How do you prepare for an MBA? First impressions count, here are some tips to bear in mind when preparing to apply for your MBA degree.

Many of us have grown up with the mantra ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’, but if we’re honest, that’s exactly what most of us do. The first impression counts and is important, from your first email or phone call, a meeting at a fair, your application and the interview. Chances are, different people will be assessing you at different stages and each one needs to walk away with a good impression.

Dress Code

When going to an MBA fair, check the dress code to avoid being remembered for the wrong reason – if you’re dressed appropriately, the focus is far more likely to be on what you actually say. Which opens a new door of opportunity – the chance to be remembered as the person who had something interesting to say should you actually decide to apply to the school. No-one will remember the 100th person to ask what the average GMAT is.

The same goes for the MBA admission interview. If you turn up in jeans, you risk sending the message that you aren’t taking the process seriously, so why should your interviewer? You’ll then need to work twice as hard to leave a winning impression.

Throughout the assessment make sure you collect the easy points – be polite, look smart, act smart.


For many, the MBA GMAT is one of the worst parts of the program requirements – probably because this is one part of the application you have power over. Your undergraduate degree is already done, nothing you can do to change that. The same for your work experience so far. You might have several options for your recommenders, so worth taking the time to choose the right ones. But the GMAT. What does the GMAT tell a school about you? It’s not just about how well you’ll do in the auditorium, although obviously important, but it also says a lot about your motivation, your prioritization and time management skills, and how much you value the school’s brand – which will ultimately be your brand, if accepted into the school.

So, if you think you can improve your score, do it – get as many check points as possible and avoid the question marks.

Take care of the details

We all laugh at the stories of incorrect use of copy/paste, and still we all do it. Yet I have to be honest, if I read an application that mentions how much a candidate wants to join Harvard, it does not help to convince me that there’s fit for IMD. And funnily enough, even as the time of graduation approaches, and students begin applying for their dream jobs, it happens again.

If this is really your dream school or job, do it properly – don’t take the copy/paste risk.

Good luck!

MBA Recruitment and Admissions

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