9 Useful Tips For Getting Into The Business School Of Your Dreams

Tyra Banks

Photo: Twitter

Here at Business Insider, we’re always trying to help out.We’ve realised that, for lots of young people, figuring out what to do with your life can be a complicated process with a ton of information to process.

Knowing what you want to do is just the first step. After that, you need to know how to get there. If you want to go to Business School, for one, you need to do some serious digging about the application process.

So to get you started on your way, we talked to current B-School students, did some reading, and tried to find quick, basic, helpful instructions about it. Take a look at what we found.

Work experience is key.

It's really tough to get into Business School straight out of college. Basically, you need to have started a multi million dollar lemonade stand at age 8 to do it.

Most school's expect you to have at least 2 (and up to 4) years of experience working in the world of business and/or finance.

In fact, you might want to work for a feeder company.

One way to get into B-School is to work for a company that will help you get there. Good grades and a good GMAT score are still important, though.

For example (from Poets and Quants):

The top five feeder companies for Harvard's Class of 2013 are McKinsey & Co., Bain & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Booz and Deloitte--all prestige management consulting shops that also heavily recruit MBAs from Harvard. Those five firms alone account for more than 17% of the incoming class at HBS this fall.

Also among the top 10 feeder organisations are Google, JPMorgan/Chase, Goldman Sachs, the U.S. Army, and Citigroup. The U.S. military is fairly well represented with an estimated total of 23 students from the Army, Navy and Marines.

If you don't rock the GMAT, make yourself stand out in other ways.

Know what you want to get out of school.

Pete Johnson, the admissions director at Haas (UC Berkeley's School of Business), explains that the sheer number of applicants does not determine your chance of success.

'Regardless of the volume, the most important factor is always the quality of the application,' he says. 'The applications that stand out are those from people who have strong academic preparation, good work experience and letters of recommendation and a clear understanding of what they will gain from their M.B.A. experience.'

Source: Forbes

Do you research and figure out where you want to go and why.

Rose Martinelli, associate dean for admissions at the University of Chicago Booth School, says, 'Do your research on schools. Know why a particular program fits your educational and personal needs. Though there is only one M.B.A. degree, no two M.B.A. programs are the same.'

And start early.

Source: Forbes

Own the GMAT.

Yes, it's a factor in your overall dossier, no getting around it. Kaplan has a short, helpful video on what it is.

And since the GMAT is so important, you need to study carefully.

Kaplan says it's all about time management. You need to be specific with your planning -- figure out what you're going to do down to the last detail -- stick with your plan, and adjust it periodically.

Source: Kaplan

Apply in the first round.

B-School admissions are rolling from season to season. If you apply in the first round, there are more seats open, it's that simple.

Source: Varsity Tutors

That said though, you shouldn't apply before you application is perfection.

Admissions offices want to see you put your best face forward, so don't rush your application. Make sure you have the best letters of recommendation and have written the best essays you can, even if it means you don't make it in the first round of applications.

Source: 1st year, Columbia Business School

BONUS: We hear good things about these books on getting into B-School

  • Richard Montauk's 'How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs'
  • Brandon Royal's 'Secrets to Getting into Business School: 100 Proven Admissions Strategies to Get You Accepted at the MBA Program of Your Dreams'
  • Paul Bodine's 'Perfect Phrases For Business School Acceptance'
  • Omari Bouknight's 'Your MBA Game Plan'

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