Your 1st Step to Higher Education™
Round One is done and over with!
Give yourself a pat on the back, and BREATHE. 1… 2… 3…
Now it’s time to get back on the horse and fight your way to the next deadlines! That’s right, you’re not done yet: Round Two is here.
You might ask, “Isn’t Round Two just a repeat of Round One?”
If you are like most applicants, you applied to your top choice programs in Round One. That doesn’t mean Round Two schools aren’t important. Presumably, you applied to more selective schools in the earlier round, so you must work on Round Two applications keeping in mind that you might not get into your top Round One programs. Yes, that’s a reality check coming right at you!
However, with some MBA admissions experience under your belt, every essay you write, every interview you give, and every resume you submit in Round Two should not only come easier, but should also be more refined. Simply put, your Round Two applications should be better.
Here’s how you can ensure that’s the case.
Copy, Paste and TWEAK
Many applicants are tempted to simply copy and paste Round One essays into Round Two applications. We’ve even seen some excruciatingly shameful instances in which applicants forgot to change the names of the institutions they were applying to. (Elaborating to the Chicago GSB admissions officers why Darden is the best MBA program for you won’t help your cause much, we ensure you.)
We encourage you not to simply copy, paste and send. However, the fact is that MBA admissions essay questions tend to center around the following common topics:
Leadership experience and philosophy
Past professional achievements
Why an MBA, why now, and why the particular program
Your strengths and weaknesses
This means that inevitably, you’ll find yourself recycling some essays. That’s alright. Just remember to modify the essays to fit what each program is looking for.
For example, if you are applying to a program well-known for its genuine, tightly-knit, and small community (think: Tuck) then you’ll need to emphasize how you’ve contributed to past communities you’ve been a part of. If you’re submitting essays to a program that graduates highly innovative business people who think outside of the box (think: INSEAD) then highlight your more creative moments when you had impact on organizations.
Learn from Experience
During the last application cycle, you attended MBA fairs, visited various campuses and networked with current students and alumni. (If you didn’t, you should have!) Having been through this process, you should have a clearer idea of what kind of MBA program is best for you and how to market yourself in applications. Through rewriting your resume and penning admissions essays, you probably know your strengths, weaknesses, and even goals better.
This deeper awareness can translate into a better, more insightful and mature application package. If, as a result of the admissions process, you’ve begun to discover new career directions or interests, it is alright to reconsider your school selection or career goals.
Prepare for Interviews
As you perfect your Round Two applications, you should also begin to prepare to respond to interview invitations from Round One schools. The sooner you begin preparing, the better. Research your top programs thoroughly, practice answering typical MBA interview questions, and prepare questions to ask your interviewers. There’s no need to memorize answers to commonly asked questions as you’ll sound like an automaton, but you should brainstorm flexible ways to answer them and clearly identify the personal branding messages you want to get across to schools. For example, if your highly intercultural and systematic leadership style, commitment to grooming your team members, and experience with emerging markets is what sets you apart from other finance industry professionals, think of which stories in your career you can highlight to your interviewers.
As always, start early, stick to your schedule, and aim to complete Round 2 applications a week or two before the actual deadlines. Completing application tasks ahead of hand will leave you with some wiggle room - just in case.
Enjoy a special 15% discount on all SAT group classes, when you sign up with a friend!
Offer ends 31st May.
61 Stamford Road,
Stamford Court, #01-01
Tel: +65 63366551