How to Prepare for an Online MBA Program

A master’s degree in business administration can unlock many doors for those seeking career advancement, including young entrepreneurs. An MBA can equip you with useful skills in accounting, business forecasting, data modeling, market analysis and product pipeline management. But getting those skills means enrolling in a rigorous and demanding program, and you should do your research before embarking upon this course of study. By preparing in advance, you increase your chances of success.

The primary consideration is the program’s stated academic requirements. However, you should also consider the unstated requirements for this degree. Earning a Master of Business Administration degree can prepare you for the complex and invigorating world of business management. That world is constantly changing as new technologies come into play. While your program will assist you in learning many of these technologies, bear in mind that having some experience with them will facilitate your education once you are in the program. As part of your pre-program work experience, make sure you take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.

Do Your Reading

When considering an institution’s online MBA program, you should prepare a simple checklist of the program’s entry requirements. Visit the school’s website and read over their basic enrollment requirements. Do they require an undergraduate degree of any kind? Does the degree have to be business related, and if so, what types of business-related degrees are acceptable? Are there other requirements that might be pertinent to your background (demonstration of English language skills, in the case of foreign applicants)?

Does the institution require a certain GMAT or GRE score? Are there secondary considerations based on applicable work experience? You should probably put together a resume, highlighting relevant work experience or other related experience. Does the school require any written material from you as part of their admissions process? Is there a requirement for letters of recommendation?

Do the Writing

Many schools also require you to submit one or more personal essays, outlining your desire to obtain the MBA degree. This is where preparing your resume comes in handy; you’ll have a base document that informs the narrative in your personal essays.

Speaking of essay writing, do you have to write a letter to the people you will approach for letters of recommendation? Have you ordered transcripts from your undergraduate institution? And don’t forget to look at the school’s deadlines for the different parts of your admissions packet. Make sure you allow enough time for all the parts to come together.

Do the Math

When does the term start? What are you going to do for finances while you are taking these classes? Is there financial aid you might qualify for? How much paperwork is involved? Check into the possibility of a pre-orientation seminar for prospective students. Remember to look into the success rate for program graduates. What sort of jobs do they land after graduation? What sort of internship opportunities are available through the program? You’re about to spend time and money on this degree; make sure the investment will provide you with ample returns.

And if your background falls short of program requirements, don’t despair. Take some time to research the preparation required. Maybe it’s a handful of community college courses or some variant of a MOOC (massive open online course). You may also need to prepare for and take the GMAT, for instance.

If earning an MBA is your dream, it is well worth some extra paperwork, a bit of legwork, and a few essays on the depth and passion of your dream to make it a reality.

Learn more about Baylor University’s online MBA program.


Sources:

U.S. News & World Report: 5 Tips for Applying to Online MBA Programs 

Forbes: Heading to Business School? An Essential Pre-MBA Strategy to Hit the Ground Running


Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.