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What is a Dual Degree Program, and is it Right for You?

If you’re someone who is equally interested in two different fields of study, then a dual degree program may be right for you. Though a dual degree is often mistaken for a double major, the two are very different.

There are many advantages to earning a dual degree but there are a few considerations to be aware of, such as the upfront cost and the time commitment. 

Here we’ll take a look at what exactly a dual degree is, the pros and cons, and the types of degree combinations to help you make your decision.

What is a Dual Degree?

A dual degree is earned after completing two degree programs in sequence for an MBA or simultaneously in an undergraduate program. After completing both programs, two separate degrees are earned. There are many different combinations of dual degrees a student may seek, such as two bachelor’s degrees or a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

Students working toward a dual degree often spend a couple of extra years in college. The average time it takes to earn a dual degree may take up to five or six years. In addition to more time spent in school, more credits are required as well.

While there are considerations to take into account, such as cost and time spent in school, once earned, those with dual degrees have many professional advantages.

How is a Dual Degree Different from a Double Major?

Are a dual degree and a double major the same? While there may be some similarities, it’s important not to confuse the two.

A double major typically has a more integrated approach and can be completed in four years. Students typically find that the workload is less than that of a dual degree because there are several courses which will count for both degrees. On the other hand, dual degrees require that the courses for two separate programs of study are taken, creating a greater workload and time commitment.

When completing a double major:

  • Typically doesn’t require extra coursework
  • Full-time students generally complete a double major in four years
  • Less costly than pursuing a dual degree

When earning a dual degree:

  • Two degrees are earned: one for each program
  • There is a heavy amount of coursework
  • Takes longer to complete, usually five to six years
  • Opens the door for a variety of careers

Earning Potential Compare/Contrast

Are dual master’s degrees worth it? Earning a dual master’s or bachelor’s degree is beneficial. A higher salary isn’t guaranteed with a double major, but the skills acquired through the degree programs are attractive to employers and can result in more job and advancement opportunities.

The Pros and Cons of a Dual Degree Program

It’s important to weigh the benefits and disadvantages when considering dual MBA and leadership programs. Will a dual degree benefit your future and career? Are the course load and expenses manageable with your other personal responsibilities?

Take these pros and cons into account when making your decision.

Advantages

  • A broad skill set will be developed and improve your professional flexibility, including analytical skills which are valuable in many fields
  • Can open the door to greater career and advancement opportunities
  • Long-term cost savings, especially for MBA dual degree programs
  • Two degrees can be used independently or together in a career
  • Earning two degrees in sequence rather than one after the other saves time and money
  • Great networking opportunities from alumni programs in addition to the students and staff at each school

Disadvantages

  • Requires a full-time commitment for up to five years
  • While money is saved in the long run, it’s costly upfront for tuition and other school-related expenses
  • Dual degrees don’t always result in higher salaries
  • Studying two programs simultaneously results in a heavier course workload
  • Admissions into dual degree programs is competitive, may require high test scores, academic achievements, and an impressive resume

Deciding if a Dual Degree is Right for You

Dual degrees should be pursued by students interested in more than one field. Earning a dual degree can grow and develop a wide range of skills, including universal analytical skills that are valuable in just about any profession.

If you’re someone who doesn’t like feeling restricted or stuck, then a dual degree can open many doors professionally.

The Big Question: Will You Earn More Money with a Dual Degree?

Having a dual degree doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll earn a higher salary. The type of degree, program of study, work experience, and networking can also play a factor in salary. For instance, some who completed dual master’s degree programs may start out at a higher salary than someone with dual bachelor’s degrees.

Although a dual degree doesn’t always affect salary, these degree-holders often have greater range of career possibilities, both when entering and advancing in the workforce. The variety of skills and knowledge that are gained through the program courses are an asset to employers.

Other Questions to Consider

A dual degree may not be for everyone. Before making the full-time commitment to a program, ask yourself how the dual degree will benefit you and if you can accommodate the demands.

Are You Equally Interested in Two (Different) Fields of Study?

Are you passionate about two different fields of study? A dual degree is geared toward individuals who are equally interested in two programs. If you realize you’re not as interested in one area as the other, then a dual degree may not be for you; it would be more cost-effective and time-saving to take that field as a minor.

Will Funding Be an Issue?

Earning two degrees does save money in the long run, but not in the short term. Tuition, books, and other school expenses add up quickly and are due upfront. Earning two degrees can be nearly double the course load of a single degree.

Are You OK With Staying in School Longer?

Completing a bachelor’s degree typically takes four years as a full-time student. Completing a dual degree, whether it be two bachelor’s or two graduate degrees, may extend this to five or six years. Can you dedicate yourself full time to classes, labs, and coursework for several years? At universities like Augsburg, most students enter the program with some college credits and take 16 credits per semester.

Do You Have a Clear Plan for Your Future?

It’s important to have a plan for what you want to do after you complete the degrees. Perhaps you have a specific career path you want to follow where you can use one or both degrees. Maybe you plan to start your own business where skills from both fields of study can be applied.

If you’re not sure of a career you’d like to pursue, you may want to reconsider a dual degree due to the time, cost, and commitment required.

What Kind of Dual Degree Programs are Available?

When choosing a dual degree program, students will need to decide which combination of majors and degree type will benefit them. When deciding which program is the right fit, students should consider their future goals and the career path they plan to pursue. Is a master’s degree beneficial in your field, or will a bachelor’s degree help you achieve your career goals?

Common Options

There are three joint degree programs that are common among both undergraduate and graduate students. A dual degree may include earning two bachelor’s degrees, a bachelor’s and a master’s, or two graduate degrees.

Let’s take a look at these options, including dual graduate degrees.

Two Bachelor’s Degrees

One of the most common dual degrees earned is two bachelor’s degrees. While many colleges offer this dual degree option, prospective students should confirm that this type of program is offered at their school of choice.

There are several combinations of bachelor’s degrees that can be earned through dual degree programs, such as Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Arts to name a few.

Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree

Another dual degree that is often pursued is a bachelor’s and master’s degree. A bachelor’s and MBA dual degree typically takes about five or six years to complete. This dual degree structure can vary depending on the university. Generally, students take undergraduate classes while completing graduate-level coursework. Completing both degrees simultaneously takes less time and money than completing each separately.

Two Graduate or Professional Degrees

Is getting two master’s degrees at once possible? Dual master’s programs have grown in popularity with graduate students. Earning two master’s or a combination of a master’s and another professional degree is the third common dual degree option. A dual graduate or professional degree is typically earned within three to four years if taking a full-time course load.

The types of dual degree graduate programs that can be taken are often decided by the university, but some allow students to choose the fields from which they’d like to earn their dual degree. There are several program combinations a graduate student may opt to study, such as the Master of Science and Master of Business Administration dual degree.

Another example is the MBA/MPH degree. Students in top MBA/MPH dual degree programs will earn a Master of Business Administration degree as well as a Master of Public Health degree.

Options Available at Augsburg University

Augsburg University currently has two dual degree options. The first is a MBA/Master of Arts in Leadership program in which students can prepare for leadership roles within businesses and other organizations.

The second is a MBA/Master of Social Work dual degree. MBA/MSW dual degree programs have become more common thanks to the growing need for financial and business knowledge in social work.

Program Requirements

Admissions requirements for the dual master’s degree programs at Augsburg vary depending on which dual degree you plan to pursue. Both programs require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, transcripts, an updated résumé, completed essay questions, and two letters of recommendation.

Being admitted into one of the degree programs doesn’t guarantee admission into the second program. It is important to ensure excellent grades and academic achievements are called out during the admissions process.

Incoming students applying for the MBA/MSW dual degree can apply to both programs at the same time. For the MBA/MAL dual degree, students must apply first to one or the other as their home program. Once the home program is nearing completion, they can then apply for the second degree which, if admitted, they’ll begin after completing the home program.

Conclusion

A dual degree is not for everyone. Dual degrees have many benefits, and with these advantages come considerations such as cost, time, and purpose. The additional workload is highly demanding for some, but others thrive in those conditions, especially when they have a strong enough purpose driving them.

What are your career plans after completing your dual degree? Will the workload of getting two master’s degrees at the same time be too much? On the flip side, there is a great potential for networking and a wider variety of career opportunities for dual degree holders. These are the questions you should be thinking about to determine if a dual degree is right for you.

Regardless of your specific goals, Augsburg University has options that will benefit you.

Get in touch with Augsburg University’s admissions staff and check out the MBA blog to learn more.

How to Craft the Perfect MBA Recommendation Letter (Sample)

Asking for a letter of recommendation is always a daunting task—even more daunting when you’re the one tasked with writing it.

If you’re hoping to be accepted into a high-quality MBA program at a respected university, you’ll need letters of recommendation. Read this guide to know what to expect from someone who can write a letter of recommendation for you. Even better, share this guide with anyone you want to write a great letter of recommendation for you.

Navigating exactly how to write a letter of recommendation for business school—or any school for that matter—can be quite confusing.

Here we’ll provide you with a few MBA recommendation letter tips, provide specific examples and anecdotes, and help you craft the perfect recommendation letter for your applicant.

Skip to a section:

What is an MBA Recommendation Letter?

Before you get into the writing, you need to know the exact purpose of the letter of recommendation. Submitting a strong reference letter is a vital part of their application process.

Typically, when your student asks you to support them in this way, the ultimate goal is to have someone of a specific level of academic authority add credibility to the student’s application.

You are likely to have a strong relationship with the student who you will be writing for. This is necessary for you to communicate your support in a genuine manner.

In the letter of recommendation, you will need to focus on aspects of your student’s character that, based on your professional/academic relationship, you have observed to be most commendable in their discipline. Also use examples of their past work as a foundation for why they would excel in a Master of Business Administration program.

How do MBA Applicants Choose Reference Letter Writers?

The student’s choice of who they request a letter of reference from is entirely dependent on the relationships that student has fostered and how those relationships have affected their academic and professional career.

If you work or otherwise interact with this student often, you can bet you’ll be chosen to write a recommendation letter. This is especially important for those students who are not coming fresh out of their undergraduate experience, but who have reached the stage of accumulating work experience.

Typically, prospective MBA students need an average of two or more years of professional experience. This will have given them a significant amount of time to not only showcase skills they will need to excel in their MBA program but also identify relationships that will be most conducive to their future academic and professional success.

Crafting the Letter

Now that you have a better understanding of why this student has selected you to write them a letter of recommendation, you can build on that information and relationship to construct it.

Before You Begin

Your student will need the letter of recommendation to match the tone and message of their personal statement in order to compose a cohesive application. What better way to achieve this than to have it written by someone who spends ample time with them?

With this in mind, the keywords for a letter of recommendation need to be directly related to:

  • The student’s relevant experience: Have they demonstrated leadership, critical thinking, analytical, or communication skills? Take the time to observe them at work and be reminded of their most applicable traits to be highlighted in this recommendation letter.
  • The influence of their work and academic experience on their future goals: Was there a particular course or work assignment they excelled in? How does that relate to their eligibility for the prospective MBA program?

Your natural relationship with the student will determine whether or not they request a letter of recommendation from you and the type of information that will need to be included in the business school letter of recommendation.

Below, we’re going to lay out an MBA recommendation letter template to guide you in constructing the perfect recommendation letter for your future MBA student.

Understand the Student’s Goals

To write the best possible letter of recommendation for a master’s in business leadership (or any type of MBA program), you need to tailor your information around the following subjects:

  • Your applicant’s transcripts/academic credentials: Whether good or bad, examine your student’s academic record and find where their academic performance shined. Based on your experience with the applicant, how do their best course grades, extracurricular activities, or teaching assistant experience relate to their ability excel in the MBA program?
  • Know the MBA applicant’s purpose or end goals: In the MBA recommendation letter samples below, you will see how to connect the student’s professional and academic history to their ultimate goals in their prospective MBA program.
  • Identify points of the applicant’s history you can accentuate or relate to: This is directly related to the previous point. Remain aware of how the applicant’s past academic and professional experiences play into their eligibility as a prospective student and what aspects of their history can strengthen the overall student body of the institution in question.
  • If necessary, ask about which universities the applicant is applying to: This will allow you to understand your audience. What qualifications is the institution looking for? What information is required in application packages, and how does that influence the content of your recommendation letter?
  • Discuss points of interest with the applicant: What do they want to emphasize?
  • Remain formal throughout the letter: Refrain from discussing casual anecdotes, as this will detract from the focus of the letter.

It may look like an overwhelming amount of information to consider but don’t worry; that is why we’re providing a MBA recommendation letter sample below to guide you. Your priority in this letter, and what you will see in the MBA recommendation sample, is to highlight the skills and qualifications of the applicant that you have directly observed and how that fulfills (or exceeds) the MBA program requirements.

Review the Directions for Submitting

Your student should provide you with any submission instructions you may need. Most likely, this recommendation letter will not be submitted through the student. You will have to submit the letter of recommendation directly to the university’s administrative staff.

Should you feel uninformed on the process of submission, despite the information provided by the applicant, you may want to ask the following questions:

  • Should the recommendation letter be submitted directly through the university website or received by email?
  • What are the submission requirements? (Is a standard business letterhead/format necessary?)
  • Is the letter being sent by mail or fax?
  • What is the deadline for submission?

Ideally, this is information you should have before you even begin the writing process.

An Overview of the Letter

Here are the individual sections of a proper letter of recommendation for an MBA program example. The letter of recommendation as a whole should fill one page and consist of an introduction, at least two body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

The body of the recommendation letter should include:

  • An explanation of how you, the recommender, know the MBA applicant
  • A brief description of the applicant and their best qualities as they relate to the program and their future goals
  • Specific examples of the applicant’s skill set; provide real-life, concrete examples of your student’s excellence

If you are struggling to find the proper tone of the letter of recommendation, you may want to review an MBA recommendation letter sample from a professor, manager, or other leadership figure to guide the language used in the letter.

Introduction

In any business school letter of recommendation template, the following aspects need to be included in the introduction:

Formal greeting Introduce yourself, your title, and affiliations.
Candidate introduction Introduce the MBA candidate.
Relationship to the candidate Describe your relationship with the applicant and how that relates to your choice to recommend the applicant to the MBA program.

Paragraph One

Once you get into the body of the recommendation letter, the balance of tone gets a little tricky. You will need to describe the candidate’s qualifications and positive attributes without being overly complimentary. Try your best to maintain a formal, objective tone, while still representing your personal relationship with the applicant.

In this portion of the letter, it is best to discuss your student’s problem-solving abilities within a professional setting, work ethic, leadership skills, and any stellar academic qualities the applicant may possess. Take a look at the executive MBA letter of recommendation samples below to get a feel for how this portion should be constructed.

Paragraph Two

Further into the body of the letter, ideally in the second paragraph, you need to go more in-depth regarding the applicant’s character. Provide specific examples of how they manage responsibilities and why this trait contributes to their eligibility for acceptance to the MBA program.

Keep in mind that the purpose of the letter is to honestly review why the applicant is the best choice for acceptance into the MBA program. That said, mild criticism (if applicable) can go a long way in terms of objectivity and credibility when coupled with your praise of the applicant.

For example, you can describe how the candidate responded to an adverse situation or criticism if their response was negative in nature. Make sure to follow this up with how they are improving on this trait.

Conclusion

In the conclusion of your letter, summarize why you are recommending the applicant for acceptance in the MBA program. Briefly reiterate your observations of the candidate throughout your relationship and their strongest qualifications for acceptance.

Finally, leave the university an invitation to contact you should they require further information, and finish the letter of recommendation with a formal sign off—your printed name and signature beneath it.

Letter of Recommendation for MBA Program Example

Here is an example of a strong letter of recommendation for an MBA program applicant.

Dear Augsburg University MBA Program:

I am writing this letter to recommend Jane Doe for the MBA program at Augsburg University. I have directly supervised Jane for the past three years at [Name of company]. In my time working with Jane I have personally witnessed her dedication and hard work for the organization. Jane is responsible for capital purchases, information technology equipment, and pediatric care equipment.

Jane’s interest and ability in learning news tasks have allowed her to be very knowledgeable in many of the procurement procedures that exist. She always volunteers for new assignments and demonstrates an ability to learn and retain information quickly and accurately. Jane is always willing to do what it takes to get the job done and truly lives up to the company ideals.

I believe Jane will be very successful in your MBA program and is well equipped to handle the challenges and learning experiences that Augsburg can provide for her. She is fully capable of balancing the workload between her job responsibilities and school. The knowledge she will gain from the MBA program will serve her well and will prepare her for promotional opportunities in the near future. I believe Jane is a great candidate for the MBA program and will be very successful in your program. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Sincerely,

[Your name] 

More MBA Letter of Recommendation Templates

To further assist you in writing the recommendation letter, it is advised that you review MBA reference letter templates.

Below are some letter of recommendation samples for MBA programs that demonstrate an effective letter of recommendation format, and further, specific examples of how to write from different perspectives. A letter of recommendation for MBA programs from a professor will look different than one written by an employer or manager; however, it may be difficult to find an MBA recommendation letter sample from a professor.

  • MBA recommendation sample letter from an employer
    • As an employer, you may face the opposite challenge of many writers in that you may be inclined to communicate a little too formally. This business school recommendation letter example will help you to relax your tone to produce the best letter of recommendation possible.
  • Business school recommendation sample from a peer’s perspective
    • This is a great example letter of recommendation for an MBA program. It is not often that peers, rather than employers, managers, or professors, are chosen to write reference letters. As a peer, this sample will guide you in balancing impartiality while highlighting the strengths of the applicant.

Next Steps

With these guidelines and MBA recommendation letter examples, you’re ready to write the perfect recommendation letter, such as a letter of recommendation for a master’s in business leadership, entrepreneurship, or other concentrations, and make your applicant shine.

With these resources available, there’s no reason you shouldn’t improve a worthy candidate’s chances of gaining admission with a powerful letter of recommendation.

If you’re an MBA applicant: Share these templates with the person you’re hoping will write a recommendation letter for you. These examples and insights will make it as easy as possible for the author, especially if they’re unfamiliar with writing a letter of recommendation.

Explore our MBA blog to learn about other specializations or find out more about the requirements for applying to Augsburg’s MBA degree program. Get started today!

Online MBA vs. Offline MBA: The Benefits of a Campus-Based Program

Pursuing an MBA is a career-changing decision with many benefits. An MBA degree opens the door for many opportunities such as a higher salary and career advancement. While traditional MBAs have been pursued for over a century, with the rise of technology, online and hybrid MBA programs have been established at many schools. Students now must decide whether a hybrid or online MBA vs. traditional MBA program format is better for them.

Augsburg MBA students in classroom

While some aspects of the online and on-campus programs may be similar, there are also many differences. Schedules, both for coursework and personal lives, should be taken into account. Resources and networking opportunities can vary between the two formats as well. It is encouraged for students to carefully compare and contrast online school to traditional school MBA programs to ensure they choose the right program for themselves.

Why Pursue an MBA Degree?

There are many reasons to pursue an MBA degree whether you choose to enroll in an online college, an on-campus program, or a hybrid. No matter the reason, an MBA provides many benefits for professionals from building skills to career opportunities. Some of these include:

  • Personal growth
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities
  • A higher salary and career income
  • Networking opportunities
  • Building professional skills
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • Recognition in the field
  • Improved communication skills

The Benefits of Online MBA Program

Once you’ve decided to earn your degree, you then must decide if hybrid or online MBA programs vs. traditional in-classroom formats are right for you. Online MBA programs have grown in popularity in recent years. Offline MBA courses are appealing for a variety of reasons.

You can take classes around your schedule 

One reason for the growing popularity and support of online programs is the flexibility that online MBAs offer students. Classes can be taken in the evenings and on weekends, allowing students to continue working as they earn their degrees. Additionally, classes can be taken from home as long as there is a good internet connection. As with brick and mortar, students may also need to consider whether a full-time online vs. part time MBA program is right for them.

A hybrid MBA combines traditional classroom interactions with an on-line component. The hybrid MBA allows for students to attend class only one night per week with additional materials offered on the university’s educational platform. One example is Augsburg University’s MBA program, which allows students to manage their busy schedules while completing their MBA program in 26 months.

Costs less or about the same as a traditional MBA

The tuition for many online MBA programs is sometimes less than the cost of a traditional MBA. That said, the tuition cost can vary widely depending on the program, accreditation, and school. Taking an online program can also save money in other ways. Since classes can be taken from home, there will be few transportation costs incurred. However, students often feel that they are missing the richness of group discussions around the subject matter.

Equal accreditation (usually)

Are online MBA programs accepted by employers as traditional degrees? Is a full-time MBA vs. part time program better? If the school has a good reputation and is accredited, online degrees are generally accepted by employers. Employers understand the growing popularity of online courses, and it can show that the individual is motivated and uses solid time management and computer skills. Some companies may ask to discuss why you elected to take an online vs. in-class MBA program. A few companies are reticent to reimburse for online MBAs; employees should check with their human resource department on reimbursement policies for their respective companies.

The Benefits of a Hybrid MBA Program

A hybrid MBA allows you the best of both worlds: Face-to-face interaction one night a week with the flexibility of completing assignments online the rest of the time. The Augsburg MBA program is a one night per week program that allows students to arrange their business travel around their schedule. On certain occasions, students will use Zoom or Skype to attend class if they are out of town or if there is a family emergency. The Augsburg MBA program embraces the hybrid model while maintaining the rigor of a traditional MBA program.

You can take classes around your schedule 

One reason for the growing popularity and support of hybrid programs is the flexibility MBAs offer students who travel or have busy family lives. Classes can be taken one evening per week, allowing students to continue working as they earn their degrees. Additionally, coursework can be completed at home and posted online.

The Benefits of a Campus MBA Program

When it comes to the hybrid or online vs. in-person MBA debate, taking an on-campus program provides benefits that online MBA degrees do not. On-campus students can expect structure and interaction that online programs cannot offer. Below are some of the benefits of a traditional MBA program.

More structured schedule

A structured schedule is one of the benefits of an in-person MBA program. Classes have a specific start and stop time and attendance is required, keeping students on a learning path with a set pace. This can help students to not become overloaded with coursework in addition to outside obligations such as jobs and families.

More resources on campus

Another contrast between hybrid or online vs. traditional classroom courses is the number of resources available. Having face time with instructors and hands-on experience in classes and labs can be beneficial to those who learn better in structured environments. Additionally, there are many other resources available to on-campus students. Some of these include:

  • Libraries
  • Group interactions
  • Tutoring
  • Career services and internships
  • Wellness and counseling
  • Field study projects
  • International trips

Networking

The in-person interaction that traditional programs offer is an important benefit as it presents many networking opportunities for students. Networking with students and alumni can open the door for many opportunities such as internships and career advancement. Outside of the classroom, joining clubs and other organizations can present even more networking opportunities.

Employer Perceptions After Graduation

Online MBA vs. traditional programs or hybrid programs: Which one is more widely accepted by employers?

The reputation of the school and the program structure are often more important to employers than how the degree was earned. However, there are many schools with MBA programs, some more reputable than others.

Those who complete an MBA program, especially an online program, should prepare to discuss their degree with their current or prospective employer. Some questions to prepare for regarding your MBA include:

  • Did you complete your degree in a traditional or online format?
  • Why did you choose to take an online program?
  • What did your program offer?
  • Is the program accredited?

Networking and connections

There are greater networking opportunities in on-campus programs. In-person programs provide the opportunity for networking with fellow students, instructors, and alumni face-to-face. Though networking may be easier in a traditional program, it is certainly still possible in online programs.

Some courses have work that may be completed over video conferencing, providing some real-time interactions. Online students may also consider joining groups and organizations within their community or find internships.

Does the program/degree you are pursuing make a difference?

Completing an MBA from an accredited school tends to be much more important than the format of the program. Whether an online MBA vs. part time MBA program or hybrid program is taken also makes little difference. Most employers value a degree whether it is earned on-campus or remotely. They also understand that online programs may be better for some to allow students to balance work, school, and other responsibilities. It comes down to the student and their goals and needs.

Who benefits best from an online MBA?

Should I do an online MBA program? Online MBA courses are ideal for many, but not everyone. While there is still a structured course syllabus and some interactions over chat and video chat, much of the work is completed independently. An online education is a good option for those who aren’t near a school or who have families or full-time jobs.

Students with busy schedules may even choose to pursue a part-time or hybrid program to ensure they can balance their responsibilities. Other factors also play into the success of online MBA applicants.

  • They must be motivated and driven.
  • Time-management skills are a must.
  • They must be disciplined and have the ability to work independently.
  • They must have reliable technology equipment such as a computer and an internet connection.

Who benefits best from a Traditional MBA Education?

Traditional programs are still popular with many. Some find that they’re more successful being on a structured schedule and completing courses at a steady pace. Traditional MBA students may prefer working in groups and having face-to-face meetings with other students as well as instructors. Being able to use other resources that schools have to offer such as libraries, lectures, and groups is also a draw to many MBA students. On-campus MBA students should:

  • Be punctual
  • Enjoy interacting with other students and professors
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Welcome the opportunity to network with other professionals

Making Your Decision

Now that you understand the difference between hybrid or online MBA and distance MBA programs, it’s time to choose which format is right for you. Do you have work or family obligations that fill your schedule or is your employer allowing you to work flexible hours? Do you have schools within commuting distance that offer MBA programs?

These aspects should be taken into consideration when choosing a program. There is a lot to consider when it comes to online MBA vs. in-person degrees. Learn more about how you can advance your career with a Master of Business Administration from Augsburg University.

Browse upcoming campus events or consider visiting for a campus tour.

You can also explore our blog or request information about Augsburg’s growing MBA program. The best way to learn more about the Augsburg MBA program is by attending an information session.

Ready to apply now? Get started today.

Highest-Paying Jobs for MBA Graduates

A Master of Business Administration degree is one of the most reliable graduate degree programs as it opens doors to endless high-paying career opportunities. You can apply your education from an MBA degree program to data analytics, leadership, finance, economics, marketing, and health care industries, or even opt to take the entrepreneurial route, well-equipped to launch and manage your own business.

The Augsburg MBA program is 26 months in length and is optimized to best prepare you for your future career by providing skills such as critical thinking, analysis of marketing and economic trends, and the ethics of working in team settings.

Augsburg MBA studentChoosing the perfect MBA program can lead to a fulfilling career with earnings of anywhere between $85,600 and $189,000. With a master’s in business administration, starting salaries are often much higher than in other types of careers with a simple bachelor’s degree.

Currently, some of the highest-paying jobs for MBA graduates are product managers, management consultants, marketing managers, data analytics managers, and financial managers. Read on to learn about the best MBA jobs, fastest-growing fields, and top industries for MBA graduates.

MBA Graduates in General Management

Earning an MBA in general management actively equips an individual with all the necessary skills to perform management tasks in an array of fields. Why the emphasis on “active?” MBA programs are not meant to be lecture-centered or to passively provide knowledge. Instead, an MBA student studying general management should expect to be thoroughly engaged in coursework that will expose them to what is needed to run a company.

Some jobs for MBA graduates to consider after earning your degree are:

  • Enterprise management
  • Management for companies with international offices and/or staff
  • Business consultant
  • Data analytics manager
  • Finance manager

The most important skills you will gain from your MBA in general management will be the ability to work proficiently as an individual and in a team setting, analyzing data, implement critical thinking skills at all times, and—perceivably one of the most crucial skills—networking.

Chief Operating Officer

Also referred to as the chief executive, the chief operating officer has several duties that place them as a high authority in the workplace.

As a COO, you will perform company organizational duties such as coordinating funding and maximizing company investments. This can include delegating responsibilities to department heads and managers, performing analyses of company and staff performance, and overseeing and directing general business activity such as policy implementation and development of company goals.

A COO needs to have a thorough knowledge of the principles of business administration and management, procedures by which to perform human resources tasks (especially interpersonal communication), customer service, and legal knowledge of issues related to the company and company activities. The application of this knowledge is partially manifested through office tasks such as e-mail and telephone communications, decision-making, problem-solving, and independent time management.

  • Average salary: $91.15 hourly, $189,000 annually
  • Career outlook: -2% or lower (2018–28)
  • Recommended MBA degree: Leadership concentration

Vice President

Although they are somewhat similar in responsibilities and daily work structure, a company’s vice president is distinct in its role from the COO. The VP is normally second or third in command (whereas the COO would be first) and functions fundamentally as a manager.

The VP has oversight of all individuals that work within the company as a manager in any capacity (i.e., an employee to whom other employees report). The VP’s role can be specified to one department or unit within a company.

For example, an automotive company’s vice president working in their assigned unit may oversee all operations related to the manufacturing of the vehicles. This role does not encompass the function of the entire company, but it does encompass all activities within that department.

Signing and interpreting legal documents, contributing to the development of the company mission, values, and goals, and leadership of assistant VPs, managers, and directors are all core functions of the vice president.

MBA Graduates in Financial Roles

A graduate degree with a concentration in finance is often a safe choice as there will always be a need for the management and distribution of currency throughout the world. In fact, this field consistently has some of the fastest-growing careers at some of the best companies for MBA graduates. Popular careers you will have to choose from with an MBA include:

  • Investment banker
  • Financial advisor
  • Chief financial officer
  • Financial analyst

Depending on your career choice you may need to earn additional certifications. For example, if you choose to work as an investment banker, you are not required to get additional certifications, still, it is highly recommended that you obtain a Certified Investment Banking Associate certification from the Investment Bankers Group.

On the other hand, as a chief financial officer, there are no certifications or licenses available. For a CFO, the equivalent of licensing is simply obtained through years of experience.

Some responsibilities of these roles include the management of bonds, developing and executing investment strategies, and general financial decision-making and advising.

Chief Financial Officer

The job of a chief financial officer, among the fastest-growing finance careers, is similar to that of the financial manager as described by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: This individual is expected to prepare paperwork (statements, invoices, reports, forecasts), supervise employees in the appropriate department(s), review company financial activity and innovate methods by which costs can be reduced, and analyze marketing trends.

As a chief financial officer, you will have to remain up-to-date on technological advances that influence the efficiency with which company goals can be met (and therefore influence costs of production or service). Depending on the industry, a CFO may also be expected to be knowledgeable of specific legislation regarding company activities.

There are many different types of CFOs, treasurers, credit managers, and insurance managers, all who have a similar foundation of purpose, yet specific tasks unique to their field. Although you can expect the general framework described above, there will likely be additional, specific tasks that vary per role.

  • Average salary: $127,990 annually
  • Career outlook: +16%, 2018–28
  • Recommended MBA degree: Finance concentration

Senior Financial Analyst

A financial analyst is not necessarily in a position of authority, but is a key employee in the decision-making processes and investment procedures of the company. As a financial analyst, your daily workflow would include recommendations of investments and collections of said investments, evaluation and analysis of historical financial data, regular study of current economic trends, preparation of written reports, and meetings with company officials for financial planning.

Financial analysts, also referred to as securities analysts or investment analysts, can work in banks, pension funds, insurance companies, and so much more.

There are two main types of financial analysts. There are those that work on the buying side and those that work on the selling side. You’ll most often find buy-side analysts in hedge funds, insurance companies, nonprofit organizations, and similar institutions that have a primary focus on investment. Sell-side analysts, on the other hand, work with companies focused on selling stocks and bonds.

The average MBA salary for a financial analyst is below.

  • Average salary: $85,660 annually
  • Career outlook: +6%, 2018–28
  • Recommended MBA degree: Finance concentration

Other High-Paying Fields for MBA Graduates

With your MBA degree, you are incredibly well-prepared for your job search. You not only have work experience behind you, but also at least two years of practical training and applicable coursework that has prepared you for the demands of a managerial or leadership position.

Currently, many of the highest-paying MBA jobs are ripe for the taking—specifically for positions as a management consultant or product manager. Marketing and financial managers are also in high demand right now; something to consider when choosing your degree program or future industry.

Marketing

An MBA in marketing is almost as versatile as an MBA in general management. With this degree, you will be primarily focused on development of skills that are foundational to the development of sales of products and services, learning to effectively compete in your industry, and monitor marketing trends of your industry.

With an MBA in marketing, you will acquire a number of specialized skills such as strategic planning, market research, campaigning, consumer behavior, and analysis of demand.

The beauty of the MBA marketing degree is that you can choose to apply it to a career in a company that is already well-established in a given industry, or you can readily apply your education to entrepreneurial endeavors.

Some of the top companies for MBA graduates include Ernest and Young, J.P. Morgan Chase, and General Electric. A few of the top five fastest-growing careers in marketing are:

  • Public relations specialist
  • Market research director
  • Sales manager

Health care

Nearly every job in the health care industry requires intense delegation, managerial, and communication skills. With your MBA in health care management, you could work in several different capacities in health care. Often, graduates work their way into health care administration and other related health care jobs. There will be numerous options available to you, all in different settings, including emergency clinics, small, private clinics such as dentist offices, insurance agencies, and so much more.

You may still have to work your way up from entry-level jobs for MBA grads to reach some of these esteemed positions; however, that should not be a deterrent. With the proper professional and academic background, someone with an MBA in health care management has access to endless opportunities. A few examples of some of the fastest-growing medical careers for MBA graduates are:

  • Hospital administrator
  • Health and social service manager
  • Manager of patient safety

Finding the Right MBA Job With Your MBA

Earning an MBA in general management may be a practical route for your future career, regardless of what field you find yourself in. There are a plethora of career opportunities available to you with an MBA—so much so that you can tailor your education to nearly any position you aspire to.

You’ll hardly have to wonder about how much MBAs make, as your degree makes available to you some of the fastest-growing professions secured by a consistently high MBA salary—even across industries.

Any institution with employees or volunteers that handle finances or documentation of any sort and communicates with, or otherwise serves, the general public can benefit from professional leadership. Salary, job description, and projected industry growth should be considered when choosing your future career. With this guide, you can carve out your own path.

The future of MBA jobs is greatly promising as it is home to many jobs with the highest growth rates in their respective industries. As you sift through specializations and consider your options after graduation, you can remain confident in your choice to pursue an MBA career.

Learn more about how you can advance your career with a Master of Business Administration from Augsburg University. Explore our blog or request information about Augsburg’s growing hybrid MBA program. The best way to learn more about the Augsburg MBA program is by attending an information session.

Ready to apply now? Get started today.

How to Study for the GRE Exam

The Graduate Record Examination is a test most prospective graduate students must endure before moving onto their new program, whether it be at the same institution as their undergraduate degree program or a different one. The GRE is meant to function as the college-level SAT, where colleges use your test scores as a baseline to measure your academic ability. Augsburg MBA student

Avoid falling into a pattern of asking, “Can I pass the GRE without studying?” The answer may be yes or it may be no, but one thing is for sure: You should not sell yourself short of the opportunity to do well on such a life- and career-altering test.

Passing the GRE without studying is not a legitimate plan, so here is a brief guide to some of the best GRE study tips and how to study for the GRE on your own.

How Hard Is the GRE Exam?

The difficulty of the GRE is dependent on the type of GRE test that you have to take. Your field of study and the program for which you are applying will determine this. The GRE is not a “difficult” test in the sense that it will challenge you to think critically and solve problems in the same way a midterm will test you on concepts you are newly grasping. Rather, the GRE is meant to prompt you to think in the manner required by your field.

For instance, individuals who are studying animal science may find the GRE is harder in terms of mathematics or critical thinking of data interpretation, whereas someone in the field of psychology may be challenged by interpreting symptoms or recalling nervous system physiology.

How Long Is the Exam?

The structure of the GRE and whether you are taking the General Exam alone or with an additional specialized exam determines the length of the test. The GRE General Test takes about three hours and 45 minutes and is divided into three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing.

The length of your test may slightly vary depending on whether you take a computer versus paper test, but any difference will likely be negligible.

How Long Does it Take to Study for the GRE?

The length of time it takes to study for the GRE is completely dependent on you. You can begin studying months ahead of time, or you could wait until a few days before. Here are a few examples of GRE study plans for those who want to start early and even those people who are pressed for time.

Creating a GRE Study Schedule

How long should you study for the GRE? Every individual’s time for when to start studying for the GRE will be different, but the ideal average study time for the GRE is between four and 12 weeks. These plans can be lengthened or shortened to work best for you. If you’re wondering how long to study for the GRE on a daily basis, we have that information here for you, too.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that no one should wait until the very last minute to study for the GRE. Although none of the topics on the GRE should be new to you, you need ample time to practice and perfect your knowledge and test-taking skills. This means using the best GRE study guide available to you, reviewing concepts on your own, and taking the GRE practice test.

Two-Month Study Plan

It is ideal to start early with your GRE study prep, but not so early that you lose any structure to your study plan or so far ahead of the test that you no longer remember the review material. Starting two months ahead of your test date is by far the best way to study for the GRE, as you have ample time to determine your strengths and weaknesses and sculpt your GRE exam study plan around them.

Where do you begin? Your first step, especially when starting early, is to take the full-length GRE practice test in order to create a “baseline” for your study plan. What was your score for the practice test? Is there room for improvement? What question types did you struggle with? Having this understanding of your test-taking ability and appreciation for your strengths will help you to know what to spend time on during your study period.

Once you have this foundation, dedicate a few (three to four) hours of your day a few times a week to studying. Try to get your study environment as similar to test conditions as you can.

Another way to maximize your studies for the GRE in two months is by having someone else plan your studies for you. Perhaps you can enroll in a class. There are classes available to help you develop a structured study strategy and to work on your test-taking techniques. These courses are available in person or online; it may be best to enroll in a course type that is most similar to your future test-taking conditions (i.e., online class for an online GRE test).

One-Month Study Plan

Although you may have slightly fewer ways you can approach studying (meaning you may not have the option of taking certain GRE courses), one month is still plenty of time. How to study for the GRE in a month looks quite similar to the two-month plan with only a few adjustments.

With the one-month plan, you still have ample time to identify your academic problem areas and determine the specific subject areas you need to improve on. This said, you will need to start your one-month study plan with taking a practice test as well.

Instead of just a few times a week, you will need to practice every day on a one-month study schedule.

Two-Week Study Plan

First of all, don’t worry. No, it isn’t ideal that you have to study for the GRE in only two weeks, but you are not alone. Many people have found themselves in this position, and some even prefer it this way.

Your best option for studying when pressed for time is to use the official guide to the GRE general test. This is ideal because you have all of the practice and study materials in one compact item that you can take along with you to work and school.

Because a lot of people struggle with mathematics under test conditions, especially when being timed, it is highly recommended that you practice solving mathematics and quantitative data questions in conditions similar to that of the formal test. Alternate topics by day to make sure you get as much time with each one as possible. This way, you will have given yourself as much time as possible with each topic to be fully prepared.

If you are confident in your preparation for one topic versus another, feel free to give yourself more time with the topic that gives you the most trouble.

Strategies for Studying

There are several different aspects to developing a thorough strategy for studying for the GRE.  These strategy aspects may differ based on your individual study methods and the amount of time you have available to dedicate.

Build Vocabulary With Flashcards

Sure, it may make you feel like you’re back in grade school, but making flashcards when studying vocabulary for the GRE is one of the best methods to commit the words and definitions to memory.

How do you study GRE vocabulary when you have no clue what the words will be? There are many online resources that provide vocabulary lists of some of the most-seen words on the GRE general test. Kaplan is one of the most reliable sources, as they also offer the GRE test prep class.

Take Full-Length Practice Tests

Making the full-length GRE practice exam the first step to your study plan is essential to ensuring that you work on the GRE topics for which you need the most refinement. Of course, it’s important to prepare for each section of the test, including the analytical writing section. Many people find that they struggle with mathematics questions especially, so this is a great way to have some GRE math prep and determine the precise GRE math topics to study throughout your schedule.

Gauge Your Strengths and Weaknesses Early

This goes along with the need to take the full-length practice test at the beginning of your study plan. Determining your strengths and weaknesses early can be accomplished also through enrolling in a GRE prep course, as instructors and assistants will happily help you identify the areas you may find most challenging.

Enroll in a Prep Class

With the GRE test prep course, you’ll be given a personalized study plan with regular practice, study material on verbal and quantitative reasoning, along with the chance to do a full test run of the GRE general test in an actual test facility. Those are just a few of the many benefits that come along with enrolling in a GRE prep course.

Consider Prep Books

If you are able, take advantage of all the test materials available to you through the Educational Testing Service, especially if you are starting your preparation early! There are books available on single subjects, or you can prepare for the general test entirely.

If you don’t have the funds to purchase a GRE study guide, don’t worry! ETS offers a handful of free or low-priced materials to test-takers, including a downloadable study book. For those who struggle with mathematics especially, you can find the GRE math test prep separate from vocabulary and verbal reasoning in GRE math study guides.

Test Day Tips

Now that you’ve done all the heavy lifting, it’s time to bring this process to a close and take that test. Here are a few tips to make sure you are in your best frame of mind when you walk into that test center.

The Night Before

Do not cram. This is possibly one of the worst things you can do before any test, especially one as major as the GRE. Trying to cram too much information into your brain the night before your test will not likely help you remember anything. It will only increase your stress and anxiety levels.

What to Bring

You don’t have to bring much at all to the GRE general test.

The few things you do need to bring are:

  • Your photo ID
  • Water
  • Light snacks
  • Email or printed confirmation of your GRE registration from ETS
  • Pencils (Just in case, as most test centers will provide the pencils and scratch paper for you)

You will also need to know ahead of time what schools you wish to send your GRE score to. You will not be able to write them down and take that note in with you; going through a list ahead of time will ensure you get those scores sent to the right place(s).

Stay Relaxed

The best thing you can do for yourself, no matter how much you’ve prepared or how confident you may feel, is to stay relaxed before and during the test. A stressed and scattered mind is a guarantee that the test will not go your way since you will not be able to think clearly.

Getting some light exercise, like a short walk, and a full breakfast with plenty of water will help you to relax.

What If I Don’t Pass?

Many people struggle with this test, and it is not necessarily reflective of your academic capabilities. If you were not happy with your performance on the GRE, you can retake the test once every 21 days within one calendar year.

Next Steps

The question of How long should I study for the GRE? should now be gone from your mind, making you ready for the next steps.

Now that you have a plan for studying for the GRE, visit the ETS website to begin looking at dates to register for your test. Make sure to check if there are additional tests you need to take alongside the general test (for example, a student of zoological sciences may want to take the biology test).

Relax, breathe, study hard, and do your best to earn a GRE score that reflects your academic abilities and goals.

If you have more questions about MBA program requirements, request information from Augsburg University today.

GMAT Study Plan Tips and Best Strategies

Most business schools require applicants to take the Graduate Management Admission Test in order to be considered for admission. It’s true—another standardized test is required for further education, and your score is important in deciding your fate. However, as long as you study and prepare to the best of your ability, there’s no reason to go into the exam fearful of the end result or of the testing process, for that matter.Augsburg MBA student

Before committing to the exam, you should make sure you’re set on attending an MBA program, because the GMAT is specific to business school and it’s not cheap; it costs $250. Given the price of the exam, studying hard and getting your desired score the first time around is ideal.

The exam is meant to test how quickly you can think, so if you plan on acing the GMAT, you’ll need to learn how to create an effective study schedule, be strategic, and develop a solid toolkit of test-day tips. This guide includes GMAT exam tips and strategies for sticking to your GMAT MBA preparations.

How Hard Is the GMAT Exam?

If you’re asking yourself, “Is the GMAT hard?” and, “How do I even prepare for this?” don’t worry; these are common questions. The GMAT is meant to be challenging, as it is made to predict your performance in business school. Don’t let this deter you from performing well in business school and working to fulfill your dreams.

None of the information on the test is based on knowledge of business. Instead, it’s based on critical thinking, writing, logic, and high school-level math concepts. Because the GMAT is standardized, it’s easily learnable and the most difficult parts for a majority of test-takers—timing and format—can easily be studied ahead of time.

How Long Is the GMAT Exam?

The GMAT test length is 3 ½ hours; it takes some endurance. This time estimate includes two optional eight-minute breaks that you’ll certainly want to take advantage of. Even if you can only get a few minutes to rest and recharge your brain, it can really make a difference in performance.

How Long Does it Take to Study for the GMAT?

How long to study for the GMAT is a very important question, and the answer can differ greatly between people. The best GMAT test prep for you requires that you have an idea of your goal GMAT score. To figure this out, simply sit down, nail down your top programs, look at their desired scores, and base your goal on that.

This will determine when you should start studying for the GMAT. Depending on your schedule and how much time you have to dedicate to GMAT prep in your daily schedule, you will want to spend somewhere between one and three months preparing.

How Many Hours to Study for the GMAT

How long does it take to prepare for the GMAT? Most people spend at least 50 hours studying for the GMAT. However, this doesn’t mean that you should scramble to study for as long as you can without making a plan. Creating a GMAT study plan will help maximize your score while making sure you don’t waste time over-studying. Fifteen study hours in a week or less allows you to leave time for your other responsibilities and won’t let you cram, which can be counterproductive.

Creating a GMAT Study Schedule

Making a GMAT study plan keeps you organized, ensures you cover all the right concepts, and helps track your progress. There are three primary factors to consider in a GMAT study schedule: your goal score, the amount of time until you take the test, and your strengths and weaknesses as a student.

Let’s break down the differences between a three-month study plan, two-month study plan, and one-month study plan. In the first example there’s an actual outline of a study plan so you can see what one can look like.

Three-Month Study Plan

The three-month study plan is the most common and the best way to prepare for the GMAT. You’re able to put in far more than 50 hours of study over a long period of time, which likely means a higher score. You don’t need to cram; instead, you can work at your own pace.

  • Week 1: Get Familiar With GMAT
    • Learn about the test, the format, questions, and scoring.
    • Take a GMAT practice test and make it as real as possible. Then review your results and note your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Week 2: Quantitative Section
    • Review this section of the test: math strategies, formulas, basic algebra, geometry, and word problems.
    • Don’t be afraid to make flash cards to help your memory; they could be your ticket for how to ace GMAT math.
  • Week 3: Verbal Section
    • Review this section of the test. Research GMAT reading strategies to find your best fit.
    • Practice sentence corrections and make flashcards to brush up on your grammar fluency.
  • Week 4: Practice Test
    • Take another practice test. Again, make it as real as possible.
    • Review your results and examine what went wrong.
    • Practice the question types that you struggled with most.
  • Weeks 5 and 6: Quantitative and Verbal Review
    • In these weeks, really dig into your GMAT study resources and get deep into these subjects.
    • For math, do practice drills, data sufficiency questions, and problem-solving questions.
    • For verbal, work on reading comprehension, critical reasoning questions, and verbal questions.
  • Week 7: Practice Test
    • Repeat the practice test and review process from Week 4.
  • Week 8: Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrative Reasoning Practice
    • Review Analytical Writing Assessment strategies and practice writing prompts.
    • Practicing IR questions is the best way to prepare for the section. It will give you a sense of the data analysis you’ll be expected to perform.
  • Week 9: Review Quantitative and Verbal Sections
    • Review your weakest sections from the practice test in Week 7.
  • Week 10: Practice Test
    • Take another practice test and do exactly what you did in Weeks 4 and 7.
    • Take note of your progress and celebrate your hard work.
  • Week 11: Review
    • Review your weakest sections from last week’s practice test.
  • Week 12: Light Review
    • Lightly review whatever may need a little more attention, but for the most part, rest your mind and body. That is an integral part of preparation for the test.

Although three months of studying produces the best scores, dedicating that amount of time simply doesn’t work for many people who have busy lives and families.

Two-Month Study Plan

The two-month guide is the recommended GMAT prep for working professionals. The benefit of this schedule is flexibility. It’s spread out over a period of time that allows someone to get 50 hours in at the very least without having to spend hours studying every single day.

  • Days 1–2: Build Your Base
    • On these first days, familiarize yourself with the test, what each section covers, and how it’s scored.
    • Take a GMAT practice test. Take the test in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted for the full 3 ½ hours. Review your results and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Weeks 1 and 2: Strengths
    • In these weeks, work on your strongest sections. Use the guides and resources you have to get used to the format of the sections and wording of the questions.
  • Weeks 3–5: Weaknesses
    • Take this time to work on your weaker sections. Whatever your strengths or weaknesses, make sure you review different testing strategies during these weeks to find what works best for you.
  • Week 6: Mixed Practice
    • This week, hone in on what needs attention. Practice some questions from a section within a timed limit and then move on to another. Once you’ve done a mix of timed practices, go through and analyze your mistakes.
    • At the end of this week take another practice test and make the conditions as realistic as you can.
  • Week 7: Identify Remaining Weaknesses
    • Go through your last practice test and analyze your results. Figure out where you struggled the most and spend your time working on those concepts.
    • Use your study resources to review and practice the Analytical Writing Assessment and Integrative Reasoning portions of the test.
  • Week 8: Ease Up
    • Take another practice test and analyze it just like you did last week.
    • One or two days before the test, lay off the studies and relax. It is important to give yourself a break and rest up for the big day.

The drawback of this schedule is that if you’re looking for the highest score possible, beginning your studies three months out is still the best way to study for the GMAT.

One-Month Study Plan

The benefit of a one-month study plan is that it allows you to get down to business. However, if you don’t have a lot of extra lead time, getting those 50 hours of study time in can quickly become a challenge.

The first step in this plan is to take practice tests to identify what you absolutely must master in the next four weeks.

  • Days 1–2: Familiarize Yourself (5 hours)
    • In the first couple of days, familiarize yourself with the test; how it’s scored, the format, and types of questions.
    • Take a GMAT practice test and take it seriously. This will help you identify strengths and weaknesses. Review your test results and use them to decide where you’ll need the most practice.
  • Days 3–7: Quantitative Section (10 hours)
    • Focus on the quantitative portion of the test. Review algebra, geometry, word problems, and number properties.
    • GMAT math practice tests are available for each topic, as well as resources to guide you on the formulas and strategies to use.
  • Days 8–12: Verbal Section (8 hours)
    • Familiarize yourself with the content covered in this section. Make sure to practice sentence corrections.
    • Read up on GMAT verbal study plans and reading strategies to find the one that works best for you.
  • Day 13: Practice Test (4 hours)
    • Take another practice test. Afterwards, review your results to know what needs attention.
  • Days 14–18: Quantitative Section (10 hours)
    • Keep reviewing your math skills and practicing GMAT quantitative questions. If there are parts you struggle with, make flashcards and review them whenever you have time.
  • Days 19–23: Verbal Section (12 hours)
    • Review the types of questions you struggle with and find reading strategies that work for you.
    • Flashcards can be helpful for grammar and other concepts that you’re likely to see on the sentence correction section.
  • Day 24: Practice Test (4 hours)
    • Take another practice test and review your results again to hone in on what needs extra practice in the final days before the test.
  • Day 25: Analytical Writing Assessment (3 hours)
    • Use your GMAT resources to review strategies and practice writing prompts.
  • Day 26: Integrated Reasoning (3 hours)
    • Use your resources to learn about the questions, structure, and general make up of this part. Practice test questions.
  • Day 27: Practice Test (4 hours)
    • Take another practice test and do your best to simulate the real thing. Still review your results to note what you can lightly review in the days leading up to the test.
  • Days 28–30: Light Prepping (5 hours)
    • Do minimum review and maximum resting. Do some light review if you feel you need to, but otherwise, just rest so you can bring your best on test day.

This plan has recommended time allotments to help you make sure you log enough study hours. Studying for one month probably won’t result in as high of a score as two or three months of studying, but you’ll at least be able to cover the basics required for passing the GMAT.

Strategies for Studying

The best GMAT test strategies depend on what type of student you are, but there are some tips for studying for the GMAT that will help you navigate this process and improve your score no matter what. Additionally, these GMAT tips will help you parse out the strategy that will work best to your advantage.

Study the GMAT Handbook

The GMAT Handbook is an excellent resource, especially if you don’t know others who have taken this test before. It contains advice on how to sign up for a test, what to do before and after the exam, and everything in between. It is the No. 1 go-to for all things GMAT.

Gauge Your Strengths and Weaknesses Early

Standardized tests aren’t intuitive for everyone, but you can still learn how to ace the GMAT. Identifying early on which elements of the test (i.e., format, content, timing) are your strengths and weaknesses can help you get the most out of your prep time.

Take Full-Length Practice Tests

Full practice tests are the best aid for GMAT strategy. Take them seriously. Do them in one sitting with no interruptions. Try to be consistent with this as you progress in your study schedule to track your progress. If you take test prep courses seriously, you’ll be able to pace yourself, know how questions are phrased, know the focus of each section, and be able to develop strategies.

Enroll in a GMAT Prep Class

If managing your studies all on your own seems too daunting, or you know that you won’t stay on track without extra guidance, enroll in a GMAT prep course.

Consider Prep Books and Software

GMAT prep books and software are necessary to study on your own. They contain top-notch GMAT advice. Here are some places for you to start:

Test Day Tips

Once all the preparation comes to a close and test day actually arrives, some last minute jitters and worries tend to crop up. Here are a few more GMAT test-taking tips to help you prepare and stay calm on the big day.

The Night Before

Rest well the night before the test. If you study at all the day before, don’t cram in extra practice tests at night. Your body and mind need a break, so close your books, do something relaxing, and get a good night’s sleep.

What to Bring to the GMAT

You’ll need a valid, government-issued photo ID and, if you would like, bring the details of up to five MBA programs to send your scores. You’re certainly not required to do this, but it’s included in the $250 for the test.

You might not like the score you get and won’t want to send it to your top-choice schools. Just know that it’s an option that can save you money so you don’t have to pay to have your scores sent again.

For your personal benefit, bring water and snacks to eat during the breaks.

Remember to Relax

Try not to get too worked up about the test. Don’t rush yourself; if you get caught up on a question, do your best to find the right answer but keep moving along.

What If I Don’t Pass?

If you don’t pass, don’t be discouraged. There are still options. You can take the test again. Standardized testing doesn’t always come easy and it can take a few tries to adjust to it.

Additionally, knowing which MBA program is the right fit can be a tough decision. There are countless options to consider.

There are even MBA programs like Augsburg’s that don’t require the GMAT to apply.

Next Steps

The GMAT can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. Take the time to study and prepare so you can open doors to a bright future with an MBA degree. If you have more questions about MBA program requirements, request information from Augsburg University admissions today.

Complete Guide to Getting an MBA in Leadership

Are you considering getting a Master of Business Administration with a leadership focus? If so, you’ve probably started your initial research and are realizing how much there is to consider. Is a master’s degree in leadership or an MBA right for you? What are your career goals? Are you looking to fine-tune skills for a promotion or do you want greater flexibility in your professional life? Taking into account your career goals is one of the most important factors to account for.Augsburg MBA student

Once you’re ready to enroll in a master’s or MBA program, your first step will be the application process. Planning and preparation can help ensure the admissions process runs smoothly from the time you submit your application materials through the interview with the admissions committee.

Upon completion of the program, you’ll need to determine if an internship or additional certifications are worthwhile. This guide covers what to expect from admissions, the program itself, and insights for what follows the completion of your MBA.

What is an MBA Concentration in Leadership?

An MBA in leadership is valuable in the business world. Top MBA leadership development programs grow both interpersonal and business skills that are necessary to be successful in leadership roles. Communication, coaching and consultation, and decision-making are a few essential skills that will be gained through an MBA program.

While working toward an MBA in business leadership, students will learn how to be effective in business whether it be a small company or global corporation. Graduate students in an MBA program with a leadership concentration often plan to work in management and even executive roles. Students admitted to an MBA program typically already have a few years of work experience in their field, usually in a management capacity.

Master’s in Leadership vs. MBA in Leadership

Is an MBA with a leadership concentration or a master’s degree in leadership right for you? While both can be beneficial in developing your career, there are a few key differences that should be taken into account when choosing a program.

A master’s in leadership is better suited for those planning to move through the ranks within their company into a leadership position or are current leaders wanting to strengthen their skills. Master’s programs in leadership have a focus on techniques and skills such as human resources, project management, and communication. A master’s in leadership is typically completed in less than two years.

An MBA concentration in leadership covers a variety of business topics including marketing, HR, and finance. The leadership concentration allows for leadership-focused electives to be taken in addition to the core curriculum. An MBA program takes longer to complete—26 months—than a master’s but is geared toward professionals who want greater flexibility in their careers.

Core Curriculum for an MBA in Leadership

A leadership MBA takes 26 months to complete at Augsburg University. Throughout the program, students will complete 42 credits. Students should expect to spend about 28 to 32 hours each week in a classroom and an additional five to nine hours in an online classroom environment.

Augsburg Syllabus for an MBA in Leadership

The Augsburg MBA leadership syllabus requires that 14 courses be successfully completed. Twelve of these courses are core requirements for the MBA program. The other two courses should be electives that are specific to the leadership concentration. Any two leadership electives can be chosen from the Master of Arts in Leadership program.

MBA in Leadership Requirements

Once you’ve chosen to obtain an MBA with a concentration in leadership, next you’ll need to begin the admissions process. Be sure to review application requirements carefully to ensure you complete all admissions tasks. Common admissions requirements are:

  • GMAT, GRE, or an alternative with MBA math modules
  • Work experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Essay questions
  • Admissions interview

GMAT or GRE

Students will need to take either the GMAT or GRE for admittance into the MBA program. Either exam is accepted though there are differences between the two. The GMAT is specific to MBA programs whereas the GRE is accepted across many other programs. If applying for an executive MBA leadership program, some universities may waive exam requirements if specific qualifications are met. Some MBA programs, like Augsburg University, do not require the GMAT for admission.

Work Experience

Work experience is often a requirement when applying for an MBA program. At Augsburg, a minimum of two years of relevant work experience is preferred, though previous academic achievements are also taken into account. At many graduate schools, students seeking an executive MBA are often required to have at least five years of managerial work experience.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are required during the admissions process. These letters should be from your current or past employers and detail your professional achievements. For the leadership concentration, the letters should highlight any projects or teams you’ve successfully led. Two letters of recommendation should be included with your application to Augsburg.

Essay Questions

Augsburg requires applicants to respond to two essay questions. Responses to MBA leadership essay questions should exhibit the applicant’s strengths and tell the admissions committee more about them. Applicants should showcase their leadership skills in their responses by detailing projects and work experiences where they have demonstrated leadership qualities.

Admissions Interview

Upon the approval of your application, the next step is an interview with the director of the program. For the interview, the applicant will need to meet with the director on campus or, in some cases, via Skype or Zoom video conferencing, or a telephone interview. While interviews may seem daunting, there are plenty of resources available to help you prepare for questions that may be asked and questions you should consider asking.

While questions that may be asked during the admissions interview will vary from school to school, there are many common questions. A few questions to be prepared to respond to are:

  • Why do you want to pursue an MBA in Leadership?
  • What work or academic qualifications do you have that will contribute to the program?
  • How will the MBA program help in reaching your goals?

Once the director has finished asking interview questions relevant to your application and MBA goals, it’s your turn to ask the committee questions. Below are some questions you should ask the interviewers:

  • Do you have a study abroad program that may be beneficial to an MBA global leadership graduate student?
  • Do you have a field study course to apply the knowledge gained in the program?
  • What are my choices for MBA concentrations?
  • Are there any organizations you’d recommend a student in this concentration should join?
  • What advice do you have for incoming MBA students?

After an MBA in Leadership, What Can I Do Next?

Decision-making, strategy, and communication are senior leadership skills that companies value. These are just a few traits you’ll develop and grow in the best MBA for leadership programs. What should you do once you’ve earned your MBA? Should you put what you’ve learned to use in an internship or should you take additional courses to continue building these skills?

Pursue an MBA Internship in Leadership

Internships are a great way to put to use your knowledge and skills after earning your MBA in leadership and management. Not only will you be gaining hands-on experience and have the opportunity to apply your skills in the workplace, but it’s a great way to scope out different industries to see which is most appealing to you.

MBA students can take internships before or after completing their degrees. These internships may be at large corporations in industries such as finance, IT, health care, or consulting. MBA medical leadership graduate students may prefer to find an internship in the health sector. Those using their MBA in education management and leadership fields may look to intern at schools and education-focused foundations.

Certification Courses After an MBA in Leadership

Many students seek leadership development programs after earning their MBA. A graduate certificate in leadership at Augsburg will fine-tune and build skills acquired from the MBA program. By taking additional leadership courses, recent MBA grads can continue to grow both personally and professionally.

MBA in Leadership Careers

What can you do with a leadership degree? There are many different career paths that a recent MBA grad may pursue. Whether you’re looking to work in a global corporation, a small company, or start your own business, a leadership and management degree is an asset.

HR Manager

Human resource managers plan and manage decisions, policies, and processes that impact employees. They oversee hiring and recruiting and often assist leadership in strategic planning for growth and employee programs. The job outlook for HR managers is favorable, growing faster than average over the next several years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Median salary: $113,300

Management Analyst

An MBA in leadership management is beneficial for management analysts. These analysts, also known as management consultants, work within the business of their clients to make the business more efficient. Often working with upper management on strategies to increase profits and reduce costs, strong leadership skills such as communication and empathy will come in handy when interviewing employees and presenting proposed changes. This often travel-heavy job is growing in demand much faster than average.

Median salary: $83,610

Top Executive

Top business executives are involved in important strategic planning and decision-making. In addition to several years of experience, these individuals must display strong executive leadership qualities for working with employees at all levels within an organization. The demand for top executives is expected to continue growing at an average pace.

Median salary: $189,600

MBA in Leadership Salary

Earning an MBA in project leadership and management sets you up for success and financial security. An MBA in organizational leadership salary will vary due to a number of factors. The type of industry, company size, work experience, and location can all impact the salary earned.

Analysts make a median salary of more than $83,000 per year. Someone with several years of experience working as a top executive typically makes upwards of $105,000 annually.

Resources and Books

Many resources are available to professionals and grad students considering an MBA in leadership. It’s encouraged for students to review admissions requirements, course details, and course materials.

In addition to course requirements, the college bookstore is a great place to get a head start on reading and also pick up other suggested texts. All of these tools will help students gain a better understanding of what the program and courses entail.

Ready to Apply?

Once you’ve determined that an MBA in leadership is the right path for you and your career goals, it’s time to get started on the application process. Don’t forget to take a look at admissions requirements.

What are your next steps? Get in touch with admissions to request additional information and to address any other questions.

Can You Get an MBA Without Taking the GMAT Exam?

Can you attend a Master of Business Administration degree program without providing your Graduate Management Admission Test scores? For a variety of reasons, many MBA applicants prefer not to take the GMAT. The registration cost may be prohibitive, exam locations may be impractical, or work schedules may interfere with study time.Augsburg MBA student

Regardless of the particular circumstances, there are many students who seek MBA programs that do not require the GMAT. The good news? Many universities accept alternatives to the GMAT or waive the exam requirement altogether. In fact, Augsburg University offers MBAs that don’t require GMAT results.

What are GMAT alternatives? Under what circumstances might the requirement be waived entirely? Accepted alternatives vary from school to school, but most programs require applicants to have strong academic backgrounds and at least a few years of relevant work experience.

So, is the GMAT the smarter choice for you, or should you explore other options? Keep reading to learn more about the GMAT and its alternatives.

Can You Apply to an MBA Program Without GMAT Scores?

There are many MBA programs without GMAT requirements. Some programs waive the GMAT requirement entirely if the applicant has enough relevant work experience and satisfactory academic performance. Other programs accept a GRE score in place of the GMAT.

Executive MBA programs often do not require the GMAT because they’re designed for professionals who have several years of managerial experience. There are countless alternatives out there; getting an MBA without GMAT scores is possible!

Universities That Don’t Require GMAT for MBA

There are many MBA universities in the United States without GMAT requirements. Augsburg University is one of them. The best MBA without GMAT universities evaluate the applicant’s previous academic performance and relevant work experience during the admissions process. The GMAT or an alternative test may be beneficial; however, a strong background in business can outweigh standardized test scores.

Augsburg University works with students who do not have a strong quantitative background by enabling them to take MBA math modules online. The online modules are self-guided tutorials that help students become familiar with key accounting, finance, economics, and statistical terms that help pave the way to a successful MBA experience.

Applying to Executive MBA Programs Without GMAT Scores

Executive MBA programs with no GMAT required appeal specifically to those who have been working in a managerial or executive role for at least a few years. Since EMBA students have prior work experience, the GMAT requirement is often waived. If transcripts from previous studies indicate any reason for concern, some colleges may still require that the GMAT or another exam be taken prior to admittance.

Why Do MBA Programs Require GMAT?

Many MBA programs have a GMAT requirement. Several of these schools have found that the exam accurately assesses the student’s success in the MBA program. Some schools prefer to base admission on GMAT scores because the exam is standardized. This means that the content of the exam is fair, and it is taken in the same format by all students, leaving little room for bias or skewed judgement.

Pros of the GMAT

Though the standardized GMAT test does have some critics, there are several reasons why a school may be in favor of using GMAT scores during the admissions process. A few benefits of the GMAT are:

  • Everyone takes the test in the same format and within the same time frame.
  • The GMAT accurately assesses a student’s comprehension and analytical skills.
  • Completion of the GMAT shows that a student is committed to a career in business.

Cons of the GMAT

Many universities recognize some of the limitations of the GMAT exam. Some universities will accept GMAT alternatives or even waive the requirement for professionals. Some limitations of the GMAT exam are:

  • High test scores do not necessarily indicate a student will be successful in business.
  • The prioritization of test scores over relevant work experience and previous academic success hampers the admissions process.
  • Many test-takers receive scores that differ significantly from one attempt to another.

Reasons to Skip the GMAT

There are many reasons why graduate students may opt to join an MBA program without GMAT requirements. Skipping the GMAT may be a reasonable choice for some due to the exam’s difficulty, cost, and prep time.

It’s Difficult (Low Score)

The GMAT is challenging. It focuses heavily on mathematics and analytics. The majority of students who take the standardized exam receive scores between 400 and 600. Only a small percentage of students score higher than 700.

It’s Expensive (High Cost)

The GMAT is a costly exam. It costs $250 to register for the exam. Rescheduling or canceling after registration results in additional fees. Transportation and hotel expenses may be incurred if one must travel to the GMAT exam location.

It Takes Time

The GMAT is time-consuming. You must register for the exam well in advance and study for at least three months prior to the exam. The time it takes to prepare for the GMAT may be a burden for full-time professionals. It isn’t uncommon for students to retake the exam if they are dissatisfied with their scores, necessitating additional time and money.

Alternatives to the GMAT

Taking the GMAT isn’t the only way to be admitted to an MBA program. There are other testing alternatives to the GMAT exam. Some may opt to take the GRE instead of the GMAT. Others may be better suited for an EMBA program.

Opt for the GRE Exam

Students seeking an MBA with no GMAT required may consider taking the GRE exam instead. The GRE exam can be used in place of the GMAT and is widely accepted by many graduate programs.

The GRE is similar to the GMAT, but it is structured differently and focuses more on reasoning skills instead of analytical skills. The GRE is an attractive option for prospective students due to the lower registration fee.

Apply for an EMBA

An executive MBA without GMAT requirements is a great alternative to consider. EMBAs are ideal for those who have been working in the business world for some time. These applicants generally have at least five to 10 years of work experience in mid-level or senior roles. Executive MBA admission without GMAT scores stresses previous work experience over GMAT scores.

Consider a Program That Doesn’t Require GMAT

MBA programs that do not require GMAT scores are becoming more common. Many universities, including Augsburg, examine other factors during the admissions process. They look at past academic performance and work experience instead of GMAT test scores.

Some graduate programs that don’t require GMAT (or even GRE) scores may ask that you complete specific math modules in place of a standardized exam.

Next Steps

Understanding the benefits and limitations of the GMAT and its alternatives is important when beginning the admissions process for an MBA program. Now that you know the GMAT is not required by all universities, it’s time for you to determine your next step.

Is the GMAT or GRE right for you? Once you have decided your plan of action, it’s time to hit the books or get busy applying to an MBA program.

Get in touch with admissions to request additional information and to address any other questions.

How to Get Your Company to Pay for Your MBA

You have worked in your chosen field for some time, and something has whet your appetite for some higher education. You’ve decided the time has come to head back to school and get your Master of Business Administration, but the cost of an MBA has put a damper on your academic zeal. Is there a way to have your cake and eat it too? Yes, there absolutely is. Fortunately, many employers offer assistance to cover the cost of an MBA. Your next step is to determine how to get a company to pay for your MBA.Augsburg MBA student

First, you will need to discover whether your company has a sponsorship program. If they do, it is wise to familiarize yourself with the policies and requirements. If your company doesn’t have a specified, official process for tuition reimbursement, do not despair! It is still likely that your employer will offer some form of support.

This guide explains how to ask your company to pay for a portion of your MBA regardless of the existence of an outlined sponsorship program.

Do Companies Pay for MBA Degrees?

Why would a company offer to pay for an MBA? There are many companies that offer employer assistance for completing an MBA program. Aside from benefiting the employee, company-sponsored MBA programs benefit the company as a whole.

Students earning their MBA acquire valuable skills that are relevant to their roles and will enhance their job performance. Covering tuition costs will also increase employee retention and company loyalty.

So, how can you get your job to help pay for graduate school? There are two primary ways that companies pay for master’s degrees. One method is via fellowship programs. The other system is through tuition reimbursement.

Fellowship Programs

A fellowship program is another option to consider when determining how to get a company to pay for your master’s. Fellowships are similar to scholarships; however, they are often merit-based. Funds usually come from a private foundation that the company created. A fellowship will typically be offered to high-performing employees who excel in their field.

Tuition Reimbursement

A tuition reimbursement program is a more common MBA sponsorship method that employers offer. Depending on the employer’s policies, tuition reimbursement programs may cover the cost of an MBA fully or partially. There are often specific requirements that must be met in order for an employee to be reimbursed. Typically, an employee must remain at or above a specific academic level in their courses. Employers also usually require that employees stay with the company for a specified amount of time, a year or two, upon completing their MBA.

How to Find Out If Your Company Offers MBA Sponsorship Programs

How can you find out if you can get study support from employer-sponsored MBA programs? Your first resource will be the company’s employee handbook. If you still have questions regarding programs your employer offers, your next step will be to speak with Human Resources. Coworkers who have an MBA are also an excellent resource when it comes to corporate-sponsored MBA degrees, especially if your company doesn’t have a formal process.

How to Ask Your Boss to Pay for a Course

How do you ask for tuition reimbursement? When asking your manager or company to assist with the cost of an MBA, it is a good idea to anticipate any questions or concerns they may have. It’s also important to ensure that you specify other potential necessities you may require while pursuing an MBA, such as a flexible work schedule or financial reimbursement for textbooks or software.

Know What You’re Asking For

When deliberating over how to get your MBA paid for by your employer, it’s important to take into account other needs you may have as a student and employee. Will you require a more flexible work schedule to accommodate classes or seminars? Additionally, will you need assistance with other MBA-related costs? These other costs may include:

  • Deposits
  • Registration fees
  • Textbooks
  • Software
  • Technology fees

Understand Your Company’s MBA Sponsorship Policies

Before asking your employer to sponsor your MBA, you should have a thorough understanding of the sponsorship policies your employer may already have in place. The employee handbook or your HR department are both useful resources when researching the requirements and processes pertaining to an industry-sponsored MBA.

Sample Proposal for Employer to Pay for Education

What comes next? You now understand your company’s policies regarding covering MBA costs. You also are aware of your other needs to be accommodated. The next step is to create a strong proposal for your employer to pay for your education. You should treat the proposal like a business pitch. It should be professional and concise. Prior to composing the proposal, it would be prudent for you to glance at sample proposals.

These are the elements that comprise a successful proposal:

  • Your accomplishments at the company
  • The total cost you expect your company to pay or reimburse
  • If you will need time off for classes, seminars, and projects
  • An explanation of how the MBA program is relevant to your work and to the company
  • A specific length of time you commit to staying at the company after you complete your MBA

Tips for Getting Support 

In order to get support from your employer, you will need to prove your dedication to the company and detail the benefits your MBA would provide the company. You should be prepared to enumerate your accomplishments at the company and discuss how they impacted the company positively. Additionally, you should express how an MBA will be an asset to the company.

Be Ready To Highlight Your Performance

You should be prepared to demonstrate your worth to the company. At this juncture it is sensible to highlight the major accomplishments you achieved during your time with the company.

  • Have you closed a business deal that brought significant revenue?
  • Do you support a major customer of the company?
  • Did you discover an area where costs could be reduced significantly? How much money has this saved the company?
  • Discuss a project you led, any obstacles you encountered, and the project outcome.

Prepare to Pitch the Program Benefits

Asking for sponsorship necessitates the use of your powers of persuasion to argue for tuition reimbursement. When asking your employer for MBA sponsorship, it’s imperative to stress how the company will benefit. You should take into consideration the value an MBA can add to the company and the employee loyalty it inspires.

During an MBA program, employees hone existing skills and acquire new abilities. This often results in a fresh business perspective and enhanced decision-making skills. Aside from benefitting the employee, an MBA ultimately is an asset to the business that can impact processes and profits favorably.

Employer sponsorship can also increase company loyalty and employee retention. Employees often commit to remain at the company for at least two years after completing an MBA program.

Focus on the ROI

When asking for support from an employer sponsorship master’s program, you’ll need to focus on the return on investment, or ROI, for your employer. Your employer will want to see how you will use your new skills and knowledge to promote the welfare of the company. During your pitch or any discussions that may follow, be sure to specify the areas where your degree will be an asset, such as:

  • Improving your leadership, ethical, and organizational skills
  • Mentoring junior-level employees
  • Strengthening business skills like data analysis, decision-making, finance, and conflict resolution
  • Networking opportunities that may result from access to new clients or partnerships

How to Get Started

When learning how to get a company to pay for your MBA, it will take research and clear communication to get your employer to cover your MBA costs.

Do Your Research

Learn about your company’s policies on tuition reimbursement and fellowships. It’s also a good idea to find out whether the funding is coming from the company itself or the department budget.

Network With Your Coworkers (Especially the Ones With MBAs)

Before starting the process, it’s wise to connect with coworkers who have an MBA. They can support you throughout the process and answer any questions you may have about employer sponsorship or the MBA program itself. A few good questions to ask are:

  • What was your experience with the reimbursement process?
  • What other costs may the company cover?
  • How has your degree benefited the company?

Talk to Your Manager

Speak with your manager about the employer-sponsored MBA program at your company. Your manager may be a great resource for finding out about programs offered by the company. After the initial meeting with your manager, you will likely have follow-up meetings to discuss your proposal and any additional questions or concerns.

Be Ready for a Backup Plan

There is a chance that your proposal may not be approved. Your company may not have a sponsorship program and may not have the funds available to cover the cost of your MBA. If your request for financial support from sponsored MBA programs isn’t approved, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get any assistance.

You may ask for or be offered support in non-monetary ways. Some employers may offer flexible work hours to accommodate classes and other MBA program requirements. Other employers provide additional time off or compensation for the time you spend in class.

It’s no secret that the tuition for an MBA is not cheap, often exceeding $50,000. If you’re unable to get financial support from your employer, consider alternative funding options.

If you have more questions about MBA program requirements, request information from Augsburg University today.

How to Ask for an MBA Recommendation Letter

Asking for a letter of recommendation for a university academic program can be an intimidating and bewildering endeavor. You may find yourself floating in a sea of questions, wondering who to get letters of recommendation from, or how to ask someone to write a letter of recommendation.Augsburg MBA student

To help you plan your strategy for requesting a reference letter for Master of Business Administration program admission, we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide with tips and strategies so you can obtain a strong professional recommendation.

What is a Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation typically is a one- or two-page letter written by an individual who has a professional relationship with you. The letter can be from a work supervisor, director, vice president, or CEO in addition to a former faculty member, such as a business professor or instructor with whom you have developed a relationship. The letter should describe the aspects of your character that pertain to the job or opportunity that you’re seeking.

Why Do MBA Programs Require Recommendation Letters?

MBA programs require several years of work experience and the appropriate level of education to demonstrate your ability to contribute to classroom discussions, commitment to the program and your interest in the specified field of study. A letter of recommendation aids universities by affording a glimpse of your character. A character sketch in a letter of recommendation, as brief and biased as it is, still allows the college admissions team to obtain a more comprehensive idea of who you are and how you will contribute to the body of knowledge in the program.

How to Find Out If You Need a Letter of Recommendation

When applying to any college program, you need to adhere to all application requirements. To find out if you need one or more letters of recommendation, visit the program’s website and take a look at the admissions process.

If a letter of recommendation is part of the requirements, you may want to begin the process by looking at sample letters of recommendation from students who were accepted into the program.

Who to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation

Who can write a letter of recommendation? You may be stressed about who to ask for a letter of recommendation. The best individuals to ask for an MBA recommendation letter are:

  • Vice presidents, directors, managers, and supervisors
  • Professors
  • Mentors
  • Colleagues

Anyone you have worked with in a professional or academic setting and with whom you have developed a relationship is a good candidate to write your letter of recommendation. Relatives, friends, and peers are generally not the individuals who should write a letter of recommendation for an MBA applicant.

Asking a Supervisor for a Letter of Recommendation

A manager, supervisor, or other authority in the workplace is an ideal individual to write your letter of recommendation. They have the appropriate knowledge of your attributes and behavior to be able to provide an overview of  your professional character.

If you regularly report to the individual who is writing a recommendation on your behalf, they will be able to paint an accurate depiction of your composure in the workplace, your ability to follow directions in a professional setting, and your success with achieving professional goals. For these reasons, a reference letter for an MBA program from an employer can be a strong asset to your application.

A recommendation letter for an MBA student from an employer is essential for providing an accurate representation of your persona. A letter of recommendation for an MBA from a manager or supervisor can enhance your overall application. Continue on to find out how to ask a teacher for a letter of recommendation.

Asking a Professor for a Letter of Recommendation

Faculty members can provide a reliable depiction of your academic performance. Who better to vouch for your academic capabilities than the individual who has guided and graded your work? Be sure that the professor you select has had the chance to develop a meaningful relationship with you and will portray your character in the best light.

It is wise to choose a professor you’ve spent many office hours with or a professor who you’ve worked for in an internship or volunteer capacity. If you have had the chance to demonstrate the application of, understanding, and appreciation for discipline-specific work under the supervision of a professor,  then they are well-equipped to recommend your acceptance to an MBA program.

Recommendation Letter From Mentor

Since this is an informal relationship, you should specify which characteristics you want your mentor to vouch for. When requesting a letter of recommendation from a mentor, make sure the  mentor is not a family member or relative. Due to the informal nature of the relationship, you will need to justify your decision to choose this individual.

Make it clear why you believe this mentor is an ideal candidate to write your recommendation letter. Despite this caveat, having a mentor who can provide reliable commentary on your growth as an individual both professionally and personally can boost your image.

Recommendation Letter for MBA From Colleague

When asking for a recommendation letter for an MBA program from a colleague,  you need to understand which aspects of your character you are would like to highlight. A colleague will likely not be able to stress your professional or academic growth in a way that someone in a leadership role could.

Despite this potential downside, a colleague can potentially enhance your application by providing a solid recommendation as to your ability to develop healthy academic relationships. This is vital in industries that require stakeholder communication, group work, or other significant social interaction.

When to Ask for Letters of Recommendation

Always ask for letters of recommendation a few months before the deadline. Never wait until the last minute to request a letter of recommendation from anyone, regardless of whether they are an authority figure. Not only will it backfire as you may receive your requested letter late or not at all, but it is also inconsiderate of the person’s time. You also don’t want to ask someone too early to write you a letter since they are likely to forget about it.

Typically, a good time to request a letter is two to three months in advance. This gives the writer ample time to consider what they want to write and to complete the letter at their own pace.

How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter

How do you go about asking someone for a letter of recommendation?  It is an honor to write a letter of recommendation for someone you respect. The individual you ask will likely be eager to offer their support. You may want to vary your method of requesting the letter based on the individual.

Here are some examples of how to structure your request for a letter of recommendation.

How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation in Person

Allow yourself time to think about the following points:

  • A letter of recommendation communicates to your manager that you are serious about a career with the company. You are helping them identify you as a high-potential candidate who could be a future leader for the organization.
  • Why is this individual the ideal candidate to write my letter of recommendation? Choose wisely and thoughtfully.
  • What are my career goals? Make sure the content of the letter is in line with your goals.
  • What would I like the letter to contain? Some possibilities are academic goals, a character sketch, and an overview of your work ethic.

You need to provide as much information as possible to the individuals writing your letters so they are fully aware of your expectations. If you choose to request a letter of recommendation in person, be sure to do so during office hours or at a time set aside specifically for discussing your application package and why you need their support. This way, the candidate’s decision to participate and any necessary discussion are not rushed or pressured.

How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation Via Email

When writing an email asking for a letter of recommendation, it is necessary to be professional. It is best to reserve this method for individuals who are particularly busy, are unavailable through other means, or individuals for whom this is their preferred method of communication.

It’s important to make it clear that your request is based on the requirements from the university and the professional or academic relationship you share with this individual. Try to avoid language that may imply that this is an inquiry for your personal benefit. You may be anxious that requesting help is selfish in some way. Don’t worry! An experienced manager has most likely written letters of recommendation in the past and would welcome the opportunity to do so for you. With appropriate, accurate language, the individual will understand your need for support and be happy to help you.

It is wise to attach any publications, significant works, or academic accomplishments you would like to be noted in the letter. Attaching essays you’ve written, transcripts, and other documents or projects integral to your field may be of great assistance to the letter writer.

What to Provide When Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

After your candidate has agreed to lend you support, you will need to provide them with all the information they will need.

The most important information to give someone writing a recommendation letter for you is:

  • What you want them to cover in the letter: professional and academic work ethic, professional and academic performance, your ability to achieve goals and follow directions
  • The name of the university and specific program that you are applying for
  • The industry/discipline you wish to work/study in
  • The due date for the application
  • Where to mail or email the letter

To ensure that the process is smooth and that you obtain a letter that will enhance your application, you need to be clear about your expectations and desires. Be sure to mention any  specific goals you achieved that you would like the letter writer to include, and remember to be clear about any formatting requirements.

Tips for Getting a Great Letter of Recommendation

Requesting a letter of recommendation without proper etiquette can hamper your relationship with the letter writer and even damage your reputation with other colleagues or faculty members.

Do Don’t
Set aside a few minutes to explain everything you need for the letter of recommendation. Rush anyone to make a decision about whether they can write you a letter of recommendation.
Thank them in advance for their support. Give vague information regarding where and when to submit the letter.
Give as much information as possible regarding the letter requirements and formatting. Offer to write the letter yourself and obtain their signature.
Request the letter early, about one to three months in advance. Request a letter less than three weeks before the deadline.
Tell them why you need their support. Make anyone feel as if they are dispensable.

How to Follow Up on a Letter of Recommendation Request

Since the best time to request a letter of recommendation is about one to three months before the deadline, you should give your letter writers at least a full month before following up with them. When following up, keep it straightforward and simply remind them you are checking in to see if they need any further information. Politely offering assistance instead of demanding a complete letter will benefit your relationship and alleviate stresses involved.

You now have a practical understanding of how to get letters of recommendation. You may also find it useful to view these sample templates as you seek letters of recommendation, apply to your MBA program, and prepare for growth in your career with an MBA degree.

If you have more questions about MBA program requirements, request information from Augsburg University today.