Most Nigerian international students would no doubt have spent valuable time trying to wrap their head around the reason why/how extra curricular activities could be important to their MBA pursuit. A lot of people would be consumed with the zeal to conquer their GMAT tests and other aspects of the necessary criteria required in order to be accepted by their preferred schools MBA programs.
No doubt they would have asked themselves a number of times; what reason would an MBA application have with how good and how often I engage in sports and other extracurricular activities (chess skills, scrabble knowledge, writing skills, activism, etc)? We understand it would not seem to make sense to most applicants who would think it is all about burying their heads in books and other very “serious” aspects of their application.
The truth however is that when Admissions Committees are evaluating applications and scouring for admissible candidates, they are looking for evidence that the candidate in question is going to take ownership of his own experiences as a student while also enhancing the experiences of those around him for the next two years.
Thus, it makes complete sense the Committees should not look for candidates that are one-dimensional (i.e., those who are only focused on either academics or career) but look for the individual who is able to stretch himself in different ways and push the envelope for himself as well as his classmates.
The schools are looking for students who would leave their marks on the school by the time they are done and this goes beyond academics and other “serious” aspects, they need people who can stretch themselves and achieve great things in multiple roles as well as be a role model to future students who would come to see them as inspirations and motivations to a lot more and achieve a lot than just good academic results. A great man should be able to multi-task and accomplish all these tasks very well in fact, excellently. That is what these schools are looking at, that is the kind of students schools are looking for.
So, Yes! Extracurricular activities are very important to your MBA pursuit.
Now the next question would be “which extracurricular activity(ies) will put me in a better light?” Well, the truth is, it has to be something you truly love doing and should also impact the person next to you positively. So it could be anything; from singing, to creative writing, sports etc. It could be anything.
Don’t forget the adage that says “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.
That’s what the Admissions Committees are looking for – evidence that there’s more to the student than his/her day job, evidence that he/she is the candidate they’re looking for who’s going to get involved in myriad activities and initiatives on campus, evidence that he is not simply matriculating with the sole intention of flitting from classroom to dorm room and back.
So in essence, while the schools are looking to build well-grounded and all-round greatness, you should be able to put yourself forward as a student who has those distinctive traits needed to build such greatness.
I hope this article has been helpful. If you have any other questions concerning this topic, please feel free to hit the comment section. We would be glad to reply your questions.
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