Which type of MBA applicant are you?

February 19, 2019 | by Matt Symonds

At any given point, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), there are six million people considering business education around the world. Whether applying for an MBA at Harvard, a MiM at the London School of Economics, or an EMBA at CKGSB Beijing, it turns out that what motivates someone to pursue a graduate management education fits into one of seven well-defined candidate segments.

GMAC’s study hones in on candidate motivations, specifically around two dimensions – the desire to pursue higher management education and the incentives to apply to a particular university. Their research outcomes indicate that the motivating factors for pursuing graduate management education fit into one of seven defined global candidate segments. Among the seven:

Global Strivers – seeking an international career, and striving to gain relevant exposure through graduate management education (34%).
Skill Upgraders –  driven to improve their skill sets to ultimately be regarded as experts in their field (13%).
Impactful Innovators – looking to develop the abilities critical to launching their own business (12%).

For Deborah Somers, GMAC’s regional director for Europe, the in-depth study lends insight into the academic preferences and career aspirations of prospective candidates, enabling universities to effectively engage in resonant dialogues with millions of potential applicants worldwide.

Somers notes, “Schools can use this knowledge to highlight features of their programs, curriculum, and activities that candidates are seeking in their educational experience. Candidates can learn more about themselves, which provides them an opportunity to highlight their motivations as well as understand what is important to them in their program selection.”

With only seven global candidate streams in the MBA applicant pool, how do you differentiate yourself from the masses?
“Be your authentic self in your application,” encourages Judith Silverman Hodara, Fortuna co-founder and former Wharton Admissions Director in this Forbes article, 30 Tips For Your MBA Admissions Success. “Whatever your candidate segment, the most engaging candidates strip away the pretense, and don’t try to fit into a mold.”

To explore all seven segments and see where you measure up, view Matt Symonds’s article, “There Are Only 7 Types Of Business School Applicant — Which One Are You?” in Forbes.

Fortuna Admissions is composed of former admissions directors and business school insiders from 12 of the top 15 business schools.

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