Business School Admission Process

The Business School Admission Process: Selection Criteria, Types of Courses and Funding

Management education can propel careers, but thorough knowledge of the admission process is needed to obtain an Master of Business Administration degree.

Applications for management education are on the rise worldwide, as professionals and students realize the importance of an MBA to boost careers. The admission process is fairly long and competitive and candidates need to be aware of the intricacies of the process.

Admission Criteria

The admission requirements generally include a sixteen year educational background. All applicants are required to take the Graduate Management Aptitude Test or the GMAT. Several schools also require TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores. This is mainly for international applicants from countries where the native language is not English. Full time work experience is usually preferred by schools across the world. The actual application requires candidates to write essays clearly mentioning their career aspirations and reasons for applying to the particular school.

Types of Courses

There is a wide range of MBA programs available to suit the needs of candidates. The Evening MBA or Morning MBAs are designed for the benefit of working professionals who can continue their current professions while earning an MBA degree. Full time MBA course duration ranges from 11 to 21 months. Shorter courses usually do not include an internship. Executive MBAs are for working professionals with several years of comprehensive work experience including management or budgeting experience.

Worldwide Schools to Choose From

The choice of doing an MBA from schools in a particular country or location is an important parameter for choosing a business school. More often than not, graduating students end up working in the country from which they completed the course. Many schools across the world also specialize in a particular stream of management like consulting, finance or hospitality or healthcare management. Apart from the schools reputation and brand image, students look at rankings, quality of faculty, size of alumni and class diversity to make their choice.

Funding the MBA

Management education is an expensive affair. There are several options availed by students including federal loans, corporate sponsorship, scholarships and assistantships. For international applicants loans may require co-signers who posses citizenship of the target country. Several organizations or financial institutions offer educational loans which are repayable post the MBA course completion. These loans are sometimes granted against collaterals.

Global MBA Fairs

International applicants are usually unable to make campus visits to know more about the institution and get a feel of the atmosphere of their target schools. MBA tours provide an opportunity for students to interact with alumni or members from the admission committee to clarify queries face to face. Some schools also interview prospective candidates face to face in these tours.

Visas and Work Permits

Regulations for international applicants to work in a foreign country vary widely. The UK for example require students to qualify through an HSMP points based system for granting of work permits post their courses. Some countries like Spain do not allow students to continue to work once the student visa expires.

Business School admissions are fiercely competitive and prospective students need to have strong overall applications to secure admission. Solid international work experience, cross cultural diversity, professional and extra curricular activities demonstrating strong leadership and interpersonal skills are few of the differentiating factors that admission committees look out for. Admission committees carefully evaluate the candidates application holistically to gauge a candidates fit to a particular school at the same time balancing the class diversity.

Management education in top B-schools across the world requires adequate planning and preparation. The end result is very rewarding in most cases with professionals moving up in their careers at an accelerated pace or even switching career tracks and job functions needless to say, with much larger paychecks.

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