Navigating the MBA Application Process

16 October 2023

Estela Carmona Cejudo, participant of the Global Online MBA Programme, offers valuable advice and suggestions for the application process.

Studying an MBA had been on my bucket list for some time, then came the moment when I realised it was the right time to pursue it: working in applied research, an MBA would equip me with the necessary skills to lead research into real-world innovation. Eight months into my MBA I have to admit that, at first, I was lost. Which type of MBA, and where to study? I then decided to approach some colleagues who had done an MBA and they keenly shared their experience and advice with me. I also did my own research, and I came to see the added value of pursuing the MBA at a well-renowned institution. Warwick was my preferred option from the beginning, so I was thrilled to receive an offer and a scholarship. These are my top tips for the application process at WBS


Allow yourself enough time to reflect on your future goals. This might sound like a cliché, but your application will shine if it gives a consistent narrative around those goals. Plus, this process of self-reflection will prove useful down the line when choosing your electives, dissertation topic, and even when applying for a promotion or a new job.

Reflect on your own experiences

You will probably encounter situational questions in your application. But don’t panic, you likely have accumulated a wealth of experiences throughout your career. Lengthy internal procedures that made your work slow, painful and inefficient? Poorly managed projects? Difficulty retaining talent in your organisation? No need to mope, though. Reflect on these past experiences and consider what you would do to improve a particular problem. Make sure you apply the best of your critical thinking: you will need a lot of this throughout your MBA journey, so the admissions committee will be keen to gauge your critical ability.

Do your research

Respected institutions like Warwick Business School (WBS) carry a powerful brand, and they expect successful alumni to carry the values associated with that brand. Take your time to find out about WBS’ values and then reflect on how you embrace those values. Construct an honest, value-based narrative along with a clear definition of your goals and ambitions, and you will be in a perfect position to answer your essay questions.

Am I good enough?

These are the facts. One of the added values of an MBA comes from the knowledge and experiences that students bring with them. We all come from different walks of life. While some of us were studying hard for years, others were working hard, traveling the world, or focusing on providing for their families. These are all enriching experiences, and other students will be willing to learn from your own experience. Once again, the main thing is to demonstrate that you have the ability to self-reflect and learn from past experiences. Apply critical thinking and reflect on your past experiences when working on your essay questions. The admissions committee will then be confident in your learning ability.

If writing is not your strongest skill, make sure you try your best to be professional and leave a good impression. Run a grammar check on all your writing and make sure your CV and any other documents are nicely formatted. Start your application as soon as possible, and you will have the gift of time to work on improving your essays.

Choose your referees well

I strongly recommend that you approach potential referees who know you well and who might be willing to devote enough time to provide you with a detailed reference highlighting your skills and strengths.

Best of luck in your application, and enjoy the road ahead.