Diversity in the MBA Class: How can an MBA aspirant leverage from this information

Wondering how much importance diversity holds in an MBA admission? Let’s check out some of the essay questions required in the admission process by the top B-Schools in the world:

  1. “Chicago Booth values adventurous inquiry, diverse perspectives, and a collaborative exchange of ideas.  This is us.  Who are you?” (The University of Chicago Booth Business School)
  2. “As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?”- Harvard Business School
  3. “Teamwork is at the core of the Wharton MBA experience with each student contributing unique elements to our collaborative culture. How will you contribute to the Wharton community?”The University of Pennsylvania Wharton

It is a known fact that with businesses expanding globally, the key-decision making process in a business needs to be diverse and culturally inclusive. Hence, global organisations seek aspirants coming from a diverse background who will contribute to inclusive business growth models.

B-schools globally understand this need to nurture diversity and inclusiveness within their MBA classroom and this is the reason why they focus on bringing together aspirants from different backgrounds and underrepresented groups into their cohort communities. 

Now, the question comes- what is diversity and how one can leverage diversity to get an admission in a leading B-school in the world? To simplify the otherwise vast concept of diversity, let us think of two fronts which the admission committee keeps in mind for an MBA classroom: 

  • Bringing students from a wide range of backgrounds (diversity of thought, diversity of ethnicity, diversity of age, culture, nationality, socio-economic status, etc.)
  • Bringing students who identify with different underrepresented communities in the world (minority groups such as African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans, aspirants who identify with the LGBTQ community, etc. contribute to the minority groups)
  • There is one more kind of way in which you can contribute to the diverse MBA classroom which is your educational background and work experience

It is not necessary that you need to belong to or identify with a certain underrepresented or minority group in order to reflect diversity; you can also bring diversity from a whole different perspective in your MBA classroom. What universities want to see in your application essays, video essays and interviews is how you will bring diversity of thought and perspective through your experiences. Now, our experiences can be first-hand such as gender bias, class/caste discrimination, racial struggle, identity crisis, diaspora, and our experiences can come through observations of our surroundings- social awareness. 

Let’s see how diversity reflects in the MBA classroom by comparing the reports of some of the top MBA universities:

Now let us briefly see how diversity in an MBA classroom enhances your future prospects and the future of the business world. By encouraging diversity in an MBA classroom, universities train you to make informed decisions by inculcating certain values which are crucial for the job market. Also, when you learn from the diverse set of experiences and viewpoints that your peers offer in your class, you develop a worldview which is holistic. And this training provides you with a competitive advantage in the job market. 

Wondering how an MBA aspirant leverages from such kind of management training? Check out the following key aspects which the current job market wants to find in you: 

  • Social Awareness: Do you wonder how certain fairness creams reinforce racial and colour discrimination in societies? Then you understand the meaning of being socially aware and questioning the existing mind-sets and business models which are derogatory for certain groups 
  • Enforcing inclusive growth models: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a part of one of the inclusive growth models that helps companies to contribute to society. Yes, to run a global business successfully, you need to have the right approach in order to build inclusive growth models 
  • Addressing Global Challenges: While businesses are rapidly growing, it is equally important for corporations and other agencies to address global challenges such as- sustainable development, climate change, economic growth and poverty, gender inequality and inclusiveness, marine plastic pollution, etc. 

A great example of how stakeholders and businesses incorporate policies to address such global challenges is through models of a shared economy. Companies such as Uber, Ola, Airbnb etc. have incorporated such models which ultimately generate employment and serve as agents for pollution control. 

So, if you have a dream of getting an MBA degree, please work on the following:

  • Your university essays, video essays and Statement of Purpose in such a way that they showcase your diversity of thought, and experiences through which you will contribute to the class
  • Along with polishing your leadership qualities, strengthen your social awareness too by doing volunteering work as the experiences gathered from this will definitely reflect in your candidature
  • Strengthen your extracurricular skills and inter-personal qualities
  • Work to improvise your analytical skills by learning global perspectives and challenges 

At last, we have a list of top universities which provided a diverse pool of quality candidates as graded by top recruiters 

Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek

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