An MBA application is a bouquet of various documents that need to be carefully selected, tended and polished to reflect the fragrance of your individual personality. Admissions Officers in business schools gauge your suitability based on the entire application packet you send them. A complete application packet to a normal B-school asks for the following:
- A Resume (usually limited to 1 page)
- Letters of Recommendation (anywhere between two to four)
- Essays (Anywhere between 1 to 8); the number of essays required varies from one business school to the other
- A resume is an outline of your career so far.
- It is a document that will give an introduction to the skills you have to offer in addition to highlighting all the professional achievements that you have accomplished so far.
- A resume should summarize your work experience and achievements neatly.
- Letters of Recommendations (LORs) are testimonials from your superiors, peers or professors. An LOR gives a third-party perspective about you.
- Although it is assumed that an LOR will speak positively; the idea is to get an independent observer to validate what you have mentioned in your essay.
- Most business schools require 2 to 3 LOR’s. Choose your recommenders carefully. It is advisable to get work-related recommendations.
- The most important point in selecting a recommender is that he or she should know you intimately and should have worked with you closely.
- Essays are the most crucial component of the application as they provide you with the opportunity to describe yourself on a professional and personal level.
- A good application with bad essays will lead to a reject; and an application with a low GMAT score or poor college marks can still get an admission offer if they are compensated for with very well-written essays.
- Most B-schools have their own specific essay questions rather than generic personal statements.
- Admissions essays for B-Schools require that you keep the narrative flow smooth and logical. Give specific examples to each point mentioned e.g. if you write that you have strong leadership qualities, then prove that statement with one or two examples where these have displayed your leadership skills in quantifiable way at your work place or university.
- Keep the language uncomplicated to avoid making grammatical errors.
Why do some schools request an extensive cover letter?
- A business school asks for an extensive cover letter when it is interested in recruiting people who possess good communication skills. While the admissions committee goes through the cover letter, it checks the applicant’s knowledge of English language and grammar
- Sometimes schools specify the word limit or page length of such a letter. It is important to adhere to this limit.
- The topics to be discussed in the letter are career goals, why the writer is suitable for an MBA, and reasons for applying for an MBA program.
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