3 Things Smart People Do Alongside GMAT Prep
Smart students go way beyond just giving their best on GMAT exam or the applications. They ensure that they increase their chances of selection and go that extra mile by doing some smart things. In this post we will be talking about the 3 things that the smart students do alongside their GMAT preparation. After interacting with Admission Officers, students, and Professors at prestigious institutes like Kellogg, Chicago Booth, Michigan Ross, and Harvard, we were able to collect some key pointers which we are going to share in this helpful post.
This is the 7th post in the series of 10 articles covering the various aspects around MBA admissions. You can find the previous posts here – blog.gmatwhiz.com.
3 things smart people do alongside their GMAT Prep
Let’s discuss the three most important things that smart students do while they prepare for the GMAT and you should do too –
1. IDENTIFYING THE RIGHT SCHOOLS
Now, some students already have their dream B-school in mind before beginning their GMAT prep. The common criteria followed by most students for identifying the right school is limited to the following factors:
- School’s Ranking
- Geographical location
- Course Fee and/or ROI
If your search is limited to the above factors, chances are high that your applications will not stand out. This is because you may have very less to talk about your compatibility with the school. Although the above factors are important and play a key role in identifying the best school for students, it is not enough. You also need to remember that each B-school is going to look at the fit.
What should you look for in a B-school?
Considering the fact that an MBA is going to cost you a fortune, you should identify the right schools on the basis of what’s the value add that you’re expecting from the B-school. So, you must start by identifying the exact reason why you really wish to do an MBA, which skill(s) do you wish to gain from an MBA, and so on. Then, identify schools that will help you move forward in your career by fulfilling these criteria. This effort is going to help you while writing your SOPs as well.
2. SPEAKING TO ALUMNI AND ADCOMS
Just as it is important for you to get into the right school, similarly it is very important for the Adcoms to find the right candidates who are really serious about getting into the school and have done their research. Adcoms like to know how well you have researched about the school. Some aspects that will really help you are:
1. Connecting with an Alumni, if possible, from a similar field you’re in or you want to be in after your MBA. You can get insights into the school’s curriculum and other things from the Alumnus. An additional benefit of this is that you can even very cleverly mention the name of the Alumni or some instances with them in your applications.
2. Attending events organized by the Adcoms. Events can help you know more about the school. Sometimes you might even learn things that are not mentioned on the website. The bonus of doing this is that Adcoms might also look at the list of attendees to check for students who have seriously researched about the school.
3. Engaging Adcoms in conversations can help your case. This might not earn you brownie points directly, but many Admission Officers agree that they like students who engage with them and ask relevant questions about the school as it shows intent and seriousness.
Additional Tip: Don’t just speak to the Adcoms for the sake of speaking. Try to get helpful information from them which is not easily available on their websites. Asking basic questions which are easily available on their website will only throw off the Adcoms. Do your research properly and ask genuine doubts that you may have about the program. The Adcoms are generally very humble and would love to help you.
3. IMPROVING THEIR PROFILES
This is another aspect that smart students never forget to do and you need to focus on as early as possible. There are a multitude of factors that B-schools consider while evaluating each student, such as –
- Career Progression
- Academic Potential
- Leadership Skills
- Social Initiatives taken by you
- Your journey till date with respect to your overall goal in life
It is important that you analyse your performance on these factors and work on improving the areas that you’re not so good at. If you start working on them right away, you can pretty much strengthen your application and take it to the next level. There are various strategies that can be followed to improve your profile and it depends largely on how you’re placed at the moment. More details on this in a later posts.
Other Important Factors –
There are some other factors that can also be improved on, such as International Experience, Learning another language, etc. However, these factors are largely dependent on the school that you’re applying to. In a nutshell, you need to ensure that you’re doing your best to ensure that you’re a fit for the program and that Adcoms feel the same way about you.
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