In recent years, as MBA programs have become more accessible to larger groups of applicants that cross many different boundaries. Since graduate education is now a requirement for many career opportunities, it is in the best interest of many students seeking advanced placement and strong income potential in the careers of their choice to consider an MBA degree. As a result, MBA programs have become highly competitive, and the selection process is equally aggressive. There are a number of interesting perspectives to consider when reviewing the literature related to MBA admissions with respect to diversity, interviewing and other related issues. Therefore, prior to submitting an application to any MBA program, prospective applicants should be aware of information that might not be obvious within the application itself.
Many applicants to MBA programs are unaware of the true competitive nature of these programs, as well as the types of candidates that are often considered for admission. Most schools encourage cultural diversity in their applicant pools, and some applicants might be surprised by this degree of selectivity, as committees look at candidates from a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds, and countries throughout the world. The selection of international students also continues to increase, and the level of competitiveness between American and international applicants creates new challenges for admissions committees in maintaining diversity and successful outcomes.
Furthermore, although many schools continue to operate based on the merit of applications, academic performance, and extracurricular activities, an increasing number of schools also require a formal in-person interview as the key requirement for admission. Schools that possess top rankings from an academic standpoint are likely to require these interviews, as they make decisions regarding the most appropriate candidates for admission. For many students, it may be difficult to visit the school of choice for an interview opportunity, but it is nonetheless required and encouraged in many cases, particularly when seeking admission to top-tier schools such as Harvard University or the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. An emerging concept in MBA admissions is video interviewing, particularly when prospective applicants are unable to visit a campus in person due to distance or for other reasons. Video interviews demonstrate an applicant’s potential for success, their creativity, and their ability to manipulate technology in the desired manner.
For some applicants, there is much confusion regarding the waiting period for applicant notifications and news of admission or denial, as well as the deadlines that each college or university establishes for all application submissions. Applicants face the best possible outcomes if they review the guidelines of their prospective schools early and frequently to ensure that they will not miss any requirements of the application process. Applicants that do not review these requirements carefully are not likely to gain acceptance to the school of their choice without many difficulties, and repeat applications may even be required. In general, advanced preparation and research are the keys to a successful MBA application endeavor.