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3 Key Habits of Successful MBA Applicants

Navigating the ever-changing realm of MBA admissions requires a blend of strategy, diligence, and adaptability. If there’s one thing that successful candidates share, however, it’s a commitment to foundational habits that stand the test of time.

Donna Bauman, an admissions consultant at Stratus Admissions Counseling, recently shared practical insights into key traits and habits that all successful clients share in landing an acceptance letter from a top B-school.


If there’s one thing you can control best in the admissions process, it’s the time you put into your applications. Bauman says all successful clients have a structured timeline that allows them to meticulously craft their application.

“It takes time to reflect upon your career goals and your need for an MBA to fill knowledge gaps,” Bauman says. “It also takes time to research MBA programs and determine how to tell your story. When our clients begin their introspection process in the spring, they have more time to understand their own motivations and core strengths. They also have more time to research MBA programs, update their resume, and secure the best recommenders.”


In addition to time management, many of Bauman’s most successful clients identify their weaknesses early on and put in time and effort to improve.

“Whether they take the GMAT Focus multiple times or decide to take the GRE or even the Executive Assessment, our most successful clients understand their weaknesses and create a plan to address them,” Bauman says. “However, these plans take time to implement. It can take several months to improve a GRE or GMAT Focus score or to complete an additional financial accounting or statistics course to show a school that you are prepared for the quantitative rigor of the program.”


No applicant is perfect. And the most successful applicants know this about themselves. Bauman says successful candidates tend to be more open to receiving feedback and follow through on making improvements.

“Sometimes the advice is about digging deeper into school research, refining career goals, or sharing specific support in your essays to tell your story in a more engaging way,” Bauman says. “Whatever the feedback, my most successful clients listen and respond to the advice their advisors provide.”

Sources: Stratus Admissions Counseling, US News

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