Tuesday Q&A: How Can I Prove Internationalism in my MBA App?

Question:

I have double nationality (Nicaragua and Belgium.) Can I use that to prove internationalism? I also speak Spanish, French, and English. Does that count?

Answer:

First of all, we bet you have an awesome accent.

Second of all, and more importantly, having a double nationality in and of itself won’t necessarily help you sell your internationalism to a B-school adcom. Maybe it makes you unique, but that by itself is just circumstance. (Speaking lots of languages won’t prove internationalism either, but it is very cool.)

Bottom line: it’s all about how you case it.

Internationalism is very attractive to B-School adcoms (especially for foreign applicants), so you really do want to emphasize your international experience.

So, what is your relationship to your double nationality? Have you lived in/visited both places? Are you familiar with both cultures? Have you interacted with/worked with people from both cultures? Make sure you give that ample space in your app—that will show an adcom a lot about how you’ll add positively to the school community.

Similarly with the crazy number of languages you speak—how has that come into play in your interactions with people of other cultures? How has that improved your business savvy? You want to PLAY UP any and all experiences you’ve had that show that you’re not some country bumpkin who hasn’t ever left his one-horse town, and you ARE a worldly person who is PRIMED for success in the global business world.

Simply having one parent from Nicaragua and one from Belgium doesn’t really make you international. [Both of my parents are from the US and I’ve got more international experience than that…in the eyes of the adcom.] So you gotta go one step further. What ELSE do you have going on that connects you to other cultures/places/kinds of people?

Oh, and if you have any recipes for fusion Nicaraguan-Belgian cuisine, don’t put that in your app, but do send it to us. Please and thank you.

-Jon Frank, Admissionado Founder

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