Planning for an MBA takes time and patience, and quite a bit of forward thinking. In the timeline below, we've attempted to put together the milestones which you'll need to hit in order to successfully begin an MBA program.
We suggest that you print this page in order to keep track of your progress.
2 Years Out
- Does MBA have value?
- Upside vs. Sacrifice (cost-benefit analysis).
- Determine whether earning an MBA makes sense.
- Self Assess: Determine career path.
- Peer Review.
- Look for others who have made transition.
- The more specific the better.
Search & Information Gathering
2 Years to 18 Months Out
- Deal with transition issues.
- Check transition assistance programs available.
- Consider timing of separation.
- Make first pass on finances.
- Check on tuition assistance programs that are available.
- Determine how to pay for MBA education.
- Do a search on Degree Programs.
- What programs are available?
- What type of program is best?
- Where are they located?
- Are there any family considerations?
- What requirements exist for programs of choice?
- Identify your dream or reach school and 3-4 others you can get in.
18 Months Out
- Understand general application cycles for schools & programs.
- Research MBA program timelines to determine the best time to begin.
- Find funding resources-tuition asst., GI eligibility, loans, scholarships, grants.
- Register for prerequisite or supplemental classes.
12 Months Out
- Prepare for GMAT.
- Register for the test.
- Get preparation tools.
- Understand test and how schools use it.
- Contact programs of interest.
- Attend information sessions.
- Consult with counselors.
- Begin application process.
9 Months Out
- Prepare application(s) and submit.
- Follow all instructions.
- Create professional look.
- Include all attachments.
- Be sure to seek financial aid.
- Explain any gaps in academic or employment record.
6 Months Out
- Market yourself.
- Seek an on-campus interview.
- Practice stressing strengths.
- Demonstrate "fit" with school.
- Stress leadership and experience.
- Take advantage of connections to colleagues, alumni, etc.