Why Get an MBA Now?

by , Jul 22, 2011

In the next few months we'll be addressing major application essay topics that, as an MBA applicant to a top business school, you'll likely encounter. These posts will help you write essays asking the classic "Why get an MBA now?" question (that will be the topic of this post), approach creative/off-beat essays, respond to the criticism essay question, and answer the "weakness" essay. We will also provide tips on the goals essay, the leadership essay, and the reapplicant essay. Check back with us every week to stay up-to-date on our more current MBA essay tips!

The question, "Why do you want to get an MBA now?" generally follows the question "Why do you want to get an MBA?" and you usually can't answer one without the other. After all, if you don't know why you want to go to b-school, then you certainly won't be able to answer the when question. The rest of this post assumes you have nailed the why.

Before you draft an answer to this question, you'll need to do some solid introspection on your own. Use the questions below to guide you in determining whether you should apply to business school this coming fall.

  1. Is the quality and quantity of your work experience comparable to that of accepted applicants to your target program? Check the recent class profile for this information. If it's far from the mean, either quantitatively or qualitatively, consider a different program or a different time.
  2. Has your career progression plateaued? Is your learning curve looking like the US growth rate for the last two years? If so, you have an indication that now is a good time to obtain an MBA. Alternatively, if you are looking forward to growth, promotion, leadership, and increased responsibility, you might be wiser to wait.
  3. Do you have a solid post-MBA goal? (Hating your current job doesn't cut it.) If you don't, it's not the right time to pursue an MBA. If you do have clear direction and purpose, then you have another indication that now is the time for your MBA.
  4. Are personal factors -- significant other, family needs, health factors, finances -- supportive of an MBA now?

Once you've answered these questions for yourself, then you'll have an easier time putting your thoughts into words. The adcoms will be scouring your essay for hints of your maturity and focus, as well as a sense of purpose. Let your readers know that you are prime b-school material, and that your MBA dreams can't be put on hold for another moment. Now is the time.