Tips for Applying to Business School – The MBA Market

How do you fit into the MBA market?

As an aspiring MBA student, you are faced with an array of variables in choosing where to apply to business school. With more applicants, sending stronger applications, to the top business schools in the U.S, getting accepted at the school of your choice is becoming an increasingly daunting task. (We, of course, believe a business school education can immensely empower your hiring potential and enrich your personal and educational goals. Therefore, making all obstacles worth it.)

The Perks of Being in the Top 10

The pulling power of attending a top 10 B-School is almost alone worth the high price tag. For a student to spend that much money, the perks must be many and come often. Here are some of the reasons you may want to attend a top 10 B-School:

  • These schools attract world renowned professors
  • They attract recruiters from high powered organizations
  • High percentage of employment at graduation
  • High Ranking means more global exposure for the student
  • The opportunity to explore multiple career tracks in very little time
  • They create a strong career platform

In summary, attendance at a high-ranking school means learning from well known, well-educated and well-connected professors. It means more exposure to real business and recognition within the global business market. Furthermore, it means valuable networking opportunities.

Is a top-tier B-School for you?

Even though ranking is important, it should not solely dictate your decisions. Think about what you personally want out of your education. Even if your list of 8 schools are all in the top 10, which one you choose should be based on some of the following criteria:

  • Location and Environment: Where would you perform better? In a large city or a small town?
  • Student Atmosphere: Do you like to work with other students, or fight your way to the top?
  • Recruiters who visit: Do you want to work for a consulting firm or work in finance?
  • What is the cost of tuition? What types of scholarships or work-study opportunities are available?

These are just a few of the many details to take into consideration.

Tough(er) Competition

After you have found the best school for you, you need to remember that there are a lot of other students who have come to the same conclusion. Future MBAs like you are coming from all over the world to study at the same schools as you. The sheer volume of applicants and the quality of those applicants has gone up. They are better qualified than last year, better prepared, and are submitting better applications. And to make this situation even more challenging; more applicants means more registrants for the GMAT exam. If you have been following closely, you know that more numbers means higher GMAT scores. Therefore, focus on setting yourself apart from the other applicants. Where will your individual strengths be valued the most?

Effects and Consequences of the MBA Boom

The lure of an MBA has created a wealth of specialized MBA programs at top business schools. There are also various flexible part-time programs for the working student. There are fewer applicants for management education PhDs, which implies that more students are interested in management careers, not in academic ones. A future consequence is too many management students and fewer (or less qualified) professors. How are these effects relevant to the aspiring MBA?

  • If you are interested, consider a PhD!
  • It may be more challenging to gain acceptance to a top tier school, but these schools will have more programs to better suit your needs and interests.
  • You can get your MBA without sacrificing your current career (if that is a concern for you).

Remember that while acceptance to the business school of your choice is challenging and ultra-competitive, it has many rewards. Your career and future is dependent on your hard work and perseverance. To look at the rise in competition in a positive light; it means more options for you.