Are you a Late Latif who’s been planning an MBA since the beginning of time, but have got around to booking a date in late November 2013? 🙂
Or are you a GMAT re-taker looking to improve your score?
The question that’s foremost in your mind right now would be –
can I make it to Round 2 deadlines? Will I have enough time to prepare my application?
This is a very subjective question, and frankly, there’s no good objective answer!
How long it takes you to write your essays depends on how much thought and research you have already put in – if you have already introspected long and hard about your post-MBA goals, and researched your target school/program well, you would have answers to the standard questions B-schools ask:
1. Your goals
2. Why an MBA?
3. Why this particular school/program?
4. Why you?
CrackVerbal’s MBA application clients typically take anywhere between 4 and 6 weeks to complete their application from start to finish. i.e. from the initial brainstorming to define their essay strategy to multiple rounds of revision of the essays. This is adequate time to write your essays, provided you have the answers in your mind.
Contrary to popular belief, preparing for the GMAT and for your MBA application are not necessarily sequential processes. 🙂
As you prepare for the GMAT, simultaneously spend time doing your research on B-schools and introspection on your own profile and goals. You can even start drafting some of your essays.
Here’s a step-by-step approach to drafting your application essays:
1. Begin with a story outline for every essay
2. Expand this outline by writing everything you want, without worrying about the word limits.
3. Keep this aside for a couple of days and come back to it. On reading what you’ve written, you will find that you can trim out many of the details you’ve put in, and include other points.
4. Keep repeating steps #2 and #3 till your essays are more or less in place.
5. Show the essays around – to friends, colleagues, family or experts. Each will have a different perspective.
Some tips to get your essays reviewed:
Don’t show your essays to too many people because too many inputs will just confuse you.
When you pick reviewers, make sure that you pick a good mix of people who know you at work, outside of work, and who do not know you at all. I would say, 3-4 reviewers is a good number to go with – not more than this.
Do remember that you do not need to incorporate all the feedback you get – the final decision is yours. So, rather than take feedback verbatim, think of the underlying problem the reviewer is pointing out, and try to address that.
For instance, if someone asks you to include a specific incident in your essays, before going ahead and writing about it, ask yourself why this incident is significant. Does it bring out a certain quality or trait of yours that will add value to your application? Then perhaps there is a better way to bring this out, other than by citing the suggested incident.