From OUR EDITORIAL STAFF we have asked ourselves the question for which our contribution today is entitled: Have you thought about an MBA application letter that arouses interest? Let’s see what we mean.
Without a doubt, to see how to prepare an MBA application that stands out, for which a minimum of planning must be done for the application that each student makes.
Some very useful tips are:
1st) Plan your application well before the deadline. Clearly, an early application shows that you are a candidate who knows exactly what he wants and is determined to study at the school of your choice.
2º) You must send requests for letters of recommendation as soon as possible, since according to the experts they are one of the few parts of the process in which the applicant cannot control the time.
3º) It is important not to use the same CV that you would use for a job application and focus on highlighting the impacts and achievements in each role performed, instead of a job description. It is the way to highlight promotions and career progression.
4º) In the event that you expect funds for a scholarship, you must send your application in advance. This way you will be able to secure your place early and give you more time to prepare, network and meet your classmates in advance, as well as access the careers service of the business school of your choice and who will hopefully have you. accepted.
Other issues to consider
You must remember that when applying for an MBA it is about finding the best option for both you and the school, since it is a process in which you and the admissions committee know each other. And this reciprocal knowledge is very essential for both parties.
That’s why it’s important to do your research and take the time to reflect deeply on your motivations and how your specific business school can help you achieve your goals.
The choice of MBA and Business School
It is clear that choosing an MBA and a Business School requires following some rigid criteria in the choice, such as reputation, program of study, facilities, class size, location and career prospects. If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, for example, make sure the school you’re applying to has incubator programs or professors active in the startup world, capable of teaching applied courses and helpful connections.
Do not trust testimonials from MBA students offered by the school
A very useful warning is to be careful about which testimonials you should consider as objective and transparent. That merely commercial interests collide. Therefore, you should not trust the testimonials of MBA students offered by the school. We have seen from OUR EDITORIAL that this recommendation is the one put on the table by international experts in the sector.
Such hints and tips make it easy for you to find verified student reviews, read other people’s experiences, compare programs, and find the right MBA for your interests as well as your vocation and personal tastes.
You shouldn’t be swayed by the allure of a brand name, but look for schools and programs that fit your personal learning style and career motivations.
It’s also convenient to follow the social media accounts of the schools you’re applying to, especially LinkedIn and Instagram are good for showing off what students and alumni are up to.
It’s also wise to contact current students, research MBA clubs, and get an idea of the people who will be your future classmates, friends, and network.
It’s also a good idea to visit the campuses on your shortlist to get an idea of each school, what its programs offer, the physical setting of its facilities, etc.
Pass the standardized test
It is also true that you have to consider which standardized test is right for you. Some Business Schools take an “applicant-centric” approach, offering students the opportunity to take the GMAT, GRE, Executive Assessment, LSAT and MCAT entrance exams. Because they prefer to offer testing flexibility without compromising their ability as a graduate institution to assess academic readiness.
One suggestion that we see coming up quite often from experts is to practice with sample questions to help you identify your weaknesses and work to improve them.
In the same way, the opinions of these experts say that it is necessary to avoid stressing while taking the exam. They recommend using the optional eight-minute breaks to clear your mind and move on to the next question.
They also remind candidates who are choosing an MBA that they can take the test up to five times a year, which is why they should not worry if they have not obtained the necessary score in the first opportunity.
Perform well in the interview
You should not say what you think the admissions committee wants to hear, because MBA selectors also advise candidates to be authentic. They want them to be themselves, talking about both their successes and their failures and, of course, what they aspire to achieve, what their professional purpose is, etc.
But in addition, candidates must take into account a fundamental fact: the interviewer has previously reviewed the application and wants the conversation to go beyond what is on the CV and wants to get to know the person.
It’s also a good idea to ask as many questions as you can, to make sure you express why you want that particular MBA and your expectations. You must remember that an interview is a two-way process and you are also interviewing the school to decide if it is a good fit.
Hence, there are no questions to ask that are answered on the school’s website. At some graduate institutions, interviews are conducted by alumni, so ask them insightful questions that allow you to share their own experiences at school.
A thoughtful search
School recruiters know that a candidate’s capacity for self-reflection gives them a clue as to how he is managing her emotions. And this is seen from the moment and the way he raises the request for him.
The best candidates are those who possess both intellectual and interpersonal strengths. Those who develop great ideas are able to turn those ideas into action and inspire those around them.
An increasingly competitive process
Like the admissions process for many other graduate school programs, applying to an MBA program has become more competitive and requires candidates to be more creative as they attempt to distinguish themselves from the pack. But what do you do when everyone’s resume, GMAT scores, and grades are similar? Also, what do you do when your stats aren’t as good as the other candidates? That’s why your best bet is to write a strong personal statement and receive strong recommendations. Because it’s about MBA admissions officers saying, “Yes, we want this candidate!”
Now, you may think that this is a difficult task, but in truth, the most common personal statement question message is not a trick. It’s so simple, in fact, that one of the biggest mistakes applicants make is overthinking the question, which ultimately leads them to not answering it completely.
The notice of the question
Most MBA schools ask some variation of the following four questions on their applications:
a) What have you done/experienced?
b) What do you want to do (short/long term) and why?
c) How will our school help you get there?
d) Why now?
Before discussing what these four parts mean, let’s back up a bit to emphasize what they don’t mean. We can’t stress it enough, but no one wants you to repeat your resume.
If you don’t understand why not, take a second to think about it. The suggestion we make (based on OUR WRITING STAFF’s research) is that schools asked for your resume elsewhere on your application to avoid reading a long list of accomplishments in prose form. Don’t make them think you can’t follow basic instructions.
Any MBA admission essay should cover the four basic questions we listed above. Of course, depending on how your target school’s questions are worded, you may find that you spend more time on some of the four aspects mentioned above than others. But in general, if you don’t answer all four questions, you won’t be able to paint a good picture of who you are.
For the question What have you done?
Here is the big catch. Unless the question specifically asks about your past work history (and fewer schools do that now than before), you shouldn’t spend more than 75-125 words talking about your past work experiences. Why? Because schools have that information elsewhere (resume, interview, recommendations, etc.), and the only reason you would mention your employment history in this personal statement is to provide some context to support question #2 (your goals).
But even if your school asks you to talk about your professional experiences, you don’t want to spend more than half of your application talking and talking about things that graduate program recruiters might find elsewhere in your application.
So how are you supposed to mention what you’ve done? Here’s a little secret: the best way to weave your past into the discussion is through storytelling. Be sure to incorporate your professional experiences as a means of supporting the other 3 questions listed above. That is, instead of giving details about the position you had held, such as functions and responsibilities during the last five years, it is better to integrate that information as a background to discuss, for example, long-term objectives.
What do you want to do (short/long term) and why?
The two main pitfalls to avoid when answering this part of the MBA admission essay question are (1) writing too generically and (2) failing to show a logical connection between your previous job and your future goals. Now, it’s true that some people want to change careers and an MBA is part of that process. However, even then, you must show a link between your past skills and your future dreams.
So what do you mean by short-term and long-term goals, and how do you explain them in your app? The selectors want to see what you are passionate about. They want to know what excites you so much that you want to spend a few more years studying to gain skills that can help you achieve your dreams.
To do this, identify a specific role you want to play when you graduate. Then go back and tell a story of how you got interested in wanting this particular job. In other words, don’t just say “I want to be a manager because…” or “I worked in finance and I like it, so I want to be a banker.” Bored! These kinds of statements are a sign of laziness. You have not researched and thought carefully about that job that you would really like to have.
How will our school help you get there?
It is true that this part of your application requires much less soul searching than the previous two aspects. What the selectors want to know, essentially, is the answer to “why our school and not another.” You have to show them that this school is the only school for you. Common sense would dictate, then, that you should not use generic phrases like “your school.” You should not give recruiters the impression that you have copied and pasted your application from another school’s application.
Instead, you should identify two or three specific courses that you would like to take in school and explain what you would gain from those experiences. In addition, you should choose one or two extracurricular activities offered by the school and explain how they would enrich your learning experience and bring you closer to achieving your goals. Finally, research the school’s strengths and mission statement and reflect on how those principles align with what you’re looking for from a school.
Because right now?
If the school asks you specifically why you want to get an MBA now, be sure to answer the question. This can be shown through a natural progression if you use a storytelling technique that culminates when you reach a point where you can no longer move forward without formalized training. Similarly, if you are looking for a career change, the decision to leave your current profession would be a natural break during which you could pursue formal education to transition to another field.
Antonio Alonso, president of the AEEN (Spanish Business School Association) and general secretary of EUPHE (European Union of Private Higher Education)