Business School Admissions Tips

Business School Admissions Tips For Entrepreneurs

Every successful entrepreneur has taken his or her fair share of risks when the potential rewards were too good to pass up.  If you’ve decided that returning to business school as an experienced entrepreneur is a risk you’re willing to take, it’s important to consider the following points when applying.

The business school application process is a competitive marketplace.  While true “serial” entrepreneurs are still rare in business school, applicants who have experience starting their own business are not.  Therefore, when applying to business school, veteran entrepreneurs need to highlight their strengths and successes in order to stand out.

In order to give yourself an edge over less established fellow applicants, it’s important to demonstrate your aptitude in at least one of three key areas: salesmanship, vision or planning. Whether you were the sole founder of a company or part of a collective, these three key strengths would need to have existed in some combination to make it a success.  In any case, at least one of these three traits should be your strong suit and, relative to other applicants, you will likely have more material to work with which shows these three classic traits in any business leader.

Do not forget to clearly state your need and willingness to learn.  Indeed, one of the biggest traps any veteran entrepreneur can run into is overselling his or her abilities and accomplishments.  Promote yourself as you might promote a product.  Don’t come on too strong.  Emphasize your accomplishments but also point out where you would like to learn and improve.  Point out how your dedication, resilience and adaptability, which has served you so well in business, will also serve you well in business school.

Finally, prepare yourself for a change of pace.  If you have been your own boss for a considerable period of time, remember, the business school environment is extremely collaborative and egalitarian among students and professors alike.  However, business school is also likely to be more structured and regimented that the sometimes chaotic atmosphere of running your own business.  You will need to show that you can work well in more consensus-driven teams with no authority figure.  Moreover, if your career goals involve working for someone other than yourself, it’s critical that you point out your ability to work in teams where you are not the sole authority figure.  This can be done by drawing from relevant any non-work activities, including your involvement with any nonprofits or prior work experience before venturing out on your own.

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