With the year rapidly coming to a close and round 2 application deadlines just around the corner, many of you may be contemplating an MBA but have not yet pulled the trigger. You may be asking yourself if you are ready to apply this year. Here are some key indicators that you may not want to wait. If you have taken the GMAT/GRE (or think you could do so in time) and some or all of the following ring true, consider kicking your application process into high gear, today!
- You already have 4-5 years of post-MBA experience: The average applicant for most schools has approximately 5 years of pre-MBA experience. Once you have 6+ years, your chances begin to decrease, ever so slightly each year. Similarly, your odds of acceptance do not increase considerably between 4 and 5 years unless your role significantly changes. You should also consider the possibility that you may not be accepted the first time you apply if you reach too high. The longer you wait now, the more likely it is that you will run out of time to give your dream school one more shot by re-applying. At this stage in your career, there are few compelling reasons to wait. So, consider shooting for the stars now and applying to your first-choice schools for round 2.
- You have reached a plateau at work: Have you stretched yourself as much as possible in your current role? Do you need an MBA or advanced degree to reach the next level? If you are bored at work and feel that you have learned all you can in your current role, don’t wait! Not only will another year of experience be less likely to help you, but waiting means you will be at your current job for almost two more years. So if you feel you are close to plateauing, now might be the time to apply.
- You are ready to switch careers: Switching careers while writing your business school applications can be tricky. While it works for some to change industries or functions pre-MBA, post-MBA is a great time to switch careers for most. If you know you want to move from banking to consulting or consulting to product management, why wait? In many ways the MBA is the great equalizer and post-MBA students often start at a similar level to each other. If this is you, think about applying today.
- Your personal situation means now is a good time to become a student. Did you just cash out $1M in bitcoin and want a break from work? Is your partner going back to school and it will be easier to study together? Going back to school full-time is a major lifestyle change and your personal circumstance should be a key factor in your decision on when to apply. If late 2018 is shaping up to be a good time for you to become a student, it’s time to get your applications started.
While round 3 is an option, for many schools it can be quite a challenge. So, if some or all of the above situations apply to you, I urge you to consider applying this year. If you work fast and dedicate your holiday break to applications (this is what we do), there is still time.
A Wharton MBA graduate with a BS from MIT, Scott has been an MBA admissions consultant for eight years and has helped hundreds of applicants around the world get into top MBA programs. Besides perfecting the MBA admissions process and making dreams come true for applicants from Tokyo to San Francisco and everywhere in between, Scott has also worked across consulting, financial services and strategy & corporate development roles before becoming a Full-Time admissions consultant.
If you would like help applying to Dartmouth Tuck or any other top business school, set up a free consultation session with Scott here to learn more about his unique and personalized support.
Note from the Apply team: Opinions expressed by Apply MBA Contributors are their own.
Also read: Do you really need an MBA?