As mentioned in this blog post, there are a few qualities that every potential  MBA candidate should possess before they even start their MBA application process. Let’s continue highlighting traits that the best MBA candidates will have.


Focus & Direction

Being focused and having direction is huge in terms of success in your MBA application process and actual long term career success. Determine what your long term career goals are. You don’t have to have every little minute detail planned out, but you should have a solid idea of where you want to be, and what you need to do to get there. Having a specific focus and actionable goals will help you to get the most out of your program, and prove to the admissions team that you are a candidate that will know how to take charge and clear a path for yourself in the business world.


The Ability to Innovate

The last thing that any MBA program needs is a student who does the bare minimum and plays it safe. They want creative minds that can foster creative solutions. Schools (and the world of business) need minds that are already thinking of solutions to problems that have not even been created yet.


Make sure that you stand out.


Be someone who volunteers to take charge, and doesn’t wait to be asked to do something. Show initiative in every move that you make.  Business schools like Wharton actively look for candidates that have consistently initiated projects in both their academic and personal lives, and show the potential to be industry disruptors in their future careers.


Collaboration Comes Easily

While it is absolutely important to be an individual that sets themselves apart with their abilities and drive, they must also be able to work well with others.  Wharton School of Business totes the “fluid leadership” model, where everyone on a team is aware of everyone else’s strengths and abilities. Everyone should be able to allow their peers to take the lead when applicable and necessary in order to come to the best possible outcome and solution.


An Innate Ability to Communicate

Communication is KEY. Being a business leader is virtually impossible if you cannot efficiently communicate your thoughts and objectives to your peers and subordinates. While oral communication is an obvious must, excellent writing is necessary as well.  Business students often dismiss  writing as an unnecessary skill, but that is a mistake. A great MBA candidate must be able to communicate well in the written form, because most of your communication with MBA admissions committees will be written.

Melissa Ko is the Managing Member of Covepoint Capital Advisors, LLC and serves as the Chief Investment Officer of its flagship, the Covepoint Emerging Markets Macro Fund. Please visit, and to learn more!