Applying As An Overrepresented Applicant? Here’s How To Stand Out

Applying as an Overrepresented Applicant? Here’s How to Stand Out

Over the years, diversity has increasingly become a priority at business schools — and for good reason. A diverse community of students—across different backgrounds, job functions, ethnicities, and perspectives—actually creates a better learning environment.

Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently discussed how MBA applicants—especially those from overrepresented demographics—can highlight what makes their story unique and worthy of admission.


Your stats, including GPA and test scores, only tell admissions officers so much about who you are as an applicant. In addition to numbers, top business schools seek out applicants who can demonstrate strong collaboration skills and leadership.

“While your stats tell the admissions committee whether you can likely handle the rigor of their program, they don’t reveal anything about how you work with others,” Blackman writes. “Nor do they convey what leadership roles you’ve taken, what motivates you, or what your future goals are. Unlike undergraduate colleges, MBA programs heavily rely on students teaching each other. Business schools expect high levels of spirited and interactive discussion in class, with students sharing their past experiences for the benefit of others.”


Regardless if you come from an overrepresented background or non-traditional industry, it’s important to highlight any unique experiences from your past that have shaped who you are today.

“You’re going to want to pull from your volunteer, extracurricular, and leadership experiences across all facets of your life,” Blackman writes. “Talk about the places you’ve traveled to and what you did or learned there. Maybe you have a defining moment to share that led to your future career goals. You will want to highlight anything you are involved with at work that might be related to recent news headlines, as admissions committees love it when students can share firsthand experience with buzzy topics.”

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, The Century Foundation

Next Page: MBAs are moving away from capitalism.

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