2016 is just around the corner and its the time of the year when many of us promise ourselves to abide by a few things-goals we want to reach and things we want to achieve in the coming year. If your goal is to apply to a top notch B School by the fall of 2016 , and matriculate in the same by the fall of 2017 , now is the time to reflect on how you should prepare yourself for the same .
Here are a few New Year resolutions you should take to make your application successful :
- Crack the GMAT : So its time you stop postponing your decision to take the GMAT and finally pick a date . Trust me unless and until you don’t register yourself for the exam , the seriousness wont come no matter how much you try . Plan the date wisely keeping in mind your current day competencies on verbal and Quant . And please Dont take it on a lark ! GMAT score plays not the most important but unarguably a very important role in your application . And practice is the only key to it . Resolve to devote sufficient amount of time each day to study for it . See for yourself if you want a professional help in the course and enroll as soon as possible ( that’s a personal choice though )
- Plan your short term , long term professional goals and swear by them : This is as critical as your GMAT score . Are you happy with your current function and job but want to skip levels and rise up in the hierarchy as soon as possible ? Do you want to switch from being a techie and writing codes to an analytical kind of role ? What is your true calling ? Schools want people with direction and good reason for an MBA. They want to know your fit with the program . So now is the time to introspect and research . Network, and decide how this MBA Goal fits into your broader aspirations.
- Co-Curriculars/ Community Service – Make time for them : Remember no B school operates in complete isolation . The integration of the students with the community around plays a very important role in their MBA experience . Hence the schools want to know how linked are you with your own community . Your community could be geographic, ethnic, professional, arts- or sports-related, religious, political, or many other kinds of groups. The term is intentionally broad. More important than “community” is “service.” It must be active and involve commitment. Now this is something that won’t come up suddenly when you start writing your essays . You need to build on it right now so that you have enough learnings from this experience to talk about .
- Plan your target schools : Do you fit well with the course curriculum? Can the school help you achieve your short term and long term goals ? How is the alumni network in your targetted post MBA location ? All these and so many more questions you should answer before you finalize the schools wherein you shall apply. Read through current student blogs , connect with the alumni of the schools , attend info sessions , make a campus visit if you can and then shortlist the programs . There will hardly be time to do this once you start with your essays so do it now !
- Don’t forget to chill : This year is gonna be tough . I assume that you won’t quit your job completely during this time and hence there will be times when you have to choose your priorities , e.g putting extra hours on that project or going home to study for GMAT . All this will make you crazy and numb at the same time . But chill ! that’s how life is gonna be during your MBA and even after it . So take time out to relax and rejuvenate yourself . Take that solo trip you always wanted to take , go on date nights – just don’t let this pressure take out all the life from you . Learn to balance things up .
The first round deadlines shall be from October and if you plan to apply in Early Action rounds which a few schools have , you need to be prepared by Aug/Sep . If you start right now keeping all this in mind and plan accordingly , by the next fall your application shall be in great shape and in fact, by this time next year, you could be choosing from multiple acceptances. I know how amazing that sounds 😀
P.S : Views expressed are personal to the author . Write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below . Happy New Year !