Pursuing an MBA can be one of the toughest decisions a young professional has to make, some rush the decision and realize they are not quite ready for showtime come application season or even worse during their time in b-school.
Self-assessment is the key when it comes to making this decision.
Consider the four aspects listed below as you decide whether you should pursue an MBA right now:
Are you personally and professionally ready to make the most of an MBA? This question is not the same as could you get into business school, but is right now the ideal time for you and your career. MBA programs are looking to admit mature candidates who know exactly what they want out of the experience. So make sure you take personal inventory of your situation before you make a decision. Keep in mind age is not the only indicator of maturity, however; the average age of admits ranges between 27-30 so programs are looking for experienced applicants.
MBA programs are looking for the best and the brightest young professionals from around the world, so competition is stiff! Do you have the accomplishments befitting a top flight MBA admit? This is the time when you must honestly assess your candidacy. This involves looking at your academic, professional, and civic accomplishments and ascertaining the interpersonal skills you have developed and impact you have made thus far in your career.
Are you financially ready to take on the commitment of business school? With tuition from many programs well into the six figures, the cost of an MBA is rising year after year. Options like student loans, scholarships, and fellowships do exist so make sure to factor these into any potential projections. Also, make sure your decision to pursue admission is based on holistic reasons and not simply to make more money.
Do you have the time to put together a compelling application? The entire business school application process is very time intensive. From school research to GMAT prep to writing those pesky essays, applying to business school is a major commitment.
Utilize the tips above to help you decide if right now is the best time for you to apply to business school.
Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here.