There is always anticipation leading up to the release of MBA applications – for example, questions that often arise are what will the essays be this year? When are the deadlines? Will schools institute new elements as part of their application process?
While it can be tempting to jump right into business school applications, we always advise taking a step back. This can help immensely with respect to crafting the right strategy for your applications as well as pacing yourself.
Below are six application tips to keep in mind as you embark on your MBA application journey:
1) Candidates have a tendency to compare themselves to others or try to replicate what worked for a friend, family member, or colleague in their own applications. Don’t do this! Every single person has a unique background, and so what may have worked for someone else may not work for you. Also, keep in mind that the candidate pool differs every year. Bottom line? The best path to business school is being authentic to who you are.
2) If at all possible, try to get the GMAT/GRE exam out of the way before delving into the application process. While some people are able to juggle their professional duties, extracurricular activities, GMAT/GRE studying, and application preparation simultaneously, it is very stressful and you run the risk of burning out. By getting the GMAT/GRE preparation and the exam out of the way, you can check that off your list and devote all your time towards crafting strong applications.
3) Remember that applying to business school is a marathon not a sprint. Pace yourself when working on your applications so that you have enough time to put together the best product without rushing. It is very difficult to craft quality applications if you are scrambling to meet the deadlines.
4) While you may seek feedback from family members, friends (and yes, even MBA admissions consultants), remember that these are YOUR applications. You should not be shy to incorporate what you feel makes sense and to disregard changes or suggestions that do not appeal to you. Go with your gut and always be true to yourself.
5) Give your recommenders plenty of time to write the recommendation letters. Remember, they are doing you a favor; asking them to write recommendation letters close to the deadlines puts undue pressure on them. Moreover, you run the risk that they may be unable to submit the recommendation letters in time. The onus is on you to manage the process with your recommenders in a timely fashion.
6) Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your applications; sometimes questions come up as you’re filling out the applications, and it’s very difficult to get them addressed in a short time frame if the deadline is literally right around the corner. Moreover, having some wiggle room before submitting is always a good idea in case you run up against any technical issues.
As with any undertaking or project, having a holistic view of what will be required of you is always helpful. Yes, the MBA application process entails a lot of work, but it is well worth it! If you are seeking guidance, click here to learn how we can help you in your MBA application journey.
About Ivy Groupe:
Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who has been recognized as a top MBA admissions consultant by Business Insider and Poets & Quants. She 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.
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