25 MBA Prep Resources for Aspiring Applicants
When you’re ready to get serious about pursuing an MBA degree, you’ll want to gather as much information as possible to prepare for the endeavor. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a handy list of 25 MBA prep resources that covers every major facet of the MBA application process.
We believe business school is a substantial investment in yourself and your career. May these comprehensive MBA prep resources help orient you as you take those first steps toward applying to a top MBA program.
1. Why an MBA?
Before you can start targeting business schools or determining your application strategy, you need to make a critical analysis of whether an MBA is the right next step for your life and career. This post can help.
2. Timing Your MBA
How much work experience do you need before applying? When is the “right” time to go to business school? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. But these posts can clarify the issue.
3. School Research and Campus Visits
While there is only one MBA degree, no two MBA programs are the same. From curriculum structures to size and location, each program is unique in its blend of resources across a continuum of options.
4. What Does the AdCom Want?
The admissions committee focuses on four specific areas when evaluating your MBA candidacy. The good news is, you can stand out in these aspects no matter where you’ve worked before or what background you have.
5. GMAT and GRE
Although the GMAT has been the Gold Standard in MBA admissions for decades, the GRE is also now widely accepted and a great option for certain candidates. Partner with SBC’s best in class GMAT and GRE experts and increase your score significantly. We’ve got all of the test and MBA prep resources you need.
6. Low or No-Quant Applicants
Elite business schools warmly welcome applicants with undergraduate degrees in the humanities. However, these candidates will need to prove to the admissions committee that their relatively minimal academic experience in quantitative subjects won’t be a hindrance once they hit those core courses.
7. Retaking the GMAT or GRE
At SBC, we advise all clients to go into the process assuming they will take the test at least two times. If you score well the first time, great! But don’t worry if you don’t. The admissions committee looks favorably upon applicants who retake the test to improve their score.
Your undergraduate GPA is one part of your application you cannot change. Review the class profiles at your target schools to see what is the average GPA. You can see them quickly by clicking on the school links within our Application Cheat Sheet.
9. Trouble Spots and Red Flags
We’ve worked with many flawed MBA candidates who successfully gained admission to the world’s top business schools. If you were already perfect, you probably wouldn’t need to get an MBA, would you? Mistakes, failures, and problems can lead to valuable personal growth.
10. Improving Your Candidacy
If you plan to apply to business school in the upcoming admissions cycle, you may think it impossible to improve your MBA candidacy in such a short amount of time. Not true! You can take action in three important areas right now.
11. Should You Specialize or Generalize?
Whether you choose to be a generalist at business school or to specialize your MBA degree depends heavily on your career’s end goals.
12. MBA Essay Advice
The MBA essays are perhaps the most anxiety-producing part of the business school application. One of the best MBA prep resources you can find are our Tuesday Tips posts. SBC has specific recommendations for each of the top MBA programs under the “Tuesday Tips” links section of the blog.
13. Thinking and Writing About Career Goals
For most applicants, career exploration is the impetus for considering an MBA, and the majority of programs will spend time evaluating your career goals for realism and passion.
14. Volunteering/ Extracurricular Activities
The admissions committee wants to recruit students who have passions and interests outside of work. Your volunteer efforts and hobbies provide insight into what kind of person you are, and show that you care about the wider world.
15. MBA Resume
It’s unlikely you’ll be able to use the current version of your resume for your business school applications. In fact, you’re probably going to want to spend a significant amount of time on a complete resume overhaul. But, the extra work you put into revising it could be what makes the difference between a ding and an interview offer.
16. Choosing and Advising MBA Recommenders
So many people think choosing a well-known or prestigious individual will be the ticket to acceptance at the b-school of their dreams. The key when selecting recommenders is to think about their placement in your life. Help them write the strongest letter possible on your behalf.
17. MBA Interview Tips
If your application has made it past the first hurdle and you receive an interview invitation, you’re in an enviable position. Ample preparation is the key to success, and these specific tips can help. If you need more guidance, check out one of SBC’s popular MBA prep resources, our MBA interview prep services.
18. Waitlist Woes
While few candidates celebrate landing on the waitlist, don’t give up hope. First of all, waitlist status by your target school is a good sign. You’re someone they would like to have in the class, but something is holding up a final decision.
19. Rejection and Reapplying
After pouring your heart and soul into the arduous MBA application process, if your status changes from hoping and waiting to officially denied, it can seem like the end of the world. Here’s what you should do next.
20. Advice for College Seniors
Deferred MBA Admissions programs targeting college seniors are now offered at many of the elite MBA schools. Whether you plan to apply while in college or want to take the right steps now to apply in a few years, these tips are for you.
21. Targeted Advice for Military Applicants
Military MBA applicants tend to blow other candidates out of the water, figuratively speaking, because they have a wealth of experience to draw from at a very young age. That said, coming from the armed forces rather than a civilian career path prior to business school can give rise to certain difficulties when drafting an application.
22. Social Media Considerations and Background Checks
More and more often, members of the admissions committee will check an applicant’s social media profiles before making a final admit decision. Make the most of this opportunity! But, stay honest about your experiences and interests.
23. Paying for the MBA
As MBA applicants look to funding their MBA education, finding and applying for scholarships, fellowships, and loans is an important next step.
24. The ROI of an MBA
An MBA is a long-term financial investment, so here are three questions to ask when trying to decide whether going to business school makes financial sense: Will the degree result in a significant salary bump? Will the degree help me switch careers? Will the degree help me get to a leadership position faster?
25. Why Work with an Admissions Consultant?
Tough competition drives many MBA hopefuls to weigh the benefits of working with a consultant to help them stand out amid a sea of equally amazing applicants. Find out the real Benefits of Working with an MBA Admissions Consultant.
Also, you can read Crush the GRE’s evaluation of SBC’s services and learn why they ranked us the #1 MBA admissions consulting firm in 2020.
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We hope you take advantage of all the MBA prep resources SBC has to offer. These links represent just the tip of the iceberg for each of these topics, and we invite you to explore all of the areas that interest you here on our SBC news blog.
If business school is something you’re considering for the future, get in touch today for a free, no-strings assessment of your MBA candidacy. Learn more about how working with SBC can help you make your MBA dreams come true.