The road to your MBA can be complex
and sometimes confusing. To help keep you on track,
here's a calendar of what b-school applicants should be
doing, and when.
Don't Forget: The
Round II deadlines for many of the
top b-schools fall in early January. MIT - Sloan's Round
II deadline is its final application deadline for the
If you're a 2017 applicant, start thinking about
scheduling the GMAT for this summer.
That way you'll get your scores back in time to
factor your test performance into your school
selection. You'll also leave yourself plenty of time
to retake the test if you aren't happy with your
first score. For information on registering for and scheduling a
test, visit the GMAC's website (www.mba.com). You are
also cordially invited to review our
GMAT prep section.
Not sure whether you need a GMAT prep course? Call us at
1.800.809.0800 (+1 703.242.5885 outside the US and
Canada) to discuss your situation. We're here to help you!
School and Program Selection:
If you're applying for this fall, you
should already have been working from a well-defined list of your
target schools. If you were disappointed with your Round I application outcomes, you might want to expand that
list now to include some additional safety schools
for Round 2 and even Round 3.
That said, don't apply to any school that you wouldn't
genuinely want to attend. You'd probably be wasting
your time and money on the application, anyway.
Nothing biases an
against an applicant more than a palpable lack of
enthusiasm for their school. The number of schools you
ultimately decide to apply to will depend upon how high
you rank a safety school and the time and resources you
have to work on applications.
Make plans to visit schools by this
spring at the very latest, especially any that you have an active
application at. If you're going to have an
admissions interview, try to combine your school
visit with an on-campus interview.
If you're a 2017 applicant, start
thinking about what kind of
program you want to apply for: full-time, part-time, or EMBA.
If EMBA or part-time programs seem like a good fit
for you, look into whether your employer will help
pay for your tuition or otherwise support your
studies. Make sure you understand what you would be
expected to do in return. Most employers will ask
you to commit to continue working for them for a
minimum number of years.
Think about what you do outside of work.
Will those activities support your case for b-school
admission? Would you benefit from increasing your level
of commitment, or by getting involved in additional
groups or activities? (If you are applying for admission
this coming fall,
however, beware of the perception of expediency that
might arise if you begin new commitments now.)
"It's a good idea to create a grid in which you match your stories to
the essay set for each school's application. This gives you a visual tool to see if you're properly communicating your positioning across the entirety of the application before you begin writing individual essays."
– Senior Admissions Consultant
Nicole Witt. Nicole earned her MBA at Cornell University's
Johnson Graduate School of Management, where she served on
the admissions committee.
Keep track of which schools you are
applying to, in which rounds. Make sure that you
will be able to meet the necessary deadlines while
still leaving yourself enough time to prepare
applications that clearly
demonstrate a good fit with each school. Most likely,
this will require considerable customization from one
application to the next. Keep in mind the different tradeoffs at each school
between applying early or applying with a more
Continue working on your story themes and
developing your most potent 'wow' factors.
Take a moment to review your
resume. Does anything need to be
updated? Should any old items be taken out? In only
rare instances should it exceed 2 pages and, more
likely than not, it should be kept to one page.
Could an admissions officer quickly skim
your resume and understand the feasibility of your
post-MBA career goals? Did you succinctly highlight
your career progression? Remember that the target
audience for this resume is likely far different
than the recruiting audience for your industry.
Accordingly, be sure your resume is prepared in
accordance with a business school admission friendly
Touch base with your
recommenders. Will you
benefit from an additional, optional recommendation
to substantiate a story theme or 'wow' factor,
highlight your strengths, or, possibly, mitigate
your weaknesses? Can your selected recommenders
discuss your candidacy in adequate detail? Advise
your recommenders on which points they need to make
to best compliment your story. Writing up the points that you
want them to discuss is often a good starting point.
Our MBA Admissions Timeline
page will be updated on March 1.
Do you have questions about any of
the items you see here? Please call us at 1.800.809.0800
outside the US and Canada) or email us if
you do. Our consultants can help you with school
selection, application strategies, application and
interview preparation, and all other aspects of the
business school admissions process.