MBA Programs Are Looking for Confident, Diverse Candidates

by Krantcents · 12 comments

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As an MBA candidate, you are acutely aware you will face stiff competition when you apply to a program. Perhaps the competitive element both drives and worries you at the same time. Since you have chosen a risky venture, it makes sense to feel a mixture of emotions, as well as having a blend of intellectual concerns.

 

Allay your concerns by making sure you are fully prepared at each point in the application and interviewing process. Whatever curve balls the admissions committee may have in store for you, be ready to adjust your swing. Keep your application at the top of the pile and ready for action with the following tips:

Be Informed, Be Confident and Be Yourself

You won’t last long in business management if you are missing any of these key ingredients. The committee reviewing your application will be on the lookout for self-possessed MBA candidates who can think on their feet, noted Bloomberg Businessweek. Take all the information and knowledge you have accumulated over the years and think about real-life applications for your academic background. Be ready to express those ideas clearly, concisely and with self-assurance.

Don’t Disregard the Power of Your GPA

MBA admission committees will use your undergrad grades in their decision to accept your application. Many schools have GPA requirements for candidates. Alliant International University requires a 3.0 minimum, while other top schools are surprisingly lax on the subject. For instance, Harvard Business School states it does not have an official minimum GPA policy. Be prepared to honestly answer questions about classes that might have diminished your overall GPA and to discuss why any blemishes on your record will not affect your commitment to your MBA studies. Drive home the point that you are fully prepared to meet every challenge in your business management program.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Keep your social media pages in pristine condition in case anyone from your admissions committee decides to Google you. Treat your social media presence as your professional introduction to prospective business schools and employers, not as platforms to while away downtime. As a rule of thumb, don’t post anything on your social media page that you wouldn’t want to discuss in a face-to-face interview.

Focus on Diversity

MBA committees look for candidates who are versatile and able to adapt to any situation, working with people of different ethnic, racial, religious beliefs with tact, respect and poise, according to Business Insider. American Progress goes on to note that 85 percent of 321 global corporations agree that diversity fosters creativity in the workplace. Prove to the interviewing MBA committee that you are dynamic and that you thrive on diversity. Share your experiences with volunteering, community involvement and travel. If you have been involved with relief efforts, tutoring to help people overcome literacy, working as an ESL tutor or anything that shows you have a global and cooperative perspective of the world, share these and future plans with your MBA committee.

Riding the next wave of business administrators is largely about adapting to all types of change, whether technological, interpersonal or whatever else that next wave has in store.

About the author:  Jason Tootle

Jason studied business at a prestigious school in the U.K. before returning to the U.S. to start a mobile tech company. He loves to write about business, the economy and tech trends.

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{ 12 comments }

Michelle September 17, 2013 at 5:18 am

Great post! I received my MBA last summer and don’t regret a thing. Having a good background will definitely help you get into a school.

Krantcents September 17, 2013 at 6:53 am

It is becoming the new minimum in business!

Untemplater September 17, 2013 at 7:21 am

The interesting thing about California is there is a ton of diversity. This makes it really hard to stand out when applying to schools. I know several people who applied to out of state schools for this reason to get a leg up.

Krantcents September 17, 2013 at 9:36 am

I find that out of state schools hold more prestige within California. It makes no sense if they are rated equally or not.

SavvyFinancialLatina September 17, 2013 at 8:06 am

I have an MBA and it definitely helped land my job now. I’m hoping it pays off more in the future.

Krantcents September 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

The degree just like an undergraduate degree gets you inside the door, but it is how you use your education that will distinguish you.

Suba @ Wealth Informatics September 17, 2013 at 11:08 am

I have thought about applying for an MBA before. But after careful consideration, it doesn’t get me where I want my life to go, at least that is the position at this time. All MBAs are not treated equal. If I ever decide to go, it should be either one of the top schools, if I can’t get it I will try to explore other ways instead of MBA (PMP or some other means).

Krantcents September 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm

A MBA is not the only answer, although it is a good one for some. In accounting, a CPA is more necessary for example.

Todd @ Fearless Dollar September 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm

As a former hiring manager, I would encourage someone to pursue an MBA later in life. Getting it at 22 doesn’t help much. Pursue a professional degree first. Once you’re ascending management, then consider an MBA, and see if your employer will pay for it!

Krantcents September 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Sound advice! I remember working with someone who was required to work in the real world for 2 years before he could enter the MBA program. He was accepted to Harvard MBA program.

Pauline September 18, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Sometimes you don’t think about a trip abroad or a short volunteering experience as significant but it is really worth highlighting it, it can make a big difference for the jury.

Krantcents September 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I won one of my CFO positions because we were fellow alumni at different times. You make connections for a variety of reasons and it can be something as small similar experiences

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