The Deferred MBA Application

The Deferred MBA Application – Where to Begin and Specific Action Items to Take Now

You’re returning to school for your final year of college following a stimulating summer internship. You’ve heard through the grapevine about a unique admissions process into the top MBA programs in the world – the Deferred MBA Admissions Process. You understand the value an MBA can bring and you want to shoot your shot through the deferred process. There’s only one problem – with the variety of application materials required, you have no clue where to begin. This blog will dive into three critical first steps to take and associated action items to begin with.

Three First Steps and Corresponding Action Items

  1. Take time to reflect, understand your story, and understand what you really want to get out of your MBA experience.

Applying without a hypothesis of your future career trajectory is risky – how will you stand out in the admissions committee’s eyes if you don’t have a foundational understanding of what you want and where you see yourself going? 

Think deeply about where your interests lie, what you are passionate about, and how you’ve proven these passions. What activities, industries, or extracurriculars do you find yourself gravitating toward? What leadership activities have you undertaken and created an impact in? These answers to these questions will be a good indicator of what you are truly interested in.

It’s also important to think ahead – what is most important to you when evaluating MBA programs? There are countless factors to consider, from culture to exit opportunities, location to teaching style. Ensuring that you align your true interests and desires with the values and intricacies of the programs you apply to will maximize your admissions chances. 

ACTION ITEM: Once you’ve spent some time reflecting on your life and vision for the future, begin researching programs and conversing with students and admissions committee members. This will help you develop a deeper understanding of what each program offers and what life will be like as a student and alum. It will allow you to see which programs are most closely aligned with your academic, professional, and social desires and interests and enable you to focus your attention where it’s most deserved. 

  1. Strategically prepare for the standardized test

Typically, one of the most daunting aspects of the application process is the standardized test. It’s been 3-4 years since you’ve taken the SAT/ACT or a comparable standardized test and you may not have developed a true roadmap for success in your previous testing experience. 

One of the biggest keys to succeeding on the GMAT or GRE is ensuring adequate time to dedicate to the process. Be intentional about thinking through your schedule and obligations, and determine a 6-8 week timeframe when you’ll be able to dedicate 10-15 hours per week to studying. We believe this will prove a good proxy to use for time commitment.   

ACTION ITEM: First, take a free diagnostic test of both the GMAT and GRE to determine your comfort level and initial standing on each test. After deciding which one you will ultimately take, develop a detailed timeline of your anticipated test preparation plan. Map out what an ordinary week will look like and when you’ll be able to dedicate time to studying. Work backwards from your test date. 

  1. Determine if you want support throughout the process and what your ideal coaching relationship would look like.

The deferred MBA application process is still relatively new and there aren’t a slew of resources that shed light on the process. Leveraging free, existing resources is a great place to start to learn more about the application process and how to frame your approach.

Further, as you think about the process ahead, it’ll be important to envision how much support you anticipate leveraging throughout the process. Will you want a coach who you can text at any time or no coach at all? Will you want family members to review your resume and essays or a recently admitted Deferred MBA Admit? Each applicant will crave a different application experience and it’s important to be intentional when determining what the optimal coaching arrangement will look like for you.

ACTION ITEM: Consider your ideal coaching arrangement for your application process. Reach out to us at to learn more about our product offerings and which is the best fit for you.

A bit about our coaching offerings:

  1. Customized Mentorship Packages: Designed for applicants who want a persistent, ongoing engagement with their coach throughout the entirety of the application process. Includes all EarlyAdmit guides and unlimited time (call, email, text, etc.) with your coach.
  2. Hourly Appointments: Designed for applicants who want to undergo the majority of the application process on their own accord, but circle back for reassurance with a coach on an ad-hoc basis. 

In close, the application process ahead can seem daunting. Developing an intentional and strategic approach will make it much more manageable and promote cohesion in your story. Good luck!

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