A prospective MBA student sitting at a table interviewing with two admissions officers
A prospective MBA student sitting at a table interviewing with two admissions officers

Becoming an Online MBA Student: Questions to Ask Admissions and Other Tips

Completing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program can be one of the best ways to develop leadership skills, financial and business acumen and other abilities that translate into long-term career success. MBA programs can be great training grounds for those who aspire to the executive path or who long to fulfill their own entrepreneurial dreams. The benefits of completing an MBA include not only skill formation but also invaluable opportunities to network and develop professional connections.

One crucial fact to note is that not all MBA programs are created equal. Before enrolling in any particular online MBA, it’s important to perform due diligence. Prospective students should engage with the admissions team, as well as consider their time management skills. For students pursuing education at the Walsh Online MBA or any other program, consider some of the most helpful questions to ask admissions. 

4 Questions to Ask Admissions

When assessing different degree programs, it’s helpful to prepare a list of probing questions regarding academics, culture, job placement rates and other key concerns.

1. Ask Admissions Questions About MBA Culture 

One of the best questions you can ask of an MBA admissions counselor is how they would describe the community or culture of a given program. This question is valuable because the response can illustrate whether the academic environment is collegial and fosters collaboration or is competitive and spurs rivalry. Some students thrive through collaboration and others through competition, so this response can give you a sense of whether or not the program’s culture will complement or clash with your own personal desires for a learning environment.

2. Ask if Your Goals Align with the Program

It can also be beneficial to inquire about how well your own career aspirations align with the program. Admissions counselors should have a good sense of your academic profile, including your grade point average, your test scores and your past professional opportunities, as well as your ultimate career goals. Admissions counselors should be able to give you a sense of whether you would truly shine in their program. 

For example, if you want to pursue a career in financial management but the program you are considering doesn’t offer a specialization in accounting, perhaps you should consider a different option. Applicants can also approach this line of inquiry from the perspective of a model student in the program. You could ask, for example, about the characteristics or prior work experience of successful students. This will help you gain insights into whether you may fit that same mold.

3. Ask Admissions About Career Paths

Beyond admission into a program, you can also ask MBA admissions counselors about the career paths of program graduates. Responses to this question can help you gain a sense of the job competitiveness of graduates, and can also offer further insights as to whether the program is offering you the best preparation for your dream job. Depending on how the admissions counselor responds, you could also ask for the opportunity to reach out to specific alumni to have a conversation with them about the program.

4. Ask About Flexibility and Convenience

Another on the list of questions to ask admissions: What kind of flexibility is built into the program? Make no mistake, completing a business degree is always going to take hard work and real commitment. However, many MBA programs, especially those that are online, provide leeway to adapt class schedules to existing family and work responsibilities. For students already working full-time jobs, asking about flexibility and self-pacing can be crucial to making a well-informed decision.

What Are Some Time Management Tips for MBA Students?

To understand some of the issues that might affect full-time working students, consider a few numbers.

  • A week has 168 hours.
  • While the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics doesn’t have a formal definition of full-time employment, it mandates that an employee is owed overtime after they have worked more than 40 hours in a week. 
  • Most doctors recommend eight hours of sleep per night. That adds up to 56 hours per week.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports in 2022, people spent about 8.5 hours a week eating and drinking.
  • The BLS also reports people spend approximately 9 hours a week on personal care.

That’s more than 113 hours per week on living essentials alone — almost 68% of your time. This doesn’t count commuting, recreation, socializing, exercise and family commitments. Trying to cram a full academic load, which usually requires around 10-20 hours per week on coursework, into an already full schedule, requires a well thought out academic plan. 

Doing due diligence regarding degree programs is an important way to prepare for MBA success. Knowing the right questions to ask admissions and developing skills and disciplines for effective time management can help students stay on top of their workloads. Consider a few best practices. 

1. Ask Admissions About Your Calendar

Whether you’re taking multiple classes or just one course each semester, you will have new responsibilities on your plate.

Asking admissions counselors to help you with your schedule can help you ensure that your course load is not only on track with your educational goals but also aligns with your personal or professional commitments. 

Admissions counselors may also have insight into course difficulty and tips for making sure you don’t take on a workload that is too high so you can make sure you are optimizing your performance in each course you take. 

Additionally, speaking to an admissions counselor can save you time by ensuring you are keeping up with the credits needed to graduate on time. This means more likely to maintain a manageable, consistent workload rather than scrambling to make up required credits you may not have fulfilled. 

Knowing your academic calendar can help you effectively manage your educational schedule and track it in the calendar or app of your choice. This can mean sharing your schedule with friends and family, as well. If you’re juggling work and parental responsibilities, it can be beneficial for others to have a clear picture of your availability — especially around exam time.

2. Learn to Prioritize Tasks

You may think you are a strong multitasker, but performance can slip when you are focused on too many tasks at a time.

Some general guidelines to sidestep multitasking:

  • Avoid trying to cram study time into breaks at work or at home. Instead, set regular study blocks during the week where you can focus on readings and coursework.
  • Break big projects down into smaller tasks, and work on each part at a time.
  • Prioritize immediate assignments over distant deadlines, but also make sure you get a head start on long-term projects. Chipping away at larger assignments on a regular basis helps you maintain a balanced workload, and you’re less likely to bottleneck before the deadline.

Speaking with admissions counselors can also help you find the best way to prioritize your tasks. Admissions counselors will have probably aided many students with their workloads before, and they probably have well-earned advice that can help you prioritize your educational responsibilities in the most productive way for you. 

3. Take Care of Yourself

Be kind to yourself. Rewarding yourself for staying on task can help you build positive associations between work and reward.

Respect your own capacity, and recognize the risk for burnout. This might include requesting a temporary reduction in your work hours at the office or hiring a sitter to help manage your workload at home.

You also owe it to yourself to take breaks. Breaks offer many proven psychological benefits, three of which are covered below.

  • Clearer thinking. Some studies have shown resting while awake helps to consolidate your memories, which can aid in learning. Taking time to reflect on what you’re reading instead of relentlessly rushing forward gives new knowledge a chance to take root.
  • Restored Enthusiasm. Working on a task without breaks is a surefire way to kill your motivation, even if you love it. Often, coming back to a job with renewed energy sparks additional insights and more creativity.
  • Regular Activity. Your brain is part of your body, and when you’re sedentary your mental and physical health suffer in tandem. Even a quick walk or stretch can do a lot of good. In fact, staying active for short bursts of time has also been proven to boost productivity and consolidate learning. 

Admissions counselors can help connect students with extracurricular clubs, societies and other activities. This can support students in building community and engaging in health activities outside of their educational commitments. 

Know What Questions to Ask Admissions and Be Ready for Your MBA

Succeeding in an MBA program demands research and preparation. Part of that preparation comes from asking MBA admissions counselors the right questions. Those who inquire about Walsh University are often satisfied with the answers. 

A versatile and flexible program designed for the modern professional, Walsh University’s online MBA encourages meaningful collaborative learning between students and faculty to make graduates competitive in the business world.

Walsh University’s MBA admissions team is ready and waiting for your questions, so now is the time to start preparing for your future as a leader in the business world.