How to Apply for an MBA: Admission Requirements and Application Essay

MBA admission requirements

How to Gain Admission for an MBA: Be Special & Be Yourself

(description) If you are eager to join a B-school, our article will be very helpful for you. Below, you may find some useful information about MBA admission requirements. Moreover, we have placed here valuable advice about writing an MBA application essay.

Why do you want an MBA degree? Do you strongly believe in the necessity of this step? Those are the questions you have to answer before you start the application process. If you don’t believe in your intention, why should an admissions committee be interested in your membership? You have to make a sober estimate of your expectations and abilities. Only when you are absolutely sure about your future, you are able to convince someone else, specifically the members of admissions board.

Who Are B-schools Looking for?

A high level of intelligence is not enough. The graduates of business schools are not scientists. They are leaders, managers, and strong-willed personalities. Nowadays, the majority of MBA programs look for diversity. They form their classes taking into account a considerable number of factors: age, gender, origin, work experience, and special skills. The admissions officers prefer the candidates who can share their own ideas and adopt the viewpoints of other students.
The GMAT score is a crucial element for evaluation, but not the decisive one. The committees base their opinion considering college performance, the application essay, work experience, and personal qualities. Shortlisted candidates are often invited for an interview in order to evaluate their oral skills and correspondence to application materials.

Here is a list of three criteria that are highly appreciated by both Harvard and Stanford Business Schools:

1. Shepherd not a sheep
The top universities don’t need the candidates who follow the herd. They consider both your leadership experience and potential. The admissions officers have to be sure that you are ready to face the unfamiliar issues and cope with the load of responsibilities the community may place on your shoulders.

2. High IQ and analytical thinking
Although you don’t have to be a wunderkind, your test score and academic performance matter. During the studying process you’ll participate in plenty of lively discussions and debates. The candidates have to demonstrate a high level of learning aptitude in order to make possible assimilation of all educational material provided by the program.

3. Personality as a part of the whole
The ability of socialization is one of the most important MBA admission requirements. Although the committee wants you to maintain your authenticity, don’t forget about the fact that you’ll become a member of a student community. The right candidates are supportive, broadminded, and respectful.

Above, we mentioned the qualities you need to become a promising candidate. Follow this link to learn more about materials you need to complete your application. This is an official website for the Stanford MBA Program. The requirements may vary for different business schools, but the general points remain the same.

MBA Application Essay

How to Write a Remarkable MBA Application Essay?

College performance, test results, and reference letters form the basis of evaluation of your person as a capable student. However, those factors are not enough to impress the admissions team. An MBA application essay is your chance to show what kind of person you are, to present your dreams, passions, aspirations, and beliefs. Your essay is not a place for banality and excessive generalizations. This work must be the representation of your personality, not of your eloquence.
Below, you can read some helpful tips you should keep in mind if you want to provide a persuasive and catchy application essay:

1. Take your time
Don’t neglect the preparations! You have to be morally ready for the writing. It is the right time to read a motivational book, to meet some interesting people, and to write down every original thought or figure of speech that comes to your mind. Manage your time budget properly!

2. Strong introduction
The evaluation of your writing skills is not the main goal of the admissions officers. Anyway, eloquence never hurts. A strong introduction is an indispensable part of any kind of essay including an MBA application essay.

3. Be specific
Write a school-oriented essay. Learn more about a particular university and mention how you can fit their environment. It’s pleasant for schools to know that you are interested in them. Don’t be lazy and provide different essays for different establishments.

4. Show your strategic ability
You should be able to anticipate the long-term consequences of your actions. Forecasting is the essential part of leadership. Inform the committee not only about your past experience but also about your plans for the future.

5. Clarify your intentions
A true leader always knows what he or she wants. Sure, you have to be original and persuasive. In addition, you should clearly declare what you want to achieve professionally and how exactly you will use acquired skills.

6. Provide real-life examples
There is a real person behind every essay. You have to show that this writing is your actual voice, not a template based on the guidelines from the internet. No doubt, you need some kind of instructions, but remember that the admissions officers appreciate your experience and not your reading skills.

7. Don’t be a robot
Your fears, mistakes, and failures are as important as your strengths. Don’t be afraid to show them along with your sense of humor or vulnerability. Your essay has to be a reflection of your soul and not a package of bare facts.

8. Commonwealth
True leaders serve for the good of society. If you don’t have that kind of experience, mention how you will act after graduating to make this world a better place using acquired knowledge.

9. Drafts
Firstly, write down all of your thoughts. Then draft and redraft until you are absolutely sure you have done your best. One applicant wrote 25 drafts before she submitted her final version!

10. Not perfect but special
Remember that the “ideal” candidate doesn’t exist. You have to show what makes you special. You can mention anything: your experience as an artist, your volunteering, or your special recipe (if it is worth mentioning). Every statement must be enforced by a compelling and honest example in order to make your essay valid and cogent.

Joining an MBA program is a life-changing step. If you think about it, you are probably an ambitious and confident person with goal-oriented principles. The only thing you actually have to do is to convince the admissions officers that you are ready to channel your energy and potential in the right direction.

If you want to get more information about writing reviews, essays, and improving your skills, check out our blog!