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Beefing Up Your Volunteer Background for a Successful MBA Application

Whether you are applying to business school in a few months or you are still a few years away from applying, it is important to consider how you can engage in a socially-driven project to make a meaningful difference that you can feel proud of, and strengthen your profile for your MBA application.

I came across a great organization, Catchafire, that matches volunteers with nonprofits in search of practical business skills.

This eharmony.com-like organization is not your standard volunteer opportunity; you do not have to build a house for Habit for Humanity and neither do you have to move to Latin America to dig wells for an impoverished community (all great endeavours, no doubt).

What I like about Catchafire is that you can be matched with an organization in your community and directly bring your professional skills to bear to help that organization solve real problems.

Catchafire takes away the excuses of not having a ton of time—you can commit to very specific projects that you can then fit into your work schedule.

Why is this important for MBA applicants?  Business Schools are attracted to leaders and people who have a social conscience and aren’t in it only for themselves.

Many MBA candidates complain that they don’t have opportunities to demonstrate leadership in their professional careers.

Working as a volunteer provides you with ample opportunities to challenge yourself, lead a team, and deliver results that are tangible.

So whether you are a banker, consultant, marketer or otherwise, you can help a struggling non-profit organization overhaul its strategy, expand into a new market, streamline its accounting and financial reporting, and much more.

Besides the reward of gaining an edge over your competition (in the MBA application pool), you also benefit from the reward of doing something for someone else and having the satisfaction that comes from doing good.

Are you satisfied with your community service involvement or are you interested in getting more engaged in your extracurricular activities? Drop me a line.

Happy to brainstorm activities that you can engage in to pursue your interest as well as further develop your leadership abilities–a win win for business school.

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