The Super Duper Ultimate Guide: How to Get Into Business School

If you want to know how to get into business school, look no further. This article contains everything you need to know to determine whether an MBA is right for you in 2021 and how to successfully gain admission to your favorite MBA programs. 

But before I dig in, we just LOOOOOOOVE MBAs! As MBA Admissions Consultants and Professional Development Instructors, there’s nothing we enjoy more than helping aspiring leaders achieve their potential in their career. If you think an MBA is going to help you on your personal journey to your personal top, then you’re gonna wanna work with us. Unless you hate unicorns. Then maybe not.

If you want to chat with us and find out why we’re the perfect guides to help you on your quest for career domination, talk to us.

I’ll just leave this right here for you:

Meantime, let me outline absolutely everything you need to know to get into business school.

Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

What is an MBA for?

An MBA is a terminal advanced degree in business. It’s the masters of choice these days for people who want to make change happen in the world. You’ll develop leadership and critical thinking skills, build confidence and credibility, and gain access to a whole new world of job and leadership opportunities. 

If you’re at the very beginning of your MBA application journey and you’re trying to decide whether an MBA is right for you, which program type is best for your needs (a full-time MBA, part-time MBA, or Executive MBA) then check out What is an MBA for and is it worth indulging your FOMO to get one?

Why get an MBA – Bust the Myths First, Then Go

There are a lot of great reasons to get an MBA and before you construct your applications and MBA essays, you need to answer this question for yourself. Start with Why Get an MBA? Your straight talk guide to answering this polarizing question to get a feel for what the MBA degree is really all about and dig into some popular opinions about why an MBA is good and why an MBA is bad. Decide once and for all if an MBA is worth the hype for you personally.

And then read my account of my own MBA recruiting experience as I bust some myths about how MBA recruiting works and help you decide is an MBA worth it for you. Even if you’ve already decided that you definitely want a Master of Business Administration, this article will help you prepare for amazing personal statements and stand out from the crowd by debunking the delusions many MBAs have during the application process.

How MBA Admissions Really Works

Once you’ve decided that an MBA is definitely for you and you’ve got solid reasons for why you want an MBA, head over to how MBA admissions really works. The truth may surprise you in its simplicity. All the machinations, proofs, convincing, cajoling, and attempts to bend your story to the adcom actually won’t work. The secret to success is so much simpler. 

If you want a quick guide just watch this video:

YouTube video

How to choose schools, what we call “portfolio strategy”

Where can I get in? No guide on how to apply to business school would be complete without handicapping your MBA profile and helping you choose schools.

For most people, the best school for you is the one that is as strong as possible, or in other words, one that’s perennially ranks high in the MBA rankings. Essentially, it’s the most competitive school you can possibly get into given who you are. 

For which schools are you a competitive candidate? Which schools are a reach but worth a shot? And where should you just not even waste your time applying?  Head over here to read about handicapping your MBA odds and choosing a portfolio of schools that gives you the chance to aim high while still keeping your feet on the ground. 

And then, head on over to MBAmo, our MBA Odds Calculator Robot to calibrate your current profile against schools and get a 20+page customized report on how to strengthen your profile and win the MBA admissions game.

Then, once you’ve homed in on a set of schools you like, do your research. Use our framework to decide which business school has the best MBA program for you. Connect with MBA schools in creative ways.  Conduct informational interviews with community members. Download our comprehensive career report to better understand what career placement opportunities your target MBA programs facilitate.

And watch this video on how to be a networking ninja with your favorite MBA programs even when you can’t physically get to campus:

YouTube video

Approach Your B-school Apps with the Right Mindset

Still stressing about what you think the adcom wants to hear? Let’s put your mind at ease about that. MBA admissions is NOT about pandering to an audience; it’s about expressing yourself in all your uniqueness. Here are 6 mantras to make sure you keep your head in the MBA game in the right way. And if your inspirations flags somewhere along the journey, read out tips about how to stay inspired as you apply to business school.

Manage your timeline

Here’s a guide to keeping an eye on your timeline. And bookmark this page of MBA deadlines. This might also be a good moment to talk to us to learn how our robust project management system makes this soooooo much easier for you:

(Check out the video at 0:22 seconds and you’ll see what I mean!)

Rock Your Resume

The MBA Resume Protocol is the only tool you need for an amazing MBA resume that’ll stands out from the pile. Find out why our clients consistently get compliments from MBA Career Services on their bullet points and the power with which they are able to describe their achievements. And grab our free MBA resume template right here to streamline the formatting process.

Tell Epic Stories

Once it’s essay time, be sure not to skimp on the discovery process. Getting to know yourself, your values, and your aspirations better beforehand will ensure your essays ring with authenticity and self-knowledge. Here’s a video that explains how we do discovery at Career Protocol:

YouTube video

Then it’s time to dig into your stories. Start with this guide to great MBA essays. Then move onto our advice about how to tell an epic story for your MBA essays that shows your confident humility, humanity, and whole authentic best self. 

Epic stories are those big scary essays. You know the Harvard Business School Application essay? That one. Stay true to yourself during the writing process and avoid bad advice from friends, family, and alumni. And check out these terrible MBA example essays for what not to do!

We’re storytelling geeks at heart, so talk to us to learn more about how we'll turn you into a storytelling master during our work together. Seriously, we aren’t just editing those essays, we are teaching you a whole new way in which to communicate.

Write a why MBA essay that makes the adcom love you

Figuring out which MBA programs are the best fit for you is kind of like finding that pair of shoes that was just made for you. Except an MBA is for life, so fit is even more important! And fit is a two-way street. Schools want to admit people who will be happy in their community, contribute, and make them proud as an alum.

So if you want to get into business school, you have to show MBA programs that you understand what getting an MBA is all about, that you’ve charted a credible trajectory for your career, and that you’re pursuing an MBA for solid reasons. That seems simple enough, right? Read more here about how to write your “Why MBA Essay” to do just that.

Show schools you’re worth investing in

You might be paying top dollar for that MBA, but programs are taking a chance on you, too! If you want to get that offer of admission from your favorite schools, you need to put their minds at ease by showing them that you’re worth the investment. Dig into much more detail about how to make the MBA admissions committee love you. Once again, it’s not at all what you’re thinking!! In fact, it’s the opposite. 

Crush the interview

Just read Interview Hero. Or talk to us about our profoundly in-depth interview training program that is a part of all our clients’ process.

Last tip: this one is just from us

You are good enough.

That is all. No matter who you are, you can get into business school. You don’t have to beg for acceptance or contort yourself to gain admission. Flip the script. You are on a mission to make the world a better place. Which school do you want to give the honor of helping you on that journey?

Show them who you truly are and they will want to be a part of your success.

We’d also be honored to be a part of your success if you’re someone who’s committed to something bigger than yourself. 

Talk to us about partnering on your Authentic MBA Application and let us make your road to the MBA more efficient, effective, and so much more fun.

Watch this video and, Request a call today.

Angela Guido

Angela Guido

Student of Human Nature| Founder and
Chief Education Officer of Career Protocol

All Posts
Career Protocol Blog Post