ascribe a common set of characteristics to each color. For instance,

• Red = Passionate, Assertive, Important
• Yellow = Happy, Friendly, Thoughtful
• Blue = Serene, Trustworthy, Inviting

That said, no one “color” can fully and accurately distinguish and describe an MBA candidacy. So, in preparing your applications, you can mix those primary colors to produce combinations that reveal a more comprehensive and nuanced picture of your overall candidacy. By combining primary colors, you’ll produce secondary colors that are more engaging and descriptive. For instance, consider the following colors and the impressions they evoke:

• Green = Natural, Stable, Successful
• Purple = Exotic, Mysterious, Romantic
• Orange = Playful, Energetic, Adventuresome

So as you consider how to “paint” your MBA candidacy, start with a large palate so you can experiment and produce the most vivid, accurate and authentic sense of who you really are, what you’ve truly accomplished, why you’re seeking an MBA, and how you will serve and benefit others. At The MBA Exchange, we start with a free evaluation of the candidacy. And then, during a comprehensive consultation, we help our clients select the elements that will align with the priorities and preferences of their target schools and present their background and goals in the most positive light.

As with any kind of art, there’s no MBA candidacy that will appeal to everyone. There’s no perfect or prescribed “color” for presenting one’s self in a way that guarantees admission. Rather, the key is to draw from a variety of hues that best convey your distinctive strengths, values and priorities. Feature multiple, bold but complementary colors to present a mosaic, a montage, a tapestry unlike any other, framed by your resume, application and interviews. Become a “work of art” that the admissions committee will view and covet as the next, must-have acquisition for their prized collection of MBA admits.