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MBA Showcase - North America

You and your MBA

Deciding whether or not to continue your education by pursuing a master's degree in business will probably be one of the biggest decisions of your professional life. Furthering one's education is quite beneficial in todays fast pace job market. We are in a new age of business where three little letters on your resume can potentially make a big difference in the number of zero's at the end of your paycheck. Choosing to pursue any type of graduate school should be a means of achieving one's specific career goals. Business school is certainly not something you should pursue if you are relatively unclear about the path of your professional future. Attending an MBA program is a big time, as well as financial commitment. There are many factors to consider before taking this immense and sometimes rather daunting step. That is why learning about different options and understanding the steps to choosing and applying to Business School can be quite helpful.

After making the conscious decision to begin your pursuit of a master's degree in business, the first logical step is taking the Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT. The GMAT is a standardized computer adaptive test given by the Educational Testing Service, which consists of three sections- math, verbal, and writing. This test does require some preparation, so it might be in your best interest to enroll in a class or study on your own before taking the exam. Your scores on the GMAT are very important to your candidacy as a prospective student to a business school. In addition to your GMAT score, an MBA program will look at work experience, undergraduate grades and GPA, interviews, reference letters, and application essays. Of course every MBA program has their own unique set of qualifications they are searching for in a prospective student. So it may be beneficial to do some additional research on what each individual program expects from its applicants.

As you search for an MBA program that fits your requirements as well, keep in mind what fits your current budget. For example, are you looking for a full-time program in which you would devote two non-working years, or a part-time program that allows you to still earn a steady income? There are all sorts of business programs out there, decide on one that fits your schedule. According to Usnews.com and the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average graduate student is 33 years old. Many have regular jobs with families including children. Therefore, enrolling in a part-time MBA program is a very practical choice.

Another factor to consider, when selecting an MBA program, is the quality of the faculty. Make sure the people shaping your education are qualified business leaders; research their backgrounds. Also, assess the administrative support the school can offer you. Make sure you know and understand all the services the business school can offer, including financial support. Obviously, finances play an important role in this decision. Getting an MBA can potentially put you in serious debt. On the bright side, there are so many payment plans, scholarship options, and financial aid that can help you afford this investment. Also, if your company is reimbursing you for tuition, know whether or not your MBA program of choice expects the money up-front or offers a delayed payment plan. This could save you from an array of unnecessary financial troubles.

Having those three special letters, M, B, and A on your resume does not guarantee success. Success will come from the education you receive from the MBA program and how you choose to apply those skills. An MBA will change the way you view the world of business. Hopefully, it will give you the knowledge needed to compete in today's job market as well as help you reach your personal and professional goals.

Editorial submitted by:
Troy University

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Henley Management College
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Audencia Nantes - School of Management
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Fordham Graduate School of Business
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ESMT European School of Management and Technology
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