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Overcoming Your MBA Application Weakness

Isiah Thomas, one of the NBA’s legendary point guards, is the Detroit Pistons’ all-time leader in points. At first glance, though, you wouldn’t guess he’d be the kind of guy destined for basketball greatness.

First, there’s his height. At 6’1”, Thomas is downright short in a game where height is everything. For comparison, his friend and former competitor Magic Johnson, who spent 13 years as point guard for the Lakers, is 6’9”!

Then, there’s Thomas’ background. The youngest of nine children, Thomas woke up at 5:00 AM every morning so he could commute to school from the working-class neighborhood he grew up in on Chicago’s West Side.

Basically, Thomas had the odds stacked against him. But none of these weaknesses stopped him from hustling and working hard and becoming one of the top fifty NBA players ever.

Overcoming Your MBA Application Weakness

So why should you care? Because you are Isiah Thomas.

No, I don’t mean you’re destined to lead the Detroit Pistons to multiple NBA championships – if that’s what you’re here for, I’m afraid you’re at the wrong place.

But you can overcome your weaknesses and play to your strengths when it comes to your MBA applications. You don’t have to be perfect to excel, and if you embrace your imperfection you’ll end up having a more interesting story than if you didn’t have any imperfection to begin with.

All sorts of weaknesses can make you doubt yourself as an MBA candidate. Maybe you don’t have the GMAT you wanted. You don’t have a blue-chip background. Your GPA is lower than you’d like.

What all these things have in common is that none of them mean you can’t get into a top business school.

Just like Isiah Thomas owned his weaknesses, worked harder than anyone and ended up differentiating himself, you can own your MBA application weakness, go the extra mile and become an all-star applicant.

The key is finding out what makes you interesting and making sure the adcom know about it. You aren’t coming from a first-tier firm? That’s OK, maybe the smaller firm you’re coming from has something really unique about it, or maybe you’ve taken on lots of responsibility there. 

Once you get rid of the false belief that your weakness means your application is doomed, you free yourself up to discover your scrappy, edgy side so you can figure out what your strengths are and hit those spots as hard as possible instead of worrying about being perfect.

If Isiah Thomas had stopped and said to himself “well, I’m just a short kid from a working-class background, I have no business playing basketball,” the NBA would’ve lost one of its top players of all time.

Like Isiah Thomas, you aren’t defined by your weakness. Your weakness isn’t something that has to hold you back. If you own your weakness, you can come up with a plan that uses your MBA application to communicate your strengths.

Thomas summed up his attitude to basketball like this: “It’s all a battle of will. You have to keep asking yourself, ‘How bad do you really want it?”

You can bring this same determination to your MBA applications. Get in touch with us, and we’ll help you come up with a proactive game plan that plays to your strengths and doesn’t let your weakness stop you! How bad do you want it!

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