Are your Applications Ready?

Are your Applications Ready?

With the first round 1 deadline in less than 3 weeks, it is time to check on your progress and make sure your applications are solid. For some, waiting until round 2 may be the way to go if you are not quite ready.

Unsure if your applications are ready? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself.

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Do you have a well-articulated personal story?

  • Is your story clear? Does the reader walk away knowing who you are and what matters to you?
  • Are the stories consistent throughout all of the application components? Your resume, essays, short answer questions and letters of recommendation should all include the same general message. Any inconsistencies are an instant red flag!

Is it clear WHY you want an MBA?

  • Have you thought out and articulated why you want an MBA? To get promoted or to gain “business skills” are NOT good reasons.
  • While not all schools ask this question directly, all candidates should be able to explain (either in the essay or in the interview – if given the chance) the skills and experiences they hope to gain from an MBA and how they will help them attain their career goals.

Does your application include specific information about the target school?

  • Make sure that your essays include school specifics where appropriate, such as unique classes, programs, professors, etc. that you are interested in.
  • Admissions committee members read thousands of essays every year and it is easy for them to determine who is genuinely interested in a school and who crafted a generic essay. Try to connect your background and interests to the things you would like to do on campus so there is a bit of personality.

Are your letters of recommendation strong enough?

  • One of the most overlooked areas of the application is the LOR section. Even if your recommenders are not comfortable sharing their letters, there are steps you should take to ensure quality.
  • It is important to ensure your recommenders know your complete story and can write letters that help to corroborate that story.
  • If your goals or story have changed as you went through the application phase, make sure to update your recommenders.

Are your essays strong enough?

  • Do you find yourself re-reading paragraphs because you do not see how they fit into the essay?
  • It is a good idea to have someone else read your essays. Ask someone who is not extremely familiar with what you do on a daily basis. This will help to ensure you are talking about your experiences with the right level of detail for someone outside of your industry.
  • Is each essay telling the reader something about you? While a story can often add to or even make a great essay, the goal of every essay is to convince the admissions committee that you will add value on campus (and beyond). Make sure every essay sends a message about what you have to add and think about how they all connect with each other.

For a more detailed and customized plan, and individualized support with various aspects of the MBA application process such as early planning, school selection, essay editing or interview preparation, visit Personal MBA Coach.

This article has been re-published from Personal MBA Coach’s blog.

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