Start Planning for Your MBA While You’re Still in College

It’s not common for MBA programs to accept applicants right out of undergrad. That’s because most MBA programs want their students to have some real-world business experience to provide a solid foundation for what they’re learning in the classroom.

But that doesn’t mean that college students who know they want an MBA eventually get to put off preparing for admission to an MBA program. Even if you just started college – especially if you just started college – there’s a lot you can be doing to prepare for your future MBA studies. And who knows – with clear career goals and the right strategy, you might just win admission to the MBA program of your choice right after graduation.

Take the Right Classes

If you know you want to get an MBA, start preparing academically while you’re still in college. Choose classes that will prepare you for business school. These do, of course, include traditional business-focused classes. Courses in statistics, finance, economics, accounting, and calculus are a good bet for undergraduate students hoping to go on to business school someday.

But MBA programs look for students with additional skills, too, and often, those who are most successful in MBA programs are those with math and STEM backgrounds. A strong quantitative background will stand you in good stead in an MBA program, but don’t neglect the humanities. Business schools – and companies – want applicants with strong communications skills, with 73 percent of employers seeking strong writers.

Build Professional and Leadership Skills Through Extracurriculars

College is a time to learn about the world and yourself, discover new things, and grow as a person. That shouldn’t be any different just because you’re planning to go to graduate school.

Whether you’re planning on following an accelerated track, taking a few years off to work, or combining school and career with an online MBA program, take the opportunity to have as many professional, academic, and leadership experiences as you can while you’re in college. Doing so will help you crystallize your career goals, and could lead to surprising revelations about who you are and what you want from your career and your life. Plump up your resume and start building real-world business skills by taking internships in industries that interest you. Join student clubs and extracurricular activities groups, and build leadership skills by getting involved in the governance of those groups.

College leadership positions can be a great way to make yourself stand out as an MBA applicant. Business schools want applicants who have demonstrated an ability to lead. The best way to make the most of your college leadership experiences is to have a measurable impact on the organization with which you’re involved. Whether you’re contributing innovative ideas, doing substantial work to keep the organization running, or simply helping to foster consensus when things get heated, you can use college leadership positions to develop management skills that will help you stand out at business school.

Attend Informational Interviews

Informational interviews in college can be very valuable because they help you decide if the job you want is really the job you want. You should use informational interviews as an opportunity to learn more about what it’s like to work at a specific job or in a specific industry; you can also get more general information about how an industry is doing and what challenges you might face if you attempt to move into that industry. You might even get advice on applying to MBA programs from previous MBA grads. Because you won’t be under the pressure of applying for a job – and the person you’re interviewing won’t have the stress of finding the right job candidate – you’ll be able to ask more honest questions, and get more honest answers, than you would from a traditional job interview.

Going to business school right out of undergrad isn’t common, but it’s certainly not impossible, as long as you start planning for your MBA goals right away. Even if you’d rather work for a few years before going to business school, it’s a good idea to start planning for your academic future while you’re still in college, so you can fill your application with the academic background and leadership skills business school admissions committees look for.

Tiffany Rowe is a leader in marketing authority, she assists Seek Visibility and our clients in contributing resourceful content throughout the web. Tiffany prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.


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