The ‘new year’ for applications is round the corner. For those who have the GMAT scores ready, it is pretty likely you know which schools you can apply to with your scores; for those who want to start MBA Programs August/September 2018 but are yet to write the GMAT, you are in a tight spot. Maybe this article will serve a purpose for the latter. How does one plan the months from June to December 2017 if one has to be at a program in August 2018?
To start with, begin the GMAT Prep. And if you have done so but are languishing for some reason – overwork, apathy, personal stress, anything- put your woes behind you and take the GMAT bull by its horns!!! Believe me nothing can be more frustrating than a protracted prep schedule. It is counter productive- the longer you pull the prep, the worse your output gets. So if you are planning to be at a B-School next Fall and have not nailed the GMAT, prioritize and put the GMAT on the top of your to-do list.
The second important thing to work on is the deadline by when the GMAT should be done. To plan this you need to draw up a list of the B-Schools that are on your preferred list and do a meticulous study of their requirements- GMAT score, years of work experience, essay questions on the application, GPA requirement etc. If you seem a good fit in every respect and need only the desired score, assume that you have that score and make a document of the deadlines for each school. It is ideal to apply in the first deadline but not mandatory. So, if the GMAT prep is going fine and you are confident of meeting the first round of deadlines- which can be as early as September (for example for HBS/Stanford), write the test no later than July end so that the whole of August can be spent on doing up the applications. If all is well but the GMAT is proving uncertain in the outcome, push the plans to the second deadline, mostly around early January. This gives you a breather without your having to compromise on your performance at the GMAT and hence the choice of your school. Remember, the badge counts. Doing an MBA is one thing, and doing an MBA from a reputed school is another thing.
It may sound precocious, but it is not. Start working on your application materials while preparing for the GMAT and if you are over with that monster, start working anyway!! The applications need a well-planned, professional CV, 2 to 3 letters of recommendation (so start wooing the people you want as your recommenders), scans, and finally transcripts ( get back to your alma mater/s to source these in the right number -1 for each school + 1 or 2 extra) and the essays – 1,2 or more- the number varies from school to school- and the topics range from a seemingly unassuming “ What matters most to you?” to a direct confrontation “What are your career objectives and why?” You need to think as never before- think about your past, present and future, about your hobbies, about the things that make you who you are, in short -just think because that will be the fountainhead of ideas.
Option Training Institute, FZ LLC, Dubai, wishes you all luck in this!!!