If you already have some work experience under your belt and want to improve your professional skills and career prospects, you may find significant benefit in pursuing an MBA degree. In addition to helping you earn more money, an MBA degree can provide multiple advantages, including:
- A wider range of choices in your career
- Improved skills in critical thinking, data analysis, and other specialized areas
- Opportunities for networking and forming lasting relationships with other professionals around the world
- A permanent boost to your professional credentials
But before you can begin reaping those benefits, you’ll need to choose a program that’s a good fit for you. By following these five tips, you can polish your application process to improve your chances of acceptance to your preferred program.
1. Do your best in your undergrad program
For better or worse, your undergraduate grades will matter in your application process. If you haven’t yet completed your undergraduate degree, you still have time to adjust as needed here. You also can check with some graduate programs to learn about courses that might satisfy prerequisites for your MBA. If your undergraduate experience is behind you and was less than stellar, you may consider taking the GMAT. Keep in mind, however, that not all schools require a GMAT for acceptance. Speak with an admissions officer from the school you are interested in to find out what criteria they weigh during the acceptance process.
2. Tout your work experience
If you’re already settled in a career, you’ll have a leg up in applying to MBA programs. Be sure that your application fully represents the depth of your work experience, responsibilities, and impact within your organization. You also can improve your application by demonstrating how your work experience and MBA will coalesce to move you toward your long-term goals.
3. Write a great essay
In addition to your interview, your essay serves as a method for directly addressing why you are a great candidate for your MBA program of interest. Take care with your tone — you want to come across as confident and capable but not arrogant. Be conversational but not informal; avoid slang or abbreviations you might use in familiar communication. If you’re not 100 percent confident in your abilities as a writer and editor, have a grammatically talented friend read it over to spot any errors, or use a good app that checks both grammar and spelling.
4. Consider recommendations
It’s likely that submitting personal recommendations will be part of your application process. People who can speak to your professional performance and accomplishments should be your first resource and will resonate the strongest. Gather their contact information (if you don’t have it already) so that this step will not hold up your application completion.
5. Tell a compelling story
Your application as a whole should serve as an engaging sum of parts that work together to tell your story. Why do you want an MBA, and why do you specifically want it from this institution? How will this degree fit into your long-term plans and make you a better employee or entrepreneur? What will you bring, in return, to the program and your classmates?
Your application should stand in for you
Applying to MBA programs is a big step in your professional development, and succeeding will take a continuous supply of hard work and passion. To have the best chance of acceptance into your preferred school, make sure your application fully represents your strengths and makes a convincing case that an MBA education supports your professional and personal goals.
Johnson & Wales University offers an online Master of Business Administration degree that can be completed in as little as 18 months. For more information, complete the "Request Info" form on this page or call 855-JWU-1881.