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FAQs: How is Coronavirus Affecting MBA Applications?

Updated: Mar 28



COVID-19 has already begun to affect the MBA application process. Many of our clients have questions on how to respond to changes such as canceled visits, interviews and testing dates. To help during this global crisis, Personal MBA Coach is here to answer your most common questions.


Question: My campus visit was canceled, now what?


Answer: If you did not get a chance to visit your top choice schools before many campuses closed for the semester, do not panic! While normally we stress the importance of courting your target schools and visiting campuses, this expectation will be lifted this application season. While there is a chance that some schools will allow visits later in the semester or over the summer, do not wait for this. Instead, focus on other ways you can familiarize yourself with each of your target programs. Each year we have countless candidates who cannot visit campuses due to financial or geographic limitations yet successfully navigate the MBA application process.


Question: How else can I get to know my target schools?


Answer: As with any other year, reaching out to alumni within your network is a great way to learn more about the programs. Similarly, current students (even if they are not currently on campus) are a great resource. Connect with club leaders or other students with shared interests via phone or video chat. Many schools have dedicated websites with lists of students that you can reach out to. Some even allow you to search based on their background.


Question: How are campuses reacting?


Answer: Most campuses are canceling in-person admissions events. However, they are increasing their online offerings. For example, HBS is running a “Life at HBS Virtual Chat” later this month. While currently, staff members are busy setting up their own virtual working office and accommodations for current students, we expect they will soon turn their attention to rolling out additional online admissions programs.


Question: What about interviews?


Answer: Most face-to-face interviews left this season will be conducted online. Prepare for these as you would any other interview and be sure to dress the part for all video interviews. Videos and video interviews have been increasing in popularity in recent years even before the virus came and we suspect this trend will continue.


Question: What should I do if my GMAT/GRE test date was canceled?


Answer: ETS just announced an online GRE offering, effective immediately. Similarly, GMAC has shared its plans to launch online GMAT testing mid-April. This online test will not include the AWA section, but otherwise will be comparable to standard GMAT exams. These tests will use online human proctors to ensure testing integrity. These are valid options to consider if your test date was canceled.


Question: How should I change my overall application strategy?


Answer: As more and more applicants are working from home and canceling social engagements, use this extra time to your advantage. Think about the sections of the MBA application you can complete now (we are already strategically working on round 1 2020 MBA applications with our clients) and get ahead. Not only will this free up time to take the GMAT/GRE/EA later but you will appreciate having the head start when life gets back to normal!


Need help? 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 scott@personalmbacoach.com for a free consultation on your profile along with how we can help make your MBA dreams a reality!

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