English vocabulary for MBA students

An MBA is the most widely recognized qualification in management and business, and a key to launching a successful career. But are you ready for an MBA program? These business buzzwords and expressions will get you on the right track!

24-7 (Twenty-four Seven)

This phrase means continuously: 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. e.g. Our lawyers are working 24-7 to crack the case.

Can of worms

This describes a potentially dangerous or difficult situation which should be avoided. For example Let’s not open that can of worms.

Up to speed

To be well-informed or knowledgeable about something. e.g. You’ll need to get up to speed on the financial situation.

Bottom line

This literally refers to the last line in a financial statement that shows net gain or loss, but it also means the final outcome or deciding factor. In business, the bottom line usually refers to cost or profits, e.g. The bottom line is that we need to raise prices.


In business, this refers to strength or power. For example The company’s success is due to their marketing muscle.


This is often used in business as a means of generating ideas through group discussion. It can also be used as a verb e.g. The team got together to brainstorm the project.



This is the ability to meet people who might be useful to know, to build useful contacts. To be networked means to know important, useful people.

Give and take

This expression means to negotiate and compromise. Each side will gain some advantages, but also give up some benefits.


This is a situation where there is no good result and where everyone loses. On the other hand, a win-win situation is where everyone benefits, e.g. Fair trade is a win-win situation because both producers and consumer benefit.

Push the envelope

This phrase means to do smart, innovative things that others have not done yet; to exceed your potential. e.g. Our firm won’t survive unless we are pushing the envelope.

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