Are you planning on applying in Round 1, which at many schools is just weeks (or September 9th, in the case of HBS) away? There are several reasons to apply in the first round, from demonstrating your strong interest and preparation, improving your chances of landing a spot while every possible seat is available, to having first crack at financial aid opportunities.
Bloomberg Businessweek just ran a story discussing what to do to prepare for round 1 deadlines, and I shared some of my thoughts with Katy Finneran, author of the piece. One important thing I stress to clients, and mentioned to Finneran, is the importance of managing your social media presence and beefing up your online persona.
If you can demonstrate you’re social media savvy, and perhaps show that side of yourself through a blog, Twitter feed, or even through Instagram if you’ve touched on an interest such as photography in your application, these factors can really work to your advantage.
By now, you should also have your recommenders firmly on board in support of your candidacy. If you’re aiming at round 2, make sure they have their instructions and hard deadlines about 12 weeks before you want their letters.
Another thing to remember is to adapt your resume for an MBA application, which should have a greater emphasis on your general accomplishments and anything that would showcase your leadership qualities.
Finally, I would urge applicants to apply a few days ahead of the deadline just to ease some of the last-minute pressure, as well as congestion on the programs’ servers. Do a thorough review, hit submit, and take comfort in knowing that you did your very best.