It’s almost the weekend, and we know you want to set aside those business school applications, take a break, and have some fun. So every Friday we make it our mission to give you a reason not to panic.
Today’s topic: No managerial experience.
With so many MBA programs and admissions committees going on about the value of leadership, it’s easy for those of us who don’t have specific managerial experience to quickly get anxious. If we’ve never led a team, or had direct reports, how can we hope to demonstrate our leadership abilities?
It’s a common misconception to equate leadership with management. But really, leadership occurs in all sorts of different settings. So think outside your work experience, and consider instead other settings and activities where you might have taken on a leadership role. Also, know that leadership itself comes in different forms: there are thought leaders, people leaders… great organizers, amazing mediators, or awesome consensus-builders. Most likely, one of these qualities describes you.
And if you’re still not convinced, don’t get too hung up on just this one trait. Business schools are all looking to build a diverse student body, with a broad spectrum of skills. So don’t waste time worrying about what you think schools want to hear, and instead focus on telling your story and making sure that your best qualities shine through.