I came to the conclusion that the biggest mistake I had made in the MBA application process was rushing things. I would assume it is impossible to think you fit in at a top MBA program and not have confidence in your abilities. Towards the end of the summer I thought that 3 months was plenty of time to take the GMAT, apply to schools, visit and take 16 credit hours of mostly upper level accounting classes. I was wrong.
I think that rushing things and over-taxing myself was the primary reason I ended up not as successful with everything as I would like. With that in mind, I have "budgeted" myself 10 months to a year for my second try and decided to improve myself in a few key areas.
- Finish my accounting certificate: 9 credit hours, intermediate accounting, financial statement analysis and auditing.
- Teach myself valuation and financial modeling: I got a couple of books on amazon. Reviews to come once I have finished them but both seem awesome.
- Get a job as a financial analyst: I could probably make more money short term doing other things, but I think it will show adcoms that I am moving towards my goal.
- Take consulting jobs: I have been taking finance and accounting consulting jobs here and there, mostly to beef up my resume and stay sharp, but I think it will look good.
- Re-take the GMAT: I felt like taking it 3 times in 3 months was like jumping into a wall. I wasn't getting adequate preparation and it showed. My scores didn't improve to where i wanted them to be. I feel like I can get into the 680-720 range which should get me into my target schools, hopefully with a scholarship.
I think giving myself the proper amount of time and preparation will make this second attempt successful where the first one wasnt.