Business degrees are the cornerstone of everything from finance to advertising. But what if you need a little help getting into a good school? What if you aren’t sure what makes the average application stand out from the rest? Whether you’re considering a job on Wall Street or just looking to improve your start-up, here are five tips for creating a well-regarded MBA application.
1: Register for the GMAT
Start prepping for the GMAT at least six months in advance. If you have your heart set on a particular school, look at their average scores and aim for something 10 to 15 points higher. This will give you a practical goal as you refine your studying techniques and take mock exams.
2: Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Look at your resume. Where are the holes? Where can it be improved? Try to see it the same way an admissions board will. If your GPA or GMAT score is on the low side, consider augmenting it with summer courses or re-tests. If you’re lacking in extracurricular activities, join a few professional associations that will add weight and prestige to your application.
3: Make A Shortlist of Schools
Don’t put all of your eggs in a single basket when it comes to universities. A good rule of thumb while creating a shortlist is to include two to three options for each “category” of school: reaches, targets and safeties. This will leave you applying for six to nine schools overall, which is a solid number without being overwhelming.
4: Prepare for the Interview
Interviews can make or break an applicant even more than their test scores or work history, so it’s important to know what’s expected of you when you walk in front of the admissions board. What questions are usually asked? What’s the best way to answer them? Will you be interviewed individually or as part of a group?
5: Seek Professional Help
Could you use a little more assistance with your application? You aren’t alone. According to surveys, professional admission consultants are hired by more than 40 percent of business school hopefuls. They help students do everything from optimize their resumes to master their body language before interviews, so don’t be afraid to seek out their services if you’re worried about making a good impression.
These are just five tips to smooth the way into business school. Use them wisely if you’re ready to obtain your MBA degree and shape the future of the business industry.