How Much Time Should You Budget for Your MBA Applications?

Applying to business school can sometimes seem overwhelming.  In addition to working your full time job at a high level, impressing your boss and seeking challenges, you also must be involved in your community and simultaneously prepare for the GMAT as well as write several application essays—not even to mention tracking down the obscure summer semester transcript from that class you took away from your primary institution and also meeting with potential recommenders.   For this reason, it makes sense to get started on the process as soon as possible.

Because it’s such an involved process, it’s difficult to say definitively how much time you should allocate to get it all done.  Much of the issue depends on how organized you are and how well you manage your time.  Clearly for a procrastinator,  it will take longer, or if you are a poor writer, you will need extra time with a proofreader to get your story right.  Generally speaking, you should be spending four to six weeks in total on everything.  Keep in mind this includes a visit to your target campus and tour plus an interview.  With applications being released in most cases in mid-July, this gives you about three months on average until the first round is due (not quite as much time for early application deadlines)—more than enough time.

But what if I am applying to several schools, you may ask?  We certainly hope that you will, since putting all your eggs in one basket would be a poor strategy.  The secret here is to leverage the general work you must do for any application for all your applications, effectively reducing the marginal time to complete an additional school’s package quite substantially.  While each school has different requirements, you will find that in general, most business schools are looking for similar information, namely to explain why you want an MBA, why one from their school, and why now?   Additionally they will all want to know what you have done and what you plan to do and how these two things are related.  Once you have spent the time revisiting your own experience in your mind and organizing your story and approach, you will find it easy to translate this rough information to just about any school’s application.  As a matter of fact, we have seen clients knock out last minute applications in just a matter of days if they have already applied to other schools.

If you have MBA admissions questions, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. Click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

Scott Bryant has over 25 years of professional post undergraduate experience in the entertainment industry as well as on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs. He served on the admissions committee at the Fuqua School of Business where he received his MBA and now works part time in retirement for a top tier business school. He has been consulting with Veritas Prep clients for the past six admissions seasons.

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