What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.
Each year, we hear from a few people who think their professional position is a liability when applying to business school: “I am a school teacher. Maybe if I transitioned to consulting, I would get into the school of my dreams.” Although bankers and consultants are certainly much more represented at top business schools than teachers, this is not evidence of a bias among admissions officers, but of the nature of those workplaces. Most bankers and consultants need an MBA to progress past a certain point on the corporate ladder, whereas no teacher truly needs that MBA to progress.
What is more important than focusing on an industry or on a particular community endeavor is your performance in your endeavors. Classes at top-ranked MBA programs have space for high-performing consultants, bankers, and teachers—something that cannot be said for low-performing individuals in any field. Top programs want a diversity of experience in their classrooms and the promise of achievement going forward, not a job title.
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