Harvard | Mr. Political Consultant
GRE 337, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. Singing Banking Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 110-point scale. Got 110/110 with honors
Berkeley Haas | Ms. 10 Years Experience
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
MIT Sloan | Mr. Refinery Engineer
GMAT 700- will retake, GPA 3.87
Yale | Ms. Social Impact AKS
GRE 315, GPA 7.56
Said Business School | Mr. Across The Pond
GMAT 680, GPA 2.8
Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
Wharton | Mr. Army & Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corp Finance
GMAT 740, GPA 3.75
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
IU Kelley | Mr. Clinical Trial Ops
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.33

Brand Yourself With An MBA ‘Brag-Storm’

MyBrand3 Exercises to Help Applicants Develop Personal Brands

People used to refer to it as an “image.” In these monetize-before-you’re-commoditized days, the hip term is “personal brand.” You are who you’re perceived to be, they say. If you stay self-aware, play to your strengths, and show passion, you’ll create “curiosity,” foster “engagement,” “differentiate” yourself from the pack, and ultimately become “memorable.”

Clichés aside, your brand – the sum total of your qualities and beliefs (and how they stir the others’ imaginations) – ultimately determines how far you go. If you spout accountability – and then duck out when it’s time to get your hands dirty, you undercut your message. And everyone’s BS detectors are finely tuned to pick up any whiff of hypocrisy.

So what is your personal brand – and how do you convey it? And how can you leverage it to get into the right business school? This week, Stacy Blackman, MBA consultant extraordinaire, shares her advice on this very topic.

First, she counsels applicants to think like a marketing strategist. And that starts with “brag-storming.” Basically, you jot down “every possible unique, exciting, wonderful, dazzling thing you can think of about yourself.” Brag-storming is a regular exercise, where you keep “a notebook handy or start a memo in your smartphone​, and write down ideas whenever inspiration strikes.” From these seeds, you’ll discover underlying patterns and lessons from these experiences. Ultimately, these observations will form “brand messages” and add “color” to your essays.

Second, clients often struggle because they write what adcoms want to hear. But Blackman believes you should flesh out your core strengths first. And that’s often done by writing the story first and then figuring out the lesson. To start, Blackman recommends that students list “personal achievements, leadership achievements in and outside of work, times when your actions made an impact on a person or group, instances when you motivated others or a time you solved a problem with ingenuity.” Even failures are welcome, as they demonstrate your thought process and ability to learn and adapt.

Finally, Blackman encourages applicants to peel away the details to “figure out precisely which aspects of your skills, talents, strengths and character contributed to your accomplishments.” In particular, she counsels clients to detail how an experience “shaped [their] life and made [them] stronger.”

Remember, in Blackman’s words, that “admissions committees seek out well-rounded candidates who have experienced life, pursued their passions and achieved as much outside of the professional setting as within it.” To them, the process and the discovery, more than the achievement, are what truly set applicants apart.

Source: U.S. News and World Report