The “Nebulous” Nine: Traits That Make an MBA Candidacy Compelling

Layers of clouds

Some thoughts that might be consuming you as you prepare your admissions materials:

What do admissions officers REALLY care about? Is it the brand name of my school or global reputation of my employer?

How will they REALLY judge my MBA application? Aren’t my GMAT score and GPA most important?

Will my recommender’s title impress? Will my essays slay?

(Crickets. I have zero idea what they REALLY want …!)

Real talk:

The good news is, no single factor will “make or break” your admissions dreams.

The bad news is, highly selective business schools don’t come right out and directly ask you everything they really, REALLY want to know.

Nevertheless, over thousands of client engagements and 30+ years of experience we have learned that the schools you are probably targeting are looking for nine “nebulous” (think vague, cloudy … like a cloud!) traits in your responses:

  1. Intellectual curiosity: Do you often ask yourself “why” until you discover the answer?
  2. Diverse perspective: Do you seek, respect, consider and leverage others’ viewpoints?
  3. Unwavering self-awareness: Are you a sharp observer of your own behavior, reactions and motivations – and can you change your approach if required?
  4. Resilience: Can you turn defeat or failure into an opportunity for success?
  5. Decisiveness: Can you make tough calls despite risk and uncertainty?
  6. Continuous learning: Do you absorb and organize key lessons for future use?
  7. Sense of humor: Do you know the right time and place for it?
  8. Empathy: Do you always consider how your actions impact various stakeholders?
  9. “Spidey Sense”: Can you sense threats and identify opportunities before others?

    The MBA Exchange has helped an insanely wide range of candidates strengthen and share these somewhat intangible traits to achieve admissions success. Our client engagements begin with a guided process of self-discovery that will likely surprise you. It all starts by requesting our free evaluation of your professional, academic and personal profiles.

    We’re eager to work with you, part the clouds, and help uncover how compelling your MBA candidacy can really be.