Steps To Getting An Mba – This article was co-authored by Elizabeth Douglas and staff writer Amy Bobinger. Elizabeth Douglas is the CEO of. Elizabeth has over 15 years of experience working and managing teams in the technology industry. She has held roles in multiple fields including computer engineering, user experience and product management. She received a BA in Computer Science and an MBA from Stanford University.
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Steps To Getting An Mba
If you are planning a career in business, earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can help you achieve your goal. This versatile graduate degree can help you open doors, whether you plan to start a business for yourself or work for someone else.
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This article was co-authored by Elizabeth Douglas and staff writer Amy Bobinger. Elizabeth Douglas is the CEO of. Elizabeth has over 15 years of experience working and managing teams in the technology industry. She has held roles in multiple fields including computer engineering, user experience and product management. She received a BA in Computer Science and an MBA from Stanford University. This article has been viewed 69,895 times.
Getting an MBA can open doors for you as an entrepreneur, whether you want to start your own business or work for someone else. To get started, look for business schools that are right for your professional goals. Then apply to several schools, emphasizing your best qualities and real work experience in your application. You’ll also want to include professional references from current and recent employers and write an essay that shows why you’re a good fit for the school. For more tips from our CEO co-author, like how to succeed in business school, scroll down! If you want to know how to get into a top MBA program, or even how to get into Harvard Business School, there is no short, simple answer.
But we can tell you a few basic facts about getting into a top business school right away:
So while we can’t give you a simple formula for getting into a top MBA program, we CAN explain the application process and the actions you can take at each stage to increase your chances of acceptance.
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In the rest of this document, we cover not only the written application and interview process, but also the steps you can take to build your MBA profile in the years before you apply, as well as the informal parts of the process that can be surprising important, such as networking with schools.
This page is aimed at people who already know they want to get an MBA and are looking to maximize their chances. If you’re still wondering if an MBA is worth it, that’s a separate topic.
Submitting your MBA application at the right time can help you gain acceptance, and submitting your application at the wrong time can lead to rejection.
If you don’t already know the typical MBA application deadlines, you can start by reviewing the application deadlines for leading MBA programs in the US and EU. They remain similar from year to year.
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(If you’re currently completing your undergraduate degree and looking for early information, see our Undergraduate MBA Admissions Guide.)
If you plan ahead, you can apply as a college student, get accepted at that point, and enroll after you gain additional work experience. We go into detail on this topic in our article, Deferred Admission: The Best Option for Pre-MBA Students.
Yale’s Silver Scholars program is open to students from all colleges, but offers a unique format in which applicants enroll immediately in the first year of the MBA program, complete a one-year internship, and then return for the final year of the MBA program.
Since they will evaluate you based on your college experience, it makes sense to apply for deferred admission if you feel you have a strong profile between your grades, internships, post-college job offer, GMAT score, and your volunteer and leadership activities .
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Only a small percentage of the MBA class is accepted through deferred admission programs. Most MBA candidates apply later after they graduate college and have a few years of work experience, which brings us to the next question.
In most programs, having four or five years of experience at the time you enroll will meet these requirements well. If you are targeting European programs you can apply a year later than this, and if you are sponsored by your employer with a guaranteed return offer you can apply a year earlier.
Older applicants with longer tenure can still win admission, but there must be a good answer to the question “Why is this the right time to pursue an MBA?”. If you’ve become so successful that an MBA won’t add anything to your career, or if you’ve been stuck in a rut for years without any promotions, it may be difficult to gain admission.
Want the short answer? If you are ready to submit your best application in Round 1, you should apply then.
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Round 2 should be considered if you need to improve your profile in meaningful ways (eg better GMAT, campus visits, better research on your career goals). Round 1 is preferable to Round 2, all else being equal, but a well-prepared candidate in Round 2 will beat a poorly prepared candidate in Round 1 every time. However, overrepresented candidates should be wary of postponing to a later round.
Round 3 (by which we mean the last round – actually Round 4 or Round 5 in some schools) is tough and only certain candidates are likely to gain admission in this round.
Some programs have multiple entry dates. For example, Columbia Business School has fall entry for the standard two-year MBA program (which includes a summer internship) and January entry for the accelerated J-Term program, where you graduate in 16 months without a summer internship.
If you’re changing careers, you need a summer internship to maximize your chances of securing a full-time job in your target industry. Therefore, you should only apply for fall enrollment in two-year programs. But if you are sponsored by your employer with a guaranteed return offer or are joining your family business, you may have reasons to apply for a one-year program.
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Once you know you want to pursue an MBA, you can get a head start by preparing early. It’s no secret that MBA programs prefer to admit students who have great academic and professional backgrounds, extracurricular activities like athletics and volunteering, and relationships with the school’s students and alumni, but developing these parts of your profile takes time.
If you are a year or more away from submitting your MBA applications, you have time not only to think about how to present yourself, but also to develop and improve your MBA profile. Which is a big advantage!
In our Early Birds program, we guide applicants as young as college freshmen in building their MBA profile and maximizing the benefits you can get from early preparation. This often includes:
If you haven’t started earlier and want to apply this year, don’t despair. Even if you have a few weak spots, we’ve been successful with applicants with low grades, unemployment, or few extracurricular activities. But there are no shortcuts, and you can’t expect to make your weaknesses disappear with an optional essay. If you have a weakness and don’t have time to address it by building your profile, it means you need to work even harder on the other parts of the application process outlined here.
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The first reason to attend MBA programs sounds simple: make sure you really want to attend your target programs!
Consider the enormous costs of an MBA program. Between tuition, living expenses, perks (you really want to join a few clubs and international transfer, don’t you?) and lost income, it could exceed $500,000. For those of you in lucrative pre-MBA careers like software engineering at FAANG companies or private equity, it can be even higher.
Do you really want to spend that much money and two years of your life to attend a school you haven’t even attended?
You might have hoped that the process of choosing schools would be easy! Even if you’re willing to make a decision based on rankings alone, which we don’t think you should, you should know that schools care a lot about fit—and they won’t accept you if they don’t see a fit.
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One of the little secrets of MBA programs is that some students drop out after the first year, and others stay enrolled but struggle with faculty, recruiting, or interacting with classmates. This is the exact opposite of what the school wants to happen.
The school is trying to build community! They want you to make friends with your classmates, achieve career success, and later promote the program to other potential students you meet. They’ll love to see you stay involved by donating money, giving guest lectures, recruiting school alumni, and more.
But how can you demonstrate
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