dcsimg

The Most Important Part of MBA Admissions

As students across the country prepare to submit college applications this fall, one of the more prominent programs is the Master of Business Administration (MBA). A graduate degree that is often essential to certain business and management careers, the MBA is usually the master's degree that top executives in various sectors earn. Since admission to these programs is competitive, students should have a good understanding of the application process and what to focus on.

Preparing the MBA application

An application to an MBA program generally includes the following components: an admissions interview, essays, a résumé, letters of recommendation, test scores, transcripts and career goals. The admissions interview could be blind (the interviewer is just now seeing the applicants), non-blind (the interview has already seen the applicant's background in detail) or even group. A group interview might have several applicants working on a problem together. Since interviewers can be influenced by any given group of applicants they see in one day, rather than thinking in terms of a larger pool or on individual merit, prospective students should do their best to prepare and stand out. One way to do this is work on responses to typical interview questions. If possible, mock interviews are another way to get ready.

A few short essays are usually required. The résumé should include work experience and education. Test scores such as the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are almost always a requirement, and some schools may have a cutoff score. Having a record of consistent academic achievement is great preparation for MBA admission, in addition to having a GPA in a certain range. Unfortunately, admissions officers may not always consider that some schools give out inflated grades, which can leave students that actually worked harder but got lower grades at the bottom of the pile. Applicants should make sure to pick letter writers that are familiar with their background and also supportive of their continued education.

How MBA application essays have changed

One of the most notable changes in MBA applications is the essays. While a few essays used to be required, some schools are now greatly reducing the required number. Only one school so far has made essays optional. This means that while prospective students used to gear up to write 1,500 or more words, they might now expect much less.

The unfortunate reason behind this change may be that some applicants buy essays, plagiarize or have someone else write them. Applicants often use consultants to help with the application, but the extent to which this happens is debatable. Since the MBA admissions process is likely to continue changing due to these persistent problems, applicants planning to apply in the future should stay up on important application revisions.

What to focus on

So what does all of this mean? Applicants should look at the big picture when it comes to their admission packet. Worrying about a certain test score or bad grade in one class is not effective. Applicants should instead make an effort to show an admissions officer what makes them unique. One of the best places to do this is the essay section. Applicants may also have the chance to excel in the interview or through letters written by their former teachers. Since prospective MBA students may have little control over the interview, and can only pick letter writers and hope for a great recommendation, the essays can be an opportunity to shine. It's a chance for prospective students to stand out and differentiate themselves.

Sources:

Harvard Overhauls Its MBA Application - Essay Optional, Louise Lavelle, BloombergBusinessweek, May 30, 2013, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-30/harvard-business-school-overhauls-its-mba-application-essay-optional

How to Master MBA Interviews, Stacy Blackman, U.S. News & World Report, November 2, 2012, http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/MBA-admissions-strictly-business/2012/11/02/how-to-master-mba-interviews

M.B.A. Admissions Tip: Always Go for an Easy 'A,' Melissa Korn, The Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323997004578640241102477584

MBA Admissions Interviews: A Numbers Game?, Erin Zlomek, BloombergBusinessweek, March 4, 2013, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-04/mba-admissions-interviews-a-numbers-game

Top Executives, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm#tab-4

The Truth About MBA Applications, Louis Lavelle, BloombergBusinessweek, June 13, 2013, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-13/the-truth-about-mba-applications

Wharton Slashes Required MBA Application Essays, Louise Lavelle, BloombergBusinessweek, June 27, 2013, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-27/wharton-slashes-required-mba-application-essays

What Matters Most in MBA Admissions?, Stacey Blackman, U.S. News & World Report, January 4, 2013, http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/MBA-admissions-strictly-business/2013/01/04/what-matters-most-in-mba-admissions

Iris Yellum

Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Showing schools in your area

            Matching School Ads
            Master of Business Administration, MBA - Accounting
            • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
            • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
            • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
            • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
            • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Master of Business Administration

            Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Globaldelivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from a prestigious university system—completely online.

            • Online Courses
            Master of Business Administration - School Administration

            IWU's online degree programs are completely online, eliminating the commute and classroom lectures from your day. Because you decide when to study, in most cases you are free to complete the 12 to 15 hours course commitment per week at your own pace and in the learning style that is best for you.

            Where Is Indiana Wesleyan University?

            Indiana Wesleyan University is located in Marion, Indiana. As an online student attending Indiana Wesleyan University Online, you may or may not have to visit Indiana Wesleyan University’s campus.  

            • Online Courses
            Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization

            George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.  George Mason University is an innovative and inclusive academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world. 

             

            • Online Courses
            Master in Business Administration
            Good for Working Adults

            Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience. 

            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            MBA - Data Analytics

            Utica College, founded in 1946, is a comprehensive private institution located in upstate central New York.  The College offers regionally accredited online certificates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in healthcare, cybersecurity, financial crime, nursing, physical therapy, business, criminal justice, and data science.  All courses are taught by credentialed, highly experienced faculty with significant and ongoing accomplishments in their respective fields.

            • Online Courses
            Master of Business Administration with an Oil and Gas Specialization
            Founded in 1946 by Mr. R.G. LeTourneau, LeTourneau University is private, nondenominational Christian university offering a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the College of Engineering, Business and Technology; the College of Aviation & Aeronautical Science; the College of College of Education, Arts and Sciences; and the College of Health Sciences & Professional Studies. In addition to its residential campus in Longview, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs online, allowing you to earn your degree without having to relocate. LeTourneau strives to engage learners, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and to serve the local and global community. LeTourneau University has also recently been ranked one of the top 100 Online Colleges for 2017 by TheBestSchools.org.
            • Online Courses
            Management - MBA
            • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
            • As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Business Administration
            • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
            • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
            • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Colorado Springs - Master of Business Administration - Business Administration
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a 2017 Military Friendy School by Victory Media.
            • Listed amongst the Best for Vets Colleges by Military Times 2 years in a row
            • Offers a network of technologically advanced campuses and online degree programs designed to provide a unique higher education.
            • 5 campuses located across Colorado.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits