Scott Edinburgh
September 17, 2020

Did you miss the MBA Round 1 deadline for Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB and Wharton?

Missing the MBA Round 1 Deadline for HBS, Standford GSB and Wharton

Every year, we hear from well-intentioned MBA candidates hoping to submit their applications in time for round 1 deadlines that fell short of this objective. There are numerous reasons for candidates to forgo a round 1 application submission in favor of round 2. In fact, in some years we have more applicants during round 2 than round 1.

Many candidates will submit during the second round of MBA application deadlines to allow time to increase their GMAT/GRE/Executive Assessment scores. Other MBA hopefuls are hoping to finish up a key project at work or secure a promotion before submitting their MBA application essays. Some MBA applicants did not make a decision to apply to business school in time. These are all valid reasons to apply during round 2.

However, far too often, MBA hopefuls at top business schools simply fail to finish their MBA essays in time. Many procrastinate and do not start on time. Others put their essays on the back burner when work deadlines take priority. Finally, many candidates simply are afraid to pull the trigger. They do not know if and when their applications are complete.

Regardless of the driver of your delay, do not worry! Most applicants are just as successful (if not more so) during round 2. Personal MBA Coach is here to help construct your MBA application timeline. Just because you are planning to hit submit in January, does NOT mean it is a good idea to put your essays aside. Instead, it is time to develop a plan and kick it into high gear. We find the best applicants work now and do not rush anywhere near deadlines.

Round 2 deadlines are under four months away.

While many of our round 2 clients are well into the MBA application process, those who are just getting started can stay on track with our 4-month MBA application timeline. Following a structured plan will help save you from added stress in the future.

Need a more customized timeline? Personal MBA Coach has a strong track record of guiding clients through their individual circumstances.

Month 1 (September):

• Maximize your GMAT/GRE score.

The clock is ticking, so finalize those plans now to get where you want to be for your target schools. We offer customized tutoring to help you!

• Create your business school resume.

Did you know that your business school resume differs from your professional one? If not, now is the time to make the necessary customizations to be MBA ready. For more resume help, check out these tips!

Month 2 (October):

• Solidify your personal story.

Having trouble getting started on your MBA essays? Ask yourself: What is my story and how can I articulate my goals? A clear personal story and well-articulated career goals serve as a basis for a strong essay. Once you emphasize what makes you unique, you can construct a stronger narrative for why an MBA is essential for reaching career success.

• Finalize strong recommenders.

If you need help finding people that will best communicate your strengths, you can read our blog on selecting your MBA application recommenders.

• Draft your essays.

The sooner you start writing, the more you will be able to perfect your essays later! We always advise starting essays well ahead of deadlines and finishing at least a few weeks ahead to ensure that you stick to your MBA application timeline.

Month 3 (November):

• Edit your essays.

You will have to go through multiple drafts before you submit, so make sure you have enough time to focus on this step! If you are having trouble cutting excess words to meet a word count, take a look at our tips on writing more with fewer words.

• Schedule time to network.

Alumni and current students are great resources to learn more about the schools you are applying to. Talking with them will make it easier to craft targeted applications that stand out. While more information about a school is good, make sure to not go overboard with this!

Month 4 (December):

• Fill out your applications.

Do not overlook the short answer questions. These questions not only allow you to share additional aspects of your candidacy but are a test of consistency and cohesion. Be sure to allocate enough time to craft precise and focused answers that paint a clear image of who you are as a candidate.

• Check for errors.

If you have followed this MBA application timeline, you should not have to do any major work in the last weeks before submission. Having a second or third reader can be helpful in catching last-minute typos and other small mistakes that you may have missed.

Are you looking for help with your MBA Applications? Personal MBA Coach is willing to be your guide. Founded by a Wharton and MIT graduate, we regularly help applicants navigate their applications each year. We also conduct mock interviews with former M7 interviewers on our team.

Personal MBA Coach has been guiding candidates through all aspects of the MBA application process for 13 years with a 96% success rate. Call us today at +1 617-645-2424 or email for a free consultation on your profile along with how we can help make your MBA dreams a reality!

For more MBA application guidance, take a look at these blog posts:

How to Write a Business School Application Essay

MBA Application Assistance: Top Misconceptions

How to Answer MBA Essay Questions: MBA Goals