It’s time to choose and apply for an MBA programme, but you don’t know where to start? The following tips will help you identify which school and program matches your aspirations, and get into the MBA that will really change the course of your life and career.
1. Understand why you want to do an MBA
Before getting into the hassle of applying to different schools, understanding your motivations and what you are looking for is key. You might want to gain new skills or develop your leadership. Perhaps you are looking for a salary boost or more international exposure, or to start your own business or open up new career prospects in another function, company, or sector.
2. Choose the programme that really suits you
1-year or 2-year, on-line or blended learning... Ask yourself how much you are willing to invest in terms of money, but also in time: will you be able to focus 100% on your training or do you need to remain focused on your job?
3. Make an actual checklist
To help you compare schools and programs on rational grounds, EDHEC created a detailed, printable checklist.
4. Check the facts
Look for programme details in terms of fees, learning environment, lifestyle costs, reputation and rankings curriculum, faculty profile, and career services. Look beyond polished marketing catchphrasescheck online forums for example, to see what students and alumni have to say.
"While comparing MBA programs, remember that this process is not about finding the best MBA program in the world. It is about finding the best for you, and what’s good for you is not necessarily good for someone else." Nikki Harle, Admission Manager, EDHEC Business School
5. Learn more about the class profile
In an MBA programme, you will also learn a lot from your classmates! Look at class diversity, and make sure it is multidimensional.
"When true diversity makes its way into classroom, not only do the discussions and teamwork become far richer but also the overall learning experience becomes highly transformational. At EDHEC, we see potential in all personality types, cultures, genders and age groups and blend them to develop open-mindedness and a global mindset in the classroom." Sandra Richez, Programme Director, EDHEC Global MBA.
6. Anticipate the GMAT
Look at the GMAT early so you won’t be stressed by it at the last minute. Test preparation is the key to success. Beyond the score itself, preparing and taking the test is good training to perform in your MBA programme, especially for those who have not taken a test since their long-gone University days!
7. Write smart application files
Take time to adapt your motivation letters and essays to each shortlisted school, and make sure your CV is not too long or too technical: what selection committees want is a sense of your career evolution.
8. Show the best of yourself
In your application files and during interviews, being professional, positive, and energizing is key: be someone a school wants in its classrooms!
9. You have just received an admission letter? Don’t confirm too fast.
Take time to go back to facts and details, to be sure you understand fully what the school is offering you. It might require reading between the lines, looking for hidden extra-fees or ambiguous scholarship conditions. At this stage, ask for written confirmations. The school must be as transparent as possible.
10. You’ve made your choice: congratulations!
This is the fun part! Time to get help from the school for your accommodation, visa and trip. After the stress of the application process, take a step back and enjoy the anticipation: your life and career will never be the same again!