Preparing the Perfect Package for Your MBA Application in 4 Steps

MBA AdmissionsYou have done all the hard work and put in the hours to get to this point. Your GPA, GMAT, work experience, and extracurricular activities are what they are. You have researched schools extensively, even visiting campuses and making an effort to connect with alumni. Now, it is about putting this all together into one application package that will determine whether you get to attend your dream school or not… no pressure.

Here are three ways you can prepare the perfect package for your target programs:

Selecting Stories
As you start sorting through potential ideas for your essays, list the interesting anecdotes that would best present you in a nutshell – think of these as scenes in a movie that would best capture the essence of the lead character. These can help you stand out through your interesting experiences and serve as attention-grabbers that captivate your audience. These stories could come from your personal life, professional accomplishments, or passions.

Recommenders can also add to this aspect of your application by relating specific stories about you that will help substantiate the qualities that you are highlighting. Powerful examples of your leadership and teamwork skills or ability to benefit from constructive criticism will greatly help. Thus, reminding your recommenders of these episodes in your relationship could come in handy.

Presenting Perspectives
Your application essays are also avenues that allow the Admissions Committee to understand where you come from, what motivates you, and where you want to go post-MBA. Sharing your unique upbringing, family values and inspirations will help present a more personal profile. This is not limited to just the positive events or outstanding accomplishments in your life, either – the challenges you have overcome or even the weaknesses you are still addressing also humanize you, making you more relatable so that the Admissions Committee wants to root for your success.

Sharing your personal story and challenging circumstances will also emphasize that you will be able to contribute to the classroom experiences of your future peers. In addition, use your interesting passions or talents that showcase surprising skills to also help you stand out among the other applicants, similar to the way football players singing and dancing to Beyonce’s music make for a memorable bit.

Tweaking the Tone
Apart from the theme and the great stories you choose to showcase in your application, fine-tuning the overall tone of your presentation can go a long way in delivering a powerful message. Having the perfect mix of displaying your strengths, humbly admitting your weaknesses, and showing fit between your target program and career goals is critical. However, be sure to show personal accountability for, and general reflection on, your failures as you plan your next steps – make sure your choice to pursue an MBA at this time in your life is displayed with clear purpose for the Admissions Committee.

Delivering these details with a personal tone and a positive vibe shows your ability to collaborate and be in sync with a select group of star performers as you apply for a coveted slot in a top-tier program.

Fitting Finale
Take some care to end your application on a positive note, carefully considering the last impression you want to make, just as the last song of a musical has to be well thought-out and excellently executed to deliver a fitting finale.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! And as always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Written by Edison Cu, a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for INSEAD. 

Success Story Part 8: “The Final Days and The Takeaways”

(This is the last in an eight-part series of blog posts in which Julie DeLoyd, a Veritas Prep GMAT alumna-turned-instructor, will tell the story of her experience through the MBA admissions process. Julie will begin her MBA program at Chicago Booth this fall. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7 to learn Julie’s whole story.)

So here we are. The end of the story. [Close in on me with my cute new haircut and a (less-musiciany) wardrobe for my new life as a b-school student.]

(The music swells.)

This is what I’ve been working and waiting for all these months. I’m three weeks away from b-school orientation and already working on my assignments for the first month of my fellowship (reading 2 books about capitalism and watching 2 movies–auf Deutsch!). I already feel behind and ahead all at the same time, trying to think about job searches and class selection, networking and dog-care. It’s done me some good to have spent this summer reflecting on my journey with you all.

For what it’s worth, I’d like to leave you b-school applicants with what little wisdom I’ve gained from my experience. As I don’t spend all day, every day, studying b-school admissions (like some of my dedicated Veritas Prep colleagues) my advice will be purely anecdotal and based on the experiences I’ve laid out over the last 3 months in this blog series.

1. The “Magical” Test Prep Course
If you’re taking a test prep course, don’t think that the teacher will grant you some fairy power* that will make you invincible. This is YOUR game to win. Get fanatic. Make the test your girlfriend. Spend long evenings getting to know each other. Relish every moment you get to spend together. Find the joy, and put in the time (that you probably should be spending with your real girlfriend