Tips on Applying

When applying to an MBA school, candidates should make themselves as informed as possible about the school’s admissions criteria, programs, and student body. In addition, they should be aware of the qualifications of other applicants. Finally, they should present themselves in the best light possible.

MBA students need to be dedicated, organized, and driven. One of the best ways to demonstrate those qualities is to know what application materials are required and to meet all application deadlines and requests. By knowing the class statistics of the student body, applicants who do not come near the average requirements in terms of GMAT scores or GPA can save time and effort by applying elsewhere.

Knowing what programs, classes, and internships are offered can help applicants direct their essays and interviews. Selecting an MBA school that matches one’s career goals shows a candidate to be serious-minded and driven. It also creates the impression that the applicant is choosing the school as opposed to the school choosing the applicant. By mentioning specific courses and staff members in interviews, the applicant may appear confident and knowledgeable. The more goal-oriented an applicant seems, the better. The decision process requires thought.

Of course, an applicant must work with the scores he or she has. The presentation of scores and experiences can make an applicant stand out. Students with little practical experience should talk mainly about their academic records and personal achievements. These facets can be highlighted by being introduced first in the personal essay. When questions arise concerning professional experience, non-paid experience counts. Well-roundedness can be as big a virtue as excellence.

On the other hand, one way to make up for a sub-par academic record is to highlight business experience. Most schools expect students to have at least two years of such experience. By waiting to apply to an MBA school, candidates can achieve more in the professional world. Staying an extra year at a job to become a manager shows diligence and dedication. Because MBA programs are turning out future executives, leadership skills should be emphasized. Proactive moves that helped the company also should be highlighted.

The timing of an application also is important. It does not hurt to apply to an MBA program early. There tends to be a greater volume of late applications, which makes it more difficult for any one application to stand out. Getting an application in early ensures that someone will give it full consideration. Overall, the best way to ensure success in the application process is to believe that an MBA program is the right decision and to demonstrate that belief.