In “Fall Indecision” blogger and potential MBA applicant, Dave M, author of The MBA Path, struggles with a basic MBA admissions question: When should he apply? More specifically, should he apply this fall?
I don’t know enough about Dave M to advise him, but I do know that the answers to the following questions could guide him and many of you in determining whether to apply to business school this fall.
- Is the quality and quantity of your work experience similar to that of accepted applicants to your target program? If it’s far away from the mean, either quantitatively or qualitatively, you should consider a different program or a different time.
- Do you feel you have plateaued in your current position? Has your learning curve flattened? If so, that realization is an indication that now is a good time to obtain an MBA. Alternatively, if you are looking forward to a year of growth, promotion, leadership, and increased responsibility, you might be wiser to wait.
- Do you know why you want to pursue an MBA? Do you have a solid post-MBA goal? (Getting out of a job you hate doesn’t qualify.) If you don’t, it’s not the right time to pursue an MBA. If you do have solid direction and purpose, then you have another indication that now is the time for your MBA.
- Are personal factors — significant other, family needs, health factors, finances — supportive of an MBA now?
I actually drafted this post last night, and this morning Dave posted that he will be a “spectator for another year.” From reading the two posts, it appears that questions #2 and #4 were critical to his decision.
For you, other questions may be more important, but if you do decide to wait, use the upcoming year much as Dave is doing:
- Clarify your goals.
- Research the schools.
- Enhance your profile by strengthening whatever may be weak.
- Add an international dimension to your experience.
- Make or maintain a community service or extra-curricular commitment.
If you’re ready to dive in, consider taking advantage of Accepted’s first MBA Admissions Telethon of the 2011 MBA application season. During the telethon, you will have 15 minutes to discuss your most pressing MBA admissions questions with an MBA application expert. Free.