It may be hard to believe but we are less than eight weeks from the first MBA application deadline. To keep you on track, Personal MBA Coach has included a round up of application deadlines below, along with our advice on how to best use the next two months!
If you followed our earlier 4 month plan, let me remind you where you should be for July and August:
Edit, edit, edit: This is the time to ensure your essays are perfected! Most essays will require multiple drafts so plan accordingly.
Attend The MBA Tour: The MBA Tour is a great way to meet with multiple admissions representatives simultaneously. Plus, Personal MBA Coach will be presenting: Top 10 MBA Application Pitfalls in Los Angeles (July 14), San Francisco (July 15), New York (July 21), Chicago (July 23), Washington DC (July 25), and Boston (July 26). Check out our latest blog with more info on the tour as well as common MBA pitfalls to avoid!
Network with alumni and current students: Look for alumni and current students in your networks and schedule time for quick chats. The more you know about a school, the easier it will be to target your applications. Of course, there can be too much of a good thing so do not go overboard here.
Fill out your applications: Allow time for these short answer questions. The applications themselves can be quite detailed so do not save these extra questions for the last minute.
Proof: We do not recommend doing any major work in the last few weeks before submission. Substantial last-minute changes can often be rushed and lead to mistakes. Instead, take the time to carefully proof all of your application materials. Be sure to enlist a second or third reader as it is difficult to spot errors in something you have read many times.
Ensure your LORs are all set: Check-in with your recommenders and make sure they have all of the information they need. Gently remind them of the upcoming dates to avoid any last-minute crunches.
However, if you are just getting started, read below for our advice on how to get back on track:
Your first step should be to finalize your school list and your testing plans. If you have not yet taken the GMAT/GRE or have yet to achieve your target score, you should schedule your test ASAP. Similarly, now that essentially all schools have released their deadlines and essays for 2018-2019 hopefuls, you want to be in a position to start drafting as soon as you can. If you have not finalized your school lists, that should be priority number 1.
Do online research, speak to current students or alumni within your networks and attend any school events or tours near you. There may not be adequate time to plan a campus visit before you apply, but do not let this deter you from applying this year if the time is right for you.
Next, you should be selecting your recommenders, immediately. I have written extensively on selecting and preparing your recommenders in case you need help deciding who to ask or what information to provide them. Remember, well thought out letters take time and your recommenders are busy; do not wait any longer to ask them.
Finally, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. First, get your thoughts on paper. Think through your career goals, why you want an MBA, what you hope to learn from the program and what makes you unique. Also, all applicants will need an MBA resume (more on this here) which can often be a great place to start this process. It will force you to take stock of everything you have accomplished and get you to start thinking of possible things to include throughout your applications.
Remember, most accomplishments from your resume will not fit into your essays and this is to be expected. Then begin drafting one question at a time. I advise you to begin with the easiest schools or questions as your writing will improve throughout the process. However, if your timing is very tight, start with the application that is due the soonest!
Do not forget to leave plenty of time to answer the short answer questions in the application and to proof read. Whenever possible, avoid writing during the last week or two and get someone unfamiliar with your work to proof your application.
If you would like individual and personal application support, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to discuss your profile as well as how I can help!
As a Wharton and MIT graduate, I regularly help applicants navigate their applications each year. We also conduct mock interviews with former M7 and top 10 interviewers on our team.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 617-645-2424 today.