The short answer is: yes, absolutely! But let us dive deeper into the topic of Covid-19 in your MBA application. You should know how to set boundaries to avoid getting into a victim mentality and appearing weakened by the situation rather than stronger because of it.
How will talking about Covid-19 help my application?
2020 was a rough year for everyone. There wasn’t an individual or industry that wasn’t affected on some level due to the dismal situation the world has been in since March 2020. It would appear short-sighted to skip the topic of the pandemic altogether.
You cannot ignore a global health crisis, so it is in your best interest to highlight how it affected your life and how you managed to overcome every roadblock and get back on track. Business schools are looking for applicants who can demonstrate their involvement in the well-being of a community in the face of hardship, whether personal or professional.
Show your adaptability
MBA programs look for candidates who, in the face of challenges, adapt to a world suddenly forced to change. The question will not be if Covid-19 affected your life, but how it affected it and, more importantly, how did you respond and adapt to the situation? That is what the admissions committee will want to know.
“Covid-19 has impacted nearly everyone applying to business school this year. It would be perfectly reasonable for an applicant to discuss the challenges they have faced and lessons they have learned; but only if these examples are stronger and more impactful than other experience and anecdotes.” Graham Richmond, co-founder of Clear Admit, said in an interview for Access MBA.
It’s okay to have a gap in your resume
Don’t try to hide it. Instead, be open and honest about it. Business schools will undoubtedly be sympathetic if there is a gap in your resume, given the circumstances. A lot of the events during 2020 and 2021 were beyond your control. Many lost their jobs or had to change their plans for business school. What you did during that gap to create value and work towards your goals is what truly matters.
“While many of the classic principles still apply when it comes to crafting an impressive MBA application, one piece of advice I would have, is for applicants to embrace the hardships and challenges they have faced over the course of the pandemic; there is nothing wrong with losing a job, making a life change, or dealing with adverse conditions due to Covid. In fact, many of these trials and tribulations might make for excellent essay content!” Richmond says.
Self-reflection is key
This is your chance to take a step back and reflect on everything that has happened over the past two years. The written essays and the admissions interview will inevitably bring out some introspection. This is the crucial moment where you need to stay away from the victim mentality which was forced on many with the onset of the pandemic.
Look back and really focus on the positives. Reflect on your life goals, values and ultimate mission. Instead of showcasing the obstacles that got in your way, talk or write about what skills or knowledge you gained from overcoming them, all with your end goal in mind.
To sum it all up: try to focus on the positive outcomes for the future, despite the moments of darkness and uncertainty.