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Timeline and checklist for the MBA application

The whole MBA application will approximately take a year for you to complete. At least this is the timeframe that most people allow for. 


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First three months

  • Question yourself what you can do, what you might have to learn/prepare and what you want to achieve with an MBA.
  • Research schools, deadlines, specialisations, fees and financial options from financing your degree with your own savings, family support, loans to scholarships.
  • If you can, visit the campus, talk to admission staff, current students and alumni. Learn as much as you can about your favourite school(s).
  • Develop a budget, start saving and reducing your monthly allowance.
  • Contact your references and ask them for support. Discuss what they can do for you and check an appropriate deadline for them to come back to you.
  • Register and start studying for the GMAT Exam, the entrance exam for most business schools, or the alternative GRE if the school of your choice accepts it.

Up to six months

  • If you feel, you need additional help with the GRE or GMAT test, your application forms and the essay requirements, register with some supportive classes and/or get an admission consultant.
  • Continue studying for your test!
  • Write your essay(s) and discuss them with friends.
  • Assemble your application, check individually with each school if you have fulfilled all requirements. Not every school wants the same essay, some ask for video essays etc.

After about six months:

  • Submit your applications: The early bird catches the worm goes for the business school application process as well, as you still have time to make amends if necessary, have higher chances for more attention as well as financial aid – so if you can, aim for round one of the admission process.
  • Take the GMAT exam
  • Prepare for interviews

After that it is a bit of a waiting game if you’re invited to an interview and get the final acceptance letter. If all goes according to plan, you should attend your first class approximately twelve months after starting the process.

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