Different MBA programs, may have different work experience requirements, or have different importance on some parts of the application, depending on their target students and course structure. Some programs, such as executive MBA programs, are designed for people well into their careers looking to make a switch into management, others, such as a regular MBA program may be designed for fresh graduates with only a few years of work experience. While specific requirements for admission vary from university to university, the general requirements remain the same. Below, we offer you advice and tips to tackle an Australian MBA application. [Read: 5 Most Popular Courses To Study In Australia]
The first qualifying requirement for applying to an MBA program is to possess a bachelor’s degree. Typically, this may be in any subject. The most important thing is to have good grades. For admission in any competitive course, excellent grades are crucial. Most applicants are already at the top of their class, so there is no chance you will be able to stand out if your transcript is mediocre.
The Graduate Management Admission Test is the most common pre-MBA tests. Thousands of students around the world sit for it every year, hoping to score well enough to enter their dream university. It is claimed to be the most successful predictor of success in today's graduate management classroom. Universities and admissions committees consider it one of the most important criteria for admissions. Some of them might accept the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) in lieu of the GMAT. If you know that the GRE is better suited to you, and you will score better on it, you may want to choose this option. This choice, of course, depends on the university. You should check the university’s application page for their preferences before sitting for either exam.
(Check out our basic guide to the GMAT and GRE here.)
English Language Requirement
English language skills are very important in a degree as interactive and communication-based as the MBA. You will be part of many group assignments, projects and interactive classrooms. To ensure that all students are able to participate to a certain level, Australian universities have an english language requirement.
The Test Of English as a First Language (TOEFL) is one of the most common tests to satisfy any university’s english language requirement. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is another. While both tests are acceptable, universities may have preferences. It is also important to look at the structure and content of these exams, as you may perform better on one. It is a good idea to take every advantage you can find, because admissions for these programs are cut-throat at top universities.
A minimum of 2 years of work experience is usually required by most Australian universities. Some will accept 6 years of full-time professional or managerial work experience in lieu of undergraduate experience. MBA courses are designed to make students better managers and understand the skills required in upper management. The best way of phrasing it is, you can’t take away any real world skills if you have no real world experience. Work experience, post-bachelor’s, is crucial in today’s world.
Admissions committees seek to have a diverse class to bring a varied dynamic into the classroom. They like knowing how your specific experience will add to their university and how you can benefit them. Make sure your resume lists out your key responsibilities and makes it very clear how you have contributed to other organizations and groups in the past. It also is important to have a balanced resume, with not just good work experience, but a range of activities that truly highlight your personality and potential. [Read: 12 Australian Institutions That Offer Scholarships]
The hardest part of the application for most people is the essay. Some universities have one long essay, and others have a series of short questions. Either way, your personal statement is your only chance to show the admissions committee that you are more than your numbers. This is your opportunity to distinguish yourself as an individual and shine. Let the admissions committee see you as the ideal candidate for their course and a potential future leader.
It is a good idea to discuss both your personal aspirations and professional ones in the personal statement. Try to demonstrate consistent volunteering and giving back to the community through sustained commitment to one or two volunteer organizations rather than many short-term gigs that only add quantity not quality.
Universities like seeing the long-term impact you have made and the impact you want to make on the world. This is the section for you to highlight your dreams and goals and explain why they should select you over any other qualified candidate. Keep in mind that you will have to write different statements for each application. Some universities have very specific requirements. For example, UNSW requires applicants to answer 4 questions with approximately 250 words each. These questions range from discussing professional goals to community spirit.
References from your past or current employers, supervisors, professors or mentors are also required. Some universities specifically want recommendations only from employers or supervisors in a work-related situation. Others will accept letters from professors or mentors as well. Most universities have specific forms that your referee will have to fill, detailing your strengths, weaknesses and how suited they think you are to the program. What they have to say about you really makes a difference. How strongly they vouch for you and whether their opinion of you aligns with the picture you’ve painted so far makes a great difference. Make sure you choose your referee smartly, because they can either testify to the strength of your character and highlight all your abilities, or can merely discuss the mediocre aspects of your performance, and potentially ruin your application.