The MBA application process contains multiple parts, and one of the first things you will have to accomplish is the application itself. Many people think they can breeze through when filling out the application paperwork, but the reality is the application paperwork says a lot about the applicant and his/her goals. You should take your time and ensure everything is filed out completely and accurately. The good news is that many programs request similar information.
Tips to help you fill out your application effectively and completely
Brainstorm / Gather Information. Before putting pen to paper, write down everything you have done throughout your scholastic and professional career. This will save you time when completing your application, and ensure you have complete answers.
Double Check Facts. Make you you enter the correct information especially for your previous schools, employers, etc.
Proofread! MBAs are expected to be the cream of the crop. It does not look good for an applicant to mispell misspell words, or leave sections blank.
Have someone double check your entire application package. If you turn in an incomplete application, the Admissions Committee may place your application on hold until it is complete. If this happens, you could miss out on your desired application round. (This tip came from Shadox. Thanks!)
Information required on an MBA Application
Each MBA program may have their own requirements, but the following list should be fairly similar among most programs:
Contact info – be sure to use a professional e-mail address (not hotpants43 @ email.com!). You can get a free e-mail address from Yahoo!, Google, or Hotmail among others.
Biographical Data – Programs collect applicant information on age, race, marital status, citizenship, etc. Some even ask for family information such as your parents’ level of education and where they attended school.
Program applying for – Many MBA schools offer multiple program options such as a MBA only, or joint degrees such as MBA/JD or MBA/MD, etc.
Expected area of concentration – Applicants should have some idea of their professional goals and should choose their preferred area of concentration such as accounting, economics, finance, international business, marketing, logistics, operations, strategic management, etc.
Academic Background – At the minimum this will include the institutions attended and when you attended them. Many applications also request info on extracurricular activities you participated in.
Professional Designations – Include any professional designations such as CPA, PMP, CNC, etc. These show you meet certain professional criteria.
Employment history – Info usually requested includes: current employer, industry, job title, job function, dates of employment, starting/ending salaries, etc. List every post-grad job.
Future employment goals – Many programs want to know which industry you desire to work in upon completion of your MBA.
While many of the included items in the application may seem a very personal, the Admissions Committee wants to know as much about the applicant as they can. This helps them make their selection. Sometimes, the application paperwork is all the AdCom has to go from if the student is not able to interview for the program. The application paperwork may seem trivial to some people, but trust me, it is not!
This is Part 1 of a series on applying for an MBA program. Please read the rest of the articles for more information!
- Applying For An MBA – Series Introduction
- Part 1: Application
- Part 2: Resume
- Part 3: Transcripts
- Part 4: GMAT Scores
- Part 5: Essays
- Part 6: Letters of Recommendation
- Part 7: Interview
- Part 8: Other Factors
For more information about selecting an MBA program, please check out my 8 part series – Selecting an MBA Program.