In the hurly burly of filling in application forms for several B-schools, MBA aspirants often make some common mistakes that may cost them an entry into the target programs. Stephanie L. Butler, Assistant Director, Admissions at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth discusses some of these mistakes and how to avoid them.
Writing on the school blog, Stephanie’s first piece of advice to the applicants is to read the directions in the application forms carefully. She says admissions officers spend a great deal of time crafting application materia
“Thus, you will not create a positive impression by asking a question you could have easily found the answer. If you have a question you can’t find the answer to, ask,”
ls, instructions, and FAQs that explain pretty much everything you need to know to complete your application.
“Thus, you will not create a positive impression by asking a question you could have easily found the answer. If you have a question you can’t find the answer to, ask,” she says.
One thing you have to be careful is to answer all the question you are asked in the interview, the essay as well as other parts of the application. The interviewer will know if you are avoiding a question. Also, avoid writing one essay and sending it to several schools.
You must take care to be your natural self and not who you think the school wants you to be. In such cases, you may come across as acting out a role or a dull person. “Tell us who you are, what drives you every day in and out of work, and why the MBA program at Tuck is key to achieving your aspirations,” Stephanie says.
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Proofread everything that you write including emails, letters, application, resume, and essays. “They are reflections of you as an applicant and we look at them all. Make them great representations of the student you will be,” she adds.
Ensure that everything that you put down in the application is explained in clear terms, especially reasons for a big career switch, a job gap, an unusual choice of recommenders, or an outlier grade or semester in your academic record.
While showing interest is OK, stalking is not. While the admission committee would want to get to each of the applicants, there are thousands of them. “So talk to us at events, schedule a campus visit, ask pertinent questions, and demonstrate your interest in our school. But that doesn’t mean stopping by without a purpose, asking meaningless questions, or sending profuse amounts of extraneous materials with your application. It may help you stand out, but not in a good way,” Stephanie says.
Bear in mind the deadlines during the application process. Ask for exceptions only for very good reasons. However, in the case of any excruciating circumstances, communicate with the admissions committee.
The good news is, you can absolutely avoid each and every one of these mistakes. And if you do, you’re on your way to a great application!