Take it One Step at a Time

I remember when I first found out about the MMS program – I was Googling master’s programs in the States when I learned that Duke had a one-year business program for students straight out of undergrad. I thought, “This is just for me!”

That was in 2010, and I started studying for the GMAT right away – it must have been in May. I decided to apply during the second application round, so I scheduled my GMAT test date, and began working on my recommendations and application essays so everything would be ready by the round two deadline.

Studying for the GMAT was so horrible. I hated it, but I had to do it! The first few days of studying were torture because I really didn’t like the quantitative part. But as I got more used to the structure of the math problems, I started to train myself on how to think “GMAT Quant.” The first test I took was so nerve wracking (I get really nervous during tests). I don’t even remember how I got through it! I came out of the testing area in a daze, but at least I got a score to report!

While I was studying for the GMAT, I started to think about the essay questions: How do I fit in the MMS program? What can I do for the program if I’m accepted? How could I add value to the program? I started making a map of all the work experience I had. I thought about what I learned from those experiences and in what way I could benefit the program with those experiences. I tried to be as honest as I could, and probably wrote a million outlines!

But as soon as I got the GMAT and the essay outline out of the way, it was smooth sailing from there. So, if you’re in the beginning stages of the application process, and are feeling overwhelmed, don’t stress! Make a plan and tackle it. Once you get through the first few steps, the rest will fall into place. If you haven’t already, be sure to carefully look through all the admissions criteria and information on the MMS website.