Are You Ready for Business School?

Are You Ready for Business School? main image

Sponsored by IE Business School

The question of whether you’re ready to leave your career for business school is one with varied and conflicting answers.

Going back to formal education isn’t a step backwards by any means, although it is still a big decision. In fact, for the hundreds of thousands of working professionals around the world making the decision to enroll in business school can feel like the next natural step in their professional trajectory.

Whatever your motivation for enrolling in business school, you should ask yourself a few other questions before asking yourself the big one: “Am I ready for business school?”

What do you want from it?

You may be eager to get the ball rolling, but the answer to this can very much depend on where you are in your career and what gaps you identify in your professional development.

There’s a big return on investment (ROI) to consider as well with business school education: high salary prospects and flourishing career opportunities. Some enroll in business school because they’ve maxed out on their professional development and want to pursue a new professional goal, while others who are in the infancy of their career want to climb the rungs of the career ladder with a new qualification, wealth of knowledge and refined skills to match.

There’s a plethora of various business school programs around the world which all specialize in their own distinct areas of business. Whether you choose to study an MBA, Executive MBA, Online MBA or specialized business master’s, make sure you choose the right program that fits your interests, needs and career ambitions as it’ll be much more valuable when you have a clear idea of what you want to do with it and where it can take you.

How much professional experience do you have?

Those with at least 10 years’ professional experience who are looking to advance their leadership potential are generally more suited to an Executive MBA. Your level of professional experience is useful when it comes to being able to relate it to your learning, while the quality of class discussion heightens as you contribute with your own professional insight.

On the other hand, those who are only starting to make headway in their career generally begin studying an MBA or a specialized business master’s. At IE Business School, prospective International MBA students are required to have at least three years’ relevant work experience to be considered for the program. 

Are you financially prepared?

Business school can be expensive, so it goes without saying you want to get your money’s worth. However, you should plan carefully and research all finance options that are available.

Should you need to put your career on pause, be prepared for the financial sacrifices that come with that and pursuing your business school education. There are, however, a wide range of loans and scholarships available for business school students around the world.

Should you need to continue working full-time there are degrees which allow you to study part-time at weekends, or in the evenings and even online, such as IE Business School’s Executive MBA and Global Online MBA, which is ranked first worldwide in the QS Online MBA Rankings 2019.

In some instances employees can sponsor or part-sponsor your degree program – although you should ensure you put forward a strong case study for it. Outlining the benefits for your employer as well as for you.

Are you academically prepared?

Do you have the drive and enthusiasm for tackling the intensive demands of business school education?  

Business school degree programs come with rigorous curricula and move quickly. If you can establish your knowledge in a few key areas of business, such as corporate finance, consulting and strategy, human and organizational performance, investment banking, marketing as well as operations, it can be a great way to assess whether you have what it takes.

In addition, most business schools will require you to submit a GMAT/GRE score. These are standardized entry requirement tests that assess qualified candidates for admission into business school. Prepping or these exams is critical as they assess both your quantitative and qualitative reasonings for work in a business-based environment.

Are your references, recommendation letters and CV refined and up-to-date?

Here’s where the realization that business school could be an actual reality hits. Preparing references, letters of recommendation and ensuring your CV stands out is vital. You might want to consider getting help with admission prep, such as interview techniques and refining your writing skills for admission essays.

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Written by Stephanie Lukins
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