A great MBA admissions strategy: focus on the agenda

November 29, 2012


An article by Stacy Blackman earlier this month on the GMAT club talks about an incredible MBA admissions strategy: specifying a learning agenda. MBA applicants often struggle with how to answer that looming question: What exactly do you want to learn at business school? It is a terrible MBA admissions strategy to give flat, generic answers, and the more specific your answer is, the better.

Blackman says, “It’s insufficient to say that you want to learn more about accounting, finance, or marketing. Every MBA student learns about those; they’re called required courses.” In the end, showing that you’re a serious candidate “comes down to clearly articulating your learning agenda…[and being] specific about why business school is the logical next step in your career progression, rather than painting with a broad brush.”

She elaborates on this MBA admissions strategy by offering advice for how to go about this.

“If you have a particular strength in your candidacy, you may choose to develop that element further. You may have worked in marketing for the last four years, for example, but you want to further your knowledge of brand building among young people and unconventional sales channel development to help you launch a certain entrepreneurial idea you have.”

She suggests, “As you think about your learning agenda, be as concrete as possible. When you’re considering subject areas, don’t just think marketing; instead, think brand management, channel creation, or pricing.”

This is a great MBA admissions strategy because it highlights the importance for specificity and concrete thinking. Blackman also stresses the importance of going outside of your comfort zone and thinking about different economies and encourages you to emphasize in your application that you are interested in learning about different areas.

“If you’re well-versed in organizational behavior as applied to U.S. companies, maybe you want to learn about the differences in India, the Middle East, or Latin America. Or you may want to learn about investing in China or Canada. You will have plenty of classmates and case materials to help you learn about these different economies.”

Hopefully this MBA admissions strategy will help you focus your application to Washington DC MBA programs. Remember: specificity is key!

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