5 reasons a student mentor is valuable to an MBA applicant
The process of MBA application can be long, hard, and daunting. But it does not need to be that way. Having someone to help and guide you through the whole preparation can make the B-school journey smoother and can also improve your chances of getting accepted in your dream school. As someone who has been in your shoes before, here are my top 5 tips on how a current student can help you:
1. Decide whether an MBA is the right choice for you: Pursuing an MBA is a big investment of time and money. It requires significant time commitment to prepare for GMAT, essays and interviews. Additionally, you have to also consider funding and other expenses.. Therefore, deciding whether getting an MBA is the right path for you is extremely important. Talking to mentors who have taken this road before, helps you in answering these questions and provides additional insights on post-MBA career paths.
2. Additional thoughts on essay building: One of the most important parts of an MBA application is presenting yourself to the target school in a way that highlights your strong points and shows your fit to the culture and ability to contribute to the school community. Applicants can show that through their essays and resume, so it is important to focus on this part of the application. Mentors can help applicants further explore their personal and professional background, digging out important situations and experiences lived by the applicants that may be discussed in their essays. This way, a prospective student can better present herself to the admission committee.
3. Help in GMAT preparation: This part is arguably one of the biggest sources of anxiety for prospective students. The GMAT test is indeed an important part of the MBA application, along with essays, resume and interviews. There are a lot of books, websites, and apps about GMAT preparation and people can get overwhelmed by the amount of choices available. Plus, people learn better in different ways and paces, so a generic formula will not be applicable to all. Mentors can help applicants in this matter by sharing how they navigated through the preparation and which tools and resources were useful. Additionally, the mentor’s advices will always be specific to the prospective students, avoiding generic remarks that are not really helpful.
4. Picking the right school: There is a lot of information on rankings and statistics about admissions, recruitment, location, and other factors that can guide the process of choosing business schools. Nonetheless, there are many factors that must be accounted for in this process, such as cultural fit, student engagement, and diversity. Information about these factors are not easy to come by, so mentors play a crucial role of further expanding applicants’ comprehension about business schools and their nuances. Mentors can achieve that by sharing their daily routines and general experiences during the MBA period and beyond.
5. Help in interview preparation for targeted schools: After the initial stages of admission process, the interview comes in. In this step, the school is assessing the prospective student in many important dimensions, such as fit and social skills. It is important to note that each school has its own interview model that best suits its admission process. Mentors have gone through the interview process, so they can give customized advice for applicants to better prepare for this crucial moment.
We can definitely argue that there are more reasons for using the services of a Mentor in the application process. Plus, we could discuss the validity of some of my aforementioned points too. But what is rock solid is the fact that getting help from someone that successfully managed the MBA journey is extremely valuable. Mentors have the knowledge and the will to improve an applicant’s chances of acceptance in a business school, making the use of a Mentor crucial in this process.
By Mauricio Cleto, Kellogg MBA
[Originally published on Mentor Musings, official blog of MentMo.com]
Mauricio Cleto is an MBA Candidate Class of 2016 at Kellogg School of Management (2 year full-time program). Prior to MBA, he worked for more than four years in Marketing roles for CPG companies. He loves to mentor prospective MBA candidates on MentMo.com