Early preparation and planning for the recruitment cycle for Cambridge MBA Class of 2020.
While the recruitment cycle for 2018/19 is now closed, now is the time to start preparing your CV and organising yourself in advance of applying for Cambridge MBA Class of 2020. The Cambridge MBA has five application rounds: here is a handy guide what you need to do, and when.
Prepare for and take your GMAT – at least eight to 10 weeks before you begin your application
Most people take a few
months to prepare for their GMAT or GRE, using weekends and spare time to learn
the format of the test and practice questions. According to the official GMAT
website, 56 per cent of GMAT takers spent at least 51 hours preparing for the
exam (and those who spent longer achieved a higher score), so it’s a good idea
to book a test date at least a few months before you plan to submit your
We ask you to report
your own GMAT or GRE score for the Cambridge MBA application and you should
also ask the test provider to make your official score report available to us
online (with the GMAT, you can do this free for up to five schools). We won’t
be able to review your application until we are able to access your official
score report, so leave enough time to make sure it’s available for us to check.
It’s worth noting that
you might not get the score you are aiming for on your first attempt, so you
might want to factor in time to retake it and get the score that you want.
Speak to your referee – six weeks before submitting application
Give your referee
adequate time to think about and write a reference. Don’t leave it until the
last minute, applications are often held up because of references being
submitted late. When you apply for the Cambridge MBA, a request will
automatically be sent to your referee once you have entered their contact
details, so you can let them know when to expect a request.
For the Cambridge MBA,
referees should be a current supervisor – or if that’s not possible, a former
line manager or supervisor. If you are self-employed or run your own company,
you can nominate a customer or supplier with whom you have a professional
relationship. Either way, make sure they have enough time to write a considered
reference which reflects you well.
Start your application – four to six weeks before deadline
We recommend that you
start your application at least four weeks before you intend to submit it.
Remember – you can save your Cambridge MBA online application at any stage.
You’ll need a bit of time to think about the three essay questions (we’d recommend you write them in a Word document first so you know the grammar and spelling is correct), as they need a lot of self-reflection, and it might take you a while to come up with examples which you are happy with.
You’ll also need a
copy of your degree transcript to attach to your online application. If you don’t
have a transcript, you can usually get a copy from your university, but they
can take several weeks to arrive, so make sure you have this to hand.
Submit your application – a week or more before the deadline
Before submitting your
Cambridge MBA application make sure you have proofread your essay questions and
that you are happy with the answers.
You can submit your
application by 23:59 GMT on the day of your chosen deadline, but we’d recommend
you do it a week or so before in case you have any technical difficulties or
need to get in contact with MBA Admissions teams.
We read all
applications once they have been received (we don’t read them before this). You
can expect to hear from us within three weeks.
Interview – six weeks after application deadline
If your application is
successful, you’ll be invited to interview. Interviews take place around six
weeks after the application deadline for that round (the dates are on the
website) and take place in Cambridge. You’ll be invited to a dinner the night
before in a College, followed by an interview day where you’ll be interviewed
by a member of faculty, have a meeting with a careers consultant and have a
tour of Cambridge Colleges.
You’ll hear about the
outcome of your interview within three weeks of your interview date.
In addition, we have recently introduced a social platform called Unibuddy, allowing those invited for interview to chat via private instant messages with a current MBA student and get their authentic insight on their lived experience at Cambridge.
For those applying for scholarships, it is vital for you to apply in the early rounds. Although bursaries are available in every round.
We offer a range of scholarships that are broadly grouped into the categories for academic achievement, industry sector and experience, nationality, women and the LGBT+ community. Our scholarships brochure outlines these in more detail and we recommend candidates read it in advance.
Scholarships are only
available to those candidates who have already been invited for interview. The
application process for these scholarships is then using a video platform Kira
Talent. When a candidate is contacted for interview it is at that point that a
link is sent to our scholarship application portal, with any further details of
how to submit the video application for the relevant scholarship.
Amy Duckworth, Head of Recruitment and Admissions says:
As well as the application timings, it’s also a good idea to think about things such as your funding options, whether or not you meet the language requirements, and the practicalities of relocation and leaving your current role. If you require a visa to study in the UK, we recommend applying by Round Four at the latest to allow for this. If you are thinking about applying for any scholarships, consider applying earlier in the year, as some of them have earlier deadlines, though we do award bursaries throughout the year.