There’s still time to begin your studies in 2023!
May 17, 2023 | Admissions & Programs Team
The following post is a Q&A from May 2022 with Andrew Black '22S (MBA) about his decision
to apply to the MBA program later in the application cycle.
Good news: while our final deadline has passed, we are accepting applications to our full-time MBA and MS programs on a space-available basis—meaning it’s still possible for you to begin business school this summer! To simplify the process, your $90 application fee is waived if you apply by May 20 by 11:59 p.m. EDT!
Every year promising candidates apply after May 1, are admitted, and go on to find success in our programs. One such example is Andrew Black ’22S (MBA), a product marketing manager at Microsoft. We asked Andrew about his experience applying after the final deadline, what his transition to business school was like, advice for those considering applying now, and more.
What made you want to apply to business school? Why did you choose to apply after May 1?
I knew that at some point in my career, an MBA degree from a top business school was going to be imperative for taking on greater professional leadership roles. Because of that, I wanted to be proactive in terms of obtaining my MBA degree early in my career. In 2020, I was planning on applying to MBA programs during the fall (for 2021 intake), but during the pandemic some key target schools shifted deadlines and encouraged candidates to apply. This made my decision to apply very easy, as I realized that the worst outcome that would come from my late application would be that I receive valuable feedback on my candidacy for my original 2021 targeted timeline. The risk was really low, and I wanted to explore all of my options.
What factors weighed in to choosing Simon?
Distilling it down to one factor, I would say the intercommunity support. Relationships are important at Simon. When I was making my business school decision, it became apparent from conversations with alumni and current students just how much everyone in the Simon student body supports one another, particularly through the career search process. Now, having gone through the MBA program, my belief that intercommunity support is a pillar of the Simon experience has only been reaffirmed.
How was your transition to b-school on a relatively tight timeline?
My transition was a relatively smooth one. While there were some onboarding tasks to complete, the transition from professional work to Simon was more about getting mentally prepared than completing any one task. Onboarding was streamlined, and I devoted a small portion of every day toward getting myself ready for Simon (i.e., résumé reviews, logistics, career research), which made the process feel very manageable.
What resources helped you prepare for your MBA after applying later in the admissions process?
The Benet Career Management Center was the most valuable resource post-admittance. I met with my career advisor (Steve Simpson) after accepting my admission offer, and Steve helped lay the groundwork for what the next 3–6 months would look like. This level-setting conversation with Steve continued throughout the summer and was highly impactful in making sure I was ready to hit the ground running for recruitment that took place at the end of August.
What was your favorite part of your MBA experience?
I would say being a Benet Career Peer (BCP). During my first year, I worked very closely with two BCPs: Toby Motyka and Gabi Pacheco. In November of 2020, my first internship offer came from Verizon, and my second came a week later from Microsoft. Toby Motyka and Gabi Pacheco interned and now work at Verizon and Microsoft, respectively. The correlation between Toby’s and Gabi’s backgrounds to my offers was no accident. I was in the fortuitous position to decide between two exceptional companies because Toby and Gabi invested themselves in my career progression.
At Simon we call this “pay it forward.” It’s an axiom that permeates the school—one I try to uphold. As a BCP in my second year, I learned a lot about myself through coaching, mentoring, and providing career guidance as Toby and Gabi did for me. The process has been incredibly rewarding. It is extremely gratifying to see others realize their full potential, and I am lucky to play a small part in that.
What advice do you have for prospective MBA students wondering if they should apply this time of year?
A simple cost-benefit analysis reveals that the risk of applying now is limited. I distinctly remember wondering if I was making the right decision by applying late, but I soon realized that there was no application outcome that would equate to failure. Best case, I get into a top-tier business school and then have a difficult decision to make (whether to move up my timeline by a year and pursue my MBA sooner than expected); worst case, I receive a rejection, but in the process I’ll learn what I should work on for the following application cycle.
If you are on the fence about applying, consider my thought process above. There is significant value in exploring all options, and taking risks is essential to success.
Learn more about Andrew, who was named one of Poets&Quants’ Best and Brightest MBAs of 2022!
If you are an international student and you do not currently have a student visa, please note that there are time sensitivities surrounding the visa process. We encourage you to work through the application with urgency. If you have questions or would like to discuss your individual candidacy or next steps, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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