After completing all of the steps to put together your strongest business school applications, you hit the submit button on the final one. You are both excited and nervous (understandably so), but now what?
Follow my tips below to make the most out of your time while you are waiting.
Relax and don't second guess yourself
Firstly, relax, take a deep breath, and don’t second guess yourself! You’ve earned some down time after all of the hard work that you’ve put into your applications. I’ve seen many clients start to panic when they realize that they may have made a typo or not elaborated on an answer to the extent that they could have, but trust me when I say that clients have still gotten interviews (and been accepted) despite what they believe are “fatal” mistakes. You’ve put your best foot forward so celebrate that!
Catch up with your family and friends, read the book that you have been wanting to for a long time, get a massage, or do whatever else you enjoy during your free time! It’s extremely important to recharge your batteries so that you are ready to go once interviews roll around.
Start to prepare for interviews
After taking a little bit of time off, start preparing for interviews. Since you don’t know yet which schools will be extending you interview invitations, the best way to prepare at this early stage is by practicing with some standard questions. These would include questions such as “Tell be about yourself. What do you want to do post-MBA? Why pursue an MBA now? Why [fill in the school]? Why will you be a good fit for [fill in the school]?” Make sure that you know your story inside out as well as the reasons for seeking an MBA degree. By preparing early, you’ll hone your communication skills and increase your confidence.
Don't get consumed by business school discussion boards
One of the biggest sources of anxiety that I see with clients pertains to what they read on business school discussion boards. In particular, clients start to panic when they learn that other candidates have received invitations to interview from the schools that they have applied to and they have not. This leads to clients starting to hypothesize as to why that may be the case, which just causes more anxiety and becomes a negative self-feeding cycle. Try not to get consumed by the discussion boards! Remember that many schools release interview invitations on a rolling basis, so just because you may not have received an interview invitation at the same time as another candidate does not mean that you are out of the running. You have put your best foot forward, so stay positive.
Continue to stay engaged with schools
Many applicants think the process of engaging with schools ends once they have submitted their applications – don’t be one of those applicants! This period is a great time to stay engaged with the schools and learn more about them. Why? Since you can draw upon these additional experiences and insights during interviews. What can you do to continue to connect with schools? If there are webinars being hosted by the schools that you have applied to, listen in. If schools are hosting student conferences of interest to you, attend. If you have friends/colleagues who are students at the schools, touch base with them periodically to learn more about their experiences.
Having gone through the business school application process myself and having coached hundreds of clients over the past 5+ years, I know how nerve-wracking it can be. However, by following these tips, you will be much more relaxed and make the most of your time while you are waiting for the results.
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Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who received her MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Shaifali’s philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out. With this approach, Shaifali’s clients have gained admission to top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, and Yale, among others.