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Early Career MBA: Five Reasons to Apply in Round 3

Are you an early career b-school applicant? Are you considering applying to b-school in Round 3? Are you wondering whether it’s a good idea to apply so late in the MBA admissions cycle?

If you’re a college senior, this is a busy time for you. You’re wrapping up your thesis, you’re deep into you job search and you’re still balancing a heavy course load.

However, despite these competing interests this could be a great time for you to apply to business school if you’re ready and you feel strongly that the MBA is important to your career development.


In this blog post, I’ll provide you with five reasons why early career applicants should consider applying to b-school in Round 3.

If you’re thinking of applying to b-school in a year or more, you’ll want to read this post on How to Lay the Groundwork For Your Early Career MBA

Otherwise, let’s get started. 

early career

Early Career Advantages

Well, for starters, MBA programs, particularly those in the US, are looking for early career candidates and are eager to secure an admission commitment from such star candidates.

Remember that many MBA programs are on the hunt for talented, high-performing, and diverse candidates.

And the goal of many admissions boards is to get early career candidates to commit to their programs instead of going to competing programs such as masters programs in the sciences and engineering field not to mention lucrative startup ventures.

Schools such as Stanford encourage university seniors to apply to the GSB with expectations that they will take a two year deferment before enrolling.

HBS’ popular 2+2 program offers similar options for graduating seniors and those who are in graduate programs (without having worked full time) to apply.

The director of admissions, Dee Leopold, in her blog assures 2+2 applicants that they can still apply in the Round 3.

Several programs such as YaleStanford, Wharton and Booth offer similar opportunities.

So while you may find that you have a full plate on your hands as a college senior, applying right now, during Round 3, is a viable option for you if you have a very strong academic track record (GPA, GRE, GMAT) as well leadership achievements.

Apply 3 Round

Five Reasons to Consider Applying in Round 3

  1. Future Enrollment

You’re not penalized by the fact that fewer seats are available in the 3rd round now since if you’re admitted your admission is deferred and you wouldn’t have to enroll for a couple of years.

  1. Better Late, Than Never

The adcom is forgiving of your late application because they understand that you may have many different options that you’re considering and that you may have come to this decision late.

The key is to make a strong case for why the MBA fits into your future plans.

  1. Buy More Time for GMAT/GRE Exams

Sometimes you need a few more months to crack the GMAT/GRE exam. You might have tried it a few times and your score is not where you’d like it to be.

By applying in Round 3, you can buy yourself more time to take the GMAT/GRE exam and give yourself a chance to secure a more competitive score before applying in the later rounds.

  1. Track Down Your Recommenders

Applying in the late round also allows you to have enough time to track down your recommenders who have supervised you for internships and to put together a strong application.

  1. Good Job Hunting

It’s ideal to have some general sense of what you’ll be doing after graduation and applying in the later round buys you time to secure a job ahead of your graduation.


So, you now know five reasons why early career applicants should consider applying to b-school in Round 3.

One final thought.

Remember that b-schools want people who are running towards something not running away from something.

So if you’re more in the camp of “I don’t know what to do with my life so I’ll just try my luck with an application” don’t bother applying.

MBA programs want people who’ve excelled in college, have demonstrated strong evidence of leadership and a clear sense of direction for their career.

Use your b-school application to show them that you’re exactly that person and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your MBA admission goals.

If you’re trying to decide between applying Round 1 and Round 3, read this article MBA Application Deadlines: How to Decide Between Round 1 vs Round 3

Have more questions about applying Round 3? Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more tips.



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