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Personal MBA Coach’s Guide To Kicking Off Your MBA Application

Personal MBA Coach’s Guide To Kicking Off Your MBA Application

MBA admissions directors have been busy the past few weeks finalizing their 2019-2020 MBA application essays. Harvard, Kellogg, Wharton, UVA Darden, Dartmouth Tuck, Columbia Business School and Michigan Ross (and more) have already released their latest requirements.

This means it is time to kick your MBA application efforts into high gear.

To help you make the most of your time and avoid last minute cramming (which is never great for anyone), Personal MBA Coach has put together this 3-stage plan and task list to keep you on track!

Stage 1: Pre-Application Planning

MBA hopefuls can begin checking off items in this initial list any time. If you have done all the below already (perhaps you have already followed our MBA Kick-Start Guide), good for you, skip to stage 2! On the other hand, if you just decided that an MBA is the right next step for you or just decided to get serious about your applications, you still have plenty of time to work on items in the pre-planning stage.

  • Solidify your GMAT preparation plan
  • Customize your resumefor your MBA applications
    • Your MBA resume should differ from your professional one and focus on leadership, results and transferable skills
    • While you may need to tweak your resume to add the latest details, we advise our clients to get most of their resume development work out of the way as soon as possible
  • Fine-tune your career goals
    • Putting pencil to paper (so to speak) on your career goals now will save you time while developing your essays
  • Narrow down your school lists
    • Your final list may change (particularly if your GMAT score is not what you expected), but it is ideal to hone in on your target list ASAP.
    • This will also help you focus your efforts prior to attending The MBA Tour this July!
  • Assess your personal story
    • Give extra thought to your personal story and what makes you unique
    • Keep this story in mind as you outline your essays
  • Begin to identify potential recommenders
    • Think about who will write the best letters (not just who is the most impressive on paper!) and put out feelers

Stage 2: Time to dive in

  • Essays, Essays, Essays
    • As soon as the essay questions are released (or as soon as you have finished stage 1) begin brainstorming and outlining!
    • Plan to develop multiple drafts and allow plenty of time for editing
  • Continue GMAT preparation and take your GMAT
    • While candidates can take the test at the end of the application process, the sooner you can get your test out of the way, the better.
    • Not only will this free up time to work on your essays but it will also give you a better idea of the schools within your reach
    • Remember, many candidates take the test multiple times so plan accordingly
  • Finalize and prepare your recommenders
    • Nail down your recommenders and schedule time to prepare them appropriately
  • Court your target schools
    • Attend The MBA Tour event nearest you
    • Speak with current students and alumni in your network to learn more about their programs
    • Attend local admissions sponsored events
    • These steps will not only help you to confirm your interest, but they will also give you strong material for your applications.(Some schools specifically ask who you talked to, so do not forget this step)

Stage 3: Leave plenty of time for the finishing touches

  • Wrap up your essays
    • Most Round 1 applicants should finalize their applications by August
    • We advise clients to lock their essays at least 2-3 weeks in advance of deadlines
    • Last minute changes are rarely for the better
  • Ensure LORs are ready to go
    • Follow up with your recommenders and make sure they are on track
    • Ask your recommenders if they need any additional information from you
  • Work on short answer questions
    • Allocate enough time for short answer questions
    • Often these questions take longer than you might think and are an important part of the application
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread
    • ALWAYS get someone unfamiliar with your applications to do a thorough review
    • We use a separate proofreader to do final application checks
Need personal support? Founded by a Wharton and MIT graduate, Personal MBA Coach regularly helps applicants navigate their applications each year. As the #4 ranked admissions consultant on Poets & Quants, our comprehensive support includes mock interviews with a team of former M7 interviewers and customized GMAT/GRE tutoring with tutors who scored in the 99th percentile.

Personal MBA Coach has been guiding candidates through all aspects of the MBA application process for over 11 years with a 96% success rate. Call us today at +1 617-645-2424 or email for a free consultation on your profile along with how we can help make your MBA dreams a reality!

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