MBA Preparation

Is an MBA applicant a ‘buyer’ or a ‘seller’?

April 7 2015 By The MBA Exchange
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In every business transaction, there’s a buyer and a seller. The buyer assesses quality and value before committing to a purchase. At the same time, the seller considers and presents features and benefits intended to convince the buyer to commit. However, when it comes to business school admissions, the most astute applicants are those who think of themselves as both a buyer AND a seller throughout the application process. Based on our past experience advising more than 3,500 clients at The MBA Exchange, we proposed these key questions to ask and answer from each perspective… MBA Applicant as a Buyer:
1. How does the school’s class profile align with my candidacy?
2. Do the school’s academic offerings deliver the specific knowledge and skills I want and need?
3. Is the school’s culture one that will make me feel comfortable yet expand my perspective?
4. Is my candidacy likely to generate an offer of merit-based aid?
5. Does the school attract recruiters from the companies where I’d like to work?
6. Does the alumni network have active chapters in the places where I’m most likely to live? MBA Applicant as Seller:
1. How can I differentiate my candidacy yet show compatibility with other students?
2. Which of my most significant attributes, experiences and skills would add the greatest value for classmates?
3. Which campus organizations, events or initiatives could gain from my participation? 4. How would achieving my post-MBA career goal be a positive reflection on the school? 5. Which ways could I most benefit current students and fellow graduates as an alumnus/alumna?
6. How can I convince the adcom that I would accept their offer of admission if one is extended to me? By approaching the MBA admissions process as both a buyer and a seller, you’ll craft a more balanced, substantive and authentic candidacy that schools view as neither arrogant nor timid. (And, come to think of it, the schools themselves are also "buying and selling" in their dealings with applicants.) Through demonstrating this dual perspective throughout your campaign, you can maximize chances for closing the deal and gaining admission.