Probably one of the best decisions I have made is getting an MBA. When I was younger, I got a marketing job right out of college. At this time I only had a BA in Marketing. I was in this job for four years and while I was successful, I always felt limited by just having the undergrad degree. Most of the managers in my office had MBAs, and the ones that didn’t had worked there for thirty years. I definitely did not want to wait that long so I decided to go the MBA route.
I began by researching all the schools in my area. There were a couple of top tier, very competitive schools with national reputations. There were also some smaller schools that had strong local reputations. I knew if I could get into a top school that my company would pay tuition reimbursement. Since an MBA costs over $80,000, my goal was to have my employer offset some of the tuition costs.
One thing I had to do was take the GMAT, or Graduate Management Admissions Test. This is the test that everyone has to take when they are applying to an MBA program. In order to get into a top school, you have to score over 700 on the GMAT. If you score 690, that’s just not good enough. It’s like having the ’7′ in the hundreds digit is the magical number. So to be competitive at the top schools, you need to score in the ninety-fifth percentile.
I tried a bunch of different test prep materials from companies like Manhattan GMAT, and I also used the Official Guides that are from the GMAC itself. Another source of GMAT sample questions that I found very helpful was the book Total GMAT Math. This book was written by a private GMAT tutor from New York. I found his explanations to be very clear and concise – much better than the Official Guide.
Ultimately I did manage to crack that 700 score, and I went to one of the top schools in my area. My employer wasn’t happy with it though, so I wound up going full time. Afterwards I found a great job and now I’m a high-level manager. I couldn’t have done this without getting my MBA.