MBA Timeline: How Long Do You Need For The Application Process

You’ve decided to apply to business school, but now the daunting task of planning and getting through application process is before you. Where should you start, how should you map out the next year so that everything gets done and gets done well – like when to take the GMAT, when to make your list of schools, when should you actually fill out the application. I’ve been working on an upcoming MBA Podcaster show titled “MBA Timeline: What To Do and When Should You Do It” will be extra useful. In the podcast, admissions consultants and students give you solid advice on when to start your MBA application process. Some of the issues they’ll address include research, how and when to tackle the application and school visits.
Betsy Massar is the founder and CEO of Master Admissions, a consulting firm that advises people on how to get into MBA programs. For Massar the planning process begins the minute you start thinking about the possibility of business school. And how long do you need before you apply? The answer depends on your strengths and weaknesses. Massar says the answer can be six months if…

“You have a great career path, you have lots of extracurriculars, you are a leader in work and outside of work and you say ‘ok, I’m ready to go to business school and I have a 3.6 from Princeton and I’m sure I’ll get an 800 or something on my GMATS. “

But most people don’t fall into that category. Any one of those moving parts can be worked on.
Massar is a self-declared ‘bad test-taker’ and offers her experience with the GMAT as an example.
“Not everyone is the best test taker and it takes a long time to prepare for those tests. Some people can do it fast, but not everybody can do it and not everybody understands how to take the test. In my personal case, it took me 2 years to figure out how to take the test and eventually it worked out for me because I got over the 93rd percentile so that works. Because there’s so much information you need to break it down into very, very small chunks and feel like you can master it.”
Massar, who was successfully admitted to and graduated from Harvard with an MBA had a three year application process. So you shouldn’t be discouraged or deterred if you need a couple of years to work on the GMAT or take some classes to improve your GPA.
Massar and our other guests have lots more of good advice on what to do and when to do it. Learn more about the best way to organize your time in our upcoming show. Other guests on the show include: Richard Battle-Baxter, a business school applicant for the Fall of 2011, Graham Richmond, Co-founder and Director, Clear Admit, and Chris Smith, applying for his EMBA at UCLA.

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