GMAT – How to build a strong profile

Aspirants for the MBA program of any university, whether at home or abroad, are always terrified of putting together their profile for the admission process. It should be one that differentiates you from the other applicants and renders you a strong contender for admission.

How does one make their profile stand out?

Does it have to be different for US universities from Indian top-notch institutes? Actually, there’s no such difference between institutes and universities across the globe. Everyone’s demands are the same. So, what are they? Let’s find out what kind of documents should make up your profile folder.

Extra-curricular activities: You might have been a class topper, but have you excelled in sports, drama, debate or seminars? Do you have any hobbies or passions? If not, develop at least one which can be put into your profile with pride. Take part in community service or participate in social activities, but have one consistent passion that you will do anything for.

Leadership roles: You shouldn’t be just a follower in an organisation or group, but you should also assume leadership roles. By taking the initiative and assuming positions of responsibility, you make an impact on your admissions officer. It means you have definite experience in a particular area for which you can be relied upon in future. Think about some leadership positions you can take. For example you may want to take up a leadership role in any of the colleges at your club. Or maybe take up a leadership role in organizing an event or a sports activity.

Are you fluent in any one language? Your fluency in English is what people look for, so check that you are. If you have great academic reports but aren’t fluent in English, it could weaken your profile terribly, so work on your communication skills and get it up to par.

What after MBA? Have you worked out why you want to pursue an MBA? And why from that particular school? What are your short-term and long-term goals for pursuing this course? Have answers ready for all such questions which will be posed to you. Else you will face rejection.

How to build your profile without work experience

For someone who’s fresh out of college and have no work experience, impressing the admissions officer may seem like a tough job. This need not be the case if you’re an all-rounder. Being an all-rounder indicates that you have excellent records in academics, sports, extra-curricular areas and that you have shown initiative in various activities and have recognitions for your participation in extra-curricular activities.

Also think about how you would like to stand out. You are competing with consultants and senior level managers who are well-versed with the business landscape. Ask yourself how you compare against them and how your answer can please the authorities and plan accordingly.

What makes up your profile folder?

If you’re applying for any of the top-notch Indian business schools, you’ll find that a lot of weightage is given to the candidate’s profile. This helps you to stand apart at the interview and you can present yourself as an all-rounder. Further, a strong profile increases your chances of getting admission into an MBA program even if you have to compete with those who come with solid work experience.

Here are a few ways by which you can improve your profile folder and submit an impressive one:

  • Internships: By looking out for some good internships, you can get good internship opportunities in the location of your choice. Remember to take a certificate at the end of your internship.
  • AIESEC: This worldwide not for profit organization can be found on most campuses. You can get really good experience in leadership by dealing with it, which will help you in the long run.
  • Campus Ambassador Programs: There are many local, national and international organizations that run campus ambassador programs. Apply for any of these according to your interests and be their ambassador on your campus. This will make you a leader and this valuable experience is something you can easily add in your CV.
  • Online Courses: There’s no course on earth that you can’t learn online. Many of them are free while some are nominally priced. Join the course you’re interested in, complete all your assignments and get a certificate. This shows your proficiency in a particular field, which also adds weight to your profile.
  • Content Writing: If writing is your forte, research the Internet or ask friends for content writing jobs. Not only will it fetch you some good money but you will also make a name for yourself in a particular niche while still at college. You can easily leverage this when applying for an MBA program. And yes, always ask for a certificate from your employer.
  • NGO: ┬áVolunteer at NGOs while still at college and this will go a long way when you apply for MBA. Find out some really good ones and volunteer with them over weekends.
  • Certifications: Take up certified courses in subjects related to your MBA program. For example, how about doing a CFA Certification for Finance Enthusiasts course? Doing such courses will add value to your MBA.
  • Foreign Language Course: Learn to speak, read and write French, Spanish, German or even Chinese. Take up weekend courses or pick up one at UrbanClap or online at EdX.
  • Poster Presentations: Take up small research assignments and present them at various fora and competitions. This will certainly add to your academic folder.


  • Model United Nations (MUN): These are great platforms to develop your public speaking skills. So, keep abreast of all the recent happenings in the country and world. This will give you a voice in society and you can also make new friends.
  • Initiatives: Start an initiative of your own, something like a small start-up or NGO, or even a tech, sports, music or travel blog. Instead of whiling away your time, brainstorm and come up with an original idea.
  • Hobbies: You can also pursue a hobby that makes you happy or is socially relevant. Perhaps, you could excel in it and win accolades in it too. Once you have such a hobby in your arsenal of documents, you will develop an all-rounded personality.


By using any or some of these pointers, you can develop a really good and impressive profile which will stump any admission officer, here or abroad. Work on some of these areas and see how far you can benefit.


Good luck and all the best!!

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