MBA - Application Process

5 Questions to Address Before Submitting Your Business School Applications in Round 1

You’ve worked hard to craft your business school applications, which is why it’s worth taking some extra time to make sure all of the pieces are in place.  With deadlines for Round 1 fast approaching, here are five questions to address before hitting the submit button.

Is each application portraying a holistic picture?

All of the different parts of the application, when viewed together, should convey your qualities and your unique, authentic story.  As you work on each aspect of the application (such as the essays, resume, etc.), it’s easy to get absorbed in that particular section and forget that it should fit in with your broader story.

Take some time to step back and view the larger picture.  You can also ask trusted family and friends to spend 15-20 minutes reviewing your application and then stating their key takeaways.

Is your enthusiasm and knowledge of each school coming through?

An important part of the MBA application process is showing your fit for each school that you are applying to.  There are a few ways to do this:

  • Making sure that the qualities that you are conveying through your application are the ones that each school is looking for
  • Being specific about the classes, clubs, and resources at each school that will help you attain your goals
  • Weaving in campus visits and interactions with students, alumni, and professors

If your reasons for wanting to attend a particular business school are too generic, take some time to be more specific.

Are you demonstrating impact?

Business schools are looking to admit candidates who have demonstrated impact both professionally and in their communities.

Go through each application and make sure that your contributions and impact are clearly being conveyed; this should be true for each piece of the application.

Have you touched base with your recommenders?

Your recommenders are busy people!  Take the time to touch base with them to answer any final questions that they may have and to ensure that they are able to submit the recommendation letters by the deadline.

Recommendation letters are an essential part of the application; if schools do not receive them in a timely fashion, your application will be considered to be incomplete.

Have you proofread each application?

Given the effort that you have put into all of your applications, the last thing you want is to find a typo or a grammatical error after you have hit the submit button.  Review each application with a fresh set of eyes.  It’s also a good idea to ask trusted family, friends, or professional editors to proofread your application to make sure that you have not missed anything.

You should be proud of your achievements and all of the hard work you’ve put into your applications.  By addressing these questions as you wrap up your applications, you will be able to submit your applications with confidence!

Shaifali Aggarwal is the Founder/CEO of Ivy Groupe ( and a graduate of Harvard Business School.  Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company providing personalized and customized services to clients applying to top-tier MBA programs.  Its mission is to help clients achieve their dreams so that they can impact the world; the company is passionate about business, leadership, success, and impact.  Through its packages/services, Ivy Groupe helps clients craft authentic, differentiated, and compelling applications that stand out. Shaifali has spent over five years successfully coaching 200+ diverse applicants to top-tier MBA programs.  Because of her deep knowledge of the MBA application process, she has been quoted in U.S. News.  Shaifali has also been a featured speaker on the QS World MBA Tour and has led webinars on Beat The GMAT and GMAT Club focusing on the MBA application process. 

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