Dos and Don’ts for Entrepreneurs Applying for an MBA

Dos and Don’ts for Entrepreneurs Applying for an MBA

Entrepreneurs who decide to go for an MBA degree to grow their business will have to prepare their application with their unique profile and background in mind.

There is more than one factor to consider when crafting your MBA application – essays, letters of recommendation, and your fit for the program just scratch the surface. Still, entrepreneurs will find these dos and don’ts helpful in the first stages of their preparation for business school.

Think of the classroom experience

Many professionals, and especially entrepreneurs, value the practical element of the MBA classroom. Experiential learning has become a popular teaching method for a reason as it puts everything in context and helps students see how business works in a real environment. The benefit of learning by doing for entrepreneurs is undeniable but there’s also a lot to learn from more traditional classroom teaching. Here is what entrepreneur and Wharton MBA graduate Allison Berliner shares about her study experience:

Contrary to popular belief, I’m going to say that my classroom experience was the most valuable part of my time at school. […] I focused my coursework on marketing, and some of these classes truly blew my mind. […] Not all MBA marketing classes are created equal, but if you can find intensive, quantitative courses taught by leading researchers, you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth.

As you can see, this is not so much a tip for your application, but a fundamental moment in your self-reflection and choice of the right program. It’s essential to know what you are looking for and what to expect from your MBA journey as an entrepreneur. Make sure your goals and expectations are clear throughout your application package.

Don’t be preoccupied with your level of success

Not everyone has experience of big consultancy firms and not everyone has had success in their entrepreneurial ventures. What matters is your individuality and how you have managed to step up your game even in times of crisis. As Stacy Blackman, MBA admissions consultant, and her team emphasize, it’s always a good idea to demonstrate the uniqueness of your profile:

“Far more important to MBA admissions readers is what you have done relative to what you have been given. It now helps to come from a less traveled path, such as outside the top feeder schools and outside of the dense geographies. Admissions readers love a great story.”

Check out: Application Advice for an MBA in Entrepreneurship

In other words, don’t feel discouraged if you have an uncommon entrepreneurial background in a non-business industry. As long as you find the right words and make a strong connection to your career goals in the future, the uniqueness of your profile will work in your favour.

Don’t spend too much time describing your business idea

As a professional eager to start your MBA program or concentration in Entrepreneurship, you might be overwhelmed with ideas about possible new ventures. Of course, it’s great to be inspired and offer specific examples when describing your career objectives in the application. However, you also need to avoid turning your essay or admissions interview into an entrepreneurial pitch. The purpose of the application is to give the school a clear idea of why you belong in this program and how you will be able to contribute to the classroom experience. Specific business ideas should come second.

This is also what Mark Skoskiewicz, MBA graduate from Kellogg School of Management (US), learned from his experience. Here is what he recommends in an article for BusinessBecause:

Admissions committees are interested in understanding how an MBA fits into your career plans and what you’ll bring to the community. You shouldn’t waste too much time describing details of specific ideas. This takes space away from describing the ways in which MBA school will help you pursue the idea.

Check out: B-Schools Adapt to a Changing Workplace

Although you can try different admission strategies as an entrepreneur, the main components of your MBA application remain the same. Follow the essay prompts and requirements listed by your school of choice strictly, just as other applicants should.

Are you ready to discover your next entrepreneurial experience at business school?


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