How Self-Awareness Strengthens Your MBA Application

What is the One Thing Every Executive Needs? 

Of the many successful executives I’ve worked with, one common quality stands out. That quality is self-awareness, the capacity to recognize their own strengths, weaknesses, and biases on a professional and personal level. Self-awareness can be a very difficult competency to master, as it requires taking a hard look at yourself and being brutally honest with what you can and cannot do. For some, pride or lack of maturity gets in the way of achieving true self-awareness. Yet, the ability to recognize how one’s preferred styles and values impact their view of the world, is absolutely critical for a business leader to develop a strategic vision for those he or she leads.


Examples of Self-Awareness Include: 

• Preferred management styles (both upward and downward)
• Preferred communication styles (verbal, written, email, phone, face-to-face)
• Natural academic ability (athletics, mathematics, English, etc.)
• Personality traits (introvert, extrovert, sensitive, judgmental, etc.)
• Personal beliefs (religious, political)
• Values (ethical, integrity, scrupulous, etc.)

A 2012 MIT Sloan Management Review Blog article cited a survey of where 75 members of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council rated self-awareness as the most important capability for leaders to develop. Executives need to know where their natural inclinations lie in order to boost them or compensate for them. 

MBA Admissions Seeking Self Awareness In Applicants? 

MBA programs know the value of self-awareness. It is common for MBA and Executive MBA programs to help their students develop self-awareness through exercises to help their graduates develop this self-knowledge and a comfort-level with their strengths and weaknesses. You’ll commonly see these as Meyers Briggs Type Indicator or a 360-Degree Review, or some other self-assessing instrument. 

And earlier this year, Francesca DiMeglia of BloombergBusinessweek wrote an article on MBA Admissions Committees exploring the use of these kinds of instruments as part of their evaluation of MBA candidates (“Want an MBA From Yale? You’re Going To Need Emotional Intelligence.”). Many top MBA programs, such as Yale, Notre Dame, and Dartmouth, are incorporating assessments of emotional intelligence into their admissions evaluation and orientation experiences. It remains to be seen how precisely how something as subjective as a self-awareness assessment can be fully integrated into MBA admissions. From my perspective, as a former MBA Admissions Director, I see great value in this, and believe that there is great potential for these tools to help admissions committees issue more informed admissions decisions. 

Develop Your Self-Awareness Now

What if, as an MBA applicant, you were to develop your self-awareness at this early stage? What if you were able to demonstrate self-awareness in your MBA application essays? What if your capacity for understanding yourself and communicating these abilities helped you stand out from the rest of the MBA applicants? What if you could develop a rich toolbox of stories you can use for both your MBA application essays and your MBA admissions interviews? 

As an MBA Admissions Consultant and a Certified StrengthsFinder Coach, I can help you do just that. I’ve successfully led many MBA applicants through an assessment tool called the StrengthsFinder. The StrengthsFinder helps you identify your strengths, under the positive psychology concept that you can grow more in your areas of strength than you can by trying to improve your areas of weakness. 

After completing the StrengthsFinder, you’ll receive an 18-page report detailing your top five strength areas. Then, we’ll schedule a time to go over your strengths by phone. For one hour, we’ll review your resume and talk about how your strengths manifested themselves in each of your previous positions. We’ll discuss how you can leverage your strengths and examples in your MBA application essays and in preparation for your MBA admission interviews. This one hour discussion is an efficient and cost-effective way for you to kick off your work on your application essays, and showcase your own self-awareness to MBA admissions committees. 

A Special Offer for October 

The month of October is a critical time for MBA applicants to ramp up their work on applications to submit for Round 1 at some schools, and Round 2 at others. This is a key time to complete the StrengthsFinder with me, and leverage your new-found knowledge to package your MBA application using a “strengths-based model.” 

For just $250, I’ll provide you with the tools you need to take the StrengthsFinder Assessment, and schedule one hour to talk with you about your StrengthsFinder results, your resume, and any other MBA admissions questions you have during that time. This is a great value for MBA applicants! You’ll benefit from my over 15 years of experience as an MBA Admissions Director, and you’ll walk away from our session with confidence in the strengths that you bring to the MBA programs you are applying to. 

To take advantage of this special offer, complete the form below to set up a free initial consultation to set up the StrengthsFinder Assessment and one hour of consulting time. I can’t wait to help you make your MBA application as strong as possible!

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