One way to increase your chances of admission, according to the experts

You can improve your chances of admission to business school with extracurricular activities – especially volunteering, says Stacy Blackman

Extracurricular activities, such as volunteering, can help increase your chances of MBA admission.

“Extracurricular activities are not a primary factor when considering applications, but they can matter – and most importantly help – when factors like GMAT, GPA, etc. fall short of expectations,” Phil Miller, assistant dean of the MBA and MS programs at the University of Minnesota. Twin Cities Carlson School of Management, tells US News.

But besides giving applicants an edge in admissions, experts say volunteering can bring major professional benefits as well. Stacy Blackman, Founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently spoke about how volunteer activities can boost both career growth and MBA admission chances.


One of the biggest benefits of volunteering, says Blackman, is the opportunity to learn in-demand skills that you might not be exposed to in your career.

“There are many volunteer roles that will help you hone these always desirable soft skills,” writes Blackman. “Think about areas like communication, public speaking, emotional intelligence, and teamwork. You can also look for opportunities where you will have an impact with your existing skills.

In addition to developing key skills, volunteering experience can also provide exposure to relevant career experience – laying the groundwork for a next career step.

“The key is to identify the positions and organizations that match the desired career,” writes Blackman. “That way, you can show potential employers that you have transferable skills despite having little or no work history in the role. At the same time, it gives you valuable insight into whether you like the job and want to explore more.


Another potential benefit of volunteering, says Blackman, is the unique network it can provide.

“Unlike these usually awkward formal networking events, the volunteer environment is generally open and friendly,” writes Blackman. “It’s a place to forge meaningful connections with people who have common interests without pressure or expectations. “

These connections can provide both personal and professional benefits.

“Of course, your main reason for volunteering is always to share your skills and give back to your community,” writes Blackman. “But why not also reap professional benefits along the way? “

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, US News

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