How Can I Strengthen my Online MBA Application?

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Applying to graduate school can be stressful. Luckily, there are multiple ways to improve your chances of acceptance and strengthen your Online MBA application. The following is a list of seven simple ways to improve your application for the Online MBA of your dreams. You should note that many of these suggestions may take time to accomplish. So if you are working on your undergraduate degree, now would be a great time to get started! If you are ready to apply now, improve the things that you can, and don’t be discouraged if there are still a few things to work on before your application is in top shape. 

School Selection

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Doing your research and choosing an Online MBA program that fits your qualifications, budget, goals, and graduation timeline is one of the most important parts of getting accepted. Remember to look for OMBA programs that hold business accreditation as a first step. After that, make sure that you meet at least 80% of the application requirements. Some programs are more competitive than others, but for the most part, if you are close to meeting the application expectations, you may still have a shot at getting accepted. For example, many online MBA programs will waive their GMAT/GRE requirements based on undergraduate GPA and prior professional experience. On that same note, if you notice a program requires several years of work experience, and you are only beginning your career, that may not be the program for you. Use discretion, but if a program seems like it could be a good fit, fill out an application! Just be sure to apply to multiple schools so that you have many options and can enter into a program that really meets your individual needs. 

GPA

Your GPA is an important aspect of Online Master’s of Business Administration applications. Suppose you have already completed your undergraduate degree and your grades are not ideal. In that case, you may want to consider taking a few courses in order to show your commitment and abilities in academics. Some schools consider overall GPA, while others may look specifically at business-related courses. Another option is to complete free business-related courses through sites like Edx or Coursera to show skill mastery. These classes will not replace your GPA. But if you are on the bubble, certificates from these types of courses may be taken into consideration. If you want more information on how to take Online MBA courses for free, this article can help!

GMAT or GRE Scores

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Standardized tests can be intimidating, but they offer several advantages as well. For many, their GPA is more or less set. The GMAT and GRE provide great opportunities to strengthen your Online MBA application. Improvement is always an option, because they can be taken multiple times, and there are many top-notch study materials to help you be prepared to perform your best. An important note is that schools will only look at your highest score. Many OMBAs will accept excellent GMAT scores as a replacement for grade point averages that are within a close range of the program’s expectations. You may want to consider taking your GMAT or GRE as soon as possible. This will take one step of the application process off of your plate and give you time to retake if necessary. Not all schools require GMAT scores, and a good number will substitute years of professional experience for the GMAT. However, if you test well, these tests can definitely be used to your advantage. 

Relevant Work Experience and Recommendations

One of the things that Online MBA programs and future employers look for is a track record of upward mobility. If promoting before you start applying for OMBA programs isn’t an option, it may be worth brainstorming ways to test out more senior responsibilities. This could include mentoring a new hire, leading a team meeting, or taking on a leadership role that is needing to be filled. Some applicants even take a new job prior to applying as a way to show growth. This is not always advisable unless you are sure that the new position aligns with your future career goals. On this same note, recommendation letters play a key role in most Online MBA applications. Leaving a job abruptly could result in an unfavorable exit from your current job. And while professional progression and development are important, there are many ways to show leadership potential while still staying in good graces with current employers. 

Essays

Having an idea of the type of essay questions asked in Online MBA applications can save you a lot of time and stress. Many programs change their applications yearly but taking a look at previous years’ applications can be very helpful. According to the Princeton Review, a few of the common essay prompts include

  • Describe your reasons for pursuing an MBA.
  • What leisure activities or community activities do you enjoy participating in?
  • Who is a person that you greatly admire?
  • Describe a personal achievement that made a significant impact on your life.
  • Describe a situation where you led a team. What challenges were there, and what skills did you use to overcome them?

Extracurricular Activities or Internships

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It is important to admissions committees that their applicants are well-rounded individuals. Your work experience, GMAT, and GPA are all important parts of your application. But a list of meaningful extracurricular activities is a way to stand out and make your application memorable. This is another area where business schools look for consistency. School clubs and organizations are a great way to make friends, help the community, and network with like-minded peers. The quality and quantity of your contributions are important. If you helped build a community garden once as an undergraduate student, that is great, but helping maintain that garden on a weekly or monthly basis shows a continued commitment to the cause. If you haven’t been too involved in the past, it isn’t too late. There are many organizations that specialize in community services. It is also not unusual for big companies to sponsor community service projects from within. 

Action Plans

You may be wondering what now? If you are still enrolled in your undergraduate program, now is a great time to think about strengthening your Online MBA application. Get involved with extracurricular activities and pay attention to your GPA. If you are within a year of graduation, it is time to start studying for the GMAT or GRE. You will also want to look into entry-level positions or internships to start bulking up your resume with professional work experience. And if you are a current working professional, be sure to seek out leadership roles and possible promotions in order to show professional growth. With these simple steps, you are sure to impress the Online MBA admissions teams!