NOTE: This is the final post in a series of blog posts on the topic, “How to Select the Right MBA Programs.” To see previous segments, link to the following:
As I noted in blog post 8 in this series, this school list isn’t written in stone. It is a firm starting point that allows you to plan and to proceed efficiently and systematically through the often unwieldy application process.
As you progress through your applications, continuously reassess the process and respond to any new developments. Some such developments might warrant revising your list. For example:
- Evidence that your initial assessment of reaches, on-pars, and safeties was off. For example, if you applied to reaches and on-pars with competitive interviewing and you don’t receive interview invites even from some on-pars, it’s a sign that you may have miscalculated your competitiveness. On the other hand, if you receive an interview invite from a high reach that you really didn’t expect, a re-assessment might reveal the advisability of adding another reach or two in the second or third round. In either of these cases, revisit your list. Changing it may involve replacing some programs, or simply adding some.
- Your plans or needs change. As the applications progress, life goes on. Personal needs change: geography, partner and family issues, personal passions (e.g., you realize the practice of aikido? means enough to you that you want to continue training throughout b-school – but good DJs are not in every town). Professional needs and goals change: perhaps you lost your job; perhaps a new healthcare project intrigued you and you now want to consult in this area. Revisit your list, see what works and what doesn’t, and adapt it accordingly.
- You encounter a program that appeals to you that you didn’t initially consider (see an example in blog post 6 in this series), and it is a viable target (whether reach, on-par, or safety). Look at your list: would this program replace one? Or would you want to add it? Either option is fine, depending on your needs and resources.
Good luck in the upcoming MBA season! By following the steps in this series you will create a list of MBA programs that meet your needs and will yield admission to desirable programs. This systematic approach will also help you keep sane during the application process. If you would like professional assistance beyond this series with your school selection and/or application process, please contact www.accepted.com .
By Cindy Tokumitsu, co-author of The Finance Professional’s Guide to MBA Success, The Consultants’ Guide to MBA Admission, The EMBA Edge, and author of several articles and the free, email mini-course, “Ace the EMBA.”
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