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If you’ve made the bold and brilliant choice to attend business school, you may feel a bit daunted about which institution you should choose to pursue that coveted MBA. With more than 13,000 business schools across the globe, the choice is not always easy. Of course, more important than finding the right school, is making yourself a viable candidate. After all, you never know which application might turn into an interview. Below are some key qualities that business schools look for in potential candidates.

Intellectual ability is key, and a candidate who is intelligent will easily be able to handle the demands of the curriculum and, ultimately, the business world. Your ability will be judged based on your academic record (GPA or equivalent) and GMAT score, although other postgraduate and non-degree results may be considered. The GPA and GMAT are integral in that they allow the committee to compare applicants from different backgrounds. 
Quantitative ability is also a major consideration. Business school does not necessarily require any advanced mathematic ability, but basic quantitative orientation ability is important to handle the day-to-day coursework. If you already have years of accounting or finance behind you, that will often be enough, and remember: if you are coming from a non-quantitative background, the math result in your GMAT will be considered a vital part of your application.

Analytical mindsets are key in business and a student who is able to think critically and master complex, open-ended problems will be a valuable asset to any business school. The ability to cut through a mass of data and extract the critical variables, a propensity to sort and connect relevant ideas and the ability to recognize patterns and develop optimal solutions from them is the trifecta of any business specialty. Analytic case study and analysis is at the core of any business school’s integrated curricula, and not surprisingly, analytical skills are heavily demanded in case method workshops offered by Wilfrid Laurier University and other top notch universities.

Leadership is a crucial, somewhat intangible skill that every business and business school is looking for. A candidate who has created value by being at the helm in group-based activities and is comfortable in this role will shine during the application process. Leaders are able to operate both independently and collaboratively as necessary, and are a boon to study groups, and during group projects. Their actions demonstrate evidence of insight into people and situations and significant self-knowledge that can be applied to any MBA specialization. Leadership is the unquantifiable mix of stature, assurance, and charisma that brings the best out of others and those who possess it will “make the difference” between a company’s success and failure, and first-rate business schools like Laurier are excited whenever someone with these credentials comes to the interview table.

Career potential is also key, and a candidate who has what it takes to go to the top, and demonstrates ambition and moxie is much sought after. Application committees will look at how you have strategized and built your career so far, and will gauge the validity and intelligence of the career goals you desire for yourself. Every committee wants to pick an MBA candidate, who’s not just a dreamer, but who is going to make a big impression in the world; whose picture is one day going to be on the cover of Fortune magazine.

If you feel you have the above qualifications, then it might be time to consider going big and applying for your MBA at a top quality business school. With the right combination of assets and a willingness to work for your goals, you will discover a full time MBA program in Canada that suits your skillset in no time. When you know what you want and how to go about getting it, you will find many doors opening before you.

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