It’s Not Too Late to Improve Your B-School Candidacy

B-school candidacy

Are you planning on applying to MBA programs in the upcoming admissions season? You may think there is nothing you can do to bolster your B-school candidacy in this short amount of time. Not true! You can take action in several areas right now that will pay dividends in the fall.

Curious about your chances of getting into a top B-school? Contact us to talk strategy with a free 15-minute advising session with an SBC Principal Consultant.

Academic Enhancement

Once you have a test score, see how it compares to the average listed on each school’s class profile page. If you took the GMAT once or twice and didn’t get the score you wanted, consider a prep course for a refresh on solving those high school math logic problems.

Liberal arts majors or those with a GPA below 3.2 should also consider alternative ways to enhance their academic profile. Retake the GMAT or GRE until you’re satisfied, or prove you have the quantitative chops by taking a college-level statistics, microeconomics, or calculus course at the local community college.

“Most students take the GRE or GMAT test two or three times—and that’s fine,” says Anthony Ritz, SBC’s Director of Test Prep. “Schools will take your highest score, and you can even cancel a bad GMAT score without a trace if you want total reassurance that it won’t count against you.”

Fortunately, most MBA admissions teams take a holistic view of an individual’s candidacy. That means enthusiastic recommendation letters that also address the applicant’s quantitative skills will carry significant weight with the committee.

Partner with Stacy Blackman’s best-in-class GMAT and GRE experts and increase your score significantly. Check out our test prep services here.  Request a free game plan chat with SBC’s lead test prep coach by emailing

Extracurricular Involvement

A strong focus on work is great. However, it is important to showcase other personality traits and prove that you bring diverse skills to an MBA program. Community involvement demonstrates that you have a larger view of the world, see what’s happening outside of your office, and want to contribute in some way.

Perhaps you didn’t have time or energy for outside interests and passions due to your 80-hour pre-MBA work week. Nonetheless, you should find ways to increase your community engagement in the coming months. Note that this isn’t about gaming the process with some new-found volunteering involvement.

Listen to B-Schooled Podcast Episode #104: The Importance of Extracurriculars and Community Service

The best way to seamlessly incorporate extracurriculars is to think about longstanding passions and interests and build upon them. If you’ve volunteered for a group before, see what else you can do to help that’s more high profile. You could also see if there are any open leadership roles that would be a good fit.

Don’t focus exclusively on traditional volunteer work, though. There are many ways to show your diversity that can boost your B-school candidacy. So, think hard about what excites you and how you can leverage those interests for the greater good.

Don’t miss Evaluating Your MBA Candidacy from the AdCom’s Perspective

Leadership Development

Business schools want to see applicants with proven leadership skills that will develop further through an MBA program.  A promotion between now and the fall would be the ideal scenario. But you don’t have to wait for your supervisor to enhance your overall leadership potential for business school applications.

Letting others at work know you want to develop your people skills may uncover more opportunities to go above and beyond and provide great material for your resume and essays.

  • Volunteer for that cross-functional team or project,
  • Offer to help your boss with a tough long-term goal or
  • Get involved with employee groups at work, whether through volunteering in the community or promoting diversity in your company.

To show leadership without clear career progression, look to your extracurricular activities and think about taking on a leadership role. Can you find a way to lead with ideas and show success because of your influence, communication skills, or ability to motivate people?  This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you can run a project and motivate a team.

The spring and summer months can be very fruitful for personal development and for improving and strengthening your B-school candidacy. With a little advanced planning and a commitment of just a few hours a week, applicants can greatly enhance their profile before the final rush of the fall and winter.


Stacy Blackman Consulting offers multiple services to meet your needs, from our All-In Partnership to test prep to hourly help with targeted tasks. Contact us today for a free 15-minute advising session to talk strategy with a Principal SBC consultant. 

Here’s a snapshot of the caliber of expertise on our SBC team.

Did you know that SBC offers test prep services? We’ve recruited a team of best in class instructors who will help you recognize your individual learning style, discover holes in your foundation knowledge and set manageable yet ambitious goals. We focus on a deep understanding of the content, and later a grasp of smart test strategies. Let SBC’s long tradition of excellence support all aspects of your application process.

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