The MBA is one of the most sought-after degrees in the world. It’s also among the hardest to get, with more than half a million people competing for just 20,000 spots at top schools each year.
The degree can be worth millions in higher lifetime earnings and increased job opportunities, but it’s not easy to get into business school. Students must meet strict requirements and show off their intellectual chops on paper. Luckily, there are some things you can do to improve your chances before applying:
Get Your Resume Out There
The first step is submitting an application package that shows all your qualifications (including past experience, grades, and scores) in a way that admissions officers can easily see. Many MBA admissions consultants recommend bringing your resume up to date if you haven’t looked at it for a while. You don’t want to send out materials with glaring spelling mistakes or outdated information on them, after all. Fixing little problems now will save you from major headaches later on.
Take a Test or Two
MBA admissions departments typically look for three traits when they’re selecting students: intelligence, grit, and communication skills. While grades and work experience can show how well you did in school, your test scores can indicate how smart you are. If your application lacks a perfect GPA or you want to strengthen your application, then taking standardized tests can be a good idea. Test scores aren’t the only factor that admissions officers consider, but it’s hard to get into an MBA program without at least some positive scores.
Look for a consultant
Looking for a consultant for your MBA application may seem like a last resort. After all, you can do everything yourself and save some money over paying a company to handle your application process. Unfortunately, the business school admissions process is more complicated than it looks, and there are plenty of factors that can trip up even the most skilled applicants. A consultant who has been through the process before can help you streamline your application and maximize its chances of success. You should look for these professionals online. If you look up something like “best MBA admission consultants” you should get a list that includes their names and websites. You can then contact them to get more details on their services. Every consultant works differently, so you may have to try a few before finding one who’s right for you.
Word-of-mouth referrals from people who have been through the MBA admissions process can be the best way to find a consultant. That person may recommend a particular company or individual with who they’ve worked before. Asking around right now could help you find a consultant who’s right for you.
Check the Dates
If there is a specific date by which all applicants must submit their materials, make sure your application arrives by that point. You also want to make sure your materials arrive before the deadline if you’re expecting a response soon after. Keep in mind that schools often send out decisions with significant lead times, so you may need to wait a month or two in some cases.
Get Your Hands Dirty
MBA admissions departments are looking for students who have diverse interests and know how to apply their knowledge outside the classroom. To show this side of yourself, you can volunteer or work in an internship related to your field of study. It doesn’t matter if it was paid or unpaid. What’s important is demonstrating that you have valuable skills and know-how other than academic ones. This will help admissions officers take you seriously when they read through your application.
When writing essays and other parts of your MBA application, it’s important to show that you’re willing to work hard in order to achieve success. But make sure this message isn’t the only one you send. If there is anything interesting about your background, don’t hesitate to share it in your application. For example, if you grew up in a foreign country or have an unusual work history that shaped you into the person you are today, then tell people about it in your essays. This will help admissions officers get a better feel for who you are.
You may be tempted to cut corners and submit an incomplete application, but don’t do it! The MBA admissions team will probably notice if parts of your file are missing or out of order. They may even reject your application without reading it. Follow the instructions exactly and send in everything that is requested so you don’t give them a reason to overlook you.
If you follow these tips, then your MBA application will be in great shape to succeed! You should also talk to admissions officers at schools where you are applying to get more insight into their process. If you’re not sure where to start your search, there are plenty of places online that can help you find MBA admission officers or consultants.