• Scott Edinburgh

Are your MBA applications ready?

With the first of the round 2 deadlines in 2 weeks, it is time to do a status check on your progress and make sure your applications are solid. For some of you, waiting until next year (or for a select few considering round 3) may be the way to go.

Unsure if your applications are ready? Here are a few things to look out for.


  • Is your story clear? Does the reader walk away knowing who you are and what matters to you?

  • Are the stories consistent throughout all of the application components? Your resume, essays, short answer questions and letters of recommendation should all include the same general message. Any inconsistencies are an instant red flag!

Why MBA?

  • Have you clearly thought out and articulated why you want an MBA? To get promoted or to gain business skills are not good reasons.

  • While not all schools ask this question, all candidates should be able to clearly explain (either in the essay or in the interview – if given the chance) the skills and experiences they hope to gain from an MBA and how it will help them attain their career goals.

School Specifics

  • Make sure that your essays include school specifics where appropriate.

  • Admissions committee members read thousands of essays every year and it is easy for them to determine who is genuinely interested in a school and who crafted a generic essay.


  • One of the most overlooked areas of the application is the recommendation section.

  • Ensure your recommenders know your complete story and can write letters that help to corroborate that story.

  • If your goals or story changed as you went through the application phase, make sure to update your recommenders.

Essay Quality

  • Are your essays really strong enough?

  • Do you find yourself re-reading paragraphs because you don’t see how they fit into the essay?

  • It is a good idea to have someone else read your essays. Ask someone who isn’t extremely familiar with what you do on a daily basis. This will help to ensure you are talking about your experiences with the right level of detail for someone outside of your industry.

  • Is your essay telling the reader something about you? While a story can often add to or even make a great essay, the goal of every essay is to convince the admissions committee that you will add value on campus (and beyond). Make sure every essay sends a message about what you have to add.

Remember, if you have any doubts reading these tips, Personal MBA Coach is here to help with all aspects of the application process! If you would like individual and personal support, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to learn how I can help!

As an MIT Sloan BS graduate and Wharton MBA grad, I have been helping candidates get into the schools of their dreams with a 96% success rate for over 10 years. Email me today at:

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