What do I need to apply for MBA & or Masters/how early should I be starting my application?
The MBA application can be broken down to a few key deliverables
Resume/CV (Work Experience)
GMAT (or GRE)
Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose
Interview (by invite/if offered)
For Master programs, most programs require GRE instead of GMAT and/or additional portfolio deliverables based on the Masters program.
For international applicants, TOEFL (or another English proficiency test) is typically required.
Of the 6 elements of the MBA/Masters application more than half can be worked on at the time of the application which means even if your academic performance wasn’t the best, there’s still ways to make up for it. Typically, this is via the GMAT/GRE.
In regards to when to start the application process - I usually recommend starting as early as possible on one of the key elements of the application;/: the GMAT/GRE. Test scores are valid for 5 years so even if you’re not looking to apply immediately, it doesn’t hurt to get this done first. In fact, I had a few friends of mine who took the GRE soon after undergrad graduation, when they were still in the mind frame of studying and test taking and then after 4-5 years of work experience they applied using those scores. However if you’re not sure of when you’re applying or just thinking of business school now, I’d advise at least giving yourself a year to prep for the GMAT/GRE. The more time the better and there’s no drawback of getting the score you’re aiming for earlier vs. later. I’ll provide more information on GMAT/GRE prep and a breakdown on each of the application deliverables in future posts.