10 Tips for Applying for an MBA


Attaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree might set you up for success. The respected qualification provides a comprehensive overview of key practices, which could help you to become a successful entrepreneur or secure an executive role at a company.

If you are considering securing the prestigious qualification, you will likely want to increase your chances of enrolling in a course. To do so, read the below ten tips for applying for an MBA.

  1. Gain Professional Experience

Many institutions will often carefully review an applicant’s resume before accepting them onto an MBA program. To stand out from the other applicants, you will need to possess a strong professional experience to prove you are ready to increase your skillset and move onto the next stage in your career.

By gaining experience in the workplace, you will have a firm understanding of management, leadership, and finance, which could improve your likelihood of passing a program with flying colors. For example, you will commonly need between two to five years’ work experience for your application to be taken seriously.

2. Do not Be Deterred If You Do Not Have a Business Degree

You do not need to have an undergraduate business degree to enroll in an MBA program. For example, Aston University is happy to accept students who possess another degree, such as science or liberal arts, as they understand these graduates could support and increase innovation for businesses in the future. Consequently, creative minds will gain an understanding of global economic development, finance, and organizational strategy.

3. Study Online

It could be music to your ears to discover you can enroll for an MBA program online, which can be a flexible study option for hard-working professionals. You could gain essential work experience while securing a qualification that could help you to climb the career ladder, improve leadership skills, and gain an in-depth understanding of finance. Plus, you will be able to study in the comfort of your home while building connections with many future business leaders.

4. Prepare for the GMAT

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) has been designed to test an applicant’s reading, writing, quantitative, verbal, and analytical skills. To make sure that you pass the test with flying colors, you must prepare for it for a minimum of six months.

For instance, if English is not your forte, you would be wise to improve your reading preparation. Many MBA students often choose to read various respected publications to improve their reading and writing skills, so regularly pick up a copy of the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, or The Economist. However, if you are not confident with mathematics, work on solving various quantitative problems.

If possible, purchase many official guides and textbooks that will feature thousands of potential questions you might face. It could be a helpful way to test your knowledge, so you feel 100% ready for the critical test.

Do not underestimate the importance of the GMAT. You will likely be up against many intelligent candidates with extensive work experience, so the test will serve as a critical screening tool during the MBA admissions process.

5. Choose the Right Course for You

Before you choose an institution, weigh up the pros and cons to enroll in a program that is best for your needs. While the course fees will be an essential factor, you also should consider:

  • Location
  • Staff expertise
  • Course content

Learn more about an MBA program before you apply, so you will feel confident you are making the right decision for you.

6. Identify the Best Ways to Fund an MBA

If you are unsure about your financial options for an MBA course, you might be happy to learn there are a variety of ways to fund a program, such as:

  • Self-funding
  • Employer sponsorship
  • Student loans
  • Scholarships

So, do not give up on your dream of gaining an MBA just because you do not have the money available in the bank. After all, an MBA could improve your skillset, career prospects, and annual salary.

7. Understand Why You are Applying for an MBA

As mentioned earlier, the strength of your MBA application will determine whether you are accepted onto a program. Universities want to welcome focused, ambitious and passionate individuals onto a course, which is why you must understand and articulate your reasons for applying, as well as what you hope to gain from the program and your career plans. These reasons will likely be considered during the competitive application process.

8. One Size Does Not Fit All

It is important to not compare yourself to other applicants when considering an MBA, as one size does not fit all when it comes down to the internationally respected program. Do not allow your background or personality to deter you from enrolling, as most universities will look for people who offer excellent leadership potential, personal motivation, and can innovate and collaborate.

9. Reach Out to a Prospective University

Many applicants make the big mistake of failing to reach out to their prospective university for support. Most institutions are often more than happy to provide advice regarding the application process. What is more, they can offer information to help budding students to decide whether their MBA program is the right one for their needs. So, if you have yet to do so, pick up the phone or drop an admissions advisor an email.

10. Share Your Story

Many universities will use their entry requirements as a baseline, but they will make their choice based on a candidate’s personality and experience to-date. While a strong undergraduate degree and a GMAT are essential, you should not be afraid to share your personal story, as well as your past achievements and your goals for the future. Be yourself throughout the application process, and do not say what you think an admissions team wants to hear.

So, if you are considering applying for an MBA program in 2020 or beyond, you should consider the above top tips to improve your chances of being welcomed onto a course.