What is the timeline for B school?

I just graduated from my undergrad. I am working for a MM bank right now, but I have always wanted to go to B school. How soon do B schools open applications?  I plan on going 4-5 years after undergrad or will I be too old? Do schools open applications 1 or 2 years in advance? Could anyone help me give a timeline? Should I start studying now? I graduated in May 2021.

Thanks in advance! I appreciate the help!! 

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Comments (7)

  • Intern in AM - Equities
Jul 26, 2021 - 11:20am

Haven't gone through Bschool but thought id chip in b/c of no replies.

Typically people go to Bschool 3-4 years after working. Save some money so they don't have to take exorbitant loans and have some working experience. Bschool applications usually open in the fall of the year before you would like to attend unless you are doing something like 2+2 program which is usually rarer. 

I hope this helped. Sorry I am not the best resource but didnt want this to go empty.

Most Helpful
Jul 26, 2021 - 12:25pm

Here are the timelines - given you just graduated and want to attend B-school after 4 years or so:

Year 0 - Complete Bachelors

Year 1-3 - Study and give your GMAT. I have connected with a lot of folks and I am one of these people that started studying for GMAT ~1 year/couple months before applying. Don't do this! Study and take your GMAT as soon as you graduate college. Your mind is still in the studying mode, so use that to your advantage. GMAT scores are valid for 5 years, so you will be good when you apply. When you delay to studying and taking your GMAT exam, you will be under a big time crunch to get your test score. If you do this early on, thats one less thing to focus on later. 

Year 1-5 - WORK. Do an amazing job. Don't just get by at your work place. Look for big projects, take initiative, be an outstanding employee. This will affect your Letter of Recommendations and your resume. Also - as you get closer to your application cycle (Year 4-5) DO NOT look to switch jobs, especially if the job is not in your post-MBA goals. This will be very hard to explain and connect to your post-MBA goal application essays. The newer the job the harder it will be to someone to give an accurate letter of recommendation. You more than likely also won't have any significant achievements. 

During this time - do not forget extracurricular activities. Sports! Community Service! do what you like (Sleeping does not count)! Also pursue meaningful long-term community service. Not like 1 day as a tutor, next month at a food bank. This is good, but community service should be great. Helping low-income students with resume reviews, tutoring, teaching a language. Don't show it as you are doing it for your applications, rather because you want to. 

Year 3/4 - Get ready to apply. Do your research: How will you fund your MBA? Will you be using an admissions consultant (They get booked really early)? Which schools align with your goals/location? Where do you want to study and work? How do their employment reports look? What is their curriculum? What does the class profile look like? When are their deadlines? GMAT CLUB website (free) is good resource for some of these questions. 

Year 3.5 - Essays are released. Get your essays straight. This is done MONTHS before your apply. Essays need to be reviewed a thousand times. Get your recommenders lined up. 

Around July/August (Assuming R1)- Applications are open. Fill in basic information. Send links to your recommenders. Get your GMAT ready to be sent to the schools. If schools require official transcripts - get those ready. 

September - Depending on the R1 deadline of your school - fill in your final essays and everything needed for applications. Apply!

October - Interviews if selected!

November/December/January - Notice if you are accepted (Congrats!).

Jan-Feb (Dependent on school) - Get your funding ready. Pick your school. Pay the deposit.

Jan - June - Look for housing and get that finalized.

July - Give your 2 weeks.

Aug/Sept - Go to campus 1-2 weeks early and get settled in. 

During this whole time, connect with individuals on linkedin and gmatclub. Alumni's. Professors. Employers. Ask questions. Visit the campus. Get your name out there to your ad comms. 

Once again - this is a general timeline. Everything depends on when you want to go to b-school, and the school you are applying to. Advise: Study for GMAT as early as possible. That is one thing you can get out of your plate now. Don't delay it till later. 

Good luck!

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