MBA Application Mistakes to Avoid – Part 2

July 30, 2015 | by Matt Symonds

We recently posted a blog about common mistakes to avoid in your MBA applications as you’re starting to work on your 2015-2016 b-school applications. To read the first four mistakes and tips for these, check out MBA Application Mistakes to Avoid – Part 1. We will start out this blog where we left off with the last blog, with four additional mistakes to avoid and tips around how to approach your MBA applications.

Mistake #5 – Not giving your recommenders enough time

We suggest that you give your recommenders at least six weeks before the application deadline to complete your letters of recommendation. Your recommenders are likely busy and will appreciate having ample time to think about what to write. We suggest that you speak to them in person or by phone and write down some key points and accomplishments to remind them of some of your achievements. One common mistake is for applicants to wait until close to the deadline, especially around Round 2 deadlines, which fall right after Christmas and the New Year, when many offices shut down.

Mistake #6 – Careless typos and mistakes in your application

Remember that the quality of your application is a reflection on you and your attention to detail, so make sure that your application is free of typos or grammatical mistakes. An application with careless mistakes can also make an admissions director question how serious you are about the school. Presumably someone applying to an MBA program that they want to go to should spend a lot of time making sure that his or her application is polished and well-written. Careless mistakes often result from being rushed so as we mentioned earlier, make sure not to wait until the last minute to work on your applications.

Mistake #7 – Not customizing your application for the school

It’s important that you focus on each school application individually and make sure to customize each one appropriately. It’s obvious when an applicant has written an essay that was cut and pasted from another school since the language is often vague and non-specific. It’s not enough to say that you want to go to a particular school, but include reasons that reflect some of the unique aspects and offerings for that specific program. It’s helpful to speak to current students and alumni from each school to get a sense of what makes their MBA program special, and you should be knowledgeable about these details. Admissions directors are often evaluating your level of interest in their school so don’t assume that top GMAT scores, grades, and an impressive job will get you accepted. You need to convey your interest and enthusiasm for your target schools in a manner that is genuine and well thought out.

Mistake #8 – Poor etiquette on a campus visit or correspondence with the school

This might sound like a no-brainer, but any communication you have with a school should be positive and professional. Our Fortuna staff members have discussed our prior experiences with applicants who were rude to or made a poor impression with school staff (not necessarily in admissions) or who made negative comments about the school to current students they met on campus. Keep in mind that business schools can be tight-knit so anything you say to a member of the community could easily be relayed to admissions.

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