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Choosing an MBA Application New Year’s Resolution

Posted by Chioma Isiadinso

Happy New Year!

A new year full of promise, and full of so many resolutions that could get you closer to your business school dreams.

Unfortunately, as we all know, starting the year off with multiple New Year’s resolutions often just means that most of those resolutions will fall by the wayside as the year progresses.

So, when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions as an MBA applicant, why not find one area where you can concentrate your energy to make the biggest difference?

A good way to do this is by starting with a mind map. Get out a piece of paper, put yourself at the center. Then, branching out, draw the different parts of your MBA application that you’re concerned about.

These might be essays, recommendations, getting your boss on board with your B-school application, getting more stretch assignments at work, identifying ways to demonstrate your leadership, tackling the GRE or the GMAT – whatever is an area for a potential MBA application New Year’s resolution.

Once you’ve mapped this all out, look for the one thing that is your biggest Achilles’ heel as an applicant and make it your focus for the year. It’s not that you don’t work on the other things too, but that you have one element you set as your first priority.

Some examples of resolutions you might make:

  1. I’m going to absolutely rock the GMAT/GRE: I’m going to take a course, I’m going to spend the next three months studying, and I’m going to get such-and-such score. Setting a specific target score gives you a concrete goal to aim for!
  1. I’m going to really do my homework on the B-schools: Rather than picking a haphazard list or going by what’s popular I’m going to invest in really getting to know the schools by visiting and learning about them on a deeper level. Then when I apply, I’ll know what makes them a unique fit.
  1. I’m going to gain international experience: I’m going to make building my international credentials a focal point this year because that’s a hole in my application. I’ll figure out what the opportunities for this at my company are, who’s done it before that I should be in contact with, whether I can go on secondment or take a leave of absence if necessary, and so on.

Whatever your own MBA application resolution is, the point is to find the area that’s your biggest concern. Then zero in: come up with a game plan and set a concrete goal.

Once you have your plan, put it into action. Take an incremental step toward your goal every day.

For me, days where I have a laser-like focus are the ones where I’m most efficient, rather than ones where I’m scattered between different tasks. That’s the idea behind drilling down on a single MBA application resolution for 2019.

New Year’s resolutions have their skeptics because of their reputation for not being kept. For example, Barack Obama said in his interview with Prince Harry that he tends not to put a lot of stock in New Year’s resolutions.

That said, I think New Year’s resolutions have a much better chance of being successful when they’re made one at a time!

So, my advice to MBA applicants as we start off the year is to find that one area of your application where you can make the biggest difference and tackle it for all it’s worth.

Best wishes for 2019, and feel free to touch base with EXPARTUS to discuss how we can help you meet your MBA application goals!

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