Applying to top programs: Step-by-Step Process
Updated: Jan 16, 2020
The process to successfully apply to top management courses is time-consuming and stressful. There are several things that you need to do and it is important to appropriately plan and manage the process.
In this article, we provide you a detailed 8-step process for how you can go start preparing for your dream programs. It’s the same process that we follow with our clients for preparing them for the world’s best MBA and MIM programs.
Self awareness is a big topic for the top MBA programs. The top schools are not looking for people who are only focused on getting an MBA degree, rather they are looking for individuals who are acutely aware of themselves, their surroundings, their ambitions and what they have achieved.
So, becoming self-aware, is an irreplaceable part of the MBA process. We call it the Self-Discovery part of the process - where you get in touch with your story, experiences and ambitions.
Initial Profile Assessment
The first step to becoming self-aware is to assess your profile as accurately and honestly as possible. There are several aspects that you need to check - such as your academic potential, your story and career progress, leadership experiences, your goals post-MBA and long-term, and your personal attributes.
Identifying Your Strengths
Simply having a top company on your resume, or a degree from a top undergraduate school is not going to get you into the best MBA programs. Your application must indicate your strengths. It must highlight your key differentiators that set you apart from other candidates.
Aligning Your Career Story
Most top MBA programs require impactful work experience. You need to share your career story, with not a single loose end. Your story should be coherent and free-flowing, with all the major milestones, reasons for your career decisions, the challenges you faced and accomplishments you had, your growth areas and leadership experiences.
Short & Long-Term Goals
Once you have your story sorted, you need to identify the purpose of your life/career before you apply to the top programs. There are multiple facets of career-planning, from realising what you want to do post-MBA to a much longer outlook of how you wish to impact the world and make it a better place. All this, and a detailed action plan of how you aim to achieve your goals can help you make your mark on the admissions committees.
This marks the end of the Self-Discovery part of the process. Now that you have a fair idea of where you come from and where you want to go, it’s time to choose your supporters in that journey, that is the B-Schools, and the possible referees for you to those B-Schools!