What Makes a Successful MBA Candidate

If you’re giving serious thought to earning your MBA, you probably have an idea of what a rigorous curriculum paired with experiential learning opportunities can do to accelerate your career. (Here are just five reasons an MBA is a smart career choice.) Still, you might be wondering whether you (or your lifestyle) are cut out for it. Here are some qualities you should possess in order to maximize your success in an MBA program.

Sense of direction. Before you dive into an MBA program, make sure you know exactly what you want to accomplish. Grab a Post-it note and jot down a few of your goals, or spend some time talking it over with someone else—a spouse, friend, or Admissions officer. Thinking about what you want out of the program ensures that you’re pursuing an MBA for valid reasons. Plus, as you move further toward your MBA, you can check in with yourself to be sure that you’re reaching—better yet, exceeding—your goals.

Time management. As a prospective MBA student, it should come as no surprise that dividing your time—whether it’s between your current career and education, your education and social life, or all of the above—will require planning, patience, and communication among all parties. (If time management isn’t one of your strong points, try downloading iStudiez Pro. For $2.99, this app organizes all of your obligations—from work, to class, to the assignments you need to complete. And it syncs to the Cloud, so all of your devices are kept up to date.)

Academic success. Previous courses in business administration or management aren’t required for admittance into business school, but academic excellence in other areas, including communication and mathematics, are important. Of course, a strong academic history will impress the Admissions team, but it will also help you when it comes time to tap back into that academic mindset. (It may have been a few years since you’ve stepped foot in a classroom, but you’ll find that it’s not too far from your memory.)

Leadership. It’s another characteristic that Admissions offices value, but also one that will benefit you far beyond the application process. From class discussions to networking opportunities, to real-world experience in the field, being confident and embracing leadership roles can help propel you to an impactful career in the world of business. (Room for improvement in this area? Try something as simple as volunteering to demonstrate in your fitness class. Next, offer to take the lead on your team project at work.)

Whether you possess one or all of these qualities, your success in an MBA program also rests on the program itself. Read more about Boston College’s full-time MBA and part-time MBA programs to determine which is the best fit for you.