Time is the enemy of MBA applicants

Most applicants believe that gaining admission to a top MBA program is

all about writing a great application. They want to blow away the competition by submitting perfectly sculpted responses, tailored just right to each school’s specific application.

However, this leaves most waiting until mid summer, when the new applications are published, to start their admissions campaign. Valuable time has been lost, and the applicant only has 3-4 months left to meet the first-round deadline. This approach is unwise, even dangerous, for many reasons.

A winning campaign is one that is paced for the optimal combination of quality and timeliness. There are several aspects that can and should be addressed even before applications are released by the schools.

MBA admissions success starts with building the actual candidacy itself, not just writing about it. This requires careful and strategic planning months before applications are published. Every applicant has some vulnerability — professional, academic or personal — that takes time to analyze and neutralize. Future MBAs must also maximize their strengths. There’s potential to make your assets even more advantageous than you might realize.

Bottom line: MBA admissions success cannot be rushed. Researching the targeted schools, interacting with various influencers, and developing a stellar resume, recommendations, essay drafts and applications requires thoughtful outlines and drafts.

That means getting started now.

At The MBA Exchange, we help our clients get ahead of the curve in three important ways:

1. We provide a thorough, actionable analysis of their candidacy to identify which areas need improvement. Then we tell them exactly how to do it.

2. We provide customized guidance on what to do during the current school year to establish relationships with key individuals at their target schools before they vanish for summer. If you wait until the fall, there’s a high likelihood that those individuals will be busy with other matters and less responsive. So, the best time to make contact is in the spring.

3. Drawing on our 14 years of MBA admissions consulting experience and success, we help our clients get a head start on essays by providing each school’s “traditional” questions. A typical set of essays can requires 2-3 outlines and 2-3 narrative drafts spanning several weeks. And the longer an applicant waits, the more stress sets in and lowers the quality of the essays.

We urge serious applicants to step up, take charge and get started now. The MBA Exchange is here to help you turn time into your competitive advantage.