The economy today is a rollercoaster; people do not know where they stand in today’s work environment. With more competition than ever in the work force, it is very important to increase your skills, and improve your profile to potential employers.
If you have just graduated with an undergraduate in business, you might be sick of the grind of lectures and all-nighters. I know I was, in fact I took a year off before I went back to continue my education.
However, if you can find the money, and the time you may want to continue your education; you may want to get an MBA. Getting an MBA is a commitment of time and finances, so you will have a lot to consider before applying for an MBA.
What is Needed When Applying for the MBA
First you have to find the right school. Now, many Business Masters Programs need certain things before you can enter their fine establishments. Many business and MBA programs will require that you take the GMAT test.
The GMAT is a test that analyzes your abilities in business math, and communication skills. You can sign up for the test at mba.com; they also have study materials, and articles about MBA and business education.
When I entered into a graduate business school I was able to avoid the GMAT by going into the Masters of Science program. Some programs will waive the GMAT if your grades were good enough in your other graduate and/or undergraduate studies.
The program I entered waived the GMAT for the Masters in Science program. After about halfway through the program I was able to transfer to the MBA program without the GMAT, because my grades were good, and I had a strong GPA. You may want to find out from your college of choice before doing the same as I did.
I have to warn you that some business school graduate programs can be stubborn about getting the GMAT, and there will be no way in getting around it. Sometimes there is just a particular college you want to attend, then you will have to find that special study place, and prepare to take that test. Some help for your path for success in the GMAT test can be found at Kaplan Test Prep.
Graduate Business School Accreditation
The program I was in was highly accredited. My business college was accredited by the AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). The AACSB is one of the most highly recognized accreditation institutions for business schools. Employers might be looking at the accreditation of the college you attended, especially with the current ups and downs of this economic environment then it may be important look for a highly accredited business school.
There are some different accreditors for each type of school. So look at the accreditation for your particular field- MBA or Masters Program. Be sure to analyze your chosen university website thoroughly, particularly on the program page of your field of study.
Before filling in, and submitting your application you will be reminded that there is a fee (there always is). Furthermore, graduate programs usually want some work experience, preferably in a professional field.
Work Experience Is Important For Graduate Business School
Be sure to take advantage of the intern and coop programs available in your undergraduate program. The work requirement can range from 1 to 5 years, so be sure to check that out on the university website.
Do not feel down if you do not have enough professional work experience. When I applied for my school I was only working in my current professional job for one year. I also had some earlier professional office experience before I started my undergraduate program.
During my undergraduate studies, I worked in a grocery store, and the college bookstore. Don’t be ashamed of this type of work use it as a learning experience, and mention what you have learned from these experiences in your application.
They might not be as strict as you may think. So, be sure to give any type of information that you may think they will believe is relevant to your professional skills; this can be done in your résumé and statement of purpose.
Also, a résumé is usually a requirement. There are some great templates designed for graduate students that can be found on the Internet. You will also need letters of recommendations, how many letters required will depend upon the university program; it could be two to three. For help with graduate or professional resumes; you may find information on various websites like Career Perfect.
Graduate Business Schools Want To See Your Goals
A Statement of Personal Goals is needed. This is your essay, the place where you can express yourself, and your future goals. You should start the essay with a story, maybe something that inspired you to pursue your graduate degree. Explain how your personality can enhance your education and career.
Describe your goals for when you receive your MBA or Masters Degree. Describe how their program can help you meet your goals. List any achievements, awards, titles in clubs, and how it will help to enhance your graduate education. Also, be sure to have your transcripts transferred over from your previous colleges.
Talk To Your Counselors
It is very important to talk with a counselor from your undergraduate program; and your counselor at your graduate college. These counselors can help give you plenty of information that you will need to get accepted, and get you set up into the program.
It sure helped me. I asked my counselors with help for financial aid, I called to make sure that they received all the required documents, and asked if they needed anything else from me. Don’t be shy to ask the counselors all the questions needed. I might have been kind of a pest in getting information; but hey it’s my education, it’s important.
One more thing- you may have a job that can make you very busy. You may feel that you do not have time to go to class while working. If you are in this situation, then you may want to look into programs for working professionals or online study.
There are plenty of programs out there that can work around your schedule. I received my MBA by attending one of these programs. I went to class one day a week, and sometimes there were classes on Saturdays that met once every other week (a full day was 8:30am to 4pm).
Do Your Homework Before Applying To Graduate School
Be careful of the program you choose, and find information on all the necessary courses. I was once in a program that was a combination Masters/MBA program; and we were mostly in teams, and created PowerPoint Presentations.
There was little teaching involved; most of the class was listening to the presentations of the other groups. I was not sure if all the facts they were telling us were correct. I did not like that type of program; and I transferred to a better accredited college. There were teams, but also important instruction, and projects that helped me learn what was important.
So, do your homework; Look into any tuition reimbursement programs at your job. Try not to get too anxious about starting your graduate experience. Take your time. Get all the facts. Seek help , and you will be alright.