Jul 07, 2016

Creating a Successful Application Strategy

By Stephanie Butler, Assistant Director of Admissions

Hello! Thanks to everyone who joined me last week for online Q&A. You had so many great questions. Before our chat got started, I offered some advice for creating a successful application strategy. If you couldn’t make it last Tuesday, here’s the gist. And by gist, I mean a slightly cleaned up version of my notes!



  1. Give yourself time.
    • Giving yourself time to reflect and be introspective is just as important as giving yourself time to write essays or study for the GMAT/GRE.  
    • Ask yourself: Why MBA, why now, what are my goals? What do I want from my career? My life? What is my story and how do I tell it in a compelling way? How will I be able to contribute to an MBA program?
  2. Get the GMAT/GRE out of the way.
    • The application process is not easy, and should not be rushed. (Yes, I'm repeating this one.)
    • Taking it early allows you time to retake if necessary—or if you simply think you can do better.  
    • It takes some of the pressure off, so you can focus on other things like essays, interview prep, and school visits.
  3. Decide which schools to apply to.
    • Benchmark yourself using class profiles.
    • Determine whether you’re a cultural fit—talk to Tuck when we’re on the road, talk to Tuckies at work or through your personal networks, utilize online opportunities (like chats or Tuck Connections), VISIT!
    • School exploration is an ongoing process—you’ll probably have another (tougher) decision to make later.
  4. Create a timeline.
    • Keep track of it ALL—deadlines, interview policies, notification dates, etc.—whether it’s on your Outlook Calendar, your iPhone, or in an Excel doc.  
    • Make your recommenders aware of deadlines too!
    • Read all instructions carefully…every school will be different. Take notes.
  5. Think about your finances.
    • Understand that business school is expensive (and brace yourself for it), but don’t be scared off by the price tag—consider ROI too.
      • It can be hard to do, but try to think about ROI in non-monetary terms too. Things like your network, experiences, and personal growth can be just as important. 
    • Save money, try to get your credit in good shape, maybe don’t buy a fancy car…
    • Don’t assume you’ll get a scholarship. Have a plan.

A little planning and organization on the frontend will not only make your life easier and less anxiety filled, but it will likely lead to stronger application as well.

Good luck!

P.S. Sorry, no transcript for the Q&A portion. You'll just have to join us next time!