Friday, September 2, 2011
Ten Tips for the MBA Application Process
1) DEFINE YOUR CAREER GOALS (short- and long-term) and how an MBA fits into your plans. Make sure an MBA is a necessary step because it is a big commitment and you want to make the right choice.
2) TALK TO PEOPLE who have gone through the application process.
3) PICK THE SCHOOLS YOU APPLY TO CAREFULLY. Find the best “fit” programs for you, which may not necessarily be only the “top” schools.
4) ATTEND ADMISSIONS EVENTS – Forté Forums, MBA Fairs, admissions visits to your city. You may end up meeting important admissions officers or future classmates.
5) DO YOUR RESEARCH. Review the schools’ websites and talk to current students, alumni, officers of students groups you’re interested in, friends, and friends of friends to get specific information about each program to include in your application.
6) Make sure you know the schools’ DEADLINES and each component you need for the application – Official GMAT score, transcript(s), recommendations, essays, and application.
7) GIVE PLENTY OF LEAD TIME TO YOUR RECOMMENDERS (1-2 months). Discuss your reasons for pursuing an MBA so they can write meaningful letters on your behalf.
8) If possible, VISIT EACH SCHOOL you are applying to. Talking to students and getting a feel for the school in-person is invaluable and also shows the school you are interested.
9) PUT IN YOUR TIME when creating your “story” in the essays. Write essays that only you can write and be confident in yourself. Make them as interesting and personal as possible. The admissions committee reads a lot of essays so make yourself stand out!
10) Have a few key people REVIEW YOUR ESSAYS before you submit them to make sure you answer the questions, that your overall story makes sense and your grammar and spelling is perfect.
Jaime Streem, Class of 2013
Forté Fellow & MBA Candidate, University of Chicago Booth School of Business