Highlighting International Experience In Your Application
International experience is always a plus on an MBA application.
But international experience doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve traveled to a number of countries. Rather, experts say, it’s about having an open mind to diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently wrote about the value of international experience and why diverse perspectives are highly valued in the MBA world.
“While most schools do not have an explicit international experience requirement, MBA admissions committees seek curious, open-minded applicants who are eager to learn about the world at large,” Blackman writes.
DIVERSITY IN MBA PROGRAMS
Typically, MBA programs thrive best when they take in people from a variety of backgrounds. Having diverse perspectives on campus helps to enrich the MBA learning experience, both on academic and networking fronts.
“Having a broader perspective of global business issues in your arsenal means you bring a unique viewpoint to class discussions and team projects,” Blackman writes. “It also expands your network as you tap into professional associations with your contacts in other countries.”
HIGHLIGHTING INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE
As an applicant, you’ll certainly benefit from highlighting international experience – whether it’s in the form of traveling abroad or working in an unfamiliar environment.
“If you don’t have the time or money to volunteer abroad, you can choose a volunteer opportunity that allows you to work with people from another culture,” according to Top MBA. “Youth hostels and immigrant organizations are examples of cross-cultural organizations that take volunteers.”
The aspect of working in an unfamiliar environment can be especially fulfilling and impressive on an MBA application.
“You demonstrate real leadership skills when you break through communication barriers,” Blackman writes. “And when you learn how business practices work in an unfamiliar environment, you adapt to new social and business norms and go beyond your comfort zone. These skills are a crucial differentiator in a competitive MBA applicant pool.”