mba application tips?
February 4, 2008 5:05 AM   Subscribe

I am applying to business school for an MBA at a top school. I only have experience working at a non-profit, and some social service experience. I have grad school experience in Social Work. Any suggestions/ ideas of how to market my experience? What are some tips for being a successful applicant? Thank you!

Also, there is a MPA degree at my school as well. I am not sure i fully understand the difference of an MPA versus an MBA. Anyone have experience with this? Thank you so much for your help!!
posted by tessalations999 to Education (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You didn't mention where you're from, but have you considered a Masters in Management? They're designed for students with little to no corporate experience and, as far as I'm aware, are valued by employers as much - sometimes even more - than MBAs. I'm studying a Masters in International Business (MIB) at a top French school. Take a look here.

Any questions, just send them through the Metafilter personal messaging system!
posted by Zé Pequeno at 5:22 AM on February 4, 2008

The Rise of the Younger Student.
posted by Zé Pequeno at 5:23 AM on February 4, 2008

An MPA is a Masters of Public Administration, which is more about policy, social planning, and public works (schools, transportation, etc.) than, say, marketing. If you're looking to stay in the non-profit sector, it may be a better bet.

I'd advise you to figure out who you want to write your professional recommendation. Ideally, that person is also someone who has the professional experience to guide you through that part of the process.
posted by mkultra at 7:07 AM on February 4, 2008

if your undergrad school has a strong career center, you may want to see what grad program advice they have to offer alumns.
posted by flaneuse at 9:25 AM on February 4, 2008

Before filling out your application, I suggest two exercises.
first, think of all the qualities that one would look for a good manager: leadership, foresight (planning), flexibility, creative problem solving.... Then think about all the experiences you have that demonstrate each of those skills. For example - under leadership - did you ever have any people working for you? were you a committee chair? led a key event or fundraiser?
Second: MBA's get things done. what did you accomplish in your work? best if it is measurable (double demand for our information, increase funds raised by 30%. You can also claim other things like increased client satisfaction by doing xyz.

Once you have done this, you should be able to see the parts of your story that are most compelling to the MBA committee and then find a way to highlight these in your application.

I don't think it is a disadvantage to be applying to an MBA program from a nonprofit background. However, you need to decide what you want to do after you graduate. If you want to stay in the nonprofit section, an MPA might be useful.
posted by metahawk at 2:22 PM on February 4, 2008

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