New Year’s Resolutions for MBA Applicants

new year's resolutions for MBA applicants

Making a list of New Year’s resolutions for 2024 can be a powerful exercise for future B-school aspirants. They can help you stay motivated and committed, build new habits, and seek support and accountability as you pursue your ambitious career goals. The following New Year’s resolutions for MBA applicants offer a stress-reducing roadmap to guide your journey for the exciting year ahead.

8 New Year’s Resolutions for MBA Applicants

1. Create a robust action plan. 

As an MBA applicant, you will likely have a lot on your plate, including preparing for the GMAT or GRE, completing your application, and working full-time. Creating an action plan and timeline that effectively balances all these tasks is vital. Consider setting aside specific times each week for studying, and try to stick to a consistent routine.

The amount of time MBA aspirants will spend on their applications will vary, depending on writing abilities and general work efficiency. That said, plan to spend between 40-60 hours preparing four to eight applications. Non-native English speakers will likely need to allot more time to their applications, particularly writing, revising, editing, proofing, formatting, and inputting essays.

2. Improve your time management skills. 

Along with having a solid study plan, it is also essential to have good time management skills. That way, you can stay organized and on top of your tasks. This may involve setting goals for each day or week, prioritizing your to-do list, and learning to say no to non-essential commitments.

new year's resolutions for MBA applicants

Different folks have different sorts of work patterns. Some are most efficient when they can break up tasks into manageable pieces. Others work best when they can devote eight hours to marathon writing sessions. MBA applicants should be aware of how they work effectively and efficiently and structure their writing/editing sessions accordingly. If you’re a procrastinator, check out these tricks to improve your time management skills.

3. Prepare for the GMAT or GRE. 

The GMAT or GRE is an integral part of the MBA application process. Preparing for these exams takes considerable time and effort. Start by familiarizing yourself with the exam format and content. Consider signing up for a prep course or working with a tutor to help you reach your target score.

SBC’s test prep experts can work with you to recognize your individual learning style, discover flaws in your foundation knowledge, and set manageable yet ambitious goals. The earlier you can complete this component of your MBA application requirements, the happier you’ll be.

The New GMAT Focus and Shorter GRE: What to Expect

4. Research MBA programs. 

Not all MBA programs are created equal. Your mission is to find a program that aligns with your career goals and interests. As you begin your research, consider location, curriculum, cost, and reputation. Make sure you understand your criteria and preferences to take your business school selection past the level of rankings.

Do you want to be in the city or a rural setting? What type of coursework most interests you? Do you prefer a close-knit class or an extensive network? Do you need to be near a particular location for personal or professional reasons? Once you have found the schools that appeal to you, you can filter those down to the select few to which you will ultimately apply.

5. Build your MBA resume. 

Your resume is often the first thing that MBA admissions committees will see. So, you’ll want to make a strong impression. Make sure to highlight your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments, and tailor your application materials to the specific MBA program for which you are applying.

Business school applicants often find it helpful to frame their accomplishments using the STAR method. That stands for situation, task, action, and result. For each employment position listed on your resume, think of a project, initiative, or transaction where you made a meaningful contribution. Then describe the situation, task, actions, and results. 

Leadership skills are a top priority for elite business schools. If you need to find ways to bolster leadership examples for your resume, check out this SBC post

6. Seek feedback on your application. 

As you work on your MBA application next summer and early fall, you’ll want to seek input from others. This might include asking a friend or mentor to review your resume and essays. Someone new looking at your essays and data forms may more easily spot a typo, missing word, or that extra period at the end of a sentence.

Some additional areas to go over with your reviewer could include:

  • Can you clearly identify my career goals?
  • Are my reasons for wanting an MBA sound?
  • Do you see any weaknesses in my application?

Or better yet, go a step beyond and engage an SBC admissions consultant to expertly guide your application strategy.

7. Practice your interview skills. 

The MBA interview process can be intimidating. But it is also an opportunity to showcase your ability to think on your feet. While interviews are the final stage of the admissions review process, it’s never too early to start getting comfortable with them. Start practicing your interview skills by conducting mock interviews with friends or career advisors, and be sure to research the MBA program beforehand to have informed responses to potential questions.

We cover MBA interviews in multiple episodes of SBC’s B-Schooled podcast. Take a listen to Episode #135 for killer tips.  

8. Stay positive and focused. 

The MBA application process can sometimes be stressful. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is vital for staying motivated and energized. These New Year’s resolutions for MBA applicants can be a helpful way to focus on specific areas of improvement, stay motivated and committed, build new habits, and seek support and accountability as you pursue your career goals.


Thank you for making Stacy Blackman Consulting a top destination for your b-school research. We hope this resource continues to serve you well as you embark on what is definitely a life-changing, career-boosting journey. Have a wonderful holiday, and see you back here in 2024!

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