Getting accepted to an MBA program is a prestigious accomplishment, and you may be looking for advice to ensure that happens. With a top-notch application and successful interview, you’ll be placed above the competition while presenting yourself as a more self-aware, well-rounded candidate.
This will not only make you more competitive during the application process but will also increase your wisdom and discretion in logistics and people skills—essential traits in the business world. If you’ll let them, these traits can launch your business career and your personal life toward success.
So, here are some unique things to consider to help improve your résumé, essay, and other areas of your MBA application.
1. EQ test results
Many MBA programs require applicants to submit GMAT test results to gauge their candidates’ competency and readiness. However, many Business programs—especially those focused on employee management—are now encouraging students to take an Emotional Quotient (EQ) test as well.
An EQ test makes the candidate more self-aware of their natural traits and shows the admission committee who’s most likely to consider the needs of their teammates and employees before their own. Candidates who score higher on the EQ portion of the application usually have a greater success rate of being admitted to these programs.
However, it should be noted that students who score lower on the EQ test are not excluded from entry into schools. If these students demonstrate a recognition of their need for growth and outline how they believe the program will help them develop emotional awareness and intelligence, they’ll still be considered for admission into the program.
2. Your best essay
The personal statement or essay is the place to highlight your personal story—your drive, your “why.” What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? What makes you passionate about what you do? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you intend to do to turn these weaknesses into strengths? The list goes on.
Grad school essays allow you to introduce yourself to the application committee. While you should maintain a professional air—appropriate vocabulary, structure, and stories—the essay is your 600-word opportunity to discuss who you are, where you come from, and what you believe you will gain from and contribute to a university’s program.
An important aspect to capture in your essay is humility. Be sure to create a balance between your attributes and your areas for growth. The application committee wants to see if you’re coachable, and coachability is a make-or-break facet of any MBA program application.
3. A strong résumé
Your essay is where you talk about your “why”; your résumé is the chance to talk about what you accomplished for your “why.” Discussing not only the jobs and work you’ve done but also what you contributed to your cause is paramount to standing out to the admission committee. This is where your GMAT and EQ test scores come into play. It doesn’t matter how intelligent or emotionally affluent you are—you need to be able to apply it in order to succeed.
Your résumé showcases the application of your skills and traits and demonstrates to the admission committee your dedication and competency to achieve your goals. Once you’ve finished your résumé, send it to trusted peers, teachers, or mentors to make sure you don’t have any errors and that you’ve portrayed yourself in the best light possible.
4. An impressionable interview
This tip is true for essays, but it’s especially true during the interview process: Be willing to ego-check yourself. Be true to your accomplishments as you’re speaking with the interviewer, but remember that they’re human and so are you. Discuss some of the places where you feel you’re vulnerable and be willing to connect with them on a deeper level. This will leave them with an impression of your coachability as well as your competence. Interviewers hear the cocky people all day long, so someone with genuine humility is a rarity that will stand out with them more than anything else.
Ultimately, the traits you demonstrate throughout the MBA application process will launch you toward your path in life, but the most important thing to remember is if you’re not accepted in the initial process, continue to work on these four traits for your next attempt. As you continue to develop these humble skills, your success in life is guaranteed to improve.
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