Business and EDU

Top Tips for Applying to an MBA Program

 1278048_old_buildingsGetting an MBA degree can be a powerful tool in advancing your career. Studies show a significant difference in salary between MBA holders and those with less advanced degrees.This income difference is particularly pronounced for people who have graduated from top-tier schools. An MBA degree helps you learn about all aspects of business and gives you more choices, whether you hope to run a company some day or take the entrepreneur track. The first step in your journey is deciding on schools you would like to attend and sending in that all-important application. Here are some tips that will help you navigate the process more successfully.

Start Early

The MBA has been a strong program through all sorts of economies and other professional crises. Admission is competitive and getting an early start on the application process can work in your favor. Each school has a set period —typically about a six-to-eight month window — during which they accept applications, review them and render decisions. The earlier you get your application in, the less competition there is. Furthermore, applying early shows the school you are serious about going to business school and, more importantly, getting your degree at their institution.

Find the Best Fit

This is one of those pieces of advice that is so obvious that you probably dismiss it with a big fat ‘’duh.’’ But, it is often these very simple tips that get overlooked. When evaluating candidates for an MBA program, admissions officers are considering many factors, and they have a good idea of their ideal student; it is about more than GMAT scores and GPAs (though they are important of course.) Do some thorough research on the school, its culture, alumni and the specifics of the program. If you feel you belong at this institution and in their MBA program, make sure you clearly convey this in your application.Clearly illustrate how you would thrive in this specific environment.  Even if you are looking for a mba online program, it is important to carefully evaluate the different schools as they will have important differences as well.

Writing a Killer Essay

When it comes to advanced degrees, essays hold a lot of weight. They give the admissions officers a picture of a person that goes beyond numbers on test scores and transcripts. First and foremost, you may need to prepare different essays for different schools—while they are all giving out the same degrees, they can have a different ethos and a preference for different types of students. You must craft an essay that speaks to their unique outlook and preferences. But no matter what school, there are some core qualities they want to see in MBA students, such as leadership, team skills, ethics and communication skills.Provide honest and compelling statements to back up your strong suits. Also, do not be afraid to discuss flaws, weaknesses and quirks—revealing your humanity can show you are realistic and self-aware. Admissions officers know no one is perfect, including MBA candidates. Discussing how you overcame a challenge or changed yourself for the better can make for a compelling story that shows how much you could benefit from their program.