Round 2 MBA application deadlines are under 2 months away. If you are just getting started now (perhaps recent economic conditions have prompted a last-minute MBA application rush?), do not worry! Personal MBA Coach would like to offer some advice to help you stay on course to get your applications in on time!
As Personal MBA Coach has recently shared, round 2 this year may be a great time to apply! While you do not have much time to waste, if you are organized and heed this advice, round 2 MBA application deadlines are still within reach!
To succeed, you will have to multitask, working on multiple application components at the same time.
Feeling the crunch? Here is Personal MBA Coach’s 7-Week Plan!
Week 1: School List
The first step is to finalize your school list. Think clearly about location, special programs or specializations, school culture and emphasis, size of the school, and size of the MBA program class. What sets the school apart? Does it meet your particular needs?
Think about the resources of the campus as a whole: going to Yale School of Management gives you access to the resources of the entire Yale campus; similarly, going to Stanford Graduate School of Business places you at the center of the entire Stanford hub of innovation.
But each top MBA program has a bit of a different feel and culture. Talk to students or alums ASAP and find out which programs might be a good fit for you.
Also, think about your future goals: are you interested in pursuing work related to the environment? Do you want to run a nonprofit? Research the best business schools for that interest.
Keep in mind: Personal MBA Coach’s average client applies to six schools.
Week 1: GMAT/GRE/EA (if needed)
While you are finalizing your school list, if you have not yet taken the GMAT/GRE/EA, you likely need to schedule your test and begin preparing ASAP. Most schools require the GMAT or GRE, but some accept the Executive Assessment; some do not require any. In fact, Kellogg recently announced that candidates laid off from a tech job are eligible for a round 2 waiver.
While you are researching your schools, make a detailed list of any relevant test requirements and deadlines.
Weeks 1 & 2: Letters of Recommendation & Resume
Simultaneously, while you are working on those fronts, identify your strongest recommenders and ask them for a letter of support. Personal MBA Coach recommends choosing people who know you very well and are your fans, but who also will take the time to write a thoughtful, relevant letter. Good letters of recommendation take effort and precision; you should meet with your recommenders and discuss your goals, accomplishments, and dreams. The process requires engagement on your part as well as that of the recommenders: make sure you have a list of points about you for your recommender to emphasize and explore.
You also will need an MBA resume. An MBA resume has a certain format and style. While you prepare this, pay attention to your accomplishments, career progression, skills you have acquired, and leadership roles you have held: these will be helpful in writing your essays.
Weeks 2 through 6: Essays
After you have put those irons in the fire, turn to your essays. Personal MBA Coach suggests looking at all the essay questions for all your target schools and identifying those that are similar. At least one of your schools is likely to require what is called a “goals essay,” which asks that you detail your future goals and how the school will help you reach them.
A helpful exercise here is to write down your goals, both short-term and long-term, in detail—a good paragraph each. Even if the school essay does not require a goal statement, you will be asked for some version of your career objectives somewhere in the application, and those goals will come in handy.
While studying the essay questions, think carefully about your accomplishments, special experiences you bring to the table, and your commitments and values: those are usually at the heart of all the applications.
Once you have identified your topics, start writing. Personal MBA Coach recommends starting with the essay that feels most natural to you, as your writing and approach will improve as you go, but keep in mind the deadlines as well. You may need to edit your essays a number of rounds, so give yourself at least two to three weeks for the essays. Wondering how to write the best MBA essays? Check out these tips from Personal MBA Coach.
Week 6: Short Answers, Video Essays, and Other Application Components
Most schools require additional pieces such as short essays, short answers, and videos. Those can be time-consuming and laborious. Personal MBA Coach recommends doing the short answers, one school at a time. Then, see what information you can leverage across multiple schools. Pay attention to character counts versus word counts! Remember, wherever possible these answers should enhance your overall application, not repeat what you have already said. However, some overlap with your resume is expected here.
Week 7: Proofread
This brings you to the last week. Proof, proof, and proof again to make sure all your materials are as clean and tight as possible. Ask someone to read your final copy to make sure you have caught any mistakes, incongruities, or holes. At Personal MBA Coach, client applications are proofread by an expert proofreader after the editing process is complete.
Need help? Reach out to Personal MBA Coach today.
Scott Edinburgh is a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan BS graduate and founded Personal MBA Coach 15 years ago with the goal of providing customized one-on-one support. Scott also serves on the Board of Directors for AIGAC, the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants, and is invited to speak at MBA Admissions events globally. Our clients have been accepted to all top schools globally with a 96% success rate. They received $6.5M+ in scholarships last cycle.