Before determining whether your professional and educational credentials meet a program's Master of Business Administration admissions requirements, consider your own motivations and aspirations. Specifically, it is important to evaluate whether you have all the qualities to be a standout M.B.A. candidate.
Answering the following questions can help you know where you stand:
Why do you want an M.B.A.?
An M.B.A. is a practical business degree. People have many different reasons for pursuing an M.B.A. degree, though accelerating one's career is a common thread. Some want a promotion and/or to reach a managerial or executive level. Others need to develop cross-functional skills to make them more effective in their job and better contributors to the organization's success.
What do you need to advance? Consider your career goals – what do you hope to accomplish in the next five to ten years? Do some research into the skills or education that people in that dream position tend to have. Does an M.B.A. align with where you want to take your career?
What kind of M.B.A. degree do you want?
M.B.A. programs are varied. You could pursue a traditional campus-based program or get your M.B.A. online; the latter avenue could give you a wider range of options from which to choose. A full-time program would allow you to earn your M.B.A. degree faster, whereas a part-time program would let you fit your education into your life and keep your current job with minimal disruption.
Do you have solid GMAT scores?
Performance on the GMAT is certainly not to be discounted; however, not every M.B.A. program requires GMAT scores for candidates. Some schools may also waive the GMAT requirement if the candidate has previous work experience.
Do you have an undergraduate business degree?
Again, this depends on the M.B.A. program to which you apply. While some programs prefer it, an undergraduate business degree is not always a requirement. Some programs do offer expanded M.B.A. programs specifically designed for students that do have an undergraduate degree in a non-business discipline. These programs allow students to take additional credits to gain the background they will need to be successful in the M.B.A. program.
How much work experience do you have?
Some schools discourage students from embarking on an M.B.A. immediately after receiving their undergraduate degree. The reason: Without some work experience, you may lack the professional knowledge that directly relates to your M.B.A. studies. You may also find it difficult to participate in some classroom conversations, as students often refer to their previous work experience when discussing a particular topic. In this case, it's less about the kind of work you did or how long you did it, but rather what you were able to learn from it.
How well do you work in a group?
Many programs, even online M.B.A. offerings, feature some sort of group experience in which you study or collaborate on projects with other students. These types of projects are meant to replicate the real-world cross-functional experience of collaborating with coworkers. The benefits of such exercises to M.B.A. students can include sharpening one's skills in conflict management, leadership and relationship building — all of which are integral to developing productive workplace connections.
If you think an online M.B.A. might be for you, be sure to evaluate interdisciplinary-based online programs such as the online M.B.A. at Manhattan College. This program provides future transformational business leaders with the "big-picture" and a multi-faceted business education designed to enhance professional success. Incidentally, applicants with more than five or more years of relevant work experience do not need to submit GMAT scores as part of the application process.
To learn more about the online M.B.A. at Manhattan College, please visit the program page.