After working a few years, you may decide that you are ready to apply to MBA programs. Personally, I have been thinking about applying to MBA programs since I graduated college in 2008. Consequently, I am a somewhat unique applicant. I took some steps well in advance of applying to MBA programs that have been extremely beneficial. I am going to write a series of posts going through each of the steps you should take prior to applying to MBA programs.
Step 1: Why MBA? – Is an MBA Right for me?
I don’t care what anybody else tells you, this is by far the most important step in the entire application process. Tuition to MBA programs can be pretty steep (over $100k for top programs). Thus, you should spend a lot of time deciding why and MBA is right for you.
Three common responses prospective students give to the “Why MBA” question are:
- Change of Career
- Advance Career
- Personal Development
Those are by no means all of the reasons, just some of the common responses. You might fall into one of these categories or you might not. Regardless, you need to decide why an MBA is right for you.
Here are some questions that you should ask yourself to help decide if an MBA is right for you:
- What are my short term and long term goals? What specific skills do you need to achieve these goals?
- Will an MBA provide the necessary skills and help me achieve my goals?
- Will I stay with my current employer and attend a part-time program or quit my job and attend a full-time program?
- Am I ready to dedicate myself for the next 2-3 years to get my MBA?
The application process is daunting and expensive and you don’t want to put yourself through this process unless you are sure that an MBA is for you. Accordingly, you should spend a lot of time thinking about these questions. In fact, you should write down your answers to these questions. It will be extremely beneficial to you later in the application process if you already have the answers to these questions. Undoubtedly, you will come across this “Why MBA” question many times on your applications.
Have you thought about getting an MBA? Do you think an MBA is right for you? If you already have an MBA, why did you decide to get one?