Putting together a Superb Application (Part I)
Piecing together a full application may at first seem daunting, but applicants from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of personal and professional obligations continue to do so from year to year, in ever increasing numbers. So there is no need to feel discouraged from the outset by particular application components. Instead, begin by figuring out what you will both offer and get out of an MBA program.
There are a few guiding principles to follow in the application process.
- Match yourself to programs. Through research, going to campuses, and talking to students and/or alumni, you can begin the process of understanding what MBA programs can offer you and whether your background experiences are suited to a program. Consider the strengths of particular programs and whether these complement your interests.
- Remember also that schools want diversity. Do not assume that simply because your professional experiences are out of the ordinary for a school that it should be automatically eliminated. Your application gives you many opportunities to connect yourself to the school (and, uniqueness is a plus).
- Schools do not frown upon candidates that come from less known or small companies or less represented professions. Make your function and the function of your organization or company clear, and it will likely be a strength in your application.
- Apply in the early application rounds. B-school applications are not something to rush through.
- Send in your applications once you’ve completed them. Sometimes server problems arise at the last minute as many applicants are trying to get applications in.
- After submitting applications, take a couple of days to rest and then start preparing for interviews.
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