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Top 3 Tips for Getting Into an MBA Program

Getting into an MBA program might seem challenging at first. After all, how can you ensure that you have a strong application and that you’re setting yourself up for success? Fortunately, there are some concrete steps you can take to make yourself stand out as an applicant and to get into the MBA program of your choice.

Here are the top 3 tips for getting into an MBA program.

1. Research all types of MBA programs

When it comes to finding a great MBA program, the importance of doing your research can’t be overstated. From knowing what kind of program you want to pursue (for example a general program vs. a specialized one) to deciding whether you’d rather take on a part-time or full-time course-load, doing your research will help you clarify your options and narrow down your decision.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve identified the programs that are a good match for you, it’s time to go a bit more in-depth with your research by attending open house sessions on campus and speaking to current students and alumni. The best way to go about this is by contacting the program directors and asking to be put in touch with a current student who can answer your questions. Then, use your campus visit to learn more about the faculty and the program structure.

2. Consider taking both the GMAT and the GRE exams

With many business schools increasingly accepting GRE scores along with the more traditional GMAT ones, a good way to broaden your options is by taking both exams. Although this will mean additional exam prep and added costs, the time and money investment will pay off when it comes to finding the right program.

Pro Tip: Before taking your exams, find out the specific requirements for each program you’re applying to and, whenever possible, submit your highest score. This is a great way to strengthen your application and make yourself stand out from the crowd.

3. Choose references who can speak your personality and experience

Picking the right references might seem like a no-brainer — after all, you want someone who knows your work and can speak to your best qualities — but the truth is that many MBA candidates don’t pick the right right people when asking for references. Instead of focusing on finding a person with an impressive resume or job title who might not know you very well, it’s important to pick someone who knows you well and can give the admissions board a clear sense of who you are and what you can bring to the table.

Pro Tip: When picking your references, make a list of 3-5 people who have impacted your academic and professional careers. Write down a few notes about your relationship with each one and figure out what parts of your work and personality they can speak to. This is a great way to ensure that your references will create an accurate and balanced view of who you are while positioning you in the best light.

Although getting accepted into an MBA program might seem a bit intimidating at first, by following these tips and knowing what to expect you’ll be sure to get accepted into a program that’s right for you.

Next, learn more about grad school such as How to Pick an MBA Program and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as The Art of Networking Offline.