How Many Business Schools Should You Apply To? It Depends...
The 2018-2019 MBA application season is well under way. Most schools have released this year’s deadlines and many have released or confirmed the application essays. Here is a round up from Personal MBA Coach along with our tips for tackling the released essay questions.
With under 4 months until the first of the fall 2018 application deadlines, now is the time to kick your application strategy into full gear (if you have not already)! Unsure where to start? Personal MBA Coach has put together this 4-month plan to keep you on track.
The MBA Tour presents an incredible opportunity for you, as a prospective MBA student, to gather information, make contacts, and advance yourself in the admissions process. But to make the most of the event, you will need to consider it a targeted mission rather than merely time to explore. Carefully think through your preliminary school list, the programs that are most compelling to you, and information you’d like to collect at the tour to help you finalize a sound school selection strategy. You will then be able to stay focused on your own priorities and gain valuable answers to your MBA related questions.
At The MBA Tour, you will have the chance to further evaluate the offerings of the schools on your list. But, don’t forget, admissions directors will be assessing you too. Come prepared. Conduct thorough school research, compile a list of questions that will show your knowledge of and enthusiasm for specific programs, and be prepared to speak eloquently about yourself and your experiences.
An optional essay is always “optional,” so if you have the opportunity to showcase yourself further on your application--DO IT! It can be a valuable and additive component to your application; however, you must use it to your advantage in the right way.
Many optional essays are open-ended, asking you to include anything additional that you believe the admissions committee should know about you. Some ask specific questions that, if relevant to you, should be addressed. For example, you may be asked about your relocation plan if you are choosing a part-time MBA that is far from where you live currently. If it applies to you, then answer it. In these cases, the optional essay is really only “semi” optional.
In general, keep the following in mind when approaching the optional essay, especially for open-ended cases:
Most schools want to know why you’re pursuing an MBA, and why you want it from their school. Truthfully, even if the programs didn’t ask this question, it’s one you should ask yourself. You need to have the answer before you invest your time and money in an MBA program.
Your job, when writing your goals essay, is to connect your specific goals with the mission or strengths of your target MBA program. You also have to demonstrate that your goals are based in your experiences.
The following tips will help you show that Target School X is the bridge between where you’ve been and where you want to go. And bridging that gap is the essence of a persuasive goals essay.
You are THAT person: last to the team meeting; last to make the final boarding call; last to the party. If this sounds like you, maybe you’re trying to figure out if round 3 actually affords applicants a viable MBA admission opportunity. It may seem like an easy answer for admissions experts – the general convention is to wait until next year, but this may not ring true for every applicant. Before procrastinators around the world start feverishly completing applications, let me make it abundantly clear that round 3 is not ideal for most candidates. That being said, I want to take some time to address some alternative facts should you decide to take a shot at round 3 admission:
Top MBA programs are looking for applicants who have a clear idea of how a business degree will help shape their future. This is why the MBA goals essay is such an important piece of your b-school application.
But how do you write a goals essay if you’re unsure of your post-MBA goals? What if you are changing careers and know you want to obtain the skills provided by a business program, but aren’t sure which career direction you want to pursue after your degree? Should you spend time looking into post-MBA options (trying out different jobs or shadowing people in different careers) so that you can submit your application with a secure MBA goal, or is it better to enter a program with undefined goals?
Your post-MBA goals should guide you in the application process – at the very least in deciding where to apply. Not only is it worthwhile spending time finalizing a post-MBA direction, it’s required. You need to know why you want to spend a large amount of your time and money before you apply. Not knowing what your post MBA-goals are could turn your MBA investment into a huge debt with no job to pay it off. Think of your goals as a weathervane – if it’s broken, it spins uselessly in the wind, but when working properly, it points you in the right direction.
Are you a working, adult professional with their eyes set on getting your MBA degree? If so, one of your biggest challenges when applying will be finding the time to study for entrance exams while you’re working full-time. But it can be done! Let’s look at a few ways you can make sure you’re able to prepare for your entrance exams while still meeting your work responsibilities.