MBA Programs - Things to Consider

Contact
Rachael Pocklington
Parents Program
Contact Rachael Pocklington
404-385-3920
Sidebar Content
No sidebar content submitted.
Summaries

Summary Sentence:

Helpful suggestions for students considering a MBA.

Full Summary:

With the economy sagging, business schools across the country are seeing a significant increase in application volume. While admission may be more competitive than ever, top tier MBA programs are always looking for smart, driven, and contributive applicants.

Paula C. Wilson
Director, MBA Admissions, Georgia Tech School of Management

With the economy sagging, business schools across the country are seeing a significant increase in application volume. While admission may be more competitive than ever, top tier MBA programs are always looking for smart, driven, and contributive applicants.

One common misconception about Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs is that they require an undergraduate degree in business or management or at least some business coursework. While some MBA programs may have some foundational business requirements that are built into the curriculum, the majority of MBA students hold undergraduate degrees in areas other than business. As a matter of fact, one of the distinctive traits of MBA programs is the diversity of the students. The best MBA programs look for students who are coming from a variety of academic, professional, and cultural backgrounds. Enrolling students from diverse backgrounds adds to the richness of MBA classroom and group discussions.

Students with engineering, computer science, and physical sciences degrees particularly enjoy an MBA program because the broad strategic thinking skills developed in an MBA program compliment the detail-oriented, problem-solving skills from their technical background. MBA corporate recruiters love students with technical degrees for the same reason!

There are basically two primary decisions admissions committees are making when reviewing applicants - potential for academic success and work experience.

When considering past academic work, admissions committees look at much more than the bottom-line GPA. Trends in the academic transcript, any graduate work that the applicant may have completed, and reputation and academic rigor of the student's schools and majors are all weighed in this part of the evaluation.

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is also a requirement for admission. The GMAT is generally given quite a bit of weight in the admissions process because it is a very reliable predictor of academic success in the first year of an MBA program. GMAT scores are valid for five years, so it is a good idea for students to take the GMAT during their senior year or shortly after graduation while test-taking skills are still sharp, even if the student is not planning to apply to business school until they have acquired a couple of years of professional work experience.

Secondly, MBA admissions committees are reviewing applicants based on leadership potential and contributions to the MBA program both in and out of the classroom. In this part of the application, work experience, essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews are considered.
Most MBA programs do require, or at least strongly recommend, at least two years of professional work experience beyond the bachelor's degree. Work experience is important for two reasons. First, it allows the student to contribute to and benefit from MBA classroom and group discussions. Second, MBA corporate recruiters prefer students who have the MBA plus 2-6 years of professional work experience.

Regarding letters of recommendation, professional or academic references are preferred. Applicants should avoid personal references. The interview policy at each school is different, so students will want to inquire with the school of interest to determine if they can request an interview or if interviews are by invitation only.

Finally, students should remember that when selecting a MBA program, it is as much about "fit" as anything else. Finding a school that is strong in the applicant's areas of interest, in addition to corporate recruiting, class size, or location should all be considered when applying to business school.

For more information on the Georgia Tech MBA program, visit the College of Management Web site.

Additional Information

Groups

Parent and Family Programs

Categories
Institute and Campus, Student and Faculty
Related Core Research Areas
No core research areas were selected.
Newsroom Topics
No newsroom topics were selected.
Keywords
UROP Spring Symposium
Status
  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 3, 2009 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:11pm