Vince Best Practices
Thank you for trusting Vince to help you prepare for your upcoming MBA application deadlines. We have nearly 20 years of experience as one of Japan’s leading MBA consultants. Please find below some tips and “best practices” that we have found to be effective for past clients. We encourage you to use these suggestions as you begin your application.
Step 1 - Prepare for your first session with Vince
- First, list all the schools you plan to apply. Second, gather as much information as you can about each school’s requirements. Third, share that information with Vince at your first session.
- Make sure you carefully read each school’s respective website for information regarding its specific requirements. Keep in mind that each school’s information is subject to change. Please verify all data with the schools. Neither Vince nor his AIGAC partners Clear Admit is responsible for information provided by schools. We do our best to share the latest information, but you are always responsible for verifying all information directly with the schools to which are you applying.
- Generally speaking, all school applications will require a resume, essays, academic record, and letters of recommendation. However, some may require more. Our clients apply to an average of five to seven schools. We suggest applying to at least one school in the first application deadline. Doing so gets you prepared to apply to additional schools in the second application deadline. If you are successful in your application, your school’s respective admission committee will notify you for an interview.
- In preparation for your first resume session, it is highly suggested that you use the following link as a reference: https://www.vinceprep.com/videos/resumes
Step 2 - Attend your sessions with Vince
Session A: Application Strategy and Resume
- You will work on one school at a time with Vince. As a first step, you will work on your school selection and resume. During this particular time, it is critical that you share as much information as you can regarding your career goals, school selections and your unique background. This phase will set the tone for the rest of the application. In particular for your school selections, the consultant would like you to share information regarding your school’s requirements and deadlines, your current availability, and a general application timeline.
- Once this is completed, your consultant will inquire about your academic and professional work history for your resume. During this session, it is important to discuss not only your education and job responsibilities, but also your accomplishments, qualifications, leadership, extracurricular activities, and any other detail that will help differentiate you from other MBA candidates.
Session B: Essay Brainstorming and Guidance Session
- After the resume, you will work on the essays. To prepare for the essays, send an outline of all possible questions and your possible answers. This page shows you how we want you to send your outlines to us http://www.vinceprep.com/essays/outline-your-essays
- As noted in the above link, Vince will help you brainstorm possible answers to each application data form short answer question and any related essay questions.
- Ultimately, you are in charge of this process and you are responsible for your results. We help you maximize your potential. We also help you avoid critical mistakes. Vince is responsible for helping keep you on pace and help you manage the process to the extent possible. We promise to do our very best to help you maximize your potential in this process.
Meanwhile, here is what we expect from you:
- You will be responsible for sharing all the essay requirements for all your target schools
- You will make a schedule for yourself and share it with Vince regarding your timeline for completing your essays
- You will share at least two possible options for each strategically important “small box” answer and essay question.
- Share suggestions for how to answer the question. Use bullet points (full sentences not necessary)
- You will also share the pros and cons of each choice. Why do you believe that each choice might help (or hurt) your candidacy?
Please review this post to understand how to share brainstorming options with Vince http://www.vinceprep.com/essays/outline-your-essays
Step 3 - Submit Other Application Materials (throughout the Application Process)
- It is your responsibility to obtain all other necessary application materials such as your letters of recommendation, official transcripts, GMAT and TOEFL / IELTS test scores, and any other required documentation. Vince will be available to answer any questions you may have; however it is up to you to acquire and submit these materials to the appropriate university.
- Note: It is advisable to acquire these materials early so that sufficient time can be used to create your best application. Vince is your coach, but you must run this race, and win it, on your own. Vince is not responsible for having all the answers. Rather, Vince is here to help you learn how to get the answers. In some cases, you might need to contact the school directly. We can tell you how to do that.
Step 4 - Submission
- After all aspects of the application have been completed, together with Vince, you will review your overall application once more before you submit all the materials. Be sure to proofread!
Step 5 - Notification and Interviews
- After submitting your application, you will receive a status notification from your respective school. The notification period will vary depending on the school. Please check the school’s website for further information.
- If you are successful, the school will notify you of the location, time, and format of the interview.
- You will then contact Vince to prepare and practice for the interview.
- Please share all relevant information related to the interview with Vince.
- And please be sure to let Vince know where you got admitted, and where you will attend.
- We hope to toast your success at The Agos Banquet, which is usually held the last Friday of May.
Some friendly reminders
- When brainstorming, we will work on one school at a time. Our logic and process is explained here http://www.vinceprep.com/essays/make-a-fresh-start-with-each-new-mba-application
- As deadlines approach, Vince might be able to check contents for multiple schools during one session, but doing so is always up to Vince’s professional judgment and discretion.
- We will never provide a first read of materials for multiple schools in one, fifty-minute session. Therefore, please kindly refrain from send us multiple files for multiple schools that we have never discussed with you at a previous session. It is not a good idea to brainstorm and plan contents for multiple schools at one time and we will not provide such a service.
List of School Requirements Requested for School 1 (and subsequent schools)
Please share the below information with Vince at your first Application Strategy Session (or any early-stage session other than a “Resume Production” session).
1. First application deadline (please convert to JST ex. depending on daylight savings time, 5 PM US East Coast time is 6 AM or 7 AM the next morning in Japan)
2. Second application deadline (listed in JST)
3. Resume requirements (note: a one page is always preferred for non-executive MBA programs. Does the school specify how many lines of text are allowed? For example, MIT Sloan 2-year MBA requires the resumes be no more than 50 lines of text.)
Note: our best resume tips are here
4. Application data form short answer questions (“small boxes”) that require thought, planning and at least one review by Vince.
We have gathered and analyzed some (but certainly not all) “small box” questions here
Please share others with us since we cannot login to school websites
5. Your short and long-term career goals
6. Why you need an MBA to achieve your career goals (What hard and soft skills do you seek to develop at MBA? In other words, why can you NOT achieve your stated goals without getting an MBA? And why is now the best time to get your MBA? Why not next year? Why not last year?) Our best tips for answering “why MBA?” and “why now?” are here
7. Three reasons why you feel you fit with this school’s culture Our best tips on how to understand and confirm “fit” are here https://www.vinceprep.com/interviews/contribution
8. A list of your strengths and weakness, both personal and professional, with a few examples of each strength and weakness
Our best tips on how to determine and share your strengths and weaknesses are here http://www.vinceprep.com/interviews/strengthsweaknesses
9. All required essay questions and word limits
The most comprehensive database of MBA essay questions we have found is here http://www.clearadmit.com/schools
If you find something better, please let us know :)
10. All optional / additional essays that you might consider submitting to this school
Our best tips for answering optional essays are here
11. Any notes or tips about this school’s essays or application requirements provided by admissions officers on their website, admissions blog, and/or within the application data form instructions that you will see after you register and login to this school’s application page
We have bookmarked top admissions officer blogs here
If you find others, please tell Vince and we will add them to this list. Thank you!
12. (OPTIONAL) Any essay tips that you have found from other AIGAC members that you have found helpful as you analyze this school’s essay questions (and the questions BEHIND the questions). We suggest you start here to find some useful tips from AIGAC members
13. Letter of recommendation (LoR) questions and word limits and any specific instructions provided by the school. First, please read our best LoR tips here
Second, please find some tips that our industry organization has created to help your recommender understand the recommendation letter process. Those tips are here
14. Transcript requirements: does the school require an official transcript at the time of application? Does it accept an unofficial transcript at the time of application? Does the school require the applicant to self-report his grades in the online application form and then send the official transcript at a later date
We have bookmarked transcript-related advice from some top schools here
15. Other issues of concern to you
For now, please kindly gather and provide to Vince a list all of the written application materials required for each of your target schools. Our AIGAC partner Clear Admit lists a lot of that information here on their website
Bottom line and THANK YOU!
- You will be responsible for gathering and managing all of this information and setting a schedule and sharing it with Vince. If Vince feels your schedule is not realistic, he will tell you. At the end of the day, however, you are a professional and an adult. You will make your own decisions. We know that.
- Vince is responsible for helping keep you on pace and helping you manage the process to the extent possible but you are ultimately in charge of your schedule and you are ultimately responsible for your results.
- Thank you for choosing to work with Vince. We know you have many options and we greatly appreciate your trust and commitment to working through the process together to the best of our abilities.
Information is subject to change. Please verify all data with the schools.