Many MBA applicants ask us, “How soon should I start working on my business school applications?” When they ask that, they’re usually thinking about their essay and their letters or recommendation (and even their GMAT, if they haven’t yet taken it). We think this narrow definition gets a lot of applicants in trouble, however. Ideally you will start working on your application a couple of years before you ever submit it! The application itself is just a single snapshot of who you are, and you should start working on your candidacy log before you write your first essay.
We cover this idea in our newest MBA admissions video:
(You can go to YouTube and watch the video in a larger size.)
“Now hold on,” you’re saying. “Two years ago I didn’t even know that I’d apply to business school now, much less know what I’d need to pull together to build a great application.” Fair enough. That’s true for most applicants. But we urge you to change the definition of what it means to work on your applications — from just writing essays and gathering letters of recommendation, to seeking out new challenges on the job, finding ways to make an impact on your community, and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone to ensure that you keep growing personally and professionally.
Note that these are all things that you should do, anyway, to advance your career and to mature as an individual. If this were a blog post about how to build a strong career path when you’re very early in your career, we would dispense the same advice. But these are also the things that admissions officers look for (leadership, a willingness to take on challenges, maturity, etc.), so pursuing these opportunities has the double advantage of helping you in your career and in the MBA admissions process.
Keep checking this space and the Veritas Prep Channel on YouTube for more insightful videos in the coming weeks. For personalized help in applying to business school, law school, or medical school, call us at 800-925-7737 and talk to one of our admissions experts!