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When getting into an MBA program, which is more important: College GPA, GMAT score, Experience?

Which holds more weight in the MBA admissions process #business #graduate-school #mba

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Steve’s Answer

Honestly, MBA is most effective when taken as a mid-level or senior level work experience has been acquired. Often students get MBA right out of college and it doesn't open up the right doors. MBA is best utilized once a working professional has earned 5-6 years of
Work experience in a designated field and wants to push forward into management or senior level positions.


That being said, a decent MBA program will required 6 years of work experience and a GMAT score that's competitive. Students who get MBA right out of college as part of joint degree programs like MD/MBA or PHARMD/MBA often finds that doors only open after working a few years. No one is going to make you a manager or give senior positions without proving yourself and you can't get it just because you have a MBA.

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Marie-France’s Answer

I agree with Marta's comment. I'd like to also add that some employers will even sponsor your MBA program. I have had the opportunity to work for an employer which helped pay for both my MBA and Master of Science degrees. Therefore, it is wise waiting to gain the experience, networking and seeking those opportunities.

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Manish’s Answer

Well, the question is back to you, which one do you think is most important and why. Think deep and hard about it, and if you have an answer (other than experts say so), mention it in your application. May be its because you have a great story on how you managed two jobs and still got high GPA.


MBA application is a combination of art and science. You can throw all the statistics of 4.0 GPA and perfect 800 GMAT scores, however, if there is no story, its just a number. As you do not want your products to sell just because of their low price vs competition's price, you want your application to be through because of value addition and not because of a number.

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Varun’s Answer

I'd say your main goal should be to submit a complete application which is a combination of GMAT score, GPA, Professional and other experience. It also depends on your target school(s) i.e. typically, schools publish a GMAT score range of students from previous batches which would be a good indicator of what schools are looking for incoming class. If you feel you are lacking in one of the areas e.g low GMAT score then try to cover that with other factors that help you showcase analytical skills (school GPA, scholarships, accomplishments etc.).

So, research about your target schools (online, attend events, reach out to current/former students) to get a better understanding of school's selection criteria and work on areas based on this research. HTH
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Pranshu’s Answer

MBA applications are expensive. Not just the actual study fees and time taken from work.


Even the MBA applications are expensive and probably designed so that someone with few years of experience in work force with some savings can only attempt this.


So look at what you are making. Look at the cost of the MBA. Look at targeted earnings after MBA. See the difference and make the choice.


That you have spent some years working and thinking these things through are then reflected in your essays and questions you answer for the MBA applications. That shines through for any successful applicant. I can safely say this from personal experience.

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Marta’s Answer

Hi Bridget,


I would say that every school is different, and some might place more importance on one item than others. That being said, in my experience I have seen that there is not one piece of the application that makes you get into an MBA but rahter the combination of GMAT, Essays and experience. The Undergrad GPA is somewhat important but I don't think that by itself would make any school reject you.


The application itself, including Recommendation letters and essays is highly important, and you want to make sure you talk to students and alumni from the schools you are applying to understand what those schools value most, which skills you want to highlight and what the culture and curriculum of that program is like.


Each school has a different GMAT mean, you can find those in their websites to take as a reference of what you should be targeting.


For professional experience, I think it depends on where you have worked on prior to the MBA. I would highly encourage you to work 2-3 years before getting your MBA in order to get the most ouf ot it. Most students have worked for 3-4 years prior to applying, but students coming from careers like Banking or Consulting might do less. You can definitely get in a top 10 school with less than 6 years of experience.


Hope this helps!

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