This time last year, I was working eighty-hour weeks on a particularly challenging reality show, and March through August were basically an MBA application black hole. Other applicants were using this precious time to polish their resumes, draft essays, and do informational interviews about schools they were interested in…and I was trying really hard to get a full night’s sleep once or twice a week.
I didn’t want to lose too much momentum with my applications, so I tried to find easy, quick, convenient ways to keep my head in the game. And I’m now working on a series of quick, fifteen-minute application tasks to help you do the same!
This first tip is about signing up for newsletters from MBA-centric websites, admissions consultants, and GMAT prep companies. I loved passively getting great MBA content in my inbox every day when I was deep in production — it kept my MBA aspirations front-of-mind and provided me with valuable insights, news, and educational opportunities.
The List of Lists
As you can probably tell from this list, I’m a big fan of volume and of having a variety of perspectives and sources of information. If you are a less compulsive signer-upper than I am, test drive these sites out to see who you want to hear from. I’ve included a little blurb about each to get you started.
Also, a lot of these people are trying to get you to sign up for / pay for their services. If that gives you hives, skip the admissions consulting and GMAT prep lists. But keep in mind that their free resources and content are also really valuable! Now without further ado…
General application resources (news, advice, and articles about business):
- Forté Foundation’s Business 360 Blog — Forté is all about advancing women in business, and their e-mails feature business articles and the occasional profile of a Forté alumna.
- GMAT Club — A huge message-board-based network of thousands of MBA applicants. I didn’t use GMAT Club much when I was applying, but I know folks who absolutely loved it.
- Poets and Quants — News about everything MBA, from rankings to interviews with admissions directors, to current events at individual schools and admissions advice. I love their e-mails!
- The Consortium — The Consortium is committed to advancing underrepresented minorities in business. Expect articles about diversity in business, as well as alumni profiles.
Admissions consulting companies (they send out discounts and content about applying, and they almost all offer a free consultation — working on an upcoming post about those):
- accepted.com — Accepted’s founder Linda Abraham spoke to our Forté MBALaunch group, and I loved her no-nonsense vibe. She knows what she’s doing! Accepted offers a bunch of webinars, as well as application tips catered to individual schools.
- Admissionado — I love Admissionado’s casual style. They have great breakdowns of schools’ essay questions and feature advice from students who were accepted to top schools.
- Clear Admit — Admissions tips, webinars, and discounts for Clear Admit’s products and services (their school snapshots and guides are helpful for research).
- Fortuna Admissions — Fortuna is a great company to engage with because all of their consultants were admissions officers at top business schools who are consistently published in Forbes and the like.
- mbaMission — Essay tips and other admissions advice. They have a lot of opportunities to engage online, like webinars and their fabulous Boot Camp, which I took last summer with a discount from the Forté MBALaunch program (another reason to love Forté, ladies!).
- Stacy Blackman — These guys tend to send out a lot of great encouraging motivational content, which is such a great gift to find in your inbox!
Content from MBA programs (for new research from top schools and news from schools you’re interested in):
- Harvard Business Review
- Stanford GSB Insights
- Most schools’ admissions committees keep blogs to give advice to and market to applicants, so sign up for updates from the schools you’re interested in / applying to. (Like Kellogg’s!)
- Also a good idea to follow the schools and / or adcoms on social media (usually Facebook and Twitter) to get updates and advice as you apply.
GMAT Resources (more discounts and free bite-sized GMAT strategies):
- The Economist GMAT Pulse Blog — The Economist offers an online GMAT tutoring service that I’ve heard rave reviews of from other applicants.
- Manhattan Prep — Test prep company with online and in-person classes, as well as tutoring. Lots of GMAT tips and info about different scholarships and opportunities available through Manhattan Prep.
- Veritas Prep — Test prep company with online and in-person classes. I loved their practice tests! They also offer admissions consulting, so their content is a mix of GMAT and admish stuff.
I hope you find these resources as helpful as I did. If there are other tips or resources you’d like to learn more about, drop me a line!
Image courtesy of MTV Films / Paramount Pictures.