Are you ready to apply to business school? Do you meet all the necessary requirements? Here’s a helpful guide to the process.
1. Finish Your Undergraduate Degree
Do you have a bachelor’s degree? Business schools require an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. Most students who apply to business school have an undergraduate background in business coursework. If you don’t have a business-related degree or major, you can still apply to business school but you may be required to take additional coursework.
2. Take the GMAT
Have you taken the Graduate Management Admission Test? Business schools require applicants to successfully pass the GMAT before acceptance and enrollment into an MBA or similar program. The GMAT is a standardized test that measures your ability to succeed in a graduate school setting. Some programs may allow you to substitute the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in place of the GMAT.
3. Take the TOEFL
If you are a foreign (non-U.S.) student, you may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
4. Request Your Transcripts
Have you requested your transcripts be sent to the school(s) you’re applying to? You’ll need to send official copies of transcripts from every college or university you have previously attended.
5. Polish Your Resume
Have you updated your resume? You’ll want to include an up-to-date resume with your most current professional and academic experience. Your resume is a snapshot of you who you are. It doesn’t have every single detail, but it does provide an important overview of your skills and abilities.
6. Update Your Professional Work Experience
Do you have professional work experience? Let prospective business schools know what you’ve been doing in your career. Experience is in important part of the admission process because it allows potential business schools to gage what type of student you will be and what you will bring to the program.
7. Line Up Your Recommendations
Do you have references lined up? You’ll need to provide at least three people (professors or employers) who can provide recommendations for you. Be sure to use people who will provide positive feedback on your background and abilities. Ask them before you apply if they are willing to provide letters of reference for you.
8. Fill Out an Application
It’s time to fill out the application. You’ll have to fill out a different application for each business school you apply to. Pay attention to each application because there may be subtle differences. You may also have to complete essay questions on various topics.
9. Prepare for the Interview
Once you’ve sent in your application and all the supporting materials, it’s time to prepare for the admission interview. As you prepare, think about potential questions from the admission committee. Why do you want to go to business school? What type of career are you interested in? What will you bring to the program? Practice your answers. Create your elevator pitch. Imagine you’re in an elevator with Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. You have five minutes. Describe yourself.
In the end, remember to relax. And be yourself.