Your Last-Minute Application Checklist

Your Last-Minute Application Checklist

With round two deadlines approaching fast, many applicants are starting to wrap up their applications and getting ready to hit submit.

Caroline Diarte Edwards, Fortuna Admissions Co-Director and former INSEAD director of admissions, marketing and financial aid, recently offered a few tips on what to look out for before you submit your MBA application.


In more recent years, business schools as a whole have taken a more holistic and nuanced approach to assessing MBA applications. Admissions officers nowadays are looking for much more than just a strong GPA or test score, but rather a coherent and cohesive narrative within your application. Before you hit submit on your application, Edwards says, ensure you’ve built a consistent narrative that speaks to who you are.

“Every element of the application, taken together, should unify to create a picture of the real you – your accomplishments and ambitions, your potential and your individuality,” Edwards says. “Sometimes it’s a balancing act between communicating the range of skills and experience you bring to an MBA program and getting a specific message across. From the details of the application form to your resume, essays, and letters of recommendation, every piece should work in your favor, and tell a consistent, unified story.”


In addition to reviewing for consistency in your application, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for redundancy.

“If you’ve highlighted an accomplishment or leadership story in the application form, don’t go repeating the same story in your essays,” Edwards says. “Your essays, in particular, offer precious real estate to convey your uniqueness, so this is where you want to capture your reader’s attention by bringing your story to life. Redundancy in your MBA essays will be perceived as wasting the reader’s time.”


Today, social media posts are fair game for admissions officers to review when considering your application. Edwards recommends doing a quick skim of your online presence to ensure that your application checks out.

“Again, the MBA admissions will be screening for consistency across your personal and professional identities,” Edwards says. “Google your name and check your online footprint. A robust presence on LinkedIn is a must-have; at the minimum, make sure your profile is up to date. Review the privacy settings on your social accounts, check pictures you feature. You don’t want an admissions officer stumbling across something that reflects poorly on your maturity or judgment, from a snarky tweet about your boss to a photo of you partying without a mask amid social distancing mandates.”

Sources: Fortuna Admissions, P&Q

Next Page: What to do when you’re waitlisted.

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