It’s early March (2013), the sun is shining, school kids are getting ready for spring break, and some MBA applicants are still interviewing for the fall.
If the first or second round of applications didn’t work for you, you want to be careful before rushing to write a few more third-round essays about “Why MBA,” “Why Now,” and “my biggest accomplishment.”
Overall, third round applications tend to fall into these main categories:
1. Bounce-backs: applicants who didn’t get into their dream schools earlier in the cycle but are trying to secure a spot for next year.
Challenges for you: convincing the school that you’re seriously excited about the program–that this is not just a Plan B–and crafting a strong application, one that doesn’t feel like warmed-up leftovers.
2. Daydreamers (or late bloomers): applicants who realized all of a sudden that they want to go get an MBA, and the sooner the better.
Challenges for you: spending enough time researching and interacting with the programs, securing top recommendation letters on time, and writing essays that are not superficial.
3. Reaching for the Stars: applicants who did get into strong programs earlier in the season, and now, their competitive appetite whetted, are trying to see whether they can get into even better programs. This is usually a smaller group, as most applicants would avoid writing another MBA essay at any cost.
Challenges for you: finding the energy to write these essays, convincing your recommender to write another letter of support (after all they have already done for you).