Am I a Good MBA Candidate?

Am I a Good MBA Candidate?

What business schools are looking for

If you’re thinking about doing an MBA program, you might ask yourself “am I a good candidate?” Of course, the answer depends on what schools you are applying to, and what these schools are looking for. However, most business schools will require for a few main things, such as a first degree, work experience, and a competitive GMAT score. Other aspects, such as extracurricular activities, can make you more attractive to a business school.

Work experience (important)

Most accredited MBA programs will require candidates to have at least two or three years of post-degree, full-time work experience. However, many applicants have more work experience than the bare minimum. Your competitiveness can be judged by comparing your work experience to the average of accepted students who enroll in the MBA programs you’re looking at. Many business schools disclose the average participant age (some profile listings at FIND MBA include this information, as well).

If you have significantly less work experience than the average, then the business school may look to other parts of your application, to see if you stand out in other ways.

Standardized test scores (important)

Although the GMAT is not required for admission to some MBA programs, the vast majority of accredited business schools will want you to take it. They will examine your score to see how well you will fit in their MBA programs, particularly the "core" classes. Some business schools will have a minimum GMAT score as a prerequisite to apply, but often, you can judge your competitiveness by comparing your GMAT score to the average score of accepted students, which is often found on the business school’s website (FIND MBA also provides this information for some business schools). If your GMAT score is significantly lower than the average, other parts of your application will need to be stronger to balance it out.

For some MBA programs, you can take the GRE instead of the GMAT, and some business schools provide their own admissions test.

Finally, if you are a non-native English speaker, you may be asked to take a language test, such as the TOEFL or IELTS (for English-language MBA programs).

Undergraduate performance (important)

Beyond work experience and standardized test scores, business schools will also examine your undergraduate GPA and other indicators, to see evidence of how well you can do in an academic setting. Some MBA programs will be looking for particular types of undergraduate degrees: some require four-year degrees, for instance.

Extracurriculars (helpful)

Although not usually required by business schools, anything you’ve done outside of work or school, such as volunteer work, club membership, or the like, can strengthen your application.

The interview (usually required)

After reviewing your application, most business schools will also require at least one interview to be admitted into an MBA program. These generally happen in-person, although some business schools will conduct these using the telephone or videoconferencing.

Qualities of a good MBA candidate:

  • Work experience: at least two to three years
  • GMAT or GRE score
  • Undergraduate degree with a good GPA
  • Extracurricular activities (helpful)

MBA FAQs

What is an MBA?
What is an MBA?

Basic information about the Master of Business Administration degree

Do I Need an MBA?
Do I Need an MBA?

Thinking about applying for an MBA? Find out if an MBA might be the right step for your career now

FAQ: Funding Your MBA
FAQ: Funding Your MBA

From tracking down MBA scholarships to loans and employer sponsorships, some tips about how to pay for an MBA

How do I Apply for an MBA?
How do I Apply for an MBA?

Check to see if you have all your application materials you'll need to apply for an MBA

How do I Pay for my MBA?
How do I Pay for my MBA?

One of the biggest challenges facing many prospective MBA students is finding a way to afford the high costs of attending business school for one or two years.

MBA Accreditation: Why is it Important?
MBA Accreditation: Why is it Important?

Three quality standards that can help you pick a business school with more confidence

What is an MBA Concentration?
What is an MBA Concentration?

Should you specialize your MBA by choosing a concentration? What are some of the most popular concentrations?

What is the GMAT?
What is the GMAT?

The GMAT is required to apply for many MBA programs. Here's more about the test and how it works

Where Should I do my MBA?
Where Should I do my MBA?

For some, it makes sense to stay local, while others might find better opportunities and adventure elsewhere

Which Kind of MBA Program is Right for Me?
Which Kind of MBA Program is Right for Me?

A variety of MBA programs, from full-time cohort options to EMBAs and online MBAs, cater to a range of needs

Why Should I do an MBA?
Why Should I do an MBA?

From career advancement to moving to a new country, there are many reasons why an MBA makes sense