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Your Ultimate Guide to Applying to Business School (Responsive Image Block example)

B-school in the fall

It’s finally summer! After making it through the coldest winter ever, I can’t tell you how glad I am to finally be able to leave my coat at home and spend plenty of time outdoors.

B-school in the fall

If you’re thinking about applying to b-school in the fall, summer also means that it’s time to start getting your application ready for those September and October Round I deadlines. I had the exact same plan: In June, I told myself that I was going to be super productive and slowly move though all of my different essays and applications—just as soon as I took a well-deserved break. Of course, you can guess what happened next: Fast forward to August, when I was scrambling to get things done because I didn’t plan out my time.

So the same thing doesn’t happen to you, I’ve gone ahead and made you a 12-week plan that will ensure you’re able to get your applications done without getting stressed out at the end. Of course, it isn’t going to be easy—applying to b-school is what you’ll really need to spend a good chunk of your free time doing for the next few months—but getting into your dream school will make it worth it.

Caturday b-school

Running Cat
Cat running towards B-school apps (aspect ration 16:9)
| shutterstock

Before diving into the process, it’s worth it to take a week to get organized. I would recommend taking care of as many admin items as possible during the first week, such as: finalizing the list of b-schools you’ll be applying to, selecting and email your recommenders, creating an account for each application, registering for the GMAT, and requesting your undergrad college transcripts. It’s also helpful to spend a little time browsing each application to make sure there aren’t any sneaky 200-word responses or other special requests that could trip you up at the very end.

Looking forward to b-school (aspect ratio 1:1)

Studying in b-school (aspect ratio 1:1)
Studying in b-school (aspect ratio 1:1)

Now that you’ve gotten the logistics out of the way, it’s time to get started. To kick things off, I would especially recommend that you do two things: Make a list of all of the essays you’re required to write and take a GMAT diagnostic test. Listing the essay topics will give you a really clear overview of what you need to write and will help you identify similarities between essays so that you can hopefully recycle some topics for different schools. The GMAT diagnostic will provide you with a realistic overview of how much work you have to do before test day. Once you’ve taken the diagnostic, create a study plan that you can really stick to for the next seven weeks (if you’re not sure where to start, check out my advice for making a study plan that gets results

Running Cat
Cat running to b-school (aspect ratio 3:4)
| shutterstock

After getting a sense of what you’ll need to submit, you can begin to solidify your story. Admissions committees read thousands of applications each year, so it’s important to make sure that your application feels cohesive and makes it easy to understand who you are. If you’re stuck, you can start off by drafting a personal statement and think about how the rest of your application will tie into it: For example, if your resume shows that you’ve worked at a lot of different companies, you might want to use an essay to explain how your career moves are aligned with your professional goals.

Studying in b-school unchanged aspect ratio
Studying in b-school unchanged aspect ratio