Making assumptions is risky when it comes to MBA admissions

When considering an MBA education at a top business school, there are three assumptions that many individuals make:

  1. Slam dunk! Whenever I apply, I’ll be accepted so there’s no rush to prepare.
  2. No way! If I apply, I probably won’t get admitted so I won’t give it my best effort.
  3. Maybe later! If I wait and apply in the future, I’ll have a better chance of being admitted.

However, there’s substantial uncertainty with each of these assumptions that’s important to consider. For those who believe that acceptance is a given, awaiting only submission of an application, the result could be a rude awakening.

The fact is top business schools have a surplus of highly qualified, highly motivated applicants every round. Those with stellar credentials who are denied admission are rarely, if ever, told why they weren’t admitted. However, there are aspects of every MBA candidacy that can be showcased, mitigated or explained in a manner that will improve the chances for success.

For those who apply half-heartedly because they believe acceptance is unlikely, they’re disregarding the opportunity to leverage their strengths, resolve their vulnerabilities and become truly competitive. Having a modest undergrad GPA, a below average GMAT or GRE, an overrepresented professional profile, or a lack of current leadership responsibilities need not preclude someone from getting serious consideration at a selective business school. A thorough, thoughtful admissions campaign can repair, revive and elevate a candidacy more than many applicants think possible.

Finally, for those who believe they will be more likely to be admitted in a few more years, that’s not necessarily true. It’s impossible to predict the future with total certainty. Wishful thinking that one’s career history, test scores, community involvement, etc., will magically improve is not sufficient to make it happen. Without a clear action plan in place, an MBA candidacy is unlikely to improve with age.

In all three of the above cases, there’s one free and easy step that can provide immediate objectivity and clarity regarding admission – an evaluation of the candidacy by an MBA admissions expert like The MBA Exchange. Having advised over 5,000 applicants over the past three decades, we know what it takes to get admitted. Providing us with the basics of your background and goals will enable our team to provide you with a personalized assessment of your candidacy so you can make a confident, fact-based decision about how, when and where to proceed.

When it comes to MBA admission, the most accurate assumption is that there are thousands of other candidates seeking the same positive outcome as you. So, starting the process soon, prioritizing the steps, and doing it right is the only way to win.