Key Parts of Your MBA Application

Short Essays, Videos, and More: Other Key Parts of Your MBA Application

An outstanding GMAT score may get your foot in the door, but admissions committees also closely evaluate all other facets of your MBA application before making final decisions. Some of these facets are often overlooked by many applicants which can make their overall candidacy appear weaker than it is. Far beyond just test scores, crucial additional elements like short answer questions, optional essays, resume updates tailored to business school priorities, and multimedia presentations through video components require extensive work and focus.

While you have likely spent months studying for the GMAT, remembering to save adequate time and mental bandwidth to properly prepare these supporting materials with the same level of diligence is imperative. Rushing through short essays or opting not to complete optional components means missing prime opportunities to fill gaps, provide vital context, showcase your communication abilities, and use every tool at your disposal to garner admissions success. Properly prioritizing these other keys alongside your GMAT prep guarantees the most comprehensive, polished application possible.

Take Your Time to Craft Short Answer Application Questions

In addition to traditional long-form essays, many MBA programs now incorporate key short answer and essay questions as critical application components. Typically ranging from 100 words to 250 words, these truncated responses seem simple on the surface. However, distilling your background, skills, qualifications, and goals into tight word limits while ensuring coherence and impact takes finesse.

Do not rush to write back these answers without good planning. Short essays let you show key parts of your background that resumes don’t cover. Make a list of stories that show leadership, teamwork, communication skills, and other qualities MBA programs want. Having these ready makes customizing answers easy when you read each question.

Use the short answers to share specific examples and stories that show who you are. Avoid just repeating resume points. Pick stories that show the particular strengths a school wants based on its values and goals. Carefully highlight details of one experience demonstrating a desired skill, instead of many skills generally.

Before writing short essay answers, think about the exact story you want to tell to impress the school. Save enough time to plan good stories to share, instead of writing fast without clear examples. Use these short spaces as a chance to make your application stand out through compelling stories tailored for each school.

Evaluate Optional Essay Necessity and Usage

Many MBA programs incorporate optional essay prompts or open-ended “anything else” statements alongside required components. Take time for serious discernment when deciding if and how to leverage these additional response opportunities as part of your overall admissions strategy across schools. 

Examine each optional question and critically evaluate whether you need any clarification around potential red flags like resume employment gaps or downward academic trends. 

If your candidacy and required essays already strongly convey cohesiveness, passion, and impact, opting not to overstuff your application with unnecessary extra content may prove most prudent. 

Adequately Prepare for MBA Video Components

Increasingly, top business schools are incorporating 1-2 minute video components allowing applicants to directly interface with admissions committees beyond paper materials. You may be asked to film introductions, responses to standard interview questions, or reactions to hypothetical scenarios. Savvy applicants understand these quick video snippets require practice comparable to far lengthier application items.

For some schools like MIT Sloan, you get the question ahead of time and submit a recorded video with your application. Other schools give some questions in advance, but you record live when applying. Schools like Yale SOM and Kellogg share questions and record videos on the spot, very soon after applying.

The topics are often personal, letting the school get to know you. They may ask about your goals, interests, values, and hobbies, along with other challenging questions.

It’s important to practice for video essays, but don’t sound overly rehearsed. If you get the question before, make bullet points to guide your answer. If not, practice sample questions out loud.

Pay equal attention to background setting, lighting, body language, eye contact, volume modulation, and energy level displayed on camera to augment messaging. 

Additional MBA Application Items Giving You Stress?

The multitude of additional MBA application components beyond GMAT/GRE testing now play an outsized role in determining admission outcomes. Simply submitting adequate responses guarantees neither differentiation nor success amid fierce competition. Rather, each short answer, optional essay, tailored resume, and video component merits thoughtful content refinement on par with traditional long essays to impress selective admissions committees. If you are struggling to balance the various moving parts, engaging an MBA admissions consultant proves prudent. Specialized abroad education experts can critically assess your current candidacy strengths while pinpointing crucial areas for message refinement. In collaboration with an experienced consultant intimately familiar with top global MBAs’ priorities, crafting concise yet compelling content for each question and multimedia facet can profoundly augment your probability of admission success. With so much at stake professionally in an increasingly complex application landscape, securing skilled guidance maximizes your odds of submitting the strongest application possible across components.