MBA Application: What Eligibility Criteria Are Most Important?

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There is no doubt that lots of MBA applicants do have sleepless nights trying to figure out what the admission officers of their prospective business schools really look out for when selecting applicants that would make it into their MBA programs. Applicants usually contemplate on what the most important parameters used for acceptance are and also how these admission officers evaluate certain parameters. The aim of this article is to help applicants understand the process as well as the parameters which these business schools use to accept students into the fold.

Essential Parameters

While it would be irrelevant to generalize how much importance every business school places of certain parameters. Knowing fully well that they all have certain things they look out for, it is very important to note that these parameters though fall in different magnitudes of importance to the business world, but note that they are essential to what administrative officers look out for. In other words, we would try to capture more than 80 percent of what these business schools look out for and also be able to grade their importance accordingly, taking into consideration that every school is peculiar and parameters would be shown at different levels of relevance based on the school’s ideologies and vision.

According to Poets and Quants, these are the most important parameters and their percentage in weight of importance:

  • GMAT Total Score………………………….. 16%
  • GMAT Quant Percentile…………………… 6%
  • Essay Question………………………………… 15%
  • Admission Interviews……………………….. 12%
  • Undergraduate GPA’s………………………… 10%
  • Recommends…………………………………….. 8%
  • Employers Brand……………………………….. 7%
  • Undergraduate College……………………….. 6%
  • Extracurricular…………………………………… 6%
  • Length of Work Experience…………………. 5%
  • Industry of Employment……………………… 3%
  • International Experience……………………… 3%
  • Undergraduate Majors…………………………. 2%
  • Languages…………………………………………… 1%

Now we would look at these Parameters one by one and share as much as we can concerning their importance.

GMAT

The MBA program can be very analytically rigorous, hence the quant/percentile score is given special relevance. It is important to note that the GMAT is one of the parameters that duly rests in the hands of the applicant and this what the schools use in testing both language and analytical skills.

Essay

While the essay is very important and can be said to be your spokesperson before the interview, it is not an avenue to test your literary prowess but rather a means of knowing who you truly are. So in essence, the essay is a medium to connect with the admission panel, telling them your story, from the past to the present with glimpses of the future. Why do you need the MBA degree to be added in your future history?

Interviews

After going through the whole process, you then walk into the next phase which might look easy but is more critical as this is the chance for the admissions committee to peel off whatever mirage or facade you have incorporated into your application. It is an avenue for them to know if you are truly  who you claim to be and to finalize if they would really want you to be a part of their history.

GPA

This is one area which is no longer in your hands. Unlike the other which you can still salvage if you notice you are not on the right path, this is different. Apart from the absolute number, the committee is also interested to understand your relative position here. So if you are not from a top tier school, the onus of apprising the committee on this dimension is yours.

Recommendations

Recommendations is a means which the business school’s admission committee uses to verify the claims made in your application. This would also help them determine your potential for senior roles.

Employer’s Brand

This affords the school the opportunity to know your forte which primarily would be pinned on your role with your employers and most times this favors those from big companies whose employees have an advantage in this area.

Undergraduate College

This like the employer’s brand also favors the big schools. The more famous or prestigious your school is the better for the applicant. Though flaws in other parameters can still overshadow this.

Extracurricular

If though the business schools are looking for A-class students, they do not want robots who would only be good at work. There should be something you should be able to do aside working even if its just for leisure, something that makes you an interesting person. No one would love to work with a cold machine.

Length of Work Experience

While some view this as the more the better, it could also be the more the farther off the edge. While it is good to have several years of work experience, too many years of work experience might also rub the admissions committee off the wrong way.

Industry of Employment

The reason this becomes important is because it can dictate your post-MBA employability. Schools evaluate on how your current industry/experience and the skills you’ve developed here, match up with your intended plans.

Some industries become easier for students to break into compared to others.

International Experience

For those going for an international MBA this would be a major advantage to those who have had to work or live outside their country. This would help them live easily and not become unnerved by living among people who have a different way of life.

Underground Majors

This is of some importance when you take into context your MBA curriculum. The intention is to check whether you will be able to manage the rigors of the program itself.

Languages

This is actually of little importance as it only shows how you would be able to relate with others from different parts of the world. Although, when taken into a different context as it concerns your pursuit it could be very important.

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