Scott Edinburgh
May 2, 2018

Personal MBA Coach’s 4-Month MBA Application Plan

With just 4 months until the first of the fall 2018 application deadlines, now is the time to kick your application strategy into full gear (if you have not already)! For many of our clients, we are already well into the process.

Unsure where to start? Personal MBA Coach has put together this 4-month plan to keep you on track. Keep in mind, this is only a guide and we develop detailed customized timelines for each client in response to individual circumstances.

Month 1 (May):

  • Finalize your school lists: If you have not already finalized your school lists, now is the time to make these decisions. Essay questions will be available shortly, if they aren’t already, and this will allow you to get a jump start on your applications, networking and campus visits. Personal MBA Coach has published multiple articles to guide you through the school selection process.

  • Schedule campus visits: If you have not visited campuses and are in a geographic position to do so, schedule those visits now.

  • Finalize plans to take/re-take GMAT/GRE (if you have not already): By May, most of our candidates have already taken the GMAT/GRE. If you have not yet taken the test or are looking to improve your score, this is time to do so.

  • Develop your MBA resume:  All MBA applications require a resume. You may be thinking: “No problem, I already have a resume.” Unfortunately, it is not that easy. A business school resume differs from a professional. Check-out these tips for customizing your business school resume.

Month 2 (June):

  • Develop your personal story and articulate your goals: Strong essays will almost always include a clear personal story and well-articulated career goals. Before you begin drafting, do some soul searching around what makes you unique and how exactly an MBA will position you for career success.

  • Nail down your recommenders: It goes without saying that strong letters of recommendation are key. If you have not already finalized your recommender list, now is the time.

  • Draft your essays: This one is pretty self-explanatory! As the essay questions are released, start drafting!

Month 3 (July):

  • Edit, edit, edit: This is the time to ensure your essays are perfected! Most essays will require multiple drafts so plan accordingly.

  • 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 is too much of a good thing so do not go overboard here.

Month 4 (August):

  • Fill out your applications: Allow time for the 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.

Want a more detailed and customized plan? Personal MBA Coach is here to help. If you would like individual and personal support with any aspect of the MBA application process, including early planning, school selection, GMAT/GRE tutoring, essay editing or interview preparation with former M7 interviewers, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to learn how I can help!

As a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan BS graduate, I have been helping candidates get into the schools of their dreams with a 96% success rate for over 10 years. Last year we not only got applicants into all top programs, but also helped them to receive over $4.5M in fellowships. Email me today at: