How To: Build Your MBA brand

Being admitted to a top-ranked MBA program isn’t only about your test scores and job history. After all, every strong MBA candidate will have those things in common to some extent. A major component — and a way to make a lasting impression — is establishing who you are, what you will bring to the MBA program, and what the MBA will help you achieve beyond graduation. In short: You have to build your brand.

Does that mean creating  marketing strategy for your MBA application? In a way, yes. It’s really no different than applying for that dream job: You want to highlight your strengths and show the admissions committee your very best, and that you’re among the very best.

Build a life, not a resume

With so many applicants vying for so few seats in an MBA program, the best way to stand out is to, well, stand out. Be interesting. Have a different story. Make yourself memorable. On average, less than one-third of students entering the W. P. Carey MBA program have undergraduate degrees in business, meaning that our students come from all walks of life. So retrace your steps and create a strategy, based on your life experience, that sells you and what you have to offer a top-ranked program. Everyone will have work history, a good GPA, and all the other measurables. So during the application process, focus on what makes you you. Hobbies, interests, volunteerism, your travels — they can all help the admissions committee see how you’ll strengthen an MBA program and in turn, how an MBA can strengthen you.

Additionally, remember that MBA programs want diversity, demographically, geographically, and professionally. To get the most out of your MBA experience, you need to work with students whose backgrounds offer you new perspectives on business, other fields and industries, and even other cultures. And that means you need to bring something different, too. You’ll want to weave your distinguishing features into every component of your application — from your work experience to your essay responses to the recommenders you select to write letters to your interview. So identify what makes you unique, and begin to build on that to create your personal brand.

Take the next step

More your career forward with a top-ranked MBA from ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business. Learn more about each W. P. Carey MBA and find the right fit your career and your life!

B-school tips

Learn more about top-ranked programs from ASU's W. P. Carey programs and get tips to help you succeed.

Request info