Round 2 Admissions: Importance of Strategic Content

Posted By SWatts on Dec 22, 2013 |

From The Staff of MBA

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Round 2 Admissions: Importance of Strategic Content

With Round 1 admissions, top MBA programs will have already admitted a wide range of candidates. In submitting a Round 2 application, you are asking the admissions committee to integrate you into a pre-existing mix. Because of this, you should strive to demonstrate that you are a standout applicant. Make sure to set yourself apart through what you say in your essays. What important skills and qualities will you share with your MBA peers? How will your unique experiences and ambitions strengthen the current MBA class and program? It is very important that you address questions like these. How have you shown already that you can bring excellence to a task/project and that you are able to impact an environment positively? You should highlight the “proof” that you will be a great student in your essays. This is what I term “strategic content”.

Typically, when I review the applications of candidates who applied on their own and received poor outcomes, I see that they could have improved their applications significantly through much better strategic content in both their essays and recommendations.

What is one way you can achieve this? In addition to excellently written essays, you should present a great blend of achievements and interests. Avoid appearing as a one-dimensional candidate. If the school has already admitted 35 IT-focused professionals working at entrepreneurship ventures and it only intends to admit 50 such candidates total, to maximize your odds of admissions success, you should try to appear very unique.  You don’t want to present yourself as a candidate who is wholly interchangeable with a candidate of a similar background. The committee should read your essays, resume, application form and recommendations, and come to the conclusion that you are a unique candidate of your profile. Thus, when choosing among candidates who otherwise might have similar work experience and similar academic strengths, you will stand out with experiences and interests that add a new flavor.

In many ways, your MBA admission essays are your marketing package: they should emphasize your chief leadership achievements, experiences, and attributes that will make the admissions committee see you as an indispensable asset to the school.