Deferred MBA Program

Most of the top business schools offer some sort of deferred admissions initiative where you are accepted to the school and have somewhere between 2-5 years to actually begin the program. I am determined to get an MBA somewhere down the line and believe this is a fair way to break in.

I know the deferred admissions program is aimed at STEM students as they wouldn't usually get an MBA down the line, but I see that over 20% of people who are accepted are Economics majors and pursuing careers in finance.

I'm a rising junior at a non-target school (I am also a straight asian male) who was fortunate enough to lock down a SA stint for next summer at a BB and have a fair amount of time on my hands now. Applications open for this deferred program in the first semester of senior year so I have a bit of time. I plan to start studying for the GMATs soon and am curious to hear if I have a shot at breaking into HBS, Wharton, or GSB given my non-target background (I have a good GPA and good extracurriculars and on-campus involvement).

Thank you in advance!

Comments (27)

Aug 11, 2020 - 7:33pm
Cam_k3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Curious about this as well! Is it a good idea to apply to one of the deferred MBA programs if you want to start out in IB but are not sure about your long term plan? Most people that I know who went to B-school wanted a career change. At this point, I am not really sure if I want to stay in IB long term. Are there any advantages of applying to the deferred programs as opposed to the regular application process? Thanks!

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 12, 2020 - 1:11am

As you mentioned earlier, these schools are targeting STEM majors. They do take IB/PE/Consultants with Econ degrees but usually from HYP. Business/Econ majors are a minority at Stanford in their general class profile so i doubt it gets better for deferred. In terms of H/S and to some extend W, MBBs are way more prestigious than IB and they look at consulting experience more favorably than IB. Also being an Asian male is not gonna help you in any way so if I were, I would get 4.0 and 780 GMAT and get GS FT and then you might have a shot.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 12, 2020 - 2:38pm

Yes but cuz of 2 mains reasons: a. MBB take far fewer people at undergrad level compared to Banks. b. Their recruiting process is way more selective than Goldman or other top banks since banks might take a good amount of non targets but that number is in low single digits at MBB. Also they have a very high GPA/SAT/ACT requirement than Banks. Also the core of the work is not as money-grabbingish as finance since you are helping companies and clients grow and what not even tho same people end up doing PE.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 12, 2020 - 5:09pm

Definitely will be an uphill battle. At the end of the day, you're in an over-represented group, within a major and career path that is not prioritized in deferred admissions.

Not impossible, however. Couple of my colleagues are "2+2"ers that were on traditional paths. You need to have a tremendous story (which you either do, or you don't) that ties into your long-term goals, career paths, and the prospective mba programs.

You need to have been extremely active on and off campus with evidence of impact and leadership.

You need very strong, sincere recommendations. And, obviously, you need great GPA/GMAT.

The Wharton deferred process is significantly less competitive than H/S (numbers games). So I do think if you check a lot of those boxes above, you could have a good shot despite being a traditional student. For Harvard, and especially Stanford, you have to be extraordinary to break into deferred from your background.

Now, if I was competitive enough to have a shot at these programs as an undergrad, I probably wouldn't lock in a wharton offer 2-4 years early. But that's another story.

  • Intern in HF - Other
Dec 13, 2020 - 7:30am

Curious to gain perspective, why did some of your friends who were in traditional paths apply to deferred MBA programs? I'm a junior right now, I'm interested to understand why people try out grad schools when they have their traditional paths set out, and what reasons do they give grad schools for their "Why MBA"?

From what I've been reading on WSO, seems like MBA is more useful for networking and branding, but you'd obviously not give that reason in interviews right?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 12, 2020 - 6:49pm

Wondering if I were to apply to the deferred program and then get denied, would that hurt my chances 4/5 years later if I decided to re-apply?

Aug 14, 2020 - 5:18pm
banker4, what's your opinion? Comment below:

interested

Array
  • Analyst 1 in CorpStrat
Dec 13, 2020 - 9:54am

this is such garbage LOL; admit here to mit deferred (albeit not HSW) and literally 50%+ of the class is MBB/BB/IB/EBIB with an econ or finance background. what is said is so far from what actually happens so shoot your shot since you have great experience

  • Intern in HF - Other
Dec 13, 2020 - 10:03am

Curious to gain perspective, why did you apply to deferred MBA programs? I'm a junior right now, I'm interested to understand why people try out grad schools when they have their traditional paths set out, and what reasons do they give grad schools for their "Why MBA"?

From what I've been reading on WSO, seems like MBA is more useful for networking and branding, but you'd obviously not give that reason in interviews right?

  • Analyst 1 in CorpStrat
Dec 13, 2020 - 11:18am

Why spend the time to study for the gmat and get rec letter and write essays if you are a competitive applicant at this time? It just makes sense that since there is nothing better to do, might as well get an acceptance before it gets much harder to put in the effort once you start your full time job. As to their story, I'm sure it varies but I think the general idea is that they tailor their application specifically to the school. For example, if I was in MBB and I wanted to do nonprofit work afterwards, I could spin a story that I will be developing a very strong business foundation at MBB over the next x years, and the reason I am doing this is that I feel that having this experience is important to start a successful nonprofit. I then apply to something like deferred Booth (I think) which has a nonprofit incubator type thing and it flows very well. That is just one example, but I believe that to be the angle that people would take coming from a traditional background.

  • Associate Consultant in Consulting
Jul 15, 2022 - 9:53pm

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