Cambridge MBA applications are now open for 2015 entry, and the first round deadline of 19 September is fast-approaching. We’ve travelled from Santiago to Singapore meeting MBA candidates and many of you will now be thinking of the application itself.
References, essays and TOEFL
We have a couple of changes to our application process this year.
The first thing to notice is the references requirement -one fewer than last year. We now ask only for a supervisor reference – we felt this was more valuable than the peer reference as it allows us to better distinguish between candidates. Also for the first time this supervisor reference can be one written for you towards any other business school application. We hope this will save time and streamline your application process.
Secondly, the essay questions have been altered. We’re asking for two instead of three this year. There’s less to write but that’s also the challenge – it takes careful thinking to make every word count.
We want to know about your professional experiences and motivations, so to be sure to explain clearly why you are applying for the programme and what your contributions to the class will be.
Finally, we are now able to accept TOEFL scores again following a brief suspension by the UK border agency last year. The TOEFL requirement is 110, with no element below 25. IELTS is also acceptable, with a total score of 7.5 and no element below 7.0. However, if your score does not quite reach this level then go ahead and apply anyway, and we may be able to make you an offer with further language conditions.
Why Round 1?
So let’s explain the rounds: whilst we accept a similar percentage of candidates in each of our five admissions rounds, applying in the early rounds can give some advantages to confident applicants. A lot of our university and College-based scholarships – such as the St Catharine’s Benavitch and St John’s Browne awards – have deadlines which require an early acceptance and enrolment on to the Cambridge MBA programme.
Further, given that some Colleges have set numbers of MBA places, an early enrolment can offer greater flexibility when expressing your preferred college. Colleges that take limited numbers may well have filled their spots – or even closed for graduate admissions – by the time the later rounds fall.
In general, knowing in advance that your MBA place of study is secure will give you more time to prepare for the programme – in seeking funding and making the most of your remaining time in the workplace to identify post-MBA goals.
It should still go without saying however that the best time to apply for any MBA programme is always when you are completely happy with the materials being presented to the School – your compelling essays, competitive test scores and a winner referee. If this is all in place, then get ahead of the crowd and apply early!
James Barker MBA Admissions Coordinator, Candidate Management