This month, we thought we would feature a series of weekly application tips – from research to interiew – for those of you who are preparing for an MBA.
One of the first questions we’re often asked at MBA fairs and events is :
‘Why should I do my MBA at IMD?’
And yet, in reality, this is the wrong starting place, because it’s possible that IMD might not be the right place for you.
So what is the starting point?
Think about why you want to do an MBA. What are the gaps you are hoping to fill, the skills you seek to learn, the network you want to join.
If you’re feeling stuck in your career, what’s holding you back and where do you want to go? Allow yourself to dream, to imagine any and all possibiities – brainstorm with yourself and see where you end up!
Think long-term goal and then work out how to get there, starting with your dream post-graduate options and including a realistic backup plan B or C.
How long can you afford to take off from your current career? What are the pros and cons of a one-year versus a two-year program in relation to your goals? What kind of an MBA program will provide the skills you need? Are you looking to fill in the gaps, get a clearer view of the big picture, or do you need a specialised skill set?
Europe? The USA? Asia? Where do you want to live for the time it takes to get your MBA? Where will you find the right network, the right recruiting contacts, the right credibility? Do you want to move out of your comfort zone and explore somewhere new or stay in a cultural environment you are already familiar with? What inspires you most – the bussle of a big city or the tranquility of the countryside?
Your personality and the kind of setting you thrive in are also important elements to consider: Competitive or collaborative? Large or intimate groups? Annonymity or personal attention? Theoretical or practical?
Once you have the basics in place, read and explore different schools and start talking to people: colleagues, friends, family; alumni and students from schools you’re interested in; MBA recruiting and admissions reps – the more people you talk to, the clearer your options will become.
At the moment, it’s hard to visit schools in person, but lots of schools are offfering virtual options and chats. Try to get a feel for the atmosphere of the campus and program – the idea is to find a school which resonates for you, somewhere you think will inspire you to do and be your best, a school that can help you to achieve your own individual goals.
Recruitment and Admissions team