With only a few weeks left for business schools to accept applications, the anxiety is rising, pressure is palpable, and stress abounds for many MBA candidates. However, this doesn’t need to be such a painful experience. In fact, excessive emotion can become a distraction that keeps you from finalizing and submitting your strongest possible application.
So, here are some action steps suggested by The MBA Exchange to help you overcome nervousness and increase your chances for success:
1. Put your application aside, and then revisit it tomorrow with fresh eyes.
After a good night’s sleep, you may spot some obvious areas for improvement that would have been missed if you’d looked at the same content while fatigued. A well-rested applicant is better able to focus on and refine content that might have seemed “perfect” one day earlier.
2. “Speak” your essays aloud instead of just silently reading them.
To ensure clarity, authenticity and impact when assessed by the admissions committee, your essays should be easily understood and motivating when you read them aloud. So, find a quiet room and find out how your candidacy really “sounds.” You might be surprised by what you hear.
3. Be careful who you ask to do a review.
It can be very tempting to have a friend or relative read your final application before you submit it to the school. Even if you tell them to “just check the spelling and grammar,” their well-intended but off-base criticism of content and style might undermine your confidence and prompt you to start over unnecessarily to the detriment of your app.
4. Get a second opinion from an admissions expert.
The objectivity, experience and precision of a professional admissions consultant can be incredibly valuable at this point. Consider having them do a thorough review including actionable guidance on what to add, delete or change. This kind of feedback can make a huge difference in the results of your campaign.
5. Discover how your candidacy looks from an adcom perspective.
It would be ideal if you could submit your app to the school, get their preliminary impression, and then tweak it again before sending your final version. However, there’s no way to do that in the real world. The next best option is to have a former admissions officer analyze your final draft and tell you with confidence whether they would recommend “admission, denial or waitlist.” With that insight, you can make any additional changes before sending the app to your dream school. Think of it as a “road test” before you actually buy an expensive new car.
These 5 action steps can help your MBA candidacy shine and make the last days before the application deadline a chance for calm reflection, personal pride, and positive anticipation!