Women in MBA Programs

More women than ever are considering obtaining an MBA after college. In 2017, women’s enrollment in MBA programs reached 37.4% on average, according to data from the Forté Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to increasing women’s access to business education and opportunities. But many female MBA students still experience gender disparities when applying and as a student. Get an inside look at the application process and life as a student from two female MBA graduates, along with tips and resources on how to get into b-school, thrive as a student, and find success after graduation.

Affordablecollegesonline.org has developed a nice guide for women who are considering getting an MBA after getting their undergraduate degree.

Women and the MBA Application Process

Business schools want to find the most qualified and best-fit candidates for their programs based on merit, but they’re doing so in a social context. This can make it difficult to ignore the ways in which women and men could behave or be perceived differently. When preparing for the application process, women MBA applicants need to be aware of these biased perceptions in order to put their best foot forward.

The first section takes a close look at some of the challenges female MBA graduates Lydia Poon and JF Garrard encountered during the application process as well as what they learned from these experiences so you can avoid common pitfalls.

The following items are covered:

  • Overcoming feelings of self-doubt
  • Not applying to every school they are interested in
  • Underestimating their analytical skills
  • Not communicating their achievements
  • Comparing themselves to others

Paying for Your MBA

Now that you’ve made it through the application process, it’s time to think about paying for your degree. In most cases, financial aid is awarded by the school and is based on need, but students can also use external scholarships and fellowships. It’s up to the student, however, to research and secure such opportunities. The following list is a starting point for external financial aid awards.

  • A list of available scholarships is shown with amounts and deadlines for applying

Thriving as an MBA Student

Business school is extremely challenging for both men and women, but women often face unique obstacles, such as sexist behavior and inaccurately conceived notions about their abilities. “Academic excellence alone is really not going to cut it,” says Lydia. As a female MBA student, you’re likely to encounter lots of unique situations and challenges while pursuing your MBA. The following tips can help you navigate some of the more common issues and so you can thrive as a student. Covered tips include:

  • Mastering the cold call
  • Be honest and authentic
  • Get out of your own head
  • Take the lead when working as a group
  • Take the lead during presentations too
  • Stand your ground when faced with conflict
  • Create a support system
  • Work with your family to find balance

Job Hunting Tips

You earned your MBA but the journey isn’t over yet – it’s time to find a job and put your knowledge and skills to the test. Women also face unique challenges in this arena, but the tips below are designed to help you navigate the hunting and hiring processes to find a job that’s mutually beneficial for you and your employer.  Covered tips include:

  • Time to think long-term
  • Network effectively
  • Don’t overly rely on your academics
  • Drop the qualifers

Achieving Success in the Real World

Every person defines success differently, so women shouldn’t try to fit themselves into someone else’s mold. Use the tips below to find out what success means to you so you can start mapping out how to achieve that goal.

  • Do what you love
  • Plan ahead
  • Find (and maintain) balance

They then finish up with some great available resources for business women.

Other resources they have available:

50 Best Online MBA Programs

Inside Accelerate Online MBA Programs

What does an online MBA cost?