Prepping to Apply to Business School

Everyone has a different process for prepping to apply for business school.  I often get asked how much time should be set aside to prepare for everything from GMATs to essays and full applications, what should I write about, am I connected to fashion enough?  It is easy to feel a little lost and overwhelmed looking at the whole application process so I am going to break it down a little.

First, the process is about you, so don’t feel like you need to stick to any prescribed timeline.  

For me, I found out about the Stern Fashion & Luxury program in August and applied for the November deadline.  I studied for the GMAT every weekend and only took it once before applying. My turnaround time between looking at the application and submitting was only a few months because I knew the moment I saw the program I wanted to join.  One classmate spent a full year talking to people at Stern, from students to administrators, before applying. She spaced out her time for the GMAT, took a class to prepare and took it a few times. That year allowed her to take her time and work through everything as slowly as she wanted.  Both of us got accepted and both of us are thriving here at Stern. Your application is your own process, you know yourself best so don’t get too caught up in what everyone around you is doing.

Second, let some fun seep into the process, it doesn’t have to feel like work.

Applying for business school can be nerve-wracking and stressful, but it doesn’t always have to be.  This is a big step, but it is a fun step too that gives you some space to think about your future. Maybe writing the goals essay was easy as pie for you because you’ve always had a 5-year plan, or maybe it can be your space to think through what you want from a career.  The Pick 6 can be your time to reflect on what you value. While there is a goal to this application, enjoy the journey and wade around the in the self-discovery aspects of your application process.


Third, let your passion shine through!

The Fashion & Luxury Program is a focused program for a reason, everyone is passionate about something under that retail umbrella.  You are going to be surrounded by people who are as enthusiastic about retail and fashion as you are! If you are looking at this program there is probably a reason for it and you should let that excitement come through in your application.  I was a Gender Studies major during my undergraduate degree where I researched makeup and gender presentation. I then worked as a makeup artist before coming to Business School. These aren’t aspects that immediately come to mind when putting together an application, but they do represent what I am passionate about and I wanted that to come through.  Make sure you include what made you excited about this program in the first place!