Tuesday Q&A: What Can I Really Do Now for my MBA Applications?

QUESTION:

I keep hearing you say that people should start their applications early. But the essay prompts won’t be out for a few more months still. What can I really do now?

ANSWER:

This is a very good question. Why? Because I know there are so many people reading this right now, just sitting around and waiting for those application essay questions to be released. And let me tell you, you’re wasting precious time, my friends.

It’s true the essays are a very important part of your b-school application. But they are not the only part of your application. And, in all honesty, there are other pieces of the b-school application that will be just as, if not more, important. Those – like your resume, your letters of recommendation and, most importantly, your b-school research – often get put on the backburner and become an afterthought.

And that’s a very, very bad thing.

You’ve got time on your hands right now and you should use every last bit of it.  Our team of MBA consultants has already shared what they think you can (and 100% should) be doing now to get a head start on your business school applications. And their advice is spot-on.

So I’m just gonna piggyback on their two cents to drive the point home

1. Soul Searching: Now’s the time to figure everything out and come up with a plan. What do you want to do post-MBA? Where do you want to be in 20 years? What are your greatest strengths? What are you biggest weaknesses? Why do you need an MBA and why do you need one now? These are the questions that will show up application after application, year after year. Spend some time coming up with answers NOW so you can just work them into your essays later.

2. Figure out your personal application obstacles: Are you a re-applicant? Are you older than the average MBA applicant? Younger? Do you want to get an MBA so you can switch careers? Are you coming from a non-traditional background? These are all big hurdles for b-school applicants and if you’re facing any (or all!) of ‘em, there are specific strategies you’re going to have to use in your applications, and the earlier you recognize that, the more time you’ll have to come up with a bulletproof plan.

If you want some help with that, we’ve got you covered. I’ll be hosting a whole slew of webinars on these very topics in the coming weeks and if you’re looking for something to do NOW (which, since you’re asking this question, I know you are!), this is a great place to start. You can get the full schedule and all the information for registering right here.

Research: Get online and start looking into all the schools you’re interested in. Talk to current students, reach out to alumni, go visit! Get all the information you can so you can a) figure out where you want to apply come Fall and b) have all the information to make a strong case to the adcom as to why that specific program is best for you.

And that’s only the beginning, my friends. For more information on what you should be doing for those apps and when, check out our Round 1 MBA Application Timeline. That should give you a niiiice schedule to live by.

Seriously, folks, use this time wisely. I can’t say that enough. MBA applications are tedious, they take time and they’re not something you want to be rushing. So get to it.

See you at our webinars?

— Jon Frank 

Big Changes to GRE Scores