Shelving Your MBA Applications

Application season is in full swing, and you have probably even finished one or more of your applications by now.  If you haven’t submitted them yet, you may want to wait.

There’s not a scarier moment in the MBA process than when you hit the submit button on your computer.  There’s also not a more relieving moment!  As relieving as this moment can be, however, you must fight the urge to submit each application as your finish.  Assuming you are more organized than the person who literally works up to the deadline for each school, it’s likely you will be finishing applications with a little time to spare. 

The window of time between finishing an application and submitting it is when you should let the application marinate. 

Granted, the application will not change just sitting there, but what it will do, is give you time to start on another school.  Often, we have seen clients discover something new about themselves or their story on subsequent schools, and the last thing you want to experience is the sinking feeling of regret for not having included that new insight into an application you already submitted.

Shelving your applications is a good strategy for this reason, but there are other reasons to set them aside. 

You will always benefit from reading your finished application fresh, which requires one thing: time. 

Setting an application aside gives your brain a rest and helps eliminate the problem of missing mistakes because you have glossed over them one too many times.  Even if you are working on other applications, you will surprise yourself at how differently your finished application sounds in your head when you come back to it after a break.

While I always recommend clients set finished applications aside until hey are confident enough in their approach and their story to move on, there are some critical things to keep in mind when shelving applications. If you end up waiting until a school’s deadline rolls around to submit for example, one thing you should always do, is to stay organized. 

Missing a deadline would obviously be a huge backfire to the strategy of waiting to submit. 

While we’re talking about deadlines, you should also avoid waiting until the literal last moment to submit.  There have been far too many cases of internet problems or bandwidth problems or computer problems, etc. and even if the rush of applications overwhelms a school’s site, don’t assume the school will take responsibility and extend the deadline.  If it were me, I’d set a reminder in my calendar several days before each deadline, and give each of those shelved applications a final read.

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