MBA in the United States: how do you apply?

The decision to apply for an MBA, especially at prestigious institutions in the United States, represents a path of self-discovery, commitment and meticulous detail in preparation.

Each component of the application tells a unique story about the candidate and plays a crucial role in determining the right fit with the desired program.Here I explain a framework that I created in which I divided this process into three key sections: Academics, Work Experience and Personal History.

The application process is holistic, that is, they see several aspects of the candidate
Summary of what we see in the article


1. Academics

Academic background demonstrates the candidate’s ability to meet intellectual challenges.

Standardized Test Scores: All of these colleges require the GMAT or GRE. This article explains what the GMAT is and what its structure is. In addition, if you did not study your undergraduate degree at a university in English, you will be asked for the TOEFL, or another equivalent test (IELTS, Duolingo Test, or other, depending on the institution).

University and undergraduate grades: The prestige of your undergraduate program and university, your grades, the graduation ranking, among others are part of what you will need to present.

The idea with all this is that the business school knows that you are a candidate capable of holding up and performing well in the MBA environment. Ironically, then the program tends not to be as demanding, but in a way this ensures that you would have performed well if you had been subjected to a higher demand.

2. Work Experience

Work experience brings a hands-on perspective to the classroom and demonstrates skills that cannot be easily quantified by scores or grades.

Resume / Curriculum Vitae: Colleges are looking for candidates who have made their mark on their job roles. Whether it’s leading teams, implementing significant changes, or simply demonstrating an exceptional work ethic, it’s crucial to highlight these achievements.

Letter of recommendation: Although traditionally referred to as such, this is not a free-form letter. The writer is expected to know the applicant well and be able to provide specific examples of their skills and accomplishments. In general, it is preferable to have a direct supervisor or boss draft this letter.

3. Personal History

The application process isn’t just about numbers and job achievements. Business schools want to know the individual behind the application, their motivations, passions, and how they would fit into the university community.

Extracurricular activities: Participating in volunteering, clubs, sports or foundations brings an extra dimension to your profile. It is essential to highlight not only the participation, but the impact and leadership in these activities.

Trials: Through essays, universities seek to understand your unique story. Every school has its focus, from Harvard’s open-ended questions to Stanford’s more introspective ones. In all cases, it’s essential to be authentic and demonstrate how your experience will bring value to the program.

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