If you are the type of person who wants to be constantly learning and developing and can handle a leadership position with lots of responsibility, then you are the ideal candidate for an MBA. Remember: the future can be greater than you can ever imagine. Just think big.
If you dream to become a top manager, do not do what most people do: Do not take the GMAT, find the MBA program that will accept you with your GMAT score, and then find a job that will hire you with that MBA. You need to work the other way around. Identify your target, then work backwards to achieve your goals rather than compromise.
In this blog we help you think about what your real targets are and how an MBA and GMAT will fit into these. We’ll start off with the macro level and see what kind of job you want, where the MBA fits in, rather than wait for the GMAT scores to make the decision for you.
At this time of year (June-July), you are probably bombarded with all the things you need to take care of – from scheduling your GMAT to updating your resume and dealing with the forms. But before you start all the admin relating to your MBA application, it’s worth taking a step back to look at the big picture so that you can be sure you are taking the right steps.
STEP 1 – IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS
Start by setting your target. Where do you see yourself working in the future? Is it a big corporation or a small company, is it abroad or in your home state? Once you know this you can work backwards.
Ask yourself what kind of manager you want to be. What field interests you? What kind of company would you like to work in? What’s the salary you are aiming for?
What skills do you need in order to reach your goals? Is it really an MBA you need or another type of qualification?
STEP 2 – IS AN MBA THE RIGHT DEGREE FOR YOU?
This is a question you will be asked in the application process. What does it give you that another degree can’t? It is expensive and demanding and has high entry requirements, so is it really worth the effort? How is it going to help you reach your goals? Are there other ways of getting the same training or similar experiences? Identify alternative learning options in order to validate that an MBA is right for you.
It’s best to do some research by talking to people who have already done an MBA about their learnings and experiences.
Some of the top reasons people give for doing an MBA, are:
- Forcing yourself to refocus and challenge yourself – to stop and reflect on some big business issues.
- Learning about managing people.
- Getting paid a higher average salary.
- Opening better career and networking opportunities.
Which schools? Learn about the similarities and differences between every school/program you are interested in. See if it fits your needs in terms of what you originally wanted from an MBA.Know yourself. Identify which schools/programs fit your personality and challenge you to achieve your goals. For example, if your dream is to work in Prada, you need to go to a school that offers luxury brand management or fashion brand management.
STEP 3 – TAKE AN ADMISSION TEST
Do you need a GMAT or a GRE?
More than 1,200 MBA programs now accept the GRE General Test in lieu of the GMAT for admissions. The best approach is to research the schools you’re interested in and find out which they accept.
Why do the GMAT?
For nearly 60 years the GMAT is accepted by more than 6,000 business and management programs worldwide. The reason it’s the test of choice to get into the world’s leading business schools is because it works. No other exam lets you showcase the skills that matter most in business school and in your career. In fact, decades of research confirm that the GMAT exam is a reliable predictor of your academic performance in graduate management programs.
When to start studying
Consider how much time you need. If you are a non-native speaker who needs a very high verbal score, you might need to improve your reading skills for a few months and then start your test prep. If you only have a short time frame to finish your application – start preparing for the test immediately and plan your schedule carefully.
Make the most of your time. Now that you’ve made your decision, use your time wisely to make the whole process as unstressful as it can be.