Congratulations! You should be proud of yourself for your decision to advance your career. Now buckle up, you’re in for a wild ride! Let’s be honest, the MBA application process isn’t exactly easy. But nothing that is truly rewarding is accomplished without hard work.
Everyone has different skill sets and strengths. In my experience, the GMAT was the most challenging part of the application process. I was intimidated by standardized tests and was a slow test taker.
Two things that didn’t give me confidence for the GMAT. Luckily there are many GMAT resources available to help. Some of the traditional resources include test preparation books, software programs, and various tutoring services. There are also a lot of free resources such as blogs, webinars, and even practice tests. My studies included a mix of all of these resources.
What helped me the most was making a study plan. I created goals leading up to the test and planned my preparation efforts accordingly. While working a full time job, it was difficult at times to stay motivated and study after a long day.
By scheduling study time in my calendar, as well as fun non-GMAT events to look forward to, I was able to be disciplined and reach my goals.
Here are some quick tips for other parts of the application process. Try to visit the programs you are most interested in. It will be much easier to write essays about and interview for the program after you’ve had some exposure to it.
If you can’t visit in person, look for webinars hosted by the program, meet-ups at conferences, and local events with current students.
Most programs will encourage you to write the essay responses from the heart. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s their way to determine if you’re a good culture fit with the program. There are often multiple essays required for each application so don’t wait until the last minute to start.
And last, be sure to be patient with yourself throughout the process. It’s not easy. Reward yourself for your accomplishments along the way. Good luck!
Stephanie Moore is an MBA student at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business graduating in May of 2017. She will be joining Johnson & Johnson as an Associate Brand Manager after graduation.