This is our new MBA series by our friends at Admit Advantage, an undergraduate and graduate admissions company, that will be providing a series of articles to Levo League in the next few weeks which explore the value of an MBA and the ways you can prepare to obtain one. Senior consultant Alex Kenin will lead the efforts.
If you’re just starting to think about getting an MBA, then the application process might seem pretty straightforward. You take the GMAT, get some recommendation letters, and write some essays—right?
Not so fast. Before you crack open your GMAT books and start brushing up on your exponents and right triangles, you’ll want to take a step back and do some thoughtful MBA pre-planning. Earning your MBA (and even applying to business school!) is a large investment in your time and money, so you shouldn’t rush through any part of it.
Here are three big picture pre-planning steps you can take now.
1. Formulate your short and long-term career goals
When you know what you want to do in the short- and long-term, you can gain clarity as to whether an MBA is the right path for you. Knowing your goals can also help determine which schools may be a good fit for your career aspirations.
2. Confirm this is the right time to apply
Take a look at your work experience and think about whether this is the right time for you to apply to business school. Would your application benefit from an additional year of work experience, or do you want to change industries and think getting an MBA now would help reorient your path?
3. Research target schools
Once you’re sure an MBA is for you and that you want to apply this year, there are a number of ways to research potential business schools. You can visit school websites, sign up for MBA fairs, and attend school-specific information sessions. If you live near a school, you may also be able to visit to get a feel for the school and even do a class visit.
With some basic online research, you can get a sense of a school’s general statistics (ranking, GMAT, average GPA, etc.). Then you’ll need to look into other factors such as the size and location of the school. Since you’ll already have defined your short- and long-term career goals, you can also look at each school’s career focus, as this may affect your career options after graduation. Another aspect of grad school you should think about is teaching style. Do you prefer to learn through the case method, or do lectures work for you?
Lastly, culture can be a large determining factor in which schools you apply to and which schools ultimately end up being a good fit for you. You can read a blog post we’ve written on the topic of fit on the Admit Advantage blog.
We think we’ve given you enough homework for now! In next week’s post, we’ll discuss how to get even more granular in your planning.
If you are interested in a free 20-minute consultation with Admit Advantage, please sign up here.