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Addressing Weaknesses and Strengths As An MBA Applicant

Almost every MBA applicant will be asked about what they think their strengths and weaknesses are and how those traits make them a worthy applicant.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and understanding how to address these traits can strengthen your application.

Here are three tips from Stacy Blackman, head of Stacy Blackman Consulting and a Kellogg grad, on how to address weaknesses and strengths as an MBA applicant:

1.) Personalize weaknesses

Weaknesses may seem like shortcomings on paper, but they really are opportunities for growth. Understand your weaknesses and show how you’ve taken the proper steps to overcome them. Perhaps you’re shy to outsiders. Rather than simply listing that as a weakness, discuss the experiences in your resume in which you took leadership positions. How have your experiences made you more confident? Knowing your weaknesses is the first step. But, being able to personalize them and convey an overcoming of your weaknesses is crucial.

2.) Illustrate strengths

Similar to weaknesses, strengths are another point to address in your application. MBA application committees seek applicants with experience in “leadership, teamwork, intellectual curiosity, innovative vision and creativity,” says Blackman

It’s important to list your strengths, but also know how to demonstrate experiences in which you used those strengths. “Try to choose examples from different parts of your life – work, community service, extracurriculars – or maybe even something about your personal background,” she adds. “A diverse set of scenarios will not only keep your reviewer interested but also show that you are a well-rounded individual.”

3.) Discuss strengths & weaknesses in a recommendation letter

Recommendation letters are a great way to discuss strengths and weaknesses. In order to demonstrate your traits effectively, sit down with your recommender and brainstorm your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest and make sure that your recommender discusses direct steps you’ve taken to overcome your weaknesses.

Every MBA applicant has weaknesses and strengths. While it’s important to know these traits, the most crucial thing to remember is to be honest about these traits. At the end of the day, you know yourself best.

Sources: US News, Admissionado

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