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A Winning Strategy To The MBA Application Journey

You want to apply for an MBA. But you aren’t sure how to start.

Stacy Blackman, of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently broke down how applicants can have a winning strategy going into the MBA application journey.

“As a prospective student, you’ll benefit enormously from taking time at the beginning of your MBA application journey to contemplate the path you’re about to take,” Blackman writes. “This is a great time to ask yourself some critical questions. Self-evaluation and reflection are crucial.”

Career Goals

Blackman says it’s important to do some thinking and map out how an MBA can help you accomplish certain career goals.

“As you contemplate applying to MBA programs, the very first step in your self-evaluation process is to consider where you want to be in your career,” Blackman writes. “Ask yourself what you would do if you didn’t need to work for money and what your core values are.”

This may be a tough exercise. But, Blackman says, it can be helpful reaching out to those around you to help.

“If your career goals are not immediately revealed, ask your friends and family what they see you doing,” she writes. “This process should reveal good ideas and a spark of passion for your career path.”

Doing this exercise can also help you decide whether or not an MBA is truly necessary to accomplish your goals.

“Preferably when you answer the question of your career goals it will be clear why an MBA is the right degree for you,” Blackman writes. “If your career path doesn’t immediately reveal the need for an MBA, yet you know you want one, you may want to delve into your motivations.”

Mapping out your career goals is an important exercise to determine if an MBA is right for you. If you decide it is, the exercise of mapping out your goals can also help you when it comes to actually articulating that vision in your application.

“You need to show that there’s a logical flow to your plan—that the MBA will enhance your CV and enable you to take a next step.” Nonie Mackie, expert coach At Fortuna Admissions, writes for P&Q. “Create a path that makes sense to admissions committee members, given your academic and professional background, highlighting the transferable skills that you will bring with you to the next steps in your career.”

Knowing Where You Stand

Once you’ve decided to pursue an MBA, it’s important to see where you stand among the competition, Blackman says.

“Evaluate yourself against successful candidates to the schools you are considering,” she writes. “Find out what is the mean GMAT and GPA for a successful applicant to your target programs.”

If your numbers are lower than the average, Blackman says, there’s still hope—as long as you’re willing to put in the work to improve.

“You may want to consider taking classes to build an alternative transcript or retaking the GMAT,” Blackman writes. “No candidate is perfect. But minimizing any red flags in your application will ensure that you have a strong chance at admission.”

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, Poets & Quants

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