There are a lot of reasons why you want to get into a top MBA program. One reason is that you’ll be going to school with other future stars in the business world, which gives you great opportunities for networking. Another reason is that these top schools bring in recruiters from top companies, which means you will be more likely find a high-paying job upon graduation. So what can you do to improve your chances of getting into a top program? Here are some tips.
1. Start Early
If you’re in the position to do so, you’ll want to start preparing for business school early — a few years before, if possible. If you wait till the last minute, it will be reflected in your application. While you’re still working on your bachelor’s degree, or in the years that follow if you take some time off, start building up what is needed for your application. Work hard in college to have a good GPA, which is important for some schools. Take plenty of time to prepare for the GMAT so you can get a good score. The higher the score, the better.
2. Focus on Career Goals
Find jobs that allow you to work on your leadership skills and that focus on your future career goals. Volunteer at a local charity, helping the charity using skills you want to strengthen. For example, if marketing is where you want to use your MBA degree, use your marketing skills to get the charity noticed. Track how your strategies increased donations to the charity.
3. Be Yourself
Let yourself shine through on the application. What makes you unique will help you get into the right school, not what makes you the same as all the other applicants. Business schools want innovative thinkers, not cookie-cutter MBA candidates.
4. Choose the Right People for Recommendations
It may seem like the obvious choice to ask the most prestigious person you know to write your letter of recommendation, but it’s more important what the letter says than who wrote it. If the letter sounds generic, like the person doesn’t really know you that well, it won’t have much weight. Choose someone who can give specific examples of your teamwork skills, leadership qualities, and ethics.
5. Make the Most of Being Wait-Listed
If you’re put on the wait list for the school of your choice, don’t give up. You can take advantage of this time. Let the admissions committee know if you’re promoted as work, obtain a couple more letters of recommendation, or retake the GMAT to see if you can improve your score.
When it comes to applying to business school, it’s all about creating a well-thought-out plan and then executing it to the best of your ability. Use these tips to help you prepare to apply to your MBA program of choice. Which business school will you apply to?