May is a fantastic time to begin preparing for fall MBA applications! The Admitify team is highlighting a few tips on the best ways to get started on your application journey.
The major components of the MBA application process can be broken into categories based on the duration of time each takes to prepare and the amount of control you have over that application element.
Long Lead Time and Not under Your Control: early on your journey map out the application elements that typically take longer to finalize and are not fully in your control.
- Letter of recommendation (LOR): strong LORs require introspection from the start both in identifying the appropriate recommenders and coaching them to highlight aspects of your uniqueness that are difficult for you to identify in your essays and resume. Keep in mind that the earlier you reach out to your recommenders and review the logistical requirements and deadlines for your LOR, the smoother the process will be for them. As a courtesy give your recommenders as much time as possible to draft their letters for you.
- School-specific events and networking: unique opportunities to meet the admissions team and students are sprinkled throughout the application cycle. However, these events typically are limited in quantity and bound to specific dates/times not under your control (and campus visits may be limited in the summer). Finding an opportunity to visit campus, sit in on a class, or attend a club event as a prospective student, will enable you to better articulate the program’s unique aspects and culture in your application and interview. Specific conferences/visits for diversity, veteran, or women candidates are an additional opportunity to engage with the school but will require early planning and in some cases, will require an application.
Long Lead Time and Under Your Control: for longer lead application elements under your control, time management is key. The earlier you plan out your actions the better.
- Standardized tests (GMAT/GRE): figure out which test will fit your test-taking abilities better. Next, determine your study approach. Will you need a formal prep service? Are you disciplined enough to study on your own? Or are you one of those (very) rare individuals that study for a week and then are able to ace a standardized test? Be realistic about your study approach early on; otherwise you will waste valuable time that could be used for your resume, essays, or LOR preparation.
- Resume: start by updating your resume with your current position and extracurricular involvements. Take advantage of resume advice offered by the MBA programs such as Tuck. Tuck’s 360 Blog specifically offers a resume writing guide for prospective candidates (here) and a unique resume template (here). Your Admitify consultant can also share our resume template and provide tips on presenting your profile as effectively as possible.
- Essays: The toughest and arguably most important element of the application are the essays. Of any application element, they require the most introspection and potentially the most time/iteration. The more you know yourself, your goals, and what you bring to the table, the better you will be able to articulate them in writing in the essays and later in your interview. At Admitify, we recommend that you use the introspection process to come up with a personal “handle” that conveys the themes/differentiators you want your application to communicate. Before you start writing, build an outline and work with your Admitify consultant to identify the stories that will most vividly present your unique story to the admissions reader.
As you dive into your application journey, contact Admitify for expert guidance to support you along each step of the process.