What is the Deferred MBA Program? Its Benefits and Application Process

A lot of students from India want to apply abroad for MBA programs. However, they work with the misconception that in order to apply abroad, they need years and years of work experience. Now this is something not true there is an option called a deferred MBA program option if you apply via that option, you don't need many years of work experience whatsoever. So in this article I am going to discuss what the meaning of deferred MBA programs is and how they can apply to these programs. 


Deferred MBA Program

Deferred MBA programs are MBA programs and these programs are open to final year undergraduate or graduate students who do not have any work experience. Let's try to understand this statement from an example. So let's say you're a final year undergraduate student from IIT Delhi and you want to apply abroad to Yale silver scholar which is a deferred MBA option you can apply and you will qualify for this program. However if you graduate from IIT Delhi, work for one year and then pursue a masters program from the US and then if you want to apply for a deferred MBA program you would not qualify for that program. So just keep that in mind and plan your deferred MBA application strategy accordingly. 

Now the second important point to note is that the degree that you get after you graduate from a deferred MBA program is that of an MBA. So if you graduate from let's say Stanford MBA vis a vis if you graduate from Stanford deferred MBA you would get an MBA degree at the end of the coursework. So even from the course structure or teaching point of view there is essentially no difference. 

However, an important point to note is that different deferred MBA options would have different different formats. Let's Compare two formats. So one is of Yale silver scholar format. So what happens there is, once you graduate from your undergraduate program and you get accepted to Yale's deferred MBA option you will go to Yale directly after your undergrad, you will complete one year then you will work for 1 or 2 years and then you will come back to Yale and complete your complete degree and get an MBA. 


If you compare this to Stanford deferred MBA option what happens there is that you get accepted to a deferred MBA program at Stanford In your final year then you work for 2 years and then you go and complete your degree at Stanford and then get an MBA. So essentially the program formats are different but at the end of which you will still get an MBA degree. So a lot of top tier MBA programs offer deferred MBA options. For example there is Harvard 2 + 2, Stanford, Yale silver scholar, Darden.

In Europe you have schools like IESC which offer a deferred MBA and recently a lot of schools have started offering the deferred MBA option. For example Columbia has it, MIT has recently started offering it, Chicago Booth has started offering it


Benefits of applying for a deferred MBA program

There are three key advantages if you are applying for a deferred MBA. So the first advantage is the flexibility. Imagine this, if you are a final year undergraduate student and if you get accepted to a deferred MBA program, you would get to know the result even before you graduate. So Harvard or Stanford, whichever deferred MBA you have applied for they will tell you the result even before you graduate. So then you can plan your career accordingly. So if you want to pursue certain kinds of jobs you can do that, if you want to run your own business you can do that if you want to travel the world you can do that. 


The second key advantage of applying for a deferred MBA program is that deferred MBA programs have the highest ROI (Return on Investment). Now you can understand this from the fact that people make most of their salary, or most of their post MBA salary is much higher than their pre-MBA salary. Now since deferred MBA students graduate quite early with just 2 years of full time work, they will end up maximizing their ROI.


Now the third key advantage is the leverage you get by getting accepted to a deferred MBA. For example if you get accepted to a deferred MBA program in your final year of your undergrad, then you can write to firms such McKinsey, BCG, Bain, or if you want to work in private equity your VC capital firms then you can write to them saying that you have been accepted for program like Harvard or Stanford and you can try to get a leverage out of it in terms of better jobs or internships. So that is always an advantage for you. Now this leverage can translate into running your own business or getting support from Stanford or Harvard, wherever you have been accepted even before going there. In essence, if you get accepted to a deferred MBA program you can use that brand equity to get better jobs, maximizing your ROI and also gaining a lot of knowledge along the way by experimenting with your career. 


Application process of a deferred MBA program

The application process of a deferred MBA program is divided into three parts. The first part is standardized testing. Here you can take GMAT or GRE. You don't need to take both. It doesn't matter what exam you are taking whether GMAT or GRE. What matters however is that you need to have gotten a threshold of at least 95th percentile plus score because the deferred MBA programs are extremely competitive. So aim for a 95th percentile either on GMAT or GRE. 


The second part of the application process is the written application. Now the written application is very very extensive. A written application comprises elements like resume, letter of recommendation, application form you have a video interview component, you have essays. So it's very extensive and it's a very cumbersome process, so get started with your application as soon as possible and at least give yourself 8-12 months to complete the entire application process. So on the application, you will need to speak about your profile or write the essays around your profile. This indirectly depends on the kind of activities you had participated in your college or what kind of internships you might have done. So make sure that you pursue the right kind of internships during your college and you participate in extensive activities so that you get some fodder material to write on your essays. Because this is not a component or an element that you can develop in the last 3 months before applying to a deferred MBA option. 

The final stage is the interview stage. Once you have taken your standardized test and you have compiled your application you just submit your application and if your application is shortlisted then you are invited for an interview. Now what all is covered in what type of questions are asked in the interview, What are the components of the interview. 

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