Ok, so you have decided to go for it. You decided to try and attend an MBA program in a top business school. The process of applying to such a program is challenging and probably resembles nothing you have ever done in your life.
At this early stage, you are probably puzzled with a stack of questions:
- What does the application process include?
- What do I do first?
- How much time do I have until application deadlines?
- What are the deadlines?
- What university should I apply to? How many schools should I apply to?
- Are my personal credentials such as work experience and undergraduate studies’ grades sufficient in order to be accepted to the certain school I am interested in?
- What happens if I am rejected, wouldn’t the application effort be in vain?
Sit back, relax, and let this section provide you with some guidelines to assist you in forming a strategic plan and schedule.
Some notes to remember
First, it is important to understand that most top MBA programs are full-time. As a student, you are expected not only to meet academic requirements, but also to be involved in extra-curricular and community activities. School is not about achieving good grades anymore. Most schools manage student-run environments, which provide a broader space for student initiatives.
Second, applicants selection is done differently in international business schools in comparison to Israeli universities. International business schools look for additional qualifications other than good undergraduate grades and an impressive quantitative score in the GMAT exam (not that they don’t matter). They look for future successful business leaders! Hence, admission committees wish to examine different aspects of an applicant’s personality such as:
- Leadership experience.
- Ability to work in a team.
- Success at work.
- Initiative taking – Are you a passive person or a person who identifies opportunities and acts accordingly?
- Uniqueness – The MBA community includes a variety of people who come from different nationalities and disciplines. Business schools wish to create a community in which students fit in, yet still provide a special personal contribution.
These are just a few factors, according to which an applicant is measured. Based on these criteria, the admission committee will evaluate your chances to succeed in both the program and after graduation in the business arena. Always remember that you are reviewed as a whole “package” of potential and skills.
MBA faculties have three different ways of processing applications.
- “Deadlines” – A specific date by when all application materials must reach the admission office, usually by mid-January.
- “Rounds” – More than one deadline date.
a. The first round usually ends in November.
b. The second and main round ends in January or February.
c. The third round ends in March or April.
d. Some schools hold a fourth round which ends in May.
We warmly recommend applying on the first and second rounds. After that, most of the class’s quota is full, a fact that reduces your chances of getting in.
- “Rolling” – A policy of accepting applications throughout the year regardless of a deadline.
In most cases, the applications are published online by mid August.
Plan your schedule carefully.
- Make sure you take the GMAT and TOEFL exams early enough to meet the deadlines.
- Writing essays takes a substantial amount of time. Plan ahead.
- Give yourself enough time to research, inquire, contact schools and meet people.