Holy crap it’s December!! I just narrowly survived finals (YAY!), and you are in the final stretch into submitting R2 applications. Hopefully at this point you’ve taken a crack at your essays and resume, you’ve taken the GMAT at least once, and your recommenders know that they’re going to be writing recs for you.
This time of year was really stressful for me, so I’ve got a few pieces of advice for you at this stage of the process, as well as a collection of some resources to help you prep!
- Plug Your Holes. What about your application still worries you? Take the time to face those red flags head-on and address them in your application. For example, if you aren’t happy with your GMAT score, you can mention in the optional essay that you are taking quant classes to prepare for the MBA. The optional essay is your friend here — explain why your red flags happened and how you’ve learned from them.
- Lock In Your Story. I like to think of MBA application stories as: Experience + MBA = Goals. What’s in your equation? Mine was that my TV background and producing leadership skills + MBA business knowledge and analytics skills = working in data-driven TV marketing. Once you know your story, review your application and make sure that your story comes through as clearly as possible, as often as possible.
- Get School-Specific. Once you’re nearing the finish line, it’s a good idea to make sure that your application reflects your interest in the specific school you’re applying to. It’s good to mention classes, clubs, or a professor’s name, but it’s even better to talk about your experience visiting or talking to students (A-) and how you think you can give back to the school (A+).
- Don’t Freak Out. This one’s hilarious because it’s almost impossible, BUT it’s important to keep perspective and not let the stress of MBA applications run you into the ground. My biggest regret from the application process was that I stressed out a TON and didn’t take time to celebrate the little wins. So basically, don’t forget to treat yo self. You deserve it!
…And Some Resources
Remember that a lot of these goodies will land directly in your inbox if you sign up for all the lists!
- Essay Stuff: Accepted’s webinar, 3 Hacks to Transform Your MBA Application, is December 16th at 10 AM PST. Clear Admit has consolidated their essay topic analyses, and Admissionado’s essay analyses helped pull me through when I was applying. This Admissionado post about making your essay original is a great reminder to express yourself in a way that is unique to you.
- Resume Stuff: mbaMission has some good blog posts about reviewing your resume to make sure that it passes the high school test (jargon-free and explained simply enough that a high schooler would understand) and the CEO test (demonstrates impact and how you affected the bottom line).
- School Stuff: I loved Clear Admit’s school guides, which are a great go-to resource to learn more about your schools. For a limited time, they’re offering a 50% off discount with coupon code ROUNDTWO2015. And mbaMission has a great blog post about writing school-specific essays.
- Checklists: Clear Admit has a quick overview of where you should be at this point in the process. And Admissionado has a checklist for right before you’re ready to submit (maybe a week or two out). (NOTE: Don’t look at the Admissionado one until you’ve finished drafting your application.)
If you’ve made it through this whole thing and you have questions or are feeling nervsey, this is a great time to drop me a line — I’ve got a few weeks of freedom before heading back into recruiting in January. Good luck!
Image courtesy of New Line Cinema.