Most candidates approach the MBA application process with the best intentions when it comes to completing the applications, namely starting early and working systematically. However, as the weeks go by, other things start to take more precedence, such as professional obligations and GMAT/GRE studying (and unfortunately, this happens more often than not). While these other commitments are, of course, extremely important, preparation of the applications should not fall to the wayside; the best course of action is to allocate time to work on your applications in parallel with your other endeavors. Here’s why.
Procrastination tends to result in subpar applications
By procrastinating, applicants are putting themselves in a less than optimal position where the quality of their work is rushed. Because of the tight timeframe, there is less time to think about the application strategy and iterate on drafts of essays as well as an increased likelihood of typos and grammatical errors prior to submission (and many late nights leading to exhaustion). Moreover, procrastination also leads to a compressed timeframe to prepare recommenders and for them to write their letters of recommendation (definitely a less than ideal scenario). After investing so much time and energy to get to this point, do you really want to submit subpar applications that are not reflective of who you truly are?
Procrastination can bring about unnecessary anxiety
While some people thrive under pressure, most people experience stress and anxiety when they begin to realize that the application deadlines are right upon them. Very quickly, anxiety starts to build, and soon, it begins to balloon and become unmanageable. This is clearly not the best state of mind that an applicant should be in when in the midst of working on his/her MBA applications. The MBA application process is truly a marathon and not a sprint. As a result, allocate plenty of time to work on your applications.
Procrastination can lead to less than ideal delays in the MBA application process
Finally, procrastination can lead to applications needing to be pushed into a subsequent round or into the following year. If you need more time to put together compelling applications, you should definitely apply in a round when you feel your application will be the strongest (that decision/strategy is a very valid one). However, if an application is being pushed simply because you waited too long to get around to it or because you waited until the absolute last day to take the GMAT/GRE and didn’t get the score you wanted, that delay may not be ideal (for instance, if you are currently not working it could prolong a professional gap, etc.).
The MBA application process is very competitive; as a result, deep thought, a strong effort, and ample time are required. In my experience, the candidates who are the most successful are the ones who put their heart and soul into the process with plenty of time on their side and who submit their applications without any regrets.
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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. Ivy Groupe's philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out. With this approach, Ivy Groupe’s clients have gained admission to top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, and Yale, among others.