When Should I Start Prepping My MBA Apps?


Many applicants wonder about how early they should start in this process. Here is my answer: EARLIER THAN YOU PROBABLY THINK!

Please take this to heart!



Keep in mind you need to:

1. Brainstorm
2. Outline
3. Draft
4. Redraft
5. Edit

Across:
1. Recommendation talking points
2. Essays
3. Resume
4. Application boxes
5. LinkedIn profile summary


It takes me a while to get to know you, and so even if you are sitting at home jobless, I urge you to allocate 2 months at least. 2 months is always the minimum advisable time for essays alone, NOT essays mixed in with GMAT messiness.

If you do not have a decent score sorted out, it is hard to estimate your odds and therefore hard to get momentum for that HBS app.



Here are some key questions for you to ponder:

- How many programs do you plan to apply to? If you have any shaky stats, apply to 5 or more. If so, then earlier.

- How much do you work? Do you travel for work? If you work a lot of hours or travel for work, then earlier, earlier, earlier!

- Aside from work and work travel, how busy will you be – with a new baby, will you need to spread out the time you spend over a longer period of time? Or can you work on apps several hours per week? If you do not have big chunks of time, then earlier.

- What is the *FIRST* deadline of the first program? And the 2nd? If there are several deadlines clustered around one date, then we should prepare all those apps simultaneously, so earlier.

- How similar or different are the applications? Can you do any repurposing? Is the letter of recommendation stuff similar or different? For example, Columbia usually has a goals essay and that should likely be similar from one school to the next. However, their “which leader do you admire” question essay you probably cannot repurpose. Usually repurposing content is obvious and a turn off to the admissions committee so make sure to allow time to modify it. It needs to directly answer the specific question asked.

Many applicants wonder about how early they should start in this process. Here is my answer: EARLIER THAN YOU PROBABLY THINK!

Please take this to heart!



Keep in mind you need to:

1. Brainstorm
2. Outline
3. Draft
4. Redraft
5. Edit

Across:
1. Recommendation talking points
2. Essays
3. Resume
4. Application boxes
5. LinkedIn profile summary


It takes me a while to get to know you, and so even if you are sitting at home jobless, I urge you to allocate 2 months at least. 2 months is always the minimum advisable time for essays alone, NOT essays mixed in with GMAT messiness.

If you do not have a decent score sorted out, it is hard to estimate your odds and therefore hard to get momentum for that HBS app.



Here are some key questions for you to ponder:

- How many programs do you plan to apply to? If you have any shaky stats, apply to 5 or more. If so, then earlier.

- How much do you work? Do you travel for work? If you work a lot of hours or travel for work, then earlier, earlier, earlier!

- Aside from work and work travel, how busy will you be – with a new baby, will you need to spread out the time you spend over a longer period of time? Or can you work on apps several hours per week? If you do not have big chunks of time, then earlier.

- What is the *FIRST* deadline of the first program? And the 2nd? If there are several deadlines clustered around one date, then we should prepare all those apps simultaneously, so earlier.

- How similar or different are the applications? Can you do any repurposing? Is the letter of recommendation stuff similar or different? For example, Columbia usually has a goals essay and that should likely be similar from one school to the next. However, their “which leader do you admire” question essay you probably cannot repurpose. Usually repurposing content is obvious and a turn off to the admissions committee so make sure to allow time to modify it. It needs to directly answer the specific question asked.
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StuartBB

repurposing content is obvious and a turn off

But then here you are, cutting and pasting from another website: https://gmatclub.com/forum/when-to-start-prepping-your-mba-apps-324668.html 

[quote] repurposing content is obvious and a turn off [/quote]<div><br></div><div>But then here you are, cutting and pasting from another website:&nbsp;<a href="https://gmatclub.com/forum/when-to-start-prepping-your-mba-apps-324668.html">https://gmatclub.com/forum/when-to-start-prepping-your-mba-apps-324668.html</a>&nbsp;</div>
quote

I respectfully but also very thoroughly disagree with you Stuart. 
First of all, I am not cutting or pasting - I am the original author of both posts. 
Second, the more important thing to focus on here is whether or not this information is adding value and after being in this business for so many years, I can assure you, prospective candidates need this information and it is not being address by anyone else. 
My aim is to cast as wide a net as possible because this is important information. 
Without a doubt, things get lost in the shuffle on GC and also there are different users here. So I will continue to disseminate this in various channels. 

[Edited by MBAPrepCoach on Jun 02, 2020]

I respectfully but also very thoroughly disagree with you Stuart.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>First of all, I am not cutting or pasting - I am the original author of both posts.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Second, the more important thing to focus on here is whether or not this information is adding value and after being in this business for so many years, I can assure you, prospective candidates need this information and it is not being address by anyone else.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>My aim is to cast as wide a net as possible because this is important information.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Without a doubt, things get lost in the shuffle on GC and also there are different users here. So I will continue to disseminate this in various channels.&nbsp;</div>
quote
StuartBB

repurposing content is obvious and a turn off

I think you are disagreeing with yourself, not with me. 
Take the scenario you were being critical of: a candidate writes something for one school, and then reuses it for another rather than directly addressing a specific question. Obviously in that case they are also the original author of both. 
We are on a discussion board. People ask questions and offer answers. But rather than address specific questions being asked, you are repurposing content written in some other context, in some other month. 
Isn't this exactly what you criticise in your post? I can't help but see irony here. 
Is it really the case that the issue of when to start MBA applications "is not being address[ed] by anyone else", as you wrote? If an applicant showed that level of knowledge on a topic about which they claimed to be a professional, wouldn't you find that disturbing? If you search Google (MBA apply early) then you get countless posts from schools and from individuals. 

[Edited by StuartBB on Jun 02, 2020]

[quote]repurposing content is obvious and a turn off[/quote]<div><br></div><div>I think you are disagreeing with yourself, not with me.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Take the scenario you were being critical of: a candidate writes something for one school, and then reuses it for another rather than directly addressing a specific question. Obviously in that case they are also the original author of both.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>We are on a discussion board. People ask questions and offer answers. But rather than address specific questions being asked, you are repurposing content written in some other context, in some other month.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Isn't this exactly what you criticise in your post? I can't help but see irony here.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Is it really the case that the issue of when to start MBA applications "is not being address[ed] by anyone else", as you wrote? If an applicant showed that level of knowledge on a topic about which they claimed to be a professional, wouldn't you find that disturbing? If you search Google (MBA apply early) then you get countless posts from schools and from individuals.&nbsp;</div>
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mba hipste...

Second, the more important thing to focus on here is whether or not this information is adding value and after being in this business for so many years, I can assure you, prospective candidates need this information and it is not being address by anyone else.
If it was unique content, it would be adding value. But if you spam this same generic content to multiple forums, then it really loses its impact. I know you have a job to do, but why not help real applicants here, like the other admissions consultants do? More than anything, that adds value. 

[quote]Second, the more important thing to focus on here is whether or not this information is adding value and after being in this business for so many years, I can assure you, prospective candidates need this information and it is not being address by anyone else. [/quote]<div>If it was unique content, it would be adding value. But if you spam this same generic content to multiple forums, then it really loses its impact. I know you have a job to do, but why not help real applicants here, like the other admissions consultants do? More than anything, that adds value.&nbsp;</div>
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