If you’re a business professional, an MBA program can help advance your career by exposing you to all aspects of running a business. However, it can be cumbersome to find the right program for you, prepare what you need for the application, and complete entrance exams with satisfactory scores. To help make it easier for you, here’s what you will need to know about applying for an MBA program and how to make your application stand out in a crowd of competitors.
MBA Program Advantages
An MBA, or a Masters in Business Administration, is a general business degree that aims to teach students leadership, technical, and management skills. There are many reasons students choose MBA programs, and one of the primary motivations is that many get selected for leadership positions after completing the degree.
Apart from this, many business professionals choose this program to enhance their careers, switch to a new industry, pursue leadership management, or become entrepreneurs. A few other advantages of pursuing an MBA include:
Improved Self-Confidence– An increase in confidence may be an essential non-financial benefit of the program. You will experience a sense of accomplishment, and you may feel as though you can conquer the business world.
Establish Credibility– An MBA program will let you establish authority and credibility in your industry or firm. After the program, you may choose to volunteer for projects at work, begin a side-business as a budding entrepreneur, or partner with other companies.
Switching Industries– You can transfer the skills and knowledge you acquire from the MBA program across many different industries. You will develop qualities such as innovation, leadership, management, and communication that you can use in any field.
Determine Which Program Fits Your Needs
The first thing you should do is find out what course you want to pursue and narrow down possible college choices. Once you do that, continue your research further to understand their rules, what they offer, what the alumni say, and if it suits your specific needs. If possible, try and visit them in person to get a better understanding and feel for the college or university. Many offer online visits and tours that you can register for with admission representatives.
Apart from this, make sure to find out application deadlines and the entrance exams that the colleges require for admission.
Begin Test Prep
The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are standardized examinations that you may require for your admission application. While many schools accept scores from either exam for MBA applicants, others only accept GMAT scores because the exam is more targeted on business-related skills. You can take the GMAT exam online a few months before your applications are due.
Regardless of which exam you choose to take, you’ll need sufficient time to prepare. Ensure that you have all the materials you need and begin mock or practice tests to help you better understand the exam and get better scores. You can also consider approaching a test prep agency to increase your chances of higher scores.
Update Your Resume
Even though you may still be studying, most programs will ask about your past experiences, so make sure that your resume is up to date. You need to understand how to make changes to your resume so that it’s a reflection of your current self.
You should organize and redesign your resume so that it isn’t missing any experiences that you have faced. Don’t forget to add any achievements or awards that you’ve received in your previous years to stand out in your application.
Prepare for Admission Questions and Essays
Many programs will ask you to answer short-answer questions or submit a long-form essay on the application. You will need to learn how to answer prompt questions and submit an essay that tells your story and enhances your application.
Before doing this, make sure that you take some time to think over answers and make revisions before submission. If you’re working with a test prep agency, consider asking your tutor if they’re willing to provide feedback on your answers so that you can know where you’re going wrong.
Research and Practice
As you near the date for admission, make sure that you’ve done all the research you can. Choose colleges that you can commute to, meet your budget, and offer the program you desire. Once you’ve narrowed down your selections, start preparations for the entrance examination, figure out what story you want to tell in your essay, and make sure the materials you submit accurately portray your qualifications and passion.