If you are considering starting graduate school, you are probably interested to learn how to avoid the most common mistakes made by MBA applicants. In this video, Dr. Don Martin reveals the challenges most prospective students encounter during their application. The former admissions dean at top US universities Columbia, Chicago Booth, and Northwestern currently leads his own admissions consultancy practice called Grad School Road Map.

4 roadblocks for prospective graduate students

As a prospective MBA applicant, it is normal to have doubts and questions about your suitability to enroll in graduate school. In his presentation, Dr. Don Martin shares the most common challenges applicants encounter before they even consider this option.

#1. “I can’t afford graduate education.”

While it is true that some graduate degrees are expensive, Dr. Don Martin emphasizes that there are ways to make your education more affordable. The key is to start your research early so that you can explore your financial options in detail.

#2. “My grades and/or test scores are not high enough.”

Most business schools and universities review the applications they receive in their complete form. This means that every single piece of information you submit will play its part when they decide whether to accept you to the graduate program or not. In many cases, and depending on the program’s admissions policy, lower GPA and/or test scores can be overlooked by the admissions committee if you can demonstrate other accomplishments.

#3. “I have to get into a top program.”

Dr. Don Martin strongly suggests that MBA applicants explore different study options among the 100+ accredited business school programs around the world. Try not to limit yourself to a program ranked in the top five because there might be another reputable school which is more suitable to your needs and preferences.

#4. “I’m too old for graduate school.”

It is not true that MBA programs are unsuitable for older applicants, Dr. Don Martin says. While most schools have a minimum age requirement, they will not usually decline applicants who are older than their class average. On the contrary, these candidates can bring even more diverse viewpoints and years of experience to the MBA classroom which is incredibly valuable.

If you would like to find out what else Dr. Don Martin has to say about overcoming these roadblocks during your application, watch the webinar recording in full.

Avoid this mistake when applying to graduate school

The biggest mistake that MBA applicants make is not doing adequate research before applying.

This is one of the most valuable pieces of information shared by Dr. Don Martin in this webinar. According to him, it is not just your successful admission to business school that depends on your research. The quality of your preparation will also determine whether you pick the right university and program. If you do not check details about the faculty, campus, or teaching, and you end up not liking what you get – nobody else will be to blame.

So, in order to avoid this mistake, Dr. Don Martin suggests the following 3-step plan:

  1. Don’t limit yourself to specific schools. Start with 20-25 MBA programs so that you are sure to explore all your options.
  2. Create a spreadsheet. Put the schools in one column and order them alphabetically, not according to your favorites.
  3. Research and compare what you know about them. Only then start narrowing down your options.

Do you have more questions about the MBA application process? Watch the full webinar with Dr. Don Martin where he lists the seven most common questions asked by graduate school applicants.