What You Should Do Before Getting an MBA

Acquiring an MBA can be extremely beneficial for those looking to pursue a career in business administration, management, or development. Though it may seem daunting to begin the process of obtaining an MBA, knowing what you should do before you begin can both streamline the process and make it feel more accessible.

An MBA can be a useful asset to those looking to further their careers in business and break into competitive industries. Though obtaining an MBA can require a great deal of time, energy, and money, it can be incredibly rewarding in many ways.

Here are some of the incredible benefits of getting an MBA.


According to U.S. News, MBA holders typically make salaries ranging anywhere from $85,100 – $152,500, depending on which sector they choose to work in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median income in 2021 was $51,168. This means that even at the low end of the spectrum, MBA holders are typically making close to $35,000 more a year than the national median income.

Job Scope

Being an MBA holder can make you an attractive candidate to companies looking to hire reliable and talented employees. Having an MBA shows employers that you have the knowledge, training, and experience to excel and grow in a business environment.

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What Do You Need to Do Before Applying for an MBA Program?

Before sending out your applications for MBA programs, it’s important to be aware of what different programs have to offer and what things will make you stand out as an applicant. Here are some things to do and have before you begin the journey of finding your MBA program.

Bachelor’s Degree

To be eligible for an MBA program, you must have a bachelor’s degree. Though it is commonplace to have a degree in business prior to applying for an MBA program, many schools will accept applicants with other degrees if they can show that they are good candidates for the program. One should make sure to have their transcripts from prior college experiences ready when applying to MBA programs.

Explore Your Options

Finding the MBA program that aligns with one’s goals is vital for those looking to further their career with an MBA. It’s important to know what questions to ask MBA admissions officers when exploring different programs. These can include questions about the culture of the program, along with how it aligns with your personal career goals.

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Standardized Test Scores

Most MBA programs require the scores of either the GMAT or GRE. Due to the time required to study and schedule an appointment to take these tests, it can be beneficial to get this done as soon as possible. Though having standardized test scores is a huge plus when applying for MBA programs, there are some programs and cases in which the standardized test score requirement may be waived or unnecessary. 

Work Experience

Though not required as a prerequisite by all programs, being able to show that you have professional work experience in a business setting can be a huge asset. Having a track record of being involved with business shows enrollment officers that you are serious about business and have the drive to succeed in an MBA program. This can be especially important for applicants who received a BA in a field other than business.

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Letters of Recommendation

Having good letters of recommendation from respected people can be imperative to getting into a good MBA program. Letters of recommendation can be an especially valuable asset when the people writing them are respected in either the fields of academia or business. For those serious about getting into sought after MBA programs, it’s important to put time and energy into getting solid letters of recommendation rather than letting them be an afterthought.

Know Your Goals

It is important to know what you are seeking to gain from having an MBA before pursuing it. Though an MBA can be a huge asset when looking to find a career in many business settings, it may not be necessary for some specific roles. Having a clear idea of what career goals you aim to achieve will not only help you decide if getting an MBA is right for you, it can also help you get the most out of the program that you choose.  

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