Ready, Set, Go! – Don’t wait for MBA Applications to be announced. Here’s what to do starting today?
You intend to apply to business school this year, right? And you’re you waiting until schools publish their new applications or taking the GMAT or GRE before launching your campaign because you believe this is the most logical, efficient and effective approach, right? Unfortunately, you are wrong.
Each day that you delay action will only reduce your ultimate chances for admission. Based on three decades of advising over 5,000 MBA applicants, The MBA Exchange has some strong advice that merits consideration – and action – starting now.
- Review your latest resume/CV.
You probably have some responsibilities, experiences and accomplishments that aren’t reflected in your current resume/CV. Since such things often happen quickly, documenting and describing them may have taken a backseat. Take a step back now and add some notes on your current resume summarizing this additional content before you forget. If the details are already fuzzy, ask a trusted friend or colleague to help you recall the specifics.
- Revisit your undergraduate transcript.
It’s human nature to disregard our own frailties, frustrations and disappointments. This includes that sub-par grade from an ill-advised college course you wish you could erase. Well, ignoring that grade won’t help you avoid the critical eye of MBA admissions officers when they scrutinize your transcript. Rather than pretend the class never happened, you should consider how you may be able to mitigate its negative effect while there’s ample time to do so.
- Understand your true competitiveness.
Getting a handle on the strengths, vulnerabilities and potential of your MBA candidacy is like receiving a detailed roadmap for the admissions journey ahead. An expert evaluation of your academic, professional and personal background will enable you to frame strategies, prioritize tactics and build a timeline for success. Did you know that you can get a personalized, in-depth assessment from us for free? Our former admissions officers and savvy MBA grads are eager to hear from you!
- Put the GMAT or GRE behind you.
The sooner you achieve your best possible score, the sooner you can finalize your target list of schools and focus on the other elements of your admissions campaign. Have you taken practice or actual tests, read popular prep books, completed prep classes, but still haven’t reached your highest potential? If so, it’s time to start working one-on-one with a skilled test tutor to help you pinpoint and overcome the obstacles to achieving your optimal score.
- Visit your target business schools.
Experiencing the campus and surrounding community of schools you’re considering is not only smart, it’s valuable. Visits will help you confirm your targets and show adcoms you’re serious about attending if admitted. The best time to go is in the spring, when classes are winding down, recruiting season is over, students are more approachable, and the weather is friendlier. That said, check the school’s official academic calendar before you finalize your travel plans. Visiting when classes are in session offers the best chance to determine if a school is for you.
- Cultivate potential recommenders.
Even if you’re certain whom to approach for recommendations, there may be a few surprises awaiting you. Perhaps they’ll be exceptionally busy with other duties. Possibly they won’t be as enthused about your candidacy as you think. They may want to know more about you before writing a rec. Or another MBA applicant might get to them first! In any case, it can only help to strengthen your relationships with potential recommenders now so they’ll be receptive and ready to help when you need them.
- Get a head start on your competition.
Thousands of other qualified MBA applicants will continue to wait until the new applications are published before commencing their admissions campaigns. That’s great news for you! Don’t underestimate the value of starting now on key aspects of your campaign that require more time (and are not impacted by the actual application).
Bottom line: a longer… better planned … more strategic … less stressful MBA admissions campaign that begins today is more likely to produce a better outcome. Why are you still waiting?