Do You Have What it Takes to Earn an MBA?

Attending business school to attain an MBA is widely seen as a path to earning a higher salary, growing your career, and learning essential skills for getting ahead in the professional world. However, MBA programs are known for being difficult, so it is vital to assess your abilities before taking on such a big commitment.

Study Skills

Strong study skills are the cornerstone to any successful academic pursuit, and they are critical to getting an MBA even before a student begins their chosen program. Getting accepted into an MBA program requires a strong performance on the entrance test, known as the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

The exam measures the student’s skill in four areas: analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. One unique aspect of this test is that it is computer-adaptive, meaning the questions’ difficulty is adjusted to meet the test taker’s ability. MBA admissions consulting services can explain in further detail how to prepare for each section.

If you want to make the most of your study time, you will want to hone your notetaking skills. Rewriting or highlighting large portions of what you read will not get you as far as selectively summarizing the key concepts.

Time Management Skills

Not everyone has the time to commit fully to an MBA program, as you’ll be juggling your other commitments, like work and family, with your studies. It is essential to take control of the situation and set aside time during each day to focus solely on your tasks. Think of it as an appointment with your doctor, which includes a fee for canceling. In this case, the cost is the thousands of dollars in the tuition you’ll have wasted if you do not pass.

Organization will be vital to making the most of your limited time. Be sure to manage your varying deadlines for critical assignments and tests carefully. It often helps to work backward on your calendar when planning study hours and, if possible, overestimating the amount of time you’ll need. 

Communication Skills

While many undergraduate degrees are more solitary in practice concerning the coursework, MBA students will find they are forced to collaborate more with their classmates. This is to emphasize the importance of communication and teamwork in a successful career.

To succeed in this type of program, you will need to be comfortable delivering presentations and speaking with authority on the subject matter. You will also need to work with a group to develop those presentations, which requires completely different skills. Conflict is bound to arise amongst a team, and knowing how to resolve any issues tactfully will be the deciding factor for the team’s success.

There is also a degree of self-assurance needed from each member of the group to voice their opinions. This has nothing to do with ego and everything to do with each member wanting to see the team succeed. Staying silent when noticing the team is headed in the wrong direction is not an emotional courtesy to the other members. It is harmful.  

Leadership Skills

An MBA isn’t just about improving your ability to collaborate and work in a team. It is also preparing you to be a leader in your profession. Many MBA students go on to be managers at their companies, which requires confidence and maturity to make others want to follow you.

Throughout your MBA program, your leadership skills will be tested and, if needed, developed so that you can thrive in your future position. Skills like learning how to coach your subordinates and give constructive criticism will be crucial to your success as a manager. Everybody has worked for a manager who was a nightmare at some point in their careers, and everybody should strive to avoid being that manager to someone else.

Networking

One of the most significant benefits of going to business school is the professional connections made. Not only will your classmates someday be leaders in their industries, but companies recruit directly out of MBA programs to fill highly desirable roles.

While you need to prioritize your studies to succeed, it would be a mistake to ignore your disposal’s social benefits. Many applicants pick schools primarily based on networking opportunities.

Is an MBA Right for You?

MBA programs come at a significant cost while having great rewards. It is difficult to assess whether an applicant has what it takes or if it will be worth it in the end. Ultimately, only you can determine whether an MBA program is the right choice for you.