Preparing your MBA application already? Good for you! This week Angela Guido talks about MBA application preparation, MBA prep resources and how you can boost your MBA application in advance. Those MBA deadlines will arrive sooner than you know it, so it’s really important to get ahead of the MBA application timeline to make sure yours is one of many successful MBA applications next year! Good luck! We'll be here every Monday for more business school application advice.
Career Game Plan:
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Starting Your MBA Application Preparation
It's spring, which means that MBA applications for most of you are still pretty far away, it can seem like an eternity when you're looking ahead to September, but it's going to come up faster than you think. So today I'm talking about the three things that you can do in the next few months to get ready for MBA applications this fall.
- The number one thing that you want to focus on now and get it out of the way, ideally before June, is the GMAT or the GRE, whatever test you're taking and please watch many of our other videos, we talk a lot about the test because it's a big deal in MBA applications. Get that test out of the way. The last thing you want is to be limping along at the end of August, early September, still trying to nail down your test score. If it happens that way, it's not the end of the world. But since for most people, it takes a good three months to really fully prepare and ace the test to the very best of your ability, that's the number one thing you want to get out of the way right now.
- In parallel, while you're working on your test scores, begin doing career research. This is action number two for the spring. When you apply to business school, you really want to have a dynamic career game plan. I talk a lot about this on MBA Mondays, so check out the description below for some more links to videos that will help you build your career game plan. Conducting genuine research on the career path that you want to follow is going to dramatically strengthen your MBA application when the time comes. It's also the kind of thing that doesn't cram very well. So when you're hustling to write essays in August, that's not a great time to be trying to set up informational interviews with alumni who work in the kinds of companies that you think you want to work in post-MBA. You don't want to be doing career research at the last minute. So take the time now to go and find out what kinds of companies, what kinds of functions and industries you're interested in, and then use your existing network to talk to people who have those jobs, learn about what those jobs are all about, what they entail, and to what extent you genuinely would enjoy doing them, so that when you're submitting your personal statements and your career game plan. You've really got the experience. You know what you're talking about. There's also a link in the description to an informational interview guide that you can use when you're talking to people in the kinds of jobs that you want to have to help really suss out what the job is all about.
- The third thing you want to be doing this spring to get ready for the fall is school research. Again, a topic that we talk a lot about on MBA Monday. So check out our other videos about school research. But similarly, this is not something that crams super well. If you had to do all of your school research in one week in August, you could do it. But again, it's always better to get these sorts of longer-term tasks out of the way as soon as possible. So, take the time over the next few months to attend events, network with students, read student blogs, read about the school's values, about their curriculum, about famous professors, maybe read a book or to check out our post on what you should be reading while you're applying to business school. Maybe do a little bit of that, check out books by the most famous professors at the schools that you want to go to. So again, you've got this rich sense of what each school is all about. And if you do all of that, not only will you be setting yourself up for success when the essays come out and you really then have to start focusing on building the application itself, but all of this work is going to actually motivate you to do a better job when the time comes. The more excited you are about your post-MBA career and the schools that you're planning to apply to, the more enthusiasm is going to come across in your applications and the easier it will be to keep going when the going gets tough, as it very well might if you're following piece of advice number one, working on the test score or even when work is piled on your head in August and the essays are due in a week and your recommenders haven't responded to emails. I guarantee there are moments in this process that it can be really tough. So the more you can get yourself inspired and excited about the MBA right now through all of this great research, the better and more effective the whole process will be.