How is Coronavirus Affecting MBA Applications?


The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has affected the way we live, work and study in several different ways, and it’s already beginning to affect both existing and prospective MBA students. If you’re in the process of applying to study for an MBA at business school, you might be dealing with some changes such as canceled visits or postponed interviews and testing dates. During this global crisis, prospective MBA students may be feeling some uncertainty around what’s going to happen with getting onto the program. Here are some common questions that MBA applicants are asking and the answers to them.


What Do I Do If You Can’t Take a Campus Tour:

If your campus tour was cut and you haven’t had a chance to check out the schools on your list before most campuses closed early due to coronavirus, don’t worry. While normally, paying visits to your chosen schools and exploring the campus is an important factor in any MBA application, this isn’t expected of you this season for obvious reasons; your health is more important! And, there’s always a chance that some schools will allow visits over the summer or later in the semester when things have gone back to normal, but in the meantime, there are several other ways in which you can get familiar with your target programs. Many schools are also offering virtual tours that you can take advantage of to see as much of the campus as possible from the comfort of your home.

Other Ways to Get to Know Target Schools:

Even if you don’t have the chance to visit the campus, there are several other strategies that you can use to get to know your target business schools. The MBA Tour, which usually holds events around the world to help prospective MBA students get to know different schools and their programs, is now holding virtual events that applicants can visit from the safety of their own homes while travel restrictions are in place. In addition, reaching out to alumni and current students is a great way to learn more about the programs; you can connect with them via social media, telephone or video chat. You might be able to find social media groups for current and past students, and many schools have dedicated web pages listing students that you can reach out to.

How Are Campuses Reacting to Coronavirus?

In order to keep students and staff safe, most campuses are canceling in-person events for admissions. However, they are ramping up their online offerings to help prospective students better get to know the school and drive their application decision. Virtual chats, tours, question and answer sessions are available from many business schools, and staff members are setting up virtual home office working spaces so that they can continue connecting with prospective students and teaching current classes from home. Most business schools are expected to eventually turn their attention to additional online admissions programs.

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Should I Change My Application Strategy?

As an increasing number of applicants are beginning to work from home and cancel their social engagements, you can use this extra time to your advantage. Consider any sections of the MBA application that you are able to complete now; this will free up extra time to take your GMAT or similar test later, and give you a head start that you will be grateful for when life starts to get back to normal.

What About My Interview?

If your face-to-face interview as a prospective MBA student has been canceled due to the coronavirus, you can usually expect it to be conducted online. The school is likely to contact you to let you know when and how your online interview will be conducted. Prepare for your online interview as you would for your face-to-face one and be sure that you dress the part and make a good impression for any video interviews. Most schools are well-prepared for conducting a video interview as the trend has been rapidly increasing in popularity before the coronavirus and is expected to continue.

What If My Test Date Was Canceled?

If you had an upcoming GMAT, GRE or EA test to take as part of your application process, it may have been canceled due to an increasing number of test centers closing as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, candidates may have a narrower window within which they can take the test this season Even if your test has been canceled, it’s important to continue studying and take a full practice test on your originally scheduled date. Try to copy testing conditions as much as possible in order to give you the clearest idea of where you stand and how well you are likely to perform. You can then use these results to develop your study plan and ensure that you are fully prepared in light of the chance that you probably have fewer chances to perfect your score this season. Alternatively, if you are working to meet upcoming business school deadlines to complete your application, the GMAT test is open online for most test takers. You can view more information on the GMAT Online here and the GRE test dates here.

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Will the Pandemic Impact My Start Date?

If you have already been accepted or provisionally accepted to an MBA program, you might be wondering whether or not you are still going to be able to start at the expected time of year. While it’s difficult to tell right now exactly what the situation is going to be months from now, some schools have already begun moving MBA start dates from late summer and early autumn to the beginning of next year, for both full- and part-time programs. If you are already enrolled and your school has changed the start date for your MBA, you can defer by a year if the change no longer fits in with your plans.

Will COVID-19 Change How I Learn?

If you are expecting to begin your MBA program this year, you may be wondering whether or not the coronavirus update is going to have an impact on the way you learn. As with changing start dates, it is difficult to tell whether or not things are going to change due to the pandemic, it might be wise to expect a shift to online learning if social distancing measures are still in place by the time your MBA program commences. Most business schools are going to be no stranger to online learning by then; many already offer online versions of MBA programs and due to the current situation, all MBA students are having to adjust to studying from home. While online study may not be what you signed up for, it may be essential in order to ensure that you can start your program on time, depending on what the future holds.


How Has Coronavirus Affected MBA Demand?

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, there has never been a higher demand for healthcare professionals and an MBA degree is able to help you advance your career in a range of industries, including healthcare. Many final-year MBA students are considering the next steps that they can take in order to improve the business outlook surrounding the pandemic with a related MBA degree, while prospective MBA students looking to do their part are beginning to consider applying for an MBA degree with a concentration in healthcare.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted students and prospective students in several ways; if you’re in the process of applying for an MBA, it may be necessary to do some things differently.

@Yale School of Management -14 August 2019.