Round 1 MBA Application Timeline: A Month-by-Month Guide to Keep You on Track

Is it us or is the summer flying by? It’s July 1st, and that officially means it’s time to kick your MBA application work into high gear, if you are applying in Round 1. To help you stay on track, we’ve put together a high-level MBA application timeline. Read on to see if you’ve accomplished what you should have at this point (don’t worry you can still catch up if needed!) and what tasks should be next on your ‘to do’ list. 

MBA Application Timeline: What You Should Have Done Already

  • Taken the GMAT or GRE and achieved a score with which you are satisfied
  • Researched your target schools by attending webinars and scheduling chats with current students / alumni (bonus points if you’ve visited their campuses)
  • Solidified the list of schools to which you will be applying and put the deadlines on your calendar
  • Reflected on your post-MBA career goals, including having informational chats with MBA grads in your target industry
  • Crafted and iterated on your MBA resume
  • Honed your ‘personal brand’, which is essentially an application thesis that crystallizes what you have accomplished, what you will accomplish, and why an MBA is needed to realize these goals
  • Considered who you will ask to write your MBA recommendation(s) and had preliminary conversations with them to ensure they are on board to help
  • Requested transcripts from your undergraduate institution and any other schools you have attended post-college

MBA Application Timeline: Do These Things in July

  • Finalize your MBA resume, aside from any last-minute bullets for your latest and greatest accomplishments
  • Provide your recommenders with ‘prep packets’ that communicate details of the MBA recommendation process and share an overview of how you will be presenting yourself in your applications (strengths, weaknesses, post-MBA goals)
  • Begin writing your application essays, aiming to have at least 1-2 schools’ essays in good shape by the end of the month

MBA Application Timeline: Do These Things in (or Before) August

  • Continue writing your application essays, aiming to have all schools’ essays in good shape by the end of the month
  • Complete application data forms (i.e., the actual ‘application’) on each school’s portal – these often take longer than people think so don’t save them for the last minute
  • Check in with your recommenders to make sure they are on track to submit their materials by the deadlines; bonus point if they will allow you to quickly review what they’ve written to ensure they emphasize the things you are hoping they will

MBA Application Timeline: Do These Things in (or Before) September

  • Tie up loose ends, including final edits of your resume and essays, and hit submit!
  • Double check that your recommenders have submitted their materials
  • Prepare for and complete any video essays required by your schools (links to complete these are often sent once you submit and there may be a quick turnaround to complete them)

…and BREATHE! Most of the hard work is done, so take some time to relax and catch up on life.

We wish you the best in your MBA application journey. As always, if we can be of assistance feel free to reach out for a free consultation.


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