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Are You Ready for Business School? Here's Your Self-Assessment Checklist

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You’ve decided to attend graduate business school—congratulations! You likely have many questions, such as “When should you apply?” or “How will you finance your MBA?” This article has the self-assessment checklist, answers, and resources you need.

As you embark on your journey, consider the impact an MBA or graduate business degree may have on your personal, professional, and academic life. Watch the video below and think through these questions to help you in the admissions process, particularly with your application timeline, essays, and interviews.

Personal questions for your best business school experience

Attending business school will have an impact on your personal life, including your personal development, time, location, finances, and family. Now is a good time to plot your course from undergraduate to postgraduate and define your personal goals as they relate to getting a graduate business degree.

  • Why are you pursuing a graduate business degree?
  • Why consider an MBA versus another graduate school degree?
  • What are your natural strengths and weaknesses? Can you clearly articulate them?
  • Can you define who you are in terms of what is important to you?
  • How will your family life be affected by your decision to attend business school?
  • What level of financial security and income is important to you?
  • How will you finance your MBA or other graduate business school degree?
  • Do you want to relocate for business school?
  • Where would you like to live after completing your degree?

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Video: How do I manage the application process so that I put my best foot forward?

Full Video Transcript

Professional considerations as you start the MBA application process

Business school broadens your horizons and catapults you into a whole new sphere, leading to major career shifts. As you prepare to submit your business school essay and application, think about how your professional life will be impacted and what you envision your future career to look like.

  • What is your career objective?
  • What field, job function, or industry interests you?
  • Are there particular careers where your skills could be especially valuable?
  • What does job satisfaction mean to you?
  • Why is obtaining a graduate business degree the next step for you? Will it help you get where you want to go?
  • How would you revise your career goals if you did not obtain a graduate business degree?

“Which MBA Program is right for me?” and other academic questions

Another major consideration is what your academic expectations are and how you want business education to help you achieve your goals.

  • What is important to you in a graduate business degree?
  • What educational background is preferred for your proposed career? Does the industry value certain types of degree programs over others?
  • What other training or experience can help you achieve your goals?
  • Can you identify gaps in your background, experience, or training that could stop you from reaching your goals?
  • Would you prefer to study full- or part-time? Do you have the discipline and drive to be a student for up to two years (for a full-time program)?

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Resources to get you ready for the GMAT™ exam and more

You’ve pondered these personal, professional, and academic questions. Time to map out your MBA application timeline; prepare for GMAT studying and test day; and set strategies for acing your business school interview.

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