How to...Figure Out if You're MBA Material
By Mackenzie Brown
Want to Take the Plunge?
Before you start applying, take stock of yourself: For the top programs, stellar GMAT scores and an A-studded undergrad transcript are musts. Those short on quantitative coursework (accounting, etc.) should brush up on basic skills with a night-school class, says Clarke, who also recommends at least two years of exposure to the working world before applying. "Working lets you experience managerial dilemmas and gain hands-on knowledge of an industry," she says. Finally, think hard: Are you really ready mentally and financially for more college? B-school can run you up to six figures, but there are a lot of loans and financial-aid options out there, and the return on your investment can be enormous. Do a "college tour" and visit campuses, spending time with students. "Make sure you fit with the culture," says Freedman. "If you don't like a school's vibe, you won't get as much out of it." Keep in mind, many programs maintain tight relationships with their alumni, who in turn give great jobs to their fellow alumni that could include you!