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Your Round 2 Application Status Check

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Are you planning to apply round 2 to one or more of your target MBA programs?

With some round 2 deadlines just about a month away, it’s time to check on your progress and make sure your applications are on track and solid.

While last admissions cycle’s unique circumstances saw an increase in round 3 (or round 4) applications, traditionally your best chances for success are in round 1 or round 2. What that means for you is that your odds are better if you can get your applications ready to go this month.

Wondering if you’re on track? Ask yourself these seven questions.

1. Am I applying to the right schools?

Personal MBA Coach’s average applicant applies to 5-7 schools. Make sure that you have some “reach” schools, some “more likely” schools, and some “safer” schools, especially if you want to secure an acceptance this year.

The number of strong MBA programs is increasing. As more universities are investing in their business schools, candidates have numerous good options to consider. Simultaneously (and not surprisingly), the applicant pool is becoming even more competitive, meaning that countless extremely qualified candidates are rejected each year. All business schools look to fill their classes with diverse candidates, and you cannot always predict which school might need someone who fits your profile. Adding a broad range of schools helps to balance the odds.

2. Did I develop a targeted MBA resume?

An MBA resume differs considerably from a professional one as each accomplishes a different goal. A professional resume shows potential employers that you have the specific skills and experiences they are looking for. You are selling your ability to do a particular job and should include industry-specific terminology and jargon. An MBA resume, on the other hand, should provide evidence that you have been successful and demonstrated leadership. You are selling your future potential.

Be sure that you have taken the time to tailor your resume for your MBA applications.

3. Do I have a well-articulated personal story?

A strong MBA application tells a clear story. The readers should walk away knowing who you are and what motivates you. This story should be consistent throughout the application components. Your resume, essays, short answer questions, and letters of recommendation should all include the same general message. Any inconsistencies are an instant red flag!

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4. Is it clear why I want an MBA?

Have you thought out and articulated why you want an MBA? To get promoted or to gain “business skills” are NOT good reasons. While not all schools ask this question directly, all candidates should be able to describe either in the essay or the interview (if given the chance) the skills and experiences they hope to gain from an MBA—and how an MBA will help them attain their career goals.

5. Does my application include specific information about the target school?

Make sure that your essays include school specifics where appropriate, such as unique classes, programs, professors, etc. that you are interested in. Admissions committee members read thousands of essays every year, and it is easy for them to determine who is genuinely interested in a school and who crafted a generic essay. Try to connect your background and interests to the things you would like to do on campus so your application shows a bit of personality.

6. Are my essays strong enough?

Do you find yourself re-reading paragraphs because you do not see how they fit into the essay? If you have not hired professional help, it is a good idea to have someone else read your essays. Ask someone who is not extremely familiar with what you do on a daily basis. This will help to ensure you are talking about your experiences with the right level of detail for someone outside your industry.

It is also crucial that each essay tells the reader something about you. While personal anecdotes often can add to or even make a great essay, the goal of every essay is to convince the admissions committee that you will add value on campus (and beyond). Make sure every essay sends a message about what you have to add and think about how all the essays connect with each other.

7. Are my letters of recommendation strong enough?

One of the most overlooked areas of the application is the letters of recommendation. Even if your recommenders are not comfortable sharing their letters, there are steps you should take to ensure quality. It is important to go over your complete story with your recommenders so that they can write letters that help to corroborate that story. If your goals or story have changed as you moved through the application phase, make sure to update your recommenders.

If you have any doubts about your applications while reading these questions, take action now! Every year Personal MBA Coach has applicants who reach out for help a week before the MBA application deadlines, and it is often too late. The window to get help applying to the crucial round 2 is already closing.

Looking for step-by-step guidance? Our mba.com Full-Time MBA Application Guide provides you with exclusive, insider advice to conquering every aspect of the MBA admissions process, including telling your story, your MBA resume, admissions essays, and letters of recommendation. Get the free guide now!

About Personal MBA Coach

Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach is consistently ranked #1 or #2.

We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing and mock interviews. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and M7 admissions interviewers.

Last year, our clients earned over $5.5M in scholarships!