Business schools want to admit candidates that they believe can withstand the quantitative rigor of an MBA program.
Whether you are a non-traditional applicant with limited exposure to quant-focused work or someone who did not perform well in those courses as an undergrad, there is no need to beat yourself up over things that cannot be changed. Instead, focus on what you CAN change!
Here are five steps that you can take now to boost your quantitative profile:
1. Perform well on the GMAT/GRE/Executive Assessment (EA).
You have the opportunity to demonstrate your quantitative aptitude by performing well on the Quantitative section of the GMAT or GRE. A solid Quant score on your standardized exam will show that you are prepared and will likely succeed in business school. Do not neglect the Verbal section, though. You want to come across as a well-rounded candidate and finish with a strong score overall. If you are really struggling to achieve your desired score on the GMAT or GRE, consider taking the Executive Assessment in addition. Although the EA is best suited for candidates applying to executive MBA and part-time programs, an increasing number of full-time programs are beginning to accept EA scores as well.
2. Take in-person classes.
Enroll in a local community college and take classes in subject areas such as finance, accounting, statistics, and economics. Before you start, make sure that the program will issue an official transcript. You must receive a letter grade in these courses, as a pass/fail grade will not favor you in the application process. It should go without saying that you want to put your best foot forward and target getting an “A.” In the event that you are not able to take classes in person, consider taking traditional courses offered online through an accredited university. You can also consider taking a self-paced online quantitative-focused course such as those offered by mbamath.com.
3. Take on analytical assignments at work.
Sign up for stretch assignments at work that will require you to develop your quantitative abilities. Perhaps you can identify opportunities to incorporate more analytics into your current tasks and identify those who can mentor you in this area, even if they are not your direct manager. Be prepared to highlight your analytical acumen on your resume.
4. Seek out analytical roles in your extracurricular/volunteer activities.
Look for ways to develop your skill set through your extracurricular activities. Perhaps you have been a member of a local Rotary Club for some time; now is a good time to join the fundraising committee or to become the assistant treasurer. In such roles, you can flex your quantitative muscles and demonstrate that you are growing in your leadership ability.
5. Choose your recommenders wisely.
As you think about whom to ask for a recommendation, make sure that your recommender is someone who can highlight your quantitative aptitude in their letter of recommendation. Your recommender should cite specific examples of how you have demonstrated strong quantitative skills through various projects and assignments.