#5 – DO INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS. I cannot underscore this enough. Work your Linked In connections. Reach out to people over email. Some find this scary, but it’s worth it. You need to figure out if your post-MBA career goal is what you really want to do, before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to achieve it.
Be proactive. Don’t get to business school, and then spend all your time in the middle of the recruitment dance floor hoping to be picked. When my clients do informational interviews, they speak from a place of knowledge and conviction.
As you might guess, this has a huge impact on the qualify of their essays and hence, chances for admission. Clarify your career goals, next, figure out which programs are ideally suited to help you achieve them. What do you need to get from point A to point B?
Look at the special programs/curriculum/alumni network offered by each school and back out your answer from there. Obtain a clear and specific understanding of how the program for each school fits with your career goals. When they ask you, Why Duke? Why Wharton? Why Tuck? you need a clear, thought-out response.
What not to do: I like the city, and your school has a good reputation in US News & World Report. NOOOOO…..that is like saying I want to marry you because you are pretty. And it will not separate you from the competition. You need to articulate a concrete plan that demonstrates your 1) specific goals and 2) plan to achieve them.