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5 Things to Consider: Round 2 MBA Application

Round 2 MBA Application Best PracticesThe number of Round 2 applicants tends to be higher than Round 1 despite the admission team and consultants, including me, recommending applicants to target dream schools (first and second in the list) by round one. Before you start the application process for Round 2, here are 5 things to consider:

1) Managing Recommenders will not go as planned

Dec 31st is the end of quarter three; this means your manager will be busy traveling to meet quarterly targets or planning to take the well-deserved winter break, after finishing the tasks that are behind schedule. Your chance of getting a reflective recommendation letter in his unique voice is minimal. Get all your recommendation letters by last week of November or first week of December. If they can’t commit to your application, early enough, at least start the process by the first week of December. Meet the recommender and guide them through the narrative that you have covered and include examples that complement your story or strengthen your unique career path or value proposition.

2) Change Target School if you get rejected after Round 1 Interviews

By the second week of November you will receive admission decision for most Round 1 applications, and if you were shortlisted for an interview, the decisions would be released by December 2nd week. You will have a 2-week window to come up with new schools if you were rejected or waitlisted. Most Round 1 applicants will not consider the scenario after they get an interview call. Many in a last-minute effort to keep the chances alive choose the wrong school or wait for the waitlist cycle in Round 2.

Even if you have confidence in your interview performance, be prepared to shortlist a few more schools. The Round 2 list that was in the backburner might have to be re-evaluated. As a safe bet, apply to two more schools from your list even if you have given a great interview. This will hedge the bets against an unexpected outcome. Adjust the narrative according to the schools you are targeting. For any help, Download Winning MBA Essay Guide and Subscribe to our Essay Review Service.

3) Stand Out from International Applicants


The majority of applicants in round two are international since schools have reiterated in most of their communication that the chance for funding goes down after round 2. If you are a local applicant, bring narratives that are unique to the host country. This way, your essay will stand out in a heap of essays that highlight international travel as a unique value proposition.

If you are an international applicant, instead of parroting International travel experience, highlight your problem-solving skills at a Global level. More than working with diverse cultures, what you can bring is an ability to see problems and their impact on Global and local markets. Share the unique perspective on how decisions made at each international office and board level can have an impact on the future of the company.

An applicant who can bring a strategic insight is rare. Most applicants will go on and on about leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills at a project level. You should do that too, but bring a purpose to your action with insight, and the admission team will know that you will be a good candidate for post-MBA Consulting and General Management roles.

4) Say Goodbye to your Winter Vacation

The first casualty for Round 2 applications is your vacation. Be prepared to spend a lot of time writing, re-writing, uploading documents, calling recommenders, throughout December and the first week of January. Postpone your vacation to the second week of January. It is tough to focus on your application when your colleagues and family is in their ‘leisure’ zone. For motivation to keep writing, listen to the 8 Hour Study Mix by Delta Notch; no words or tunes that will take you away from the writing process; pure trance to keep you in the zone.

5) Learn from Round 1 Mistakes

Repeating the same mistake as in Round 1 can deter your admission chances. This is, however, tricky. Just changing directions by 180 degrees without evaluating the reasons for your dings can lead to completely revamping your MBA application in the wrong direction.

There are five reasons for rejection:

1) Not Unique


This is the most common reason for rejection. You were unsuccessful with your narrative to bring out the uniqueness in your profile or despite your best effort; your profile does not find the appeal for a top MBA program. Round 2 Schools might be entirely different from Round 1. Applicants shortlist 2nd tier and schools not in the top 10 ranking for Round 2. The idea to be unique often pushes applicants to create narratives that on reading looks like outliers. Don’t overdo it. Change narratives after understanding what the school stands for. Sometimes a narrative that didn’t work for a top MBA program might be perfect for your Round 2 Schools.

Consult us before uploading your essay

2) Poor Narrative

When we reviewed essays of round 1 applicants, even the most qualified candidate have a poor grasp of why narratives matter in MBA Admissions.

Once we demonstrate the difference between a standard essay with clichéd narrative and an essay that immediately grasp the attention of the admission team, they are sold on the idea. Applicants who have failed to understand the power of narrative have not read our Winning MBA Essay Guide. Don’t write a novel but your words have a direct influence on your future. Choose them carefully, fully understanding the audience you are targeting.

3) Poor Recommendation Letter


Another common reason for Round 1 rejection is poor recommendation letter. The Admission team has given some consideration for grammatical errors in recommendation letters if the supervisor’s first language is not English but choosing the wrong recommender can jeopardize your admission chances.

Most qualified supervisors are not naturally inclined to write recommendation letters. They are used to writing letters for job recommendations not for MBA Admissions. The rules are completely different. For jobs, the supervisor is focusing on a functional skill and affirming that the candidate would be a good fit.

In MBA Admissions, the supervisor has to highlight personal and professional traits in equal measure. A mismanaged schedule can often lead to a poor final version for the recommendation letter. Don’t repeat the same mistake for Round 2. Pick the right recommender and manage the writing process.

4) Mismatch between Post-MBA Goals and MBA Program

Despite good narratives and strong credential of the recommenders, you might have been rejected because of your post-MBA goals and what the MBA program can offer is completely different. We recommended using the Employment report strategically in Winning MBA Essay Guide. Don’t state post-MBA goals that have not been fulfilled by less than 10% of the previous class. You can be an outlier, but Business School is a conduit for consulting, finance, and technology jobs. Bring diversity to your narrative within the three spheres. If you are too out of the box, the admission team would be hesitant to pick you.

5) Higher Competition


Despite the best narratives, recommendation letters, and right post-MBA goals, the competition might have killed your chances. There were too many applicants from your pre-MBA experience. Perhaps, your GMAT Score and GPA was on the borderline.

You might not need to revamp the application that you used for Round 1.

Share your profile and application strategy with us. We will evaluate why you were rejected and whether applying again with the same strategy is a good idea.

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Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back (319 Words)   
    Sample MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood) (401 Words)   
    Sample Harvard MBA Essay - Volunteering (Mental Health Awareness)   (774 Words)   
+
Stanford
MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Consulting)(399 words)  
    Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Tech Entrepreneur) (390 words)  

    Sample Why Stanford MBA: Career Switch(Finance to Green Energy Consulting)(394 Words)
    Sample Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (740 Words)
+ Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Booth MBA Essay #1: Oil & Gas to Consulting (475 Words)
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     Sample Booth MBA Essay #2: Leadership experience (Father’s Restaurant Business)(493 Words)   
     Sample Booth MBA Essay #2: Leadership experience (Teach for America)(640 Words)

+ Columbia MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
   Sample Columbia MBA Essay 1: Enterprise to Consumer Marketing (495 Words)  

    Sample Columbia MBA Essay 2:  New York for Marketing Professionals (244 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Marketing Lead) (242 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Technology) (248 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Pharma) (244 Words)  

+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
     Personality Type (Accepted MIT Sloan Students)   
     Cover Letter Checklist   

     Sample Cover Letter – Technology Consulting (286 Words)
     Sample Cover Letter – Healthcare Entrepreneurship (296 Words)
+ Kellogg MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Essay 1: Demonstrated Leadership (Marketing) (449 Words)
     Sample Essay 2: Demonstrated Leadership (Technology) (449 Words)   
     Sample Essay 3: MBA as a Catalyst for Growth (Technology) (438 Words)
     Sample Essay 4: MBA as a Catalyst for Growth (Non-Profit to Consulting) (442 Words)
+ INSEAD MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
   Sample Essay 1: Candid Description, Strengths & Weaknesses
    Sample Essay 2: Achievements and Failures

    Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are
+
Haas
MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit   
     Sample MBA Essay: Technology   
     Sample MBA Essay: Marketing   
     Sample MBA Essay: Getting Fired   
     Sample MBA Essay: Diverse and Inclusive Culture   
     Sample MBA Essay: Leadership   
     Sample MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goal & How Pre-MBA Experience will help  
 
+ Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Business Development (Mobile Start-Up)(486 Words)
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     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Consulting (442 Words)   
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     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Marketing (492 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Entrepreneurship (497 Words)
 
 
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band (96 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Marketing Professional with a hidden talent to do Impression (100 Words)   
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   Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Timidity)(98 Words)   
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   Sample Essay – Short-term Goals and why the goal is the right choice for you (Technology to Marketing)(299 Words)   
+ London Business School MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    London as the Financial Hub   
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    London as the Consulting Hub   

    How to Cite the Curriculum (Example)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Technology to Consulting for FinTech) (489 Words)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Hospitality to Consulting) (499 Words)
+ Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua Short-Answer Essay Questions   
    Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)   
    Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Consulting for Government (100 Words)   
    Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Plan B (89 Words)   
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua 25 Random Things   
    Sample Duke Fuqua Essay: The Fuqua community and you (Max 2 Pages)  
+ NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
     Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words) (Finance)
     Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (494 Words) (Consulting)
     Essay 3:  Personal Expression (a.k.a. "Pick Six")    
     5 Examples with Images

+ Darden MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Near Death Experience)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Networking and Job Offer at an Unlikely place)   
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Mountaineering)
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     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Evolving Leadership Style (198 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Meaningful IMPACT (200 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay: Short-term Post-MBA career goal (149 words)
+ Wharton MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    7 Professional Gains
    Sample Wharton MBA Essay 1: Gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (473 words)   
    Sample Wharton MBA Essay #2: Math Tutoring and Experimental music’s value (388 Words)

+ Sample Essays

+ The Art of Storytelling 
+ Leadership Narratives
+ Review Tips
+ Persuasion Strategies
+ The Secret to "unleashing" your unique voice
+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses

Download Winning MBA Essay Guide (2019 Entering Class)




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