Happy MLK Day & Application Question: Can I Submit a GMAT Score Late for the MLT Program?

Happy belated MLK Day Everyone! I hope that you were able to observe the holiday and commemorate the day that has helped to change America over the last few decades. At Northwestern, there were a number of scheduled events over the past week, so hopefully it was the same in your geography as well. Last year, I posted a post about leadership lessons from Martin Luther King (click here for the post).  But this year however, I thought I’d try something different. In the spirit of the MLK holiday, I wanted to respond to one of my reader’s questions about Management Leadership for Tomorrow, one of the world’s most influential programs for up and coming minorities in America.

Before I dive into the question, first, I want to emphasize that MLT is a wonderful program, and that anyone who is eligible should consider applying (click here for my last post about applying to MLT).  For years now, MLT has been helping up and coming professionals all over the world achieve their full potential by assisting with career visioning and planning.

Below is my reader’s question and below that is my response.

READERS QUESTION

Dear Jeremy,

I was recently accepted into the MLT program, but will not receive my official scores by the deadline of February 1st. I expect my score to be well above the minimum requirement for entry into the program, and need either- an extension, or provisionally sustained enrollment until the end of February. Do you think this would be possible??? I do not want to pass up on this opportunity OR to postpone all of my plans for another year… Who should I talk to about this?

Thank you!

(Name)

MY RESPONSE

Dear Reader,

Thanks so much for your question. First, congratulations on getting accepted into the MLT MBAP program. What a wonderful accomplishment! In my view, MLT is one of the best organizations anywhere for business professionals. Not only because of the support it provides to applicants during the application process but also because of the networks of friends and colleagues it provides you in the journey.

In regards to your question, there are a couple of things to keep in mind-

One, it is important to know that MLT is organized just like a business school. MLT has its own admissions process, has tangible application deadlines, and asks that you to write thoughtful essays and submit GMAT scores to gain acceptance.

Second, the program itself is also highly structured. You have a formal set of rules that you’re asked to comply with as a fellow.  There are a number of assignments that you must complete on time throughout the program. And you have a set of deadlines and due dates that more often than not are not negotiable.

As such, I think it’s important that applicants also do their best to adhere to the deadlines and meet all the requirements, which includes sending GMAT scores on time at the onset of the program. Applicants that don’t do this can risk of missing out on admission.  On the other hand, MLT also understands that sometimes logistics are not always in your control. So you should let them know the specifics about what happened and your workplan for completing the exam.

In my personal experience, I recall that a few people also had trouble with the GMAT timing right as MLT was beginning, and MLT was able to accomodate those that had solidified a date to take the exam.  However, this was also a few years ago, before MLT moved many of its deadlines earlier and began emphasizing how important it is to finish the GMAT earlier than later. In fact, my MLT class was the first to really prioritize the  idea of moving the GMAT earlier, when we provided feedback after our fellowship year.

So if you have a solid reason for not being able to submit scores on time, then it would make sense to speak with someone directly from the organization and ask what the protocol is for exceptions. First, I’d try contacting the person who admitted you into the program, since they are likely your point of contact. Second, you can find MLT’s contact info on this link. http://www.ml4t.org/contact for more general questions, or as a second point of reference. And third, for more specific questions, you can feel free to drop me a line and I will connect you someone else who can help you. But from what I know about the program, I suspect MLT has already provided you with the right contact information.

Back before I conclude, I want to re-emphasize that MLT runs its program this way for a reason. In my view, one of MLT’s greatest lessons for its fellows is the importance of structure — Being on time. Following protocol. Playing by the rules.  And being organized. It’s not because they want to make your life more difficult but because business school moves at a faster pace and if you are not organized, you might miss she chance to sign up for an event, miss out on a class you were hoping to take, or worst of all miss the drop deadline for a resume submission.

But like I said, MLT also understands that logistics can be tricky. So try to get in touch with the person who contacted you regarding admissions. And if you can’t, send me another note and I’ll put you in touch with someone I know at the office.

In any event, congratulations again, best of luck in the admission process, and perhaps I’ll see you in March at the MLT kick-off event!

Note: I will also note that I got this great picture from Orlando, who is in Kellogg’s Class of 2011. He has a great blog that is very helpful for those who are considering Kellogg and are seeking information about the school.

Thursday, January 20th, 2011 Admissions, Business School, Careers, Diversity

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.

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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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