- IMD Business School
MBA Preparation

Want to Join an MBA? Do These 3 Things First

Last update: August 2022

Want to join an MBA program?

An MBA program can be instrumental in helping you develop the leadership and management skills needed to advance your career, and for many, offers a robust return on investment. But to reach these goals and put yourself in a position to succeed at your program of choice, you first need to prepare for your MBA.

Starting MBA Preparation

MBA preparation can be seen as a tough process. There’s the GMAT to study for, multiple application processes, campus visits, and more, with options and opportunities along the way. And for many prospective students, these critical decisions are being made all while juggling a demanding career or other obligations. Methodical preparation is key.

Preparing for and completing your MBA course involves a significant investment of time and money, even before you’ve submitted your first application. Taking a full-time MBA enables you to focus your attention entirely on your studies and potentially finish the course more quickly, while taking advantage of on-campus activities.

Part-time study, on the other hand, enables you to continue working, spread the course load (and cost) out over a longer time, and maintain more of a balance.

Ready to join and MBA? Here is what you should do! 🚀

MBA Program Options

IMD’s program, ranked #1 in Europe by both Bloomberg Business Week and Forbes, is full-time in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is designed for students and young professionals looking to develop reflective and responsible leadership skills in an innovative, entrepreneurial, and global business environment.

For those selected, it can be a life-changing journey with incredible networking opportunities and it is designed specifically for people with ambitions to make a real difference in a complex and rapidly changing world. If this sounds like a fit, you can add to your program wish list and you are already one step closer.

One more question before we begin the real preparation. Ask yourself: Why do I want to study for an MBA degree? It’s vital that you clearly define your reasons for wanting to complete the program. The format of your MBA course should reflect these reasons and take into account your current circumstances and existing commitments.

The Steps Prospective MBA Students Should Take

1. Choose the Right Business School

Begin your research online but don’t neglect campus visits if you have the means and opportunity to see a campus in person. If you are open to more geographies than where you are currently living or working, opportunities for a world-class education and networking expand exponentially. You’ll also want to pick a concentration or focus and ensure this is offered by the schools you apply for.

2. Study and Prepare Your Materials

You’re likely familiar with test prep books and courses from previous standardized testing, undergraduate admissions, and the GMAT. These are a useful start and can help prepare not only for admissions exams but also the technical coursework an MBA calls for. Practice questions are critical and timing yourself can help with the quick calculations required on assessments. Reading books and case studies on business development and leadership can also bolster your knowledge base. Keeping up with current events and business news can too.

3. Build Your Network Before Entering Business School

Business school offers an incredible network but don’t wait until you’ve been admitted to start making connections. Alumni of your preferred schools can write strong and persuasive letters of recommendations on your behalf, but only if you’ve first established a meaningful relationship. Do your best to avoid the trap of asking an influencer or prominent executive you barely know for a reference. Instead, gather personalized, thoughtful references that show your impact on the lives of others and their work.

Shape Your Future with IMD’s MBA Program

With those tips in mind, are you ready to define challenges, think critically, collaborate, and create impact with the most diverse MBA class in the world? You are invited to apply to join a select group of responsible, experienced and globally-minded participants who want to make a difference and who typically have the following profile:

  • 3-8 years work experience
  • 25-32 age range
  • 680 average GMAT

Don’t miss the final chance to join us in 2023: apply by 1 September.

IMD MBA Admissions Process

The IMD MBA assessment has been specifically designed to offer a more in-depth, mutual opportunity for us to get to know each other better. We will be looking to develop our understanding of the unique aspects that you will bring to the program. You should equally take this time to assess our culture, teaching style, network and vision because we want you to be able to get the most out of this year as possible. When choosing your application deadline, ensure you leave enough time to fully prepare in advance while also bearing in mind any other constraints that will influence your decision timing.

Further Details

Once we have reviewed your application, successful candidates will be invited for an online interview and further assessment, which will include an elevator pitch, a team experience, class observation (where possible) and networking with members of the MBA team. Soon after acceptance of our offer and payment of the first deposit, we will run random background checks on some applications, to verify the authenticity of degrees and work history (including most recent salary).

If you would like to be considered for one of the IMD scholarships awarded with each deadline, discover the different options and criteria related to our Scholarship Page.

Assessment Challenges

An alternate admissions route is to join one of our Assessment Challenges. These competition-style, local events aim to drive diversity in the class and each one comes with a unique scholarship opportunity.

Applicants from our Assessment Challenges are not eligible for our regular Admissions Process in the same year.  

Before you submit, don’t forget to check out and check off each item on the MBA application checklist

  • Degrees and Transcripts
  • English Test
  • CV
  • Passport
  • Recommenders
  • Photo
  • Application Fee

All documents need to be submitted at the time of the application. Missing documents may result in us having to move your application to the next deadline.

Good luck in your preparation and we look forward to your application!

Featured MBA Articles