SBC Scoop: How To Get Ahead by Planning Ahead
*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client.
About a year and a half ago, our client Sachin started working with his Stacy Blackman consultant on his applications, which he was readying for Round One deadlines in the fall. After their initial consultation, Sachin’s consultant asked him why he was starting so far ahead. Sachin thought that it was obvious that if they had as big of a cushion of time as they could get, that they could spend extra time polishing his applications.
What Sachin’s consultant was driving at, however, was that rather than finish up his applications and spend months and months polishing them over and over, instead he could perhaps find some ways to make tangible improvements in his application. A little extra time to rewrite an essay is nice, of course, but Sachin had months and months- enough to add significant entries on his resume.
Sachin and his consultant brainstormed some ideas. Most of the time, if the applicant’s GMAT scores were weak, Sachin’s consultant would recommend taking the time to find a good GMAT course, tutor or self-prep study. In Sachin’s case, he was already set with strong scores and was planning to do some light study for a retake, but didn’t need to set aside lots of time.
The second idea seemed self-evident but was worth thinking about. Sachin was fairly sure who his recommenders would be, but with some major projects coming up at work, the tone of his relationships to potential recommenders at his company- and possibly the context of their recommendations- could change a lot in the coming months. Rather than start too early on his applications, Sachin and his consultant agreed that he should stay laser-focused on doing the best possible job at work to ensure that his recommendations would come in top-notch.
Finally, as they were projecting what Sachin’s application would look like nearly a year out, they detected a major weakness. Though Sachin excelled in his role at work, it was by nature not a leadership role, and though he had some interesting involvements outside of work, he was not particularly in a leadership position with any of them. Sachin knew that a volunteer organization he was a part of was looking for leaders for a summer project, and they identified this as a perfect opportunity for him. Though Sachin already had a group, had he not, his consultant would have recommended finding a way to volunteer or get involved with something outside of work that would show his leadership skills right away. As long as he found the right fit, even a few months at a newer endeavor could be great fodder for his application.
Sachin came back almost a year later with a stronger resume and more interesting stories to shape with his consultant, and they put together a strong application that landed him at Tuck.
If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.