Throughout the MBA application process how you present yourself is crucial to your success. Just as businesses must sell their products or services to their clients or consumers, you must “sell” yourself to the business schools you apply to. One of the most effective methods and one that is recommended by many of our partners and the admission recruiters, such a Kate Mickle from the University of San Diego, is the elevator pitch.
The elevator pitch is a short speech, no longer than 60 seconds that provides a synopsis of who you are and what qualifies you as a candidate. The goal of your pitch is to leave the admissions recruiter with a memorable and positive impression of you as well as start a conversation between you and the school. So how do you do that? Here are a few tips to help you craft a compelling elevator pitch.
Answer Questions That Explain Who You Are Not Just What You Do.
Don’t just list everything you have done in the past, your resume already does that. Instead address questions such as why you want to go to business school, why it is a good time for you to be going and why you are interested in this school specifically. These questions provide more information about who you are which is much more compelling than a list of your accomplishments.
Make Your Story Unique.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality show. Business schools are looking for unique individuals and will be looking for what makes you special. You could be one of many qualified candidates based on GPA, GMAT scores or work experience, but how can you contribute to the school? Why you? Tell your story in your own narrative. No one else should be able to have the same elevator pitch, if they can, you haven’t made it your story and you are probably listing accomplishments.
Be Concise and Articulate.
You need to practice your elevator speech. Yes, it is your story but that does not mean you know how to craft it in an interesting and concise manner. Write it out and practice it in the mirror, to friends, family or even a pet, but practice until it feels natural. This is very important, you don’t want to come across as rehearsed or scripted.
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