Guest post by Stacy Blackman Consulting.
For individuals applying to business schools, the end of the year will inevitably be filled with proofreading and typing. However, May, June, July, and August can be very important months for your personal development and for improving your business school candidacy.
Although many MBA candidates only see this period as a time to take GMAT prep courses, with a little foresight and planning, applicants can do a great deal to improve their overall candidacy. Here are two ways:
Looking For New Responsibilities
Candidates who look at their professional accomplishments in the months ahead of their application process may end up finding some holes. It often makes sense to make progress in these areas before applying to MBA programs. Even a few assignments in a different field can show that you have the ability to work at a high level.
For example, I once mentored a business school applicant who had spent several years in the technology working as an engineer. Essentially, every day he worked with chips. During our dialogue months before his business applications were due, we developed a strategy to improve his managerial experience. The next week the individual talked to his managers about taking on responsibilities that would help him develop as a leader. His managers responded by giving him a new role and additional responsibility. The new role emphasized communication and project management. In addition to helping his candidacy, his overall career was also helped by this move.
Instead of just hanging out at the library studying for the GMAT, you may want to consider traveling. However, as opposed to making a short trip to New York City, consider taking a vacation with a dual agenda. Including a learning agenda into your travels can expand your own horizons, help better define your career goals, and provide you more material for your business school essays.
One candidate I worked with was considering taking a vacation to Miami. After speaking with him, he decided to travel to a different location where he could both enjoy some time at the beach and participate in an environmental program.
For more robust guidance on your MBA application essays, check out the Stacy Blackman Consulting Essay Guide Series – school specific guides with essay tips, sample essays, information on what your target schools value and more. Visit http://www.stacyblackman.com/essay-guides/ to learn more.
Founded in 2001, Stacy Blackman Consulting has helped thousands of MBA applicants gain admission to the most selective business schools in the world. The Stacy Blackman team, comprised of MBA graduates, former admissions officers and expert writers, editors and marketers, helps clients develop and implement a winning marketing strategy. Stacy Blackman clients have a significantly increased probability of admission to top schools and are frequent recipients of merit scholarships. The company is regularly featured in publications such as BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist. Visit the Stacy Blackman blog for daily news updates and admissions tips, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.