My experience applying for the Executive MBA

30 June 2022

Vanessa Cumbers, shares her experience and recommendations when applying for the Executive MBA programme at Warwick Business School. 

I found the application process for the Executive MBA at Warwick Business School (WBS) relatively straightforward. As soon as my thoughts turned to applying, I arranged an information call with one of the business managers about three months prior to the application deadline. This was extremely useful in getting a good sense of what the course involved, how it was structured and the application process. Having not studied for a very long time, I very much needed this direct contact, with the opportunity to ask questions, to feel sure about what I was undertaking. Following the call, I was sent some useful links and I also joined a webinar attended by a couple of students who spoke about their experience on the course.

This process of information gathering essentially helped me properly understand why I wanted to do an MBA and what I wanted to get out of it – necessary for the investment you’re about to make, but also required for the application! I would certainly recommend taking time to gather as much information as you require, whether that’s gradually over a couple of months or through some focussed hours of research.

The application through the portal does take a bit of time – equivalent to a comprehensive job application with the additional requirement of three to four short essays. The very tight word count on these (around 300 to 400 words each) means that you need to be succinct in relaying a strong argument – good practice for the MBA assignments! Allowing a bit of time for organising the main points you wish to make, writing the essay, leaving it for a few days and then going back to refine is probably ideal.

Although I started looking into the Executive MBA a few months before the application deadline, it looms quickly when you have a busy job. Giving yourself enough time for research and to gather the information you need for the form (specific dates of employment, job responsibilities, referee details etc.) is certainly advisable. You also need to submit a CV and I hadn’t put one together for over 20 years – so that probably took more time than the actual application. I found that doing this, and detailing out job responsibilities in the application form, was a really useful way to reflect on my career so far, what I’d achieved and what was missing. I had an interview about a month after submitting the application – so going back through it before the interview is essential. A number of questions will naturally ask you to expand on points you’ve made and experience you’ve detailed. 

All in all, the application process is extremely well managed by the WBS team and support is readily on hand. I really would advise a call with the Recruitment team at the point you’re considering applying, rather than just relying on online information. That very much helped me to understand the application process and, more importantly, to ensure a real appreciation for what the course involved.

Find out more about the Executive MBA here

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