Applying for your MBA, like running an marathon , is not for the weak. It takes extreme hard work and determination. The long application process can be intimidating, but with the right approach and training you will be crossing the finish line in no time. Here's how to tackle the challenge.
1) Figure Out Your End Goal
It's important to know why you're applying for your MBA. Do you want to switch career paths? Have a higher earning potential? Develop your skills as a leader? Knowing your end goal will help you stay focused on what's most important to you, keeping you on track and motivated when things get difficult.
2) Pick Your Race
There are hundreds of MBA programs, each with different requirements. Just like a marathoner determining the race they will run, you need to research schools and find out what it takes to get accepted. What's the target GMAT score? How many years of work experience does the average student have? All of these factors will determine what type of training you'll need to do. Schools provide lots of information on their websites, and you can have more in depth questions answered by attending an MBA Conference and speaking with an Admissions Director.
3) Start Training
You've done your preliminary research and know your end goal. Now it's time to put in the effort to accomplish it. Prepping for the GMAT or GRE takes time. The majority of test takers spend over 100 hours studying, so you'll need to make a plan on how to fit studying in to your schedule. You don't have to go at it alone, you can take online or in-person prep courses, giving you a study community to help encourage and motivate you. Another way to train, is to start getting into the mindset of an MBA student. Connect with current MBA students and alumni and speak with them about their experiences. This will give you important insight on the application process and life as an MBA candidate.
4) Run the Race
It's time to put your training to the test! Take the GMAT or GRE, polish your resume, write those essays, ask for recommendations, and interview with Admissions Directors. In other words, apply! If you've trained effectively and prepared yourself, this step will be less intimidating than you pictured at the beginning.
5) Cross the Finish Line
After months of training and hard work, receiving that acceptance letter will feel like winning an Olympic medal. Make sure to take time to relax and celebrate, and then start prepping for your next big adventure: Business School!
Are you up for the MBA challenge? Ready? Set. GO!