MBA application needs meticulous planning and preparation. You cannot, rather should not, abruptly decide to apply for an advanced business program and expect to get selected. For maximizing the chances of selection in a top MBA program, preparation should start at least 2 years ahead.
For a head start in applying wisely, we take you through some strategies for advanced planning –
- GMAT Preparations
GMAT aces the rule book of business schools. Read this post where I share the importance of GMAT in getting into a top B-school in the USA or Europe. Since a GMAT score is crucial for an MBA application, it requires methodical planning and long hours of preparation. Since this test is more about ranking, it is vital to allocate enough time to it; else even strong applicants may falter because of under-preparedness. In the absence of an advanced approach, preparing for GMAT along with an active job can be damaging. And writing applications while GMAT preparations are going on would bleak the chances even more. Thus, GMAT deserves ample attention, time, and advanced planning.
A GMAT score of 700-740 will help you crack the top B-schools, provided you have a strong candidature and bag good points in other departments.
Have a look at the average GMAT scores for the top MBA programs in 2021
|Ranking as per Fortune
|Average Gmat Scores
|Harvard Business School
|Stanford Graduate School of Business
|Booth School of Business (University of Chicago)
|Kellogg School of Management
|Columbia Business School
|NYU Stern School of Business
|MIT Sloan School of Management
|Yale School of Management
|Tuck Shool of Business
According to a report by Poets&Quants, the GMAT scores for the top B-schools exploded in 2021.
2022 admissions are expected to be challenging as well.
Start by –
- Working gradually on GMAT score and brushing up its basics
- Studying consistently to avoid expensive crash-tutoring
- Understanding the fundamentals of GMAT instead of mere cramming
- Building Knowledge Base
Identify your target MBA program and conduct in-depth research for its excellent understanding. Study in detail to impress the admission officer with your knowledge. Empower yourself with mindful practice. Gain knowledge organically without resorting to shortcuts. Trust, this will distinguish you from other aspirants.
Start by –
- Browsing the website of your favourite business school’s website to know its programs, courses, curriculum, placement record, and alumni pages.
- Reading through our guides, where we share tips on how to get into top B-schools of your choice.
- Exploring how the desired program will contribute to your goal
- Determining your prospective contribution to the program and the school
Networking is a powerful way to approach your goals. And it should start right at the undergraduate level. Many widen their social circle only when they are filling or have filed their MBA application forms. Be receptive to building a good network for contacts for enriching your profile and personality. More than the school’s prospectus or website, the networking will fetch a detailed understanding of its varied aspects.
Start by –
- Visiting campus regularly (if you can)
- Attending virtual seminars, webinars, festivals, conclaves, etc. organized by the business schools
- Speaking with the representatives of different schools
- Attending students’ volunteer programs that help in appraising aspirants
- Making friends with MBA students to know the ground realities of the admissions process
- Exploring social media forums featuring business school alumni
- Polish Up Language & Communication Skills
Business schools lay greater stress on good language and communication skills. Though English is by default a global language, aspirants must also know the local language of their place of study and work. If required, take a language refresher course for fluent expression.
Start by –
- Following short-term pre-MBA language and communication course
- Practising oral presentations and case studies
- Polishing spoken as well as writing skills
- Join Online Courses
As an MBA aspirant, you have to be academically strong. This may mean taking a pre-admission online course to have a better academic foothold in business areas like Economics, Analytics, Accounting, etc. Get knowledge of these areas in advance to have the edge over the rest. This will reflect your preparedness and seriousness in a meaningful contribution to the MBA program.
Start by –
- Looking for short-term bridge courses related to the business program
- Participating in digital learning initiatives by business schools for advanced exploration of business topics
- Attend a Boot Camp
A boot camp will set a concrete path for your MBA goals. Before filling application form, attend an internship or a boot camp. This will help in learning the organizational aspect of an MBA program. Also, it will help in researching and reflecting on career goals.
Start by –
- Interacting with start-ups for finding internship opportunities
- Contacting business schools for enrolling in Pre-MBA Boot Camps
- Essays, Resume and Recommendation Letters
Essays, resume, and recommendation letters are the essentials for MBA application. They certainly cannot be prepared in a day or a week. Work upon them with great care as they will build your profile. Team up with MBA alumnus to find out the right way of presenting the essays, resume and prospective topics.
Some of the staple questions/topics are based on –
- Career goals
- Contribution to MBA program
- Why this school
- Interactive questions based on soft skills and
- Personal story
For the probable ones, keep the drafts ready.
Take enough time to chalk out plans of MBA career, campus contributions, etc. Also, start contacting recommenders and brief them up on the required letters.
Start by –
- Attending informational interviews of successful MBA alumni for gaining insight into their stories
- Writing essays and stories and improvising them over the time
- Drafting your resume in sync with your profile
- Strengthening your equation with recommenders and discussing the body of work with them
- Practising interview skills for establishing rapport with the interviewer
Leverage your chances of bagging a coveted MBA seat in a reputed business school by starting as early as 2 years. Spend ample time to think deeply about personal goals and professional objectives. Think, plan, rethink and build a convincing strategy before filling the application form. After all, slow and steady wins the race.