• Scott Edinburgh

Personal MBA Coach’s Accelerated 7-Week MBA Application Plan

Fall is flying by and the winter holidays are just around the corner. While many of us are looking forward to the upcoming holiday season (despite the unique circumstances this year), with it comes a reminder that Round 2 MBA application deadlines will be here before we know it.

To help keep you on track, Personal MBA Coach has included a roundup of application deadlines below along with our advice on how to best use the next two months or so. While many of our clients are well into the editing phase, with finalized school lists and the GMAT/GRE under their belts, we can help you get on track if you are just getting started.

Please find Personal MBA Coach’s accelerated seven-week MBA application plan below.

Week 1: Finalize Your School List and Testing Plans

If you have not taken the GMAT/GRE or have yet to achieve your target score, you should schedule your test and begin your test preparation as soon as possible. While you can take the test at any time during this seven-week window, be sure to develop a concrete plan today. Applicants should also be mindful of some “test deadlines” based on the school.

Similarly, if you have not finalized your school lists, this should be priority number one. Do online research, speak to current students or alumni within your networks, and attend any virtual events or tours. For more guidance, take a look at our MBA Decision Making Guide.

Week 2: Select and Prepare Your Recommenders and Develop Your MBA Resume

Next, you should be selecting your recommenders. Personal MBA Coach has written extensively on selecting and preparing your recommenders in case you need help deciding whom you should ask to write on your behalf or determining 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, especially with the holidays just around the corner.

In addition, all applicants will need an MBA resume – more on this here. As an added benefit, developing this resume will force you to take stock of your accomplishments, helping you determine what to include throughout your applications.

Weeks 3, 4 and 5: Write, Write, Write

Ideally, you want to allow at least one month for the essay writing process. However, if you are diligent, a three-week timeline is possible, depending on the number of schools you apply to.

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. (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. Personal MBA Coach recommends beginning with the easiest schools or questions, as your writing will improve throughout the process. If your timing is very tight, however, start with the application due first.

Week 6: Answer Short-Answer Questions

Remember to leave plenty of time to answer the short-answer questions. Read each requirement carefully and minimize repetition. Candidates often confuse character limits vs. word limits, so be mindful of which is stated under each question. If the question sets character limits, remember that “characters” also includes spaces.

Week 7: Proofread!

Be sure to leave PLENTY of time to proofread. Whenever possible, avoid writing during the last week or two and get someone unfamiliar with your work to proofread your application. Our clients’ applications also are proofread by expert proofreaders who were not involved with the application development process.

About Personal MBA Coach:

Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach is consistently ranked #1 or #2.

We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing and mock interviews. Our team includes a former M7 admission director and former M7 admissions interviewers.

Last year, our clients earned more than $5.5M in scholarships!

You also may like these other blog articles:

How to Think About MBA Goals

Less Is More When it Comes to Writing Compelling MBA Application Essays

From Berkeley Haas to Yale SOM: MBA Essay Analysis Beyond the M7

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