Is Your MBA Application Ready To Hit Submit?
Round 2 deadlines are just two weeks away! This is the most nerve-wracking phase of your MBA applications. You’re likely at the stage where you’re re-reading essays until your eyes fog up, clinically picking out words from your resume to squeeze it onto one page, and hounding your recommenders if they haven’t submitted their Letters of Recommendation. And even then, you’re probably worrying that you missed something.
So, in this blog, we’re sharing with you some of the questions we ask our clients in the final two weeks before submission to help them determine if their application is ready to hit ‘submit’.
Q. Does your application truly reflect you?
There’s no point in submitting perfectly-crafted MBA application essays if they do not reflect you. Your MBA application essays have to show your personality and give the reader a true impression of you as a person. So, rather than guessing what business schools are looking for and trying to fit in with that, make sure your values, culture, character and post-MBA goals give the reader an authentic version of you.
Last year a client opened up in his MBA essays about his experience with burnout and how he quit his job to pursue entrepreneurship. We were talking about whether he felt ready to submit it, and his reaction was telling. He said: “Sod it. This application reflects me through-and-through. If a business school doesn’t like it, I’ll go somewhere else." For me, this was a green light that his application is ready. And if that’s the case for you, congratulations, you’re ready to submit your MBA application.
Q. Are your goals clear, specific and achievable?
At a high level, the goal of every MBA candidate is the same - to advance their career. Some may seek to advance along their current career trajectory, while others plan to switch geography, industry or business function. Other applicants plan to start their entrepreneurial journey. Whatever your post-MBA career goals, drill into them. Discuss the specific role you want to take on, in the industry you want to work in, in the geography that interests you. We advise candidates to be as specific as possible about their short-term (and even long-term) post-MBA plans.
Your post-MBA goals should be ambitious, but not so ambitious that you might fail to make the switch. An ideal post-MBA goals is ambitious but achievable based on your experience and the training from your MBA. So, before you hit Submit, re-read your application essays to see if your goals are coming across as clearly articulated, specific and achievable.
Q. Are you answering all parts of the question?
Candidates are often so enthusiastic about starting their essays that they begin before putting a clear structure in place. This can lead to writing content that meets or exceeds the word limit yet fails to properly address the question. Along with this, once you’ve already submitted a few applications in Round 1, you might be tempted to re-package the already-written content into newer essays. With clients, we highlight the different components of the prompt and match these up with the corresponding paragraphs in the essays to ensure the prompt is being answered.
Q. Are your recommenders ready with the LORs?
No matter how much your recommender loves you and cares about your future, he or she is most likely going to submit the recommendation the night before the deadline you give them. So, how do you ensure that your LOR is not a rushed off passingly decent last-minute write-up barely making it on time?
By taking these four steps:
Cross-checking your application narrative with them, so that you’re sure they’re not writing letters of recommendation that contradict your narrative.
Giving the recommender a fake deadline at least a week before the actual deadlines.
Checking in on them regularly to ensure they’re on track and to answer any questions they may have.
Giving them bullet pointers to work with, so that they don’t have to try and remember your accomplishments at the last minute.
Q. Have you prepared for the Kira Talent Interview?
Many business schools require you to complete a Kira Talent video interview, and most ask you to complete this within a few days (or even hours) of submitting your application essays. So clients often find it useful to begin preparing these before actually hitting submit.
The main purpose of these video interviews is to allow business schools to assess applicant’s communication and presentation skills. For native English speakers, this section is rarely an obstacle. But we know business schools use this to filter out applicants who struggle to speak coherently in English when put on the spot, like they would be in a classroom setting.
So, don’t leave Kira Talent preparation to the last minute, especially if you’re a non-native-english speaking applicant. Prepare for your Kira Talent Video interview using our Kira Talent Guide.