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How to ace the MBA Application Process

How to ace the MBA Application Process

The MBA Application process can be lengthy, stressful and anxiety inducing, with GMAT’s, TOEFL’s, essays and MBA interviews to contend with. So to help keep you on the right track and avoid any stumbling blocks, we take you the through the different stages of the MBA Application Process for EMLYON’s International MBA programme, as well as share advice from the experts for each stage of the MBA application process.

MBA Application Process: How to get started

You can start your Online Application here through the International Master of Business Administration dashboard on our website. The next International MBA intake (class of 2015/2016) will start on September 3rd2015. The final deadline for applications for the 2015 intake is 15th July 2015 (for European applicants). We advise non-European applicants to apply before June 17th so that they have enough time to request a visa.

EMLYON’s International MBA Application Process – what you need to know

The International MBA at EMLYON requires the following academic background:

  • University Degree in any field (a Bachelor’s degree being a minimum)
  • English Proficiency Score TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, Cambridge CPE, PTE
  • Official Management Aptitude Test Score (GMAT, GRE or TAGE MAGE)
  • Minimum work experience of three years (full time work experience after graduation) If you do not have the required three years working experience, please contact Anna Lunarzewska if you believe your profile may be of such interest it possibly allows you exemption from this requirement.
  • Fluency in at least two languages, one being English, as the programme is fully taught in English.

MBA Application Process Part One: Online Application

MBA Application Process

As part of your online applications to the International Master in Business Administration at EMLYON, you will be required to answer three essay questions (max 2,000 words) about your previous international experience, career objectives and your expectations for the International MBA programme. Matt Symonds of “Getting the MBA edge” shares some great advice about writing killer application essays. For example, when answering why a candidate has chosen the particular programme, he advises candidates to: “infuse the essay with a sense that you understand the culture of the school; you have taken the time to meet current students and alumni, and you understand what you will get out of the program both academically, personally and professionally. You are clear about your contribution to the community as well.” Check out Matt Symond’s article here for tips on MBA application essays.

The following documents must be uploaded to EMLYON’s online application system prior to the application sessions closing date:

  1. A résumé – this will need to demonstrate a minimum of 3 years full-time work experience unless agreed with Admissions. Don’t forget to state if you have a dual nationality (it can be a plus in the application.)
  2. Two Recommendation Letters – can be uploaded directly on our online application system or sent by the referees directly to EMLYON by e-mail

Please note, the International MBA does not require a minimum GMAT/GRE/TAGE MAGE score; applications are evaluated on an individual level, and eligibility is determined based on your full potential. When reviewing your application, elements such as career objectives, work experience, international exposure, as well as test scores are all taken into account in the selection process. We accept GMAT/ GRE / TAGE MAGE test scores dating up to 5 years. Plus, you can submit your application for the International MBA before completing the GMAT/GRE test. You may be admitted under conditions, and you will then have until 31st July to submit proof of your GMAT/GRE score.

MBA application process

  • GMAT: You can send your score directly to EMLYON using our code MBW-FX-54 just before starting your test or you can send us a certified copy of your score. Please see GMAT website http://www.mba.com/global/the-gmat-exam.aspx for any additional information.
  • GRE: You can send your score directly to EMLYON using our code 0761. More information can be found here: http://www.ets.org/gre
  • TAGE MAGE: To make sure we receive your score please select EMLYON in the relevant section of your account. More information can be found here: http://www.tagemage.fr/

Advice for preparing for GMAT / GRE / TAGE MAGE

Preparation is key when it comes to scoring well on the GMAT/GRE/TAGE MAGE exams. Lawrence Rudner, chief psychometrician of the GMAC stated that people spend an average of 100 hours preparing for the exam, so start early and give yourself plenty of time – 6-8 weeks is ideal. Make a realistic plan for how you will fit revision around work and other obligations and don’t overwhelm yourself with all the preparation materials; stick to those from the official exam websites and trusted brand name companies. For example you can download free GMATPrep software from MBA.com in order to get used to the format of the GMAT. Start by taking a practice test and assess areas of weakness. Take a course if necessary, particularly if it’s been a while since you’ve studied maths and regularly practice exam questions until you are confident in your overall performance.

According to “Getting the MBA edge” by Matt Symonds, you should plan to take the exam several times to showcase your best possible, score, and if you do well on the first round, it’s a nice surprise. Plus, a strong score may help your overall application: “if you majored in History or Philosophy, for example, and had little or no quantitative coursework, the GMAT or GRE may matter more in showcasing your ability to thrive in a numbers-driven classroom.”

  1. English Proficiency Score through a certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL/TOEIC/Cambridge Proficiency score/PTE

Please note that the scores are valid for two years (except for the Cambridge Proficiency Score which has no expiration date). The TOEFL score can be sent directly to EMLYON Business School with Programme Number 0357. You may be exempted from taking an English Proficiency Test if your mother tongue is English, you hold a non-French degree from a programme fully taught in English or if you have spent one academic year in a programme fully taught in English or applications who have a minimum of 3 year’s work experience in English. Please note, we reserve the right to require an English test after your interview.

MBA Application Process

Advice for preparing for the English Proficiency Test

MBA Crystal Ball shares some great advice for preparing for the TOEFL exam, which consists of a reading, listening, speaking and writing exams to assess all round language skills. Tips include:

  • Read as much as possible – newspapers, books, magazines and blogs will help.
  • Make a habit of summarizing the texts you read and to go through it afterwards to make sure you retain the essential parts
  • Watch movies and You Tube videos
  • Practice timed listening questions (conversations/lectures) and make notes on what you understood
  • For the speaking section, practice a structured, consistent and coherent answer with good pronunciation – use a timer, record yourself to spot errors afterwards, or get a native speaker to critique you
  • Prepare timed writing exercises and get feedback to work on tenses and punctuation
  1. A copy of an official valid Identity Card or Passport.
  2. A certified copy of your most recent academic degree translated into English or French.
  3. €120 non-refundable application fee (paid directly through the online application)

Start your International MBA Online Application here

MBA Application Process Part Two: The Interview

MBA Application process

Having completed the online part of your application, you will be asked to record a video of yourself using the online platform easyRECrue. Your video will be submitted to the jury directly, who will evaluate your video and send their feedback to the Admission Board directly. Please note that the Admission Board reserves the right to ask you for a face to face interview (which can be arranged at EMLYON’s European Campus in Lyon, France or Asian Campus in Shanghai, China) or Skype interview should the jury have more questions about your application and profile.

Advice for preparing for your MBA interview

Interviews can be a nerve racking experience, so it’s important to prepare well, in order for you to calmly and convincingly express your past experiences, skills and strength, motivation and career goals. Using our easyRECrue tool, you will see several interview questions and you will have a time limit to record each answer. However, just because it’s not a face-to-face interview doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put the same time and effort into preparation!

Prepare responses to commonly asked questions, and make sure you know the details about all parts of your resume so you are able to speak confidently about your personal and professional background. And most of all, relax – over preparing could increase stress and make you feel too rehearsed. It’s important to be yourself in an interview, not what you think the interviewer is looking for. Remember, the Master in Business Administration Admissions team are looking to put together a diverse set of highly motivated individuals that will create a rich, international MBA learning environment, so be true to yourself and what makes you individual.

Admission Board

Once you have completed your application and video interview, the Admission Board will review your application and confirm if you have been accepted onto the programme.

Start your MBA Program Online Application here

Want to know more about EMLYON’s International MBA Admissions? Get in touch with Anna Lunarzewska today who will be happy to answer all of your questions.


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