Tips for the perfect MBA application
The entry requirements to study an MBA at the world's top business schools are extremely high, and the application process time-consuming – so it's important to get it right.
Anastasia Georgiou, Director Student Recruitment and Admissions at Melbourne Business School, shares her tips on the perfect MBA application. Make sure your MBA application stands out to the right people, at the right organisation.
MBA Application Tips - Choose the Right School
Studying an MBA requires a significant investment of time and money, so it's important you choose a school that is going to provide you with the right experience and help you achieve your goals.
Different business schools have different cultures, as well as particular strengths in different areas of specialisation, such as sustainability or healthcare.
The first step to understanding the culture of each school is to talk to the Admissions team. Melbourne Business School runs Information Sessions on all it's MBA Programs. For a deeper insight you should also make sure to visit the campus or meet with former students.
"We offer candidates to get a feel of the experience to be had at the school by allowing them to visit the campus, sit in on a lecture, speak with faculty and talk with current students," says Anastasia.
"If they’re overseas, we put them in touch with alumni in their area to meet and discuss what we offer."
Requirements for MBA - Take the GMAT Exam Seriously
If you're applying to one of the world's best business schools, the chances are you'll need a high GMAT score.
GMAT stands for the Graduate Management Admission Test. It measures problem-solving, analytical, comprehension and communication skills to make sure that you're ready to take on an MBA at a leading school.
Melbourne Business School's competitive Full-time MBA program has one of the highest GMAT requirements in Australia – though it's not the only consideration for which students are accepted. Our Part-time MBA, Executive MBA and Senior Executive MBA programs do not have a GMAT requirement.
"We believe the GMAT is the best indicator of academic ability, but that doesn't always mean business potential. It's about being able to cope with the intensity of our one-year Full-time MBA program," Anastasia says.
One of the most common MBA entry requirement mistakes that applicants make, is underestimating the GMAT and failing to devote enough time to preparation.
"I’ve seen students go into it from a quantitative background thinking it's going to be easy – but they haven’t spent the time preparing, and so they don't do as well as they could have," Anastasia says.
As well as helping applicants stand out, a high GMAT score can be influential in securing a scholarship – so preparation is definitely important.
"They say up to 100 hours of practice are needed," Anastasia says. "You don’t have the luxury of time when sitting the exam, because it’s a time-based test – so you need to be familiar with the types of questions and how they are posed."
MBA Entry Requirements - Be Your Best Self
Just as you will want to find a business school that meets your needs, so each school will be looking for students that are a good fit for its organisation.
Melbourne Business School looks for students with a diversity of backgrounds and personal interests, who can spark off each other in the classroom to foster creativity.
"We want diversity in the classroom, because innovation and learning are the product of differences," Anastasia says.
"The guarantee with our cohorts is that we won't have everyone from just one country, or a gender imbalance. We make sure the gender ratio is as close to 50 per cent as possible."
In your application, it's important to show your strengths and a track record of leadership and problem-solving, as well as your goals and personal interests.
But beware - your application will be checked against your references, so there's no point lying or exaggerating about your experience.
"We want our students to be here for the right reasons," says Anastasia. "We want their goals and expectations to align with our own, because it makes for happy students and a better overall experience for everyone."