Preparing for your MBA essay and interview questions is challenging, but the 'Why business school?' question might not be the hardest one you'll face this year.
When you’re asked the inevitable 'What’s on your Christmas list?', it's good to have a few gift ideas up your sleeve, instead of risking receiving multiple pairs of socks.
Here’s five things every MBA applicant should put on their Christmas wish list. Loved ones, take note.
1. A sharp new suit for your MBA
T-shirt, jeans, hoodie. Mark Zuckerberg has become almost as recognizable for casual work attire as he has been for his innovations in the social media world.
But studies suggest that the way we dress can really impact our success, both through the way we’re perceived by others and the way that we think. Wearing formal business attire may allow us to think more abstractly; it also stands to improve our negotiation skills in the boardroom.
You don’t need to break the bank to get a Brooks Brothers three-piece or Gucci trouser suit—a well-fitted, simple suit can cost you less than $200 these days. Its return on investment may be even greater.
2. An online course subscription to help upskill before your MBA
Stuck for things to do over the Christmas break? Why not check out Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs?
MOOC platforms like Coursera offer a variety of online courses that will help boost your MBA application, in everything from data analytics to corporate sustainability.
Moreover, MOOCs give you access to top quality education from world class institutions including Harvard Business School, Wharton, and HEC Paris.
Not only will courses help you stand out in your application, they'll also make you feel more prepared for the content you'll face on your MBA. GMAC offer courses in Business Fundamentals which give you a foundation in accounting, finance, and statistics.
3. A book from our MBA Christmas reading list
Curled up in front of the fire, there’s no better time than Christmas to get stuck into a really good book.
A book doesn’t have to be the dud gift at the bottom of the pile—it can trigger inspiration, interest, and intrigue for all aspects of learning that you might come across at business school.
4. An Intention Tracker pad
Have you ever tried achieving everything you want and need to do? It’s impossible. MBA applicants might be juggling their careers, test preparation, business school applications, and free time—24 hours is hardly enough.
Time machines aren’t yet available commercially, but an Intention Tracker pad might be the next best thing. Each day you take a moment to carefully detail everything you want to achieve that day, in both practical and emotional ways. You can tick each thing off as you go.
If you’re a keen list maker, or someone who gets things done methodically, this might just be the stocking filler for you.
5. Noise-cancelling headphones
As an MBA, you'll need to have an expert level of focus. You may also need to squeeze in an extra 30 minutes of studying at less than ideal times, say when your whole extended family are round yet another Christmas buffet.
Say hello to noise-cancelling headphones. These will be a lifesaver for any MBA who needs complete quiet when they're trying to get work done.
While a good pair of these may be on the more expensive side, it will definitely be worth it.
Some great Christmas gifts are free...