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Mistake One: Too Little Preparatory Research

Posted by Chioma Isiadinso

Three Mistakes that Can Derail Your MBA Application

Mistake One: Too Little Preparatory Research

Between the excitement of confronting a new challenge and the crazy schedule of trying to balance work, activities and the application process, I’ve seen more than one MBA candidate jump too quickly into their application writing only to flounder later when they realized that their target school isn’t a good fit for their background and expertise or that they are unprepared to tackle the essays and interviews successfully.

Not doing enough research at the onset will backfire on you, causing you to undo and rework, and potentially leading to an application rejection.

Thoroughly researching a MBA program is akin to pursuing employment within a highly sought after firm.  It requires reading all pertinent information on the program, personal networking, and absorbing the school’s culture.

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I worked with Kimberly a couple years back.  She hoped to attend MIT Sloan School of Management.  As a Massachusetts resident, it was easy for Kimberly to visit the school.

But seeing the buildings and hearing about the library wasn’t enough to ensure her acceptance.

She also familiarized herself with the program details before visiting the campus so that she was prepared with questions that would help her evaluate if this was the right program for her to attend.

She connected with alumni, current students, and other potential applicants through online communities such as Poets and Quants, Beat the GMAT, and MBA Podcaster to get an “insider’s peek” at the program.

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And, she kept aware of related changes and happenings through the school’s newsfeeds and Facebook accounts.

When the time came for Kimberly to sit down and begin work on her Sloan application, she was ready.

She was so familiar with the audience for which she was writing that her words flowed easily and the tone of her essays was in sync with the school’s brand.

When she arrived for her interview, she already had a “Sloan-like” air about her.

Because she had become so familiar with the school, program and brand at the beginning, she fit in naturally, with confidence and the right kind of poise.

Related  Crafting a Successful Application: A Reapplicant ’s Viewpoint

In all honesty, the MBA application process can be grueling.  Don’t enter into it unprepared.

Spend time researching schools and finding those that are truly a good fit for your background and expertise.

I promise that the time you spend researching at the beginning of the process will be rewarded as you more fluently craft your essays and prepare for your interview down the road.

Have you read Mistakes Two and Three yet? Click here for Mistake Two and click here for Mistake Three