Use Time Off Wisely

Next week, 2014 draws to a close. Less than two weeks from today marks the first Round 2 deadline. Are you ready? If you’re not a “list person,” it’s time to become one—at least until the rest of your applications are in.

We’ll help by giving you this outline for your Round 2 To-Do list:

  • Assuming your recommenders have not yet submitted their letters, touch base with them again if it’s been more than two weeks since you last checked in. Remind them that it would be great if they could upload their responses a few days before the deadlines to avoid any last-minute system-crash drama. And thank them again for their time!

Ensuring your recommenders are on-track is your top priority because this is a tough time of the year for people to be pulled away from family obligations. You know you’ll get everything in, but this isn’t consuming their lives like it is yours.

  • Make sure you have all of the documentation each school requires—things like test-score reports and undergraduate or exchange-program transcripts. If you’re missing something at this point, you’ll probably have to hustle to secure what you need.
  • Finalize your resume. Many schools have cut down on essay requirements, so resumes are playing a larger role in deciding prospective students’ fates. It’s critical that your resume tells the full story of your professional, educational and extracurricular achievements.
  • Complete the applications/data forms for each school. Why do this before working on your essays? Because when left to the ultimate last minute, applications fields are extremely easy to screw up. There’s no spellcheck available on these forms, and if you’re rushing through them you are likely to make a mistake. Don’t risk having the very first thing the adcomm sees be riddled with typos!
  • And now . . . the essays. We’ll be honest: we hope you aren’t just starting your essays this late in the game. But it certainly is possible to pull together quality responses within two weeks. Have a few friends or family members on standby to help you firm up your themes and cut down extra words.
  • Take a little time off to enjoy the holidays!








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