Before blogging why, what, and how for my next year MBA application process, it's better to retrospect the last year MBA journey, which didn't turn out to be as expected but undoubtedly made me more informative about the process.
1. GMAT: I took my GMAT in mid November of 2009, when December 1st was ISB last deadline. First mistake, I didn't plan my GMAT properly. Plan your test dates smartly.
2. ISB R2: Given the days left, I'd to rush for ISB application. The good part was that my career goals were clear. Second mistake, I didn't get chance to get my essays reviewed by anyone, not even a single person. Submitted in just 6 minutes before deadline, phew. a. Read essays of admitted students to let your creative juices flowing. b.Get your application reviewed and re-reviewed by friends, mentors, or consultants.
3. Schools shortlist: Third and biggest mistake, I didn't shortlist the other schools in advance and I'd to rush in that as well. The better route is to clear your career goals and shortlist the schools before writing GMAT. I believe very few applicants follow this route. Research thoroughly about the schools, not just by website and brochures, but by talking with current students and alums. They could provide you their valuable insights no web portal could provide.
4. Safe schools: Fourth mistake, I didn't applied to any safe school (admissions chances above 90%). Schools safe for one profile might not be safe for another. So, depending on your profile quality and school's ranking and statistics, you need to decide which ones fall in safe category for you. Always apply to at least 2-3 safe schools.
5. Interviews: Rejected from Nanyang R1, Fuqua R2 and Judge R3 w/o interview invites, yet even with all this rush and mistakes, I grabbed the interview invites from ISB R2, Ross R2, and Tepper R2. Might be because I was clear about my career goals, though I am much clear now. I managed to put a decent interview show everytime but got dinged from ISB, and wait listed from Ross (gradually dinged) and Tepper (awaited as of now). a. Look through the interview reports published by accepted.com and clear admit wiki. b. Prepare your answers well but don't memorise them. c. As many mock interviews as possible, preferably by that school student or alum.
So, these are my mistakes and lessons from my last year journey. I'm much more informative and prepared for next year applications and looking forward to get into one of the best schools.
Hope to help,