Do This Before You Submit Your Round 1 MBA Applications!

If you’re a round one MBA applicant and you haven’t had the “oh sh#t” moment yet, you’re probably not paying attention. Starting with HBS on 9/8, round one applicants face a busy month as they finalize their applications and make last minute changes before the deadlines.  

The team at Vantage Point MBA is here to help. Here is our seven-step process to maximize the last few weeks before applications are due:

  1. Set calendar reminders for each of your target schools. We get it. This sounds dumb. Please do it anyway.  Each year we hear from applicants who, despite spending months fine tuning their essays, still manage to miss the deadlines. In some cases, this is due to time zone differences and in others it is due to stressful periods at work. You’ve worked hard to get to this point, if you can get your applications out for round one, then do it.
  2. Check in with your recommenders.  While some schools will be lenient around recommenders missing their delivery dates, it’s best not to tempt fate.  Reach out to your recommenders as early as possible to ensure that they are on track (if you haven’t already, make sure to give them talking points and/or explain your story to them) and ask them to give you a heads up when the recs are submitted.  Finally, once the recs are on their way, thank them. Send them flowers or a bottle of wine… whatever is appropriate but remember that recommenders have put in a lot of work on your behalf.
  3. Take a few days off.  Seriously, just do it.  You have been synthesizing your life’s goals and accomplishments for weeks now, if not longer.  Not only do you deserve a break but taking some time off from your apps will allow you to come back with a clear head and a fresh perspective.
  4. Get a second set of eyes.  If your essays are “pretty close to done,” then it’s time to get some feedback from a friend or colleague that you trust.  When they’re done reading your essays, ask them what the main takeaways are.  If their takeaways don’t line up with what you think is in the essays, it’s time to tweak and edit.
  5. Read your essays out loud.  You probably want to clear out your apartment for this but take a few minutes and read your essays out loud to yourself.  After looking at a screen for hours on end, this is a great exercise to catch any typos and make sure that the essays flow and are readable.
  6. Work through your checklist. In addition to checking in with your recommenders, make sure that your transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, and any other materials are ready to go or have already been submitted to your schools.
  7. Take a bow.  You’re about to hit “submit” and start your MBA journey. Congratulations on a huge accomplishment and making one of the most important investments that you can – in yourself.  Business school is an awesome experience and you’re going to learn a ton. Come what may on decision day, you’ve given it your all, and you deserve to be proud of that.

Round One Application Deadlines (including time of day if not 11:59pm local time):

Columbia: Rolling

INSEAD: 9/07

Harvard Business School: 9/8 at Noon ET

Wharton: 9/8

Stanford: 9/9 at 4pm PT

Yale: 9/14 at 5pm ET

Kellogg: 9/15 at 5pm CT

Ross: 9/20

Chicago Booth: 9/23

Tuck: 9/27 at 5pm ET

Sloan: 9/28 by 3pm ET

Darden: 10/6

If an outside opinion would be helpful, click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. 

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