Fantasy Football – The Secret to MBA Admission?
We know what you’re thinking: These nerds have never been on a real football field, so of course they love fantasy football! That’s mean-spirited and not entirely true. ..a little bit. Perhaps you think it’s really a stretch to think there is a link between fantasy football and MBA admissions, but strap up and come along for the ride – we’ll get you there! Firstly, excuse me to all those men and women who are not actively involved in American Fantasy Football (why not?), but this blog is seasonally relevant as the NFL draft recently occurred and it’s time to start assembling the squad. Hopefully, most people are familiar with the “fantasy” concept (I’m sure there is fantasy in other sports around the world like soccer, rugby, badminton), but the general concept is that you are allowed to pick a few players in a given sport and compete against other people in your league with your chosen fantasy all-star team. As I contemplate a tough fantasy football championship loss and try to figure out what went wrong this season, I realized a surprising connection to MBA admissions: The “every down back” – a player that has enough skills where he can contribute to all the offensive sets and is continually on the field.
When I look at my fantasy team this year, I had a good QB (Tom Brady, you are the man!), good WRs and a decent tight end, but my running backs split time with other players. What happened to the days of Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk, or Barry Sanders getting every carry and catches on third down? Just as those backs are the key to fantasy football success, having that “complete” skill set is the key to getting accepted to a top MBA program. (thanks for sticking with me, I’m getting to the point).
The “every down back” equivalent for MBA admissions is the candidate that has it all – performance at work, a strong academic background, good test scores, personal successes and triumphs, community impact, youthful good looks (okay- this isn’t totally necessary – just dress well). You will generally know where you stand regarding gaining admission if you analyze your results in each of those categories as compared to your peers at those respective business schools. Sure, you can get into a 2nd or 3rd tier MBA program without the complete package, but good luck making it to the Super Bowl (i.e. Wharton, Stanford GSB, HBS, etc.) without strength in nearly all areas. A lot of our clients are lacking in either academic, test scores or community areas, but the good news is those are generally the easiest areas to fix. If you test scores are weak, take a GMAT / GRE class. Academics poor? Take a few relevant classes to bolster your GPA. No community involvement? Find a volunteer organization where you have an interest or passion and make an impact!
The admissions regular season is about to start in about six weeks or so and we are now in the MBA application pre-season. If you want to win a championship in late 2013 early 2014, it’s time plan and make moves now as the pre-season is where rings are won and lost (this football metaphor is getting out of hand, we know J. Spend the time to think about your candidacy and bolster your areas of weakness. It goes a long way when “Ingrid the Investment Banker” or “Mark the Marketer” can show that they are much more than what they have accomplished at work (performance at work is a given for top MBA programs). Be the every down back and you should be well-positioned to have confetti falling on your head before hopping a flight to Disneyland to pal around with some 20-year old doomed to be Mickey Mouse for the rest of his life while you celebrate your MBA application championship!
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The guys and ladies @ AdmitAdvantage