Every MBA student shares at least one experience—the application process. It can feel like you’re setting out to climb a mountain in the early stages—figuring out target schools, tracking deadlines, brainstorming essays, securing recommenders and more. To help current MBA hopefuls, Yale SOM MBA students gathered their top advice for applying to b-school based on their experiences from less than a year ago. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Research. Research. Research.
According to Rayan Mansour (’20), the best thing you can do is gather as much data as possible on as many business schools as possible. He also explains that each MBA program is unique and will have various interests or characteristics that make it stand out. The more you know, the better. Research online, get on the phone with current students, go to presentations, visit the campus, and connect with admissions.
2. Understand the Application Requirements
Once you’re ready to apply to your top MBA programs, it’s essential that you understand the application requirements. “There are differences across schools, such as essay question prompts and required supplemental information,” explains Rebecca Baehr (’20). So, she recommends mapping everything out to avoid surprises and to ensure that you do what’s necessary.
3. Reflect on Your Story
In a similar vein, Giovanni Cruz (’20), says that your story is an essential piece of your MBA application. “Having a cohesive story that clearly articulates why you need an MBA, and why now, will be key to crafting a compelling essay and succeeding in your interviews,” Cruz explains. So, the more you can spend time on your story—what you’ve done and what you want to do—the better.
4. Ask for Help
MBA applicants are busy, and the application process can be challenging. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. According to Jordan Woll (’20), the best thing you can do is ask for help. Build a support network, reach out to current students and alumni, and talk with friends and family. They can help with everything from revising your essays to helping you study for the GMAT. “Having a support network will make a world of difference,” says Woll.
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