Master Your MBA Application: Research, Respond, and Revise

MBAAs the business world grows increasingly global, companies are seeking professionals with global experience. Many American companies look to hire employees who have a lot of international experiences, and who have spent time studying abroad and learning new languages.

That may explain the high number of international students enrolled in American business schools – 613,000 this past year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

It’s easy to see why so many international students are studying in the US.  Despite the struggles that come with studying in a foreign country, the experience gives them a competitive advantage in the international labor markets.

But beyond the business school admissions test known as the GMAT, two of the biggest struggles for international students are composing personal statements and conducting interviews. Specifically, this presents two challenges for many international students: learning a non-native language and dealing with cultural differences.

As a foreign student in Georgetown’s Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program, Sang Eun Kim understands that it can be a struggle for international candidates to prepare their applications. So he started the Armada-Essay (www.armada-essay.com), a start-up program at Georgetown to help international students’ admission process.

“From my experience, I know what foreign students’ common mistakes and misunderstanding are in their writing and interview,” says Kim. “I want to improve the experience of foreign business students who are not familiar with the English essay.”

Here are three recommendations from Armada-Essay consultants on how to successfully write your admission for a US MBA program.

  1. Research the school program: Before students even think about applying to business school, the first step should be figuring out what you really want to do, and deciding what you want from an MBA program. Conduct the basic research about school admission and find a school program that matches your professional goals. Most schools essays ask students: what do you want to do – really– and why do you want to apply to our school?“ Make sure to research the program based on business schools’ characteristics,” says Kim. “Each business school has various programs; however, [certain] schools provides some specific programs. For example, the Tepper School of Business (http://www.tepper.cmu.edu) at Carnegie Mellon University provides a computational MBA program, which might appeal to candidates who are interested in the fields of computer science and business.”
  2. Meet seniors and alumni: Meeting people who have already studied in the school program is really big help for not only understanding the school, but getting admitted. Seniors and alumni are already experienced the admission processes, including writing a personal statement, interviewing, and taking the GMAT. They may be able to give you valuable tips on what to do to get in, and information about the school if you’re admitted. “Knowing seniors is beneficial to a candidate,” says Kim. “In the long run, seniors will give you more class and job information after you get admitted.”
  3. Find editors:  Whether you are an international student or American student, it’s important to find a strong editor for your essays.If you write a personal essay by yourself, you might overlook details in your story because you already know it. It can make for an essay that administrations struggle to understand. Even if you think your essay is perfect writing, you should let some people at least give comments or suggestions for revision. If your paper is error-free, it will help your chances of getting in to an MBA program.

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University.

Jeonghyun Kim