The Global Online MBA Forum live on March 22nd and 23rd, connects MBA candidates to twenty-five business schools from all over the world.
Stacy Blackman, an MBA Forum exhibitor and admissions consultant, offers some application tips for MBA candidates. Don’t forget to register FREE for the MBA Forum where you can hear more from Stacy Blackman and meet business school admissions officers, students and alumni.
Managing Your Application Timeline: Start Planning Early!
When it comes to business school applications, planning ahead can be vital to your ultimate success. As the great Rolling Stones said, “time is on our side.” Truer words have never been spoken about the business school application process. Budgeting and smartly investing your time effectively is essential to generating the great essays needed to accurately represent your achievements, talents, goals, and potential contributions to a top school’s admissions committee. But, if you neglect planning ahead of time to accommodate both applications and your work schedule, then time will most decidedly not be on your side.
Candidates need to balance the time investment spent developing essays with the other commitments in their lives. The most effective way to do this is to start to put together your application calendar and time budget months before the deadlines you are targeting. Candidates need to think about time management from a number of angles:
- Finding the HOURS: Enough Time to Grind Out Those Essays
Although the time spent generating applications varies from candidate to candidate, you should basically plan on spending 40 to 60 hours in front of your computer working on your applications. This amount of time generally covers the writing, revising, editing, proofing, formatting, and inputting of essays. In addition to essays, candidates need to set aside the hours necessary to prep recommenders and continue with other activities that enhance their candidacy. And of course, we can’t forget the hours spent prepping for the GMAT.
- Planning the DAYS: The Best Ways to Structure Your Work Sessions
Different folks have different sorts of work patterns. MBA applicants should be aware of the way they work the most effectively and efficiently and structure their writing/editing sessions accordingly. I recommend to most of my clients that they allocate two to three hours each time they sit down at their computer to work on their essays. Short sessions don’t allow enough time for people to get into a “literary groove,” and essays composed in pieces often read as disjointed, unpolished tracts. Likewise, applicants should also avoid the “marathon session,” as it is the rare individual who is as sharp or creative eight hours into a writing and editing session as he was at the beginning.
- Budgeting the Weeks: Allow Enough Time for Reflection and Feedback
While some people think that they produce their best work under intense pressure, it is extremely unwise to try to polish off a set of applications in just a week or two. Distributing the work over a sensible period of four to six weeks lets you maintain a steady, but manageable pace. It also makes it easier for friends, family, or colleagues to provide feedback on your essays with plenty of time for them to give you their comments and critiques.
Founded in 2001, Stacy Blackman Consulting has helped thousands of MBA applicants gain admission to the most selective business schools in the world. The Stacy Blackman team, comprised of MBA graduates, former admissions officers and expert writers, editors and marketers, helps clients develop and implement a winning marketing strategy. Stacy Blackman clients have a significantly increased probability of admission to top schools and are frequent recipients of merit scholarships. The company is regularly featured in publications such as BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal and The Economist. Visit the Stacy Blackman blog for daily news updates and admissions tips, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.