In this webinar, Dr. Don Martin from Grad School Road Map talks about seven ways to help you get positively noticed and seven that can create the opposite effect. As a former business graduate school dean with over 28 years of experience across institutions such as The University of Chicago (Booth School of Business), Columbia University (Teachers College), and Northwestern University (Medill School of Journalism), Dr. Don has made final decisions on more than 125,000 applications. As a result, he has gained an in-depth understanding of the factors impacting the entire application process.

Founded in 2008 by Dr. Don Martin, Grad School Road Map provides expertise on school research and MBA applications to help prospective students maximize their chances of being positively noticed while minimizing the risks of being negatively noticed. In conjunction with the publication of his book Road Map for Graduate Study: A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students, Dr. Don has provided one-on-one application coaching for over 500 students, 97% of whom have been admitted to one or more business programs of their choice.

7 tips to get positively noticed as an MBA applicant

Dr. Don says that many graduate school applicants may not realize that certain ways they handle the application process can have a major impact on how they are perceived by the admissions committee. He shares seven tips to be positively noticed, emphasizing the importance of doing your own research. Dr. Don says that applicants should create a spreadsheet of at least 20 institutions of their choice – with prestige being less important than the sense of belonging in order to get phenomenal experiences.

As recommendation letters are an essential part of the application process, Dr. Don explains that you should choose your recommenders wisely. Another tip is to send a cover letter that shows you’ve done your homework – with your phone number included.

In addition, to be positively noticed, applicants should be specific, show sincere interest and express creative but not silly ideas. Dr. Don adds that you should keep composed no matter what. Admission committees will be evaluating you throughout the whole process and you want to leave a positive impression.

7 mistakes that result in being negatively noticed

For Dr. Don, one of the worst things a candidate can do is show a rude and arrogant attitude. Given that cultural differences play a role, Dr. Don says that doing your research to understand what constitutes rude behavior in a particular country is crucial.

Apart from that, Dr. Don says that being dishonest and oversharing are two huge mistakes to avoid. He also recommends avoiding contacting institutions unreasonably often, making excuses, and asking questions that any applicant can answer themselves (for example, deadlines clearly stated online). Furthermore, Dr. Don reminds prospective students that nobody is immune to silly mistakes (such as sending a draft with errors), so always make sure you send the right information.

In the end, Dr. Don says that even if your application is waitlisted or denied, you should never lose hope. Try again and continue being yourself. Dr. Don cites Oscar Wilde’s witty advice, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

For more insights and tips on how to get positively noticed when applying for an MBA, watch the whole webinar and receive a discount promo code for Dr. Martin’s book: Road Map to Graduate Study: A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students.