If you have just finished polishing and submitting your business school applications for Round 2, then congratulate yourself. What a way to kick off 2015! Now you may wonder, what are you supposed to do next? Here are a few ideas to keep you occupied:

Prepare for Interviews

Think it’s too early? Once you find out if you’ve been invited to interview, you won’t have much time to prepare. Get a head start now by researching commonly-asked questions and mapping out your responses. Spend time on interview report wikis where applicants have posted the questions they were asked, often just a few weeks ago in Round 1! Remind yourself of the details of several meaningful stories that could apply to a variety of interview question scenarios. Practice reciting them in the mirror or on video. Even better, hold mock interviews with friends or a Shine MBA admissions consultant.

Thank Your Recommenders

If you haven’t already done so, now is an ideal time to show your appreciation for the recommenders who have worked so hard for you over these last several weeks. Whether your budget allows for gift cards to a new restaurant, a nice bottle of wine, homemade treats, or a thoughtful card, your gesture of gratitude will go a long way.

Begin Round 3 Applications

Do you still have some programs you were planning to apply to in Round 3? After weighing the pros and cons, if you’re still on the Round 3 train, then leverage your current momentum. Get started now on your data forms and begin reflecting on your new sets of essay questions. Are you afraid that if you work hard on your Round 3 applications and get accepted to your Round 2 schools then you will have wasted your time? If that happens, then feel free to come back and use us as your punching bag.

Press On

Submitting your business school applications isn’t the end of the road. Continue building success stories in both your professional and personal life by gaining new skills, managing a new project, proposing an initiative, or stepping up to become the captain of your recreational soccer team. By the time you interview, you’ll have fresh new stories to share with the admissions committee, as well as a growing track record of accomplishments. Ones that could push you over the edge versus other candidates who chose to put their feet up on their desks instead. Or, in the unfortunate case that you’re not accepted, then you’ll have propelled yourself forward in other meaningful ways—and strengthened your candidacy for Round 1 next year.

[For help with preparing your business school applications, or for general MBA admissions advice, contact us at info@shineadmissions.com]

© Shine/ MBA Admissions Consulting, Thursday, January 15, 2:30pm MT