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Is This the Right Time to Get an MBA?

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Is This the Right Time to Get an MBA?  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 03 Apr 2020, 14:47
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I had a few people ask me this question - is this the right time to apply for an MBA. I am posting this as a reply to all those questions.

General Background:

  • Good or Bad Time? Traditionally it is a good idea to head to school during a recession as it provides the least opportunity cost and offers a respite from being overworked, underpaid or laid off. You may as well apply when you are at the peak of your performance than trying to apply when you are out of a job and money.

  • Applications: Traditionally, applications go up during the recessions and when economy/job market are not doing well. I think the reasons are obvious and you can see obvious proof in the spike of applications during the 2008 - 2009 Application seasons and then gradual decline of applications and tests taken in the last 5-8 years. It is interesting to see that there was another bump in test-taking in 2011-2012 application years (GMAT measures a year from July 1 to June 30th). With people losing jobs or getting their pay cut or prospects of promotions and bonuses diminished, more will be looking at Business School as way to get through those ceilings.
    Attachment:
    File comment: Best chart i found; was not able to find combined one, so pardon this M/F chart.
    test-volume.jpg
    test-volume.jpg [ 144.37 KiB | Viewed 681 times ]


  • Financing usually dries up in tough years and while the interest rates are going down, it may be an attractive time for applicants who qualify for Gov or Federal loans but private loans are likely to have tighter access to financing during these times. If you have been thinking or wondering about Prodigy Finance or MPOWER to lock in your loans, I would probably do it sooner than later.

  • Jobs: there is a separate topic about hiring freeze hoax or not recruiting this year. While there may be impacts on the Internships and offers that have been extended, the next year's class will have a different environment in terms of recruiting for internships or jobs. If you are starting your MBA this Fall, then we all have our fingers crossed that the internship recruiting will resume and will be as generous as it was last year. If you are applying in the Fall, then your recruiting is 2 years away - that's a long time from now and probably too testant but if you have any thoughts I would be interested to hear.

  • School Brand: this becomes more important when times are tough and jobs are scarce. The Top 10 will be able to yield a number of opportunities to convert. Whereas going to a top 50 school will probably offer little. This is only if there are job cuts and greater unemployment.


My suggestions:
Are you admitted already? Are you talking about Round 3 to start school in 2020 or to apply in Round 1 to start in the fall 2021?

  1. If you have been admitted, I would stick with it for now and not make any rash moves. Some schools have started offering deferrals for next year or refunds for R2 deposits to students who may be affected by Visa processing times. (Tepper has announced this but only for international students it seems). It may apply to domestic students as well as well as those who applied in other earlier rounds. Schools are waiting to see how the last portion of the spring semester plays out with online learning and also what the GOV will do in a month after hopefully most other quarantines end.

  2. If you are applying and planned to apply in R3, I would stay the course as well. Esp if you have your ducks in a row and have taken the GMAT. If not, many schools are offering to postpone the score submissions and GMAC is planning to allow gmat at home. If you are ready to apply, I would definitely apply to give you an option (there is a good chance you may get a deferral as an option).
  3. If you have planned to apply in R1 next season and wondering if you should switch to R3. First of all most Top schools are pretty close to have their R3 deadlines over. Many R3 are not an option for international candidates but if your school is an option for you to apply in R3, I would seize on the opportunity because the R3 will likely be larger this year than any other past year as folks defer and drop off due to corona. I think it may be easier than R1 next season and will provide with potential unique option to start this year or push to the next year. There is a topic about schools relaxing GMAT/Application process for the final rounds of this season: https://gmatclub.com/forum/b-schools-of ... 18498.html


FAQ:
  • Q: My deposit is due soon, should I pay it?
    A: Yes. You definitely want to secure a spot for admission but it may be wise to check with the AdCom if you are an international applicant about options for those who may have issues with securing a Visa or Financing and while Adcom may not have solutions for those situations quite yet, I would ask that they commit to working with you (as you are choosing them and trusting them) to help you make it work and help your deposit actually keep you a spot despite external factors.

  • Q: Should I take the GMAT at Home?
    A: There is a big discussion about it here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-at-home ... 19048.html and some feel it will be easier and a possibility for folks to cheat or get a better score while working less. I am not sure about that but it is an option and a possibility. There is a good chance this is only a temporary option and only available in some countries (though I expect more countries added in the coming weeks). My suggestion would be to take it if you need to take or retake the GMAT. I would not take it opportunistically but if you have been preparing and gearing up, do not delay!

  • Are Companies Instituting Hiring Freezes?
    A: Very good question. There is a topic that was started recently about hiring and internship freezes: https://gmatclub.com/forum/hiring-freez ... 19564.html . Currently several companies have indeed canceled their internships but the bright side of it is that they have offered FT roles for those interns next year (which is pretty awesome). At the same time, as the outbreak progresses, the opportunities will be impacted depending on the containment. I can imagine Amazon will be hiring like crazy whereas Delta airlines will likely hold until they can resume their normal operations. At the same time, if you are applying for R3 this year or R1 next season, you are far-removed from the immediate implications and have other things perhaps to worry about.

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Originally posted by bb on 28 Mar 2020, 10:41.
Last edited by bb on 03 Apr 2020, 14:47, edited 16 times in total.
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Re: Is This the Right Time to Get an MBA?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2020, 11:54
bb - One of the most anticipated topics of this time. Thank you very much for taking the time to share your insights. I look forward to reading the next installments.
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Re: Is This the Right Time to Get an MBA?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2020, 13:05
Helpful to a bunch of us! Thanks BB.

Note : The last bit about GMAT at home has a missing portion. I'll swing by later to read that too.

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Re: Is This the Right Time to Get an MBA?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2020, 13:06
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1473 wrote:
Helpful to a bunch of us! Thanks BB.

Note : The last bit about GMAT at home has a missing portion. I'll swing by later to read that too.

Posted from my mobile device



Thanks! I keep working on this topic and save it every 5-10 mins. I add to it as questions come in or as I think of things.
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Re: Is This the Right Time to Get an MBA?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2020, 23:46
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My feelings are, do not take a "wait and see" approach regarding your Round 1 application. The best applications are the product of work done over a longer period of time, to allow reflection and research. It's better not to get *behind* in your *process*, as this will harm your admission chances. In-person MBA classes WILL be back in session by NEXT SEPTEMBER. Take the GMAT or GRE at home, get things started with your introspection, goals, narrative and research. Stay the course. Advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.
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Re: Is This the Right Time to Get an MBA?  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2020, 02:51
bb One doubt...since students who have applied for Fall'20 get the option to defer their admit to Fall '21, will that reduce the number of seats available for those who apply for Fall'21?
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Re: Is This the Right Time to Get an MBA?  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2020, 14:46
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Hey, bb -- great points, as usual!

To be honest, I hadn't even THOUGHT about the reduced interest rate environment as YET another reason people might want to try to get to school ASAP!

I too agree that R1 this upcoming year is going to be intense -- if we can believe the experts that a vaccine for corona virus might be available in a year or so, that means that people applying during the upcoming "season" will probably be able to enroll in the fall of 2021 as if though nothing happened (I mean, relatively speaking, of course -- that is, that they'll probably be able to get into the US, be able to attend classes together in the same classrooms, etc.)

Therefore, I'm telling folks to TRY to apply in R3 (assuming you can still pull together a strong app in time*).

USUALLY -- applying in R3, getting rejected (since, in a NORMAL year, most people get rejected in R3), and then re-applying in R1 is a bad idea. Why? Because in the few months that elapse between R3 and R1, chances are that:
    - Not much has materially changed / improved in your profile
    - I worry that it makes a candidate seem that they lack self-awareness, or simply didn't research the process well, etc.

HOWEVER, THIS YEAR IS VERY DIFFERENT!

With Covid-19, there are 2 big pieces of uncertainty:

    - Will the international students be allowed into the country (i.e. able to get student visas in time)?
    - If the classes end up being virtual into the first semester of next year (and beyond???) will some accepted applicants choose not to go?

If EITHER or BOTH of those things happen, then all of a sudden, things look MUCH brighter for current waitlist students and R3 applicants. When you combine this with the fact that a lot of A+ talent is getting laid off right now (through no fault of their own), this is why the schools are expanding their R3 deadlines, just in case they can either
    - Scoop up some great talent they might have otherwise missed out on
    - SUDDENLY FIND THEMSELVES NEEDING TO FILL 30% OF THEIR SEATS!!!!

BECAUSE the schools are ENCOURAGING (domestic) applicants to apply in the extended R3 or new R4, I do *NOT* think that the usual disdain for (R3 rejects --> R1 applicants) will be there.

For that reason, I see this as being essentially a risk-free way to apply. Folks who were planning to apply R1, IF they can compile their applications in time*, really have nothing to lose.

The only 2 downsides to applying in the current R3 are:

    It's unclear what scholarship money is left (if any?) -- there may not be much, so just be mentally prepared for that
    There is a possibility that classes will start online in the fall -- for some people, this is a "deal breaker" (I don't think it SHOULD be, esp. not for a 2-year program)

For what it's worth, on the admissions side, I am DEFINITELY seeing an uptick in clients and inquiries, so also realize that, if you're considering applying in R3, you're not alone with this great idea, so while there may be more SPOTS available vs a typical R3, there is definitely going to be more COMPETITION as well.


Thanks!,
Maria



* If someone's stressed about pulling together their materials and need guidance that's available 24/7, they could always check out ApplicantLab.com :)
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Re: Is This the Right Time to Get an MBA?   [#permalink] 03 Apr 2020, 14:46

Is This the Right Time to Get an MBA?

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