Hey there! It’s that time when the newness of the year has gone by, and you (or someone you know) have started thinking about where you want your career to go. Maybe you’ve considered pursuing a new Masters degree or an MBA?

As a member of the MBA alumni community, I get many questions about my journey. I’m sharing my experience and putting my design thinking hat on to help break down the application and networking process for you in a series of short posts.

Let’s get started with the first one –

Designing your MBA Application Strategy

Understand the user, i.e. Yourself
Consider your journey up until now, including your primary areas of focus and what you hope to achieve through pursuing an MBA. Remember that the application process is not only a chance to learn about the institute you’re interested in but also an opportunity for self-discovery.

Define Your Objectives (iteratively)
When considering pursuing an MBA, it is vital to understand your motivations and carefully evaluate why you choose to do it at this specific time. Are you seeking to advance in your current career by gaining new skills and knowledge? Or do you aspire to explore new career paths? It’s crucial to consider your objectives and aspirations to make informed decisions. You don’t need a precise and detailed 10-year career plan when starting an MBA application. You can develop or change your goals through the application process or even during the MBA programme. However, you need to have a starting point.

Develop Hypotheses about “Your Dream School(s)”
It’s totally understandable to feel drawn to a specific school, especially one that consistently ranks high in MBA rankings. However, it’s important to do your due diligence and gather information from various sources, such as forums and social media platforms, about your “Dream School”. This will help ensure that your expectations match the reality of the institution. Ensure you research multiple schools, even those that aren’t your top choice, to understand each school’s unique offerings. This research will shape your overall thinking, create a list of questions to ask later on and give you a better understanding of what to expect from your MBA programme.

Validate your thinking
You’ve done all your desk research! Now what? It’s time to connect with people who can provide more information about the schools you’re interested in and learn from their lived experience and advice. These individuals may include counsellors, alumni, administrators, professors, and other knowledgeable people. But how do you get in touch with them, and what do you say?

Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. I will cover in my next post some networking tricks for the application and during the MBA itself.

As we head into the final round for entry onto the Cambridge MBA programme starting in September 2024, please visit our Apply pages here >