Stanford GSB | Mr. Ambivalent Applicant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Tuck | Mr. Mega Bank
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tier 2 Consultant
GMAT 770, GPA 3.65
Harvard | Mr. Latin International
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Indian Deferred
GMAT Will take next month but expecting 750+, GPA 8.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Immigrant Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Ms. Decision Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
NYU Stern | Mr. Media Tech Hopeful
GRE 321, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future MBA
GMAT 740, GPA 3.78
Wharton | Mr. Biotech Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
NYU Stern | Mr. Indian Data Guy
GRE 325, GPA 7.06
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Stanford GSB | Mr. Latin American
GMAT 770, GPA 8 of 10
NYU Stern | Mr. Beer Guy
GRE 306, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. HR To Finance
GMAT 760, GPA 7.65/10
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Microsoft Consultant
GMAT N/A, GPA 2.31
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Social To Tech
GMAT 700, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. CPG Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Brolic Bro
GRE 305, GPA 3.63
Tuck | Mr. Running To The Future
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
London Business School | Ms. Audit Meme
GMAT 710, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Mobility Entrepreneur
GMAT 760, GPA 1st Division
Harvard | Mr. Cricket From Kashmir
GMAT 730, GPA 8.5/10
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. Aspiring Consultant
GMAT 690, GPA 3.68
HEC Paris | Mr. Analytics Consultant
GRE 326, GPA 9.05/10

Why The MBA Admissions Committee Cares About Your Activities

Extracurricular Activities: why the MBA Admissions Committee cares

You might be wondering why the MBA admissions committee asks so many questions about your extracurricular activities. Why does it matter “what you do for fun” outside of work or what clubs you joined during college?

  • They want to admit engaged students.

The top business schools are in the fortunate position of having an abundance of candidates with amazing credentials. If they wanted to, schools could fill their classes many times over with applicants who have 4.0 GPA’s, 800 GMAT’s and outstanding work experience.

Instead, they look for candidates who can excel academically and professionally while also adding to the community. Demonstrate your ability to remain engaged while performing at a high level – schools admit students who will make a tangible impact.

  • The committee is looking for clues about your (real) personality.

At this point most applicants know how to curate their online and applicant personas. Since no one is going to say that they hate working with other people or that they spend their free time alone in their room, the MBA admissions committee needs to dig deeper. Asking you to talk about your activities in essays and interviews often provides a more candid glimpse into what really matters to you and how you are likely to interact with your classmates.

  • Activities can really help you stand out.

Schools want to admit diverse, interesting and related classes. Since so many applicants are eminently qualified, the difference between an admit and a rejection can be what you bring outside of the traditional metrics. By all means talk about your passion for chess, extreme sports, cooking, travel, community service – whatever the case may be.

Business schools ask about your activities so that they can get a more genuine glimpse into your character and potential. They also want to shape a multifaceted, balanced incoming class. Go ahead and tell them as much as you can about your interests – they really do want to know.


Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Over the last three years, clients have been awarded more than 14.6 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 95% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.

More from Karen: Should You “Settle” For Your Second Choice Business School?,  Are You Ready For Your Business School Interview?Admissions Advice That Might Surprise You,  Applying To Business School This Year?,