A typical business school application requires that the applicant assemble, refine and package five distinct elements: Resume, transcript, recommendations, short-answer questions and essays. Some of those elements are easy to produce, some are difficult, all important. In any case, it is the sum total of them that will make or break an MBA candidacy in the eyes of the gatekeepers.
So, what’s your mindset and process for getting this done right? Are you convening a mob? Or staging a parade?
Convening a Mob
Does your overall admissions campaign lack structure? Are you collecting odds and ends without considering how they mesh? Are you feeling stressed about how your candidacy will be perceived? Does your application lack a clear purpose? Well, if you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, you’re at risk of being viewed negatively and denied by the admissions committee at your dream schools.
But don’t get depressed. You can still turn around your campaign by breaking up that mob and lining up a campaign that will generate nods and smiles. Here’s some actionable advice and guidance from The MBA Exchange…
Staging a Parade
What do people love about parades? Passion. Energy. Orderliness. Excellence. That’s the impression that you want to make on MBA adcoms, so plan your admissions campaign with that vision in mind. Here’s your 4-step checklist to make it happen:
• Efficient process
Plan in advance when and how you’re going to develop each piece of your application package — resume, transcript, recommendations, short-answer questions and essays. A good place to begin is with a free evaluation of your candidacy so you’ll know what needs more work and what is already beneficial.
• Emphasis on quality
Assume that the adcom is going to make their decision based solely on each component of your application. So, invest the thought and effort to make each piece sparkle as if your candidacy depends on it – because that may be true.
• Pacing and spacing
Structure the five elements to complement each other rather than repeat or conflict. Avoid holes, gaps and redundancy that could distract the reader. Give each element room to convey something powerful about your past, present or future.
• Confidence and pride
Present your case with facts and feelings that convey the belief that you truly belong in the MBA community you’re targeting. Show the reader why your value proposition is more robust than those of other applicants whose credentials are as strong or maybe even stronger.
With vision, determination and dedication, you can create and present a “parade” that will stir the hearts and minds of admissions officers when analyzing and comparing your candidacy with others. So, strike up the band and go for it!