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An MBA can often be your golden ticket to the big leagues, but that does not make it easy to acquire. Many people won’t be able to take a year off to attend university full-time for a year, which means you will need to juggle work and a demanding education. Then, even before that, you need to get accepted. MBAs are not like other degrees that only look at your academic history. They rely on your professional qualifications.

Understanding how to find and apply for an MBA is going to be one of the most important factors to your success. By knowing what to expect ahead of time, you can properly prepare and smash through every milestone with ease: 

Understand the Entrance Requirements 


First things first, to acquire an MBA you need to be accepted. There will be two different admissions requirements — GMAT and Non-GMAT. 


GMAT 


GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admissions Test. It is a multiple-choice standardized test that assesses several skills, similar to the SATs of days old. Over 7000 institutions around the world require a GMAT score for admission, but it has its problems. The first and foremost is the fact that it is standardized test that fails to capture the true talent of individuals. Professionals also need to take time out to study for the GMAT, making it a redundant measurement of a person’s capabilities. 


Non-GMAT 


Non-GMAT admissions look at your experience. There will be an admissions essay, references to acquire, and your resume to brush up on. It will feel a lot like creating a job application. The difference here is that admissions don’t focus on how well you test in an outdated system. After all, how often do you get tested in your job with multiple-choice questions? 
Non-GMAT admissions focus on your actual skills and know-how and therefore will accept each applicant based on merit and skills. 

What Should You Look for in an MBA? 


Admission process aside, what is most important when looking for programs to apply for is the quality of the institution itself. When exploring your options, you are going to want to compile a shortlist of MBAs based on three things. 


  • Practical-Based Curriculum 


The most important thing is a ‘learn today, use tomorrow’ emphasis on your curriculum. In short, what you learn should be beneficial to your career right out of the gate. This requires an equal share of theory and practical education that will help transform your career from the get-go. 


  • Top Ranking for Satisfaction 


Rankings aren’t everything. The university itself could be very well regarded, but the MBA could be horribly constructed and managed. That is why you cannot and should not look at the university ranking, but instead at the program’s ranking. If you are looking for an online MBA look for the best one in your state. In Michigan, for example, you should learn more about the top online MBA program within that state and how they stand apart from the rest. 

  • Level of Ongoing Support 


You want alumnus support. This means having access to your network, the ability to seek out advice, and an open invitation to any ongoing networking or workshopping events. Ongoing support will keep your MBA relevant and your skills sharp. 




Develop the Right Habits Now 


While you are waiting for your results, you should aim to improve your routine and habits. Even if you don’t get accepted this time, your goal is to get accepted in the future. Making time to study after work or to learn on your commute every day will make it easy to transition into a work/study life once you are ready. 


  • Create a Healthy Routine 


Start by getting into shape and getting healthy. From creating a fixed routine so that you get a better night’s sleep, to eating better every day, these habits are going to improve your career and help you tackle additional learning at the end of the day. 


  • Set Aside Time for Your Education Every Day 


Find a great place to study after work. While you are waiting to be accepted you can even start reading up on theory, news, or taking online courses to bolster your skillset. It’s great practice and will work directly towards your goals. 


  • Combine Activities 


Get into the habit of learning during your commute. You could find podcasts, audio books, or even use the text-to-voice feature on your phone to listen on the go if you drive. 


All these skills should be adopted well in advance so that your transition into education can be smooth and successful.  

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