How MBA Admissions Works

Letters of Recommendation, Transcripts and Interviews

Interviews are part of some MBA admissions processes, so make sure you're prepared.
Interviews are part of some MBA admissions processes, so make sure you're prepared.
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Most MBA programs require that applicants submit letters of recommendation from people familiar with their academic credentials or experience in the business world. When thinking about whom to ask for letters of recommendation, consider all of the people who could speak highly of your business or academic accomplishments. They should be able to attest to your strengths and how you interact with others, offering specific and concrete examples of your accomplishments.

After you've decided on the people who'll write your recommendations, make sure that they include in their letters information about how long and in what capacity they've know you. Give your recommendation writers plenty of time to craft a letter, and thank them after they've written it. Once the process is over, let them know if you got into the program. Not only is this a polite way to thank your recommendation writers, it's also a good way to foster relationships in both the business and academic world.

In addition to letters of recommendation, you'll also need to request that each academic institution you've attended send your transcripts to the appropriate MBA programs. You should follow school-specific instructions when sending in these materials.

Finally, after you have all of your application materials squared away, you'll need to check if your MBA program recommends or requires an interview. If you decide to interview, prepare by practicing with a career counselor or someone else with experience in the business world. Think about questions MBA programs might ask you and about how you can sell yourself and speak to your strengths. When you go to your interview, make sure you're dressed in appropriate business attire. You not only want to make a good impression on paper, but you also will want to appear professional in person. The combination of your test scores, academic record, professional experience and personal demeanor will give MBA programs a good idea of how well you would fit into their school.

You've learned about all of the factors that go into an MBA application. But what matters most? Read the next page to find out the most important factors for MBA admissions committees.