From Our Consultants: Overcoming MBA Application Challenges

Here's a quick look at how to combat the obstacles that can pop up during your application journey.

You feel that yet? The exhaustion, both mental and physical, that comes with looming application deadlines.

You can barely lift yourself out of bed (that is, assuming you even had a chance to get into bed last night), let alone muster up the brainpower to write/revise/re-write another MBA application essay.

But you must. power. through. That deadline is what? 3 days away? 7? That’s not a lot of time and you gotta dig deep to tap into the energy it takes to not only finish those apps, but make ’em SING.

We know it’s not easy (after all, we’ve all been there!), so we’re here to help you overcome those obstacles that inevitably pop up on your application journey. What are they and how do you deal? Read on, friends.

Here’s hoping that with the help of the Admissionado team, it will be a smooth ride to the finish…

ALEX:

Give yourself enough time! The application process is involved and finding the right recommenders, putting the application materials together, and writing a banging essay takes time, even leveraging the genius at Admissionado.  Starting the process early will allow you to refine the application, allowing you to incorporate angles of your candidacy you might not have considered as you dive into the essays.  Moreover, panic is pure poison and too often, sloppy writing or typos on the application itself slip pass you as you are scrambling to piece together packages for multiple schools.

Start early.  Give yourself at least 3 weeks per school to really put together a solid, compelling, and unique application

MANDY:

The hardest part of the application is coming up with the right stories to highlight in your essays.  Some people make the mistake of choosing stories that are outdated from their college or even high school years.  This is business school, so we want to highlight your work experiences and leadership in the workplace.  The challenge is finding the right mix of stories that highlight your candidacy from a business perspective!

MARK:

It’s resisting the temptation to write what you think the adcoms wanna hear. That only makes for… zzzzzzz … dull essays. Be BOLD and go for PASSION! If anything can make you stand out among the crowd, this will.

NEEL:

The most challenging part of the MBA application is digging deep into your true passion to develop a compelling vision for yourself that is authentic with who you are – and subsequently trying to be as honest as possible without trying to make it sound like you are trying to fit into an imaginary AdCom’s “box”.

The best way to do this is to think about what you would do in an ideal world as a leader and pioneer of a vision/business/non-profit idea you believe in, and then think about the skills and experiences that will train you to get there. Et voila – you have the reasons to get an MBA (skills) and the short term goal (experiences) that will lead to your personal vision (long term goal).

DAMON:

It is making sure, after you’ve assembled the whole application, that it is truly infused with your unique personality. Are the essays so perfect that they are completely leached of flavor and idiosyncrasies? Is the resume so solid that it tells us nothing about who you really are? It is the greatest pitfall. To avoid this, go back to your early drafts and see if you could salvage some of the raw but aromatic essence. Add humor (spice), self-commentary (texture), asides (garnishing); and let your voice be heard. (Yes, it is like cooking).

YARON:

Writing MBA applications is not a spiritual event, but in order to really stand out and shine for the adcom you have to take all of your application’s aspects, your achievements, your goals, your academic experience, your volunteer work, and transcend them. Use all of your great results, and your technical goals, and be concrete and real… yet transcend that with greater vision of who you are in this world, and what you intend to do. Show the adcom you have a history and a passion, which leads to a VISION of your future.

FRITZ:

It’s hard to fit in your previous experience and connect it with your future goals into a 500-word essay.  You should always start with your future goals to set the tone of your essay and then connect everything else to that goal. Start with your career goal as an anchor, then connect your previous experience and short-term goals to that anchor.

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