One of the most important eligibility criteria for an MBA programme is work experience. Most universities ask for a minimum of two years of full-time work experience. However, with the average work experience of a class being 5 to 8 years, two years of work experience may not be enough for you to gain a competitive advantage. Hence, for students with no work experience, securing admission to a university may be an ordeal. This is where deferred MBA programs come in. Through deferred MBA programmes, you can apply to business schools even if you have little to no work experience. In fact, several business schools offer deferred MBA programmes that accept students in their final year of graduate studies.
Deferred MBA programmes allow students to apply for a seat at a university of their choice without having any work experience. Having said that, a student can only begin their studies once they have gained the required work experience. Besides, the candidates need to acquire exceptional scores on the GMAT or GRE tests, and obtain strong letters of recommendation, in order to be considered for these programmes. Hence, if you are interested in pursuing a deferred MBA, given below are 8 points to keep in mind.
8 Points to Remember While Applying to a Deferred MBA Programme
- Provides some level of certainty
Once you secure an acceptance letter for a deferred MBA programme, all you need to do is to fulfil the work experience criteria of the programme. Hence, as you already have an offer to join the university, for the next 2 to 3 years, you should completely focus on acquiring professional experience and not worry about studying for GMAT/GRE tests or applying to universities.
- Limiting your options
On the flip side, a deferred MBA programme may prove challenging for some students. If you opt for a deferred MBA programme you won’t be able to explore areas other than business management. Therefore, when you choose a deferred program, you will have to be committed and focused on obtaining an MBA only.
- Will enhance your career after your graduate
An employer is more likely to hire you if you already hold an offer letter for a deferred MBA programme from a prestigious university. However, they may also be hesitant to offer you a job if they get to know that you will work with them only for two years. Furthermore, this could also make you vulnerable to employee lay-offs or downsizing practices at your workplace. Nevertheless, once you’ve acquired your MBA, it will pave the way for several new opportunities. Not only will you gain a competitive advantage in the job market, but also you’ll receive several job notifications that were previously not available due to your inability to meet the qualification requirements of that job.
- Your options may be limited before the MBA
Prior to obtaining your MBA degree, you may not be allowed to explore jobs and find the right role that aligns with your skills and interests. You may be required to work at a job that your institution approves, and you will have to continue working there until you begin your studies. Hence, even if the job doesn’t offer you the scope to use your potential, you may have to tolerate that and continue working.
- It might be hard securing a job out of college
After you secure an admission, finding a job that your institution approves, within a limited period, may prove to be challenging. Hence, you might have to connect extensively with the recruiters at human resource agencies to help you find the job that meets your admission criteria.
- You will encounter more experienced peers
As mentioned above, the average work experience of an MBA class can range between 5 to 8 years. Hence, with only two years of experience at hand, you may come across classmates who may have several more years of work experience than you do. Although it is natural to feel intimidated studying with experienced classmates, this doesn’t put you at any disadvantage since you have already been deemed as eligible by the university’s admissions committee to attend their MBA program.
- Financial strain
Most of the deferred programmes are expensive, and the salary you earn over two years may not be enough to fund your MBA. To cover your finances, you will also have to look for and apply to scholarships that might help you cover the cost. Moreover, if you need to cover the remaining tuition fees and accommodation expenses, you may have to apply for a loan which may result in debt after your graduation.
- You CAN reject the offer
You should keep in mind that you can reject the offer at any point in time. Accepting an admission letter does not mean that you will be compelled to attend the program. If you change your mind and decide to pursue something else that will help you achieve your ambitions, you have the option to reject the existing offer letter despite having accepted it earlier. However, in case of rejecting an offer letter, you may not receive the non-refundable amount paid during the application process.
Here is a list of Top 5 Deferred MBA Programmes abroad:
- Harvard Business School – 2+2 Deferred MBA
- Stanford Graduate School of Business – Deferred Enrolment
- Booth School of Business – Chicago Booth Scholars Program
- Wharton School of Business – Moelis Advance Access Program
- Kellogg School of Management – Kellogg Future Leaders Program
- MIT Sloan School of Management – MBA Early Admission
Now that you know what a deferred MBA programme is and the essential points to remember before applying for one, you’re in a better position to plan your higher education goals. A deferred MBA programme is perfect for those who wish to acquire an MBA degree from a prestigious university or business school. However, until you start your studies and graduate, you may not have the liberty of choosing the jobs you like or working for an organization for the duration of your choice.