The MBA application deadlines are fast approaching, so the admissions team at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management recently offered strategic tips for completing an MBA application in just seven days. Read on for their daily advice.
Gathering information and create a comprehensive checklist of what you will need to complete your MBA application. Be sure to order transcripts, test scores, and communicate with recommenders early.
Build your CV. Kim Killingsworth, director of international recruiting and relations at Owen says, “Keep in mind that the resume is the first thing that the admissions officer usually looks at. So, you want to make sure that it leaves a lasting impression of yourself.”
To make sure the form of your resume matches its content, choose a streamlined format. List your achievements cohesively and be sure to describe in detail all the responsibilities you cover. Be sure to quantify your results, but do not worry about exceeding a page yet—you’ll be revisiting this in a few days.
Consider your essays. The Owen team boils it down to reflecting on your past, present and future. Associate Director of Recruiting and Admissions and lead Diversity Recruiter Zeke Arteaga says, “Think about the things that got you to where you’re at today: extracurricular activities, where you grew up, the influence that maybe your parents had on you, or what makes you unique. Thinking about the Vanderbilt MBA is going to help you get to where you want to go next in your future is going to be important.”
Being concise with your application is a key to success! On day 4, edit your resume down to one page. Review personal statements and observe the word count. Be sure to highlight skills that will transfer to a new function or industry.
Review the checklist from your first day. Are all the necessary documents and recommendations ready?
Take some time to prepare your video essay. Director of MBA Recruiting Christie St-John says, “We want video essays because a lot of employers now are doing video interviews, so we want to see how well you perform before the camera. It also gives our whole committee the chance to get to know who you are, rather than just the one admissions officer who may have interviewed you.”
Ask a trusted friend to review your writing and have them identify if the essay stayed on topic. Were all questions answered concisely? Be open to making changes to your writing to bring essays across the finish line.
After one last review, hit submit. You’ve worked hard and you’re on the right path to MBA success!
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