An admit to a leading B-school is no easier task than collecting peacock feathers. You need to invest a significant amount of your resources - aka time and money - to get through and get your coveted degree.
The job is tougher for a mid-career professional eyeing admit to a 1-year aka full-time executive MBA program. Balancing time between your career and the application process needs careful planning and meticulous execution.
So if you are pressed for time or simply evaluating if you have enough time for your R1 / R2 /R3 application, read on.
Whether you have enough time or not depends primarily on 3 factors:
Your execution agility
Your connect with a mentor
While your GMAT score is a critical component in the success of your application, the other important aspects are a well crafted resume, a compelling story & clarity of goals that become evident in your essays or SOP, and your interview performance. There are numerous other factors such as the applicant pool, goals of the institute towards diversification, etc. - factors that are largely uncontrollable from a candidate's perspective.
In this article, we will focus on pre-preparation, that is, the steps you can take before taking the GMAT exam.
Tips for pre-preparation :
Goal Clarity: Your goals are the cornerstone of your entire application journey. You need to reflect on your career till date, what motivated you to pursue the MBA journey, and what you want to achieve in the short-term & in long-term. You must introspect, identify the unique strengths and weaknesses, factors that make who you are. You can then work on a 3-4 point essay within 300 words, jotting down and refining your thoughts. Most B-schools will ask for your goals either in the form of essays or SOPs, typically under 500 words.
Identify target schools: This step should be continuation of the step above. You would have clarity on which schools fit best on your post-MBA goals, where you can contribute the most. Zero down on 3-4 schools on which you are going to focus. Make sure you choose the fit-for-purpose schools, not one that looks nice on your resume.
Resume: Prepare a strong one-page resume, highlighting your career achievements. Make sure to bring our the spikes in your resume, matters that grab attention of others. Your resume is your biggest chance to market yourself to the adcom and as well to your peers. Crafting that desired resume takes time, multiple reviews, and iterations. Do check out our blog on how to write a resume.
Network: Our net-worth today are determined by our network. Your pre-MBA network needs to be diversified and expanded to 3rd degree connections (in LinkedIN parlance) to build a powerful network of decision makers. Connect with the alumni of your target schools, employees of your target organisations, long-lost friends, and anyone to who you feel adds value to you and in return you have something to contribute. Building a network takes years, but you will reap fruits thoughout your career.
We would stress on the need for a mentor - someone who is competent enough to guide you and has the requisite time to devote for your needs. Your mentor will be your best friend in the GMAT journey, helping you discover yourself, read through your essays and SOPs, guide on resume building, and more. Above all, seek emotional support from your mentor.
Invest time in identifying your mentor. A wrong mentor can be worse than having none at all.
With a solid pre-preparation, you can go ahead and take the GMAT. Make sure to plan well and balance time judiciously. Success will be yours.