Each year around this time, I receive many inquiries from candidates who are nervous about submitting an MBA admissions application in Round 2. "Is it better just to wait until Round 1 of next year?" they ask.
Their concern stems from the fact that MBA programs will have already offered admission to some Round 1 applicants, hence, there will be fewer overall seats to compete for in Round 2. In addition, in Round 2 the number of MBA candidates applying for admission to full-time MBA programs tends to be higher than in Round 1. This is, in part, because many applicants want to take advantage of the free time they will have off from their job during the winter holidays - time they use to prepare their MBA applications for the January deadlines.
So, what is the answer to this concern about whether it is advisable to apply in Round 2?
My response: Every year I help many candidates to gain admission in Round 2. Yes, it is true that each year many applicants will continue to defer the preparation and submission of their MBA applications until Round 2 because the winter holiday period will give them rare free time to concentrate fully on the preparation of applications. But business schools are fully aware of this and they realize that some of their best candidates will apply in Round 2. So, accordingly, most business schools leave a healthy number of seats available for Round 2 candidates.
My verdict: It is fine to apply in Round 2, but take care to define what you offer to the school with particular care. The portrait of the incoming MBA class will have begun to be formed already (given the Round 1 admissions). So, with a Round 2 application, you should pay particular attention to defining your candidacy and what makes you unique. That is, why should the committee add you to the mix of students they have already admitted? Your task through your application is to present very compelling reasons.
I will soon post a thread on Round 2 best practices.
Good luck in your admissions process. If you need assistance, feel free to be in touch!
Dr. Shelly L. Watts
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