Prove You’re MBA Material, Even if You’re Not a Quant Jock

Many business school applicants worry that they don’t have a strong enough quantitative background to be accepted into a top program. If your entire career has been spent in marketing, for example, how can you convince an admissions committee that you’ll be able to handle core classes like Finance and Accounting?

The good news is that business schools aren’t looking to put together a graduating class made up of only bankers and accountants. They are well aware that a private equity analyst can learn a lot from a brand manager, and vice versa. So rest assured that AdComs are looking for qualified candidates from all industries and functions in order to make up a diverse classroom.

That being said, AdComs do not want to admit someone who gives them reason to believe they may struggle with an intense MBA curriculum. Thankfully, even if your day-to-day responsibilities don’t include building financial models or computing figures, there are still several other ways an AdCom member can assess your analytical skills.

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We’d suggest asking your recommenders to highlight any analytical work you’ve done—they might even be willing to review your career to date and help you remember quantitative aspects of past projects you may have overlooked. Along those same lines, you should consider rewriting your resume so that quantifiable results of your work are included wherever possible.

AdComs will also be paying attention to your undergraduate grades (specifically courses like Statistics or Calculus) and your quantitative GMAT score. Clearly there’s nothing you can do about your college grades at this point, but you can (and should) take the GMAT a few times if you don’t do well initially. Invest a lot of time (we’re talking 100+ hours) in preparing and studying, as your score can go a long way in proving that you can handle the toughest MBA courses.


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