Personal MBA Coach’s Accelerated 7-Week MBA Application Plan

Fall is flying by and the winter holidays are just around the corner. While many of us are looking forward to the upcoming holiday season, it is also a reminder that round 2 MBA application deadlines will be here before we know it. This may just be the time to start firming up a good plan for the deadline ahead!

To keep you on track, Personal MBA Coach has included a roundup of application deadlines below along with our advice on how to best use the next ~two months. While many of our clients are well into the editing phase with finalized school lists and testing under their belts, if you are just getting started, we can help you get back on track.

* Deadline is a round 3 deadline

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Here is our accelerated 7-week MBA Application Plan:

Week 1: Finalize your school list and testing plans

If you have not yet taken the GMAT/GRE or have yet to achieve your target score, you should schedule your test and begin your test preparation ASAP. While you can take the test at any time during this 7-week window, be sure to develop a concrete plan today.

Similarly, if you have not finalized your school lists, that should be priority number 1. Do online research, speak to current students or alumni within your networks and attend any school events or tours near you. There may not be adequate time to plan a campus visit before you apply, but do not let this deter you from applying this year if the time is right for you.

Week 2: Select and prepare your recommenders and develop your MBA resume

Next, you should be selecting your recommenders. I have written extensively on selecting and preparing your recommenders in case you need help deciding who you should ask to write on your behalf or determining what information to provide them with. Remember, well thought out letters take time and your recommenders are busy; do not wait any longer to ask them, especially with the holidays just around the corner.

In addition, all applicants will need an MBA resume – more on this here. As an added benefit, developing this resume will force you to take stock of your accomplishments, helping you to determine what to include throughout your applications.

Weeks 3, 4 & 5: Write, Write, Write

Ideally, we want to have at least one month for this process. However, if you are diligent (we suggest our clients send a new draft every 2 days and return edits within 2 days) this timeline is possible. First, get your thoughts on paper. Think through your career goals, why you want an MBA, what you hope to learn from the program and what makes you unique. Most accomplishments from your resume will not fit into your essays and this is to be expected. Then begin drafting one question at a time. I advise you to begin with the easiest schools or questions as your writing will improve throughout the process. However, if your timing is very tight start with the application due first.

Week 6: Short Answer Questions

Do not forget to leave plenty of time to answer the short answer questions. Read each requirement carefully (often candidates get thrown off by questions with character limits vs word limits) and minimize repetition.

Week 7: Proofread!

Be sure to leave PLENTY of time to proof read. Whenever possible, avoid writing during the last week or two and get someone (unfamiliar with your work) to proof your application. Our clients’ applications are proof read by an expert proofreader who was not involved during the application development process.

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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