Picking up on our thread about the warnings to the MBA-typical candidate like those coming especially from financial services or consulting.
There are two main issues that may implicitly be working against you.
One is that if you’re in financial services, you pursued that path because it was safe, because you could go along with the herd, because it involved little risk, and because you could make lots of money.
Nothing wrong with that, and we’re not trying to say that you didn’t also have to work seriously hard. Finance is totally challenging, both in terms of the skills you need to develop, and also the competitive environment.
But it’s a proven track through the woods. If that’s what you went for, then you just had to follow the instructions laid out for success and go do it.
Again, not trying to minimize the accomplishment that this is.
The thing is though that lots and lots of others have done exactly that thing, and it does not show us evidence of built-in creativity, risk-taking, or following your heart.
We rarely come across a BSer who is able to say with a straight face that they went into finance because they love it so much. (You may love the money, but…. yeah.)
So when we see a finance-typical resume, it just makes us say, “Okay, great. Now show us who you are.”
That’s one reason why the schools place all this emphasis on values and principles.
The second problem is that it’s expected that those on your track are going to go for an MBA at this stage of your life. So unless you can come across as motivated, enthusiastic, and actually interested in this specific education and what opportunities are available for you in school, then it’s likely your pitch will simply come across flat. The common term for this issue is that when the MBA is an expected next step for a particular industry, then applicants from that industry can seem like they just want to get their ticket punched. They may not seem to be intrinsically motivated. Sometimes they read as if they don’t really care.
You need to show that you have some skin in the game.
Add these elements to the mere fact of the data, that there are so many others with near-identical paths, who are saying near-identical things, who have the same core stats of GMAT and GPA, then yeah, there’s a lot working against you.
Knowing this also means there’s a lot of opportunity!
Once you recognize these issues, then that means you’re empowered to do it differently. You can choose to dig deep and come up with personal reasons. You can choose to do in-depth research and fully understand the programs to which you apply.
You can work extra hard – and then extra harder – on those essays, to make sure they are depicting the YOU behind them as completely as humanly possible.
If you don’t do that, you run the risk of just being one of a herd.
That may be fine if you want to wander off out to pasture and be safe in numbers among your fellow cattle.
It’s not as fine if you want to be a star of a rodeo.
ok sorry we’ll stop with the painful mixed metaphors
And, if your resume is not optimized for the process of applying to bschool, and is instead optimized for the process of getting an analyst job, then it’s a double-whammy of difficulty.