While the specific term “EQ” (i.e., “Emotional Quotient” or emotional intelligence) is not stated in the application instructions at most business schools, this aspect of an MBA candidacy remains an important consideration for admissions committees as they evaluate candidates.
There are at least two key factors driving this aspect of the admissions process. First, effective collaboration is an increasingly important – and relatively rare – skill for business school students. So, adcoms want to know that an admit is predisposed to being a team player, while on campus and after graduation. Secondly, business schools are increasingly sensitive to the behavior and ethics of their students and grads. In today’s business world, stories about fraud and manipulation perpetrated by MBAs are all too common. So, examining and vetting the character of applicants is a priority for admissions gatekeepers.
Applicants who want to demonstrate high EQ can do so in a variety of ways. For example, in essays and interviews, candidates can describe leadership roles where they not only achieved tangible results but also positively changed the minds and actions of others along the way. Another tactic is to present a failure that ultimately proved valuable in terms of the individual’s long-term growth and development as an ethical professional.
Many MBA applicants find it difficult to capture and convey EQ-related topics in their applications. It’s easier and more comfortable to rely on resumes and transcripts to position a candidacy. However, disregarding the softer side of one’s past and present will leave it to the adcoms to decide if the applicant is either unaware of the importance of EQ, lacks the expected level of self-awareness and social acuity, or is simply trying to avoid the topic.
So, if you plan to apply to business school this year and find it challenging to understand and address your emotional intelligence, consider engaging the services of an objective, experienced, professional admissions consultant. Based on our work with over 5,000 MBA applicants over the past three decades, The MBA Exchange believes this journey – discovering what makes you who you are – can be just as rewarding as achieving MBA admission.