We hope you enjoyed our recent Duke MBA Q&A with Megan Lynam, Director Admissions, and Catherine Tuttle, Associate Program Director of Career Services from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. You all asked excellent questions, including this one on MBA application mistakes:
Linda Abraham: What are the most common mistakes MBA applicants make?
Megan Lynam: One is that they really don’t take the time to step back and do some self-reflection before they start the process. As I said before, this is an incredible investment of time and energy and money. It is very important to take the time to know yourself and understand why you want to do this. Why now? What do you want to get out of it? What environments do you flourish in?
Each of the top schools has an incredible opportunity for a valuable education, great networks, and any number of other things. It is very important to understand what you want to get out of it so you can evaluate each program and ask, “Do I want to spend two years here? Will I be challenged in this environment? Will it be a place where I will be supported and where I will grow?”
What people need is very, very different. You need to be honest with yourself about what you need and also what you can contribute. I think sometimes people apply to schools on a surface level understanding of that community and culture. It really helps if you have done a lot of thinking about yourself and then do a lot of research about the school. Talk to as many people as you can who have gone to the school and people who are going to the school and are affiliated. It gives you a sense of “this is my network, this is my brand.”
You will find that it is an incredibly diverse group of people who choose to do to Fuqua. At the same time, they have core values which are very similar. If that resonates with you, then this is a great place and we would encourage you to apply. If, however, it does not, then those are the sorts of things you should be looking for in another school. It is very important to know yourself well when you walk into this process.
Catherine Tuttle: …Megan made a great point. This will be the first thing we are going to ask you to do from a career perspective, as well. If you do it in an application process, you are going to be one step ahead for when you start the program.
For the entire conversation, please view the transcript or listen to the complete audio file on our website.
There were so many questions and so little time. We’d like to send out a huge thank you to Megan Lyman for addressing some of the unanswered questions and offering more excellent advice in an article posted on the Duke Fuqua blog. Please see that post for additional tips on Duke Fuqua admissions.
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