Stop Being Overwhelmed by Your Overrepresentation!

Take a deep breath. Being a member of an overrepresented group is not an MBA admissions death sentence. Most applicants find themselves relating to one (at least) label or group, and that doesn’t exclude them from the adcom pickings. What do you think – that the adcom readers only choose candidates who have no associations to any larger group or label? Obviously that would be impossible – if nothing else, applicants fall into either the “Male” or “Female” group, both of which are rather large groups!

The fact that you are a member of an overrepresented group should only motivate you to show that you are a unique candidate, despite your less-than-unique label. This applies to men, women, Indians, techies, consultants, and…well, everyone.

Why You Need to Apply Yourself to Your Application

If all adcoms cared about were demographics and labels, then there would be no MBA application essays, no letters of recommendation, and no b-school interviews. In fact, all they would need would be your transcript, maybe your MBA resume, and most importantly, your census information.

Of course that’s not the case. You provide the adcoms these other get-to-know-you materials so that they can properly gauge your qualities and qualifications beyond your label. It’s your job to use these application components to your benefit – to prove to the adcom readers that you aren’t simply another face in the Indian IT male crowd, but that you are a label-less, unique INDIVIDUAL. You’re not just another entrepreneur; you’re a Cuban entrepreneur who also runs the most successful pet grooming salon in Santa Clara. You’re not just a consultant; you’re a consultant who has also won 16 national hula-hooping competitions. You’re not just some guy; you’re the most awesome guy.

Become a Part of the Mosaic

You need to highlight your stand-out qualities and qualifications to set yourself apart from your label. But that’s not all. To truly catch the adcom readers’ attention, you’ll need to show the ways in which your unique qualities and qualifications will contribute to the b-school classroom mosaic. You won’t show this through your ordinary job or your place of birth, but through your brilliant personality, quirky interests, impressive achievements, mammoth strengths, heartfelt passions, and individual talents.

Please see Accepted’s Diversity in Admissions 101 for more advice on how to stand out in your MBA application by emphasizing your future contributes to MBA classroom diversity.

By Linda Abraham, president and founder of and author of MBA Admission for Smarties, the premier admissions consultancy and essay editing company that has helped applicants around the world gain admissions to over 450+ top schools since 1994. Visit for all your MBA admissions consulting needs today!

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