MBA Preparation Tips

mba preparation tips

For a lot of students, getting accepted into the business school of their choice is one of the high points of their education so far. But even after the exam preparation process, there’s still, well, preparation to do! From applying to programs to looking over the prospectus for your MBA or IIM program, the road to business school can be long—but totally worth it. With that in mind, here are our best MBA preparation tips for those looking to attend B-school.

Selecting MBA Programs

  • Go to the best school you can get into. Really! (For more info on why, check out How to Determine Your “Best Fit” MBA Program).
  • Understand that you have options in terms of fitting the degree into your life. These could include:
    • Traditional MBAs
    • Part-Time MBAs
    • Executive MBAs
    • Online MBAs

Applying to MBA Programs

  • Timing is everything when it comes to MBA applications. Business schools mostly admit students in thee “rounds.” And applying in Round 1 may help you more than you thought… (but if you didn’t make it for Round 1 this year, Round 2 is still an option!)
  • The ideal amount of work experience for a (regular) MBA program is 3-5 years. If you have more experience than that, you may want to consider an executive MBA.
  • When it comes to your application essay, make sure you write it in response to the prompt! The statement should clearly answer the question posed—you’d be amazed at how many applicants don’t do this (and how many suffer from it)!
  • Know the programs. You should have sound reasons for wanting to attend each program to which you apply, other than the program’s ranking. I know, the ranking’s important—but the admissions officers want to know that you’ll be a good fit for the school from their end, as well.
  • Don’t undersell yourself. Even if you have a low undergraduate GPA, that shouldn’t stop you from applying to MBA programs. Just make sure you contextualize why it’s low, and make up for it in other parts of your application.

Interviewing for MBA Programs

  • Practice, practice, practice! Use good materials (such as Accepted’s free eBook, Perfect Questions to MBA Interview Questions), and get an interview buddy. You should take notes after your practice interviews, but be careful not to come up with canned, prepared answers.
  • Your responses should hit the perfect note: spontaneous yet thoughtful. Don’t worry—there’s a standard canon of interview questions for MBA programs (for example, this classic MBA admissions question). By preparing for these—and putting effort into your preparation—you should be well prepared for any curveballs that come your way, as well!

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