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Top 7 Steps All MBA Applicants Should Be Taking Now

Much as the old adage describes, “complacency breeds mediocrity,” so too does complacency breed middling applications. Take the following timely steps in May to position yourself for MBA application success.

1. Answer these three questions: Why an MBA? Why now? Why that particular school?
We cannot stress enough the importance of being able to answer these questions effectively and comprehensively to help you get in, as well as to confirm that business school is the right choice for you. This requires you to ask even more personal questions of yourself. Is an MBA worth your money and the time? What impact will it have on you personally? How will it help your career? What if you got your MBA next year or the year after? What does that scenario look like?

2. Increase your score.
Did you take the GMAT, GRE or TOEFL? If you want to raise your initial score, you still have plenty of time to retake the test, and with the right amount of preparation. Consider working with a testing or admissions expert to increase your GMAT or GRE score.

3. Nurture your recommenders.
Ideally, the best recommenders are not just those individuals who agree to write a letter on your behalf, they are your mentors. Start having conversations with them about what you want to do and why you want to go to b-school and discuss their own b-school. Before one can write you a strong letter of recommendation, they have to really know you, which happens through time and communication.

4. Get to know the MBA programs and players.
To be a successful applicant, you must be able to demonstrate deep knowledge of the MBA program to which you are applying. Look beyond the website to expand your knowledge. This means attending the various information sessions, tours and events that the admission office sponsors.

5. Make a personal connection.
Reach out to friends, alumni, professors, and get their view of the school. Engage their feedback on what it’s really like to be there, common student qualities and culture, the admissions process, and any suggestions for getting admitted.

6. Sharpen your school list.
Invoke a 3+3+3 rule: identify three schools that are your reach schools, three that are your target schools, and three that are your likely schools. The list may only have 3, 4, or 5 schools on it because this year you are targeting the very top schools. For others, it may look like a 4+4+4 list because you want to go to school next year and you have to cast a wide net. Either way, start finalizing it so you can start to get to know the schools (see #3 and #4).

7. Commit and go all in.
It time to decide whether or not you will be applying to school this year. If the answer is yes, then pull out all stops. If it is maybe, then decide right now.

Yes, April showers do bring May flowers, along with a list of b-school applications prep. Taking the 7 aforementioned steps in May will prepare you for the next phase of the highly competitive MBA application process.

About Stratus

Stratus Admissions Counseling is a full service admissions counseling firm distinguished by its team based, multi-step process ensuring each application is crafted for optimum impact. Our MBA counseling team has a representative from virtually every top 20 MBA program, enabling us to provide school-specific guidance.

 

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