Spiders. Speaking in front of an audience. Heights. You’re surely aware of these common worries, but would you be surprised to find that many people are also afraid of applying for an MBA? That’s because applying for an MBA can elicit a range of feelings, from apprehension about compatibility with the school to financial concerns and confusion about the return on investment.
Read on to learn more about the nagging fears that keep students from applying for an MBA and find out how to squash these relatable qualms.
Am I good enough for a top b-school?
Many prospective MBA students fear that they are not good enough for the program they aspire to attend. If the accomplishment feels out of reach, candidates will stop even before starting their preparation. They fear it is not worth the hassle — nor the application fees — only to receive a rejection.
Do not be overly critical of yourself
First, assess your current starting point. How do your CAT scores look? For reference, with a 96+ percentile, you can get into fabulous b-schools. There are a plethora of b-schools that falls into this range.
If your test scores don’t fall within this range, don’t fret. Tests can always be retaken. CAT is not the end of the world!
It’s equally important to understand that acceptance into a program doesn’t only boil down to GPA and test scores. There are many other factors that can make you an ideal candidate at top business schools.
Can I afford an MBA?
It’s reasonable to ask yourself how you will pay for an MBA program and whether the investment will be worth the return.
Look at ways to reduce the burden of the cost
Though the expense of an MBA is important, so is the support structure that can assist mitigate the financial impact. Employers may help cover the costs of an MBA in some cases, recognizing that it is a valuable asset to them as well. Employers can profit from the extended professional network you receive in an MBA degree, which not only improves your managerial and critical thinking skills—immediate benefits on the job—but also from the enlarged professional network you gain in an MBA programme.
Additionally, most MBA schools have tie-ups with banks that provide education loans to students. You can easily finance the entire cost of your b-school by taking up an education loan and can repay it once you get a job after passing out of b-school.
The return on investment of an MBA might also alleviate your concerns. Consider this post-graduate statistic from a top-class b-school: An average student gets a 2x hike in his or her salary, after two years post-graduation.
Do my professional passions align with an MBA?
Anyone who wants to improve their leadership and management skills should consider getting an MBA. An MBA programme will offer you a wide range of soft and hard skills that will help you find a career you enjoy after graduation.
Look for a program that supports your goal.
Today we have lots of options to choose from. If you’re someone who’s interested in analytics then you can go for an MBA which helps you to prepare for the business analytics world. If Agribusiness management is your thing, then you have a niche program for that as well.
Is my quantitative profile strong enough as compared to my counterparts?
The MBA program at top business schools won’t waste any time tapping into your quantitative rigor. For example, the first-year curriculum at many b-schools includes courses such as Statistics, Economics, Financial reporting, and analysis.
Brush up your skills.
Doubts about whether you have a strong enough background to participate in the conversation and understand the material may be valid. However, your doubts can be allayed with a little attention to detail and preparation.
If you want to apply for a top business school, it makes sense to brush up on — or learn — relevant skills. You can do this by leveraging free online resources like Excel, Math for MBA, Linkedin Learning.
Best wishes for your interviews!
Abhishek Mukherjee works for 2IIM. Apart from solving interesting math questions he likes to eat biriyani and watch movies.