EMBA Application Tips

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Applying for a place on an executive MBA program is competitive and is not something you should rush. EMBA programs tend to have smaller class sizes than MBA programs, so the race for places is intense. If you’re thinking of applying for an EMBA program, then read our tips for application success first…

No GMAT required!          

One of the positive aspects of EMBA admissions is that little or no emphasis is placed on GMAT results. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the GMAT, it is a rigorous and complex test that measures a person’s quant, verbal and reasoning skills in minute detail. It takes months to prep for and is one of the key facets of MBA admissions.

In EMBA admissions, emphasis is placed on experience and character rather than test scores. Applicants tend to be older with more managerial practice – valued highly on this high-powered management degree. If you don’t have a former degree qualification then you may well be asked to complete a GMAT test to prove your ability to complete the course, which is for your benefit as much as the admissions team. The degree is intense and applicants should be sure they can handle the workload before proceeding.

If your school of choice asks for GMAT results regardless of experience or qualifications, then why not read some of our content around the test

Interview tips

Interviews are an important part of the EMBA application process and something that you need to be prepped for in advance. As mentioned above, the admissions process on an EMBA program relies very much on business skills that candidates have acquired through experience – not on test scores.

It’s important to be yourself when sitting for your interview, and to demonstrate your passion for business clearly and succinctly. Cranfield School of Management admissions director, David Simmons, says that admissions departments want to talk to people with personality and who stand out from the crowd. Your interview is a chance to sell yourself and your talents and to demonstrate your suitability for the program.

 “We focus on leadership and development” Simmons said in an interview with TopMBA.

“The secret of success with our EMBA alumni is their ability to work with others and understand themselves. This includes exploration of yourself, your values, your beliefs, and everything that drives you in your life professionally and personally.

“There is not a box-ticking list of qualities you must have – executive MBA admissions teams are constructing an environment in which people will learn from one another, which is in some ways more important than what students will learn from faculty. Having diversity in terms of learning styles, industry sector and nationality are also important.”

Tell the admissions team how you have worked your way up in a company, and exactly how you achieved your promotions. Discuss what you believe works effectively when managing a group of people and how you have learnt to manage others during your career in business. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t pretend to be an expert on everything. Be humble, but be confident, and check your schools admissions page for interview tips and pointers too. 

Executive MBA essay tips

Executive MBA essays are very specific to schools, but most schools (including top institutions such as MIT Sloan) have examples of past pages on their website for you to analyze. Analyze as many essays as possible and familiarize yourself with the style of writing that a specific school favors.

Stephanie Kluth, admissions director for ESMT says : “Do not repeat yourself, be natural and be yourself, do not copy and paste – be original. This is important as it helps us to get to know you.”

Your opinion must shine through your essays, as EMBA admissions teams value personality and experience highly when recruiting. You must make your work original. Don’t fall into the trap of rehashing or paraphrasing views and opinions that you spot in example executive MBA essays. These samples are a guide only, and should not be a substitute for the arguments and pointers in your work. Read as much as possible, consider the essay question from a variety of different angles and take your time to get your readers’ attention with personal, original and highly thought-out writing.

This article was originally written in November 2015 and was updated in April 2018.

 

Helen Vaudrey
Written by Helen Vaudrey

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