Grit: An Important Quality In The MBA Application Journey


Applying to business school requires A LOT of hard work – there are many steps involved in the process and there can be myriad frustrations along the way. As a result, the one quality that it is imperative to possess while on your application journey is grit. With determination, you can take your applications to a level that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Grit is required in the pre-MBA stage

The pre-MBA stage is a critical one since it lays the foundation for the entire MBA application process. It is in the pre-MBA stage where I strongly encourage candidates to take the GMAT/GRE (it helps to get the exam out of the way early) and to work on strengthening their profiles. Because the GMAT/GRE can be grueling, having grit can get you past that milestone; for instance, you may have to take the exam more than once to get the score that you are seeking. In addition, with stamina, you will be able to take whatever steps are necessary to do well in both your professional and extracurricular endeavors. This will go a long way with respect to setting you up for success when you start to delve into the applications.


Understandably so, COVID-19 is resulting in a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. However, if you are working remotely and as external events get cancelled, you can use this time to start putting together and implementing a plan of action, which will position you to be a step ahead of other applicants once the environment begins to improve.

Grit is imperative when working on your applications

Having worked with many candidates over the years, I have seen the hiccups that can occur while they are working on their applications; grit can help you overcome those obstacles. For instance, recommenders may be difficult to get a hold of right before a deadline (or may even pull out of writing the recommendation letters last minute) or an expected promotion may not go through. In such cases, being resilient is absolutely necessary. Instead of panicking, successful candidates take stock of the situation and charge ahead with solutions. The important thing is to continue to take steps and actions towards your goals, whatever may be thrown your way!

Grit is key after you have submitted your applications

It’s important to take a breather after you’ve submitted your applications – after all, you’ve worked really hard! But it’s often in this final stage of the MBA application journey where candidates get truly tested. For example, during the interview stage, it’s important to take the time to prepare and practice, practice, practice. It is NOT the time to “wing it,” which unfortunately, happens too often. It can take time to get comfortable with your delivery during an interview, and that is where grit comes in – having the resolve to continue moving ahead. Moreover, it can be discouraging to hear that you were not invited to interview or accepted by a school, but it’s important to keep on going!

Applying to business school is not for the faint of heart – it requires discipline, resolve, and most importantly, grit. You can do this!

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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.

Click on the links to learn more about our company and how you can work with us to maximize your chances of gaining admission to the MBA programs of your choice.

#MBAApplication #grit #determination

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