Business Schools






        4 Ways MBA Applicants Can Get Ahead This Christmas

        Prospective b-schoolers should put the festive season to good use

        Many images come to mind this holiday season—family, food, drink, lights, presents, etcetera. But applications?

        As tempting as it might be, do not put them on the backburner during the holiday season! As many of you will have extra time off, be sure to dedicate some of it to your MBA applications.

        With smart time management, you will still have plenty of time to enjoy the festivities.

        Here’s four ways MBA applicants can get ahead this Christmas:

        1. Crowdsource feedback

        Your family knows you best and the most compelling essays include personal details. Share the essay topics you are struggling on with your loved ones and get their advice. Ask for their favorite anecdotes and their honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.

        Brainstorming can be the hardest part, so let your family do some heavy lifting over holiday cocktails. Better yet, print a copy of your essays and ask a trusted family member to give them a read—preferably early in the evening!

        2. Don’t forget your recommenders

        Recommendations take a lot of time and effort, so while you are thanking your mailman, doorman and hairdresser this holiday season, don’t forget your recommenders!

        Bonus, give the gift personally and use this exchange to check in on your recommendations, answer any open questions and give your recommenders a gentle push. It is a busy time of year for them too, so take any excuse you can to make sure your LORs are a priority.

        3. Try to score a holiday invite

        Take the easy road this year and don’t host the holidays. Your essays are likely taking up all of your free time, so don’t hesitate to ask for help and bow out of cooking.

        Think about how great it will feel if you can have everything done in time to host some killer gatherings in the new year, like a celebratory party after you are admitted into your dream school!

        4. Manage your time

        The weeks are flying by, so lay out everything you need to work on and set deadlines for yourself. Schedule in the necessary number of hours for each day and be sure to schedule extra time during the holidays.

        Smaller concrete tasks are much easier to accomplish and, with hard deadlines, it’s harder to get lazy. So, shop in the morning, take a few hours to work on your essays, and then hit the holiday parties!

        Scott Edinburgh is a Wharton MBA and MIT alumnus and founder of Personal MBA Coach, a full-service admission consulting and tutoring firm. Personal MBA Coach has been helping candidates on all aspects of the MBA application process for 10 years with a 96% success rate.  Email for a free consultation, call on +1 617-645-2424 or visit to find out more.