6 answers

What buisness bachelors degree would be the most beneficial for an MBA?

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6 answers

Michael’s Answer

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What you study in undergrad should help prepare you for your first job. After a few years of work you may very well learn that you don't need an MBA to continue on the path you want to go. Many business school students are pursuing a general business education to help switch careers, while others are continuing on a track like investment banking.

I completed my MBA almost a decade ago, and had done a double major in computer science and general business for undergrad. Most MBA students did not study business as an undergrad. One of the greatest values of going to business school is learning from your classmates, and having diverse backgrounds adds to this.

If you are confident in the need for an MBA in the future, a well rounded undergrad business degree may reduce some of the foundational classes you take in graduate school, and allow you to pursue more advanced studies. Some business schools require foundational classes like Accounting for all students, but even so your familiarity with the subjects can allow you to focus efforts on classes that are completely new. From my experience business school classes are much more in depth than undergraduate, so you may still want to take the same classes as you took in undergrad. One of the biggest differences is the case driven nature of MBA classes, and input from your classmates based on their real-world work experience.

My advice is to not over-prepare for attending business school, and instead focus on preparing yourself to succeed at your first job. If that is a business role, take classes that will help you get a head start there. You will learn a lot more on the job than in class. If you aren't interested in a business role immediately, then feel free to pursue another major, whether that is art history or computer science - as long as it helps you succeed in your first job. Business schools want to help students accelerate their careers, and so are looking for candidates that are already succeeding in their previous roles.

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Veena’s Answer

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To add to what has been included by others:

There isn't any specific bachelors degree that is most beneficial for applying for an MBA. MBAs come from all academic and professional backgrounds. For example, I went to business school with people who had studied economics, biology, engineering, computer science, international relations, architecture, urban planning, etc. -- the list goes on and on.

However, it's important to:

1) Do your homework to understand if an MBA is the right path for you. I would recommend getting at least a few years of work experience to see if graduate school is something that you would be interested in and if graduate school could benefit your career path. Speak to individuals who are farther along their career journeys (those with and without MBAs) to better understand the value proposition of this. Were they able to progress to higher levels in their career with or without an MBA? Were they able to transition to a new career with or without an MBA?

2) If you determine that an MBA might be the right next step, follow the suggestions above to find out about the various types of MBA programs that are available.

3) Make sure that you have a clear view of how an MBA will help you in your career. This will be important to articulate in the application and interview process.

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I’s Answer

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Hi there! Looking at the class breakdowns at top schools, no bachelors degree is ineligible for admission. What schools do care about is your GPA and quantitative ability. Do a major that will net you a higher GPA if you are deciding based solely on business school, otherwise do whatever major interests you. If you are going to school in the US, whatever major you choose, make sure to take and excel in a few quantitative classes as business schools want to see those and honestly, having that quant aptitude will help in business school. More than a major, business schools will want to see great work experience with increasing responsibility (promotions etc.) so keep in mind how to maximize your internships and post-college job opportunities as well.

I recommends the following next steps:

  • Look at the numerous MBA forums on the net
  • Research business schools
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Jacqueline’s Answer

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Hi Taylor,


I would say that any business bachelors degree would be helpful because you have to take quantitative classes like finance, accounting, economics in your undergrad as core requirements and these quant core requirements will come in handy once you apply and enter your MBA. For example I just finished my MBA degree and my business bachelors degree had a Marketing focus. My program was very quant heavy and it helped to have taken courses in finance, accounting and economics during my undergrad because the concepts we were covering were familiar but at an MBA level this time.

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Steve’s Answer

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An MBA can be a great addition to your undergrad degree, so it rarely makes sense to major in business or econ as your Bachelors unless you truly expect to focus solely on those areas. Instead, pick a major that you are really interested in, and then add the MBA on top of that to enhance your skills, broaden your scope, and position yourself for career advancement.

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Ken’s Answer

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It all depends upon you and how your personality traits relate. . The first step is to get to know yourself to see if you share the personality traits which make one successful in that area. The next step is doing networking to meet and talk to and possibly shadow people doing what you might think that you want to do to see if this is something that you really want to do, as a career area could look much different on the inside than it looks from the outside.  When I was doing college recruiting, I encountered too many students, who skipped these important steps, and ended up in a career/job for which they were ill suited.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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