What You Need to Know Before Starting Your MBA

What You Need to Know Before Starting Your MBA

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An online MBA can be a foothold on the trek to an amazing career in the business world as it serves as a universal credential signifying your mastery of essential business principles and practices. Those who have graduated with an online MBA degree, however, often note key aspects or elements that they wished they had known before they began their graduate school journey. So, what do you need to know to apply for your MBA? In this article, we bring you some helpful MBA advice to help those planning on getting their MBA to kickstart their experience.


While candidates can prepare to enter an MBA program from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds around the globe, one common element is their Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score. This exam, which is scored on a scale between 200 and 800, assesses your abilities across a series of parameters beneficial for professional roles in the business world. It showcases your acumen before you even enter your online classroom.

Candidates should consider beginning their studying for this exam several months before their registered test date and can also consider hiring a tutor to help them maximize their score. While the GMAT score is only part of your application, it is important to take this exam seriously. A survey of the top ten MBA programs in the United States reported an average low score of  595; European MBA programs average slightly higher at 600. Achieving such scores will require at least some preparation before you take the exam, so plan accordingly and keep in mind the deadlines for test scores to be submitted to your desired program.


As you begin to develop your application materials to apply to MBA programs, ensure that your documents are as refined and reflective of you as they can be. Review your resume, for example, to ensure that its contents are current and that they highlight the achievements that reinforce your candidacy for a spot in an incoming MBA cohort. By polishing these documents, you can help boost your chances that your application will stand out to the admissions committee.


It is also valuable to research the various programs available to develop a strong list of several that you feel will work best for you. Remember that MBA programs can offer a variety of specializations, like in the fields of entrepreneurship or finance, so ensure that the programs that make your final list offer the curriculum to develop the expertise you’ll need for your future role. You can do much of this work online, but you can also reach out to the university by phone or by a scheduled visit to see how you will mesh with the atmosphere of the incoming MBA class. You can also ask for contact information for alumni of the program so that you can speak with them for candid surveys of their experience in the program.

Optimize Your Experience

Once accepted to one of your desired programs, your preparation for your MBA will not end; just as you worked diligently to prepare your application materials, you will only excel in your MBA experience if you prepare for your coursework as well. Stay current in the required readings, case studies, and assignments associated with the course. All of these tasks are a chance to advance your knowledge, so don’t think of them as things you have to do; think of them as cultivating your business acumen.

Moreover, simply because you’ve begun the MBA degree doesn’t mean that you cannot stop networking. Think of it this way: those classmates joining you in the online classroom each week have the potential to be your future colleagues in the business world. With this in mind, find ways to use your MBA cohort to network. Whether it’s a study group around midterms or collaborative group projects, you never know which classmate you meet today that might be the key to your professional advancement in the future. In the short term, these connections can be beneficial as well because you can build your own knowledge from the expertise that these colleagues bring to and share in the online classroom.

Preparing for your MBA means making sure that you will get the most out of your time in the program that you choose. If you do the work upfront, you can make sure that the time and money you invest in your online MBA experience is well worth it in your quest for new heights in your professional career. To learn more about Aston University’s online MBA program and the amazing experience it can provide for tomorrow’s leaders in business, reach out to us today.

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