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Posted November 4 , 2013

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Education

Getting into Business School - Improve your chances of earning an MBA

St. Catherines — Applying for business school can be an arduous, stressful process, but there are ways to make it easier on yourself — and increase your chances of getting into the program you want.

A Masters of Business Administration program introduces students to several aspects of the business world, including accounting, finance, marketing, human resources and management. But there is a lot to consider when deciding where you want to go. Good marks and a solid result on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are obviously vital, but most schools also look at your work experience, essays, letters of reference and interviews.

“Earning an MBA opens so many career paths and earning opportunities,” says Shari Sekel, Director of Graduate Programs at the Goodman School of Business at Brock University. “It’s important that you do what you can to make yourself a candidate business schools can’t refuse — but it’s equally important to think about what the business school you choose can offer you and focus your efforts on a program that will increase your chances of launching a career after graduation.”

Here are five tips from the Goodman School of Business to help you find the right school for you, and increase your chances at getting accepted:

• Think about your resume. After graduation, you want a resume that makes it difficult for an employer to turn you down. Business schools with extensive co-op programs or service learning opportunities will give you experience outside the classroom and a solid foundation for your post-MBA job.

• The GMAT is not your enemy. It is often the most feared part of the application process, but it is absolutely necessary for most MBA programs. A strong performance on the GMAT can make up for weak marks on your transcript. You also have greater control over the GMAT process. You set your study schedule, and can take as much time as you want to prepare for it and you can write it up to five times a year — and some schools look at your highest score, regardless of how many times you write it.

• Ask questions to the right people. While a quick Google search can return pages of answers to burning MBA questions, there is no replacement for speaking directly with MBA admissions staff. They can give you answers tailored to your specific situation and can give you tips to help strengthen your application. They are the experts, so ask them first.

• Don’t over think the application process. Admissions committees are looking for reasons to accept you. The process is meant to give the committee more background about you, so don’t try to conform to some mythical model MBA student. Don’t pad your resume, or write a statement of interest that tells nothing about your personality, goals and interests. If you are confused about a part of the application process, just ask. Often the answer is simpler than you may think.

• Be realistic. Before you apply, take a careful look at your background, interests, finances and time commitment. If you can’t afford a $60,000 MBA program, then consider something more affordable. And be realistic about the time commitment. An MBA program requires significant time in and out of the classroom. An MBA program isn’t the time to decide what career path you want to follow; it’s the time to pick up the skills and knowledge to forge ahead on the path you have chosen.

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