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MBA - Application Process

90-Day MBA: Tips for Accelerating Your MBA Application Process

Your life could be dramatically different 90 days from now — and you don’t have to go on 90 Day Fiancé to make it happen. Ready to make a commitment to yourself and your career? Take a break from binge-watching reality TV, and spend the next 90 days getting ready to apply to business school.

If the pandemic has inspired you to rethink your career goals, you aren’t alone. McKinsey’s recent Women in the Workplace report said it best:  “The events of 2020 have turned workplaces upside down.” Whatever your personal and professional reasons for pursuing an MBA, Forté is here with nine quick steps to get you on the right track to submitting your application this spring.

Step 1: Know Your “Why?”

You don’t need to have a 10 year plan, but you do need an answer for the question “Why are you getting an MBA?” It’s one you’ll be hearing a lot from friends, family, colleagues, and MBA admissions reps. The right answer will be one that inspires you. Write it on a sticky note and put it on your mirror or laptop. Heck, make it your phone’s lock screen. Then get ready to dedicate a few hours each week to making it happen. For additional motivation, check out these profiles of amazing MBA women.

Step 2: Research B-Schools and Programs

Finding the right MBA program can feel like buying a house, and it certainly is a comparable financial investment. As you assess what type of program is best for you, think about your goals, desired lifestyle, where you want to live, and your career aspirations. There may not be a perfect program, so plan to apply to multiple schools, ensuring each school fits you and your goals.

Reach out to schools and attend events to learn about their culture and programs, along with application requirements and deadlines. Many business schools offer a robust schedule of virtual events. Show your interest by attending, engaging, and following up with a thank you email. Be sure to take a close look at Forté partner schools — they offer Forté Fellowships, scholarships for women in business school.

Step 3: Make Yourself a Schedule

Once you know which schools interest you, mark your calendar with the important dates. In addition to the application deadlines for specific schools, decide when you want to take the GMAT and put that date on your calendar, too. Don’t rush this, because you’ll want lots of time to study.

Step 4: Check in with Your Network

Most business schools require at least one letter of recommendation, so start thinking about the people in your network who could write you a great one. Instead of waiting until the last minute to make the request, start by rekindling meaningful connections — and continue to grow your network, too. Networking in a pandemic looks and feels different, but it’s still worth doing. Check out these tips for standing out at virtual events and networking during this unprecedented time.

Step 5: Prep for the GMAT

The pandemic has led some business schools to waive test score requirements, but the GMAT continues to play an important role in the admissions process. You might want to submit a test score, even if it is optional. Two free practice GMAT exams are available at mba.com. Need more help? Watch our free webinar for top study tips and check out organizations like Manhattan Prep.

Step 6: Get Your Finances in Order

Business school is a big investment, so now’s the time to evaluate your financial situation and make a budget. Cut back where you can, and start living like a student before your first day of class. Explore how to finance your MBA by researching scholarships and learning about the loan process.

Step 7: Complete Those Applications

I had an art teacher in high school that would remind ponderous students, art is 10% creativity, 90% perspiration. Sitting and thinking about the path ahead can only take you so far! Make a timeline and to-do list for each application, and then get it done.

Step  8: Take Care of Yourself

We are living through a global pandemic, and the journey to an MBA is already full of twists and turns. Prioritize your self-care and don’t let imposter syndrome hold you back. Be brave — you got this!

Step 9: Remember, Forté Has Your Back!

Forté is working to change the balance of power in the workplace and in MBA programs across the globe. That starts by empowering women like you with resources for your MBA and beyond, including career-boosting webinars, industry insights, networking events, and the Forté Job Center. We look forward to staying in touch with you throughout your career.

If your MBA timeline changes and you have more time to prepare, check out Forté MBALaunch for 10 months of step-by-step application guidance with a supportive peer group. Applications are open each fall.

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