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Getting Started on Round 2 MBA Applications: A Step-by-Step Guide

As Round 2 MBA applications are due in less than four months, here’s a structured guide to help you plan your round 2 MBA applications.

1. Set a Clear Timeline
The first step to a successful round 2 MBA application is to establish a clear timeline. Planning ahead is crucial to avoid any last-minute stress. Here's a suggested timeline:
Sep: Set up a few criterias to determine 3-5 schools to apply to in round 2. Some common criterias can be school programs, ranking, alumni network, location, scholarships.
October/November: Aim to nail the GMAT or GRE by this time. This gives you ample time for retakes if needed and ensures that your test scores are ready when you start submitting applications.
Sep - Dec: Start preparing your essays as soon as you have the schools selected. It takes longer than you would think as it takes time to discover the right narrative. Get feedback from MBA coaches, friends, mentors to help you problem solve the best way to tell your stories and help you identify blind spots.
Oct - Dec: Reach out to your recommenders to inform them of your MBA applications and work with them to develop the narrative for the recommendation letters. Ensure to leave plenty time for the recommenders and prepare some key points on what you want them to highlight.

2. Develop a clear personal statements
While each school has different essay topics, there are a few fundamental questions they are trying to get answers to. This is also a self-discovery process for you to gauge whether an MBA is right for you.
a. Why MBA and Professional Goals post MBA: Reflect deeply on why you want to pursue an MBA. What are your short term and long term career goals? How will an MBA help you achieve them? Your essays should articulate a compelling narrative of how an MBA aligns with your aspirations.
b. Identify Your Biggest Achievements and Unique Experiences: Make a list of your most significant achievements and experiences. Achievements will be crucial in illustrating your potential for success in an MBA program. Think about life events or challenges that have shaped you, as these can add depth to your application essays.
c. Why this school and how you can contribute to them: Tailor your essays to each school's culture, values, and strengths. Demonstrate why you are a perfect fit for their program and how you will contribute to their community.

3. Iterate, iterate, iterate
Essays take a long time. Find friends, mentors and professional coaches to review your essays. Sometimes you take certain things for granted while another perspective could help identify your blind spots. You will get different and sometimes opposite feedback from different people. This is where you need to take control of your narrative. Remember, there’s no right or wrong. It’s about how to best tell your own story and only you are the owner of that story.

The journey to earning an MBA is a significant investment in your future, and putting in the effort during the application process can make all the difference in achieving your academic and career goals. Get started today by scheduling a free consultation session.

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