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MBA Heaven: Applying to Business School
Home » Choosing Schools » Self-Assessment

Getting Into Business School: Know Where You Stand!

getting into business school

Socrates believed in the maxim "know thyself" and you should too. Spending some time upfront to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses will pay dividends in the business school selection process. If you earned your undergraduate degree from an Ivy League school with straight "As" and have outstanding work experience, then you should shoot for the stars. But if college parties were more exciting than lectures, and your career isn't too hot, you should recalibrate your expectations. For most people, the truth lies somewhere in between, and a self-assessment is a helpful tool. So banish the Narcissus in you and balance your optimism with a healthy dose of realism. To help you get started, we've put together a list of qualities that an ideal candidate would possess. That doesn't meet you need to have them...but it will help inform where you stand!


Professional Experience: Your work experience plays a major role in the application process, even more so than your academic credentials. If you held private or public sector jobs where you excelled and made an impact, you'll go a long way toward impressing the admissions committee. Business schools look to your professional accomplishments as a way to judge your motivation and leadership potential..


Undergraduate GPA: Business schools look at past performance as a predictor of future performance. Makes sense, right? Schools will evaluate both your overall GPA and your major GPA. This can be a saving grace if you did poorly in classes outside of your major, but ideally your grades will be strong across the board.


The Prestige of Your Undergraduate School: Having attended a prestigious university is a powerful calling card. It demonstrates that you've already passed a rigorous selection process and studied alongside the nation's best and brightest. Business schools love this.


Your Extracurricular Activities: Similar to your professional accomplishments, business schools love it when you've been involved in outside activities. This demonstrates an active interest in issues beyond the classroom and workplace. Consider everything you've done, even if it's unrelated to business.


GRE / GMAT Score: Getting a high test score plays a significant role in your application. Most schools and programs publish average GRE / GMAT scores, and you'd be well advised to score in that range. Simply put, the higher your score, the higher your chance of getting admitted. If your score is low, though, don't despair about getting into grad school. Getting into business school is not just about your GRE / GMAT scores; you can compensate by excelling in other areas of your application, such as your work experience, undergraduate GPA, and (of course!) the application essays.





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