What Do MBA Programs Look For?

The MBA degree was developed when scientists and engineers working for major corporations advanced into management and it became evident that being a successful scientist does not make a successful manager. The MBA degree is designed to provide broad managerial training to people with work experience who need or want to move into managerial positions while having the ability to understand the work of the people they are managing MBA . In effect, the MBA is an academic degree for students who come from fields other than business.

So what kind of background should you have to get into a good MBA program? Most MBA schools accept students in any undergraduate field. They prefer students who do not have a business major because they give you the business training but they cannot provide the broad background that managers should have. The best majors are in the sciences, engineering, or math, but other majors are also suitable.

Religion? Religious organizations need good management. Theater arts? Entertainment businesses need good management. Tourism? Hospitality businesses need good management. Political science, economics, anthropology, sociology, psychology-there is no limit. I have taught dentists, lawyers, physicians, and musicians in MBA programs.

MBA programs prefer students with 2-4 years work experience after the first degree. Some accept students right out of college if they have good grades and a high GMAT score. Some MBA programs are designed specifically for new college graduates without work experience. But in those programs you don’t get the benefit of learning from other students who have work experience. A lot of valuable learning takes place through class interaction. Also when you graduate your job offers will be about the same as a business undergraduate gets because you have no work experience, and you’ve been two years out of your undergraduate field so it’s hard to get work in that area.

Because the MBA degree is so valuable, it is also popular, therefore, about 40 percent of the students actually come from undergraduate business backgrounds. In many industries, the MBA is almost required for advancement. Therefore many business graduates elect to get the degree to advance further in their careers. Here, then, is how you can prepare yourself to become an ideal candidate for an MBA program.

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