This is a quick synopsis/review of how I plan to apply for schools in the first round. In the future, I will review each piece of the application process in-depth and provide resources.
1. GMAT – First Time: Fall/Winter of the year before
Typically, I would suggest individuals to take the GMAT in the fall/winter of the year before in case you need to take it again (in the spring). It is a really tough test that requires hours and hours of studying (I believe Kaplan says 100 hours for 100 points?)
2. Visits: Spring of the application year
Spring is a great time to visit schools (and in some schools the only time, as they do not want visitors in the fall term with their new admits). I highly recommend visiting in the spring and showcasing your planning abilities, however if you can’t/don’t, make sure you sign up for their admission events emails to catch future events.
3. Transcript: June
Most (if not all) schools let you scan an unofficial transcript (they will require an official one at admittance). This is an easy task–get it done early and build up momentum.
4. Develop Goals: May
This is a HUGE part of the process. It is so integral as you choose schools/programs and apply. Do not set yourself up for failure by speeding through the process. Do the work, and get your goals set.
5. Resume/CV: June
Hopefully you have been keeping an updated resume. You should be utilizing the free resources available online, and having your MBA network take a look at your resume to make sure it passes the litmus test.
6. Online Application: June – July
The first time you fill out one of these it may take some time; however most of this is pretty easy the second time around. Make sure you utilize your short answer fields correctly to maximize your profile and show growth.
7. Essays: June – August
GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME TO REFINE, REFINE, REFINE and ASK FOR [QUALIFIED] HELP. Quickly push out those first drafts; trust me, they will never be perfect the first time. IF you push them out quickly, it gets the creative juices flowing, and allows you to take breaks and return to your work. And please find someone with MBA experience to look at your essays… I didn’t last year and that did not work to my favor.
8. Recommendations: July – August
I prefer to get this process started sooner rather than later. You should have your goals fully fleshed out (through your goal exercise and your essay first drafts) which will allow you to create intelligent recommendation guides to help your recommenders. If you can, try to get your current supervisor!
9. GMAT – Second Time: August
Most people end up taking this twice. You really should have taken it again in the Spring/Summer (AKA I should have taken it in the Spring/Summer) but I will be forced to do in August. If I feel that I ready, I may try to push up the date a little more.
10. Visits/Interviews: August-October
Certain schools (such as Tuck, Duke, Kellogg) offer the opportunity to interview when you visit the school. IF YOU CAN, YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY INTERVIEW. It shows that you are serious about going there, and it also allows you an opportunity to put a face to the name and showcasing your personality. Others will invite you after you apply.
Here is the schedule I will be working with and keeping myself accountable to:
Other Posts you may be interested in: