Tuck MBA Program: Advice For the Quantitatively Challenged

If you don’t have a traditional business background but are considering pursuing an MBA, never fear. Business schools want to see applicants from all sorts of educational and professional backgrounds because such diversity in their programs creates a richer classroom experience for everyone.

Patricia Harrison, associate director of admissions at Tuck School of Business, gave some suggestions earlier this week on preparing for the MBA for all those who fall into the “poet” (not “quant”) category when it comes to B–school.  After all, you must be able to handle the quantitative side of the program in order to succeed.

When making an assessment on a candidate, Harrison says Tuck looks at things like your quant score on the GMAT and whether any of the work you do is quantitative, as well as at the classes you have taken.

To folks who fall short in this area, she recommends taking a few classes in statistics, financial accounting, microeconomics and/or finance before applying. Harrison also points to the value of having a thorough understanding of Excel.

“There are two reasons for taking these classes,” says Harrison. “One, it will show the admissions committee that you are able to handle the work; and two, having some familiarity with these concepts in advance will make you a more confident student when you arrive on campus to start your MBA.”

Remember, an MBA degree can create opportunities for students of every stripe, whether you plan to pursue a traditional or non-traditional business career. Brushing up on the quantitative side prior to applying is just another way to show the admissions committee your willingness to learn and dedication to succeeding in B-school.

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