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Expert MBA Admissions Tips 2020 from a Senior Admissions Consultant

The race to admissions to a top global MBA starts more than a year in advance from the date of your joining. With just over a year to the Fall 2020 intake, it is an apt time to act upon a few MBA admissions tips. They’ll help you understand how you can make the best use of the time and opportunity to crack your dream MBA. Business Schools care about bringing in well-rounded candidates to their program which is why an application is judged on much more than just the GMAT score, essays, and work experience.

But fret not! Prashant Tibrewal, Founder and Senior Consultant of Admit Square Consulting, who has mentored more than 1000 MBA applicants to top MBA programs is here to provide his expert MBA admissions tips on preparing yourself for a successful application.

MBA admissions tips from an expert

Here are 9 Expert MBA admissions tips from Prashant:

  1. Start early
  2. Ace the GMAT
  3. Define your career goals
  4. Take initiatives at the workplace
  5. Get more engaged in the workplace
  6. Take up diverse activities and enhance your range of knowledge
  7. Take up community service with the intent of creating an impact
  8. Take up relevant certification courses aligned with your career goals
  9. Connect with adcom members, alumni, and current students early

Read this interview to know these MBA admissions tips in detail. Prashant also shared a few application tips in this video:

Q – What is the first thing someone who is planning to pursue an MBA should work on towards building their profile?

MBA Admissions Tips

Prashant: I would say gaining clarity on career goals is the first thing. Talking about your future goals is usually an important part of any application or interview. Utilize the time you have now to research on potential career paths. Connect with people who are in positions you aspire to be in and understand how they got there. Understanding your goals well also will help in a big way when you get down to shortlisting the right programs for yourself.

You may also take up relevant courses which will help you land your dream position – it shows tremendous initiative and indicates to the admissions committee that you are already working towards your goals instead of waiting for an MBA to do the magic.

MBA admissions tip 1 – Define your career goals

Q – Prashant, most of our readers are working professionals and they know that performing well at the workplace can make their profile irresistible to the admissions committee. What are your thoughts on building one’s professional profile?

MBA Admissions Tips

Prashant: Most jobs will give you ample opportunities to beef up your work profile – but only if you are paying close attention and grabbing them well in time. Instead of being stuck in a rut and doing the same set of activities repeatedly, volunteer to work on new challenges. Take initiatives to participate in diverse projects, and in the process, you will probably help out colleagues and build good relationships, all the while learning new things.

MBA admissions tip 2 – Take initiatives at the workplace

Q – Are there other ways to become more engaged in the workplace?

MBA Admissions Tips

Prashant: Another way to become more engaged in the workplace is to conduct training and lead peer development programs. They are excellent ways of demonstrating initiative, communication, and teamwork.

If you are fortunate enough to have a supportive manager, take him/her into confidence and ask for more responsibility. Not only will it strengthen your professional profile, but it will also provide the recommender exciting talking points when he actually works on your business school recommendation letter.

Further, take every opportunity to gain multi-cultural experience, either by traveling internationally or by collaborating with global teams.

MBA admissions tip 3 – Get more engaged in the workplace

Q – Business Schools prefer well-rounded candidates. So, what should one do to make his/her profile well rounded?

MBA Admissions Tips

Prashant: Taking up diverse activities will go a long way in making one’s profile well rounded. Business schools love candidates who have a life outside of work. It goes to show passion – and trust us, it takes a lot of passion to thrive in business school.

While we would not recommend starting something entirely new in the last few months leading up to the deadlines, it will probably be a good idea to rekindle some of your old hobbies.

You can also start learning the language of the country you plan to apply to and work in if you don’t already know it. For example, if your dream school is INSEAD, brushing up on your French might be a great idea.

Another option would be to dip your toes into some pro-bono consulting – this will help you gain higher exposure and variety in terms of business understanding. Bonus points if you are able to link it to your post-MBA goals!

MBA admissions tip 4 – Take up diverse activities and enhance your range of knowledge

Q – A lot of candidates work with NGOs to showcase their social awareness. What do business schools look for in such kind of experience?

MBA Admissions Tips

Prashant: Community service is the most talked about extra-curricular activity. Business schools love candidates who not only think beyond just business but also want to bring about an impact. While you may have been engaging with some non-profits already, it will be important to contribute more strategically and demonstrate your leadership potential through the activities you undertake, instead of just presenting random ground-work.

MBA admissions tip 5 – Take up community service with the intent of creating an impact

Q – So, taking up diverse activities can make you a well-rounded candidate. What if someone’s profile is not perfect. Let’s say a candidate’s undergraduate GPA is low. What should he/she do to offset this weak component of the application?

MBA Admissions Tips

Prashant: Another great way to beef up your profile and demonstrate to schools that you have an insatiable hunger to grow and learn is to enroll in courses or certifications like the CFA, FRM, PMP, etc.

MOOCs have grown manifold in the last few years, and a plethora of online courses have been introduced that you can take on platforms such as Coursera and edX. This is especially relevant if you have a low GPA since schools would want to know if you are willing and able to handle the academic demands of the program.

MBA admissions tip 6 – Take up relevant certification courses aligned with your career goals

Q – That is really helpful information. Admissions committee members, current students, and alumni are also great sources of information for a particular business school. When should be the best time to contact them?

Prashant: Admissions committee members, students, and alumni are all flooded with connection requests in the weeks preceding the application deadline. It’s important to be aware of the schools you plan to apply to and reach out now when the influx of requests is much lower. Schools love it when you show interest in specific aspects of the program that may help you understand the program better.

MBA admissions tip 7 – Connect with adcom members, alumni, and current students early

Q – What do you think is the role of GMAT in MBA admissions process?

Prashant: The US News Ranking gives about 25% weightage to the candidates’ GMAT score and GPA, which together establishes one’s academic potential and aptitude. Business schools, across different forums, have presented a similar number on how much they weigh the GMAT in the entire process.

MBA admissions tip 8 – Ace the GMAT. It has a very high weightage in the admissions process

Q – Thank you Prashant for the invaluable information. Any other MBA admissions tips you want to convey to our readers?

Prashant: Getting started early is really important. Preparing oneself for the MBA admissions process takes time and effort. Working on your profile well in advance, therefore, remains the key to gaining the edge that will help you beat your competition.

MBA admissions tip 9 – Start early.

These were the 9 MBA admissions tips which will help you secure an admit from a top business school.

About Prashant Tibrewal


Prashant Tibrewal is the founder of Admit Square Consulting and has mentored 1000+ MBA aspirants to get into top global universities like Harvard, Stanford, INSEAD, Oxford, HEC, ISB, etc. With a team of Consultants from some of the top business schools such as Yale, Wharton, Duke and Oxford, Admit Square offers 100% Money-back Assurance on its services. You may send your details to prashant@admitsquare.com for a free profile evaluation.

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