4 MBA Application Insights for IT Applicants

Applicants with a background in information technology (IT) find themselves in unique situation: While often highly qualified and accomplished applicants who would seem to have their first pick when it comes to applying to top MBA programs, these applicants are also a dime a dozen. This means that Super Impressive Techie Applicant #6559 is going to need to humanize his application if he wants top b-school adcom to notice him.

Here’s how:

1.     Be proud of who you are. You may be tempted to apologize for your overrepresented MBA profile, but you’d be silly to talk down your impressive stats, skills, and experiences. While you don’t need to devote a lot of space to singing your technical praises, you should certainly emphasize the non-technical part of your skill set – the part that may not be so obvious.

2.     Beware of stereotypes. Lots of Dilbert-like techies can spend 80 hours a week writing Java applets; if you’ve been known to partake in such merriment, then mention it briefly, but don’t waste valuable essay real estate bragging about your ability to eat, drink, and sleep technology. Instead, showcase your non-technical interests and abilities – these are the things that the adcom will want to hear more about, not the fact that you live and breathe programming.

3.     Highlight your leadership skills and professional growth. The adcoms will know that you’ve got an analytically sharp mind the moment they pick up your MBA resume or look at your college transcript. What they may not know, however, is that you started the environmental policy club on campus or that you were chosen to lead a team of 16 people from 4 departments on a critical project at work (and that after successful completion of the project, you were promoted to a position with more responsibilities). Tell them.

4.     Prove that you have unique goals. The best way to distinguish yourself through your goals is to be detailed in your goals essay. Talk about a specific goal position, timeframe, industry, location, etc. Instead of saying you want to transition into strategy consulting, you can explain how in the next five years you plan on landing a position as senior technology manager at a European environmental consulting firm.

Finally, stay positive. You may have application hurdles standing in your way, but with the right focus, the right advice, and a bit of creativity, you’ll be on your way to your top choice business school in no time!

By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com, the premier admissions consultancy and essay editing company that has helped applicants around the world gain admissions to over 450+ top schools since 1994. Linda is also the author of MBA Admission for Smarties

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