How to Ace Your MBA Application

A single typo on an MBA application can mean the difference between admission and denial.

MBA application tips from an expert who’s seen it all.

Applying to B.C. MBA programs can be a daunting process. For some pointers, we spoke with Melissa McCrae, executive director of graduate programs at SFU’s Segal Graduate School of Business.


Be Honest

The most common mistake McCrae sees in MBA applications is dishonesty. “Oftentimes students will tell us what they think we want to hear instead of telling us who they are and what they want to do,” she notes. This can make a prospective student’s entire application seem uneven and mismatched. On top of that, it can inhibit students from finding the program that best suits them and their goals. 



A simple spelling error or typo can make the difference between a successful candidate and an unsuccessful one. This should be the best representation you can give of yourself, “so it’s really important to make sure there are no errors in it,” says McCrae. Describing yourself as being detail-oriented loses some validity when you misspell the name of your current employer or address your letter of interest to the wrong school. 


Stick to Verifiable Facts

Saying you are a team player and a fast learner may well be true, but it is extremely hard to verify through the application process. “We look very closely at the accomplishment statements. If they’ve led major projects or initiatives, that really stands out,” comments McCrae. Your best bet is to highlight accomplishments that can be confirmed, such as awards or projects that you’ve worked on, and stay away from subjective assertions whenever possible.

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