If you’re preparing to graduate from college and you’ve been thinking about getting your MBA, congratulations! There are many studies to support the fact that going to business school can provide you with the skills, tools and connections needed in order to become a great asset in Corporate America.

As you’re looking at the schools that are piquing your interest, it is important to keep in mind that the application process tends to be a pretty competitive one; however, we can provide you with a list of five qualities that business schools look for in their applicants so that you can be a strong contender rather than just another application among a huge stack of others.

Someone who follows instructions. On average, the individuals assigned to read business school applications spend about 20 minutes reviewing each one. Yet, it might surprise a lot of individuals to know that one of the things that they look for first are those who actually answer the questions and respect the word count. Although those things may seem simple, if you do them, it sends a message that you pay attention to detail and that’s a definitely an asset in business school.

Someone who can clearly communicate their mission. One of the main things that you will probably be asked is why you want to attend business school in the first place. This is a good time to share whatever life experiences may have brought you to this point in your academic journey. Although it can be an added bonus to mention specifics about what you like about the particular school that you’re applying to, don’t forget that as you’re conveying what the school can do for you, also mention why you believe that you will be beneficial for it as well.

Someone who has good leadership abilities. There are a lot of people who have a good college transcript (grade-wise), but all that reveals is that they are a smart student. Business schools want to know that you have more than that; they want to feel that you are a driven, ambitious and focused person who has the ability to take initiative and lead, both in and outside of class. If your application provides a sense that you are ambitious and tenacious, while also having the ability to learn from others, that will definitely work in your favor.

Someone who is active in the community. A good businessperson is not just concerned about “the bottom line” but also what goes on around them including what is happening in the environment and the community. Whether it’s Portland State University, Columbia University or someplace closer to where you live, if you have a background that shows that you are active in various clubs and non-profit organizations and/or that you volunteer your time to those in need, that will make you a memorable candidate, for sure.

Someone who is diverse. In the business world, you have to be able to deal with all kinds of people and cultures and the more that you are able to demonstrate that you do not just tolerate the differences in people, but you embrace them, the more you will be seen as someone who should become a student at any business school of your choice.

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