To MBA or Not MBA? – That is the Question

With apologies to William Shakespeare for paraphrasing from Hamlet, this query is at the heart of every MBA admissions campaign. It’s essential for an applicant to understand his or her true motivation before investing six figures and two years in pursuit of a b-school degree. And the answer is just as meaningful to the admissions committee that will decide whether to admit the applicant.

The response to “Why an MBA?” cannot be superficial or generic since that will only make the candidacy seem superficial or generic. So, producing an authentic, distinctive and compelling answer is mandatory for a serious applicant. This reply provides a window to his or her potential, values and self-awareness.

With that in mind, here’s a three-step approach from The MBA Exchange that might help you frame your answer:

1. Start with an analysis of your past and present. Examine what you’ve learned, accomplished and enjoyed most. Consider which skills have served you well and which limitations have constrained you.

2. Next, formulate a specific hypothesis for your future. Draw from your experiences, skills and interests. Dream big and bold! What would you love to do? Where do you want to be? What is your best path to get there?

3. Now, connect the dots by articulating how an MBA education can help you leverage your abilities, mitigate your vulnerabilities, and reach your highest potential.

Such deep introspection is difficult for many b-school candidates to accomplish on their own. That’s why we address this in the first stage of our comprehensive admissions consultation so our clients will have a solid foundation on which to position themselves for admission.

By confronting and conquering the rather intimidating “Why an MBA?” question, you’ll gain valuable insights about yourself and the world around you. At the same time, you’ll be showing the admissions committee how you can be an asset to future classmates, alumni and the school itself.

In conclusion, let’s consider another iconic quote from Mr. Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “If we are true to ourselves, we cannot be false to anyone.” Wow, it appears that The Bard of Avon would have made a rather formidable MBA applicant himself!