Why Self-Bias in MBA application is A Major Problem And How To Avoid It?

With the MBA round 1 deadlines right around the corner, it’s time you take a deep dive into building strong MBA applications for your target schools. We have discussed a lot about how a candidate can strengthen his MBA profile, how to present ECAs in your B-school MBA application essays, and how one can pitch for his unique character and personality aligning it with the school values. However, this time, we would deal with something very important yet invisible in most MBA applications-   “self-bias.”

We speak to admissions directors every year, and one common thing across all b-schools is THEY CAN IDENTIFY SELF-BIASES in your MBA applications. But unfortunately, this implies most MBA applicants fail to bring an authentic personality of their own in their MBA applications and hence lose the game. Therefore, this article will discuss how you can present 100% unique applications by avoiding self-biases in your MBA applications.

Hey, don’t get overwhelmed! Let’s slowly understand this new phrase. Now, one no-brainer thing is that we are all biased towards many things that are dear to us, but mostly towards ourselves. We tend to over-estimate or under-estimate ourselves in different situations, at other times.! However, when you are stacked against thousands of MBA applicants who have very similar backgrounds to yours, you need to be biased free in your school application to make an MBA application come across as neutral and authentic as possible and at the same time, it showcases the adcom the ability to self-introspect at a deeper level and adds additional points for cognizance and consciousness. 

Therefore, now that you have a brief idea about the concept and how it affects your chances, first and foremost, let’s address the elephant in the room; how the heck are we supposed to know? 

Well, the answer is quite simple. The truth is it’s quite difficult for human beings to identify their own biases and filter them out all by themselves (it doesn’t mean it can’t be done). So how are we supposed to deal with it? 

“A different perspective.”

Yep, you heard that right! The best way to remove bias in your MBA application is for someone to go through your profile and provide a fresher perspective about the different elements of your profile. It’s common practice for MBA aspirants to connect with school alumni, seniors, and peers to discuss their profiles to identify any flaws and scope of improvement.

However, that’s not half the fun; what’s more interesting is that any person close enough to you (even not a subject expert) can determine the biases in your MBA profile (and they’ll be much better at it than alumni or experts). 

INTRIGUING? 

Well, think of it like this. Suppose you have a great hobby: gardening, singing, poetry, or anything else you do in your free time. However, you strongly feel that it’s irrelevant to your academic and professional background and doesn’t bring out the best in you. But, conversely, your friends believe that it makes your personality vibrant. 

It’ll help you showcase yourself as a person with a diverse skill set, one who wants to achieve something in a world beyond academics, and truly represents you as someone who motivated many more to dare and follow the same path. That’s how you remove self-bias!

REMOVING SELF-BIAS IN YOUR MBA APPLICATION

Now that you got a fair idea about biases let’s try to identify some common ones. 

First, you should review your resume once and identify areas where you might have gone overboard regarding a single experience, project, or group work. It might help to include family and friends as they are a great source of information on your personality and can provide a very good perspective on your profile. 

HOW OUR PROCESS WORKS

Now that you understand the importance of making your MBA application bias-free let us briefly walk through our content-gathering process to show you how we at MBA and Beyond make your MBA application bias-free.  We call it – THE ‘TESSERACT.’

As consultants, we have spent a significant amount of time speaking to a lot of admissions directors and admissions committees (AdComs) of business schools every year, just to understand how they are analyzing MBA applications and what they are seeking in applicants that particular year so that we are on top of our game. However, throughout all these years of conversing with multiple schools, we’ve learned that one thing has stayed constant across MBA applications of all the business schools: that adcoms can identify self-biases in your MBA application, and the presence of self-biases leaves a sour taste across AdComs. 

This is where our process comes into place. To address and undo self-biases and make your MBA application come across as neutral and connected as possible, we seek to holistically understand the MBA applicants’ personalities from a third-person perspective. The ‘Tesseract’ is a set of questions we crafted to collect additional information about the applicant and their personality.

We believe that friends and family are a great source of information on an MBA applicant’s personality and can provide a good perspective on their profile. Therefore, as part of the process, we ask MBA applicants to choose three really important people in their life, one person, one professional, and the third one could be either. All this information will come in handy when we build your unique MBA pitch and when you struggle with finding inspiring examples from your life’s perspective. Moreover, it would also contribute to a major part of your recommendation (if it is from a third-person eligible to be a recommender). 

Also, join us for the upcoming coffee and hear our consultants (who have been part of adcoms and hail from b-schools like Harvard, Wharton, INSEAD, and many others) talking about how you can strengthen your applications and bag huge scholarships.

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