Articles from USA Today

Your guide to acing an MBA interview

The average MBA interview lasts about 45 minutes. In those 45 minutes, you’ll need to convince the school that they were correct in showing interest in you and that you’ll be able to contribute something meaningful to the cohort that they’re designing for the next year. While the essays tend to be the part of the MBA application process that causes the most trouble for applicants, the interview tends to cause the most confusion as applicants struggle to know how to prepare. Over the years, we’ve developed some proven techniques to help applicants breeze through the interview for their top choice MBA program. Follow our Five Ps to guide you in acing your MBA interviews. PREPARE There’s no way around it. In order to have the answers you need on hand, you’ll need to prepare. Know your resume back and forth—this means you’ll also need to prepare anecdotes about times you’ve experienced failure, faced ethical dilemmas or received negative feedback. In addition, have a set of questions that you’d like to ask the interviewer. If you can work them into the interview, great. If not, then the interviewer will likely ask you at the end of the interview if there’s anything else you’d like to know about the program. You can ask your questions then. PRACTICE The anecdotes that you choose to prepare for the interview might sound great in your head or look good on paper, but you won’t know how they’re going to perform during the interview until you practice saying them aloud. You shouldn’t memorize your anecdotes or your responses to likely questions in the interview process—you’ll sound stilted and a little fake. However, you should have the basic storyline down pat and be able to...

Is getting an MBA the right move for you?

Whether you definitely want to pursue an MBA at some point in your career or are trying to decide if enrolling in an MBA program is the right path for you, it’s important to know the ideal times in your career to join an MBA program. Jumping in too early can place you in the awkward position of being overqualified educationally while simultaneously being underqualified professionally. Waiting too long can stall your career momentum and lower your career earnings and potential. Here’s how to determine whether the time is right. YOU HAVE CLEAR GOALS Dreaming of something bigger in your career but not sure what? Want to gain more systematic knowledge but not sure where you want to focus? Unless and until you can answer these questions, an MBA program probably isn’t for you. In your application essays and interview, the admissions officers will want you to demonstrate clear goals. RELATED: How to craft the perfect LinkedIn profile in 30 minutes At the same time, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being unsure. However, this isn’t the time for an MBA. It’s time to explore. If this is your situation, you might want to ask your employer if you can do a rotation in another department. Educationally, you can pursue a certificate program, which can enhance your resume and expose you to the MBA environment with a lower investment of time and money. YOU HAVE REACHED A PLATEAU IN YOUR CAREER If you can see the writing on the wall that you’re not going to be able to move up in your career unless you improve your education credentials, this is an excellent time to begin researching MBA programs. Reach out to your supervisor and ask what the company would...

Future of the executive education: Unbundled MBA...

In a quarter of a century, most business students will never enter a classroom. The faculty lectures, the MBA student discussions and the homework assignments will occur instead over the Internet, where each part of the educational experience can be played as many times as it takes to fully absorb or satisfy, as if it were a Seinfeld rerun. The world’s most famous professors will more likely be compelling teachers—rather than journal-published researchers—and many of them will be free agents, unattached to a single university. Technology will allow for free-agent faculty, able to teach directly to students, with the university being what it will increasingly be viewed as: just another middleman taking a profit. Professors won’t need an affiliation with a university, because technology will allow them to create their own brands. The costs of academic learning will plummet. And much of education will be modular in nature. Students will pick and choose from the best professors and the best colleges and universities worldwide to construct a degree of choice. There will be little need to go to one school for several years and sit in classrooms with other students. The greatest asset universities now hold—the ability to grant a degree—will have so greatly diminished in value that it will become little more than a quant notion for the learned. A doomsday scenario? A doomsday scenario for business education? Not really. The nominal purpose of a business school is for academic learning. But as learning becomes increasingly available online, it’s likely that the other functions of a traditional on-campus experience—student selection, extracurricular leadership and social development, career management and alumni networking—also will become unbundled. Most business schools inevitably would lose their allure. We’re already witnessing the very beginning of...