The Challenges Facing Non-Traditional MBA Candidates

As you read this, thousands – yes, literally THOUSANDS – of people are frantically submitting applications to top MBA programs across the globe. Many of them are investment bankers, consultants, general managers, marketing guys… you know, the “typical” MBA applicants. They’ll have a bunch of experience in their field, probably some great leadership stories, and a clear plan for where they’re going with their career. For them, this process (while definitely not easy) is certainly EASIER than it will be for you…

Yes, you. You’re the non-traditional bschool applicant. Maybe you’re a doctor looking at a career change. Maybe you’re an IT guy interested in non-profit. Maybe you’re a mango farmer sick of picking fruit, but you’ve been running the family business for a few years. The point is that you don’t “fit the mold.” You’re coming from a different angle.

The simple fact is that this can be either an advantage or a disadvantage, all depending on how you approach it. Even the mango farmer has MBA-relevant skills: leadership, management experience, teamwork, even problem solving. At the same time, chances are you’ll be short on “finance” experience that those private equity people will have TONS of in their applications. So, what can you do?

Well, the good news is, while you may be non-traditional… you’re not the only one. There are plenty of other people out there getting worried about their background just like you. It’s something we see around these parts all the time. [We happen to love the non-traditional applicant. You’re exciting. You’re different. You’re… a fun challenge.]

Bottom line: there are lots of resources out there for you to forage. And here are a few to get you going:

Applications from Smaller Countries

Non-Traditional MBA Candidates

Students With Non-Traditional Backgrounds

In case these great articles don’t give you enough – or, more to the point, you’re looking for more in-depth analysis from an expert – you can check out our webinar, “Non-Traditional Backgrounds and the MBA Application.” Our overcoming-a-non-traditional-background guru Mandy Tang (who went from working in the fashion closet at a top fashion magazine to an MBA from CBS) will be covering all of the best strategies for you non-traditional MBA candidates.

The one-hour webinar is at 9:00PM EST on Thursday, October 18th. We still have some slots left, so be sure to register now.

[Use promo code AdmOct for FREE access!]

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