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Is it now or never for your MBA?

Katie Schenk - October 31, 2016

now or never - Note Pad With Text On Wooden Table

How many times have you read an interview or case study about an MBA candidate where they’ve pointed out that it was a now or never moment for them? We’re not saying everyone goes through this tension. But, it’s frequently the case that now seems to be the only time to make an MBA happen.

Is it really a case of now or never? And how do you know if your time is now?

You're ready if...

If you’ve known for years that an MBA is on the cards for you, and you’ve taken the GMAT (and gotten results you’re happy with), then you know the time is now.

That doesn’t mean it’s not now for everyone else. If you’ve just taken a look at your career options and you’ve got a clear vision of how an MBA will push you forward, you might just find yourself in class next year.

There are true tales of last-minute MBAs admitted to top schools; they’re a source of inspiration for many would-be candidates. You’ll have to commit yourself to serious GMAT prep, essay writing, and CV revisions, but you can make it happen.

If it’s not now, is it never?

But, if you’re not knee-deep in applications now, that doesn’t mean you should write off the possibility of an MBA – even if there’s never been a better time.

In all honesty, you may not need or want an MBA ever. But, if you’ve been tossing the idea around in your head, you really shouldn’t close yourself off forever even if it feels as black-and-white as now-or-never.

It doesn’t need to be never if it’s not now.

But, there are certain situations that could easily make someone feel that way. Perhaps you’ve just found yourself out of a job in the short-term, and it makes sense to get that degree now rather than looking for new positions.

Or, maybe a new offer is on the table, and you have a small window to say, “I want your job, but first I want my MBA.”

Perhaps you’re putting off a personal life event until you’ve completed your MBA, or you don’t want to head overseas after you get married or start a family. Maybe now seems to be the only time because your partner is taking an out-of-town contract.

There is any number of reasons someone might say, “It has to be now.” And while some of them make it a more opportune time to undertake your MBA, they’re not excuses you can use in ten or twenty years time as to why you didn’t get a Master’s-level business degree.

MBA applications take time, effort, and sharpshooter focus

Preparing for the MBA takes almost as much time and intensity as the courses themselves. Your applications aren’t a process you can rush. If you’re not 100 percent sure why you want an MBA, the admissions teams will know it. And that’s the beginning; you also need to know why and how you’ll fit into the programmes you’ll apply to, what your post-MBA goals are, and you’ll need to make everything in your application sing the same tune.

That may be a little overwhelming now, but it doesn’t mean you should say never. It might, however, mean it’s time to start focusing your efforts on next year’s application rounds.

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