What are the top MBA programs and business schools looking for in a candidate?

by ARINGO, May 4, 2022


Top MBA programs and business schools are very selective in the application process. Each school receives thousands of applications from candidates around the country and all over the world. Since the average acceptance rate is under 20% at most of these schools, only the most exceptional candidates will be accepted. Check this link for more details: Top Programs Growing More Selective


Below are the top 5 elements that top MBA programs and business schools look for in candidates. If you possess them all, you’ll have the best chance of getting accepted into a good business school of your choice.


1) Excellent Academic Performance

Excellent academic performance is one of the most important aspects. Getting into any top MBA program can be challenging if you had a poor GPA in your prior education. Top business schools favor candidates with a 3.7 or higher GPA. If you have a lower GPA, the best way to counterbalance this is with an above-average standardized test score on exams like GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment.


Also, a strong record of extracurricular activities on your resume will give you extra points. Business schools want candidates who’ve gone beyond the bare minimum and prefer a well-rounded profile.


2) Authentic Strengths and Weaknesses

When asked, candidates must list their strengths and weaknesses on their applications. Don’t say that you have no weaknesses because the admissions officer wants to see authenticity and honesty. The idea is to show humility by listing your weaknesses and showing an interest in overcoming them as a business student.


3) Well Written Admissions Essay

Top business schools require you to write one or more essays with your application. The essay is a personal statement about your accomplishments, skills, abilities, and goals.


The admissions committee will consider this information very important. They will focus on your goals, attributes, achievements, clarity of thoughts, and of course writing skills.


4) Work History

MBA candidates must have some work history on their resumes. Most programs are looking for a minimum of two years of work experience at the time of application. If you have chosen to attend school full-time and avoided work entirely, you will need to present a strong case as to why you should be admitted to the program.


Business schools want candidates who have shown excellence at work with solid career progression. It demonstrates that they have the motivation to achieve success.


5) Leadership Skills

Leadership is an important trait that can certainly help. MBA graduates must prove themselves to be true leaders because their future careers will likely be supervisory or executive-level positions.


If you’ve already obtained leadership skills from your work experience, it will put you at the very top of the application list. Other areas where you can show leadership skill is through extra-curricular activities like being captain of a sports team, heading a club in college, serving as the president of a non-profit, etc.


Take a look at the list of admissions drivers most MBA admission committees to value the most: https://www.aringo.com/mba-admission-drivers/