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2020-08-21 12:16:26

Investing in the Future: How to Apply for an MBA in the USA

Investing in the Future: How to Apply for an MBA in the USA

Obtaining a degree from a top business school increases the value of the candidate in the eyes of the employer, confirms his professional knowledge and managerial competencies, helps to get ahead of potential competitors, and increase the chance of getting a high-paying job. The growing popularity of short-term courses (Executive Education) has not reduced the number of applicants for MBA programs in the best business schools in the world. It is still difficult to enroll in them: a large flow of information about preparation, the complexity of entrance tests - it is not always clear for beginners in the field of foreign education where to start. For those who are determined to study for a Full-time MBA, we offer basic guidance on when to apply and how best to prepare for going to business school.

When to start preparing?

The best business schools operate in the United States, so in order to enroll in a Full-time MBA program, you need to start preparing for admission at least a year before applying. This is the shortest time required to prepare for exams - provided that you graduated with a bachelor's degree, speak English, already hold a leadership position and have a clear view of the career path where an MBA is the key to success.

A year will be enough to thoroughly prepare for exams, successfully pass testing, combining the process with work, and collect the necessary package of documents. It is optimal when the candidate devotes the first half of the year to preparing for exams, and the second to collecting documents.

Documents for admission

Documents for applying to a business school include:

  • Bachelor's / Master's / Specialist Diploma (notarized, translated into English / another language at the request of the school)
  • GMAT / GRE results
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • Introductory essay
  • TOEFL scores (at least Intermediate).

Standard admission conditions

  • GPA: Many business schools have no formal minimum requirements, but a GPA of 3.0 or higher is the unspoken standard for candidates.
  • GMAT or GRE test results - exams test verbal thinking, mathematical ability. Admissions committees consider certificates with scores of 600 or more out of 800. Highly selective business schools require grades of 700-750 or more.
  • Work experience 2-3 years in a managerial position (recommended).
  • Management potential - it is reflected by essays, letters of recommendation from current and / or previous leaders. Letters should describe leadership skills, critical thinking ability, ability to work in a team. An introductory essay is a description of the expectations of studying for an MBA, how the degree will help achieve future goals.
  • Pre-education: Some business schools require candidates to complete basic courses in accounting, finance, economics, statistics prior to applying or enrolling in the program.


A well-written application is half the battle. Approach the application strictly, think about what the most important elements of the application need to be preserved and what can be excluded. If you are applying to multiple business schools, demonstrate knowledge of each school, its traditions, strengths, and why this particular school is the right one for your goals. An introductory essay must be honest, reflecting interest in that particular business school and curriculum.

It is helpful to take a fresh look at the application: ask a friend or family member to read and express their opinion: does it sound sincere, does it reflect the applicant's achievement? Don't give the admissions office any reason to doubt! The application is a digital version of your personality: Express yourself and your positive attitude before the admissions office meets you, increase your chances of success.

When to go to business school?

Most schools require a bachelor's degree before entering an MBA and recommend at least 2-3 years of work experience. Some schools allow a lack of work experience if the candidate's academic achievement is strong. Some schools have 4 + 1 programs - joint BA / MBA programs, where you can take individual MBA courses as a bachelor's degree, obtaining both degrees in 5 years instead of 6.

Most schools require work experience because the business concepts they learn become more practical when studied in the context of the real business world. MBA experience is more useful if the course is taken by a specialist with real experience.

Business School Admission Interview

Business schools schedule interviews after reviewing applications and narrowing the pool of candidates to those they seriously consider. A good or bad interview can have a huge impact on the admissions office. A mediocre candidate on paper, but confident, goal-oriented, and disposed in person is more likely to get into business school than a candidate who has a star resume on paper but is absent-minded or awkward during interviews.


Students admitted to a business school receive an invitation letter from the university - with it, the registration of a student visa for a trip to the United States goes without problems. The embassy sees that you are going to the United States to study, and the procedure for obtaining a student visa differs from the tourist visa by the absence of queues.

TOP-10 US business schools

Top US business schools are in demand due to the fact that graduates receive high salaries from the start. The average starting salary + award for holders of a prestigious MBA is approximately 155,671 $. Wharton alumni earned an average of 165,528 $ after graduation, the highest starting salary among leading business schools.

TOP-10 US business schools:

  1. Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  3. University of Chicago | Booth School of Business
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Sloan School of Management
  5. Harvard Business School
  6. University of California, Berkeley | Haas School of Business
  7. Northwestern University | Kellogg School of Management
  8. Columbia Business School
  9. Yale School of Management
  10. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor | Ross School of Business.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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