It’s no easy task to look for an MBA program that gives you exactly what you’re looking for.
But all too often, we forget to ask one of the most important questions:
“Will I fit in with the other students?”
The best way to figure this out is to look through a B-School’s class profile.
As we’ve said in our blog about the ROI of an MBA, your network is a big part of the returns you get on your investment. Getting along with your classmates is the first step of networking, which is a critical part of your MBA experience. So, you must consider how well you fit into your prospective class even before you apply.
In this article, we will discuss the following questions:
Let’s dive in!
Why consider the MBA Class Profile?
Class profiles usually contain some basic statistics about the current MBA batch at a B-School.
It’s good to be aware of the composition of a typical class at a school of your choice for two primary reasons. One is that it can help you get an idea of whether you will fit into the batch or not. The other is that it indicates your chances of getting an admit from a given school.
Here are some statistics you will find in most class profiles:
- Undergraduate Majors
- Pre-MBA Industry
- GMAT/GRE Scores
The average age of a batch helps you understand if you’re too young or too old for a given school. Ideally, you should be in a batch that has other students your age. If there aren’t enough students close to your age, fitting in can be challenging. We will get into the details of this in just a bit.
This tells you which fields the students in a batch have undergraduate degrees in. A greater variety of educational backgrounds will expose you to more perspectives. This enriches your overall MBA experience.
This gives you an idea of the kinds of industrial experience your classmates have. It has an impact on the contributions they will make to classroom discussions and debates. Once again, having exposure to a large variety of perspectives will work in your favor.
This is the aggregate of all the students’ academic performance throughout their undergraduate degree. It helps you get an idea of the caliber of students you will have as classmates.
MBA class profiles will typically show you the batch’s average GMAT and GRE scores. Some class profiles also contain the range of these scores. Looking at this gives you a chance to figure out where you stand in comparison to the students of a given program.
Three factors that usually come under this are:
- The percentage of women
- The percentage of international students
- The percentage of students from domestic minorities (for B-Schools in the US)
A class profile shows if a school offers you a good mix of students you can learn from and also contribute to. Your ability to establish such a mutually beneficial relationship matters because you’re expected to learn a lot beyond the classroom. B-Schools use case studies, debates, and discussions to help students learn from each other. So, in order to fit into a given class, you’ll need to contribute to these discussions and debates, too.
You will also learn which of your strengths you should focus on in your application to increase your chances of getting an admit.
One thing we know for sure is that B-Schools want diversity in their classrooms. Diversity is how they ensure that students are exposed to a wide variety of perspectives, cultures, and values.
Diversity enriches every student’s MBA experience by bringing in perspectives and insights from fields they have no personal background in. For instance, there will be students from sectors such as Banking, IT, and Engineering. You can also find students from Arts and Humanities in an MBA class. The point is that each student’s profile must contribute to what the class profile has to offer.
In the next section, we will discuss how to make sense of a class profile.
What should I look for?
Let us explain how to make sense of a B-School’s class profile using an example.
Here’s the class profile of Kellogg School of Management’s class of 2020:
Now, let’s look into the insights we can gain from this class profile.
1. Women’s Participation:
At 46%, the proportion of women in the classroom is higher than the US average. Harvard and Stanford both have 41% women, and Booth has 42%. It shows that the school is quite friendly towards female MBA aspirants.
2. International Participation:
Having 34% of international students places Kellogg on par with the best schools in the US, such as Harvard (37%), Wharton (33%) and Booth (30%). A large part of the international applicant pool in American B-Schools tends to consist of Indian students. So, an American B-School with a higher percentage of international students is more likely to accept your application than a school with a lower percentage.
This is another factor of concern for many Indian MBA aspirants. You are expected to convert your marks into the GPA system while applying to B-Schools outside India. The issue is that there’s very little clarity on how this conversion happens and how much you need to score to get a required GPA.
The thing is, you don’t need to get into the details of GPA.
There are three types of GPAs and you will have to convert your scores according to each school’s guidelines. So, just focus on doing your absolute best and maintain as high a score as you can. That’s the best you can do.
4. Work Experience:
The average work experience in Kellogg’s batch of 2020 is 5.1 years. Indian aspirants often assume that the average score is exactly what the school needs in order to accept their applications. So, aspirants with 7 years of work experience may assume that Kellogg is unlikely to accept their applications. However, the range of work experience in this class profile is 3.5 to 7 years. This clearly shows that someone with 7 years of experience also stands a chance of receiving an admit from Kellogg.
This brings us to a quick fact you should know:
When you review class profiles, be wary of averages!
Averages are a representation of middle values. By definition, this means that averages don’t show the highest and lowest ends of the spectrum.
Let us explain this using a graph.
If you plot the number of students on the X-axis and GMAT scores on the Y-axis, you will typically get a bell curve.
Low scorers cancel out high scorers, so the average (which in this case is 698) is close to the high point of the bell. Both the ends of the bell represent what are known as ‘outliers’: data that lie furthest from the average. It’s easy to forget that outliers exist when you look at the average as a single number, without a chart.
But more importantly, averages shouldn’t be trusted because they can get skewed too easily. If there are more outliers on either end of the range, it will tip the average closer to that end of the spectrum. So, suppose 20 students have GMAT scores between 600-630, then the given average will drop. If these 20 students have scores between 720-750, the average rises dramatically.
An average, in isolation, doesn’t tell you whether it is closer to the top of the range or the bottom.
So, look for the range or the median value wherever possible. The range tells you the highest and lowest points of a given data set. Median is the middle point of the range. Both these values will help you get a sense of where the average leans.
Comparative Analysis of MBA Class Profiles from 10 Popular MBA Programs
Let’s now go through 10 MBA class profiles of leading B-Schools from different parts of the world. Here are the ten schools we’re going to look at:
- Harvard Business School
- Stanford School of Business
- Columbia Business School
- Booth School of Business
- Rotman School of Management
- London Business School
- Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Indian School of Business
- Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad
Let’s dive into some details!
1. What is the Best Age to get an MBA?
When it comes to age, schools in the US, Canada, Europe, and South-East Asia have averages of 27-28.
But as mentioned, what’s more insightful than an average is the range. If you look at the age ranges in these schools, you can see that people in their early 30s can also get into MBA programs.
Interestingly, both the exceptions—the higher as well as the lower extreme—are seen at Indian B-Schools. While ISB stands at the lower end with an average age of 26.6, IIM-A has a significantly higher average of 31.5.
Further, you may notice that Stanford and LBS have not mentioned age in their class profiles. Some other leading schools also follow this trend. They provide information about the students’ work experience but not about their age. So, you can gauge the approximate ages from the given work experience.
What this analysis means for you is that the best time to get an MBA is between the ages of 25 and 32. However, this does not mean you shouldn’t apply for an MBA if you’re over or under these ages. You could still get in if you try; it will just be tougher if you’re younger than 25 or older than 32.
2. What is the Work Experience Needed for MBA Admissions?
The work experience section in Stanford’s class profile is a great illustration of why you shouldn’t trust averages. The average work experience mentioned is 4 years, but the range is 0 to 11 years.
On the other hand, you have Columbia with an average of 5 years and a range of 3-7 years. HKUST is similar to this. It’s average (5 years) is close to the highest as well as the lowest end of its range (3-9 years). So, when you see profiles like those of Booth, INSEAD, or IIM-A, with just the average work experience mentioned, you can’t tell whether or not they’re open to applicants with significantly more or less work experience than that.
Rotman and LBS are in the same league as Stanford in that they have equally wide ranges of work experience. You can consider applying to all three schools even if your work experience is not close to the average.
With a range of 2-20 years of work experience, ISB can have people from two distinct generations in the same class. This can be quite challenging because the students may not all be on the same wavelength. For example, young students may lean towards finding technology-based solutions to business problems while older students may rely on more traditional means.
Each school has a different level of tolerance towards candidates whose experience levels are far above or far below the class’ average number of years of work experience. You need to think about how much variety you’d like to have in your class before you decide where to apply.
3. Which B-Schools are the best for International Students?
It’s important to look at the international make-up of a class to see how well you will fit in. Your learning experience can be enhanced greatly by an environment that has other people with life experiences similar to yours. If there aren’t enough people who understand your perspective, it can get challenging for you to contribute to class discussions.
So, consider how much diversity there is in a given B-School before you decide whether or not to apply there. However, simply going after schools that have a high percentage of international students isn’t the best idea, either. Let us demonstrate why.
South-East Asian schools like HKUST and NUS have over 90% of international students. But don’t jump to conclusions based simply on this data. Consider that countries like Singapore and Hong Kong have very small resident populations. That’s why they have a very high percentage of international students.
If you look closely, you’ll find that Europe has more international diversity than Canada. Now, let’s dissect this data a bit.
Official data shows that 22% of the students at LBS and 12% of those at INSEAD are from North America. If you deduct this from the percentage of international students, LBS only has 53% of international students and INSEAD, 52%. That brings them at the same level as Rotman (Canada), which has 51% international students.
But North American students make up the majority in US B-Schools. Schools with high ranks tend to have a greater percentage of international students than schools with lower ranks. What you need to find out in addition to the percentage of international students is where these students come from.
Some schools will provide preliminary details about this. For example, the Booth website shows that 13.4% of its students come from Asia and 10% from South America. Stanford provides no such details; instead, it simply states that it has 42% of international students.
In such cases, it’s a good idea to take trends into consideration. Data from the top 15 B-Schools in the US shows that Asians are the largest group among international students. So, schools with a lot of international students will most likely have a sizeable number of Asian students. This means you’re likely to fit in well.
You should consider the percentage and composition of international students at a given B-School to check if you fit in. Make sure there’s a good mix of students similar to you and students quite different from you. Being in a diverse but balanced environment will be critical to having a great MBA experience.
In the next section, we’ll look at the trends in pre-MBA industries across the board.
4. Pre-MBA Industry
Most people are not sure what they should be looking for in the pre-MBA industry section of a class profile. Let us tell you why it’s important and how it affects your experience directly.
Just as your culture shapes your perspective, so does your work experience. Over time, your mind gets used to looking at every problem from the same perspective. For example, if you’re experienced in human resource management, you’re likely to focus on the people required to solve a given problem. An IT engineer will try to find technological solutions to the same problem. You get where we’re going with this, right?
The professional experiences of your classmates will make a huge difference to the quality of classroom discussions. Those are a critical part of how learning takes place in MBA programs. So, think about the kind of discussions and debates you will get to participate in.
Our point here is that there needs to be a healthy level of diversity in the class. That means you should be able to blend into the batch; but simultaneously, you should also have a unique perspective to contribute to the class.
You might ask, ‘what is it that we are expected to take away from all this?’
The biggest lesson to learn here is that you should use a class profile to find out how you can ‘fit in but stand out’ at a given B-School. Every B-School out there is touting its diversity factor to try and attract as wide an array of students as possible.
What you need to learn from this is that being too much like everyone else will reduce what you can bring to your class while being too different will get in the way of your learning. So, you need to find a fine balance between the two and apply to the schools that offer you a balanced environment.
Remember: similarities help build connections, while differences help provide perspective. Every candidate influences the class profile.
Take a look at the other factors that you should consider while selecting the right MBA program:
We hope this article has helped you understand how to use class profiles while choosing the right MBA program!
If you’re still unsure of whether or not your profile is good enough to do an MBA, get your profile evaluated now!
There is one question that almost every ISB aspirant asks us:
“What’s the GMAT cutoff score for the Indian School of Business?”
It can be quite confusing when you find a variety of answers:
Worry not! In this detailed article, we will help you resolve your confusion when it comes to ISB GMAT requirements for 2019.
Here’s what we’ll discuss:
- What were the Average GMAT Scores at ISB over the Last Decade?
- What GMAT Scores do I need for ISB?
- What is the GMAT Score Range at ISB?
- Can I apply to ISB with a sub-650 Score?
Let’s get started!
1. What were the Average GMAT Scores at ISB over the Last Decade?
Here are a couple of things you will notice straight away:
- All the scores have 7 in the most significant place. For the less technically inclined, what we mean is: the average GMAT score for ISB has always been 700 or above.
- The highest average GMAT score was in 2009—a whopping 716! And the lowest average was in 2015 at a 700.
Let us look at the same data from the perspective of analyzing the trend. This time, the data taken is from 2007 to 2017.
Let’s be honest: there is no trend to analyze here.
But if you do want to read into it – you can see a spike around 2009 but the average scores are now back to what they were in 2007.
The biggest drop was for the ISB class of 2016 for which the number dropped from 711 to 700.
Takeaway: Though the class size at ISB has been increasing (574 graduates in 2012, 900+ students in the class of 2020), the average GMAT score has consistently hovered above 700!
Now that you have seen all this data, let us look at how this affects you.
2. What GMAT Scores do I need for ISB?
Do you fit into one of the following categories?
1) You have taken the GMAT and are not sure if your scores are enough.
2) You have not taken the GMAT and are wondering how much will be enough.
Let us tackle the second category first. If you have NOT taken the GMAT, go ahead and score as high as possible. Simple!
But, if you have taken the GMAT already and are unsure about your scores, this bit is for you: you need to look at the mid 80% range on the GMAT.
What this means is, you stack all the students in order of their GMAT scores and remove the outliers. In other words, remove the top 10% as well as the bottom 10%. What you’re left with is the mid 80% range of scores.
You eliminate the outliers because they are the extreme cases: say someone like an astronaut-turned-monk-turned-Olympic-athlete got in with a 600 🙂 (<- just kidding!)
The point is that some people with low scores may have gotten into ISB because of other factors in their portfolio. That may not apply in your case. So, it’s best not to draw conclusions about your odds based on their examples. That’s why you eliminate all such outliers; it helps keep things realistic.
Mid 80% Range for Years 2009 to 2015
What can we interpret from this?
- You pretty much need to have a GMAT score above 670 if you are not an outlier. In other words, a 650 will be of no use if your profile is average.
- Getting a score around 750-760 will put you in the top 20%—not the top 2%. In other words, it is not a big deal if you have a 760 on the GMAT.
- In general, if you are in an over-represented demographic such as IT or Finance, you need to make sure that you bulk up your GMAT scores.
Getting in with an exceptionally high score (read: 760+) is not tough. What is tough is getting in with a low score. Read about how some of our students got in with low or average scores:
3. What is the GMAT Score Range at ISB?
We were able to get the data for ISB score range. Let’s try can get some more juice.
The good news is that we can compare ISB Hyderabad GMAT scores and ISB Mohali GMAT Scores.
The bad news is that we did not get the data for all the ten years.
NA = Not Applicable as the first graduating class of ISB Mohali campus was in 2016
We would love to give you a magic formula and say, “Here, if you do this, you’ll get in!” But the truth is that a one-size-fits-all approach will not help. Instead, you can start by looking quite objectively at some facts:
- The lowest GMAT score EVER was 590, scored in 2016 by someone who got into ISB Mohali campus (clearly an outlier). Except for that, the lowest score seems to be 600.
- There is almost ZERO variation in the scores for the last two years. This pretty much means that there is no difference in the two campuses as far as GMAT scores are concerned.
- The highest score ever at ISB was a 780. However, interestingly in the last few years, the highest hasn’t been more than 770.
4. Can I apply to ISB with a sub-650 Score?
As we mentioned above, with an average profile, try to shoot for a higher than 650 score. But what if you have a 620? Or a 650?
Use the application money to get beer instead?
There’s no need to lose hope just yet. We think you still have a fighting chance if your profile has unusual elements on it. You can play to your strengths and show ISB what your unusual experience can contribute to the class. If you do this well, there are chances you could get an admit in spite of a low score.
However, if your profile is mostly average, you’re going to need a strong GMAT score to help improve your chances. So, we would recommend that you take another shot at the GMAT and try to get a score close to or above 700. A score like that will significantly improve your chances of getting into ISB.
Here are some helpful articles if you’re planning to go ahead and apply:
ISB Essay Analysis
Comparing ISB Hyderabad & ISB Mohali
3 Mistakes ISB Applicants Make
14 Post-MBA Career Questions that ISB Answers
Myths about ISB MBA Applications: Busted!
If you have any thoughts, questions, or feedback related to this article, please drop a comment in the section below. We will be happy to hear from you and help resolve your queries!
Want to know if you’ll get that interview call from ISB?
At CrackVerbal, we have experts with many years of experience who can look through your profile and GMAT score to predict your chances of getting an ISB admit.
There are more than 100 institutes in India that accept GMAT scores for their business programs. This article provides valuable information about these institutes. For each program offered by these institutes, you will find details about the location, duration, cost, courses, well-known alumni, and the pay you can expect after you graduate.
Note: Pay packages indicated are per annum
1. ISB, Hyderabad and Mohali
Name of the college – Indian Business School
• Hyderabad: 705
• Mohali: 708
Average work experience – 4 years
Tuition fees – INR 25,00,000
Location – Hyderabad and Mohali
• Management Development Programmes
• Custom Designed Programmes
• YLP-Young Leaders Programme
• Information and Technology Management
• Operations Management
• Strategy and Leadership
The Industry specializations offered are
• Public Policy
Neeraj Arora (Vice President at WhatsApp), Ajith Andare (COO, Viacom), Nalin Jain (CEO, GE Rail), Sameer Khetarpal (SLT, Amazon), Sriram Venkataraman (CFO, Flipkart)
Average pay package – INR 20,90,211
2. S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai
Name of the college – S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research
Average GMAT – 650 for Indian applicants and 600 for international students.
Average Work experience – 5 years
• PGDM – INR 15,50,000
• PGPM – INR 13,50,000
• PGCIM – INR 5,20,000
Location – Mumbai
• Rajesh Jejurikar, President and Chief Executive – Farm Equipment & Two Wheelers, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd
• Madan Padaki, Co-founder and Director of Sylvant Advisors
• Sunil Lulla, Chairman and MD of Grey Group, India
• Girish Wagh, Sr. Vice President & Head Project Planning and Program Management of Tata Motors
• Shiju Radhakrishnan, Founder and CEO of iTraveller.com
• Pradeep Kar, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Microlan
Average pay package – INR 19,30,000
3. IIM, Ahmedabad
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
Average GMAT – 700
Average Work experience – 5 years
Tuition – INR 24,50,000
Location – Ahmedabad
• PGPX-Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives
• Ajay Singh Banga – President and Chief Executive Officer, MasterCard
• M. S. Banga – senior partner, Clayton Dubilier & Rice
• Sarthak Behuria – former Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation; former Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Petroleum
• Sanjeev Bikhchandani – founder and Executive Vice Chairman, Infoedge and naukri.com
• Piyush Gupta – Chief Executive Officer, DBS Bank
• Madan Mohanka – Founder & Chairman, Tega Industries Ltd
• Kiran Karnik – former President of NASSCOM; current Chairman of the National Committee on Telecom & Broadband at the Confederation of Indian Industry
• Mahendra Mehta – CEO, Vedanta Resources plc.
• Shikha Sharma – Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Axis Bank
• Suresh Vaswani – President, Dell Services
• Ashok Vemuri – CEO of Conduent
• Rajesh Gopinathan ‘- CEO and MD, Tata Consultancy Services
• Nelabhotla Venkateswarlu, former CEO of Emami House
• Ajay Srinivasan – Chief Executive-Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group
Average pay package – INR 22,14,000
4. School of Management, NMIMS, Mumbai
Name of the college – School of Management, NMIMS
Average GMAT – 600
Average Work experience – 2 years
• MBA – INR 17,50,000
• MBA Pharma – INR 10,50,000
• MBA HR – INR 17,50,000
• MBA Family Business – INR 18,00,000
• Executive MBA – INR 5,00,000
• PGDM Bangalore/ Hyderabad/ Navi Mumbai/ Indore – INR 14,50,000
Location – Mumbai
• MBA Pharma
• MBA HR
• MBA Family Business
• Executive MBA
• PGDM Bangalore/ Hyderabad/ Navi Mumbai/ Indore
• Avani Davda – ex-CEO, Tata Starbucks India
• Harish Iyer – LGBT activist
• Kiran Janjani – actor
• Aruna Jayanthi – CEO, CapGemini India
• Rakesh Khanna – CEO and President, Syntel
• Deena Mehta – MD and CEO, Asit C. Mehta Investment Interrmediates Ltd.
• Nitin Rakesh – CEO and Director, Mphasis
• Kunal Shah – Co-founder, FreeCharge
• Gautam Shiknis – founder and MD, Palador Pictures
• Chandni Jafri – CEO – Mumbai Angels
Average Package – INR 17,58,000
5. IIM, Bangalore
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management, (IIM-B) Bangalore
Average GMAT – 700
Average Work experience – 5 years
• PGP – INR 18,50,000 (Indian Candidate)
• PGPPM –INR 11,60,000
• PGPEM – INR 14,50,000 (To be paid in eight installments)
Location – Bangalore
• Damodar Mall (PGP 1986), CEO, Reliance Retail.
• Deepak Ohri, CEO, Lebua Hotels & Resorts.
• Malavika Harita (PGP 1982), CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi Focus.
• Sameer Suneja (PGP 1994), Global CEO, Perfetti Van Melle.
• Shashi Sinha (PGP 1981), CEO, IPG India.
Average Package – INR 21,42,000
6. Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai
Name of the college – Great Lakes Institute of Management
Average GMAT – 650
Average Work experience – Fresher, or a maximum of 24 months of work experience
Tuition – INR 1,55,8000 (For Indian Students)
Location – Chennai
Average Package – INR 12,33,000
7. IIM, Calcutta
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management, (IIM-C) Calcutta
Average GMAT – 718
Average Work experience – 5 years
• PGPEX – INR 22,00,000
• PGPEX-VLM – INR 11,25,000
Location – Kolkata
• Ajit Balakrishnan, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rediff.com; Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIM Calcutta
• Vikrant Bhargava, co-founder and Group Marketing Director, PartyGaming
• Ashish Chauhan, Managing Director and CEO, Bombay Stock Exchange
• Pranay Chulet, co-founder and CEO of Quikr
• Sunil Duggal, Chief Executive Officer of Dabur
• Krishnan Ganesh, serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of TutorVista
• Meena Ganesh, entrepreneur
• Sabyasachi Hajara, Chairman and Managing Director, Shipping Corporation of India
• Shantanu Khosla, MD of Procter & Gamble India
• Anand Kripalu, Managing Director and CEO United Spirits Limited
• M. R. Madhavan, President and co-founder of PRS Legislative Research
• Deepak Mohoni, stock market analyst, coined the term Sensex
• P M Murty, former MD and CEO of Asian Paints
Average Package – INR 20,00,000
8. XLRI, Jamshedpur
Name of the college – XLRI – Xavier School of Management
Average GMAT – 660
Average Work experience – 5 years
• PGDM (BM) INR 20,00,000
• PGDM (HRM) INR 20,00,000
• PGDM (GM) INR 18,50,000
• EXE-FPM INR 8,50,000
Location – Jamshedpur
• PGDM (BM)
• PGDM (GM)
• PGDM (BM) part-time (JSR)
• PGDM (Global BM)
• Muthuraman, Vice-Chairman, Tata Steel Ltd.
• Krishnakumar Natarajan, CEO of MindTree
• Leena Nair, Global Senior Vice-President (Leadership & Organisation Development),Unilever plc
• Rakesh Kapoor, chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser plc
• Vineet Nayar, Vice-Chairman & Joint managing director, HCL Technologies Ltd.
• Naveen Jain, Founder of inome, and Moon Express
• Arun Maira, Former partner at Boston Consulting Group
• K. Pandiarajan, Co-Founder Ma Foi Management Consultants, MLA Virdhunagar, Tamil Nadu
Average Package – INR 19,21,000
9. IIM, Lucknow
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management, (IIM-L) Lucknow
Average GMAT – 700
Average Work experience – 6 years
Tuition – INR 16,00,000
Post Graduate Programme in Management [PGPM] – INR 14,16,000
Post Graduate Programme in Agri-Business Management [PGP-ABM] – INR 14,16,000
Post Graduate Programme in Securities Markets [PGPSM] – INR 14,16,000
Working Managers Programme [WMP] – INR 12,65,000
Location – Lucknow
Post Graduate Programme in Management [PGPM]
Post Graduate Programme in Agri-Business Management [PGP-ABM]
Post Graduate Programme in Securities Markets [PGPSM]
Working Managers Programme [WMP] – INR 12,65,000
International Programme in Management for Executives [IPMX]
Fellow Programme in Management [FPM]
• Gaurav Sabnis (Class of 2004)- Famous Indian blogger (see The Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) advertising controversy
• Rahul Singh (Class of 1995) – Director, India Asia-Pacific Equity Research, Citigroup
• Sanjeev Agrawal, CEO, Homeshop18 , ex CEO Pantaloons
• Rakesh Jha, Deputy CFO, ICICI Bank, India
• Shekhar Deshpande, Global Planning Director, J Walter Thompson, London Kameswara Rao, Partner & Leader, Power Sector practice, PwC India
• Sabaleel Nandy – Strategy Head, Tata Chemicals
• Nitin Seth (Class of 1996) – Managing Director & Country Head-India, Fidelity International
• Amitabh Thakur (Famous RTI activist and IPS)
• Shanmughan Manjunath
• Gaurav Agarwal – 2013 Civil Services topper who is now an IAS officer.
• Prabh Simran Singh – Head Google Consumer Industry and Economic Times hottest 40 under 40
• Bhuwan Gaurav – Another Economic Times 40 under 40 and former Head of Tanishq Industries and now CEO at 7Cs Group
• Ajit Thakur – CEO of Eros International’s motion pictures production and Former Head of Life OK and Channel V
• KV Pratap – Chief Economic Advisor, Prime Minister’s Office
• Kamal Gianchandani – Director, Emerging Markets, Credit Derivatives, Citigroup, HK
• Baburaj Pillai – Managing Director, Arohi Asset Management, Singapore
• Rakesh Kapoor- Managing Director , Pacific Brand
• Shashank Sinha – President, Sara Lee, Singapore & Malaysia
• Amit Banati – President, Cadbury, Asia Pacific
• Shailesh Jejurikar – Vice president-home care North America , P&G
• Dhimant Shah – Director, Emerging Markets Credit Derivates, Citigroup, HK
• Vandita Pant – Global Head of Group Capital Planning, Group Treasury, Royal Bank of Scotland, London
• Lakshminarayana K R – Chief Strategy Officer, Wipro
• Rajeev Sabharwal – Executive Director, ICICI
• Tarun Tripathi (Class of 2002) – Head, Marketing and External communication, Yash Raj Films
• Neeraj Gambhir (Class of 1995) – Managing Director & Head of Structured Finance and High Grade Credit – India, Nomura Fixed Income Securities Private Limited
• Anjali Mullatti (Class of 1993) – Co-Founder, CEO & M.D., Finitiatives Learning India Pvt. Ltd.; Trustee, The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust
• Vipul Sant (Class of 1989) – Director, License Compliance, Microsoft India
• Prabhat Awasthi (Class of 1994) – Head, Equities & Research, Lehman Brothers
• Jatin Suryawanshi (Class of 1994)- Head, US Algorithmic Trading, UBS Investment Bank, New York
Average Package – The median salary for the 2015-17 batch was INR 18,45,000. Source:- MHRD, National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF)
10. IMT, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad, Nagpur & Dubai
Name of the college – Institute of Management Technology
Average GMAT – 690
Average Work experience – 3 years
Tuition – INR 15,00,000
• Two-year Post Graduate Diploma in Management
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management – PGDM-FT (In 2nd yr one can choose among Marketing, Finance, HR, Solutions and Consulting, Strategic Management and Analytics)
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Finance
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Marketing
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Dual Country Program (DCP)- Student spend first year on Dubai Campus and second year at Ghaziabad.
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Executive
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Part-Time
• Two-year full-time MBA programme
• Doctoral programme (PhD) in Management
• Management Development Programme for Executives
• General Management Programme for Executives (GMPE)
PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management)
2-year full-time residential program is offered to students in:
• PGDM (Core)
• PGDM (Finance)
• PGDM (Marketing)
Executive PGDM The Executive PGDM is a 15-month weekend program designed for professionals with minimum three years of work experience. The program admits students with diverse background of academic, culture and business.
Fellowship Program in Management (FPM)
The Fellow Program in Management (FPM) at IMT Hyderabad culminates in the original research presented in a candidate’s doctoral thesis and conferment of the FPM.
• Two-year Post Graduate Diploma in Management
• Management Development Program (MDP)
• Sachin Pilot, former Minister of State in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs
• Nimmagadda Prasad, chairman, MAA TV; vice chairman & founder, Matrix Laboratories
• Prasoon Joshi, eminent advertising personality and regional creative director, APAC, McCann Erickson
• Pranava Prakash, Noted Sociopop Artist
• Mini Mathur, Indian Host/Actress/Model
• Rajeev Karwal, Founder Milagrow
• Prachi Tehlan, Actor/former National sportswoman
Average Package – INR 11,00,000
11. IIM, Indore
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management, (IIM-I) Indore
Average GMAT – 690
Average Work experience – 5 years
• Indian Nationals: INR 18,00,000
• Foreign Nationals: US $45,000
Location – Indore
Average Package – INR 16,23,000
12. IIM, Kozhikode
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode
Average GMAT – 650
Average Work experience – 5 years
PGP – INR 8,75,000
Location – Kozhikode
• Post Graduate Programme in Management
• Fellow Programme in Management
• Executive Post Graduate Programme
Manjunath Talwar – Founder & CEO at Hiree. Kashyap Chanchani – Managing Partner at The RainMaker Group.
Average Package – INR 17,15,000
13. FMS, Delhi
Name of the college – Faculty of Management Studies
Average GMAT – FMS accepts GMAT only from foreign nationals; such candidates must have a minimum score of 650
Average Work experience – 2-3 years
• MBA – INR 10,480 per annum
• MBA Executive – INR 50,000 per annum
Location – Delhi
• MBA Executive
• MBA Executive Health Care Administration
• Anupama Verma – Model, actress, and television personality from Lucknow. She was a contestant on Bigg Boss 1 in 2006.
• Harit Nagpal- MD & CEO, Tata Sky Ltd
• Ira Singhal – Indian Civil Services Examination Topper 2014 (conducted by UPSC)
• Nishikant Dubey – Nishikant Dubey is a member of the 16th Lok Sabha of India. He represents the Godda constituency of Jharkhand, is a member of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). He was also member of 15th Lok Sabha of India.
• Raghav Bahl- Founding/Controlling Shareholder & Managing Director, Network 18
• Sandip Das- Managing Director, Reliance Jio Infocomm
• Sat Parashar – Head of the Banking Center at the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance, Director at the Indian Institutes of Management, and was also the director of the Indian Institute of Management Indore, India from 2004 to 2008.
Average Package – INR 20,60,000
14. TAPMI, Manipal
Name of the college – T. A. Pai Management Institute
Average GMAT – 650
Average Work experience – 3 years
• PGDM – INR 14,00,00
• PGDM – HEALTHCARE – INR 9,50,000
• PGDM – BKFS – INR 15,00,000
Location – Manipal, Karnataka
• PGDM – HEALTHCARE
• PGDM – BKFS
• D N Prasad – Director for Google People Services (GPS)
• Rajeev Jain – Chief Executive Officer of Bajaj Finance Limited
• Gurudas Pai – Director- Debt Capital Markets at The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
• Amit Chugh – EO of Cosmos Ignite Innovations
• Simeran Bhasin – Sales Executive with Manipal Group of Hotels
• Mr. Sharad Agarwal – Head of Lamborghini India
Average Package – INR 10,06,000
15. Dept. of Management, BITS Pilani, Rajasthan
Name of the college – Birla Institute of Technology and Science
Average GMAT – There is no cutoff score. Selection is based on the candidate’s profile. CAT and GMAT are considered
Average Work experience – 2 years
Tuition – INR 6,56,000
Location – Rajasthan
• MBA Consultancy Management
• MBA Manufacturing Management
• MBA Quality Management
• MBA Finance
• Sanjay Mehrotra, founder of SanDisk Products and Services
• Phanindra Sama, founder of RedBus.in
• Dr. B. Sandhya, IPS, Additional Director General of Kerala Police
• Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 2009 – 2014
• Gulu L. Mirchandani, founder of Onida Electronics
Average Package – INR 8,50,000
16. XIM, Bhubaneswar
Name of the college – Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar
Average GMAT – 550
Average Work experience – 3 years
• MBA BM – INR 15,40,000
• MBA HRM – INR 15,40,000
• MBA RM – INR 11,00,000
• MBA SM – INR 11,00,000
• EXECUTIVE MBA – INR 15,40,000
• PhD (sponsored) – INR 6,00,000
Location – Bhubaneswar
• MBA in Business Management (MBA-BM)
• MBA in Human Resource Management (MBA-HRM)
• MBA in Rural Management (MBA-RM)
• MBA in Sustainability Management (MBA-SM)
• MBA in Global Management Leadership (MBA Global)
• Executive Programme in Business Management
• Executive Programme in Rural Management
• Doctoral Programme PhD
• Joseph Hadrian Bosco (Class of 1996), Senior Vice President, ICICI Securities Ltd
• Mohammed A.Alam(Class of 1996), Head of Product Management, National Commercial Bank,Jeddah,Saudi Arabia
• Mitul Rustagi (Class of 1996), Executive Director Business Development & Strategy, Johnson Controls Inc
• Pinaki Banerjee (Class of 1995), Country Manager – South Asia, Pilkington Glasses-UK
• Pinaki Rath (Class of 1991), MD, GoldMatrix Resources, Singapore
• Pinaki Mishra (Class of 1991), Partner, Ernst & Young, India
• Prateek Agrawal (Class of 1994), Head – Equities, Bharti AXA Investment Managers
• Ravikumar Sangaselli (Class of 1997), AVP, Infosys Technologies Ltd
• Rajendra Kumar Mishra (Class of 1991), Founder & CEO, Indea Capital, Singapore
• Sidharth Rath (Class of 1992), Senior Vice President – Capital Market, UTI bank
Average Package – INR 13,18,000
17. IIFT, Delhi & Kolkata
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
Average GMAT – GMAT only for Foreign Students. Indian students are required to write the IIFT exam.
Average Work experience – 3 years
MBA IB – INR 15,20,000
Executive Courses – INR 3,50,000
Certificate Course – INR 75,000
• PGP – Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Capital And Financial Market – INR 3,60,000
• PGD – Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Marketing – INR 3,60,000
• PGD – Executive Post Graduate Diploma in International Business – INR 3,60,000
• MBA International Business – INR 14,50,000
• MBA Part time – INR 8,00,000
• PGP – Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Capital And Financial Market
• PGD – Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Marketing
• PGD – Executive Post Graduate Diploma in International Business
• MBA International Business
• MBA Part-time
• S.K. Roongta, former chairman of Steel Authority of India ltd.
• Rashesh Shah, founder of Edelweiss Capital
Average Package – INR 18,41,000
18. Goa Institute of Management, Goa
Name of the college – Goa Institute of Management
Average GMAT –
Average Work experience – 2 years
PGDM – INR 15,21,700
PGDM HealthCare Management – INR 8,19,000
Location – Goa
• PGDM HealthCare Management
• PGDM Big Data Analytics
• Ketan Hajarnavis (Batch 1997-99) Director – India Business , Executive Consultant & Client Partner at ThoughtWorks
• Sachin Kapoor (Batch 2001-03) , Leader of Vendor Strategy and Operations at Google
• Samarjeet Singh (Batch 1995-97) Director-Founder Iksula
• Balendu Shrivastava (Batch 1998-2000) Head of Measurement at Facebook, India
• Benzi Alex Mathew (Batch 1999-2001) Client Relationship Director at ZS Associates
Average Package – INR 8,50,000
19. K.J.Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai
Name of the college – K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research
Average GMAT – GMAT score is applicable to only those applicants who fill the form under NRIs / Foreign Nationals and PIOs
Average Work experience – Information not available
Tuition – INR 11,99,000
Location – Mumbai
• Executive – PGPM
• Master in Management Studies [MMS] (Finance)
• Master in Management Studies [MMS] (Human Resource)
• Master in Management Studies [MMS] (Operations)
• Master in Management Studies [MMS] (Marketing)
• Piyush Jha, Novelist, Film Director
• Lata Pillai, Director, Deutsche Bank
• Shyam Motwani, Executive VP & Business Head, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.
• Prakash Nair, Advertising Senior VP, Ogilvy & Mather
• Llyod Mathais, CMO, Hewlett Packard India
• Anuj Bhargava, CEO, AB Associates
• Sheetal Daftary, Director, KPMG
• Somanathan Ranganathan, Chief Operating Officer – South East Asia, Starcom Mediavest Group
• Srinivasan Krishnamachary, Executive Director, JP Morgan
Average Package: INR 9,40,000
20. School of Management and Entrepreneurship – Shiv Nadar, Mumbai University, Greater Noida
Name of the college – Shiv Nadar University – School of Management and Entrepreneurship
Average GMAT – Not specified.
Average Work experience – 2 years
Master of Business Administration – INR 12,09,000
Location – Greater Noida
Master of Business Administration
Average Package – INR 6,00,000 to INR 8,00,000
21. MICA, Ahmedabad
Name of the college – Mudra Institute of Communications
Average GMAT – There is no cut-off. Can also use CAT scores.
Average Work experience – 2 years
Tuition – PGDM-C is INR 14,50,000
Location – Ahmedabad
• Postgraduate Diploma in Management in Communications (PGDM-C)
• Fellow Program in Management-Communications (FPM-C)
• Crafting Creative Communications (CCC)
• Manmeet Vohra who heads Marketing for Starbucks India.
• Charu Harish, who heads Planning for APAC Region for the Grey Group.
• Rajat Tuli, the founder of Buy funny & unique gifts from India’s coolest company – Happily Unmarried
• Kunal Jeswani, CEO of Ogilvy India.
• Saurabh Verma, CEO of Leo Burnett India
• Arpita Sangha, Global Marketing Head, HP
• Sandeep Arora, Global Head, Research & Analytics Solutions at Datamatics Global Services
Average Package – INR 11,30,000
22. IMI Kolkata
Name of the college – International Management Institute (IMI) Kolkata
Average GMAT – 650
Average Work experience – 2 years
Tuition – INR 11,50,118
Location – Kolkata
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM)
• Fellow Programme in Management (FPM)
Alumni – Information is not available
Average Package – INR 8,50,000
23. VIT Business School, Vellore
Name of the college – VIT Business School
Average GMAT – GMAT accepted. No specific cut-offs.
Average Work experience – Some executive work experience will be preferred
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [MBA] – INR 5,98,000
Location – Vellore
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [MBA]
• Puru Govind(COO Retail, SAP)
• Mr. B. Chittibabu (Chairman & Managing Director, BBIPL Infrastructure (India) Pvt Ltd)
Average Package – INR 4,50,000
24. Birla Institute of Management Technology, Noida
Name of the college – Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH)
Average GMAT – Valid GMAT score. No cut-offs specified
Average Work experience – Two years
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) – INR 11,00,000
• PGDM (International Business – INR 11,00,000
• PGDM (Insurance Business Management) – INR 8,50,000
• PGDM (Retail Management) – INR 8,50,000
Location – Greater Noida
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM)
• PGDM (International Business)
• PGDM (Insurance Business Management)
• PGDM (Retail Management)
Alumni – Not Found.
Average Package – INR 7,35,000
25. IIT-DMS, Madras
Name of the college – Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras (DoMS)
Average GMAT – GMAT only for foreign students. CAT for Indian candidates.
Average Work experience – 2 years
Tuition – INR 1,89,000 per annum
Location – Chennai
• Master of Business Administration (MBA) at IIT Madras is a two-year, full-time management programme
• Post Graduate Programme for Executives for Visionary Leadership in Manufacturing (PGPEX-VLM)
• PhD programme in management
• T. K. Alex – Director at ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore, 2008–2012
• Hemendra Aran – CEO and founder, Aranca]
• Krishna Bharat – Creator of Google News; Principal Scientist, Google
• Bhaskar Bhat – Managing Director, Titan Co. Ltd.
• Jayas Damodaran – CEO, Boston Technology Corporation
• Average Package – Information is not available
26. ISBF, Delhi
Name of the college – Indian School of Business & Finance
Average GMAT – 500+ (Optional)
Average Work experience – Optional
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management – INR 5,13,229
• Post Graduate Diploma in Economics – INR 4,80,000
• Post Graduate Diploma in Finance – INR 4,80,000
Location – New Delhi
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management
• Post Graduate Diploma in Economics
• Post Graduate Diploma in Finance
• Nikhil Vijay Galapure – Market Research Analyst at TCS
• Preynasha Sahni – Compensation Analyst at UBS Investment Bank
Average Package – INR 5,00,000
27. IIM, Ranchi
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management
Average GMAT – 600
Average Work experience – 5 years
Tuition – INR 12,50,000
Location – Ranchi
• Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) Programme
• Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management
• Post-Graduate Programme in Management for Executives
• Fellow Programme in Management (FPM)
Average Package – INR 14,80,000
28. School of Management – SRM University, Chennai
Name of the college – School of Management – SRM University
Average GMAT – Marks – 500/800
Average Work experience – Not mentioned
Tuition – INR 5,00,000
Location – Chennai
• Master of Business Administration – MBA
• Master of Business Administration – MBA – Banking and Financial Services
• Integrated MBA (5 years)
• Abhay Jodhpurkar – singer
• Neeraj Madhav – actor
• Niveda Thomas – actor
• Murali Vijay – cricketer
Average Package – INR 6,00,000
29. IIM, Rohtak
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management Rohtak
Average GMAT – good GMAT/ CAT score will help in getting the candidature shortlisted quickly
Average Work experience – 3 years
Tuition – INR 11,75,000
• Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) : 5,25,000 yearly
• Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (EPGPM) : 6,10,000 yearly
• Executive Training (MDP): Sponsored programmes also known as Open programmes
• Fellow Programme in Management (FPM) : Scholarship based programme thus tuition fee is waived off
Location – Rohtak
• Post Graduate Programme (PGP)
• Executive Post Graduate Programme (EPGP)
• Fellow Programme in Management (FPM)
• Management Development Programme (MDP)
• Faculty Development Programme (FDP)
• Simmi (Deputy Manager at Tata Teleservices Ltd)
• Stuti Kohli (Assistant Manager- Corporate Strategy at Spicejet
• Joshika Dikshit (Consultant – Wipro Ltd
Average Package – INR 12,30,000
30. National Institute of Securities Markets, Mumbai
Name of the college – National Institute of Securities Markets
Average GMAT – 45O +
Average Work experience –Six months and above in any intermediary approved by SEBI/RBI/IRDA will be given credit, as per weights mentioned in the PGPSM admission brochure.
Tuition – INR 3,30,000
Location – Mumbai
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Securities Markets) (PGDM(SM))
• Post Graduate Programme in Securities Markets (PGPSM)
• Post Graduate Diploma in Quantitative Finance (PGDQF)
• Certificate in Securities Law (CSL)
• Certificate in Treasury Management (CTM)
• Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Engineering and Risk Management (PGDFERM)
• Post Graduate Diploma in Data Science (PGDDS)
Average Package – INR 5,50,000
31. IIM, Shillong
Name of the college –Indian Institute of Management, (IIM – Shillong)
Average GMAT – CAT (percentile of the test taken in either of the years 2014 or 2015) and/GMAT® (scores for the past three years). Appropriate relaxations may be granted for candidates with strong managerial/supervisory role experience.
Average Work experience – 5 years
Tuition – For Indian Nationals: INR 13,00,000
Location – Shillong
Average Package – INR 14,80,000
32. FLAME, Pune
Name of the college – FLAME University – The Pioneers of Liberal Education in India
Average GMAT – There is no minimum score
Average Work experience – 5 years
Tuition – INR 11,30,000
Location – Pune
• MBA (Communication Management)
Average Package – INR 5,30,000
33. IIM, Tiruchirappalli
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli
Average GMAT – 600
Average Work experience – 3 years
Tuition – INR 12,00,000
Location – Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu
• PGPM two-year full-time Post-Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM)
• FPM Four-year full time residential doctoral programme Fellow Programme in Management
• PGPBM two year Postgraduate Programme in Business Management (PGPBM)
Average Package – INR 13,01,000
34. Mysore Royal Academy, MYRA School of Business, Mysore
Name of the college – MYRA School of Business
Average GMAT – No specific cut-offs
Average Work experience – 5 years
Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (PGDM) – INR 10,00,000
Location – Mysore
• Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (PGDM)
• Post Graduate Program for executives (PGPX)
• Global MBA
Average Package – INR 8,00,000
35. IIM, Udaipur
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management Udaipur
Average GMAT – 620
Average Work experience – 4 years
Tuition – The course fee for PGP and PGPX is around INR 11,35,000 and INR 6,50,000 (excluding taxes) respectively.
Location – Udaipur
• Post Graduate Programme (PGP)
• Fellow Programme in Management (FPM)
• Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives PGPX)
• Management Development Programme for Women Entrepreneurs (MDPWE)
Average Package – INR 12,00,000
36. Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies
Name of the college – Kirloskar Institute Of Advanced Management Studies
Average GMAT –
Average Work experience –
Tuition – Information not available
Location – Harihar, Karnataka
Courses Offered –
• Dipak Jain, Vice President Corporate Banking, The Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd, Class of 2004-06
• N Srilakshmi, Insurance Department, Meraas Holding LLC, Dubai, Class of 2004-06
• Sandeep Tarayil, Consultant – Financial Crime & Compliance, Actimize Inc., Georgia, USA, Class of 2006-08
• Susmita Mishra, Human Resource Business Partner, Sandvik Coromant India & South East Asia., Class of 2006-08
• Priyanka Eluri, Head Outsourcing, MTR Foods Pvt Ltd, Class of 2008-10
• Jitender Singh, Project Manager, Decathlon Sports India, Class of 2000-2002
• Basharat Abbas, Founder and CEO, Enthusionz Services Pvt. Ltd.,Class of 2009-11
• Sudeshna Srivastava, Senior Manager, HR, Genpact India, Class of 2001-03
Average Package – Information not available
37. IIM, Raipur
Name of the college – Indian Institute of Management Raipur
Average GMAT – Domestic Candidates (in India) – CAT , International Candidate (outside India) – GMAT
Average Work experience – 3 years
• PGP – INR 10,26,000
• PGPWE – INR 6,43,000
• EFPM – INR 5,53,000
Location – Raipur
• Post-Graduate Programme in Management (PGP)
• Fellow Programme in Management (FPM)
• Post Graduate Programme in Management for Working Executive (PGPWE)
• Executive Fellow Program in Management (EFPM)
Alumni – Information not available
Average Package – INR 12,51,000
38. GITAM School of International Business, Visakhapatnam
Name of the college – Gitam School of International Business (GSIB)
Average GMAT – GMAT for MBA. 500 – 800.
Average Work experience – Not mentioned.
• MBA – International Business – INR 7,50,000
• MBA (Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management) – INR 7,50,000
• MBA (International Banking and Finance) – INR 7,50,000
Location – Visakhapatnam
• MBA – International Business
• MBA (Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management)
• MBA (International Banking and Finance)
• Mr. Anand Kumar Raju Vegesna
• Director Resource Management & Talent Development, Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions, Frankfurt Germany
• Mr. Sarath Chandra
• (MBA -2001) – Senior Category Manager, Microsoft, New Delhi
• Mr. Sapthagiri Chapalapalli
• (BBM -1995), Director- Central Europe,Tata Consultancy Services, Frankfurt Germany
• Mr. Venugopal Palteru (MBA – 1998) National Sales Manager – North Africa, GSK Consumer Health Care Ltd Cairo, Egypt
Average Package – INR 5,00,000
• Asia Graduate School of Business, Hyderabad
• Amrita School of Business, Amrita ViswaVidyapeetham, Amritapuri
• BIMS, Bangalore
• IISWBM, Kolkata
• IILM Graduate School of Management, Greater Noida
• ITM, Mumbai
• Siva Sivani Institute of Management, Hyderabad
• Jindal Global Business School, O.P Jindal University, Sonipat
• NIIT, Neemrana (ICICI Business Leadership Program)
39. Apeejay School of Management, New Delhi
Name of the college – Apeejay School of Management
Average GMAT – 500 Marks
Average Work experience – Not mentioned.
• PGDM (Full Time)
• PGDM (Full Time) in International Business (IB)
Location – New Delhi
Alumni – No
Average Package – INR 3,70,000
• Acharya School of Management, Bangalore
• School of Telecom Management, Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune
• AIMS School of Business, Bangalore Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad
• SOIL, Gurgaon
• Aegis School of Business and Telecommunication, Navi Mumbai
• Prin. L.N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai
• Amity Institute of Telecom Technology and Management, New Delhi
• Apex Institute of Management, Pune
• TERI School of advanced Sciences, TERI University, Delhi, Pune
40. Asian School of Business Management (ASBM), Bhubaneswar
Name of the college – Asian School of Business Management (ASBM)
Average GMAT – Exams accepted are CAT, MAT, XAT, CMAT, GMAT. No specific cut-offs for GMAT.
Average Work experience – Not mentioned.
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) – INR 5,96,600
Location – Bhubaneswar
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM)
• Alumni – Not found.
Average Package – INR 3,50,000
• Bangalore, Mumbai & Guwahati
• B I I M, Bangalore
• College of Commerce, Shivaji University, Pune
• Centre for Management, Mumbai
• International School of Management Excellence, Bangalore
41. School of Management, International Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar
Name of the College – School of Management (IMI)
Average GMAT – GMAT accepted. 600 and above.
Average Work experience – Not mentioned.
• POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN MANAGEMENT (PGDM) – INR 8,07,000
• POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN MANAGEMENT – INR 3,15,000
Location – Bhubaneswar
• POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN MANAGEMENT (PGDM)
• POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN MANAGEMENT
• NAVNEET GOEL – Sr. Executive – FIRST SOURCE LIMITED
• MR. NIPUN SACHDEVA – Marketing manager – KOTAK SECURITIES
• BIBHU PRASAD RATH – Associate Research Manager – IMRB INTERNATIONAL, BANGALORE
• Aastha Bansal – Associate Research Manager – IMRB INTERNATIONAL
• Jubin Joseph – Business Consultant – CAPGEMINI INDIA
Average Package – INR 7,50,000
• IBA, Bangalore
• Seshadripuram Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore
• Lotus Business School, Pune
• College of Commerce and Management, Pune
• Faculty of Management, Mody Institute of Technology and Science, Jamnagar
• School of Management, Udaipur
• Spicer Memorial College, Secundrabad
• National Management School, Chennai
• National Schools of Business and Management Private Limited, Chennai
• Praxis Business School, Kolkata
• Pune Institute of Business Management, Pune
• Vanguard Business School, Bangalore
• Sadhana Centre for Management & Leadership Development, Pune
42. Delhi School of Business, Delhi
Name of the college – Delhi School of Business
Average GMAT – GMAT accepted. No specific average. CAT, MAT, XAT, CMAT are also accepted.
Average Work experience – Not mentioned.
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) – INR 8,00,000
Location – Delhi
• Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM)
Alumni – No found.
Average Package – INR 5,50,000
43. SDM Institute for Management Development, Mysore
Name of the college – SDM Institute for Management Development
Average GMAT – GMAT accepted. No specific average.
Average Work experience – Not mentioned.
• Two-Year Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM – Full-Time Residential) – INR 10,07,000
• PGDM + PGCPM – INR 3,00,000
Location – Pune
• Two-Year Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM – Full-Time Residential)
• PGDM + PGCPM ((MAT/CAT/XAT/ATMA/any other state level test.) to be eligible)
Alumni – No found.
Average Package – INR 6,50,000
We hope you found the information useful. We’re sure that you can make a well-informed decision, and apply to the appropriate institutes and programs.
Let us make a wild guess! You probably googled the words “ISB Essay Analysis” or some variation of that phrase to get here. You have most likely taken the GMAT, and you feel that you have a good shot at getting into ISB this year.
Except, there is one problem: you can’t get your head around the ISB Application Essays.
We get it! You probably haven’t written an essay in a long time—let alone MBA application essays that require you to probe into the deepest corners of your mind. Still, you wrote drafts, rewrote them a couple of times, only to delete them in the end. Now you are so frustrated, you want to give up altogether.
All of this can be overwhelming, but chin up! We are here, and you have come to the right place.
In this article, we will take you behind the scenes to analyze what exactly ISB is looking for through the essays. Then, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to tackle the ISB Application Essays this year.
We will be touching upon the following sections:
- Important Dates and Rounds for ISB
- ISB MBA Application Essay Analysis
- What does ISB look for in Applicants?
- Typical Applicant Categories at ISB
- How to Write to Impress the ISB AdCom
Let’s get started right away!
1. Important dates and rounds for ISB
Let’s look at the dates released by ISB for this year:
A note above this Admission Calendar on the ISB website reads, “Though applying in either round does not impact your chances of securing an admission offer, we encourage you to apply in Round 1 to improve your chances of receiving a scholarship.”
As per the ISB official website, here are a few reasons why you should be doing so:
- Full tuition fee waivers will be offered only to Round 1 applicants
- 50% of all merit and need-based waivers will be offered to Round 1 applicants
So, is applying in Round 1 actually advantageous?
One thing is for sure: pushing for applications in Round 1 is a marketing strategy to ensure that ISB is your first choice (plus the added advantages given above).
We recommend that you apply when your chances of an admit are really high. For example, if you think you need to retake the GMAT, then apply in Round 2 or 3, skipping Round 1. On the other hand, if you have a strong profile and a well-written application, the rounds don’t really matter. Your chances of getting in will not be affected by which round you choose.
However, if you decide to apply for Round 1, you will have more time to prepare for your MBA. In case you didn’t know, after your confirmation, ISB will send you prep materials to study. You don’t have to go through it, but if you do, it will help you perform better during your course.
Now, let’s try and understand how to tackle the ISB essays!
2. ISB Application Essay Analysis 2019-20
This year too, as it has done traditionally, ISB has stuck to two themes:
- Tell us how you are different from others
- Tell us why you want the ISB PGP
On the face of it, the premises seem simple, but let us dig deep into what ISB really wants to see in the essays.
Essay Question 1
There will be 900 students in the Class of 2021. Why should you be one of them? (400 words)
A. What is ISB looking for?
This essay is essentially asking WHO you are.
Think of it this way:
ISB already has your undergraduate transcripts, your GMAT/GRE scores, your work experience, your application form, your extracurricular activities, the awards and recognition you have received, and letters from your recommenders detailing your strengths and weaknesses.
Ask yourself: Why does ISB still want me to write this essay?
The answer is clear:
ISB wants to know more about you than what the numbers, statistics, and records collectively reveal.
What they want to know is what makes you who you are. They want to get a sense of what you would be like in their classroom.
And you have a generous 400 words to show them exactly that.
B. How to approach this essay
There are many ways to approach this essay. But we recommend telling two stories that showcase your personality.
Pick one personal story and one work-related story, so that it presents a holistic picture of your personality.
Now, if you’ve mentioned some achievements in your profile, you might think you shouldn’t talk about the same stuff again.
But here’s the thing:
Sometimes, the story behind an achievement can reveal a lot that the achievement itself does not.
The story can talk about what makes something an achievement rather than it simply being something you once did. But more importantly, the story can show the AdCom what drives you, what you’re capable of, and what makes you who you are.
And, as we said before, that’s what they’re expecting from this essay, too.
The question then is, how do you tell these stories for maximum effect?
We recommend that you should use the START framework to tell your stories in the best manner possible. The START framework is:
Situation: Explain the background in which this story takes place
Task: Highlight what specific requirement had to be addressed
Action: Write about the steps you took to complete your task
Results: Elaborate on the direct outcome of your actions
Takeaways: Talk about what you learned from that experience
Before you start writing the essays, sit down with a bunch of post-it notes and do this:
Write down everything you would like to say about yourself, with one idea per post-it. Ask your friends or family for help if you have trouble recollecting stories that highlight your strengths.
Once you have it all written down, try to pass each of them through these three tests:
- Relevancy Test:
- Recency Test:
- Uniqueness Test:
– Is it relevant to your application?
– Does it showcase your capability?
– Is this something that happened in the last 2-3 years?
– If from earlier, does it have an overarching impact on me?
– Is this something that is different from what my peer group does?
– Does this help differentiate my candidature from others?
In the end, you will be left with the top 2-3 incidents or stories you should write about. Once you decide which stories you’re going to go with, you can start structuring your essay.
It is critical to structure your stories well, otherwise, their entire impact could be lost. In the next section, we take you through the best way to structure your essay.
C. How to structure your essays
We’re pretty sure you know at least one person who is just really bad at telling stories. Some people tend to tell stories so badly that even the most inspiring stories come out sounding insipid and boring.
You do not want to be that person while writing your ISB MBA Application Essays.
To ensure that your stories make a great impression, you will need to structure them carefully. Since there are two stories in your essay, here’s a format that we recommend you should follow:
- Introduction – 50 words. This is the preamble to the essay.
- Story #1 – 150 words. Set the context, describe the incident, and highlight the personality trait you want to emphasize through the story.
- Story #2 – 150 words. Repeat what you did for story #1.
- Closing – 50 words. In this conclusion, try to come back full circle and tie this to what you opened the essay with.
Note that a well-rounded essay will get you extra brownie points for driving the central point home.
This structure follows a simple pattern:
- State the traits of your personality that want to talk about.
- Demonstrate that you have those traits by narrating incidents from your life.
- Reinforce the idea that it is a trait and not a one-off.
- Convince your readers by looping to the start and completing the circle.
Here’s the scary part, though:
You could follow all this to the T and still end up sounding ineffectual unless you avoid some critical mistakes people often make.
We discuss the most common mistakes people make on application essays and how to avoid them in the next section.
D. What NOT to do in this essay
Here we describe the most common mistakes that people make. We also tell you how to avoid falling into these same traps.
Let’s take a look!
- Rewriting from your resume
- Explaining in too much detail
If there are things you have mentioned in detail elsewhere in your application, do not rewrite include it in the essay. Just focus on the subjective parts of the story to reveal the person behind the numbers.
Wasting valuable space explaining the problem in so much detail that you are left with no space to explain your personal takeaways and contribution to ISB. Remember that the details can be explained in the interview.
Trying to mention too many qualities and ending up with nothing memorable. For example, if you say you are empathetic, creative, passionate, honest, responsible, kind, courageous, self-aware, a life-long learner, a good listener, a strong leader. . . You get the drift, right? It’ll never work! Stick to just 2-3 adjectives and drive home the point.
Keep in mind that there is a word limit to this essay. You have to be able to say everything you need within that limit.
Now, let’s move on to the next ISB MBA Application Essay Question.
Predict your Chances of Getting an Interview Call from ISB
Essay Question 2
What will you be doing in 2025 and 2030? How will the ISB PGP help you to achieve these goals? (400 words)
A. What is ISB looking for?
In our opinion, this is nothing but a short-term and long-term career goals essay.
ISB wants to make sure you’re not just another “cubicle rat” who only wants a higher salary and is willing to do anything for it. They don’t want people who have only vague ideas about what they want from their careers.
ISB wants to know if you have enough clarity about your goals to know what you really want.
Here are a few more aspects that ISB will look for in this essay:
- High Employability – Someone who won’t have to struggle to find a job after graduating.
- Realistic Expectations – Someone who knows exactly what she can gain from ISB rather than expecting it to be Alladin’s magic lamp.
- Clarity of Thought – Someone who knows not only where to get to in life but also how to get there.
Given this, it is important that you come across as a person who has a “plan” in place through this essay.
It is also important that you don’t fall for the typical internet-based myths about ISB MBA Applications. You should also read about 14 Post-MBA Career Questions that ISB answers before moving further! (Just to be on the safe side of things.)
The next section details how you should approach this essay.
B. How to approach this essay
There are three parts to this essay:
- Your 2025 Goal
- Your 2030 Goal, and
- How you think ISB’s PGP will help you.
So, you need to figure out three answers.
For the first answer, you need to start by identifying your career goal for 2025.
Here are three things to think about to help you arrive at your answer:
- Function: Figure out the role in which you see yourself. Do you want to be in Consulting, Finance, Marketing, Operations, or HR? Pick anyone you like!
- Industry: Since any function will have applications in every industry, pick out the one you want to be in.
- Geography: Do you want to stay in India or go abroad? In the case of the latter, where exactly do you see yourself?
You can even use LinkedIn for Students in your research to see the kind of positions you could get into after your PGP.
Once you elaborate on your 2025 goal, the 2030 goal becomes sort of self-evident.
That will take care of the second part of the question. We recommend not getting into too much detail on the 2030 goal because you can only write 400 words. The AdCom will be okay with getting an idea that you know where you’re heading.
To address the third part of the question, spend some time researching how ISB will help you meet your goals.
Remember, ISB also wants prospective candidates to know that it can help them meet their goals. So, a significant amount of their own content could give you the answer to how this PGP will help you. Start by taking a look at the ISB website.
Soon enough, you will have answers to the “what you need to say” part of this essay.
Now, we move on to talking about how you should say it for maximum effect.
C. How to structure your essay
The three things to talk about in this essay are your 2025 goal, your 2030 goal, and how the PGP will help you to achieve them.
To do justice to each answer, here’s how we suggest you should divide your essay:
Now, let’s discuss this in some more detail.
Since this is a rather direct question, you can get straight to the point in your answer. Talk about the job you want to do and the kind of company you want to be working for in 2025. It’s critical to mention the function, industry, company size, and location you’ve thought of.
Do this in about 150-170 words.
Don’t get into too much detail about the 2030 goal; just make sure that it logically follows your 2025 goal. Try to wrap up both the answers within 200 words.
The next part is the most important; it’s about how ISB’s PGP will help you achieve these goals.
Start with the tools you will need in order to achieve your goal. For example, if you have a background in marketing, you’ll need to understand how Finance, Operations, and Logistics work to get into a management role. So, you need cross-functional knowledge.
Similarly, you also need leadership and team management skills. Talk about how the PGP will help you gain these things. Also, mention how ISB’s vast network and brand value will help speed up the whole process of achieving your goals.
Conclude with a single line that summarizes the essence of what your essay is about.
D. What NOT to do in this essay
There are many obvious things that aren’t even worth mentioning here, like making grammatical mistakes or typographical errors. It’s a given that you’ll be avoiding those things.
Here’s the slightly less obvious stuff you need to actively avoid:
- Set Unrealistic Goals
- Repeating Things
- Being Vague
Make sure your career goals are high enough to make ISB believe that you wouldn’t achieve it without their PGP. But make sure that it’s also realistic enough that it sounds like it can be done. This makes it convincing and makes you look like a person with a plan.
Reiterating something for emphasis is quite different from repeating the same thing. When you reiterate, it is adding more value or significance. But repeating is where you’re adding nothing new by saying the same thing. There isn’t enough space for you to do this!
Whether it is in your praise for ISB or in your description of your career goals, make sure you’re specific. Wanting to “dedicate the year to learning, self-discovery, and exploration of possible careers” may sound very cool, but it shows the exact absence of focus that ISB will want to avoid.
Predict your Chances of Getting an Interview Call from ISB
Let’s now turn to what ISB wants in your personality.
3. What does ISB look for in applicants?
To be quite straightforward, there are three basic things that ISB wants from applicants:
A. Academic Credentials
This would be your 12th standard grades, graduation grades, post graduation and certification scores and, of course, the all-important: GMAT/GRE score. Here is our analysis of the GMAT and GRE scores needed for ISB:
If you’ve scored less than 700 on the GMAT, read about your chances at ISB with less than a GMAT 700.
B. Leadership Potential
To quote the ISB site: “Applicants are evaluated on the basis of the impact they have made in their past professional and personal life.”
What this essentially means is this: tell us something that was a big deal. Either at work or outside of it.
This should be quantifiable. Typically this can be measured by out of turn promotions, and/or awards that attest your achievement.
C. Personal Attributes
To quote from the site again: “At ISB, we would look for versatile and well-rounded individuals who can contribute to the society in positive and meaningful ways.”
Essentially this means: We don’t want self-absorbed people who cannot look beyond their own personal gain. We want people who can be team players because almost all the activities at ISB are organized by students.
Also, given that ISB follows the “case study” methodology, it is important to have a diverse opinion in the classroom so that the quality of participation is higher. This is good news for people who bring in a different perspective.
Here are some of the myths that stop people with lower GMAT scores and higher work experience from applying to ISB.
As long as you have these three attributes, you stand a good chance to get an admit!
4. How does ISB Categorize Applicants?
ISB has never officially revealed this information, but you need to know the answer to improve your chances of getting in. So, we’re giving you our analysis of the categories that we think you could fall into.
A school like ISB will typically have 4 types of applicants. Let’s take a look at each type:
A. High Achievers
So you have been a topper/ranker/any-term-that-says-you’re-a-high-achiever all of your life. You typically went to one of the IITs and ended up with a high GMAT score. Moreover, you work for an employer that most people would die (or kill) for.
You have a very high chance of getting in! You already know this.
But, a word of caution:
You need to ensure you navigate through this application process carefully. You don’t want to be misunderstood as either an 800-pound alpha male who suffers from low EQ or an applicant who is aiming for the top 10 US B-schools but wants ISB on “standby” mode.
B. Diversity Candidates
Let’s say you work for a very underrepresented industry. Say, you are a NIFT graduate working in the merchandising department with Levi Strauss. Or you are a doctor who practices in the Vidarbha region. Or you could be an Army major who served on the Siachen glacier.
ISB would love to have you in the class to improve its diversity.
There is only one thing for you to be worried about:
Most people in this category end up not having great GMAT scores. You might still have a shot if your score is above 600. (Read: Sub-700 GMAT Score – What are your chances at ISB?) So, you need to help address concerns about your ability to manage the coursework. The second part of the concern would be addressing one crucial point: no one in your industry “needs” an MBA so “why” do you. If you can articulate clearly how an MBA is going to help you, then you should pretty much nail the application.
Note: Though women applicants are favored, you won’t be in this group if you are from the typical pre-MBA industries of IT, Finance, etc.
C. Poor Profiles
You could have one of these three issues in your application:
- You have a gap in your academic record—typically patchy with “breaks”
- Your experience level is on the lower side—again with some gaps
- Your GMAT score is about 50-point lower than your peer group’s
In some cases, you may have more than one issue to tackle.
If retaking the GMAT is out of the question for you, then our recommendation is to focus on the unique traits and characteristics in your personality. Write kicka$$ essays and pray that you get an interview call. And if you do get an interview call, dazzle the interview panel with your wit, personality, and humor. Do you get the drift? So you need to really outshine in the other departments!
D. Demographically Disadvantaged
Suppose you fall in this category. You have a decent GMAT score: 680-720 types. You have decent academics (top 25%) from a decent college (think: DCE, RVCE, PEC, etc). You work in a very traditional industry (IT, Finance, Operations) with an employer who recruits heavily from campuses (TCS, Wipro, Infosys, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, Reliance, Tata).
There is nothing wrong with your profile, but ISB might be confused on how to evaluate you. There are just too many of your ilk applying this year. With the startup scene slowing down, and tech & manufacturing sector not looking very rosy in the face of automation—there are just a LOT of applicants this year who have similar profiles as yours.
So what do you do:
Here are 3 key things you need to do:
Differentiate! Differentiate! Differentiate!
The biggest mistake people make is that they try to “fit in”. They will say the same things that everyone else is saying and pick the same post-MBA goals (consulting). So the essays read the same “I was working on this tough project, the client was demanding, and my boss had quit—so I stepped up to the task, worked late hours, and won laurels for completing the project on time.”
Here is a simple exercise. Create an imaginary character. Let’s call him Amit.
Amit has a profile “similar” to yours but just a little better.
So, if you have 3 years working in Infosys, Amit has 4 years experience working in Microsoft.
If you have graduated from BITS Pilani then Amit has graduated from IIT-Delhi.
If you have a 720 on the GMAT then Amit has a 740 on it.
Do you get the picture? Everything like you—but just a little better.
So, the challenge you have now is: how do I convince ISB that I am better than “Amit”.
Note: For women applicants, just replace Amit with Anjali 🙂
The idea is that you have to fit into one of these four categories. If you haven’t already understood where you fit in, seek help from a friend or another third person. Finding out where you stand will have a major impact on how you need to frame your application. So, make sure you find out before you start writing your essays!
5. How to write to impress the ISB Adcom
Okay, we know the heading sounds interesting but the answer is quite contrary to what you might expect:
Do not attempt to impress the ISB AdCom!!
Not only will they be able to see that you are not being yourself, but you will also do a great disservice to yourself by sounding similar to all the other applicants!
Being yourself can be a pretty daunting task. Not only do you need to figure out who you are but you also have to be that person!
Still, that’s the strategy we recommend strongly.
You can take a printout and post it where you will be sitting to write the essays.
The key to drafting a successful ISB application essay lies in your ability to clearly communicate your thoughts in detail yet without exceeding the word limit.
If you have a great GMAT score with an excellent profile and are confident about your way ahead then you should be able to manage the application journey independently.
However, we also realize that people who don’t have a stellar profile and are unfamiliar with writing detailed essays might find it difficult to come up with an amazing essay highlighting their story and adhering to the word limit. You might run the risk of speaking your mind at length or getting to the point too quickly and losing the soul of your story. It’s a tightrope walk all the way!
Don’t lose heart!
That’s about it, folks!
We hope that this blog has given you a fair idea and an outline on how to go about with your ISB MBA application process. This blog is a good starting point but in the end, it’s the execution that matters!
If you have any feedback, do let us know in the comments section below. We will personally answer all your queries.
In case you’re wondering whether you will get an interview call from ISB, try out our ISB Interview Predictor, now!
“Do I need a 700 GMAT score for ISB?”
This is a question we are asked almost on a weekly basis. And if the person asking the question has an average Indian IT Male profile, our answer has so far been a regretful ‘Yes’.
For the class of 2015 at ISB, GMAT score is 711 on average and the mid-80% of the ISB class had scores ranging from 680 to 750. So it stands to reason that someone with a very average profile must aim to beat this average GMAT score for ISB.
Though ISB has been saying for years that diversity is a key factor in their admission decision, some CrackVerbal students with very good profiles but a less-than 700 GMAT score have been dinged in previous years without even an interview call. Some of them had strong international experience, stellar work experience at a startup, and so on.
Though dinged at ISB, they did manage to get admits to other internationally ranked schools (INSEAD, Rotman etc. among them.) So, despite the rare exception, the 35+ students we’ve sent to ISB in the last two years mostly have 700+ GMAT scores.
However, this year, we are observing a welcome trend shift at ISB.
Of the many students we helped with their ISB applications in Round 1, quite a few with strong essays but a less-than-average GMAT score for ISB (<700) have received interview calls.
Some such profiles include:
1. Female, Civil engineer, 5 years experience, GMAT 640
2. Male, Media sales professional, 10+ years experience, GMAT 650
3. Male, Research analyst, 4 years experience, GMAT 660
4. Male, Software engineer, 7 years experience, GMAT 680
5. Male, Software engineer, 5 years experience, GMAT 690, Re-applicant
Having worked closely with these students to craft their application essays, we know for a fact that despite their non-unique profiles and average GMAT score for ISB, they had really strong, interesting stories to tell. And that really seems to be the clincher for the interview invite.
A webinar conducted by ISB on September 30th interestingly featured an alumnus from the class of 2014 who got into ISB despite a 610 on the GMAT. And if you look closely at what ISB’s admission emails and updates this year say, there is a distinct emphasis on “application essays” and “profile” and not so much on the GMAT score.
Based on these trends and a few conversations with admission team members, we suspect a radical shift in the ISB admission committee’s focus this year while short-listing candidates for interview – those with strong stories but an average GMAT score (between 600 and 700) are being seriously considered for admission. So the average GMAT score for ISB this year may be less than you think!
So, those of you planning to apply to ISB in Round 2, don’t let your sub-700 GMAT score stop you – go ahead and apply! Just make sure that your essays are able to convince the ISB admissions committee that you are someone interesting and full of potential. You have strong chances of being interviewed at ISB.
Our analysis of this year’s ISB essays along with tips & advice is HERE – check it out for an additional advantage.
Wondering if you can get into ISB this year? Let us help you!
This is probably the first question that strikes every aspiring MBA applicant across the globe, ‘What does it take to get into B-School?.
2019 is probably going to be a bit of a challenge for MBA applicants. With the changing course of globalisation, emerging trends in technology & modernisation, pursuing an MBA degree should have a purpose & goal behind it.
Before we get to the qualities that B- Schools look for in applicants, we suggest you take a look at this table for a minute.
Comparative Study of Acceptance Rate between Harvard, Stanford, Wharton & Columbia
A glance at your dream B-schools and you’ll figure out how many applicants get it to the program. The acceptance rate of these top business schools is less than 9 %. A top B-School like Stanford takes only about 419 applicants out of the 7,000 odd applicants a year with the average GMAT score ranging between 600-790. Harvard, on the other hand, takes in close to 1000 applicants out of the 10,000 odd shortlisted applicants a year. Even with a 760 on GMAT, your chance of acceptance is just 14%. Same is the case with a school like Wharton, where out of 23,000 applicants only about 1 in 10 applicants are accepted.
The specific point we are trying to stress on is that the competition is getting tougher by the year. With B-schools getting stringent in their admissions every passing year, there is more than what meets the eye. You need to go beyond your scorecard.
Taking the GMAT test is certainly the foremost step to begin your MBA application journey but it’s not always about cracking the GMAT test. Remember, your marks are just a gateway to the application process and it does not guarantee admission into your dream school.
Before you start building castles in the air about your dream B-School, we suggest you take a look at these primary factors that B-Schools look for in applicants.
1. Academic Potential
Let’s get the basics first!
There are close to 2 lakh applicants for B-Schools every single year across the globe. And among them, a few thousand make it. So the primary factor for consideration of an application would be your academic excellence.
The MBA admission committee will look at your profile to understand your academic potential at college/ university. The key point they watch out for is the considerable progress you have made in your subjects. Ideally, if your GPA or Grade Point Average score is around 3.5 or more, you’d know that you are in the running for a good B-School.
The second factor would be to test your interest levels beyond your classroom. Have you taken up any external courses or professional certificate courses apart from those taught at college? Is there a value addition to your academic profile?
Third would be of course one of the biggest criteria, GMAT scores. Your scores stand out in the application & become one of the most important factors for the selection process.
Apart from getting the GPA right, it is important to note that admission committees will also look at the strength of your institution and the rank it holds. Essentially they look at whether you’ve got what it takes to do an MBA? Are you confident enough to go through the rigorous MBA program? You can check out the details of where you stand academically & evaluate your strengths in this detailed blog here.
2. Work Experience
Checklist for MBA Application: Good.
GPA from college – check.
Great GMAT score- check.
Work Experience- Oh!
This is not probably the situation where you don’t want to be in. But let’s swallow the bitter pill here. Work experience is certainly one of the most important criteria for the admission faculty to consider your application. This is simply because the MBA admission committee believes that candidates with work experience tend to adapt to peer learning faster than candidates without work experience. Their goal is to not make the program too academic but rather interactive & progressive.
Now, the next question is- How much work experience is required? Let’s clear the air around this common myth that one can have any amount of work experience to qualify for an MBA application. Wrong. This notion can be very misleading for the application process itself.
QUALITY V/S QUANTITY
If you are planning to do an MBA and have work experience, then your focus should be on the quality of work versus the quantity of work. You may have more than 8 years of experience but fail to show any significant progress in your work tenure, then chances are that your application might get rejected.
On the other hand, if you have barely 2 years of work experience & have projected titular promotion in your stint or have reached better positions at a faster pace, then you have every reason why you should apply for an MBA program.
You need to stress your key highlights at the workplace. Here’s a detailed blog about how to highlight your work experience before applying for business schools.
This is a factor we can’t stop stressing enough. B-Schools watch out for applicants who exhibit excellent leadership qualities.
These are probably the questions to which you must have your answers ready. Am I a strong leader? If yes, then when and where have I exhibited them? Ask these basic questions to help figure out where you stand.
The next segment to focus upon is – How have I contributed to exhibiting leadership skills at work or outside work? You might have contributed to a small start-up with your consulting services or you might have organized a workshop for your colleagues. It could be anything that adds value to your professional portfolio, something that has challenged you to step outside your comfort zone & lead an idea, a team or a challenge.
Once you’ve listed your contributions, you need to focus on how to tell a compelling story to the academic committee. Read more on leadership skills & the art of strategizing your leadership story.
This is a critical factor that may or may not be under your control but plays a crucial role in the MBA application process. There is this misconception around the idea of being a diverse applicant.
The notion is that every applicant is put through the same funnel and same lens by the admission faculty. Incorrect. This is probably one of the factors to bear in mind before you hit the application submit button.
By diversity, we mean what different are you bringing to the table? How are you adding value to your application? This is what they are looking at. The admission committee will screen your background to gauge your personality on the whole.
Learn more about knowing the importance of identifying diversification for the MBA application process.
5. Personality – The X-Factor
Let’s be specific about this. It is essentially who you are!
On average, there are about close to 10,000 applicants to every top B-Schools around the world. Most of them qualify for the program both academically and professionally. But not all make it to the B-Schools right?
The primary reason being that B-Schools look for a stand out factor in every applicant they scrutinize. What is it that sets you apart from the rest? What makes your personality unique and interesting?
Well, it’s time to ask these questions before you apply. What is my X-factor in all spheres of life: personal, professional and others. The admission committee for obvious reasons does not want to hear fluff. They want to know you better, your experience and reasons as to why this MBA will build upon your dreams in the future.
So, what’s your stand out factor? If you still have doubts, read more about this trait here.
Aiming for a good score at MBA programs & getting a job with a good pay package should not be the only criteria for applications. Of course, they are necessary to become a successful MBA graduate but that’s not what admission faculty at business schools look for in a candidate.
They scout for people who have clarity on where they are headed in their career: job, position, function, industry, role, geography, etc. Because a B-School will not help you find answers to these. It is a platform to use your resources well to be able to achieve your goal. So, it is always better to be informed about what you want out of this MBA journey.
Typically, your essays must highlight your goals. An undefined career vision, lack of purpose, disconnect between work experience and future goals and an unconvincing motivation can have your application rejected at a glance.
If you have more doubts about setting the right goal that’ll aide in MBA applications, do read this section in detail.
We hope that this blog was informative and engaging for you! If you have more doubts, get in touch with us and we will reach out to you!
We also provide personalized guidance to those applying for B-Schools. Contact us for any kind of support! Good luck!
Did you know that there are more than 2,300 business schools worldwide that accept the GMAT?
Selecting the right MBA program out of so many options is tedious work!
The fact that you’re reading this article means you need help figuring out how to select the right MBA program for yourself. We understand the feeling of being completely lost and not knowing where to start. After all, choosing the best MBA program is not as simple as doing a Google search!
Actually, you know what?
It can be that simple if you know what you need to take into consideration.
In fact, that’s what we will discuss in this article – six things you need to consider while choosing MBA programs to apply to. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself:
- Does my profile match the MBA class profile?
- Is the B-School’s location right for me?
- What are the specializations the MBA offers?
- How can MBA Rankings help in selecting the right MBA program?
- Should I choose a 1-year MBA or a 2-year MBA?
- How do I calculate the ROI of an MBA?
Let’s discuss some ways to answer these questions.
1. Does my profile match the MBA class profile?
Your classmates play a huge role in determining the quality of your MBA experience.
That’s why you need to ensure you fit in well with the kind of people you’ll have as classmates. The best way to do that is to see if your profile matches with a B-School’s class profile. You can usually find the profile of the school’s most recent batch on their official website.
The ideal MBA program for you is the one where you fit in with the class.
Here are some of the aspects you need to think about regarding profiles:
The average age for the IIM-A PGPX program is 31 while the average age at Stanford is 28. Which one resonates better with you?
b. International Students
The percentage of Indians at a typical International school is under 10% while close to 99% of people in Indian MBA programs are Indians! Where do you want to be?
Business schools abroad work hard to ensure that there’s a good mix of people from different educational and professional backgrounds, while Indian MBA batches will mostly comprise of engineers. What kind of a cohort would you rather be a part of?
To figure out the answers to these questions, you need to understand the pros and cons of being in a class full of people just like yourself. Make it a point to read up on selecting an MBA program based on your profile to get a better idea of how this works.
In the subsequent section, we will discuss the importance of geography in MBA program selection.
2. Is the B-School’s location right for me?
Considering the geography of a B-School is not as one-dimensional as checking up on profile matching. There are many aspects involved in the geography of a given school that you need to think about.
You can start out by figuring out whether you want to do your MBA abroad or in India.
That is a critical point which will help you narrow down your options significantly. But there are a few more things related to geography that will affect what you gain from your MBA. For example:
a. Future Plans
If you plan to stay in the country where you get your MBA, you need to consider your odds of getting a work visa there. Also think about the country’s social and economic stability and whether it is sustainable for you to live there in the near future.
b. Proximity to Industry
Think about it – business schools in Manhattan will inherently have an advantage when it comes to post-MBA careers in Finance. The same goes for Silicon Valley B-Schools and careers related to tech and entrepreneurship. In short, remember that the industry surrounding a school makes a difference to what you could gain from doing an MBA there.
Studying abroad in the US and UK is, luckily, straightforward – you only need to know English, which you obviously already do. But if you’re going to Germany, Italy, Spain, or some other country, you will need to know the national language. Don’t dismiss this factor – it is critical in more ways than one!
We often fail to consider the food habits of a different country, and this is likely to affect you whether you’re a vegetarian or not. Surviving without your staple food is harder than you might think! And food is only one aspect of culture; there’s a lot more to it beyond that, too.
It is critical not to underestimate the difficulty of living in a place significantly colder than what you’re used to. For example, nothing in India can prepare you for Canadian winters. You’ll have to invest a fair amount of time, money, and grit into coping with harsher weather than your homeland.
Let it suffice to say that a LOT rides on the location of your B-School.
To understand in detail how the location of a B-School can affect your MBA experience, read up on how to select B-Schools based on geography.
The next section talks about how specializations should help you decide which MBA program to choose.
3. What are the specializations the MBA offers?
Now this section is very closely tied to your post-MBA career plans. That means you need to have those in place before you start thinking about choosing B-Schools based on specializations.
You may have noticed that a B-School’s location can often affect what it is known for. However, it does not limit a school’s expertise.
For example, look at the Stanford MBA program. You could take up any of the specializations on offer and you would still thrive. Stanford’s expertise isn’t limited to tech and entrepreneurship in spite of being in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
The idea is to look for something that a school is renowned for.
Selecting the right MBA program based on specializations takes into consideration the available electives as well as the school’s expertise.
There are many ways to find the leading business schools for a given specialization. Look up business schools that are recognized as Centers of Excellence in a given field. You can even take a look at different publications’ MBA rankings according to your choice of specialization.
The point is to balance what you want with what is available and what the school is known for.
You may want to, for example, get into the MBA program at UCLA Anderson and specialize in Supply Chain Management. Doing so may not be in your best interest if UCLA Anderson offers Supply Chain Management but is better known for its HR specialization.
In essence, we’re encouraging you to do your research here.
Go ahead and read up on how to choose an MBA program based on specializations.
The next section talks about a great tool that can help you in selecting the right MBA program.
4. How can MBA Rankings help in selecting the right MBA program?
MBA rankings are published every year by leading publications across the Business sector. They are meant to help candidates, students, faculty, and recruiters to get a grip on the approximate lay of the land as far as B-Schools are concerned.
Almost all publications use nearly the same data points to come up with these rankings. Yet, their results are often quite different from each other.
This is because of differences in two major aspects:
a. Weightage Assignment
All the B-Schools on a publication’s list are scored on various parameters. A certain weightage is then assigned to each aspect, and the school’s final score is a combination of raw scores and weightages. Every publication assigns a different weightage to each aspect based on its own priorities.
b. Data Verification
All the data taken from B-Schools for MBA rankings is self-reported. This leaves a massive amount of space for ‘fudging’ the data, which is expected thanks to the value of a high rank for every B-School. Some publications take meticulous measures to get the data verified from secondary and tertiary sources while some others don’t.
We highly recommend that you look at each school’s aggregate rank across publications to get a fair picture of it’s real standing.
Doing this will eliminate outliers like CEIBS, a Chinese B-School that appears within Financial Times’ Top 10 but ranks significantly lower on the other publications’ lists. Comparing ranks across publications also ensures that your decision doesn’t depend on any single publication’s priorities.
Actually, the best thing to do is to come up with your own rankings based on parameters that are important to you.
However, if you can’t do that, at least read up on the methodologies used by the MBA rankings you plan to consult. Maybe you’ll find a publication whose weightage distribution reflects your own priorities. Even if you don’t, you will know how seriously you should take these rankings.
The next factor is something you may have already thought about, but it’s worth discussing anyway.
5. Should I choose a 1-year MBA or a 2-year MBA?
Most candidates have a major one-year vs. two-year MBA debate to grapple with while selecting the right MBA programs.
Some of you may be aware of the basic differences between a one-year MBA and a two-year MBA. But just to ensure we’re on the same page, let’s get into some preliminary details here.
Here are the primary differences between 1-year vs. 2-year MBA programs:
a. Opportunity Cost
In case you’re not sure what this means, opportunity cost is the amount of money you could have earned if you had chosen one option over the other. For example, let’s assume your annual salary is ₹8 Lakh. This means the opportunity cost if you opt for a one-year MBA program is ₹8 Lakh and if you choose a two-year program, it is ₹16 Lakh.
b. Pace of Learning
A two-year MBA program lets you learn at your own pace. It gives you time for things like case competitions, networking events, seminars, and immersive learning. On the other hand, a one-year MBA program is very to-the-point and fast-paced. It doesn’t afford a lot of time for co- or extra-curricular activities no matter which B-School you’re a part of.
c. Choosing Specializations
In a two-year MBA program, you have an entire year at least before you need to pick your electives. It allows you to get a good understanding of what the syllabus is like and what each elective entails. One-year MBA programs require you to make your choices within one semester.
Typically, if you have a fair amount of work experience and you know exactly what you want from your MBA, the one-year MBA is for you. That doesn’t go to say that you can’t do a one-year MBA with limited work experience or goal clarity, it’s just that it will not yield optimum results if you do that.
Either way, the impact of program duration on the outcome of your MBA is quite subtle.
We strongly recommend that you read up on selecting the right MBA program based on program duration before making a decision.
Nothing makes as much of a difference as the ROI a program has to offer you, so in the next section, that’s what we will discuss.
6. How do I calculate the ROI of an MBA?
The ROI of an MBA is not easy to calculate, irrespective of the duration of the program.
You may be led to believe that it is a simple calculation. Just enter the amount invested into getting your MBA and the average post-MBA salary, and voilà – you have the ROI of an MBA. Now, that would work if the salary hike is all you got out of an MBA!
However, there are at least three intangible benefits that you get from your MBA. Let’s take a look at them:
a. Knowledge: You will learn about new concepts and industry norms that will help you navigate your way up the corporate hierarchy.
b. Network: Having business contacts all over the world is something that can help you throughout your life.
c. Perspective: Being able to look at problem-solving from a holistic, global perspective will help you be innovative in your approach, always.
These are assets you gain from an MBA that will give you benefits throughout your life. But it is impossible to calculate how much money these benefits translate into, so it’s tough to factor these things into the ROI of an MBA.
While getting a substantial salary hike in the post-MBA career of your choice is important, it isn’t the only thing to consider as ROI.
Our recommendation is that you should consider these factors as well while selecting MBA programs based on ROI.
These six factors should help you come up with a list of B-Schools that you can apply to. Do note that these factors are not arranged in any particular order of importance. That changes from person to person, so you can go as per your preference.
There’s one last thing to do before you start applying: prioritize business schools based on your chances of getting in.
There should ideally be three types of B-Schools on your shortlist:
- Reach Category
- Stretch Category
- Dream Category
The schools in the Reach Category should be those that you stand a great chance of getting into. Let us explain how this works with an example. Suppose you’re a 28-year-old Indian male IT professional with a 720 on your GMAT.
Based on this, something like the PGP at the Indian School of Business would fall in the Reach Category for you. Their average GMAT score is 700, the average age is 27, and 67% of the class comes from an engineering background. Statistically speaking, you have great chances of getting in.
In the Stretch Category, place those schools that you may not stand great chances of getting into. You should need to put considerable work into building your application to stand a chance of getting an admit from these schools.
A school like the Tepper School of Business should fall in the Stretch Category for you.
Now, this is a bit tricky. If you check on Tepper’s official website, you’ll find that the average GMAT score is 690.
Why would we ask you to put this in the Stretch Category, then?
At many B-Schools around the world, the expected GMAT score is higher for Indian and Chinese applicants than for applicants from the rest of the world. This is an unsaid rule, though, so it’s tough to know what exactly this “higher score” is.
To be on the safe side, look at the score range of the middle 80%. At Tepper, this range is from 640 to 742, meaning there are students at Tepper who have scored above 740. That is primarily why we would strongly suggest that schools like Tepper should remain in the Stretch Category even if your GMAT score is higher than the class average.
Needless to say, all these go into the Dream Category.
You can work super hard on creating an outstanding profile and application, but your chances of getting into these schools remain next to zero.
What’s the point of applying, then, you ask?
Well, it is to try your luck. There’s a one-in-a-million chance that you might get an admit if the school really likes your application. It’s worth a shot!
This is all that we think you need to think about while selecting the right MBA programs to apply to. We hope that this article has helped you find your way! In case you still have questions or queries, do leave a comment in the section below and we will be happy to help you out.
If you’re still wondering whether your profile is good enough for an MBA, get it evaluated right away!
We seem to be living in an era where everyone – from fresh graduates to those with some years of work experience – seems to want to earn an MBA degree! Often, people make this decision without really knowing how an MBA helps or how to get one.
Given all the information available on the internet, the biggest blunder most MBA aspirants commit is to start preparing for their MBA application without answering the fundamental question – ‘Why MBA?’
‘Why MBA’ may be one of the shortest questions in the professional world, but it is also one of the most important ones. For one, you will be making numerous sacrifices on your professional and personal fronts in order to get the MBA tag. It will be a life-changing experience for you; possibly the second most important decision in your life. (I think you can guess the first one.)
As a Chinese proverb says,
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!”
If you are toying with the idea of applying to an MBA program, you need to have a Pre-Application Plan before anything else. Yes, you may have done your bit of research on B-Schools or even taken your GMAT, but if you do not have a clear idea about WHY you want to pursue an MBA, it is going to be a tough (and perhaps unfulfilling!) journey.
2 Categories of MBA Aspirants:
There are basically two categories of MBA aspirants, especially in the Indian context:
1. Those who have just completed their graduation or are in their final year. These people typically take the CAT journey.
2. Those who have some years of work experience (typically two to six years) and whose objective is to reach their maximum potential in their professional life. This could entail either Career Progression or a Career Shift. These people typically follow the GMAT route.
2 Common Reasons to Do an MBA:
However much you try to be diplomatic and politically correct in your essays, recommendations and interviews, the truth (that even MBA Admissions Committees are aware of) is that most MBA aspirants want to earn an MBA degree because:
1. They want to earn more money
2. They hate their current job
However, if these are the only two reasons you wish to do an MBA, you have a very limited and short-term perspective; because after a point, neither of these aspects will mean much to you.
For example, if you are a senior manager at a reputed IT company, and your job involves client interaction, business development, international travel, etc., you need not do an MBA at all as you will already be earning well and will have an envious job profile, too.
However, if you want to enhance your knowledge and perspective, or want a life-changing experience, you may still consider doing an MBA.
So, if you present these two reasons to the MBA Admission Committees you will definitely be considered as a misfit to their MBA program. There is such a thing as brutal honesty! 🙂
You need to have more value-based and well-thought-out reasons to pursue an MBA.
Here are the Seven Real Reasons to do MBA:
1. Career Progression
Typically, a professional begins his/her career with an operational role. Being fairly smart, hardworking and result-oriented, you get promotions and reach a decent position in the management.
You now have a good academic profile and good work experience. What happens next? After a few years, you start feeling stagnated. This could happen after three years or it may take 10 years for you to reach such a stage.
This is because in today’s performance-oriented professional world, most of the people around you also have the same qualities and credentials that you possess. At this point, it is crucial for you to ask what unique traits you have that will differentiate you from the herd.
The answer is: an MBA degree. Actually, not just any MBA degree but an MBA degree from a premier business school. An MBA from a top B-School will help you make a quick transition from a mid-level role to a senior management position, where you will have the opportunity to take strategic decisions.
If you browse through the job descriptions of senior positions across industries, you can see that MBA is the preferred degree, though perhaps not mandatory. Consulting is one profession where an MBA is mandatory to grow to an Associate or higher level.
The lack of an MBA degree may not be a show-stopper but it will be a huge reason for career stagnation.
2. Career Shift
What are the chances that with your current education, role and experience, you can actually switch to any other role or industry? Very little!
Consider this situation – you have been in IT for the past five years, but with time, you realize that your true calling is marketing. What steps can you take to make a switch?
You can take up small marketing projects over the weekends – Read about marketing on the internet and make changes to your resume – Take an online marketing course.
Even if you manage to get past the interview for a marketing role, you would still be joining at an entry level. Your great IT experience will not help you much to get a senior level role in marketing.
It is here that an MBA program can help. In fact, one of the most important reasons why professionals choose to do an MBA is to change career tracks smoothly.
An MBA from a top business school may set you back by about INR50 lakhs for a 10 month course. The figure may be even higher depending on the location of your school and the duration of the program.
This works out to about 1.2 lakhs per week. In India, you may end up spending 20 lakhs for a similar MBA program. Imagine spending such a huge sum of money just to gain knowledge!
Wouldn’t it be prudent to quit your job for a year and browse the internet to get all the knowledge in the world?
However, the truth is that the knowledge that will help you progress in your career will not be found only in books or on the internet. The interaction and intellectual debates that you will have with your professors and peers at a B-School will be extremely enriching.
Secondly, the pedagogical methods employed in top schools are very innovative and effective – these include case studies, presentations, projects, research papers, etc. If you are joining a typical two-year MBA program, in the first year you will have the core curriculum consisting of marketing, accounting, finance, statistics, economics, management, organization behaviour, etc.
These subjects lay the foundation of your understanding of business. To be a future CEO, you need to have a 360 degree view of how to run a company and manage people. The language of business is the language of money.
Apart from the core subjects, B-Schools offer a plethora of electives, usually in the second year, depending on the stream you want to specialize in. It is at this point that you need to have a very good idea of your career path so that you can make full use of your MBA program.
What is networking?
Knowing people? Getting contacts?
Yes, knowing people is a big part of networking, but surely it is not just that!
Even with all the social media hype, how many people from your college are you in touch with? 20? 50? At the most, 100! Even at work, how many people do you really know? Your immediate superiors, your team, and the people you meet at the cafeteria.
And what happens once you quit your current job and meet your ex-colleague after two years in a mall? You may even find it hard to remember his/her name! So, according to this definition of networking, it means you are ready to spend 1 crore just to know 100 more people!
Nothing could be further from the truth.
So, what is networking all about? Networking at business schools means that you will be carrying the same tag as thousands of alumni.
You may or may not have studied together, but if a Harvard alumnus receives an email or a job request from another Harvard alumnus, or is interviewing a candidate who went to the same school, there will be an immediate bonding between them, something like an Old Boys Association!
We all want to be identified as part of a group of high achievers. Doing an MBA from a reputed B-School gives you a great opportunity to network with smart, talented people who will hold top strategic positions in major companies or will be great business leaders someday.
5. Brand Equity
An MBA degree is certainly a feather in your cap. But an MBA from a top B-School is a more brightly colored feather! You can feel this difference within India itself. All things being equal, there is a big difference if you do an MBA from a lesser known B-School in your region and if you graduate from a top school such as ISB.
As most recruiters are aware of how difficult it is to get into a top B-School, an MBA degree from such a school holds a lot of brand value.
Employers already know that you have cleared the first level of acid tests: high GPA, high GMAT score, essays, recommendations, the tough interview itself and of course, a very rigorous MBA program.
Just like gold, an MBA from a reputed B-School gives you a certified hallmark that you are competent to become a successful leader in the near future. As the job of assessing a candidate is already done by the MBA Admissions Committee, recruiters are well-assured of your potential.
What do you really learn at a B-School?
Most importantly, the confidence to be somebody who matters, in your professional life.
A reputed B-School program gives you the opportunity to think in the direction you want to. Whatever goals you may have had before joining an MBA program, once you join, you may realize that your true calling lies elsewhere.
The entire classroom experience, interaction with faculty and peers, student activities, case studies, all these may radically change your perspective, both personally and professionally. Many MBA students discover a new person in themselves once they graduate from business school.
The irony of life is that when you were a student, you had no responsibilities, but you also lacked the right perspective. Once you started working, gradually, you learned who you are, what your potential is, but at this stage you are so burdened with responsibilities that you don’t get the chance to follow your passion.
An MBA gives you a second chance in life to do what you always wanted to do. It gives you the independence of a student’s life as well as the perspective of working for many years.
7. Change of Geography
There must have been instances when you wanted to move to Australia or Canada or any other foreign country to work there. In your current role, you may be able to move to an international market as a C++ coder but definitely not as a project manager.
An MBA, say from Stanford or INSEAD can help you understand the foreign market well, increase your international network, learn about the requirements for an international career and get exposure to a totally different culture and way of life.
Do you identify with some of these reasons why you should do an MBA? At the end of the day, it’s all about your passion, your career and your long-term goals. Before you even think of applying anywhere, analyze why exactly you wish to pursue an MBA and articulate it well in your essays and interviews.
A systematic approach to following your dreams will make your MBA journey meaningful and enjoyable. 🙂
Hope this post makes a positive difference to your MBA plans! If you’d like to share what works for you and what doesn’t, please leave a comment in the comment section below.
We’ve been getting the same question from an increasing number of students: “Can I get an MBA through GMAT without work experience?”
The short answer is this: of course, you can!
However, that’s only the short answer. There’s a lot that goes into getting an MBA, it isn’t as simple as filling out a form and just signing up.
To get into an MBA program without work experience is not an easy task by any measure. MBA is a postgraduate program that is usually designed for people with a couple of years of full-time work experience. The idea is to use the students’ experience of the business world to help them understand concepts and learn skills that will help them get ahead.
So, you can probably see why a lack of work experience can be a problem here.
However, the top B-Schools around the world are constantly looking to attract the crème de la crème into their MBA programs. B-Schools know that your odds of scoring well on the GMAT are pretty high while you’re still within the system of studying and appearing for exams. The going only gets tougher once you start working full-time.
That is why some of them provide you with an option to secure your seat in advance and only start your studies after getting some work experience.
Check out what our founder and CEO, Arun Jagannathan, has to say about getting an MBA without work experience:
In this article, we will discuss the following questions:
- Can I get an MBA without work experience?
- What is Deferred Admission?
- Which top B-Schools offer MBA without work experience?
Hopefully, our answers will help you figure out what you need to do from this point on.
1. Can I get an MBA without work experience?
You already have the short answer to this deceptively simple question. Here’s the long version.
Whether you can get into your dream MBA program without work experience or not will depend on many factors.
One of these factors is whether or not your dream school offers an early admission option. Some of the world’s leading B-Schools including Harvard and Yale are beginning to enter the early admission market to scout and pick up the best talent there is.
The trend is to start offering guaranteed seats to those who show exceptional talent while they’re still in college.
But here’s the catch:
Even though you can secure admissions for MBA without work experience, you will still only start studying for your degree after you go out and get some experience working full-time.
Now, B-Schools around the world are aware of two things, most of all.
The first thing B-Schools know is that you have a good chance of getting a great GMAT score while you’re still within the education system. Once you get into full-time work, it becomes tougher and tougher still to get back into the routine of preparing for an exam and scoring well. Taking you in with exemplary GMAT scores serves the B-School well, shoring up its average GMAT score.
So, obviously, B-Schools have a vested interest in giving you a chance to score your best, which is when you’re in college.
Secondly, B-Schools also know that rushing you into the MBA classroom without letting you get some exposure to ‘real-world’ business environments will take away from your learning experience.
The solution to providing for both these things is a program every school runs under a different name. That’s what we discuss in the next section.
2. What is Deferred Admission?
To put it simply, this is one of the many programs that allow you to get an MBA without work experience.
Offering early or deferred admissions is fast catching on as a trend among the world’s leading B-Schools. A number of leading schools offer programs allowing college students to get admitted into MBA without work experience. Each school has its own program structure, expectations, and admission criteria for its version of this program. Every school also has its own name for the program.
What the program essentially comes down to in most cases is this:
You take your GMAT in the last or second-last undergrad year and apply immediately via designated programs. Those who are selected are offered admission into the MBA batch that will commence a couple of years later.
If you accept the admission offer, you’re assigned a mentor. The mentor then guides you to improve your MBA profile.
Wondering what’s the point of improving your profile after getting admitted?
Here’s how it will help you:
Building your MBA profile is not only meant to impress B-Schools. It is also meant to help you prepare yourself mentally for the rigors of being in a B-School.
Don’t underestimate how rigorous life at a B-School can get. You’re expected to be a part of a number of activities, manage your projects and assignments, and still keep up with your studies simultaneously.
This is what your mentor prepares you to do so that it helps you make the best of your MBA experience.
To sum it up, deferred admission is when a B-School guarantees you a seat on its MBA program while allowing you a couple of years to finish your graduation and get some work experience first.
Now that you know what you can expect from these kinds of programs, let’s delve into discussing the options at your disposal as far as MBA without work experience is concerned.
3. Which top B-Schools offer MBA without work experience?
There are many leading B-Schools in the world that offer you the option to get admitted into MBA without work experience. Here, we’ll discuss programs from three of the most sought-after schools among our students.
- Harvard 2+2 – Harvard Business School
- Yale Silver Scholars – Yale School of Management
- Young Leaders Program & Early Entry Option – Indian School of Business
Easily the most popular deferred admission program by a wide margin is the HBS 2+2 program.
The ‘2+2’ stands for two years of full-time work experience followed by two years as a part of the HBS MBA program.
To be eligible for admission via this program, you must not have any full-time work experience. You can apply if you’re in the last year of your undergraduate or postgraduate degree, as long as you have no full-time work experience.
Students of STEM and humanities backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply for the HBS 2+2 program.
However, students from all backgrounds are welcome to apply.
The application process for this program is the same as that of the HBS MBA program. The differences are that it has less than half the application fee and only one deadline as opposed to the multiple rounds that MBA applicants get.
The Silver Scholars program at Yale was started as early as 2001. It is a three-year MBA program rather than the average two-year MBA that Yale offers.
Just like it is with Harvard’s 2+2, you will only be eligible for the Yale Silver Scholars program if you are a student in the final year of your under- or post-graduate program. Having no previous work experience is also a prerequisite for admission under the Silver Scholars program.
The first year of this program involves classroom studies, the second is spent completing a year-long, full-time internship, and in the third year, you return to the classroom to complete the program with electives of your choice.
Applications for the Silver Scholars program are accepted through the MBA application process itself.
However, we strongly recommend that you keep an eye out for special instructions to Silver Scholar applicants on how to navigate through the application process. If you aren’t careful, your eligibility could be compromised due to simple technical errors.
While the YLP is the Indian School of Business’ deferred admission program that’s inspired by Harvard’s 2+2, the EEO is a rather unique proposition from ISB.
The YLP works along the lines of the 2+2 and Silver Scholars programs, except for a few differences. One of these differences is that YLP has a separate application process from the process for MBA applications, with very specific and pointed YLP application essay questions.
On the other hand, the EEO is a program meant for people with less than 24 months of work experience. As opposed to deferred admissions programs designed for students with no work experience, EEO is designed specifically for people who have experience but not enough for an MBA.
In effect, the ISB EEO lets you defer your admission till you can complete at least 24 months of full-time work experience.
At the end of the YLP, you join ISB’s flagship Postgraduate Program (PGP), whereas with EEO, accepting admission signs you up directly for the PGP.
Having spoken about the most prominent programs from B-Schools allowing you to take admission into MBA without work experience, we must mention that there’s an important bifurcation when it comes to selecting B-Schools for you.
It all comes down to figuring out whether you want to look at B-Schools within India or consider B-Schools abroad.
In either case, it’ll probably help you to know that many Indian B-Schools accept GMAT scores. And if you’re considering studying abroad, you have yet another option in the form of the GRE. Consider the pros and cons of GMAT vs. GRE before you decide which test to take.
Our final piece of advice to you in this blog is that you should try to keep in mind that an MBA is a huge decision, and money is not the only thing you’ll need to invest in it. An MBA will impact the entire future trajectory of your life. So, make sure that you consider all your options carefully before choosing to get your MBA without work experience.
Once you’ve made the decision to pursue an MBA, the biggest question you have to deal with is where to get your MBA from. Many of our students find themselves grappling with this question:
Should I get my MBA in India or abroad?
Frankly, an MBA is a big investment and we know that you can’t afford to make the wrong choice. This is not merely a matter of money, it is also an investment of time and effort. Add to that the fact that you can only do your MBA once… Let’s just say we understand why it is super important for you to make the right decision about where you should get your MBA from.
In this article, we will talk about the following:
- What are the benefits of doing an MBA in India?
- What are the disadvantages of doing an MBA in India?
- Is it better to do MBA abroad?
- What are the risks of studying MBA abroad?
- How do I choose between MBA in India and MBA abroad?
The idea is to try and give you a frame of reference along which you can place your thoughts, to help you make the best decision for yourself.
First of all, let’s look at the advantages of doing your MBA in India.
1. Advantages of Getting Your MBA in India
There are many obvious advantages to doing an MBA within your own country. Let us elaborate on a few from an MBA perspective:
- Affordability and ROI
- No Visa Problems
- Familiar Network and Culture
On the whole, doing an MBA within India is going to work out to be much cheaper than doing an MBA abroad. Even if you decide to exclude all the auxiliary expenses on flights, accommodation, and cost of living, the tuition cost of an MBA from a foreign university can be very high.
One of the only ways you can escape high tuition costs abroad is if you do an MBA or MS in Germany. Most public universities in Germany don’t charge you for tuition.
But almost everywhere else, the expenses involved in getting an MBA are stupendous.
The important thing to note here is that the more expensive the program gets, the lower it’s return on investment shrinks.
Unless you’re looking at going to a Harvard, MIT, or Wharton, you’ll need to look very carefully at the expected program expense and the ROI you get from it. In our opinion, doing an MBA abroad only makes sense if you’re doing it from a top B-School.
This may sound unimportant but the amount of work you have to put into getting a visa is incredible.
Securing admission and then being denied a visa, or being unable to get a visa that allows you to work – these things can really put a dent in your MBA dream.
If you do an MBA in India, though, life is much easier because you don’t even have to worry about this.
Don’t underestimate the power of working within a familiar environment. If you do your MBA within India, you can make use of all your ‘contacts’, if you know what we mean.
It’s easy to dismiss this before you realize the value of having a network. After a certain age, your next job won’t come from online job portals. It will come through your network in the form of recommendations and connections.
No CEO was ever appointed based on a CV. For that job, you need strong connections.
If you do your MBA abroad, you’ll end up having to start network-building from scratch. Doing this alongside rigorous study is not a cakewalk.
However, it is not all sunshine and meadows to do your MBA in India. It comes with its fair share of disadvantages as well. That’s what we will discuss in the next section.
2. Disadvantages of Studying MBA in India
The advantages mentioned in the previous section might convince you that doing an MBA in India is your best option. But hold your horses!
There’s always a flipside to the coin. Here, we take a look at the limitations or disadvantages of earning your MBA in India.
- Limited Use if You Want to Move Abroad
- No/Limited International Exposure
- Limited Growth Opportunities
This depends entirely on where you see yourself in 5 years post-MBA, literally. If you dream of going abroad and working in the US or Europe, an Indian MBA degree is not going to help you.
Here’s the thing:
Working in the US or anywhere abroad means that you will be competing against young professionals who have earned their MBAs in the country you’re looking to go to. That gives them an edge over you.
So, getting your MBA from an Indian B-School won’t serve you well if you plan to move and work abroad.
The thing about Indian B-Schools is that they rarely study with an international perspective.
Although you may get to study abroad for a semester as a part of the program, the outlook of the program in India is focused on the way things work within India. The chances of you getting to study global problems are fairly low.
This limits your perspective and may even prove to be an obstacle to your progress beyond the Indian market, especially if you aspire for higher positions in MNCs.
By remaining within India, you will effectively stay in your comfort zone. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that you will have fewer chances to push and challenge yourself to grow.
In comparison, going to do your MBA abroad will expose you to different work cultures, different social norms, maybe even languages.
This is not something you will get if you do your MBA in India.
Now that we have succinctly outlined the good and bad parts of studying for your MBA in India, we’d like to take you through the same for doing an MBA abroad. In the next two sections, we will examine the pros and cons of doing your MBA from a university outside India.
3. Pros of Doing Your MBA Abroad
There are many reasons why you should study abroad. But there are some benefits specific to doing an MBA abroad, which we will be discussing here.
- Global Exposure
- Better Pedagogy
- Learning Opportunities
The most important part of studying abroad is getting global exposure.
When we say global exposure, we mean it on two fronts: networking and handling global issues.
In terms of networking, studying abroad will inevitably mean that your classroom itself will have representatives from multiple countries in one place. This helps you gain insights into the way things work in various countries around the world. Besides, your network will, at some point, become your net worth. At that point in time, having a global network will certainly play to your advantage.
Getting exposure to handling global issues will mean that you will be in a position to help a company maneuver its way not only through domestic markets but also in the international arena.
This adds a lot of weight to your profile.
These aspects of getting your MBA abroad cannot be quantified, so you can’t find a numeric value to add to the balance while calculating the ROI of an MBA.
But they are massive advantages that can help in incredible and unexpected ways throughout your life.
The methods of teaching, or pedagogy, used by most B-Schools in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia, is significantly different from how things are done in India.
B-Schools outside India generally use a host of tools and techniques to enhance your learning experience. The process of learning is significantly more interactive and experiential than it is in India.
India’s best B-Schools like ISB and IIM-A are beginning to adopt more international standards of teaching.
However, they are no match for the standard offered by B-Schools offering MBA abroad.
One of the benefits that comes by default with studying abroad is that you are forced to grow beyond your comfort zone.
Studying abroad will expand your horizons like nothing else. When exposed to hitherto unknown cultures and faced with new kinds of challenges, you will end up learning new skills and coping mechanisms.
In sheer numbers, you will have more opportunities to learn than ever before if you do your MBA abroad.
In spite of these benefits, there are a few disadvantages to doing your MBA abroad that you should think about before deciding. That’s what the next section is about.
4. Cons of Getting Your MBA Abroad
Everything in life has its good parts as well as bad ones. So, no matter how rosy the picture of studying abroad looks, it has some shortfalls you should consider. Here, we take a look at the cons of doing your MBA abroad.
- It’s Expensive
- Starting from Scratch
- No Safety Net
The most obvious and nearly needless thing to say in this regard is that getting an MBA abroad is prohibitively expensive.
Higher program costs, including ancillary expenses, bring down the ROI of the MBA, overall. You can opt for one year MBA programs in the US or across Europe to help slash the expenses, but you’ll need to carefully evaluate the returns you can expect before you pick the right program for yourself.
In any case, compared to Indian MBA programs, getting your MBA abroad is always going to be more expensive.
Having grown up in your home country, you are likely to have a sizeable network of people from different walks of life. When you go abroad for your MBA, you will be forfeiting this.
In effect, you will need to begin building a fresh network of connections from scratch.
Don’t forget to account for the fact that building a network of professional connections at this point is likely to require some investment as well.
Last but not least, you need to take into consideration the fact that failure is not an option if you go abroad.
When you’re in your home country, making mistakes and wrong choices may be expensive but it doesn’t usually cause irreparable damage. There’s always a protective net to catch you if you fail while you’re still in your home country.
Given how much of a challenge it is to fund your MBA abroad, you simply cannot afford to fail or make mistakes.
It is always advisable to know what you’re getting into before you make a decision as big as getting your MBA in India or abroad. You should be aware of both, the advantages as well as the disadvantages of the same.
Now, let us move on to talking about how you should arrive at your decision.
5. How do I choose between MBA in India and MBA abroad?
When you are trying to figure out where to do your MBA, keep in mind that you should not be following a herd. Don’t go abroad simply because your friends are doing that, and don’t stay in India because everyone recommends it, either.
Your MBA and where you get it from will define how the next 30-40 years of your life will turn out. This is a decision you must make on your own terms.
There are two things we recommend for you to consider while making up your mind:
- Your Background
- Your Aspirations
This is inclusive of everything about you – your academic background, your upbringing, what part of the country you come from – literally, everything.
Why your academic background matters is fairly obvious, but let us tell you a quick fact: even though most MBA students in India as well as abroad are from an engineering background, being an engineer will significantly affect your chances of getting an admit.
Since a huge majority of the applicants come from the same background (engineering), the competition among them is very high. Add to that the fact that most MBA programs try to focus on getting as much diversity in the class as possible and you know why it is tougher for engineers to get MBA admits.
Now, you may be wondering how your upbringing and place of residence matter. Here’s how.
If you come from a rather traditional and conservative background, going abroad can prove to be a rather overwhelming culture shock. It can distract you from your main goal, which is to get your MBA.
And as for the place of residence – if you’re used to urban life, it will be easier for you to find your feet in a new city in the West. If not, you may have a rather rough time getting by. Another reason this is important is that it forms the baseline for how much of a change in weather you can handle.
People often underestimate how important it is to take these facts into consideration. Don’t make that mistake.
These factors are far from being trivial.
If you come from a city in Rajasthan and are looking to join a B-School in Canada, be warned that the Canadian winters are way harsher than anything in India can prepare you for. You may not be accustomed to being unable to leave your house because you’re snowed in – something that may be very common in the city where you plan to go.
In short, your academic background may determine whether you get an admit or not, but whether you should take it or not must be based on a lot more than that.
There’s no point in getting admitted into an MBA program that doesn’t offer the specialization you want to build a career in.
Especially where prestigious universities are involved, you may be tempted to just apply because it’ll be good to have that name on your CV. We recommend that you don’t do this.
Consider very carefully where you see yourself in a few years after the MBA and only apply to the B-Schools that can get you there.
If you see yourself working abroad, whether at a higher level or otherwise, it makes sense to start by getting your MBA abroad. But if you don’t see yourself leaving the comforts of staying with your family behind, then maybe you should just get your MBA in India itself.
At the end of the day, it all comes back to you and what you want from life.
No matter where you apply, your MBA application essay questions will make you seriously think about factors like these, anyway. So, take some time to consider them before you begin applying itself.
To conclude, let us say that the ultimate choice has to be your own, but we do hope that this article has succeeded in guiding you through the decision-making process.
If you still have questions or doubts, reach out to our application experts to schedule a call and they can help you figure things out!
The fact that you’re reading this article means that you must have had some lingering thoughts about doing an MBA. But some part of you is wondering,
“Am I too old for an MBA?”
And like all the others thinking the same thing, you’re also completely uncertain whether it even makes sense to do this. Becoming a student at the age of 30-something most probably doesn’t sound like the best idea. You’re probably thinking,
“Can I even get into any decent B-School?”
To that we say, don’t give up before you give it an honest shot!
If you have serious doubts and reservations about doing an MBA after 30, give this detailed article a read and see if you feel differently by the end.
In this article, we’re going to talk about:
- Who is an ‘Older Applicant’?
- Why Don’t B-Schools Accept Older Applicants?
- What Can You Gain From an MBA After 30?
- Why Didn’t You Do an MBA Earlier?
- How Can You Get an MBA After 30?
- How to Select the Right B-Schools?
- How to Convince AdComs as an Older Candidate?
Gunning for progress is always a good decision, and that’s what an MBA can help you do. Here’s everything you need to know to get your MBA!
1. Who is an ‘Older Applicant’?
Incidentally, you could be entirely off the mark in thinking that you’re old. Just because all the B-school ads you see only display confident professionals who look a decade younger than you does not mean they’re the only ones getting MBAs.
Knowing the stereotype of a “B-School student” can often lead people to believe that they’re too old for an MBA. Let’s take a look at how credible that idea is.
MBA programs around the world have an average age range of 27-28. Notwithstanding MBA-like programs around the globe such as IIM-A’s PGPx, 30-31 is considered to be the higher limit for MBA students globally.
It’s important to note, here, that what matters more is work experience, not just age.
However, anything above the age of 30 is typically considered ‘old’ for B-School. As you can see, though, some of these programs actually have average ages over 30.
In most cases, those are executive MBAs designed for mid-career professionals, but there are just regular MBA programs.
What this tells us is that many people in their 30s or, in rare cases, higher, are looking to get an MBA as well.
Undoubtedly, getting into a good B-School after 30 is going to be difficult. But you should remember that it is not impossible even in your early forties. At CrackVerbal, we’ve experienced a few, rare cases when people have even gotten in for an MBA after 40.
But we’re going to go back to the ‘more work experience and not just age’ part for a bit here.
One of the biggest factors that would help you build a strong case for your admission is if you’re only applying late because you spent more years than average on studying.
This means that if you have a Ph.D., MBBS, or any Master’s degree, it explains why you’re late in applying for an MBA. You won’t be considered ‘old’ because you haven’t spent that many more years than the other applicants in working full-time.
Similarly, you won’t be considered old if you’ve served as an IAS or other UPSC officer, or in the armed forces.
You’ll only be considered as an unfavorable candidate if you have worked and gathered years of full-time experience.
Now, let’s take a look at why exactly that is so.
2. Why Don’t B-Schools Want Older MBA Candidates?
There are some perceptions that B-Schools typically have which keep them from accepting applications from older MBA aspirants.
To improve your odds of getting an admit, you must try to understand what these perceptions are. Your chances improve if you can counter them successfully.
Here are four factors that make older applicants undesirable for B-Schools:
- Potential > Performance
- Class Fit
- Salary & Career Transition
Most B-Schools care more about potential than performance.
Potential refers to the things you are capable of doing but haven’t done yet. Performance refers to the things you have already done.
The perception among B-Schools today is that an MBA is better equipped to teach you how to do things before you learn to do them yourself. Accordingly, they look for candidates who have just enough experience to know the challenges one can face.
The fear that older candidates must have figured out their own solutions for such challenges. So, B-Schools don’t feel like they have as much to offer you, an older candidate, as they have to offer someone with lesser experience.
Further, they believe that the more experience you have, the more challenging it will be to teach you new concepts.
It’s like the old English phrase about how it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
You may have great stories and experiences to share with the class, and that will certainly enhance learning for them.
However, every B-School’s main fear is that as an older candidate, you may not learn much from their course.
Young candidates who walk in with 5-6 years of work experience are usually open to accepting new ways of going about things. But if you’ve been doing things a certain way for a decade or more, you’re perceived as being more rigid.
B-Schools doubt an older candidate’s ability to change his approach and mold himself according to what is taught.
As mentioned before, the fear generally tends to be that you won’t have much to take away from the course. This is compounded by the idea that you may have become too rigid to truly absorb things.
All MBA programs are dynamic in nature. So, B-Schools look for candidates who are dynamic, too.
Older candidates are believed to be rigid and less dynamic.
MBA is a mid-career program, where every student typically has 3-5 years of work experience.
B-Schools typically aim to have as much diversity in the class as possible in terms of professional backgrounds, cultures, gender, and academic backgrounds. This helps because students in MBA programs are expected to learn from each other as well as from the faculty. Diversity in this environment helps bring many perspectives to the table.
At the same time, though, MBAs require a fair amount of team-work.
A certain degree of homogeneity is required for or effective team-work. So, the balance is precarious when it comes to managing diversity in an MBA cohort.
If the class is too diverse and the students don’t get along with each other, the learning experience is hampered.
The common thread B-Schools like to maintain among students in a batch is age.
For example, a group of 27-years-olds is likely to get along quite well even if every single one of them comes from a different walk of life.
What B-Schools are concerned about is that if they add an older candidate to the mix, it will be tough for him to get along with the rest of the students. In a B-School’s eyes, this impacts team-work and neutralizes any advantage your expertise may lend your profile.
The final concern that most B-Schools have is what you expect the MBA to do for you.
As a working professional, you must be well aware that it gets tougher to make significant career transitions after the age of 30-33 years. B-Schools are aware of this, as well.
Understand that most of the younger candidates are seeking an MBA for one of two reasons – they either want to switch career paths or they want to move up in the hierarchy and make more money.
So, B-Schools expect those to be the reasons why you’re applying, too.
The problem with that is this:
Having worked for longer in the same field, you are likely to be at a higher position than the other candidates. B-Schools take this to mean that you will have higher expectations in terms of salary as well as placement at the end of the program.
It is harder for B-Schools to give you a sizeable hike in salary and have you placed in a position that does justice to the extra experience you have.
That’s another reason why B-Schools tend to be wary of older candidates.
We hope this has given you have a better understanding of the problems that B-Schools face in taking on older candidates. Next, we’d like to address one of the common concerns people have about getting an MBA after 30.
3. What Will You Gain from an MBA After 30?
You know how B-Schools have doubts about older candidates, right?
Sometimes, the same doubts could be nagging at your own mind as well. Especially after reading all the reasons why B-Schools will likely reject your applications, you must be wondering if an MBA is even worth it at this point.
The reasons why people pursue MBAs are quite standard. However, older candidates can get some more specific benefits from an MBA.
So far, you must probably have developed a kind of functional expertise in what you do. Having worked for so many years in the field, your knowledge of your field of work must be based on practical experience and not theory.
This expertise must be what has helped you rise through the ranks all these years. However, as you go higher, you need to become more of a general manager and less of a section expert.
That’s exactly what an MBA can help you do.
As you get into management positions, you’ll need to manage functions you’ve never dealt with before.
For example, if you’re an IT engineer, you may never have handled profit and loss statements, marketing reports, and sales updates. As a manager at any level, you’ll need to know how to use these things as tools to enhance your team’s performance.
An MBA gives you the know-how to perform the functions necessary to be an effective manager.
In all probability, you have not had the time to invest in yourself so far. By this, we mean that you may not have thought much about your social skills, your emotional intelligence or your leadership skills.
Being self-aware and having good interpersonal skills are both qualities necessary for performing well as a leader or manager at any level. Both these can be developed if you invest in yourself.
That’s where an MBA comes in handy.
It gives you the opportunity to finally take some time to focus on yourself. You can use this time to rediscover yourself and develop any hobbies and skills you choose to.
An MBA provides you with an opportunity to be in a class full of students learning to do the same thing. Any good B-School will have a variety of student clubs created to help you develop your personality beyond your job description.
Your career depends not only on your IQ but also your ability to work with all kinds of people, especially those you don’t particularly like.
An MBA helps you make the transition from a functional expert in your field to a visionary who can guide an entire team towards success.
It helps you create a ‘new and improved’ version of yourself, which is a necessity for career growth after 30.
At a certain point in your career, your net worth becomes your network.
You may have started to realize that people who have strong networks can get things done. Your ability to make things happen, to handle obstacles and overcome them, to pull off bold maneuvers, all get affected by who you know.
How much power you have is a direct function of how many powerful people you’re connected with. Getting an MBA from a reputed B-School opens many doors as far as networking opportunities go.
Most importantly, after a certain age, you know that your next job is not going to come from online portals.
The entire dynamic of looking for better job prospects changes as you grow in your career. Whether you have reached the middle- and upper-management levels or not, after a certain age, you don’t expect to be looking for jobs online.
The network you have defines how your career goes.
Think about this:
You have some aims and ambitions for your career, right? Maybe you want to become the CTO of a big company at the age of 50. That’s a pretty realistic dream to have.
What you need to realize now, though, is that you’re never going to see that position as a job opening looking for candidates through ads or online. Contenders for those positions don’t apply for them, they’re referred.
That is the reason you need to start building that network now. An MBA is easily among the best ways for you to do this at your age.
An MBA is a one-stop solution to all the issues you’re probably facing as well as those you may not even have realized you had.
Having said that, it’s important for you to be able to handle the biggest question you’ll have to face over and over. That’s what we’ll address in the next section.
4. Why Didn’t You Do an MBA Earlier?
This is the first thing anyone is likely to think when they find out that you’re looking to pursue an MBA after 30.
This issue is the elephant in your room, so you better have all your bases covered when it comes to addressing this. Now, there could be a multitude of reasons why you didn’t do an MBA earlier.
In fact, some of these reasons may even work against you. That’s why it is important that you prepare to face this question and answer it effectively.
Let’s take a look at some of the possible answers you may have.
- Didn’t Feel the Need
- Wasn’t Aware of MBA Benefits
- Didn’t Get Through via CAT
- You Have Done an MBA Before
It’s entirely possible that you have been doing so well in your career so far that you didn’t feel the need to do an MBA.
As mentioned, one of the reasons why people choose to pursue MBAs career progression. They get an MBA because they feel that they need it to help them get better at what they do.
Maybe you never felt that need. Maybe you’ve been so good at what you do that you never faced any obstacles and therefore never felt the need for something to help you overcome them effectively.
Most importantly, if you’ve been doing well for yourself, you may not have had the time to take a break. Your 20s were probably invested in working non-stop to get where you are today.
With such a hectic schedule, you may never have had a chance to take a break and pursue an MBA before.
In case you choose to respond with this reason, you’ll need to have a solid CV to back it up.
If you don’t have that, then maybe you should consider going with one of the next few reasons.
Although this may work against you if you put it this way, it’s possible that you didn’t do an MBA because you didn’t know how it would help you.
While every professional today has heard of the MBA degree, few understand what it really entails. And given how much time and money you have to invest in getting an MBA, you obviously wouldn’t go in for it without knowing everything about it.
In fact, it’s entirely possible that an MBA is exactly what you needed but you simply didn’t know it so far.
What matters is this:
Now that you’ve discovered that an MBA is what you need, you should be willing to go for it with everything you’ve got!
Back in the day, when getting an MBA had started to become the ‘in thing’ to do, the only way to get in was to score well on the CAT.
Perhaps you are one of those candidates who took the CAT but didn’t end up scoring well enough to get into a decent MBA program. You may have given up on the idea of doing an MBA entirely after that.
If you’re nodding your head in agreement to that right now, you should know you’re far from being alone!
Scores of people who wanted to do an MBA gave up on their dreams because of the CAT.
However, the GMAT has ignited hope for such candidates once again. If you belong to this category of people, you should consider starting your GMAT prep right away!
If this is not going to be your first MBA, you’re going to need to give a very convincing reason why you should be admitted into any good MBA program.
MBA is one of the most dynamic and versatile degrees out there, which means it has evolved massively over time. So, you may have done a degree that was called an MBA but it may not have looked anything like what a good MBA program means in today’s world.
The MBA degree you earned should be drastically different from the MBA programs you’re looking to apply to. Moreover, you need to be well-versed with the differences.
In short, you’ll have to show that the MBA you’ve got was not designed to equip you with the skills you’re looking to learn today.
Remember not to sound like you’re complaining when you discuss this, though. You don’t want to come across as someone trying to externalize the blame for not having achieved as much as you’d like to.
No matter what your reason may be, you need to put it in words and be honest with yourself about it. The MBA Application process is going to require you to do that anyway. So, you might as well start now!
Speaking of the MBA Application process – you should know that it is a rather nuanced process. It may come across as rather straightforward but we promise you, it is not. The next section will take you through how to go about getting an MBA.
5. How to Get an MBA After 30
It probably seems pretty intuitive – just pick a good MBA program, apply, and start your course – right?
If you agree with that statement, you’re in for a BIG surprise.
An MBA is not like any other Masters degree you can just sign up for and get on a whim. It requires clarity of mind and a sense of determination and purpose like nothing else.
Let’s take a look at the five stages that older MBA candidates typically go through in their MBA journeys.
5. How to Get an MBA After 30
It probably seems pretty intuitive – just pick a good MBA program, apply, and start your course – right?
If you agree with that statement, you’re in for a BIG surprise.
An MBA is not like any other Masters degree you can just sign up for and get on a whim. It requires clarity of mind and a sense of determination and purpose like nothing else.
Let’s take a look at the five stages that older MBA candidates typically go through in their MBA journeys.
- Figuring Out Your Intentions
- Preparing for the GMAT
- Scoring Well on the GMAT
- Getting Through
If you’re considering yourself too old for an MBA, you’re probably doing well for yourself. You have a good life, with a family of your own and a good job.
Thanks to that, you’re likely to think to yourself, “Why should I even do all this?”
So, here’s the thing:
Having such thoughts in the middle of your MBA journey is simply not an option. Understand that the competition to get an MBA is very high and you’re starting out with a disadvantage.
Before you begin, you need to know what effect that an MBA can have on your life. Ask yourself if you truly want that life it can create for you. You need to be sure that you want that life because you’re going to have to work pretty hard for it.
If you have serious doubts about whether or not you’re a good fit for an MBA, take our free MBA Profile Evaluation test. That’ll help clear out some things in your mind.
The point is, getting an MBA is going to be a long process, so you need to double down and prepare yourself mentally to face its rigors in advance.
Let’s face it – studying isn’t exactly fun.
On top of that, you’ve likely been out of touch with the routines of studying and taking exams for ages now. Getting back into the groove is going to take some solid effort on your part.
Add to this the fact that you have a lower attention span than before. Plus you’re a busy professional with a hectic lifestyle… How are you going to find the time to study?
This is the point where you have to remind yourself to keep your eyes on the prize.
Knowing and visualizing the difference that an MBA can make to your life will help you stay on track. Pick a GMAT coaching program designed for busy professionals that will help you stay focused and manage your time effectively.
Planning to study for the GMAT and actually doing it are two very different things.
So, even when you’re planning your GMAT attempt, remember to take into consideration that it’ll take a lot of time and determination to get into a study routine.
The reason this section is separate from the previous one is that your GMAT score changes the way you think.
Let us illustrate with an example.
With a 550 on the GMAT, you’re likely to give up on the MBA idea altogether. If you get a 650, though, you’ll consider applying to some of the good B-Schools. You might drop any grand plans to apply to the top B-Schools but at least you won’t give up.
However, if you get a 750, you might even decide to take a shot at getting into Harvard!
The point is, getting your GMAT score is a pivotal point in your MBA journey.
To get a good score, you should know that the GMAT doesn’t look to test your knowledge as much as it tests your ability to use what you know. You need to understand how the test works, identify GMAT patterns, and learn how to take the test.
You may or may not have attempted the GMAT or studied for it before. If you haven’t, don’t worry – it’s not as big a deal as it is made out to be.
But if you have engaged with the GMAT test before, you should know that fundamental changes have been made to the exam in recent years.
Either way, it’s a great idea to read up on the GMAT Syllabus and the recent changes that have been made to the exam. This includes the GMAT exam pattern and the Select Section Order option. Brush up on how GMAT scoring works and what the GMAT Enhanced Score Report is.
However, you should mentally prepare yourself to retake the GMAT if you don’t get the score you want in your first attempt. Unless you’re prepared, just one bad score can bring your MBA dreams crashing down.
We’ve noticed that people drop out even after getting a good GMAT score. Our understanding is simply that ‘life happens’ to some people.
At times, older candidates don’t realize what a rigorous process it is to apply for an MBA. So, they’re just burned out by this point.
To avoid dropping out at this stage and putting all your efforts so far to waste, you must remember that MBA applications are demanding, too.
First, you have to pick the right MBA programs for your profile.
Your essays, whether written or video-recorded, will be in response to questions posed by the schools you’re applying to. This means there will be multiple questions and multiple essays to address them, although some – like the Why MBA essay – will be common.
The thing about written essays is this:
It’ll be challenging to write these essays. Firstly, you must be out of practice with creative writing on the whole, so it will take time. Secondly, you will need to do a lot of soul-searching to write a convincing essay, no matter what the question is. Thirdly, there will be multiple rounds of editing, which can get pretty tedious.
Further, you must write your own essays.
Apart from the fact that it is totally unethical, there are far too many risks involved with outsourcing your MBA application essays. The biggest of these is that the AdComs will figure out if you haven’t written your own essays.
Getting good recommendations is critical, even though you don’t control what’s in them.
And last but not least, you need to prepare well for your MBA interviews, too.
Once you’ve run the entire obstacle race of MBA applications and made it through, you’ll reach another very important juncture: actually beginning your MBA.
Many older MBA aspirants often have a pessimistic approach where they don’t really expect to make it through and get admits. That’s why, when they get to this stage, they blank out.
If you’ve done well, you will end up with one or multiple admits into various great MBA programs.
This is when you have to choose where you want to be.
And we wish this choice was simply about comparing programs, but it is not. You have to factor in your MBA financing options as well. This includes scholarships, loans, and a multitude of factors, depending on the country you’re going to.
To start your program, you’ll have to be comfortable leaving your entire life behind.
This might seem like an obvious thing that you will have thought of already, but trust us, when the time comes to actually leave, this can hit pretty hard.
These five critical stages in your MBA journey will define what your life will be like a couple of years down the line. Now that you’re aware of these obstacles, you’re already better prepared to face them and make it through.
Here’s what Arun Jagannathan, the founder and CEO of CrackVerbal, has to say about getting your MBA after 30:
In the next section, we will address another really big question: At which schools do you have good chances as an older MBA aspirant?
6. Selecting the Right B-Schools
Now, you’re aware that B-Schools typically have their reservations about taking in older candidates for their full-time MBA programs. What we haven’t discussed yet is the handful of schools that are known to be friendly towards older MBA candidates.
If you apply to any of the MBA programs at the following schools, your chances of getting in are likely to get a boost.
- Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College (US)
- Fuqua School of Business, Duke University (US)
- Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick (UK)
- London Business School, University of London (UK)
- HEC Paris (France)
- INSEAD (France)
- International Institute for Management Development (Switzerland)
- University of St. Gallen (Switzerland)
Each of these schools offers multiple formats of MBA programs. There are also many choices when it comes to specializations, but you can always opt for a General Management MBA as well. In any case, each of these schools is open to taking in candidates older than the average age for an MBA.
However, an MBA is not the only way forward for you, either. Some of the world’s leading B-Schools also offer other programs that are specially designed for older candidates.
In some cases, as in the case of IIM – Ahmedabad’s PGPx, these other programs are looked upon as MBAs even though they aren’t formally called that. The simple reason for this is that these courses are very similar to MBAs, they’re just tailored for more specific needs.
Examples of schools offering such programs are:
- Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)
- Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (India)
- International Institute for Management Development (Switzerland)
- Indian School of Business (India)
One of the highest ranking universities of all time, MIT is world-renowned for its higher education programs across numerous walks of life. Its Sloan School of Management offers a massive variety of programs with various specializations for business executives. You can use the MIT program finder to help find the best fit for your profile.
One of India’s most prestigious B-Schools, IIM – Ahmedabad, offers a postgraduate program for business executives. This is a highly coveted program because of IIM-A’s stature, but also because of how effective it has been. The progress made by the alumni of this program is quite spectacular.
The IMD is the only institute of its caliber in the world that is not affiliated with any university. It is an independent institute that exclusively offers management training programs including MBAs and executive MBAs. It has a vast variety of leadership programs that you could benefit from as well.
The Indian School of Business is a globally-recognized and -respected B-School with two campuses – ISB Hyderabad and ISB Mohali. It offers one of the country’s best learning experiences through its MBA programs, and the postgraduate program (PGP) it offers rivals the one provided by IIM-A.
Consider all your options carefully and weigh them against each other before you decide which programs you want to pursue.
The reason we recommend this is that you will have to be very certain of your choices when you face the AdComs. Whether it is through your essays or your interview, your conviction regarding which course you want to get into will make a huge difference in convincing AdComs to give you an admit.
In the next and final section, we talk about the extra steps you’ll have to take to convince AdComs that you’re worthy of getting into their MBA programs.
7. Convincing AdComs
As an older candidate, you will face some very specific challenges when it comes to convincing Admission Committees. We highly recommend that you bring up these issues before AdComs or others bring them up for you.
That way, you can control the narrative.
Here are the challenges you will have to face along with our recommendations on how to tackle them:
- Chequered Career Path
- Why NOW?
- Class Contribution
- Your X-Factor
- Why Full-Time MBA
Being an older candidate, you probably have a long history of professional experience. If you write out everything you’ve done, it might fill up a couple of pages.
In all likelihood, if this is the case with you, then you must be feeling some pressure to summarize your CV.
Do not do that.
Chances are that your resume has a couple of jobs that don’t make you look that great. Trust us, everyone has those. But if you try to downplay or hide those jobs, it might work against you. Instead, we recommend that you elaborate on everything you’ve done.
You may have a job or a few which don’t really make sense. Maybe they are beyond the scope of your expertise or completely out-of-sync with the rest of your profile. Or, maybe you didn’t make much headway at one of the jobs you held for a long time.
In either case, it reflects badly upon you unless you present your side of the story.
Some of these jobs may just have been stop-gap measures that you took on while looking for the right opportunities. Others you may have taken on to experiment or to try and build on a skill or hobby you have.
Explain what you learned from each job you held and how it contributed to what makes you who you are today. This will portray confidence instead of a lack of focus.
As mentioned before, one of the major reasons why B-Schools are apprehensive about taking on older candidates is a belief that older candidates might be too ‘set in their ways’.
While the ball is still in your court, establish that you are willing to learn.
The best way to do this is to mention the activities, courses, or projects you have undertaken recently and talk about why you took them. Exhibit your tendency to invest in yourself, to grow as a person and be open to learning new things.
An MBA is, in many ways, the ultimate investment you can make in yourself.
Show the AdCom that you have a high ‘LQ’ or ‘learning quotient’. Display a history of investing in yourself and actively seeking learning opportunities. It will go a long way in building the AdCom’s confidence in you.
Another major fear B-Schools have about older candidates is that they will be difficult to place. You can assuage this fear at the very outset through your application.
We have already advised you to elaborate on your work experience. Such elaboration comes in handy here, too.
What you can do is this:
Establish clearly that you will not be entirely dependent on the B-School’s Placement Committee to get good opportunities after your MBA. What you need to show is that your extra years of experience have given you the skills and network to make it on your own.
Whether you end up taking the Placement Committee’s help later or not is immaterial. The point here is to show AdComs that you have absolute faith in yourself and that you are a self-starter.
Our recommendation is, don’t outright claim that you will not seek help, but do indicate strongly that you can do it on your own.
Doing this will take care of the AdComs’ fear that you may become a liability that the school will have to nurse later.
One of the most interesting questions to try and answer is, “Why do you want to do your MBA right now?”
Now, your actual reason may be that you’ve hit an air pocket in your career and you’re finding it tough to get out and move on. But you cannot say this without sounding like you’re externalizing your problems.
No B-School appreciates candidates who sound needy.
If you say you’ve hit a plateau in your professional growth and are looking to get an MBA that will spark growth once again, you can forget about getting into a decent program.
Instead, B-Schools look for candidates who show signs that they are going to excel with or without their MBA. They are interested in candidates who are already making things happen; candidates who will use the MBA only to accelerate their existing growth plan.
One of the terms often used by older candidates to address this question is ‘retooling’.
It means re-equipping oneself with knowledge, skills, and acumen that is relevant and important for growth in the desired direction.
So, what you can say is that you’re retooling to try and change the path your career is on. Say that you’re looking for an MBA program to help you do that more efficiently and in a structured manner.
Link what you’ve done so far to what you want to do in the future.
Basically, establish that you’re looking to grow your existing skills and build on new ones to help you develop a more globally-oriented skillset.
Make it clear that you’re not expecting the MBA to wave some magic wand and infuse life into your dying career. Instead, reinforce that you’re on your way to success and are looking for a program to speed up the process.
Every B-School is quite concerned with what each candidate brings to the table. We’ve talked earlier in this post about how diversity is a big deal for B-Schools as it enhances the overall learning experience.
You can exploit the desire that B-Schools have to bring more diverse and rich experiences to the classroom.
Of course, you have to be careful not to overdo it, but you must talk modestly about how you think your years of work experience will contribute to the entire class’s takeaways.
Mention the biggest lessons you’ve learned, the skills you’ve picked up, or your greatest achievements. Talk about what you think the younger candidates can learn from them.
This is a great opportunity to paint your weakness – i.e. your age – as your strength.
Portray that you’ve got a lot to offer the B-School and that they can also benefit from having you in their class.
Hold your horses – we’re not talking about the reality TV show! :p
At the end of the day, remember that your direct competition is not the 27-year-old applicants; instead, it is the other applicants who are your age. Take into account that anyone who has been in the field and working for around 10 years will most probably have the same kind of experiences and insights to a certain extent.
This would make your profile look just like theirs and it may slip through the gaps.
To avoid falling through the cracks, talk about something that makes you unique.
Mention something about your personality, background, or just about anything you can think of, and talk about how that affects the perspective you can provide.
The aim here is to stand out as a more memorable or more valuable candidate than the rest.
One of the only other major challenges we can foresee for older MBA aspirants is this:
Establishing why you want to take a break from your career and go for a full-time course instead of continuing to work while pursuing a part-time MBA.
Since you’re already ahead of most applicants in your career, it’s easy for an AdCom to reject your application thinking that you’d be better suited for a part-time commitment. That’s why it is quite important for you to clearly state that a part-time or online MBA is not for you.
You can say that you think immersing yourself full-time into learning is the most productive or effective way for you to learn.
Feel free to mention that part-time and online courses don’t go into the kind of depth that you are looking to get into.
Don’t hesitate to express it if you feel like you won’t be able to handle work and studies together, if that’s one of the reasons why you prefer a full-time course over any other format.
When it comes to getting into a good MBA program, there’s no doubt that your opportunities shrink with age. The older you grow, the more challenges you will face and the less convenient it will be to field the questions volleyed at you.
However, this does not go to say that getting an MBA after 30 is a bad idea. It does not mean you should give up on your aspirations just because of your age.
All you need to remember is that the secret to a successful MBA journey lies in planning and anticipating it well.
Do let us know your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below. We’ll be happy to help with any queries as well!
Let us guess why you’re reading this article.
You’ve done a ton of research about the best business schools in the world and made a list of 8-10 MBA programs that you’re considering quite seriously.
All you need to do now is, arrange them by order of preference to select 3-4 that you’ll end up applying to. Since there’s no significant difference between these programs, it all comes down to MBA rankings.
And that’s what gets your goat – where one magazine ranks a certain program at #5, another places the same one at #35!
You have no clue what on earth you’re supposed to base your decisions on!
If you know that feeling of utter confusion, don’t worry, we’re here to help you figure out how to get through this.
In this article, we’re going to talk about:
- What are MBA Rankings and Why They May Not Work For You
- CrackVerbal’s Ranking of MBA Rankings
- Should You Rely on MBA Rankings?
- Trends Among Indian MBA Aspirants
- Best Business Schools in the World for Indian Students
Let’s get right into it!
1. What are MBA Rankings and Why They May Not Work For You
Seeing the potential that MBA rankings had, a plethora of big publications in the Business sector jumped on the bandwagon. Soon enough, every other publication in the higher education field started publishing its own set of MBA rankings.
However, across publications, some issues continue to exist with the way MBA rankings work.
- Quality vs. Quantity
- Lack of Personalization
- Inadequate Comparison
To a large extent, MBA rankings are based on quantitative data.
Average salary hikes, acceptance rates, average GMAT scores, and placement rates are strong indicators of a program’s quality. These are all easy to calculate. But something like a B-School’s reputation is very tough to put into numbers.
This is primarily because quantitative data is very objective – numbers leave no space for speculation. Qualitative data, on the other hand, is very subjective and will, therefore, change from person to person.
This makes it very hard to put a number to qualitative data like the reputation of a B-School or its faculty quality.
However, publications that create their own MBA rankings take all kinds of measures to try and account for qualitative data as well. For example, deans of rival B-Schools are asked to rate each other’s MBA programs on various parameters and their ratings are taken into consideration when calculating scores.
The fact remains, though, that the methodologies used to gather both these types of data are questionable.
All the quantitative data collected is entirely self-reported and there’s no way to get most of it verified from an independent source. So the thing now is, MBA rankings have become so important that B-Schools have begun to fudge data to make themselves look better.
As a result, the rankings thus produced end up being based on fake and unverifiable data, making the results quite unreliable.
In addition to this, qualitative data is collected from sources that have vested interests in the B-School’s welfare. Alumni and campus recruiters, both of whom stand to directly benefit from a B-School’s high ranking, are the primary sources of qualitative data.
This means that the qualitative data is likely to be highly biased as well.
All in all, not only do most MBA rankings fail to take into account intangible factors affecting the quality of MBA programs, but they also fail to keep bias out of the equation.
No list of MBA rankings can take into account personal factors.
For example, the kind of weather you prefer will not be factored into any available MBA ranking list. If you have a relative living close to a particular school, that makes that school more preferable for you.
If you think these things aren’t all that important, then you’re making the classic mistake most aspirants make:
You’re underestimating the impact of real-world conditions on your MBA choices.
Having a relative living close to a B-School effectively eliminates your living expenses. When it comes to financing your MBA, the cost of living is something that can make or break your entire MBA dream.
Enrolling for an MBA program at a school in Minnesota only to find that you cannot do the course any justice because it’s too cold for you to get out of your room… Not exactly a situation you want to end up in, either, is it?
There will always be things about every B-School that are simply down to personal preference.
Yet, while some of these cannot be accounted for, others could very well have been a part of the ranking algorithms but are not.
For example, MBA rankings don’t take the industry into consideration. By this, we mean that if you’re looking to filter B-Schools by the industry in which it places its graduates, the rankings don’t provide such an option.
There’s no way to figure out which B-School is more popular among investment bankers, or which school places the majority of its students in that industry. And this applies to every industry.
In short, rankings don’t help you make a list of your preferred B-Schools by post-MBA career paths.
All in all, MBA rankings don’t say what those ranks mean for you, specifically.
One of the biggest drawbacks of MBA rankings created by any publication is that they fail to account for variations across countries.
All MBA programs and B-Schools around the world are compared using the same parameters. This is good in that it avoids bias based on the country a school is based out of.
However, variations in course fees and the availability of scholarships and other funding options have a huge impact on your chances of landing up in a given program.
MBA rankings do not measure this.
Ranking algorithms don’t account for the difference in currency, and therefore the affordability of programs they rank.
What’s worse is this:
MBA rankings don’t even take the political climate of a country into consideration. This is a huge shortfall because whether or not you’re likely to get a visa depends entirely on the political scenario of the country in which it is located.
For the sake of argument, you could say that there are other factors taken into consideration which show whether or not you can get in. But, there are real-world situations that don’t get considered in any rankings.
Let’s take the most obvious example – let’s say you’re a Muslim student from the Middle East. Your entire outlook changes, right?
Countries like the US are knocked off your list by default because of the current socio-political atmosphere in 2019. This takes out almost all the top-ranked programs.
In a nutshell, MBA rankings on the whole are not enough to help you decide which B-Schools you should apply to. They have many shortcomings which need to be addressed before they can be used as tiebreakers.
Until these issues are addressed, you will have to find the best business schools in the world through personal research and not via rankings.
2. CrackVerbal’s Ranking of MBA Rankings
In this section, we’d like to start off by taking a look at the top 10 schools as per five major MBA rankings: Businessweek, US News, Financial Times, The Economist, and QS.
As you can see, there are some names that appear across all the publications within the top 10. However, you’ll notice that some publications have names the others don’t.
This kind of instability is among the top reasons that questions are being raised about the reliability of MBA rankings today. If the top five rankings publications cannot even agree on the ten best B-Schools in the world, clearly, something is not right.
So, we’ve done this analysis to help you figure out which MBA rankings are reliable.
- Businessweek MBA Rankings
- US News MBA Rankings
- QS MBA Rankings
- The Economist MBA Rankings
- Financial Times MBA Rankings
This was the publication that came up with the idea of doing MBA rankings in the first place. They conceptualized the idea when John A. Byrne, founder of Poets and Quants, was the editor-in-chief at Businessweek.
In our opinion, the MBA rankings that Businessweek publishes are fairly reliable.
Of course, the issues with personalization continue to exist but if you follow our advice and use rankings only as an input instead of the ultimate tiebreaker, this shouldn’t be a problem.
We believe that Businessweek’s rankings are reliable because of the methodology used. It is one of the very few publications that take extra efforts to get self-reported data verified.
Most importantly, here’s what gives us hope:
The weightage that Businessweek assigns to qualitative data like alumni and recruiter feedback is much more proportionate than most other publications. This keeps the numbers from inflating unrealistically.
US News is once again a publication that produces reliable MBA rankings. We find their results reliable due to the methodology they use, just like it is with Businessweek.
Although US News entered the MBA rankings market well after Businessweek, the publication has maintained its integrity. The metrics used are quite reasonable; none of the parameters are given disproportionate weightage.
Moreover, it has the hallmarks of any reliable rankings.
Firstly, there’s a fair amount of stability in the rankings year-on-year. The listed B-Schools don’t jump more than 4-6 positions up or down.
Secondly, US News MBA rankings will not unexpectedly throw in a random new name into the top 50 B-Schools every year.
Believe it or not, some reputed MBA rankings are actually losing credibility for doing exactly this.
Finally, the schools that are surveyed remain consistent every year.
We wouldn’t call these rankings unreliable, but we’d recommend getting a second opinion. You know what we mean?
The thing with QS MBA rankings is that it has a lower level of stability as compared to US News and Businessweek MBA rankings. At the same time, though, the ranks don’t fluctuate wildly enough for us to junk the whole list.
One other factor determines whether an MBA ranking can be trusted: the extent to which it varies from other rankings.
Let us explain this with an example.
Suppose you’ve done a lot of research on methodologies and are now convinced that Businessweek and US News MBA rankings are reliable. Now, you see that XYZ School of Management is ranked at #6 by one and #4 by another.
If you come across another MBA ranking that places it at #20, you’ll know not to trust that list.
The trick is to identify a few reliable publications and stick with those.
But you’ll likely come across publications like QS, though, which may not deviate from the ones you trust by a huge margin. Maybe it ranks that program at #10 and not #20.
Our suggestion to you is this:
Don’t fret over fluctuations within the range of five ranks more or less. If there are publications that deviate from your trusted rankings by more than five ranks one way or another for the same program in the same year, simply ignore those lists. They aren’t likely to be reliable anyway.
Publications like QS are good to consider, but we’d recommend you to take it with a pinch of salt.
In spite of being a rather reputable publication in the Business field, The Economist produces MBA rankings that we would not recommend.
You may have noticed this, but ultimately, the trustworthiness of a publication’s MBA rankings list comes down to the methodology used and weightage assigned to each parameter.
However, there are easier ways to evaluate at a glance whether you can trust a given list of rankings.
One way is to check the year-on-year deviation in the ranks of the listed B-Schools. If the deviation is over 5 ranks up or down per year, you can automatically assume that the list is not reliable.
Another way is to look for similarities between publications. Even if The Economist doesn’t place Stanford at #1 like Businessweek does, it should at least have Stanford within the Top 5.
The point is, The Economist may not give the same ranks as Businessweek, but it should have at least 8 of the same schools in the top 10 as Businessweek or US News.
We have found that the stability in ranks as well as the similarity with other publications is not up to the mark with The Economist.
One of the biggest points of criticism leveled against the otherwise reputed FT MBA rankings is the presence of CEIBS in its top 10 rankings for two consecutive years.
For the uninitiated, CEIBS is the China Europe International Business School located in Shanghai, China. The school is so obscure that it is not even listed on any other reputed rankings.
This school showing up in the top 10 schools of the world only point to a serious problem with the way FT MBA rankings work.
We hope this has helped you understand how to figure out whether certain MBA rankings are reliable or not. Next, we discuss whether or not your should depend on MBA rankings.
3. Should You Rely On MBA Rankings?
So far, you have probably read enough to realize that MBA rankings, by definition, cannot provide sufficient information for you to base your decisions on.
As mentioned before, MBA rankings simply don’t provide enough personalization for you to base such an important decision on them. However, they do provide enough data to help you along.
Here’s what we suggest:
Instead of relying on lists created by third parties, create your own MBA rankings.
When our students are planning their MBA journeys, we recommend that they should divide their personal MBA rankings into four sections. Let us walk you through this process, too.
The division of your MBA rankings should be based on your chances of getting into the schools on the list. These are the four categories we would advise you to divide your list into:
These are the schools that you dream of getting into. Since this is your personal list of MBA programs, you can put in whatever you feel is appropriate. It could be based on rankings, average scores, whatever you like.
The idea is that these are the absolute toughest schools for you to get into but you’d like to study there anyway.
This category covers the schools you have a very tiny chance of getting admits from. List down every school that you think you might get into if you really push your luck.
As the name suggests, these are schools you have a pretty good chance of getting into. These are the schools that are within your reach.
With a good and well-written application, you should be able to get into these schools.
And finally, once again as the name suggests, the schools in this category are those you’ll definitely get into. These should be the programs that you wouldn’t mind settling for if nothing else works out.
We have had many students making their own lists of MBA rankings. Here’s an example:
When you’re making this list for yourself, feel free to take inputs from MBA rankings lists but don’t depend on them.
In the next section, we will analyze trends among Indian MBA applicants.
4. Trends Among Indian MBA Aspirants
One of the things you have to understand while figuring out which B-School you want to go to is this:
You are only competing with other Indian students, no matter where you choose to go.
In fact, this is such a big deal that most of the big B-Schools actually have a separate cutoff for India and China than the rest of the world. This is, of course, not officially declared, but it is how it works.
So, it’s important for you to keep track of the trends among Indian MBA aspirants.
For example, the current political atmosphere in the US of 2019, which is rather unfriendly towards immigrants in general, has made Indian MBA applicants flock to Canadian B-Schools.
As a result, the average GMAT scores for popular Canadian schools like Rotman, Schulich, and Ivey have suddenly risen pretty high.
Similarly, you will notice over time that there are international happenings affecting the behavior of Indian MBA applicants en masse. This affects your odds of getting into the schools you might be planning to apply to.
So, it’s a good idea to stay in touch with international news and think about how it might affect group behavior before writing out your personal MBA rankings list.
5. Best Business Schools in the World for Indian Students
Now, for the most interesting part of this article!
As an institution that is constantly in touch with our alumni, we get live feedback about a number of B-Schools around the world. It puts us in a unique position to understand which schools are better for Indian applicants.
That’s why we are compiling a list of schools around the world that are seen as being friendly towards Indian applicants.
To help you navigate this list more easily, we are dividing it geographically. It will span North America (US, Canada), Europe (UK, Germany, Others), and the Asia-Pacific Region (India, Singapore, Australia, Others).
For each section, we rank the best business schools in the region based on feedback from our network of students and alumni.
Here are the best business schools in the world for Indians, according to us:
- Rotman School of Management – University of Toronto
- Schulich School of Business – York University
- Smith School of Business – Queen’s University
- Ivey Business School – University of Western Ontario
- Special Mentions
Since the US has a huge number of good, Indian-friendly B-Schools (the current political scenario notwithstanding), we have divided this further by cities within the US.
- Leonard N. Stern School of Business – New York University
- Columbia Business School – Columbia University
- Booth School of Business – University of Chicago
- Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University
California (Bay Area)
- Stanford Graduate School of Business
- Haas School of Business – University of California Berkeley
- Anderson School of Management – University of California Los Angeles
- Brand value – Some schools are popular and well-ranked since they’ve been around for a very long time. These prestigious schools are the Tepper School of Business – Carnegie Mellon University, and the SC Johnson College of Business – Cornell University.
- Seattle, Washington – Seattle is the main hub for behemoths like Amazon, Boeing, Lewis-McChord and many more. The Michael G. Foster School of Business – University of Washington provides great opportunities to network and intern with these firms.
- Saïd Business School – Oxford University
- London Business School
- Cambridge Judge Business School
- Special Mentions
- Germany – University of Mannheim Business School
- Spain – IE Business School, IESE Business School
- Switzerland – International Institute for Management Development, University of St. Gallen School of Management
- Indian School of Business
- Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad
- Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore
- Indian Institute of Management – Calcutta
- Special Mentions
- Melbourne Business School – University of Melbourne
- Australian Graduate School of Management – University of New South Wales
The ROI of an executive MBA differs from the ROI of an average MBA by quite a lot.
For starters, this is because an executive MBA is designed to be an MBA for older candidates. It comes with a syllabus and teaching style geared for candidates with a significant amount of work experience.
Naturally, the returns it offers are different from those of a program designed for younger professionals with less experience.
Now, if you’re considering going in for an executive MBA, you’ve most probably already gotten comfortable with your professional life. At some point, you’ll ask yourself,
“Is this executive MBA worth it?”
To find an appropriate answer to this question, you will first need to consider what the real cost of doing an executive MBA will be. Then, you’ll need to quantify the outcomes before you can compare and figure out if the return on your investment will make the executive MBA worth it.
This article looks to help you figure out if the executive MBA will be worth your time and money. To that end, this article shall discuss:
Let us begin by understanding what ROI on an MBA really means.
1. What is the meaning of ROI for MBA?
Doing an MBA is an expensive proposition. But before we can jump into the return on investment, let us take a look at what exactly you’re going to invest in getting your MBA.
- Direct Cost
You will have to make a direct financial investment in the form of tuition fees. This is generally a sizeable amount if you’re going to a reputed institution.
Further, there will be indirect costs involved in enhancing your MBA experience. For example, you may have to spend on exchange programs, traveling for internships, and studying one of the semesters abroad.
- Secondary Cost
You’ll also need to spend a fair amount on getting a decent laptop, phone, and other gadgets. And all that is apart from the expenditure on getting the right books.
Additionally, there will be expenses on formal as well as informal meet-and-greet events you’ll need to attend. There may even be student club activities that require some investment or expenditure on your part.
Of course, you can get through B-School without doing any of this.
But these experiences are integral to making the best of your MBA and you’ll be missing out on HUGE opportunities if you aren’t willing to go the extra mile.
- Opportunity Cost
In case you’re not already familiar with the term ‘opportunity cost’, here’s what it means:
Opportunity Cost is the amount of wealth you stand to lose by not doing something. In this case, your opportunity cost would be the salary and perks that you will lose for a year or two when you take time off to do your MBA.
Including increments and incentives, this can come up to be quite a significant sum of money.
So, now you have an idea of what your investment in an MBA is going to look like. Here’s a quick overview:
If you’re already planning to forget about this MBA business, hold on a moment. There are many ways for you to get an MBA without burning a hole in your pocket. Take a look at our tips on how to finance your MBA and then decide if you still want to give up!
But maybe you’re wondering, “Why should I spend on getting an MBA when I could be making money instead?!”
Don’t throw in your hat yet – this next section will take you through how you can calculate the returns on the amount you’ll need to invest.
2. What are the Factors Impacting the ROI of an MBA?
Now, even if you’re Bill Gates (or Ambani, whatever you prefer) and you manage to finance your MBA on your own, you’re going to want to know what you’re getting in return for your time, effort and money.
It will be more so if you’re a mere mortal like us and will be taking a loan to get your MBA!
In fact, if you’re looking to take a loan, even the loan provider will be interested in knowing the salary you’ll get afterward, and how soon you can repay your debt.
Before we get to that bit though, here are a few things you should remember.
- Think Long-Term
- MBA vs. Non-MBA
- Consider the Intangibles
Getting an MBA is not like recharging your prepaid mobile number, where you can start expecting to use your phone immediately. You won’t get the results of an MBA that rapidly.
Think of an MBA like a house you’re building. Its value will appreciate in 10-15 years, and the ROI will also rise at a similar rate.
One of the critical things most people forget to consider when it comes to the ROI of an MBA is the opportunity cost of not doing an MBA.
Sure, you considered how much money you’d have to forfeit in order to do an MBA. But have you taken a moment to think about the rise in salary that you would have to forfeit if you didn’t do an MBA?
Statistically speaking, that is a pretty sizeable number!
One of the primary reasons many people choose to get an MBA is because they feel like they’re stuck in their careers. Whether it is a dead-end job or a line of work you’re just not interested in, an MBA frees you from having to be stuck with a job you don’t like.
How do you put a price on something like satisfaction?
And that is not the only benefit. You gain a strong and powerful network from an MBA as well.
Before you discount that, remember that after a certain point, your next job will no longer come from some job portal on the internet. You cannot become an MD or a CEO unless you’re referred, and that’s only one of the benefits of having a strong professional network.
Understand that there are many such intangible benefits to doing an MBA that you cannot calculate in numbers.
Now, since we’ve got that out of the way, let us get down to business and look into the factors affecting the ROI of an MBA.
- Job Function
- Career Path
Let’s say, for example, your job function is that of a technical support person. Within the first 5-6 years, you’ll begin to realize that there’s some kind of a glass ceiling you hit and you can’t move any further in your career.
This could happen in any job function, not necessarily just in tech support.
An MBA is a hammer with which you shatter that ceiling and change your job function. So, how badly you need that hammer is a factor that will affect the ROI of an MBA for you.
Whether you want to switch career paths or not will also massively affect the ROI of an MBA for you.
After a couple of years of working in one particular career, it becomes increasingly tougher to switch to something else. For example, if you’ve been a coder for 6 years, you can’t just ask for a product management job because you think your true potential will only be unleashed as a product manager.
That can happen if you get an MBA.
Getting an MBA is one of the only ways to smoothly transition out of an undesired career and into another that you enjoy.
Once again, your expectations with respect to the help an MBA can offer you to make a career shift will play a big role in how valuable you find the degree.
If you work in the consulting industry, an MBA is your ticket to go from being an Analyst at an industry-leading firm to working as an Associate in the very same place. But if you’re a research scientist who plans to continue working in that industry, the MBA will not help you much.
The point is, how much value your industry of choice places on an MBA is critical in figuring out the ROI of your MBA.
When trying to understand the ROI of an MBA, your country is usually your frame of reference. The continuity of calculating in the same currency surely helps quite a bit, but there’s more to it than that.
If you’re looking to move abroad, or even to only do your MBA abroad, everything changes.
The obvious issue here is currency, but you should also note that the number of unknowns with respect to insurance, employability and many more things, rises exponentially if you change countries at any point.
This is bound to affect your investment as well as the ROI of your MBA.
A critical thing to remember when you’re looking to calculate the ROI of an MBA is that 80% of the money you’re going to make will be in the last 10 years of your career. What this means for you is simple: plan your MBA in such a way that at the age of 40-45, you can leverage your position to make the big bucks.
So, in essence, your entire MBA journey should be aimed at preparing you for that last decade of your career.
3. What is the Comparative ROI of Popular MBA Programs?
In the previous section, we discussed calculating the ROI of an MBA in terms of which aspects will impact the ROI of an MBA for you. However, there’s one rather obvious and easy to calculate the kind of aspect that we’ll look at in this section.
That aspect is the percentage rise in salary of the alumni of popular MBA programs around the world.
According to the Financial Times MBA rankings, these are the percentages of average salary hikes among the alumni of the following schools:
- Indian School of Business – 187%
- Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad – 100%
- Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore – 124%
- INSEAD – 104%
- London Business School – 102%
- UCLA: Anderson – 102%
- University of Michigan, Ross School of Management – 108%
An important thing to note here is the methodology used to calculate these statistics. Half of the number for each School is calculated based on the absolute salary increase from the time before they got the MBA to three years after getting it. The other half is based on the percentage increase between pre-MBA and post-MBA salary.
4. How do I Calculate the Value of Intangibles?
Ultimately, the aim of this article was to provide you with the knowledge it takes to figure out what the ROI of an MBA is. We hope we have done that effectively. But before we part, here’s a thought we’d like to leave you with.
The one thing we highly recommend you consider while figuring out the ROI of an MBA for yourself is what Amazon founder Jeff Bezos calls the regret minimization framework.
It involves a simple test – put yourself in the shoes of an older version of yourself and check whether you’d regret doing or not doing something.
We recommend that apart from that from all this number crunching, you should take a moment to try out the regret minimization framework. Ask yourself, if you don’t do this MBA, will you regret it at the age of 50?
We hope you’ve found this article useful. We’ll be happy to hear your feedback or questions in the comments section below.
If you’ve recently decided to explore the possibility of getting an MBA, this is probably one of the peskiest questions you’re grappling with:
What’s the difference between MBA and PGDM and PGPx and Executive MBA and all the other million names there are?
Well, if you’re confused, we totally get it. Don’t worry, this article is being written specifically to explain this. In this article, we will discuss:
This may sound like more than you signed up for. But, trust us, if you want a proper answer to your question, there’s no better way to truly understand it.
1. The Birth of MBA
Let’s start at the very beginning: the first MBA ever offered.
The world’s first MBA program was created and offered by Harvard University in as early as 1908. However, Harvard was not the first Business School in the world. That was the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1881, followed by the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in 1900.
Tuck was the first to offer the world’s first advanced degree in business. It was called the Master of Science in Commerce. The MS in Commerce was the predecessor of the MBA.
The popularity of the MBA grew exponentially over time.
More universities started offering MBAs and setting up separate Business Schools to provide various business programs and courses.
As a concept, specialized business education proliferated through American Colleges first. Surprisingly, it came to India and Pakistan before it was introduced in Europe.
2. MBA and PGDM in India
Xavier’s Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) was India’s first business school established in 1949, but it didn’t offer an MBA. Instead, India’s first MBA was offered by the Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Management (IISWBM), Kolkata in 1953.
Notably, the MBA degree was introduced in Europe four years after this via INSEAD, France in 1957.
What complicates matters is one rather problematic rule put in place by the AICTE:
An institution cannot award a Master’s degree unless it is affiliated to a University.
First of all, in case you don’t know this, the AICTE is the All India Council for Technical Education. It is the Central regulator of all technical education offered in the country. So, technically speaking, MBAs and all management and business programs fall within their purview.
Secondly, that rule probably sounds like the government being cumbersome just because it can do so. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. The rule is meant to help regulate the quality of degrees handed out in the country.
Whether that rule has helped maintain standards or not is an entirely different matter.
The point is, institutions like IIMs, in spite of being the country’s best institutions in management and business education, were not allowed to use the word ‘MBA’ since that is a Master’s degree and IIMs are not affiliated to Universities.
That is where the problem began.
Institutions affiliated to Universities started offering MBAs. In the meanwhile, IIMs and other independent institutions simply took on other names for their advanced business education programs.
The first in a series of new business and management degrees to be offered in the country was the PostGraduate Diploma in Management, shortened to PGDM. This was soon followed by the PostGraduate Diploma in Business Administration, commonly known as the PGDBA.
Now, the differences between MBA and PGDM or PGDBA are:
- MBAs are postgraduate Master’s degrees whereas PGDM and PGDBA are both diplomas.
- MBAs have accreditation from the AICTE while the diplomas don’t.
- MBAs are likely to be regulated by University bodies while PGDMs and PGDBAs are regulated independently by the institutions offering them.
- MBAs need you to have a few years of work experience to get in. The diplomas can be completed immediately after graduating.
On the whole, the key takeaway for you should be that the caliber of an MBA depends on the University but the quality of a PGDM and a PGDBA depends on the institution offering it.
We wish it was as simple as MBA vs. PGDM/PGDBA but there’s actually a lot more to it than these three terms. Let’s take a look at that in the next part of this article.
3. Business Education Terminology in India
The scenario started to become more and more complicated with every new entrant into the advanced business education field.
- PGPx – IIM Ahmedabad
- PGP, EPGP, PGPEX, IPMX, and GMP
An interesting turn of events took place when IIM Ahmedabad introduced the PGPx.
IIM-A’s PGPx is a full-time mid-career program designed for working professionals, with the ‘x’ representing the word ‘executive’. As mentioned, taking a break from full-time work for higher education was not a concept in India, but this course changed that.
On the terminology front, though, this program created a problem.
Since it was being offered by the nation’s best institution, it came to be known as an executive MBA. A series of B-Schools offering MBAs went on to create ‘executive MBA’ programs modeled on IIM-A’s PGPx.
But the problem is this:
Anywhere else in the world, you’ll find that an executive MBA is a part-time program designed for people who want to continue working while pursuing higher education.
So, IIM-A’s PGPx is the reason we’re left with this confusion about whether an executive MBA is a full-time program or a part-time one.
To clarify, an executive MBA typically is a one-year full-time course in India and the same thing is a two-year part-time course everywhere else.
With the establishment of the Indian School of Business (ISB) in 2001, there came the PostGraduate Program (PGP) in management. In a strict sense, this PGP is neither a Master’s degree nor is it a diploma.
ISB’s PGP is simply a certificate that doesn’t have AICTE accreditation.
It is worth noting that there is no MBA program in the country that carries more weight than the ‘certificate programs’ and ‘diplomas’ offered by independent institutions like ISB and IIM-A.
Adding to the mass of available options and therefore complicating the scenario even further, IIM Bangalore introduced the EPGP and IIM Calcutta, the PGPEX.
To simplify this for you, both these programs are just one-year full-time executive MBAs that cannot be called MBAs since they’re offered by IIMs.
As if there wasn’t enough confusion already, IIM Lucknow went ahead to introduce the International Programme in Management for Executives (IPMX). Once again, this is nothing but an executive MBA with yet another name.
The same applies to the General Management Program (GMP) offered by the Xavier’s Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) in Jamshedpur.
Recent developments have brought some hope as far as clearing up this mess goes. The Parliament of India passed the IIM Act in December 2018, giving IIMs the right to offer Masters degree courses.
Whether the IIMs choose to offer official MBAs or continue to offer the various programs they currently do, remains to be seen.
We hope that this article has helped you figure out the difference between MBA and PDGM as well as the zillion other available options.
Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Let us take a guess:
You’re considering going in for an MBA and ISB is one of your top 5 dream B-Schools. The only thing is that you cannot quite figure out which ISB campus will be the best for you.
Wherever you go, you’re seeing “One School, Two Campuses” and that is not helping because – come on, there have got to be some differences, right?!
Well, here’s some good news:
You’re not wrong!
The management of the Indian School of Business has gone to exceptional lengths to maintain equal standards at both campuses. In all honesty, it is working very well. However, there continue to be some subtle differences between the two campuses.
Given that half the country falls between these two campuses, there are bound to be some differences between ISB Hyderabad and Mohali.
We spoke to ISB alumni from Hyderabad as well as Mohali to find out exactly how the two campuses of ISB differ.
Here’s what they had to say.
How would students of one campus know what the other is like?
It’s a fair question – if you study at ISB Hyderabad, how would you know what the Mohali campus was like, and vice-versa?
The answer is simple. At ISB, students don’t just stay at the same campus throughout.
“There are a bunch of cultural activities that we organize while studying at ISB. Typically, the event management teams have members from both campuses, so we inevitably end up flying to the other campus from time to time,” says Aishwarya Tipnis, who graduated from ISB Hyderabad in 2016.
Anand Dubey from the 2018 batch at ISB Mohali agrees with Tipnis. “I’ve lost count of the number of times some of us went over to stay at the other campus for a while,” he says. “There were so many reasons to do that – case competitions, courses, summits, term exchanges…”
The key takeaway from this is that ISB students spend considerable amounts of time on both campuses, putting them in an ideal place to tell us about the differences between ISB Hyderabad and Mohali.
Campus Amenities: ISB Hyderabad vs. ISB Mohali
The first thing we noticed when we looked to compare the two ISB campuses was that the Hyderabad campus was WAY larger than the Mohali one. So we asked the alums if that made a difference to the infrastructure and amenities available.
“Mohali being a newer campus had excellent maintenance. Sure, it is smaller, but it makes up for that by providing absolute state-of-the-art infrastructure. In the end, its size doesn’t matter,” Dubey says.
Tipnis is full of praise for the campus facilities ISB provides. “Mohali is a newer campus so the amenities are obviously newer, too. But the core support systems at both campuses were seamless. There’s free housekeeping at both campuses, which is a HUGE plus point. You wouldn’t believe how much time gets saved when you don’t have to bother about the upkeep of your room!”
The school appreciates the time and money its students have invested in getting their MBAs. It does what it can to ensure the most efficient use of that time.
ISB Hyderabad and Mohali both have 24-hr cafes, convenience stores, medical and emergency support, banking, postal, IT, printing and a plethora of other services constantly available on campus.
The idea is that students shouldn’t have to waste time traveling out of the campus for minor needs.
The amenities to ensure this are made available on both campuses.
Dubey points out, however, “Sure, we had the same stuff at our disposal on both the campuses but the staff and quality of service was better in Mohali.”
Which Campus Has Better Professors?
Apparently, when ISB employs professors, they’re not employed at any particular campus.
The reason being that every professor who teaches at ISB is expected to deliver lectures and oversee activities on both campuses equally.
This way, every course that is available at ISB Hyderabad is also available in Mohali. What’s more, the same professors teach these courses at both campuses, too!
“ISB takes the whole ‘One School, Two Campuses’ thing very seriously. There’s literally no point trying to look for academic differences between the campuses. They’ve taken every possible step to ensure there are none,” says Dubey.
And sure enough, we dig around only to find that he’s quite right.
So, we move on to explore other things.
What is the Campus Culture Like?
“There are tons of on-campus and off-campus activities at ISB. Most of them are organized by the student-run clubs, so it’s up to us whether we keep up the uniformity between campuses,” Dubey believes.
This is the first avenue for an actual distinction between the campuses that we’ve come across. It’s possible that one campus may have more enthusiastic students while the other may have more studious ones. That could affect the activities conducted at each campus.
“It’s possible but that hasn’t been my experience. As an institution, ISB actually encourages all-round development. For example, I got to perform at the Hard Rock Cafe during my time at ISB. On my own, I’d have to compromise on my career to get such an opportunity,” says Tipnis.
Even on a socio-cultural front, there appears to be no difference between ISB Hyderabad and Mohali.
Both campuses take steps to foster inclusivity, with Pride Marches and panel discussions about topics affecting the LGBTIQ community. Adopting no social or political stances of its own, ISB promotes open dialogue on all issues from all walks of life.
All in all, the environment on both campuses is unbiased and open to all.
“If you’re REALLY looking for differences, though, here’s one – there are more weekend getaways close to Mohali than there are to Hyderabad,” Tipnis observes. “Not that it makes much of a difference, honestly, because you don’t usually get a lot of time to yourself at ISB. The learning curve is quite steep!”
What that means for you is this:
Even though ISB Mohali affords you access to more getaways than ISB Hyderabad, you aren’t going to end up visiting many. Sorry!
This brings us to the next question.
Which Campus is More Expensive to Live On?
It’s but obvious that the tuition fees across campuses will remain constant.
But given the differences in the politico-economic conditions of the respective cities, we expect there to be some variations in costs of living.
“Basically, ISB is like a self-contained township. And that goes for both campuses. Whether you study at ISB Hyderabad or ISB Mohali, your living arrangements are on campus. Everything else you need is on campus, too,” says Dubey.
The only way costs of living in either city will affect you is if you don’t live on campus.
“It’s just so convenient to live on campus that almost nobody, including local students, would choose to live outside. Getting an MBA from ISB is a package deal – you’ll make the best of it only if you partake in everything that comes with being an ISB student,” Tipnis says.
And as long as you’re on campus, prices remain uniform. However, there is a difference in some of the finer aspects of things.
For example, ISB cannot yet control the climate. So, the obvious difference, then, is that winters in Mohali will be considerably colder and dryer than winters in Hyderabad.
This means you’ll need to prepare accordingly, which may mean more expenses for some.
On the contrary, Hyderabad is more humid and warm. Depending on the weather in which you’ve grown up, you may have some trouble adjusting to this.
Further, the food available at Hyderabad and Mohali respectively is also different.
“You won’t get Paradise Biryani in Mohali,” laughs Tipnis. “But you can go get some while you’re visiting!”
On a (slightly) more serious note, South Indian cuisine is very different from North Indian cuisine and some people may have serious issues adjusting to something they’re not used to eating. This may not be a big issue, but it might be worth considering for some people!
“If you’re talking about career opportunities, well, placements take place on the same campus for us all. So, that doesn’t matter,” Dubey says. “I guess the only time your campus location matters is when you’re looking for internships. But you can always opt for an exchange semester and do your internship from the other campus if you land an opportunity at some company there.”
This goes on to say that you have equal access to every internship opportunity that’s available to ISB students, irrespective of your campus location.
So… What’s the Verdict?
We’ve read many resources and interacted with a whole lot of people in addition to Aishwarya Tipnis and Anand Dubey. The sole purpose was to see if we could crack open ISB’s “One School, Two Campuses” claim.
During the course of writing this article, we came across some claims that ISB Mohali saw more guest lecturers than ISB Hyderabad. However, we’ve found no evidence to back this or other similar claims.
The differences between ISB Hyderabad and Mohali are minor, subtle and entirely non-academic in nature. How deeply they impact your ISB experience depends entirely on your ability to adjust.
On the whole, ISB truly is one school with two campuses, with everything that’s humanly possible being maintained equally on both campuses.
Our verdict on the matter is that ISB has excelled at enforcing its ‘One School, Two Campuses’ policy, and that there indeed is no considerable difference between ISB Hyderabad and Mohali.
North American Business Schools take all the top spots on any list of MBA rankings in the world. But the current US Government isn’t exactly popular for its attitude towards immigrants, so we totally understand if you don’t want to do your MBA in the US.
MBA aspirants around the world are beginning to look at options outside the US, so if you’re thinking about this, you’re not alone.
In fact, many Indian MBA aspirants are beginning to wonder if they should even get an MBA abroad or in India itself. Luckily, though, Canada presents a great opportunity – not only is it right next to the US, but it has a much more hospitable environment and can provide competitive alternatives to US B-schools.
If you are considering applying to Canadian B-Schools, you should know about a recent trend that will have a great impact on your chances of getting in. Given the socio-political environment in the US, thousands of high-scoring applicants are now flocking to Canadian B-Schools.
There’s a weird phenomenon in Canadian B-Schools because of this:
The best B-Schools in Canada typically received applications with GMAT scores in the 670-710 range. Now, with would-be Ivy Leaguers applying to B-Schools in Canada as backup options, the range of applicants’ scores has shot through the roof. However, a large number of these applicants get into B-Schools in the US and don’t end up accepting offers from Canada’s B-Schools.
As a result, even though the average score of the applicant pool has risen dramatically, the average score of the students who study in Canada’s B-Schools hasn’t seen much of a shift.
Fortunately, though, this phenomenon has had no effect on B-School rankings within Canada. The top 10 MBA programs in the country are:
- Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
- Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario
- Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University
- Schulich School of Business, University of York
- Smith School of Business, Queen’s University
- HEC Montreal
- Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia
- John Molson School of Business, Concordia University
- University of Alberta School of Business
- DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University
Here’s some more information on the specializations available at each of these, their locations, tuition fees, and what it takes to get in.
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Duration: 2 years
Average Work Experience: 4.6 years
Average GMAT Score: 658
Tuition Fees: $120,680 (Canadian)
Concentrations: Brand Management, Business Design, Consulting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Funds Management, Global Management, General MBA, Health Sector Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Investment Banking, Leadership and Change Management, Process and Supply Chain Management, Real Estate, Risk Management and Financial Engineering, Sustainability
Rotman has topped charts for decades. Known to be one of the most innovative B-Schools in Canada, Rotman was the first to introduce video essays to its admissions process. The critically acclaimed Self-Development Lab and flexible Internship Program have earned Rotman its stellar record as far as campus placements go.
For more details, visit Rotman’s MBA Page.
Location: London, Ontario
Duration: 1 year
Average Work Experience: 4.8 years
Average GMAT Score: 670
Tuition Fees: $106,500
Concentrations: You can choose from among five areas of focus, and your course will be tailored accordingly. The five areas of focus available are Finance, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Corporate Strategy and Leadership, and International Management.
The Ivey Business School is yet another chart-topper when it comes to MBA rankings in Canada. Their in-house career management team is internationally acclaimed for the work it does, which is just made better by the fact that 94% of Ivey graduates switch careers post-MBA.
For more information, visit Ivey’s MBA Page.
Location: Montréal, Québec
Duration: 20 months
Average Work Experience: 5 years
Average GMAT Score: 668
Tuition Fees: $89,000 (including international trip)
Concentrations: Global Strategy and Leadership, Finance, Business Analytics, and Marketing.
The Desautels Faculty of Management offers a variety of MBA programs, some of which look to integrate other fields of study with the MBA curriculum – like the Law MBA or the MD MBA programs. The McGill Case Competition Association and the McGill Business Consulting Group offer you excellent opportunities to learn in real-world scenarios.
For more information, visit McGill University’s MBA page.
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Duration: 20 months
Average Work Experience: 5 years
Average GMAT Score: 660
Tuition Fees: $101,900
Concentrations: Accounting; Arts, Media & Entertainment Management; Business & Sustainability; Business Consulting; Entrepreneurial Studies; Finance; Financial Risk Management; Financial Services; Global Mining Management; Global Retail Management; Health Industry Management; International Business; Marketing; Operations Management & Information Systems; Organization Studies; Real Estate & Infrastructure; Social Sector Management; Strategic Management
This is easily one of the most recognized names on the list of top MBA colleges in Canada. It is known for being highly student-centric, offering flexible study options so that you can take classes at the Keele campus or at the Toronto satellite campus. The most interesting part for most students is the two-term strategic consulting project where you get to work with clients on real business problems and solutions.
For more details, visit Schulich’s MBA Page.
Location: Kingston, Ontario
Duration: 1 year
Average Work Experience: 5 years
Average GMAT Score: 650
Tuition Fees: $97,000
Concentrations: Consulting, Digital Transformation, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Finance, Management Analytics, Marketing & Sales
Irrespective of the specialization you choose to go for, the Smith MBA requires you to undertake a mandatory Individual Project Course. As a part of this, you can work with an existing company to help deal with real-world business situations. Alternatively, you’re expected to come up with a new venture of your own. Often, these projects can even be launched as start-ups with the help of the Smith School of Business.
For more details, visit Smith’s MBA Page.
6. HEC Montréal
Location: Montréal, Québec
Duration: 1 year
Average Work Experience: 7 years
Average GMAT Score: 625
Tuition Fees: $34,050
Concentrations: Entrepreneurship; Finance, Strategy, and Consulting; Markets and Business Intelligence; General Management and Leadership; International Management; Digital Enterprise
HEC Montréal has 300 faculty members who are industry experts from various walks of life. The popular B-school offers an optional Global Immersion Program, which is integral to making the very best of the HEC Montréal full-time MBA. The school also has an excellent placement record with an average wage increase of 28% across the board.
For more details, visit HEC Montréal’s MBA page.
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Duration: 16 months
Average Work Experience: 5 years
Average GMAT Score: 650
Tuition Fees: $80,060
Concentrations: Finance; Product and Service Management; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; or you can create a customized concentration for yourself
UBC Sauder is one of the few B-schools that allows you to customize and create your own concentration during the latter half of your 16-month MBA program. High on the customization factor, UBC Sauder has a multitude of self-development options headed by the Business Career Centre. Services available include one-on-one career coaching and guidance lectures and workshops.
For more details, visit Sauder’s MBA page.
Location: Montréal, Québec
Duration: 16 months
Average Work Experience: 5.5 years
Average GMAT Score: 635
Tuition Fees: $50,528
Concentrations: You are expected to choose topics from the following themes to create your own concentrations – Business Analytics; Entrepreneurship and Family Firms; People and Organizations; Consulting and Strategy; Globalization; and Experiential.
Only 39% of an average MBA batch at the John Molson School of Business is made up of Canadian students. Clearly popular among international MBA students. A convenient class scheduling system allows you to pick out your own schedule, with the option to choose afternoon and evening classes per your convenience.
For more details, visit Molson’s MBA page.
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Duration: 20 months
Average Work Experience: 4.6 years
Average GMAT Score: 613
Tuition Fees: $57,909
Concentrations: Energy Finance; Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Operations & Business Analytics; Public Sector and Healthcare Management; and Strategy & Consulting
An MBA from the University of Alberta’s School of Business equips you with the right knowledge to help you succeed in all kinds of environments – from large corporates to start-ups. The mandatory Capstone Project at the end of the program requires you to work with an external organization, helping them handle a critical real-life problem.
For more details, visit Alberta’s MBA page.
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Duration: 20 months
Average Work Experience: 3 years
Average GMAT Score: 630
Tuition Fees: $82,000
Concentrations: Accounting and Financial Management Services; Finance; Health Services Management; Strategic Business Valuation; Strategic Marketing; and Data Analytics.
Housed in the Ron Joyce Centre at the Burlington campus, the DeGroote MBA provides a shuttle service from the main campus at Hamilton. The MBA is available in multiple formats, but the full-time program lasts a minimum of 20 months. An in-house career management service hosts company information sessions, mock interview nights, and one-on-one coaching sessions to help you take full advantage of the course.
For more details, visit DeGroote’s MBA page.
Typically, people choose to go in for an MBA because of two reasons: one is in pursuit of pay hikes and another is in pursuit of a career change. An MBA is known to be one of the safest ways to switch careers smoothly and it nearly always guarantees a higher income than before.
So, whether you’re looking to do an MBA for these reasons or for any others, you will need a solid profile to get an admit from any good MBA college in Canada or anywhere else around the world. Get your profile evaluated for an MBA to get a better understanding of where you stand!
Here’s a scenario:
You enjoy your job but you want to do more with your life. You really want to do an MBA but you simply cannot afford to take two years off from work. What do you do?
It’s simple: you opt for an accelerated MBA program!
We know there’s a belief that one year MBAs are less valuable than two-year ones. But here’s the thing:
A one year MBA is exactly equal to any two year MBA.
Which one you should do depends almost entirely on what your academic background and work experience are. A one year MBA is just an accelerated version of the usual two-year program. The accelerated program normally relies on your existing knowledge of business while the two-year MBA takes the time to teach you the basics before moving further.
A one-year MBA is far more rigorous than the traditional two year MBA in terms of the pace and topics covered. This makes it ideal for anyone who knows their post-MBA goals clearly. You can read more on how to choose between a one-year and a two-year MBA in our post about the topic.
If you’ve decided to go for an accelerated MBA, you are probably finding that they are not very common in the US.
Worry not, we’re here to help!
Here is a list of the top 10 one-year MBA programs in the US:
- Stern School of Business, New York University
- Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
- SC Johnson School of Technology, Cornell University
- Goizueta Business School, Emory University
- Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh
- Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California
- Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame
- F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College
- Southern Methodist University (SMU) – Cox School of Business
- Pepperdine University – Graziadio School of Business and Management
Read on to find out what it takes to get into them!
Location: New York, New York
Duration: 12 months
Average Work Experience: 5.8 years
Average GMAT Score: 689
Tuition Fees: $95,100
Concentrations: Accounting; Banking; Business Analytics; Corporate Finance; Digital Marketing; Economics; Entertainment, Media & Technology; Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Finance; Financial Instruments & Markets; Financial Systems & Analytics; FinTech; Global Business; Law & Business; Leadership & Change Management; Luxury Marketing; Management; Management of Technology & Operations; Marketing; Product Management; Quantitative Finance; Real Estate; Sustainable Business & Innovation; Strategy; Supply Chain Management & Global Sourcing
With a power-packed Tech MBA Advisory Board including the heads of Citigroup, Alphabet, and BuzzFeed, the Stern Tech MBA is designed to give you a sharp edge over all competition. The program is created as a crossover between technology and business, capitalizing on one of the greatest needs of the hour, which is a workforce of tech professionals who understand business.
Running from May to May, the course involves multiple hands-on learning experiences across New York City and Silicon Valley. Students have the opportunity to work with any of the companies that are on the in-house Tech MBA Advisory Board. Surely, this is work experience to kill for!
Location: Evanston, Illinois
Duration: 12 months
Average Work Experience: 5.1 years
Average GMAT Score: 732
Tuition Fees: $98,720
Concentrations: Accounting, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Operations, Strategy, and Managing Organizations
Unlike most other one year MBA programs, this is not a two-year course condensed into one. It is designed specifically to be a one-year course. Based on your existing business acumen, it allows you to bypass the core business subjects and jump straight into the deep end.
If you choose not to elect any of the available concentrations, you’ll get an MBA in “General Management”.
Kellogg also provides ‘pathways’ for students who are interested in building expertise in emerging areas and evolving industries. A ‘pathway’ is a sequence of extra courses that are meant to enhance certain skill sets and expertise in certain industries as per demand.
You can pursue any number of pathways and go as deep as you like into each one.
Location: Ithaca, New York
Duration: 12 months
Average Work Experience: 5.6 years
Average GMAT Score: 690
Tuition Fees: Summer term – $36,362; Fall/Spring Term – $66,290
Concentrations: Consulting, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Global Management, Sustainable Global Enterprise.
Cornell is a part of the Ivy League, which speaks for itself.
The SC Johnson School of Technology offers an optional immersion program that focuses on performance learning. This provides you with hands-on experience under actual business conditions, which is more than what you’ll learn in theory. It can’t hurt to have that on your CV, either!
As a part of this course, you will have opportunities to study with the Evening as well as the two-year MBA batches from the university’s NYC campus. Johnson Cornell also offers a one-year Tech MBA which runs from the New York City campus.
Designed for tech professionals, this program focuses on developing its students’ business skills. If you are a STEM professional, this could be your ticket to a seat at the upper management table!
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Duration: 12 months
Average Work Experience: 6 years
GMAT 80% Range: 570-710
Tuition Fees: $95,853
Concentrations: Goizueta offers 20 concentrations including Corporate Finance, Decision Analysis, General Marketing, Healthcare Consulting, Investment Banking, and Management Consulting
Goizueta’s one year MBA program was named by Forbes at the top of its list of courses that offer Fewest Years to Payback in 2017.
The school also offers an optional IMPACT program which provides experiential learning opportunities. You get to work with some seriously big and famous companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Mercedes-Benz, Delta Airlines and Carters, Inc.
Besides – in case you missed it – there are over 20 available concentrations to pick from!
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Duration: 11 months
Average Work Experience: 4.6 Years
Average GMAT Score: 621
Concentrations: Finance, Information Systems and Technology Management, Marketing, Operations, Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management, Strategy
You’ll need to have at least two years of work experience to apply for this course.
Katz focuses heavily on experiential learning, so you can develop real-world business acumen.
The school has a multitude of co-curricular activities including case competitions, wherein groups of students compete to find the best ways to deal with real-world business scenarios. There’s also The Katz Invitational, where the best of the best are invited for a harder version of case competitions.
Katz also offers a Consulting Field Project and a Management Simulation Capstone, both designed to provide you with opportunities to learn in real-world situations.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Duration: 12 months
Average Work Experience: 11-12 years
GMAT 80% Range: 570-710 / Median GMAT: 630
Tuition Fees: $112,000 (Tuition & Program Fee)
This is designed to be a mid-career course, which should explain the high average age and work experience.
There are more international than American students in this program. The creators of the course say that it was created to function like a mini United Nations so that students developed a holistic, global perspective. The IBEAR MBA looks to make its students future-ready.
As a student of this course, you’ll have access to Marshall School electives. This means you can create your own concentrations during the course of the program!
Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
Duration: 12 months
Average Work Experience: 5.3 years
GMAT 80% Range: 550-700
Tuition Fees: $75,768
Concentrations: Business Analytics, Business Leadership, Consulting, Corporate Finance, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Investments, Marketing
You will need to have completed three credit hours of financial accounting and three credit hours of statistics from an accredited university to be eligible for admission into this course.
One of the best parts of this program is its student-to-faculty ratio. It’s literally as low as 3:1! Can you imagine how much personal attention you get because of this? What further sweetens the deal is that 81% of the students receive fellowships.
With all its available concentrations, this sounds to us like quite an interesting program to take up!
Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts
Duration: 12 Months
Average Work Experience: 5.8 years
Average GMAT Score: 599
Tuition Fees: $82,496
Concentrations: Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Management, Marketing
An interesting fact about this course is that you can get a GMAT waiver. If you get or have a Certificate in Advanced Management (CAM), you’re eligible for a GMAT waiver, meaning you won’t need a GMAT score to get into this course.
Interestingly, you also become eligible for another added benefit: if you are a CAM holder, you may be allowed to apply your CAM credits to the Babson MBA once enrolled. Not many programs offer such GMAT and credit benefits, which makes this quite unique.
What’s even better is that if you opt for this course, you will have access to the same courses, experiential learning, and academic centers that are used by the students of the two-year MBA program.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Duration: 12 months
Average Work Experience: 4 Years
Average GMAT Score: 636
Concentrations: Accounting, Finance (with further specializations in Corporate Finance, Energy Finance and Investments), ITOM: Business Analytics, ITOM: Information & Operations, Management, Marketing (with further specialization in Customer Engagement), Real Estate, Strategy & Entrepreneurship, General Business
To be eligible for this course, you’ll need to have an undergraduate degree in business, economics, or any other quantitative field.
Cox allows you to pick a minor subject along with your major, so you have an option to develop your knowledge and skills in two fields instead of one. It’s a great opportunity to study a subject that is related to your major. If you do this, you can find unique insights and applications to this extra knowledge in the real world.
There are a lot of student clubs at Cox, from industry-centric to hobby-based groups. The class tends to be a healthy mix of nationalities and gender, which will give you good exposure, too.
Location: Malibu, California
Duration: 12 months / 15 months
Average Work Experience: 5 Years
Average GMAT Score: 648
Tuition: $24,875 per term
Concentrations: Finance and Marketing (12 months); Digital Innovation Systems; Dispute Resolution; Entertainment, Media, and Sports Management; Entrepreneurship; Finance and Marketing (15 months)
You will need an undergraduate degree in business to get into the 12-month program. If you don’t have this, you can enroll for the 15-month option. Both programs require a minimum of three years in work experience.
There are many differences between the two programs apart from the concentrations available, too. In the 12 month program, you can take one week to study abroad. The 15-month program takes an entire trimester to study abroad.
The most interesting part of studying at Pepperdine is the SEER Certificate. It is an optional course that stands for “Socially, Environmentally and Ethically Responsible” (SEER) Business Strategy. in a world increasingly interested in climate change and human welfare, this could be a pretty big star on your belt.
Indeed an impressive collection of courses to pick from, wouldn’t you say?
Well, we sure think so. At CrackVerbal, we help thousands of students get into their dream B-schools every year – we know how many would be dying to get into any of these programs. We also know how pressing the competition is and how taxing the application process can be.
That is why we offer MBA Application Services that are designed to take the stress off your shoulders. Whether you’re trying to figure out which B-school you should apply to or fretting over how to prepare for your MBA Admission Interview – CrackVerbal has you covered!
Head over to our MBA Consulting platform to get a better idea of how we can help you. Reach out to us if you are in doubt, we always have something for everyone!
In conversation with Darshana Sivakumar, who got an admit to the ISB Young Leaders Programme!
Hi Darshana, first of all congratulations on your admit to the Indian School of Business under the Young Leaders Programme! This programme is only into its second year now, so how did you get to know about it?
Thank you so much. I initially got to know about this program through some of my friends who applied for the first batch of the ISB YLP. I interned with some of them last summer. Later, I came to know more about it through several websites, blogs and online info sessions.
The GMAT is a pre-requisite for the course. Would you please share your GMAT score with us?
I scored 740 on the GMAT!
Great! While still in college, how did you manage your GMAT preparation?
I prepared for the GMAT for about a month on my own. The Official Guide for GMAT was what I primarily used. I didn’t have much of a problem with the quantitative part of the GMAT, but the verbal part was a little tricky. Hence, I concentrated more on the Verbal section, giving the Verbal and Quant preparation an 80-20 split.
I also took several full-length practice tests, which gave me the stamina to give my best on the day of the actual test.My general suggestion for YLP applicants is to not stretch GMAT preparation for too long – especially because there is not too much of time gap between stage 1 results and stage 2 deadline (Unless you plan on starting your GMAT preparation earlier). Focused, dedicated preparation for about a month or two will suffice.
Also, the GMAT score is not the only component of the stage 2 application. Aspirants must also give importance to the essays that bring out their personality and achievements.
There are a lot of components in the entire selection process- essays, a video, recommendations, interview etc. How did you go about planning your application and what did you think was the toughest part of the whole process? Any tips for other aspirants on how to make a winning application?
The application is a three stage process. In the first stage, applicants need to submit a one page resume, an essay and video response, along with a listing of extra-curricular interests and achievements. In the second stage, the GMAT score, three essays and two recommendations need to be submitted. The third stage comprises a personal interview and case study at the ISB campus.
For every stage, I ensured that I had enough time to think over the requirements of the stage and what I wanted to put down on my application.
In the second stage, after I had given the GMAT, I had about three weeks to work on my essays. That gave me enough time to collect my thoughts and write down several drafts of my essays, which I reviewed over and over again, till I was completely satisfied with what I had put down. I got my essays reviewed by the CrackVerbal team, friends and family members too.
My recommendations came from a mentor at a company I interned in, and my professor at college. It is important to choose recommenders who know you well. Also, educate your recommenders about your application, essays, etc., without influencing their recommendations.
For the interview, I went through my entire application thoroughly. Every aspect of your application is a reflection of yourself, and it’s important for you to be able to talk about and substantiate each and every aspect. I also spent a lot of time getting to know about specifics of the YLP program and ISB – the curriculum, exchange programs, faculty, and other features of ISB that make it a unique, world renowned institution. This helped me to better understand why I wanted to be a part of the YLP program.
How did CrackVerbal help you through the different stages of the MBA application process?
I came across CrackVerbal through an online forum. I attended one of Arun’s webinars on the YLP and GMAT, which was very useful. After taking up the GMAT, I penned down my essays. That’s when I decided to approach CrackVerbal, to see if I was moving in the right direction.
It’s very important to be original in the essays and not let other people influence what you have to say in them. However, it is also important to get feedback on what you are missing and how to improve. The CrackVerbal team did a great job at that!
While still in your third year of college, what motivated you the most to decide upon doing an MBA, that too under such a scheme where you’ll be joining a class of students who already have an average at least 5 years of industry experience under their belts?
I was actually in my fourth year when I decided to apply for the YLP. I’m currently pursuing an integrated Masters degree in Software Engineering (5 year course) at PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore. As a part of our curriculum at PSG Tech., we are expected to do two industry or research based projects, each for six months, in our seventh and tenth semesters.
Due to the structure of my program, I got the opportunity to intern in the technology division of an investment bank for six months during my seventh semester. It was during this internship that I observed the roles that my managers played in the firm. The roles fascinated me! This was one of the reasons that drove me to think about higher studies in management. I also spoke to several MBA graduates from various universities, some from ISB.
I spoke to them about their MBA experience and learning, their pre and post MBA roles, and discovered that what I want to do in future can be accelerated by a top MBA program like the ISB YLP. I believe that the fact that I will be joining a class of students who will be from diverse backgrounds and having different years of industry experience in their belts will give me a great opportunity to learn from their wide and varied experience.
Now that your seat in ISB’s Class of 2016 is reserved :), what are your plans for the two years before the actual date of joining the PGP?
Professionally, I will be working in the technology division of an investment bank over the next two years. Apart from that, I hope to spend time pursuing my other interests like artwork, playing Frisbee and so on.
A big thank you from us for taking time out for this! One last question- what advice would you give to future applicants to the ISB YLP?
Thank you! I would like to end by saying that it is important to be original throughout the application process. People often believe that clichéd goals for an MBA aspirant need to be stressed on to get into a top MBA program. I don’t think that’s true. In fact, programs look for originality and diversity. Try to bring out whoever you are, just the way you are, to the Admissions Committee.
The Admissions Committee will definitely see through clichéd applications. Also, make sure that you substantiate every aspect of your qualities and achievements. Most importantly, spend time on your application. Learn all you can about the YLP program. Understand why you want to do an MBA. The entire application process is a wonderful experience, and will help you get to know yourself better.
Good luck, future aspirants! 🙂
If you have any questions about the Young Leader’s Program at ISB, leave a comment below!
Want to know if you too can make it to the ISB?Get your Profile Evaluated!
A lot of MBA aspirants who come to us only write MBA essays because the schools they apply to demand it.
If that sounds like the obvious reason to you, too, then you’re in the right place.
There’s so much more to MBA essay writing than just the process, though! If you are only writing it because you have to, it’ll never have the effect it should have.
Instead, if you figured out the real reason you should be writing one, you’ll do MUCH better.
So, here’s the deal:
Your MBA essay is the only impression you’re going to make on Admission Committees (AdComs) when they decide whether you’re worth an interview or not.
You must’ve heard the phrase that says your first impression is your last impression – this is largely true, especially if you don’t do a good enough job on your essays, because your application will simply be dismissed. You’ll be left with no chance to make any further impressions.
That’s why you simply HAVE to write a great MBA essay. Here’s what you need to know:
Do you have a goal in life?
We’re sure you do. And that is exactly what your MBA essay needs to reflect.
Of all the things you need to do during the B-school application process, writing an MBA essay can prove to be quite a complicated task for most applicants. We’re sure you’re here because you aren’t absolutely confident about crafting a winning essay.
Worry not, for we are here to help!
In this article, we will discuss the three basic types of essays along with sample questions from B-Schools:
So, let’s get straight to it!
1. What are your goals?
The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
What are your long-term goals?
Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize, what alternative directions have you considered? (500 words each)
Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. It should be written as if you were talking to someone at a social gathering detailing your career path with the rationale behind your choices. Discuss your short and long term career aspirations. (350 words)
Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
What are your short- and long-term goals?
Why do you need an MBA to achieve those goals?
Why are you interested in Tuck specifically? (500 words)
Emory University Goizueta Business School
Define your short-term post-MBA career goals. How are your professional strengths, past experience and personal attributes aligned with these goals? (300 words)
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University
What are your short and long term goals and how do you see the Cornell MBA enabling you to achieve both? (500 words)
2. Why MBA?
Fisher College of Business
Why do you wish to earn an MBA? Why do you wish to earn an MBA from The Fisher College of Business? How will the Fisher MBA program assist you in achieving your immediate career goals? (750 words)
Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
Why Smith? Why an MBA? Why now? Be sure to include your short-term and long-term career goals. (300 words)
Please tell us about an experience that inspired or confirmed your decision to pursue an MBA. (500 words)
What do you expect to gain from the PGPX Programme at IIMA? (500 words)
Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University
Describe your short-term and long-term goals, and how the MBA will help you to achieve those goals. Include in your discussion: Why is now the appropriate time to pursue an MBA and why are you interested in obtaining a Rice MBA? (750 words)
Since this is undoubtedly one of the most frequently asked MBA essay questions, we thought it deserved its own separate blog post. Take a look at our post on how to handle your Why MBA essay for more.
3. Why You?
Said Business School, Oxford
What should Oxford expect from you? (500 words)
Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
List 3-5 attributes or characteristics that best describe you. (3-5 word maximum)
Olin Business School, The Washington University
At Olin, we pride ourselves on our close-knit community and aim to know every student by name and story. In an essay of no more than 500 words, please introduce yourself as you would to your future Olin classmates. (500 words)
Mendoza College of Business
At Mendoza, we encourage our students, faculty, and staff to Ask More of Business. We embrace a threefold commitment to achieve these goals:
Tell us about an experience in which you lived out one of those values. (Two double-spaced pages)
Indian School of Business (ISB)
If we were to admit just one more student, make a compelling argument as to why that student should be you by describing an (only one) achievement in your personal/ professional life that you are most proud of. What did you do that sets you apart from others? What did you learn? (400 words)
These essay topics are given with the intention of getting to know the real you (not what’s on your resumé but who you are, over and above the details in the application form).
These essays need to be thought out and written with great care. MBA essays help your personality shine through. They communicate why you are a great fit for the school, how you can make the most of your time at college and what you can give back to the university.
We hope that these sample MBA essay questions will help you direct your efforts in a more effective and efficient manner.
Let us know your questions, thoughts, and ideas on this topic in the comments section below!
Depending on the way you look at it, this can be a highly technical or philosophical question.
There can be two reasons for you to look for the ‘why MBA’ answer: you’re either wondering how to answer the why MBA SOP question or you’re wondering why to do MBA in the first place.
In either case, you’ve come to the right place.
This is a seriously tricky question. There can be no right or wrong answer, because after all, this is a subjective question. Yet, somehow, you’re expected to give an answer that appeals to the AdComs.
How would you know what the AdComs want you to say?!
Don’t worry, we know. And we’re about to tell you, too!
In this article, we will discuss:
This article will attempt to answer all your questions around doing an MBA degree.
Why MBA is Important
This profoundly philosophical question is so complicated that people fail to find answers even after getting an MBA. Heck, it makes the Kennedy assassination look like an open and shut case.
So, seriously. Why is an MBA important?
To find the answer, firstly, let’s look at what an MBA helps you achieve. An MBA is, at best, a “general management” program. It is not a specialization even if you choose to take up some electives during the second year.
In short, an MBA makes you a ‘generalist’.
And that’s a good thing! Here’s why:
Let’s presume that after completing your MBA, you get to be a CEO, CIO, CFO, CTO… in short, any CXO.
Your MBA will have equipped you with general tools and tricks of the trade, so you can manage multiple teams of specialists.
At that level, you don’t need to know the nitty-gritties of Company Law or the fundamentals of Bookkeeping, but you do need to know how those affect your business in a general sense.
You need to be able to pick up a balance sheet or a P&L statement and go a step beyond the obvious to figure out subtle implications.
You are not expected to understand each account the marketing team is handling, but you should be able to look at a sales graph and understand what is going right, and more importantly, what is going wrong.
This is exactly what an MBA prepares you to do.
There’s another huge reason why MBA is important:
If you get your MBA from a top school, it adds a lot of weight to your credentials and it gives you a fantastic opportunity to develop a global professional network.
For example, someone from IIM-A need not “prove” himself as hard as someone from say Mahaveer Jain Institute of Management Studies.
An MBA from a top institute instantly grants you the credibility that takes any average MBA graduate years of hard work to earn.
Quite often, people tend to go in for MBAs because of two reasons: they hate their current jobs or they want to make more money.
Most times, it’s a combination of both.
In any case, you can’t put this in a statement of purpose for MBA. Honestly speaking, you shouldn’t really opt for an MBA for such superficial reasons, either.
You need more grounded, well-thought-out reasons, like these 7 reasons to do an MBA.
There can be many more reasons that may prompt people to pursue an MBA. Generally, if you think about it enough, it tends to boil down to one of these seven reasons.
After you have figured out in your head why you want to do an MBA, you need to get down to writing your statement of purpose for MBA. Invariably, you will encounter one variant or another of the question, “Why MBA?” in your MBA Application essays.
How to Write the “Why MBA” Essay
Now for the real reason you must have started reading this blog: the Statement of Purpose for MBA.
Yes, we know that most candidates just want to know how to find the appropriate Why MBA answer and move on with applications. Handling MBA Applications is one of our main services, after all.
So, let’s jump straight in, shall we?
There are five steps to writing an awesome Why MBA essay:
1. Identify Your Reason
The most important part of writing the SOP for MBA is having a clear picture. Before you go about explaining your reasons to an AdCom, you need to know for yourself why you want to go for an MBA.
Forget all the reasons to do an MBA that we have listed in this article. You need to think of your own reason independently. Once you find your reason, write it down in a single sentence and really think about it.
Ask yourself: is this really why I want to do an MBA? Is there any other way I can resolve my problem instead of doing an MBA? Why don’t I try other alternatives, why is an MBA my choice?
The thing is, nothing can replace actual conviction in an MBA Statement of Purpose. AdComs go through thousands of SOPs every year – they can sniff it out if you are not being sincere in your SOP.
You can only sound sincere if you’re being honest with yourself.
That’s why it is important to take this step quite seriously and think about all the possibilities. Simply knowing the answer is not enough. You need to be sure that opting for an MBA is your solution of choice and you need to know why you think it is your best option.
2. List Out Relevant Work Experience
Once you have figured out why you want to pursue MBA, proceed to go through your CV and make a list of all the factors that support your decision to do an MBA.
Make it a point to think about everything you’ve left out of your CV, too.
You may have left some experience out of your CV, especially if it is irrelevant to your present job profile. For example, if you were the captain of your college football team, you may not have included that in your CV for a software development position. However, that stint as captain highlights your leadership skill – an important trait in an MBA candidate.
Enlist all such experiences that you can think of – whether they’re in your CV or not – which can strengthen your profile as an MBA aspirant.
3. Decide Which Skills You Want To Highlight
You may notice that the picture has already started to become clear by the time you finish the first two steps. Now, assemble your experience and reasons to do an MBA in bullet points and on paper, in front of you.
When you can see your purpose and experience laid out before your eyes, it gets easier to figure out which of your skills are relevant to the point you want to make.
Go ahead and take a call on which of your skills you want the AdComs to focus on.
For example, let’s assume you have led your college’s debate team to victory in a few competitions, been the captain of your football team, and earned a few accolades in theatre and painting. All of these achievements demonstrate your skills, but your debate and leadership skills are more relevant to your MBA application than your thespian and fine art skills.
Accordingly, select the experiences and qualifications you will elaborate on to demonstrate the skills most relevant to your MBA application.
4. Draw Up A Skeleton
So you have all your raw material ready: skills, experience, achievements, what have you – basically everything you’re going to need.
Now, we move to the tougher part – the actual writing of your “Why MBA” essay.
But here’s the thing:
If you start writing your essay directly at this point, chances are that you will end up sounding incoherent. The best way to avoid this is to make a skeleton structure of your essay before you begin to write it out.
Arrange the bullet points in the order in which you want to talk about them. Your instinct will most probably be to arrange everything in chronological order, but we’d suggest that you reconsider this. You could instead sort your achievements and experience by skill.
Let us explain with an example.
You could narrate the story of your life, so to speak, by starting with everything you did in college followed by your work-related achievements and personal development activities. That would follow a chronological order, as per your CV.
Or, you could try this:
Begin each paragraph by stating that you possess a certain skill, say you are a good and experienced leader. Then go on to describe achievements and experiences that demonstrate your ability as a leader, and that can go in a chronological order. For example, you can say, “I did (A) while I was in college, then went on to achieve (B) within the first year of my first job, (C) during the second year,” and so on.
5. Flesh It Out, Edit & Finalise
Once you have your essay skeleton in place, you can start writing out the details that will add mass to it.
The most important thing to remember here is that it is very easy to get carried away. You could get caught up in the flow or the emotion and end up writing 3,000 words of which 2,500 have nothing to do with the skeleton.
Now, don’t be hard on yourself:
You can’t expect to write a precise and perfect 250 word essay in your very first attempt unless you’ve done this a bunch of times before.
Go in assuming that this process is going to consist of multiple rounds of editing your work. All you need to do is ensure you stick to the structure and follow the flow you’ve decided upon.
If you don’t do this, you’ll likely end up wasting a LOT more time than necessary on this.
No matter how long your initial draft ends up being, the next step is to edit it and ensure that it comes as close to the word limit as possible. Ideally, try to keep it within 5-6 words short of the limit – unless you can write exactly as many words as you’re allowed to.
Don’t make this mistake:
Many applicants assume that it’s a good idea to write far fewer words than the given word limit. This is a bad idea.
Your MBA essay – whether in written format or as a video essay – is the only way an AdCom gets to know you before they meet you. Take advantage of everything you have at your disposal to make the best impression possible.
Eliminate unnecessary detail, to be sure, but don’t overdo it. You essay shouldn’t look like a list of aims and achievements, it should have a human element to it.
End your essay on a high note – write about your hopes and aspirations, and add a touch of humility, showing your respect for the school you’re applying to.
If you follow these steps properly, you should end up with a rather fantastic MBA application essay by the end.
Take a look at what CrackVerbal’s founder and CEO Arun Jagannathan has to say about this:
Am I Ready for an MBA?
Now, we’d like to move on to talking about that doubt you might have in the pit of your stomach.
It’s all good and dandy to be taking the GMAT and applying to B-Schools because you think you need an MBA but are you in the right place in life to take the most out of the MBA experience?
Even after you find the appropriate reason to do an MBA and make it sound very convincing on paper, you might be wondering if this is the right time for an MBA.
Don’t worry, most people have this question in their minds.
An MBA is a huge decision. It would be abnormal not to question whether you’re doing the right thing at the right time. It’s kind of like getting married, in a way. You will ask yourself if you’re truly ready for it even when you’ve got the perfect partner, the perfectly planned wedding, the perfect life – the doubt is totally expected and normal.
Having said that, you shouldn’t dismiss this doubt when it comes to your mind.
It’s worth putting some more thought into the game. After all, the more you think about this, the more convinced and confident you will be at your MBA interview. That, in turn, will raise your chances of getting an admit.
The answer to, “Am I ready for an MBA?” won’t just come to you out of the blue because it is not just a feeling. It is a decision.
Like every major decision in life, choosing to pursue an MBA requires determination. It comes with lots of self-doubt and uncertainty. You need to have the strength of character to put aside your insecurities and doubts and maintain a clear mind that is ready to live fully in the present.
You’ll be able to make the best of your MBA journey if you’re able to put everything else aside and focus 100% on the experiences and learning opportunities that your MBA will bring your way.
So really, the only thing you need to know in order to decide whether you’re ready for an MBA is whether you’re capable of being fully present and aware of everything surrounding you.
If you’re not, give yourself the opportunity to develop that ability.
If you are, there can be no better time for you to go get that MBA.
All the very best on your MBA journey.
Do let us know your thoughts, experiences, and questions in the comments section below.
Businesses around the world are beginning to wake up to the power of data.
A business that can harness data science has a huge advantage over competitors who can’t. But business expertise and technology expertise have so far been mutually exclusive skill sets.
That’s the gap that a STEM MBA looks to bridge.
STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM MBA programs have been specifically designed to cater to the career aspirations of STEM professionals who are interested in business and management.
In this article, we will discuss:
- What is a STEM MBA? How is it different from an MBA and a Masters in Business Analytics?
- Current Scenario of STEM Designation
- STEM MBA Careers
- Top STEM MBA Programs in the US
Let’s dive in!
What is a STEM MBA and How is it Different?
STEM is a designation given by the US Government’s Department of Homeland Security to a select few programs across the country. Non-American students who enroll in courses with this designation are allowed to live and work in the US without an H1B visa for up to three years after graduating. In any non-STEM degree program, the average time students can stay and work in the US without an H1B visa is one year.
Academically, think of a STEM MBA as a hybrid between the traditional MBA and an MS. A STEM MBA graduate can perform the business functions of an MBA role while implementing data processing and analytical skills that are expected from MS holders.
Unlike the traditional MBA, a STEM MBA requires candidates to have a strong technical background. It is designed to build on existing STEM knowledge, to help students understand how to put this knowledge to use in a business setting.
In essence, a STEM MBA opens up opportunities that were hitherto closed to MBA graduates.
Current Scenario of the STEM Designation
There are two simultaneous conditions that are affecting STEM designated MBA courses in the US.
First is the fact that the US is not producing enough skilled STEM professionals to fulfill the requirement created by its domestic job market. This means that the government is under pressure to produce more STEM professionals than it currently is.
Secondly, international admissions into US B-Schools are hitting an all-time low in the year 2019. This is mostly due to the anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration and the growing social hostility towards immigrants within the US. The drop in international admissions adversely affects B-School revenues, simultaneously adding to the first problem.
The extendable 3 year OPT period following a STEM MBA is highly attractive for international students. Furthermore, the STEM designation provided by the US Department of Homeland Security has proven to boost the number of international applications. As a result, the American government is under tremendous pressure to increase the number of STEM MBA programs in the country.
This goes to say that you can safely expect the number of STEM MBA programs in the US to rise in the coming years.
STEM MBA Careers
STEM fields are integral to the progress of humanity as a whole. From making advancements in machine learning and AI to developing alternative, renewable sources of energy, STEM professionals are at the forefront of it all.
Can you imagine what would happen if these STEM professionals also possessed strong business acumen?
That’s exactly what a STEM MBA looks to do; it imbues STEM professionals with advanced business skills. This leads to the creation of the next generation of professionals capable of meeting the requirements of a whole host of new professions.
Here are some of the industries you can expect to work in after gaining a STEM MBA.
- Data Science
Known also as ‘Business Translators’, STEM MBA graduates with a specialization in data science are in high demand as organizations of all sizes look to turn into data-driven enterprises. The general idea is that the greater an organization’s ability to harness data is, the better it will do on all fronts.
STEM MBA graduates have a powerful edge over pure STEM candidates because of their added understanding of what will work best for the business. They are specialists in comparison to pure STEM candidates.
- Environmental Energy
World War III will be fought over natural resources. Lifestyles all over the world have developed around the use of oil, water, and other natural resources – but now, we’re running short of them all. Environmental Energy looks to discover the energy-creation potential within alternative resources that are far more abundant than the ones we use now.
A trained professional who can not only understand the science but also the business angle of Environmental Energy is critical for most businesses in this field. A STEM MBA with a suitable background in engineering makes you exactly that.
- Internet of Things
We live in the age of smart-everything. From cell phones and watches to entire homes and vehicles, everything is rapidly becoming automated and interconnected. There’s no better example of the limitations this interconnectivity can help us break than this video.
If you have an academic background in computing and software, a STEM MBA is all you need to become a highly coveted professional for any business looking to automate or implement AI into its products or services.
- Cyber Security
In the age of information, data is everything. From national security information to financial records and data, there is a lot of stuff that is highly valuable and therefore susceptible to hacking attacks. National governments and business of all sizes are equally at risk of cyber-attacks aimed at stealing sensitive data.
In such times, professionals are needed to identify the greatest threats and proactively take measures to protect the most susceptible areas of a company’s online presence. A professional who understands the business knows exactly what data matters most – and there’s nobody better than a STEM MBA graduate.
The highest demand for STEM MBA graduates comes from the tech sector. We believe it’s easy to understand how valuable a business professional with a STEM specialization is to an industry seeking to use technology to bring about the best results for businesses around the world.
Tech professionals have gone in for MBAs in pursuit of career advancement since many years now. The STEM MBA takes the advancement one step further by utilizing and furthering their existing STEM knowledge to sharpen the edge they have over traditional MBA as well as MS candidates.
In truth, there is no limit to the number of industries and professions in which a STEM MBA graduate can find success. The five mentioned industries are good examples, but in no way do they encompass the possibilities that open up after completing a STEM designated MBA from the best universities in the US.
Speaking of which, let’s now take a look at the best STEM designated MBA programs in the US.
Top 7 STEM MBA Programs in the US
- Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business: STEM MBA
A standard MBA program built specifically for students with an undergraduate degree in any STEM field, the Rawls STEM MBA is one of seven such programs available in the US. The program lasts two years and includes courses on accounting, business analytics, decision theory, finance, economics, information technology, law, marketing, management, statistics, and strategy, along with STEM-specific electives.
There is also an accelerated program option which only requires 42 credit hours. The class schedule for this accelerated course can be condensed so that you can finish your STEM MBA in one year.
Fill out this form to receive more information about this program.
- University of Rochester, Simon Business School
The Simon Business School is ranked at #83 by Financial Times for its Global MBA. It is the first institution in the US to offer a STEM MBA irrespective of the concentration you choose.
At Simon, you can pick any subject as your concentration to get your STEM designated MBA. Most other schools have acquired the STEM designation only for a select number of subjects. At those schools, your MBA will hold a STEM designation only if you major in those specific subjects, whereas at Simon, the entire program is focused on analytic frameworks and quantitative analysis.
Take a look at the details provided on the official Simon website.
- University of Wisconsin, Madison: Operations and Technology Management, Supply Chain Management
The University of Wisconsin at Madison offers two MBA concentrations that hold the STEM designation: Operations and Technology Management (OTM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM). Both these courses are full-time, on-campus, two-year MBAs.
Supported by the Erdman Center for Operations and Technology Management, the MBA in OTM is made for students with a background in engineering or any other areas of technology. There are focused courses on Healthcare Management, Entrepreneurial Management, Technology Product Management, and Production Systems Management within the OTM specialization. The specialization in SCM is delivered through the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management. Industry-standard tools like SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning system, and Lean Six Sigma training (culminating in Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification), are integrated into the curriculum to give you the skills employers seek.
You can explore more about this program and the University on the University webpage.
- University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Charlton College of Business: Business Analytics
The Business Analytics specialization of the MBA program at the Charlton College of Business is certified with the STEM designation by the US Department of Homeland Security. The University of Massachusetts, a.k.a. UMass, is the parent University of the Charlton College of Business.
Whether you take the STEM concentration or something else, the course will require you to complete 30 credits from 10 courses. 3 of these courses are electives while 7 are core subjects. The College assesses applications to see if any of the applicants need foundation courses in business before they commence their MBAs. Those who do can opt for the extra courses at Charlton.
You can find more information on this program on the University website.
- University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business: MBA-MSBA Dual Degree
The Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame offers a unique dual-degree MBA-MSBA program. This program is STEM-designated from the US Department of Homeland Security.
The MBA-MSBA dual degree program is designed to build on a student’s existing knowledge in any of the STEM fields in a more enhanced manner than most STEM MBA programs. It is a standard program that requires 68 credits to be completed in two years. The MSBA electives are Emerging Issues in Analytics, Marketing Analytics, Marketing Research, SAP Predictive Analytics, Social Media Analytics, Sports Analytics, Strategic Business Technology, and Supply Chain Analytics. Interestingly, the program also offers a special optional course in Integral Leadership Development to further enhance students’ skills in a business environment.
You can fill out this form to request for more information directly from the university.
- University of Connecticut, School of Business:Business Analytics, Digital Marketing Strategy, and Financial Management and Investments
The STEM MBA at the University of Connecticut can be attained through three specific concentrations within the MBA program: Business Analytics, Digital Marketing Strategy, and Financial Management and Investments. The UConn School of Business offers a variety of other concentrations which do not carry the STEM designation for its MBA students.
The Financial Management and Investments elective offers three further specializations within it: Portfolio Management, Real Estate, and Healthcare Finance and Insurance. Both, the Digital Marketing Strategy and Business Analytics concentrations offer a variety of electives to help enhance different aspects of the students’ skill sets and personalities. All three concentrations require students to go through the full two years of the MBA program.
More information on this course is available on the University’s MBA webpage.
- University of Georgia, Terry College of Business: One year STEM MBA
This is one of the only programs in the country to provide a one-year option along with a STEM designation from the US Department of Homeland Security. The only catch is that this program is only for current students studying in any of the STEM undergraduate programs within the University of Georgia.
In addition to 8 Business Core subjects, students are expected to undertake one course each in experiential learning, business intelligence, and an additional elective of their choice. The Terry College of Business also offers an optional course in Communications and Career Effectiveness to help STEM-based students to overcome any inhibitions they may have in this regard and outperform their peers in the business arena.
For more information, contact MBA Admissions at 706-542-5671, [email protected], or attend an Admissions Event to learn more.
The biggest takeaway from this is that your chances of getting into a STEM MBA program are the highest they can be this year. The competition among international candidates is lower than ever, and colleges value international applications more than ever, too.
Make the best of this opportunity! Reach out to us for help with choosing the right B-School for your STEM MBA today!
So you’ve received that MBA interview shortlist you were eagerly waiting for? Congratulations!
If you’ve come this far, it means that the B-school is considering you for admission very seriously indeed.
In the words of Wharton Admissions Director JJ Cutler – “We’re not looking for reasons to deny someone; we’re looking for reasons to admit someone.”
The biggest question on your mind right now should be- “How can I ensure that I give the best interview of my life?”
We’ve compiled this guide to MBA interviews from many years of working with diverse interview candidates applying to top B-schools all over the world.
This article is categorized into six chapters for easy reading.
I. Interview Format
B-school interviews come in all shapes and sizes. Let us discuss the various types of interviews you may face. With respect to the amount of prior information the interviewer/ interview panel has about you, there are two kinds of interviews:
1. Blind Interviews
In a blind interview, such as those conducted at Kellogg, Duke, and Tuck, the interviewer does not have access to your essays.
This makes the interview very open-ended. This can be either an advantage or a limitation, depending on how you look at it.
The advantage is that you have greater control over the direction of your interview if you word your answers carefully.
In a blind interview, the interviewer is trying to figure out who you are, and is likely to ask open-ended questions such as “tell me about yourself.” This kind of question makes it easier to speak about the things you want to.
The flipside is this:
With very little context, the interviewer comes with no preconceived notion about you. You start from square one, so to speak.
All the accomplishments and opinions that you carefully worded in the essays cease to matter because your interviewer hasn’t read them. You have to be on your toes to portray a comprehensive and impressive picture of yourself.
2. Comprehensive Interviews
In a comprehensive interview, such as those conducted at Harvard, ISB, and LBS, your interviewer has access to your application. Again, this comes with its pros and cons.
What is good about this kind of interview is that a strong application means that the interviewer is likely to have an unconscious positive bias towards you, even if to a small degree.
One more positive is that at least some questions are likely to come from what you have already written about yourself- which is your comfort zone.
The other side of the coin is that you are likely to be probed much further about what you have written, which means that you have to be very prepared indeed!
You need to add further value to what you have already said in your essays and resumé- this will require deeper introspection on your part.
With this understanding of blind and comprehensive interviews in mind, let us look at the common interview formats B-school aspirants face.
1. In-Person Interview with an Adcom Member
This can happen either on the B-school campus or in your city/country. Some schools that follow this approach are Harvard and MIT Sloan.
The advantage of this format is that you get to present yourself directly to the person with the most influence in the decision process.
These interviews are likely to be comprehensive interviews, where the interviewer has prior knowledge of your application.
2. In-Person Interview with Alumnus or Student
This is a one-on-one interview with an alumnus (at any place – could even be a coffee shop) or student (on campus).
Some schools that follow this approach are INSEAD, Oxford and Kellogg.
This could work to your advantage since the interview is likely to be more informal and relaxed, especially if you can strike an interpersonal connect with your interviewer.
The limitation is that there is an additional link in the communication between you and the AdCom, which may cause a gap in understanding.
However, do not worry unduly about this because AdComs choose students and alumni they trust will give an accurate representation of the interview.
3. Phone or Skype Interview with Adcom, Alumnus or Student
Most schools follow this approach in cases where an in-person interview is not feasible.
It may be more difficult to showcase your personality in a Skype interview. However, if you are able to strike a connection over this medium, it can make a hugely positive impression.
This is because the ability to establish meaningful contact via virtual media is a critical skill in today’s tech-savvy business world.
4. Panel Interviews
This is an in-person interview where you will face multiple interviewers. Your interview panel can comprise of a mix of AdCom members, students, faculty members as well as alumni.
The advantage of this mode of an interview is that your success does not hinge on the connection you strike with one individual, so the decision is likely to be more balanced.
The difficulty is that you need to prepare yourself to engage with all the panelists and to be quick on your feet and answer questions from two or three people instead of one.
Indian schools such as ISB and the IIMs follow this interview format.
II. What B-School Interviewers Look For
There will be three things an interviewer or a panel will look for throughout the interview. These are the three Cs: Content, Communication, and Clarity.
One of the first things interviewers will look out for is whether you know what you’re talking about. Make sure you go through each and everything that you have written in your MBA application essays.
For example, if you say you want to get into Finance post-MBA, then you should be able to answer questions such as,
“What do you think will happen if the interest rates were to go up?”
“Why do you think the Rupee slipped against the Dollar?”
You need to be well-versed with what you want, why you want it, how you’re going to get it, and what you are planning to do after the MBA.
You may have aced the essays with impactful sentences and a heartfelt tone, but can you speak well too? One of the primary skills of a B-school graduate and leader is excellent articulation.
So, if you can speak clearly and with confidence, you are going to earn yourself a lot of brownie points.
How well are you able to express your ideas?
You will want to focus on body language, tone, clarity of speech, and ensuring that your answer is as crisp as possible. Yapping too much is not cool – but neither is it okay to sound curt or abrupt.
Here’s a suggestion:
Go through your application inside and out. Use whatever is in there to prepare for some standard questions that you’ll find near the end of this post.
Speaking well is an art developed over many years, so don’t worry if you do not feel like a communication guru yet. However, there are simple, actionable tips you can work on.
For one, pace your conversation well. Do not be too rushed.
If you find yourself fumbling for words, just slow down, appear thoughtful and take a sip of water or tell your interviewer that you need a minute to think. Even little things will reap rich benefits with respect to the quality of your interview.
Psst! Here’s a hint: Practice makes perfect!
What AdComs are really looking is clarity of vision and, specifically, what you want to take away from B-school and what you want from life.
As mentioned before, you need to know what you want, why you want it, how you’re going to get it and what you’re going to do with the MBA.
But simply knowing this isn’t enough. You have to be able to explain it, too. And you have to do so very clearly.
The key here is to be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you are not.
Be genuine, it will help you ensure you don’t sound confused. If you don’t know something, be open about it and say so. That’s anytime better than giving an answer that makes you look confused and unsteady.
There is an additional set of things to keep in mind. Most interviewers will have an eye out for these things as well:
Until you walk into the interview room, the only thing the AdCom knows about your personality is what you conveyed through your essays.
Now, they are trying to figure out the person behind the essays. Do you really mean what you said? Are you for real?
» What can you do?
Soak up your essays! Internalize them. Get your story right.
Allow the AdCom to see you as a person, not a cardboard cut-out of the ideal B-school candidate. Be frank about your strengths as well as your failings.
However, a word of caution here:
There are weaknesses that are best not brought up in an interview- for example, if you’re actually confused about what you want to do after an MBA, it might be best not to bring that up in this conversation.
Can you think under stress? If you do not know the answer to a question, how do you think and what do you say?
As you know, professional life is full of sticky situations where you may not have the answers and still have to plow your way through a situation or a conversation.
This is the reason why your interviewers might ask you tricky questions that require creative thinking (or curveballs, in interview lingo).
» What can you do?
Have your friends conduct mock interviews with difficult interview questions. Exercise your thinking muscles regularly in the weeks or days leading up to the interview, and you will definitely have done yourself a favor!
Leadership and Team Orientation
This is almost too obvious, but in all probability, the two most important qualities that you will need as a professional climbing up the ladder are how you lead and how you function in a team. Hence, these are definitely traits that the AdCom is evaluating you on.
» What can you do?
Prepare extensively for questions about leadership and teamwork. Also, while you prepare for other questions, reflect on what your answers are indirectly saying about your ability to lead and work in a team.
Your confidence is a parameter that is going to permeate and influence your entire interview and the rest of your career.
Actually, make that confidence and self-belief- because the interviewer is on the lookout for not just how you portray yourself in front of other people, but how you competent you feel on the inside (a very smart interviewer can get a sense of this).
» What can you do?
If you have a naturally confident persona, that’s great! Just be wary of appearing over-confident. If your confidence could do with some extra help, you can read the following sections for hacks to present the most confident version of yourself.
III. Cardinal Sins of an Interview
There are some things you simply cannot do at an interview. Or at least, there are things you can’t get away with doing at an interview.
1. Trying Too Hard or Too Little
It is good to think through your answers and evaluate the potential impact they will have on the panel, but there is such a thing as taking it too far.
If you are trying to give ‘ideal’ answers to every question, rest assured that the interview panel will see through you. After all, they’ve done this more times that you can count.
Show your unique personality, your strengths and weaknesses- do not be a cookie-cutter MBA applicant, saying only what you perceive as the ‘right’ things.
On the other end of the spectrum lies the mistake of appearing as though you don’t care if you get in or not. B-schools are looking for people who are genuinely committed to getting in.
If the message you’re communicating is that you wouldn’t be bothered by rejection, that’s probably what you’ll end up with!
2. Appearing Overconfident or Underconfident
You have to display a confidence level that is within the right range. Don’t go overboard and brag too much; it is difficult to work with an egomaniac.
On the other hand, a B-school interview is not the place for unnecessary humility either.
If you do not showcase what you have done and what you plan to do, nobody else can. What you have to aim for is a quiet confidence that speaks for itself.
3. Not Doing Enough Research
This is a crucial point. You cannot go in with half-baked information about your goals, post-MBA industry or the B-school itself.
You can cause a lot of damage to an otherwise great interview with your ignorance on crucial points about your goals and career.
Prepare. No, over-prepare!
The aura of confidence and assurance that comes from really knowing your intent and subject thoroughly is unbeatable.
IV. Preparing for your Interview
Most of these simple things are fairly intuitive but it’s very easy to forget to do them, especially if you’re stressed about your interview.
1. Decide What to Wear
They say that it takes only 7 seconds for somebody to arrive at a first impression about you.
Think about it- just seven brief seconds!
How much you communicate to the interview panel in these 7 seconds is crucial- and the clothes you wear will speak very loudly in these initial few moments.
Make your wardrobe selection as early as possible- preferably, as soon as you have the interview letter in your inbox.
For men, whether you’re applying to an Indian School or an international School, the attire remains the same – Suit Up! And make sure your suit is dry-cleaned and wrinkle-free well ahead of time.
For women, if it’s an Indian school you are applying to, either Indian formals (such as a crisp cotton salwar) or western formals (a formal skirt/pant, shirt, and blazer) should do. For international B-schools, do as they do and stick to western formals.
2. Practice with Diverse Questions and Interviewers
Prepare for a wide variety of interview questions. To start with, you can refer to the common interview questions section at the end of this post.
Also, try and get more than one interviewer to conduct mock interviews for you so that you can be prepared for a broader variety of interviewers’ personalities.
If feasible, videotape your interview so that you can observe your body language and make necessary corrections.
3. Sort Out the Logistics
Make sure that you anticipate and sort out any logistical issue you may face on your interview day.
For a Skype interview, this could mean ensuring that your internet connection is fine and ensuring that you have a backup laptop/phone and a backup internet connection (such as a data card).
For a coffee-chat interview with an alumnus, this could mean acquainting yourself with the location of the coffee shop and maybe even trying a dry-run with a mock interviewer at the same location.
For an in-person interview with the AdCom, this could mean visiting the school a day in advance and familiarizing yourself with the campus.
4. Decide how you are going to open and close the interview
There isn’t usually a lot that you can control during your interview.
Here’s what you definitely can control though:
You decide how to open the interview and how to close it.
If walking into a room full of people waiting to judge you sounds or feels intimidating, imagine walking in unprepared! Nightmare, right?
Make up your mind about the kind of impression you want to make on the interviewers and start off the meeting on that note. If you want to set a confident tone, think about the kind of confidence you want to portray.
You don’t want to seem like an overconfident person who doesn’t respect authority, but you shouldn’t appear meek, timid or afraid of authority, either.
A healthy dose of confidence is fairly easy to show.
Do something simple, like wishing the panel or interviewer a good morning/afternoon when you get into the room. Think of a few quotes or inspirational thoughts that may play out well as an endnote to your interview.
5. Prepare for the tricky ones
Know that every interview is likely to have at least a few curveballs that are thrown at you – especially if you have performed reasonably well, and the panel is looking to decide if you’re a ‘good’ fit or a ‘great’ fit for their college.
How do you prepare for these tricky questions? For starters, conduct an interview in your head. Ask yourself tough questions and write down the answers.
Ask your friends to each come up with one very tricky interview question, and try to answer those. It may not be very likely that you will get the same questions on the actual interview, but your mind will be better able to confront a difficult question, with all this practice.
You can also read our section on tricky questions for some help.
V. What to do on Interview Day
1. Visualize Success
On the day of the interview, wake up early, eat well and keep yourself hydrated. Get to the venue early and try this exercise in visualization:
Think of an incident in your life that you are very proud of.
Picture yourself at that moment, with all the joyous, powerful sensations coursing through you.
Do this a few times before you enter the interview room, so that you are in the best frame of mind to tackle your interview challenge!
A pleasant demeanor and a smiling face will have a powerful effect on the tone of your interview.
This is because of the ‘mirroring effect’:
During a conversation, we unconsciously mirror the expressions of the other person. So, make sure you smile even if you are in the middle of a stress interview with an interviewer who looks uninterested, bored or irritated.
If you maintain a positive presence throughout the interview, you can actually ‘de-stress’ a stress interview.
3. Stay Calm
You do not have to be the Buddha, or Master Oogway while giving an interview. Some amount of stress is ok; it’s even good for your interview since it helps you be alert and on your toes.
If you feel yourself freaking out in the middle of an interview, the best advice we can give you, at the risk of sounding obvious, is to take a few (not-very-obvious) deep breaths and sip some water.
If you have been asked a question and have temporarily blanked out, it is perfectly ok to tell the interviewer that you need a minute to think about the answer.
Recite your favorite calming-down mantra, and give the question your best shot.
4. Ask the Right Questions
A special note here:
When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, please refrain from asking when you will be notified of the results, even though that may be the biggest thing on your mind.
Ask thoughtful questions, for which you cannot find the answers elsewhere.
For example, you can ask the alumnus what he/ she enjoyed the most about B-school, or in what area his/her learning curve improved dramatically.
5. Strike a Conversational Tone
Think of a B-school interview not as a quiz, but as a conversation with your interviewers. This means paying attention to all of the below points –
During the early minutes of the interview, try to establish a rapport with a little small talk.
Make eye contact consistently during the interview.
If you’re not clear about what the interviewer is asking, ask for a clarification.
If you are not clear about what kind of an atmosphere you need to create, imagine the entire interview as though it were a conversation with a friendly manager at work (in other words, be friendly, but not too informal).
6. Write a Thank You Note
Well, you’ve given your interview your best shot! What can you do now to improve your chances?
The last arrow in your quiver is the thank you note.
Write a simple, heartfelt note to your interviewer, expressing your thanks. You can briefly touch upon something memorable from the interview that you appreciated.
Close it with a statement to the effect of how excited you are at the prospect of joining their MBA program. Keep your note brief- a couple of paragraphs at the most.
Now, sit back and wait for your results!
VI. Commonly asked MBA Interview Questions
The Basic Questions
The below questions are what we would call the fundamental, ground-level questions you can expect in a B-School interview. In other words, it would be madness to enter an interview unprepared for any of these questions. We recommend that you start your interview preparation with this bunch of questions.
- Could you walk me through your resume?
- Why MBA?
- Why do the MBA now?
- Why our school?
- What are your short term/ long term post-MBA career goals?
- What are your three greatest strengths?
- What are your two greatest weaknesses?
- What do you think will be the biggest concern of the Admissions Committee in evaluating your application?
- Do you have any questions for me?
- What was the most rewarding aspect of your undergraduate experience?
- What are you most proud of about your undergraduate period?
- Why did you select this undergraduate major? Would you have changed your decision today?
- To what do you attribute your strong academic performance?
- In which campus activities did you participate? What did you learn or gain from this involvement?
- Have you ever dropped a class? Why?
- Which college classes did you like the best/ least? Why?
- Do you think you received a good education?
- Do your grades accurately reflect your ability?
- Were you financially responsible for part or all of your college education?
- Describe your work experience (in general or with specific employers).
- What did you find most frustrating at work?
- What kinds of changes would you make at your work if you could?
- Do you have any opportunities for innovative thinking?
- Could you describe an incident where you disagreed with a superior? How was this settled?
- What aspect of your job do you most enjoy? Why?
- Of what accomplishment at work are you most proud?
- If I ask your manager what he/she values in you, what will he/she say?
- What problems have you solved in your previous positions?
- What have you disliked in your job with employer X?
- What are some recent responsibilities you have taken on?
- What do you think it is about yourself that enabled you to earn achievements?
- Describe a typical workday.
- Why did you leave job A for job B?
- What will you do if you are not accepted to any of the MBA programs you applied to?
- What will you do if you are not accepted to our MBA program?
- Why did you choose to do X?
- Describe your ideal job after completing the MBA.
- How does your education or work experience relate to your career goals?
- Don’t you think that your career path has been a little disjointed?
- If you do not bag a job in the area you like, what will you do?
Leadership and Teamwork
- Give me two examples of times when you demonstrated leadership.
- How would others describe your leadership style?
- What do you think is the right way to get things done through others?
- What would you do if a team member wasn’t pulling his own weight?
- What qualities should a successful manager possess?
- Could you name someone you view as a strong leader? Why?
- Do you prefer to work under supervision or on your own?
- Give me an example of your teamwork experience.
- Do you prefer large or small companies? Why?
- What kinds of people do you enjoy working with?
- What kinds of people frustrate you?
- What kind of people struggle to work with you?
- Tell me about yourself.
- Have you ever done any volunteer work? What was it?
- Were your extracurricular activities worth the time you put into them? What have they taught you?
- What do you like doing outside of work?
- Tell me about something in your life you would have done differently if you had the opportunity.
- What three adjectives would others use to describe you?
- Can you recall a creative/ innovative activity of yours outside work?
- Tell me about a time you took a risk and what the experience was like.
- If you were to establish a set of values and beliefs on which to build a business, what would they be?
- What do success and failure mean to you?
- Tell me about a time in which you failed.
- How do you make big decisions?
- What would you like to change about yourself?
- Discuss any experience you have had abroad.
- Describe a life experience that had a strong impact on you?
- What do you get passionate about?
- Do you get bored or feel stagnated? How do you resolve boredom?
- What is one thing you want to convey as your interview comes to an end?
- In dealing with a customer, think of your most difficult situation and tell me how you handled it.
- Give an example of a case when you felt your boss made a bad decision and explain how you would have handled it differently.
- Describe a time when you had to bend the rules a little in order to accomplish a goal.
- Describe a situation where many different things had to get done at once and how you handled it.
- Describe a disagreement you had with your boss. What did he say? What did you say?
- Describe a major problem you have faced on the job and how you handled it.
The MBA Progam
- What are you looking for in our program?
- What can you contribute to your class?
- Why do you think you would enjoy your chosen area of study?
- What clubs are you considering joining?
- It’s two years after graduation, what three words would your MBA team members use to describe you?
- Which other B-schools are you applying to?
- If you got into our B-school and B-school ‘X’, which one would you go to and why?
- What is the most interesting conversation you have had this week?
- Explain something to me as if I were an eight-year-old.
- Tell me something you want to start doing, something you want to do more of, and something you want to do less of.
- What is the one thing I would have never guessed about you, even after reading your application?
- Assume you’re a cell phone salesman and I’m a goat herder in Spain. How would you convince me I need to buy one of your cell phones?
- See that paperclip on the table? Sell it to me.
- What is the worst thing you’ve heard about joining our B-school
- How many truck tires are there in the United States?
- How would you evaluate me as an interviewer?
- Why are manhole covers round?
“What is an MBA loar?” a student asked us last week.
“Loar?” We were flabbergasted. “We have no clue!”
“Everybody seems to be talking about MBA essays and loars!”
“Loar?” We wracked our brains. Then, realization dawned. “Oh! You mean LORs?”
LOR is the acronym for Letter of Recommendation, an essential component of your MBA or Master’s application. This post will take you through everything you need to know about MBA recommendation letters themselves as well as about choosing recommenders.
Letters of Recommendation May Not Always Be Letters
Many Master’s or Ph.D. programs will ask you for 2-3 actual letters of recommendation – starting with “To Whomsoever It May Concern…”
The requirement for B-schools is slightly different.
For MBA recommendation letters, you will need to submit the names and contact details of your recommenders and the school will send them a web form. This web form will have some rating questions (for e.g. Rate the communication skills of the applicant in comparison to those of his peers: top 10%, top 25%, top 50%, bottom 25%) and some short answer questions (for e.g. What piece of constructive criticism have you offered the applicant? How did the applicant respond?)
The word limit of these short answer questions could be from 50 to 200 words.
Recommenders Need Official IDs
The recommenders you choose must have official email IDs because that serves as a verification of their identity. For eg., [email protected] shows that this person is a credible source who works at Infosys.
No personal IDs such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc. will be accepted by B-schools. For all they know, the person behind this ID could be you or your friend or relative!
If your recommender doesn’t have an official ID for whatever reason, you may have a problem.
One solution that schools suggest in these cases is to submit a hard copy of your MBA recommendation letter, sealed and signed by the recommender. To avoid delays in mailing such a hard copy, make sure you plan for these well in advance.
Family Members & Professors as Recommenders: NOPE.
The short version is – don’t do this.
Recommendations from family members and professors will never have the weight that recommendations from managers, bosses, vendors, clients, or colleagues can have.
Schools discourage recommendations from family members because they may give a biased view of you. If you work for a family business or have co-founded a company with family members, you cannot use them as your recommenders.
You will need to approach a mentor, client or vendor for this.
If you have more than 2 years of work experience (which is the minimum eligibility for most MBA programs), your recommenders must be people you have worked with. They can be from your workplace or from the company with which you volunteer or a company to which you offer freelance services.
But no going back to your professors from college!
However, if you have very little work experience (less than 2 years) and you have worked with a professor outside of class – for e.g. as a research or teaching assistant – you can approach him/her for a recommendation.
Here’s what CrackVerbal’s founder and CEO, Arun Jagannathan, has to say about choosing the right recommenders:
Do Not Write Your Own Recommendations
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we are still surprised by the number of students who tell us that their recommenders have asked them to write their own recommendations.
“I will submit whatever you send me!” your manager might say.
Should you take up this offer?
Of course not!
Apart from the (obvious) reason that writing your own recommendation is unethical, this is also a foolish decision.
For one, the admissions committee will be able to spot underlying patterns in your writing style in a jiffy – they will know that the same person has written the essays and the recommendations.
B-schools often engage external agencies to do audits or verifications of information that applicants submit. What if they call up your recommender and he/she has no clue what is written in the recommendation?
Both these possibilities can damage your chances of getting admission. So, DO NOT write your own MBA recommendation letter.
Instead, make your recommenders’ lives simpler by sharing relevant information such as your profile highlights and essays with them well in advance.
That is a succinct account of all the things you should know and the do’s of MBA recommendation letters.
Choosing Recommenders: What Not To Do!
Now, let’s talk about what not to do when it comes to choosing recommenders: how not to choose recommenders or how not to approach them.
One big problem that a lot of applicants have is, they end up choosing an inconvenient recommender.
For example, a boss.
You know you have to approach the boss, but you just develop cold feet; you feel awkward to reach out to the boss early on.
What happens then is, you keep waiting till a point where the application deadline is almost a week away and then approach the boss. Especially when the boss is busy!
Your boss is doing something, and you go accost him and thrust the application at him and say, “I’m going to send you a link, can you take out the time and look at the recommendation?”
Now what happens in this case is:
- Your boss is not comfortable recommending you.
- He hasn’t had any time to think about it so he probably doesn’t have enough data to write a meaningful MBA letter of recommendation.
- Your boss could feel a little offended that he didn’t know you were planning to do this, or he could feel he’s going to lose someone, so he may not write the best recommendation possible.
That moment when you have walked into his office in the middle of a work day is NOT a time when you have much of an option to avoid this situation. You’ll have to walk away with a measly recommendation or worse – no recommendation at all.
So here’s what you actually can do to avoid such a miserable outcome.
Identify Your Recommenders Early On
In fact, the earlier the better. You don’t even have to tell them which schools you’re applying to. The best way is not to discuss this in the office environment, maybe you can take your boss to the cafeteria or a coffee shop.
If your boss drinks, maybe you can even take them out for a drink. Tell them what you really want to do.
Talk to your boss about why you want to do an MBA, what are the things that you hope you will achieve in life from an MBA, etc. Genuinely ask for your boss’s opinion, let them give their two cents.
Get your boss committed to your plan.
Nobody is going to come and say you shouldn’t do an MBA. They will say, “This is my opinion and this is what I feel.” Take their opinion into cognizance and keep them updated.
After a couple of months, gently bring up this topic and say, “Would you like to be my recommender? You know how much it matters to me.”
By that point, hardly anyone will say no.
Most people will agree to write you a recommendation letter for MBA. And because you’ve made them a part of your journey in advance, you’ll probably get glowing recommendations, too.
When the time comes, give them at least a month’s notice. Send them the link.
One way you can prep them is to give them your application form, resume, and other things that they could possibly use in order to write the recommendation. At no point should you encourage them to ask you to write it.
We think it’s unethical to write your own recommendation letter. Plus, trust us when we say that the college will definitely figure out who wrote the recommendation.
It’s important to get MBA Letters of Recommendation planned and sorted out well in time.
If there’s one thing that cannot be rushed, it is a well-written recommendation!
You need to remember why you want to do an MBA and align your lifestyle accordingly. Everything else will fall in place if you develop the right mindset.
If you have the option to submit a video essay, go for it.
No matter which school in which country you’re applying to, submitting a video essay is a great idea. A video essay is the best way for you to present yourself to the Admission Committees before an interview can happen.
You do not want to miss out on this advantage:
Whether you’re excellent with words or someone who struggles to express their emotions in writing, a video essay goes well beyond your mastery with words.
If you are not exactly gifted when it comes to writing down your thoughts, a video essay plays to your advantage. It gives you a chance to display all the qualities and communication skills that can’t be seen through a written essay.
Even if you are great at finding the best words to say what you need to, a video essay is an added advantage. It allows the AdComs to make their own inferences about your overall personality, including what they written essays don’t show.
In this post, we will talk about:
- Types of Video Essays
- Schools Accepting Video Essays for MBA Applications
- Video Essay Guidelines
Types of Video Essays
There are two basic types of video essays. One involves recording it yourself, editing as per your preferences and sending it along with or after your written application. The other involves rehearsing your answers and using the University website to record and send them.
Let’s get into a little more detail.
1. Impromptu or Auto-Recorded Essay
This is the most common type of video essay. Almost every major B-school uses this format of video essay through independent third-party platforms. You cannot edit these essays.
There are two ways in which this works.
One is that you receive a link from the University admissions team after you submit your written application; the link leads to a platform where you receive questions and are expected to record your response immediately.
The other alternative is that your video essays are included within your application process. In this case, your application is not considered complete unless you record and upload your video responses. You can record your videos on the University application website itself.
Typically, you have 20-30 seconds to prepare before you need to start answering. The answer length is one minute.
You have to make sure you start and stop speaking within the given recording time because you don’t get to control when the recording starts or stops.
The question may be played in video format, appear on your screen or be played in audio format, but in any case, it remains visible throughout your video recording process.
In most cases, you can’t even re-attempt answers. You have one shot at answering and you have to get it right. Sure, the sound of it is intimidating, but that’s just the thing – the B-schools want to see how you perform under pressure!
A welcome relief is that most of these platforms allow you to practice a couple of times before you have to record your final essay.
Among the schools currently accepting video essays, these are the ones that require impromptu essays:
– Schulich School of Business
– Rotman School of Management
– Vanderbilt University
– Kellogg School of Management
– Ivey Business School
– Yale School of Management
All these schools, apart from Yale School of Management, have video essays as a necessary part of their application process. The typical prep time is 30 seconds and the videos are to be no longer than 60 seconds.
Yale does things a bit differently.
After finishing your written application to Yale, you will receive a link from the Admissions team. The link leads to a platform where you are expected to record and submit three video essays. You get 20 seconds to prepare and 60 seconds to record the first and third essays, but for the second essay, you’re allowed 30 seconds to prepare and 90 seconds to answer.
2. Self-Recorded Essay
Some schools give you the option to record and send in your own essay. It gives you significantly more freedom than the former type and is definitely much less stressful to complete.
However, this is not a popular option.
Its important to understand that schools are not interested in your video production skills, they’re interested in what you have to say and how you present yourself. There is no point in editing your video to include pictures and other fancy effects.
It may not be a bad idea to put in a couple of captions when you want to stress on a point you make in your video. But do not spend too much time on this as it is not really important.
There are only two popular B-schools that accept this format:
– MIT Sloan School of Management
– McCombs School of Business
The MIT Sloan MBA Applications website clearly states that they do not accept edited videos. You are expected to shoot your video in a single take and answer within 60 seconds. The advantage you have here is that you can do as many retakes as you need.
Things work differently with Texas McCombs, though – the essay itself is optional. What is expected is an introduction of yourself in writing or as a video; if you choose the latter, the time limit is one minute.
As we have said before, video essays present a fantastic opportunity for you to showcase yourself to the AdComs before the interview. If you have the opportunity to do this, do not pass it up!
If you read the blogs of any B-school that accepts video essays, you will find one common factor among them all – every single one of them is accepting videos because they want to get to know you better. It is meant for you to express yourself freely and openly.
Your MBA video essay is not meant to show off your video production skills, but how it looks does have a big impact on what the AdCom panelists think of you.
Video Essay Guidelines
Here are some video essay guidelines to help you make an impression:
1. Maintain High Audio-Visual Quality
The whole point of video essays is to let the AdCom see you and listen to you – so, they should be able to do this clearly and without hindrance.
The best way to put people off your video entirely is to have grainy visuals and noisy audio. The last thing you want is for your MBA application essay to look like a shaky selfie video from your phone or a home video captured with a low-grade camera.
However, the good news is that you don’t need to worry about having fancy equipment or a DSLR camera. The mobile phone in your pocket (or the one you are reading this article on) should be more than enough for the purpose.
Here are a few things to remember:
- Tip #1
Try to buy a cheap mobile tripod. This is important because you want a place to keep the mobile and precariously balancing it on top of a stack of books may not be convenient. Having a friend to hold the camera might make you conscious. So it is best to invest in a cheap tripod. You get a lot of options below Rs.1000.
- Tip #2
Ensure that the camera is at face level and the place where you are going to record the video is relatively silent. Also, ensure that you are seen properly in the frame – typically waist-above is perfectly okay. You don’t need to get your whole body in the video. And keep your eyes on the lens. It makes you more confident.
Remember that we are just trying to make sure your message is getting conveyed properly. The MBA program does not need the next Steven Spielberg!
- Tip #3
To get a good video, make sure that the light source is not behind you. Try an overhead light or one pointed towards you, instead. This is because you want to highlight your face and not look like you have attained nirvana (which is what you will get with the light source behind you – also called the “halo effect”.
- Tip #4
Your video will lose its entire point if you cannot be heard clearly. So, make sure you speak directly into the mic or in the direction of the camera, as the case may be. Also, ensure that the room is not noisy (in India you might underestimate traffic sound).
You need to be serious about your application and the video should reflect that very clearly.
2. Be Creative… or Not
An MBA Application video essay is no place to show off your video production skills. Honestly, all the AdComs want is to get to know you better.
You don’t need to focus excessively on providing the best light or the highest quality sound. Don’t waste your time trying to perfect your make-up and hair, you don’t need to be a diva. Your face should be clearly visible, your voice loud and clearly audible, and your appearance should match that of a confident young professional.
The entire point of video essays in MBA applications is to showcase who you are. Your personality matters to AdComs because they want to be sure you will fit into the overall batch. Display your thought process, your strengths and beliefs and just your very personality in your video essay.
If you are a creative person, let it show. If you’re not, don’t try to look otherwise.
Really, there are no rules for how you should communicate what you want to. You just need to make sure you communicate it well.
3. Keep it Crisp!
Wait – we know you don’t need to be told to keep it crisp when you have all of ONE minute to speak. That’s not what we’re saying.
There will always be a whole lot of things you will want to say in response to a question – we all do. The trick is to pick the right and most relevant things to say, especially since you only have 30 seconds to figure out what to say.
Use those 30 seconds to jot down your thoughts.
With all your ideas on paper, you will know how to structure your answer. It becomes easier to organize your thoughts when you can see them. It also helps you stick to the point.
It’s too easy to end up talking about the same thing for too long and end up with no time to mention other important things. If you ramble on or get into too much detail about any specific point, it can belittle everything else you’ve said. That is what we’re asking you to keep crisp – every point you mention should be succinct.
Typically, the prescribed time limit will be one minute. You have to be able to make all your points clearly and convincingly within that much time.
4. Keep it Simple!
You don’t need to use big words to make an impression.
Nobody expects you to speak like Barack Obama, whether your essay is self-recorded or impromptu. After all, even President Obama had an entire team of professional speech writers behind him – we’re not sure even we know what he would sound like by himself!
The point is, AdComs expect you to sound like no one but yourself. If you don’t usually use big, uncommon words, don’t try to throw some in only to sound smarter. It shows when you’re saying words you don’t normally use by the way they roll off your tongue.
It’s better to sound less “smart” and use your usual vocabulary than to use fancy words and sound fake.
The AdComs will be impressed by how well you communicate the ideas you have in your mind. Make sure you’re good on that front and you don’t need to worry about the other aspects of your video essay.
5. Practice Before Recording
An almost obvious but super-important tip is to practice saying your answers out loud before you start recording.
If you can, do a couple of dry-runs; record yourself and watch the video.
This gives you a good idea about how long you’ll need to finish and whether that fits within the required time limit. It’ll also give you a good idea of how you appear and whether you need to change anything.
If you’re a camera-shy kind of person, these practice sessions will help ease your discomfort, too.
We know that the prospect of appearing on video may be exciting for some of you and daunting for others. It’s bound to be – after all, it is similar to appearing for an interview. In fact, it might be scarier because you don’t get any clues from the viewers’ facial expressions.
Look on the bright side, though!
It’s only one minute long – you can’t really go too wrong in such a short time!
On a parting note, a quick word of advice: don’t leave video essays for the last minute. Research has shown that video essays are turning out to be the biggest factors influencing AdCom’s decisions regarding candidates.
If you’re overwhelmed with your MBA Application work, feel free to reach out to us.
You’re an MBA aspirant, who wants to have a fulfilling career, post graduating from one of the top B-Schools across the globe. You obviously don’t want to spend money on a quality MBA to eventually end up at the same boring job, take home the same meager salary or settle for less than what you deserve.
Now, you’re wondering what exactly you can do after an MBA. Sales? Maybe work as a bank manager. Or perhaps get hired as a consultant. But, trust me, the options don’t end there. An MBA can be a great career booster and once you have a fair idea of the opportunities available, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Literally.
Be it sales, HR, Technology, Operations or finance, MBA graduates. So let’s start with Technology. Even if you’re not from a tech background, there’s no need for you to shy away. All you need is the passion for and knowledge of technology, along with sound logic behind your decision to make a career switch.
Career Paths in Technology
Once you’ve got that stated clearly in your B-School application, here are the technology career options available:
1. Project Management:
Are you looking for a post-MBA job opportunity that enables you to put your penchant for technology to good use?
Apart from being tech-savvy, do you consider yourself a born manager?
If you’re nodding your head in the affirmative to both these question, you could definitely excel at project management, where you would be given the onus of overseeing a company project right from scratch.
Big Data Analytics is indeed big, when it comes to the field of IT. It plays a major role in gathering insights, determining business trends and accordingly making informed business decisions.
In fact, in recent years, the job of a big data scientist or analyst has seen an unprecedented growth in popularity, so much so that organizations are willing to shell out large sums of money to attract experts in the profession.
B-schools renowned for Technology
– MIT Sloan
– Cornell Johnson
– Boston University
To learn more about the job opportunities in this field, read Post MBA careers: Technology
Career Paths in Sales and Marketing
Sales and Marketing have always been popular with MBA graduates. The options are limitless and make for highly fruitful careers. These are the most popular career choices in this particular field:
1. Sales/Business Development:
Who do you think is responsible for the large number of new clients acquired by a company? Yes, it is the sales or business development team.
To be able to lead such a team with your knowledge and expertise is a coveted career opportunity. Be it delivering that flawless sales pitch or closing a major deal, your skills in sales can make or break an organization.
Getting into business development after your MBA can be the perfect way to kick-start your career or give it a much-needed makeover.
2. Account Management:
The function of sales doesn’t end with lead generation. Most companies have a client servicing team in place to interact with customers on a regular basis and resolve issues pertaining to the present project.
However, the gap between a business development manager and a client servicing personnel is often aptly filled in by an account manager. Account management requires special flare for sales, where new business is constantly generated from existing clients.
Since this job entails exceptional communication skills and the ability to overlook as well overcome hurdles in the way, account managers are in high demand
3. Brand Management:
Brand management is indeed one of the most difficult roles in the field of marketing. If you decide to become a brand manager, you need to be doubly sure that you’ve got excellent communication skills, foresight, creativity and the ability to work with people across various divisions.
If you step into this playing field, you will be responsible for increasing your company’s brand awareness and recall. Along with the afore-mentioned skills, if you’re equipped with an MBA from a prestigious college, dive straight in!
4. Product Management:
Project management doesn’t so much involve clients as much as it involves the product or service itself. Any form of marketing is incomplete if you’ve not got this right. Again, creativity and foresight ranks topmost in the list of prerequisites for this job.
After your MBA, if you think you can utilize your knack for designing and describing product features to benefit your company and your future, product management might as well be the career of your choice.
5. Product Marketing:
The difference between product management and product marketing is often a very fine line.
The management bit requires you to envision the selling features of the product. Product marketing on the other hand involves the steps that follow.
As a product marketing expert, you will need to shoulder responsibilities such as creating product awareness, educating potential buyers and pricing the product.
6. Market Research:
Product marketing remains a game of trial and error unless the market research expert steps in. Before launching any product, comprehensive information should be collected about the needs of customers.
It is also important to gauge the tactics employed by competitors for similar products. This is especially important if you’re targeting a new demographic profile or an unfamiliar geographical area.
If you love studying consumer behavior and are passionate about statistical figures and data, go ahead and specialize in market research after MBA.
7. Online Media:
This is another field of work that many MBA graduates now find alluring. What with almost all businesses seeking an online presence, an Online Media Specialist is responsible for the company’s SEO needs and marketing.
An online media specialist needs to prove his/her mettle in all facets of online marketing, be it web analytics or social media marketing or paid search ads, in order to shine in his career.
B-schools renowned for Sales and Marketing
– UCLA Anderson
– USC Marshall
Thinking of specializing in Marketing and Sales? Check out Post-MBA Careers: Sales and Marketing for more information on the career opportunities available.
Career Paths in Consulting
Consultants are in great demand these days, either as a part of a company’s in-house team or as an external advisor. They help companies identify problems and suggest possible solutions to those.
However, consulting can be classified into various kinds, depending on the type of problems it addresses. Here are some of the job opportunities that come under the gamut of consulting:
1. Strategy Consulting:
You can opt to become a strategy consultant if you have a penchant for making long term plans and devising strategies to help a company grow as a brand.
Strategy consultants need to work in tandem with the highest authorities of an organization, such as the President or the Board of Directors. They recommend plans and policies to the decision makers and work during the pre-implementation phase.
2. Operations Consulting:
What an operations consultant does, differs in its scope from the roles and responsibilities of a strategy consultant.
Instead of developing strategies which will help an organization in the long run, an operations consultant addresses current issues that affect the progress of a business.
This kind of consulting, unlike strategy consulting, involves working hand-in-hand with the decision makers during the implementation and post-implementation phase.
3. Technology Consulting:
As the name suggests, this career choice lays emphasis on how technology can be beneficial for a company. This could include IT compliance, data analytics, information security and scalability.
Other than having an MBA, it is also essential that a technology consultant is adept in the intricacies of the IT discipline.
4. HR Consulting:
From recruitment to employee engagement, an HR consultant is considered to be the superhero of any business. As an HR consultant, an MBA degree helps you learn how to frame human resource policies, manage people and address their concerns tactfully.
In fact, it is an HR consultant who acts as the bridge between employers and employees.
B-schools renowned for Consulting
– Kellogg School of Management
– Tuck School of Business
– Harvard Business School
To find out more about Consulting as a career path post-MBA, read our post on Post-MBA Careers: Consulting 101
Career Paths in Operations
Just as any business cannot take off without its sales function, it cannot sustain without a strong operations team. The operations function deals with the delivery of a service or product to customers. Check out the job opportunities available within the scope of operations:
1. Operations Consulting:
An operations consultant finds solutions to questions such as “What are we doing wrong?” and “How can we do things differently and more effectively?”
Irrespective of which industry you work for, an operations consultant plays an invaluable role in the growth of a company.
2. Operations Management:
If you’ve always like keeping a track of trends in supply chain management and logistics, chances are you’ll excel in operations management.
Operations management deals with framing and implementation of business practices that help an organization carry out day to day business effectively. Be it optimal utilization of resources or improvement of productivity, an operations manager has to shoulder a wide range of responsibilities, depending on the level at which he works.
B-schools that specialize in Operations:
– MIT Sloan
– UNC Kenan-Flagler
To know in detail about a career in operations, read Post-MBA Careers: Operations
Career Paths in Finance
Who doesn’t love money? If you eat, sleep and drink money, and if you’re keen on helping a company manage their moolah, you might want to consider a rewarding career in finance. Here are the ample options you can explore in finance after an MBA:
1. Corporate Finance:
If you were one of those rare students in school who had a love affair with numbers, or if you have an affinity to statistics, you could consider corporate finance as a successful career.
In such a role you would be working in the CFO- office of a large company making decisions related to investments, shares, credit, all keeping in mind the company’s budget.
From ensuring that your company has adequate finances, to choosing the right source of funds and utilizing them to generate maximum revenue for the firm—a finance manager has to shoulder big responsibilities. This role would also include capital budgeting, hedging funds and making important investment decisions
2. Investment Banking:
If terms such as “capital markets”, “acquisitions”, “mergers”, “bond financing” and “underwriting of deals” leave you exhilarated instead of flustered, you should undoubtedly think of becoming an investment banker.
As an investment bank associate you will be responsible for assisting organizations raise funds for expanding business. You would also have to advise the company based on their financial assets and liabilities.
3. Private Equity:
A Private Equity Analyst helps companies invest in other firms through various kinds of funding, such as IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) and Equity Financing.
This role involves extensive research and analysis using a variety of financial modeling strategies. An expert in private equity manages the investment funds of a company.
This career choice involves a thorough knowledge of the different types and sizes of firms. It also necessitates the ability to make informed investment decisions.
4. Venture Capital
Venture capitalists are responsible for performing due diligence on potential business enterprises that corporate establishments have decided to invest in. Before an investment is finalized, a venture capitalist has to scrutinize financial documents and bank statements of any startup.
Based on his/her report, a business’ potential for growth and profit is assessed and informed decisions are taken. Hence, if you are drawn to wherever money is, this could be a coveted job opportunity.
B-schools Renowned For Finance
– Chicago Booth
– NYU Stern
– Cornell Johnson
– London Business School
– IIM A
If you need more information, read our blog post on Post MBA Careers: Finance
Career as an Entrepreneur
In recent years, the trend of pursuing an MBA with the goal of becoming an entrepreneur, has drastically taken off.
Though starting a business was earlier considered a risky proposition and the “business mentality” was often looked down upon, times have changed.
Many working professionals are ready to give up their high-paying jobs and begin a venture of their own—all for the satisfaction of treading a different path.
B-schools Renowned for Entrepreneurs
– Harvard Business School
– Stanford’s Graduate School of Business
– MIT’s Sloan School of Management
– Chicago Booth School
– Columbia Business School
So which career path do you want to tread upon after MBA? Tell us in the comments below.
Are you wondering if you can get into a top B-School this year? Let us help you!
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This is the first blog in our series on Post-MBA Careers. Stay tuned for more insights in the coming weeks!
The hero of our story is an enthusiastic MBA Aspirant. For the sake of brevity, let’s call him EMA. In this short chat session, he is discussing his career goals.
Qn: What is your short-term career goal?
EMA (confident): I want to be a Management Consultant.
Qn: You want to be a Business Consultant, a Strategy Consultant or a Tech Consultant?
EMA (thinking ‘What’s the difference?’): Er… Strategy Consultant?
Qn: Okay. Which firm do you want to work with?
EMA (sweating): Er… McKinsey…
Qn: Why McKinsey? Why not any of the others? Why not Kurt Salmon?
EMA (thinking ‘Because that’s the only name I’ve heard of!’): Er…
At the end of the tête-à-tête, EMA decides that there’s more to this Consulting business than meets the eye.
EMA is not alone – 7 out of 10 MBA aspirants say that their career goal is Management Consulting. But very few of them have the first clue about what a consultant does or what it really takes to become one. The objective of this blog is to give all the EMAs out there a clearer idea about Management Consulting as a career option.
Who is a Consultant?
Companies often encounter business problems such as new product launches, revamping operations, entering new territories, redesigning the organizational structure etc. While some companies have in-house consulting teams to evaluate such strategic and tactical problems, many others approach external Consulting firms to do this for them.
In a nutshell, a consultant is an external advisor who steps in to study a business problem and make recommendations to help the client solve it.
What are the different types of Consulting?
Answering the question “What Should The Client Do?”, Strategy Consulting is aimed at the general direction an organization should take, its long term plans, its organic and inorganic growth strategy, and increasing profitability. Strategy consultants interact directly with the CEO, President, Country Head or Board of Directors of the client company. They mostly recommend solutions and conduct workshops or sessions to help the client implement them, but are rarely involved in the actual implementation phase.
Top Strategy Consulting firms: McKinsey, BCG, Bain & Co., Booz etc.
Answering the question “What Is The Client Doing Wrong And How Can It Be Done In A Better Way?” The scope of Operations Consulting includes evaluation of the functioning of the client’s business, operations or processes. Projects could range from resource optimization and productivity enhancements to process re-engineering and supply chain design. Operational consultants – particularly at the senior level – would typically require functional or industry expertise and typically engage with the Vice President or Business Head of particular divisions of the client company. Operations Consulting firms often work with their clients in the implementation and post-implementation phases. The 4 strategy consulting firms mentioned above also come out top in the operations consulting category, but are usually uninvolved in the implementation.
Top Operations Consulting firms: Deloitte, Accenture, AT Kearney, IBM, PwC etc.
Focus on how best to leverage technology to help organizations grow. The scope includes IT scalability, security, design and development, analytics, compliance etc. Due to the nature of their work, technology consultants are experts in their field, but do not necessarily have intricate knowledge of the functioning of the client business.
Top Tech Consulting firms: Deloitte, Accenture, Capgemini, IBM etc.
Human Resource Consulting:
The scope ranges from organizational development, HR policy, people strategy, actuary and organizational design and restructuring, to managing human resources (recruitment, engagement etc.)
Top HR Consulting firms: Towers Watson, Mercer, Aon Hewitt, Hay Group etc.
Boutique consulting firms focus on niche industries in which they have expertise. While working with boutique firms can be as challenging as working with strategy/operations firms, some boutiques may have a regional client base. Therefore, travel opportunities to client locations may be fewer. Similarly, the teams tend to be smaller and client interaction more in boutique consulting.
Top Boutique Consulting firms: LEK Consulting (M&A), OC&C and Parthenon (Private Equity), Kurt Salmon (Retail & CPG), Cornerstone Research (Economic Consulting) etc.
What Does It Take To Become A Consultant?
Interpersonal and Communication skills
Ability to deal with uncertainty and change
During recruitment, consulting firms look at spikes in 3 areas of your profile:
(1) Academic potential: Your GPA, the schools you attended and even your GMAT score
(2) Work experience: Your role, performance at work, promotions and pedigree of the companies you worked with
(3) Extracurricular achievements: What outstanding/exceptional accomplishments do you have outside of work?
If they see something they like in these areas, you will be called for an interview. The interviews of most major consulting firms will involve case study analyses. You can look at sample interview case studies from McKinsey and Bain
Career Progression in Consulting
With only a graduate degree, you may be able to work with a consulting firm as an Analyst (the smallest cog in the wheel!), but this is one of the few professions in which you need to have an MBA degree to progress to the next level. i.e. Associate.
This is the typical career progression in a consulting firm:
Management consulting is a field that has cutthroat competition – the motto of most top consulting firms is “Move up, or move out!” There are many Associates who somehow do not manage to make it to the Principal level, and many Principals who are somehow not made Partners. They will be eased out of the door sooner or later.
But here’s the good news – just the fact that they’ve worked with a McKinsey or a BCG is enough for numerous doors to open elsewhere! They will get red carpet treatment from other firms for senior management roles – thus, as an ex-consultant, you will never be out in the job market looking for openings.
A Career In Consulting: The Pros and Cons
Pros: The prestige, the opportunity to work with senior client executives (at Principal levels and above), excellent learning and training opportunities and fancy paychecks
Cons: 70-hour work weeks (Management consultants top the list of professionals with the highest divorce rates!) and crazy travel schedules (often to unheard-of places with no facilities)
Further Reading: To learn more about the world of Consulting, do read The McKinsey Way.
Read our next blog post in this 5 part series on Post MBA careers: Sales & Marketing
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In this article I am going to discuss the Wharton MBA program. If you’re looking at applying to Wharton, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s first look at the Wharton MBA program and what differentiates it. As we all know, it’s an Ivy League school. It’s part of the three schools, considered to be the elite trio – Harvard, Stanford and Wharton.
What I think truly differentiates Wharton is that though it is known as a finance school, more importantly, it has a certain quantitative rigor to it. There is a lot of focus on quantitative skills, analytical skills and a lot of rigorous thinking. If you’re a person who likes that, Wharton is the place for you. Can you apply to the financial industry? Sure! Can you apply to consulting? That’s also possible! I don’t think you should look at Wharton as a pure finance school. I know it’s known for finance but the quantitative focus is a larger bet.
Second, among all the top schools, Wharton has the most diverse profile. It has the highest percentage of international students among the top schools, and that provides you with rich classroom experience and outside classroom experience. It is not just the country they represent but also the functions. In that way, Wharton is truly global.
Third, you probably have to pick the flexible curriculum. There is a fixed core course but you have the flexibility right in your first year to pick a lot of electives. This is great for people who feel they don’t want to have the rigidity of a course where they are told what they have to study. Once you’re done with the basics – statistics, accounts and economics and all of the required courses, you can pick and choose what you want to do. I think that’s another big draw for people applying to Wharton.
2018-2019 Wharton Deadlines
2018-2019 Wharton Essay Questions
Now, let’s look at the specific questions that Wharton has. It has two essays
Essay 1 (Required)
Now, if you think about it, it’s very specific, and a classic career goals essay, which you cannot answer by just saying what you will get from a Wharton MBA. You have to first say what it is that you need from a Wharton MBA, and in order to say that, you also need to say what it is that you’ve done so far.
It kind of goes back to the same three step process. Tell them what it is that you have done so far, what it is that you see ahead of you and hope to do in your future. Now that you have said what it is that you hope to do, tell them what you need to reach that goal. Once you say what you need in order to reach there, in the last part you need to say how specifically Wharton can help bridge that gap.
S500 words gives you enough space to write a pretty detailed and descriptive essay. In the first part, tell them what you’ve done, where you are in this career juncture, and what you see ahead; this would include your short term and long term goals.
In the second part, say what you hope to do to equip yourself to achieve those short term and long term career goals?
In the third part, describe how specifically a Wharton MBA will help you achieve your goals. Use the standard 150 + 150 + 150 words for the three parts and maybe 50 words for the beginning and ending.
Essay 2 (Required)
Interacting with people from Wharton has given me insight into what Wharton is like. On our panel, we have Aruna who is an MBA from Wharton. Some of my former colleagues are from Wharton, and we have had students going to Wharton. One thing that say when we talk about the Wharton MBA program is the fact that most of the student activities are student run. This means that you volunteer to go talk to an alum to get him on campus. Don’t expect the college to do this for you. From that perspective, what they really want to know is, what it is that you will contribute to the Wharton community.
400 words is a lot of space. I would perhaps pick two or three specific things that I bring to the table. For these two or three things, you need to talk about both, what you can give, and how you will benefit, or what you will gain.
Let us say that your interest is in science. Now, what does an MBA student really require from science? But you could say that you have an interest in astronomy and you would like to show your classmates how astronomy can be interesting. You can maybe say that when you look at the star filled sky in Philadelphia, you could show them certain constellations. It’s about what you can contribute to the community.
What I gave you is just a small example. It could be a sport; maybe you practice yoga. You could say that you like to practice yoga and it helps you calm your mind. In an MBA, people get overwhelmed with a lot of things that are thrown at them. You can say that at such times you could probably take a yoga class. Maybe every morning, you could conduct yoga classes.
It could be anything, but you need to say what it is that you can give to the community, but remember that teamwork is a two way street. You can also say what you would benefit from it. What would you benefit from teaching astronomy to others? Maybe it’s a personal passion that you have. Maybe teaching yoga would allow you the opportunity to practice yoga.
Whatever you write, pick two or three things. 150 to 200 words to explain each of these would give you enough space to elaborate. Otherwise, you talk about 10 things, and it will look like a checklist that you’re ticking off. It would be like you went to the Wharton website, looked at all these things and wrote“I want to be a part of the Consulting club”, or “I’ll be part of the Cricket club”. Don’t do that, just stick to two or three ways in which you can contribute.
Essay for Re-applicants
You also have the option to write an essay, say, if you have had gaps in your education, or your experience, or there is something else that you think could not fit anywhere else in the application essay. In this case, you utilize this space, but one piece of advice that I always give to the student is, “Do not try to retrofit something that could not find a place anywhere else, just because you have another 250 words to write.”
I hope this article was useful to you. If you’re applying to Wharton, and if you would like to know more about how we can help you with your application, just go ahead, and click the link below.
Welcome to this article in which we’ll discuss the Judge Business School at Cambridge, UK. If you’re applying to Judge this year, 2018-19, you have come to the right place.
Let’s first look at the program. The first thing that sets Cambridge and Judge apart is that though the B-School is relatively new, have this connection to this university, it’s a tradition! Cambridge is over 800 years old. Just imagine! That’s a lot of history. This is where Sir Isaac Newton actually held Chair. This is the place where the whole university system started. These are things that very few schools can boast of!
The second aspect is, If you’re looking for a one year program then yes, Judge has a great one year program. There are very few one-year programs. Typically, you have two-year programs but the UK usually has a one year program, and of course, Cambridge is one of the best. A one year program entails accelerated learning, so if your opportunity cost is high, this might be the place for you.
The third thing is the fact that you’re in an English speaking country if you’ve decided to go to the UK. The economy and Brexit apart, it’s an English speaking country, and it is culturally very similar. From an Indian perspective it makes a lot of sense to go to UK rather than to a place like France and Spain where language can be a huge constraint for you. Also, back home in India, and in many the other Asian countries, Cambridge has a brand value. You’re going to be Cambridge educated for rest of your life.
The last aspect, about the program itself is their curriculum. If you look at the website, they talk about their unique curriculum where they say it’s not just going to be about learning within the classroom but also through all the other activities that you do outside the class, be it Business Plan competitions , conferences that you will attend, or exchange programs, and so on. In fact, this is true for typical European MBA programs as opposed to US MBA programs. US MBAs have a very quantitative rigour, while in a European MBA, UK MBA, it’s a lot about the experience and the ideas to transform you in that one year.
2018-2019 Cambridge Judge MBA Deadlines
2018-2019 Cambridge/Judge Essay Questions
There are three main essays that the Cambridge MBA application requires.
This is similar to a Statement of Purpose, which you may have heard of when you were in college. Let’s look at each of the questions.
What is the function, what industry, what geography, and what are the potential employers and f titles you can potentially get? You must be very specific, especially for the short term goal. For the long term goal, maybe it’s okay if you’re not so specific; you can talk about personal aspirations, something that is more of a passion. You have a little leeway to talk about other things. However, whatever you say, it has to be aligned with what you have done. Which is why the second part asks “ What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you achieve them?” This tells them that you’re the best equipped to reach those goals. So it’s very important for you to make that connect.
Here, they ask for very specific things that you’re going to be doing. So again here, there are looking at whether you have the required focus. Have you already planned on what you’re going to be doing in Cambridge? Maybe you want to work in Europe, in which case you’re probably learning another language. One of our students who went to Cambridge actually learned German. In India, we have Max Mueller Bhavan; he learned German from there. The whole idea was to say that he was already equipping himself for a career in the UK.
Another student who wanted to get into the financial world, and had a CA ICWA finance background, ended up taking a CFA. He took CFA level 1 and 2. Why? Because you’re already equipping, you’re not putting everything on an MBA degree and saying that you’re banking on this MBA degree to get a job. This is before you get an MBA.
Then, within the MBA program, what is it that you would like to do at Judge. There is a plethora of options; what is it that you’re specifically looking at doing? Articulate this well.
In this case, my suggestion would be to not tread the unsure path. You need to tell them you’re very sure about this but you could possibly talk about a Plan B. Plan A could be to get into consulting, but your Plan B could be to get into operations within a company. The reason behind providing Plan B is to make the school comfortable that this is a person who knows that sometimes the best of our plans don’t work out and we need to have a back-up in place. They wouldn’t want someone coming and saying, “I am putting all my eggs in this one basket called Cambridge MBA.”
How would you structure these 500 words?
My suggestion would be to first talk about your background. Who are you? Where is it that you come from? What do you possess? Based on this, where do you want to go? What are your short term and long term ambitions? Then talk about what you are going to do to bridge the gap. This could beat the MBA program or outside of it. So I would probably put around 150 words for each of the three parts and then 50 words for the starting and the finishing. Make sure that you have a strong start, and a strong finish. All put together, this essay should be about 500 words. Again, this is a very classic career goals essay.
The term “spectacular failure’, if you search for it, you realize it’s a management term that is sometimes used to say, “it’s a huge failure but it’s a failure from which I learned something.” I have heard that in Australia they have elite fighter pilots, and one of the questions that they ask them is “Have you failed at any point of your life?” and if they have not failed, they are actually NOT considered for the program. Guess why? Because they feel that if they have not handled failure, they will not know how to handle failure in the future. It is not a shame to admit failure. A lot of us wonder how we can tell someone that we failed. Well, trust me! Everyone fails in their life at some point or the other.
What is important here?
How did you bounce back? What did you learn? How does that make you a better person? How are you able to apply this learning to all your future endeavors ? That is what they are looking at! Don’t worry! Whatever your failure, don’t try to mask a success by talking about failures. Some of the mistakes students make is that they start writing “Oh, my project was in the doldrums. We had this….and we’ve been making losses…but…” and they eventually talk about how they eventually became successful. Don’t do that. If it’s a failure, just say you cut your losses and moved on.You could pick a personal or professional incident; it could be something you learned from a relationship, or maybe something that you learned at work. Just describe the failure, and what you learnt.
A lot of your MBA experiences is going to be about teamwork. Most of the events, conferences and competitions are all student run. Hence, they are looking for someone who can gel well with others. Here, I would probably first talk about the differences, the diversities in the team. It is very easy to gel well with people who have very similar experiences but if you worked in a team where people have different backgrounds, different experiences, different exposure, you need to say how you were able to build a consensus. The idea is not to say that you wielded a stick and told them that this was how you wanted it, but say whether you were you willing to let go of something, did you negotiate on something. So they would like to know more about this.After you have done this, say how you became a better person as result of that. How do you take this forward?.
I will give you an example of what someone had written about team-work. He said “One of my biggest problems was dealing with another team member. The problem was that whenever I asked him for anything, he would always say he couldn’t do it, and he would never go out of his way to help me. He is a negative guy.” Then he wrote that was one instance when the team member actually came to him and said “Hey, you know, I feel that you’re struggling at this point. Would you like me to help you?” and he helped him in that particular case. The writer of the essay then asked the team member why he always said he wouldn’t do something when he was clearly helping now. The team member answered, “Whenever I help someone, I would like to do a 100%. I don’t want to extend my help and then make you feel that I am here and I am not able to work on my promise.” That is the mindset he got to know. It’s always about learning something. That’s the whole idea behind an MBA experience. That’s what this essay is about.
So this is pretty much what we have for the Cambridge MBA Program. If you’re looking at applying to Judge we would love to see if we can work together on it. Why don’t you just go ahead, and click on this link below!
Welcome to this article in which we’re going to discuss the Said MBA program at Oxford. If you’re looking at applying to Said Business School, here are a couple of things you need to know. Firstly, at this business school, similar to Cambridge, you have this huge connection to the Oxford University system. In fact, if you go to the Said Business School website, you will see a lot about Oxford and you might ask, “why is there such a big deal about Oxford?” It’s because you’re not just looking at the business school which is relatively new but are also getting access to a university that is 700-800 years old. In fact, one of the students who had gone to Oxford said, “One of the first things you do when you join the college, is go on a parade where you walk through the streets of Oxford, wearing black robes and hats, and eventually go to the amphitheatre and the chancellor of Oxford actually addresses the students, believe it or not, in Latin. There is a lot of tradition, a lot of pride. You are Oxford educated! Nobody is going to say what you did there but it’s the university with brand equity.
Second, it’s a great one-year program. If you’re looking at accelerated learning, one-year is a relatively lower opportunity cost. I would definitely pick Oxford as one of the top 5 to 10 schools in the world that I would apply to if I am looking at a one-year program.
The third thing is that Said Business School also prides itself for having a practical approach to an MBA. It’s not just academics. During the one-year, there are also lots of assignments; there is exposure to real world problems. That’s the other important part of the education. If you look at most European MBAs, they are more qualitative in their experience. They want to make you grow as a person. They want you to have a growth mind-set. While a lot of US schools have more quantitative rigor. If this is the kind of school you want to experience and you want to create a better version of yourself, Oxford Said should be the top school for you.
These are some of the aspects you need to be looking at for “Why Oxford?”.
Now let’s look at the application deadlines.
2018 – 2019 Said Business School Deadlines
Said Business School MBA Essay Analysis 2018-2019
The first thing is to note, “something that shocks you”, and not “something that surprises you.” What would shock me? Something would shock me because I have my own personal guideline. I have my own sense of ‘what is right and what is wrong”.
So very clearly it’s in conflict. Maybe it is a poverty figure, maybe it is about how people are consuming more calories. You have all this soda and fast food by which people are getting obese, even in a country like India. It could be anything, so first, what is the statistic or trend and why is it important to you? There has to be a personal connect.
One mistake that people make in this essay is that they talk about something like poverty and they say, “Oh! I am so moved by this statistic.” However, what have you done about it? The question states, “why is it important to you, and how could it be changed for the better?” These are the two questions that you should actually focus on. How does it matter to you?
For example, one of our students wrote about geriatric problems. When people grow old, they tend to have mental illness like dementia. He was shocked that in a place like India, there is not a lot of respect given to people with such issues. If a person goes to a psychiatrist, people just say that he has gone mad. It’s very insensitive in India. So he said, “I was very shocked…”, and he also quoted statistics about people growing old in India without proper geriatric care, especially for mental illness. He said he had personal experience with his grandfather. He said, “I grew up in a household where I saw him, and it pained me.” There is a personal connection to it.
“How could it be changed for the better?”. He had a couple of plans and suggestions. Also, after his grandfather passed away, he had done a few things. He worked for an NGO which took care of old age homes and shelters. That’s what you have to do with 500 words. You have to cover the following points:
• Statistics, and ‘why it shocks you.’ This is very important. Don’t assume that the reader will know why it’s shocking. You need to tell them why it’s shocking, based on the personal parameter you have.
• Why is it important to you? You could have picked any other cause, that’s why you need to tell them why you picked this cause. Say something which has a personal thread to it.
• What is it that can be done to make it better? – You should have already started doing something about the issue, and it should not be like you’re going to wait for 15 years and do nothing about it, and then one day you hope to change it. You can talk about tiny baby steps you have already taken in doing so.
500 words, that’s plenty of space for you to write. Don’t worry, saying “will this will improve my candidacy for the MBA program?” They are just looking for smart and interesting people. They want to see whether this guy has something interesting to say; is he passionate about a cause? One leadership trait is being passionate about something. You pick any leader and you’ll see that he or she has this one particular thing that they feel passionate about, and they have actually done something in that area. That’s what they are really looking at.
For this essay, pick either:
1. Something that is a gap. For example, a gap in education, a gap in experience, or some anomaly in your GMAT score that you would like to explain.
2. Something that you plan to do but perhaps it’s too early to put the information into your essays. For example, you have a year to join the school, so you can say something like, ‘I would like to let you know that I plan to get my B Level certification in German. That’s something in the future but you think it’s important for the Admission Committee to know.
Either of these two pieces of information can fit into the 250-word essay.
That’s pretty much what we have for the Oxford Said MBA program, and if you’re applying to the program this year, please let us know if we could work together on this, by clicking the link below.
Welcome to this article in which I am going to talk about Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business. If you’re looking at applying to this school in 2017-2018, you have come to the right place.
First, let’s talk about the college itself. McDonough is part of Georgetown University, which is one of the oldest universities, and is located in Washington DC; most politicians’ children have actually gone to this university. It has a very good alum network, and that is a huge plus point. Another plus point is that being in Washington DC, the university is part of a large city. Hence, its location is great!
Now, apart from the great alum network and the location, what differentiates this program is the international focus and global experience. For example, in the second year, they have the Global Experience program as part of the MBA curriculum where students are given practical consulting projects in numerous international locations. That is one example of the kind of international focus they have. In fact, if you look at the whole curriculum, it has a lot of focus on international business. This is because Georgetown University itself has the School of Foreign Services. This is definitely one top reason for you to apply.
2018-2019 Georgetown McDonough Deadlines
2018-2019 Georgetown MBA Essay Questions
This is a classic essay where you’re talking about that one moment in your life, or that one thing that you did which possibly defines you. 500 words is a lot of space for you to craft out a good essay. Pick something where you felt that more than the impact it caused others you learned a lot from the experience. You want to pick something through which you had an impact on others, but remember that the question says, “Describe a defining moment when you were challenged and exceeded expectations.” Now think about it. Expectations can be very low, you may have overcome the expectations, you might have done well above them. Here, you have to tell them more than what you did; say what it did for you!
After you pick the story, you can use the standard START framework. You talk about the SITUATION – When did this happen? What was the background? What do you think would give gravity to the whole story? Consider all this while describing the situation. The second thing to cover is the TASK. What were you supposed to do? What was expected of you when you walked into the situation?. Third, the ACTION. What was the action that you did? What did you eventually do? Did you go and look at the scenario and think something can be done? What action did you take? Fourth, the RESULT. What was the result? Remember that you’re talking about the “Defining moment when you were challenged and exceeded expectations.” The last factor is the personal TAKEAWAYS. This is very important. What were the takeaways? You have to cover the situation, task, action, result, and takeaways; I would probably spend a lot more on the takeaways. What did I learn about myself? Did it help me in other areas of my life? If it did, how did it help me? The B-School is trying to understand you as a person; that’s what the really want to know. Who are you? Is this the person they would like to see in their class?. You need to bring a personal aspect to the story. More than the occasion, I would say what you learnt should be the larger, overarching thing.
Don’t repeat the things on your resume. However, you need to introduce yourself to your cohort, which is your team. What is it that you’re going to say in one minute, which is not already in your resume? You should pick just two or three things you want to share about yourself because 60 seconds will be done very quickly. Share certain things that are personal to you. Maybe you want to say “My name is…”, followed by an adjective, then go on to describe what that adjective means in your context. Talk about your hobbies. Say how you would like to share that hobby with your classmates. You’re bringing your personality into this. What they really want to know is, “if I look at you, are you a paper tiger? Or are you a person that I would like to talk to? Are you a person that I would like to interact with? How good is your communication? Are you able to maintain eye contact? What is your body language?
You don’t need any fancy equipment. One thing people ask me is, “Do I need to get it professionally shot?” These days, with the kind of phones we have, all you need is to keep the phone at a particular place and shoot the video.
- Make sure that the source of light is not behind you but is on your face or even above you.
- You need to be confident, you need to use your hands. You need to be yourself.
- You can take as many retakes as you want. Maybe you’re going to first get comfortable talking and then take the final version.
- You can have it directed. Maybe your friend who holds the camera, who gives an unbiased opinion about the video, could also help you.
Optional Essay 1:
If you’re utilizing this essay, remember it is not about having a full-time job as long as you can show them that you are creatively engaged in any activity, and utilizing your time well. Maybe you are taking some online courses. You have 250 words and you can tell them anything else in your application that has not been covered. Ensure that you talk about something that is relevant. Don’t try to fit in some story because it did not find a place elsewhere. Talk about what you would probably do in your future, maybe there is some course that you are planning to do next year, or any other passion that you would like to pursue. Maybe you want to learn to play guitar before you join the B-School.
Don’t just write another story, like, “At work, I was given an opportunity to do this and ….”. Don’t do this.
Optional Essay 2:
So that’s pretty much what we have. If you’re applying to Georgetown McDonough, please go ahead and click the link below. We’ve had a lot of students who went there in the past, and we can share our experience of what it takes to really get in. So.
Welcome to this article! In this article, I am going to show you what you need to do if you’re looking at applying to the Duke Fuqua MBA program 2018-19.
Let us first understand what we can about this school, especially if you’re an international applicant or if you’re applying from a country like India.
A lot of US B-Schools take their culture very seriously. If you go to the Duke website, they talk about Team Fuqua. Team Fuqua is essentially about how collaborative they are in spirit. This aspect is different from Harvard, or other larger college, which do not pride themselves for their team spirit. Fuqua has a huge advantage when it comes to demonstrating its pride of bonding. If you reach out to people who have been alums, you will see that most of them are happy to help you.
We’ve had many students from CrackVerbal joining Fuqua. In fact, every year, we’ve had one student who has gone to Fuqua. We have Mansha, who got into the program last year, and you can see her interview here.
The second big thing about the Fuqua program is the healthcare specialization; it is hard to miss. Duke Fuqua School of Business is connected to the Duke University, which has one of the best healthcare programs.
In terms of location, Duke is in North Carolina, where there is a research triangle. Thus, if you’re looking for healthcare, Duke is the place to be. However, if healthcare is not your cup of tea, don’t try to retrofit it inside your story or into your essays.
Thirdly, Duke is famous for the way the curriculum is structured. If you look at its curriculum, in the first year, the program has a lot more electives, and the actual courses are a lot shorter. It gives you the flexibility to choose a lot more electives.
By the time you complete the first year, you’re ready for your summer internship; you have the right stories in your resume, and in the interview you can express your interest by saying why you took these electives, and how you’re in a better position to do well in the job.
In this respect, Duke Fuqua is different from other B-Schools where the first year is rigid, and you have to go through a bunch of core courses. Most of the students who apply to Duke from CrackVerbal India are looking at it as a top 10 B-School. Duke is usually ranked somewhere in the 7 to10 range, depending on which ranking you look at, be it US News, Business Week, or Bloomberg ranking.
By just looking at the data, the average age is probably slightly higher, but you really don’t have to read too much into this. The important thing is the GMAT score.
The average GMAT score ranges from 640 to 670. In my experience, students who apply to Duke have typically got in with a range of 710 to 740. You definitely need to get into the right zone which is the lower 700s, if you’re looking at realistic chances.
Now, coming to something very important. Duke is said to have an Early Action Round. The Early Action Round this year is by the 12th of September.
What is an Early Action Round for Duke?
One of the important things about Duke is the Early Action Round. So what really is this Early Action Round?
A huge problem that many colleges whose ranking is in the 7th to 25th range face is that many students are looking at applying to other similar schools as well.
The person who is applying to Duke is also applying to HAAS Berkeley and Darden. The metric that Duke would look at is the yield percentage, that is, the number of people to whom offers were made to how many really took up the offer. B-Schools really work on that number, they really want a high yield percentage.
So what Duke has done is that it has this binding offer. If you apply to the Early Action Round, you are really telling them that you’re going to join them, and you won’t apply to any other school. If you are made this offer and you decide to take up this offer, you will not apply to any other B-School. You can see how it makes sense for Duke.
They have a pool of very competent people that they are admitting, and they know that these people are going to join the program.
From the student’s perspective, how will this help?
It is better than applying in Round 1 or Round 2; you have an advantage and a probability of getting a seat. Not many schools have this advantage of an Early Action Round, but Duke has it. If Duke is the school you’re looking at, please go ahead and take this offer.
Now let’s get to the meat of it, the application process.
2018-2019 Duke / Fuqua Deadlines
2018-2019 Duke / Fuqua MBA Essay Questions
Required Short Answer Questions
First Required Essay: 25 Random Things About Yourself
The question that most of the students have is, “what do I write, and what are the possible things I can write?” 25 things is a lot to write. This is not one of those essays for which you can do an all-nighter to complete. It’s very important that you plan this essay well. What you need to do is to create the following buckets:
The first bucket should include personal information about you – It could be the place where you were born, something about your siblings, something about your parents, or something about the city in which you grew up.
I will give you a couple of examples. Some students from CrackVerbal wrote about both their parents being teachers, and how they got to understand early in life that teaching is such a noble profession. Someone spoke about their name, mentioning that the name is very interesting, and what it actually means in Sanskrit. It’s just a random fact; you don’t need to have each and every fact saying why you need to get into an MBA program. Don’t try to retrofit it. People have spoken about their siblings; one student mentioned an interesting thing saying, “we are three brothers but the eldest one is 10 years older to me, so it’s almost like he is my surrogate father.” These are some of the interesting things you can write from a personal aspect.
Then the second bucket could be hobbies, or even quirks that you have. For example: “I like riding my bike late at night, I sometimes go on a 30 to 40 miles trip. I see that it sometimes clears up my thinking. I just go out on the road without really thinking too much, and by the time I am back I just have this moment of clarity.”
You can also talk about a particular hobby that you picked up when you were in school, maybe you are a trivia quizzer, and you like quizzing. Pick something which is interesting that you did when you were in school or college. It could also be at your work. One of my students had written this, “Whenever I look at a car registration number, I look at the four digit number, and start mentally doing the math. I see whether it is divisible by 4, and whether it is divisible by 6, or if there is any unique combination that I can get out of the numbers” She also went on to say that this was possibly one of the reasons why she played Sudoku.
The third bucket could be things that are in relation to work, slightly more professional, maybe an NGO involvement that you have had, or something else at work, maybe something that your colleagues call you. Write anything but try not to make it into a bullet point that should go into your resume. That’s definitely a NO but you can pick something interesting from your professional life. Here is an example:
One student had written how he figured out a solution in the company, and it got them recognition and he actually had his name in the annual newsletter for the company. He said, “that was my biggest achievement in life.” It could be about small things that you did, with great outcomes you got out of them; something that really excited you.
The last, fourth bucket could be something internal, something that is introspective, something about you as a person.
For example, you could talk about things like:
What are the qualities that really define you
What are the adjectives people would use to describe you
For example, you could say “I am a person who would like to be constantly challenged at work…” That’s probably one of the things you can write.
hese are the buckets, or broad categories in which you could divide the 25 things. If you really look at it, you just need about four or five in each of these buckets. Don’t keep it for yourself, go and ask people. Maybe you can ask your friends and family, “what are the things you think are unique about me?”, and you can then have a list of 40 to 50 things, and slowly cut it down.
Again, this is not so much about them deciding whether you’re fit for an MBA but they are really seeing, “is this person interesting?”, “Has he or she done enough things in life? Have they done enough introspection themselves?”
That’s what this essay is really looking for. “Would I want to meet this person for a face -to-face interview? Would I want the person to be part of our school for the next two years?” eep that as the focus of this essay.
Second Required Essay
Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and are vital to providing you with a range of experiential learning and individual development experiences.
Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, how do you see yourself engaging in and contributing to our community, outside of the classroom?
As I have said, it’s a huge part of Team Fuqua. They want people who are not here to just take take take…. but rather give give give…. They want to know what you can contribute. The best way to approach this is to probably pick three or four things that you can contribute. The mistake which most of the students typically do in this essay is that they go to the Fuqua website and pick a laundry list of 500 things and then just write one line for each. Please don’t do that. Pick three or four things that are central. For example, you’re in technology, so you need to pick something that you’re going to do in technology.You can say you want to be in the technology club. Tell them what you can contribute and what you can take from the club, and it should be personal. Write three to four points, each one having about 250 to 300 words. You need to have an opening and an ending. It will take at least two pages. Pick only 3 to 4 things, and not 100 things.
Students ask, “should I write the optional essay?” Write the optional essays when you feel that there is something really important for you to say. The common mistakes I have seen students making over this essay is that they just feel like there is one thing that they want to say, and they just try to fit in an accomplishment, which really doesn’t make any sense. Here are some of the things that you could possibly add.
• If you have had an academic break,
• if you have had a break in your employment,
• if you want to explain a poor integrated reasoning score in your GMAT.
• If you want to talk about something, for example, “I have my own network and I would like to let you know that though I believe in career advancement and placements help me, I would also like to rely on my network. ”
Write anything which can explain and improve your candidature.
Let’s look at Yale School of Management. What really makes Yale different from other B-schools? What makes it unique?
1. Yale is one of the original Ivy League schools. The term “Ivy League” is used for a set of schools which are 100+ years old; they have ivy creepers. Yale is one such school. The School of Management is a relatively new school but Yale has the brand equity that makes it “gold” standard for employers in the US, and across the world.
2. Another thing that Yale prides itself for is its innovative curriculum. If you go to Yale’s website, they tell us that in their curriculum, they do not go discipline by discipline but rather understand that management is the relationship among multiple disciplines that constitute any company. That’s the best thing you can talk about in your essays and interview with Yale.
3. Yale has just about 300 students when compared to Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, which have a larger number. With just 300 students, the class is a very intimate group, and you get easy access to the professors. The culture is not as competitive as it would be in larger classes simply because you know all your peers well.
4. Yale has a good connection with the financial center of the world which is in New York because Yale is in New Haven, which is close to New York. You have many Yale alumni in New York city; in the business district, so the connection with the financial market is also very strong.
2018-2019 Yale MBA Deadlines
2018-2019 Yale MBA Essay Analysis Video
2018-2019 Yale MBA Essay Question
So, what really is this commitment? This commitment may be a particular idea or particular cause that really is your passion in life. This commitment can also be the one thing that drives you.
One of our students from CrackVerbal faced the same essay question last year. He was a technology geek. He loved technology, and believed that every problem in the world can be solved by technology. When he had to write this essay he went back and wrote on how he started something on his own, along with his full-time job.
He also mentioned in his essay what he felt technology could do to fix problems.He spoke about how he had the patience to complete the research for which he had filed a patent application, while he was at his first job.
If you look closely here, he did not speak about his interest in technology but rather how he felt technology could solve problems in the world. This statement perfectly matched his goal to be a product manager after completing his MBA. The idea here is not to say why MBA, but to talk about you.
Most of the B-Schools are focusing on this line of thought where they want to know who you are. When it comes to writing essays, most of us make a common mistake. We search for information about the school, and write a few nice lines about why this B-School, and why it’s a perfect fit for you.
Considering these factors, schools like Yale take a first step in analyzing you thoroughly. They will want to know, “Is this person interesting?” So when writing this essay, make sure you don’t write too much about the B-schools and why an MBA.
A student from CrackVerbal, while writing this essay, mentioned his commitment to helping people who did not have the same opportunities he had.
He did his schooling at Ramakrishna Mission in India. During his school days, he decided that he had to do something to help people around him. This zeal continued while he was in college, too. In his essay, he also talked about a major calamity which happened in India, where he volunteered, and did sizeable on-ground work for two weeks during the floods.
The most important thing that moved the essay forward was the kind of personal commitment he had. It wasn’t just writing a cheque to some orphanage saying that he was committed to the cause. He rolled up his sleeves, and helped those in need.
Although he was applying for an MBA from a business perspective, in his everyday life, he realized that this was a privilege he had, and helping others was a commitment he had. This very strong statement pushed his essay through.
You can pick that one thing that has been a thread throughout your life, and this one idea can have multiple instances. You don’t need to worry about it having to be just one incident.
Make sure you’re running a thread which talks about all of these instances. Make sure that all these instances are under a super thread, which is basically your idea; your commitment.
This process is not easy, and it requires a lot of brainstorming.
That’s what happens when a student comes to CrackVerbal for the application process. We spend the first few sessions just talking through their stories, trying to understand the student a little better.
If you feel that we can help you, go ahead, and click the link below.
If you get into a top MBA program either in India or abroad, there is a chance that the school might provide you with a non-cosigner, non-collateral loan.
What does this mean? It means that the school itself will stand as your guarantor.
Think about it! What are the chances that a person who has completed a Harvard Business School MBA would default on a loan – risking credit history and employability?
Here is a list of schools in the US that offer a non-cosigner loan in India:
1. Harvard Business School
Harvard University Employees Credit Union (HUECU) provides private educational loans to international students with no co-signer.
For more details visit: http://www.hbs.edu/mba/financial-aid/international-students/Pages/default.aspx
2. Stanford Global School Of Business
Stanford GSB works with Prodigy Finance and Star One Credit Union to provide loan options for international students.
To know more: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/programs/mba/financial-aid/international-students
3. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Wharton has a new partnership with Quorum Federal Credit Union that will provide a non-cosigned loan up to 80% of the MBA Course fee for incoming international students.
For more details: https://mba.wharton.upenn.edu/tuition-financial-aid/
4. Cornell University
Johnson has partnered with QUORUM Federal Credit Union to offer a no co-signer loan at a competitive rate to International students for their full-time two-year MBA and one-year MBA programs.
For more details: http://www.johnson.cornell.edu/Programs/Full-Time-MBA/Admissions/Financial-Planning/International-Students
5. Duke Fuqua School of Business
Duke Fuqua School of Business, in association with Discover Student Loans provides a no co-signer loan to eligible international candidates. This plan enables students to take a loan up to 80% of the total school-certified cost of attendance at an interest rate of 7.24%
6. Haas School of Business
Haas School of Business, in partnership with Elements Financial and Discover Bank, provides a no co-signer loan up to $62,000 to eligible international candidates, with a 20 year repayment option.
For more details, see: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/finaid/MBA/international-loans.html
7. Yale School of Management (SOM)
Yale SOM has a student loan program for international students that does not require a U.S. co-signer. The program provides a maximum loan of 80% of cost of attendance with an interest rate varying from 6.5% to 9%, depending on a credit risk assessment.
For more details, see: http://som.yale.edu/programs/emba/admissions/tuition-financial-aid/student-loans
8. The Darden School of Business
The Darden School of Business and the Darden School Foundation have signed a multi-year MBA Loan Program agreement with Discover Bank. The Maximum borrowing limit is $89,000 with a standard repayment term of 20 years.
Learn more here: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/mba/financial-aid/loans/
9. UCLA Anderson
UCLA Anderson has partnered with Elements Financial Finance to provide no co-signer loans up to $100,000 ($50,000 per year) for International students.
Know more: http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/degrees/mba-program/admit-central/financing-your-mba/financing-options
10. Kenan-Flagler Business School
Kenan-Flagler Business School has tied up with Credila to provide no co-signer loans exclusively for Indian students.
For more details, see: http://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/admissions/mba/tuition-financial-aid/student-loans
11. MIT Sloan
MIT Sloan provides no co-signer student loan funds for International students through the MIT Federal Credit Union, except for students from countries on the current OFAC sanctions list.
You may have realized that not many of the top business schools have such tie-ups. This is because after 2008, (which was when the financial meltdown happened), banks became more wary of giving loans at low interest rates to international students.
However, if you do get an admit to a school which has such a tie-up, it should be a no-brainer.
Your entire fees get covered! What more could you ask for?
After the market crash in 2008, banks stopped offering non-collateral loans very easily, and if they did, the amount offered without collateral was rather low. Other financial institutions saw this as a huge opportunity to build their own business, and started providing non-collateral education loans at high rates of interest.
This article provides information about non-banking institutions that provide non-collateral education loans for MBA.
Avanse provides unsecured loans up to INR 50 lakhs. The rate of interest that Avanse typically charges for education loans is 12.75%; this rate might be higher in some scenarios.
For more information, see http://www.avanse.com/start-smart
The Paras Education Foundation
There is no limit on the amount that can be borrowed under the Paras Education Loan Scheme. You can avail of loans to meet the full amount covering your tuition fees and living expenses, after deducting any scholarships and financial aid.
Paras Education Loans are available at an interest rate of 3.5% to 6.5%, linked to the Wall Street Journal Prime Lending Rate (PLR).
Typically no collateral, physical mortgage, security, or margin money is required for the Paras Education Loan. A valid and credit-worthy co-signer may be required but the co-signer is not required to provide any collateral, physical mortgage, security, or margin money.
For more information, see: https://www.isloan.org/
For MBA Students, Prodigy Finance provides up to 80% Cost of Attendance (as provided by the school) with a minimum loan size of Rs 15,000.
The interest rate varies from 5.0% to 7.5% (fixed) over the three month GBP Libor or USD Libor Base Rate (variable). Rates are dependent on individual applicant profiles.
For more information, see https://prodigyfinance.com/
Currently, the maximum an individual can borrow from MPOWER is $50,000. This is limited to $25,000 for each academic period.
Their fixed interest rates are between 7.99% (8.85%APR) and 13.99% (14.87% APR). You can receive a 0.25% rate discount by repaying your loan through automatic withdrawal, and an additional 0.25% discount for making 24 consecutive on-time payments while repaying your loan through automatic withdrawal.
Rates are dependent on individual applicant profiles.
For more information, see https://www.mpowerfinancing.com/
Candidates can apply for a loan up to a sum of $25,000 from Stilt. Their interest rate varies from 10% to 15.99%
For more information, see: https://www.stilt.co/
Credila provides a maximum loan amount of INR 20 lakhs for higher education abroad and INR 10 lakhs for higher education in India. Their interest rates starts from 9.33%.
For more information, see http://www.credila.com/abroad/partial-list-of-universities-funded.html
GyanDhan provides loans up to INR 30 lakhs. For collateral loans, the interest rate starts from 9.1% while for non-collateral loans, the interest starts at 11.5%.
For more information, see https://www.gyandhan.com/
Many schools offer scholarships but you cannot bank on doing your MBA using just scholarships. You have to be a little careful with that one. That said, many schools, especially after the rank of 15 or 20, offer substantial scholarships if you have a very high GMAT score, and if your profile is very good.
We have had such students at CrackVerbal. We would be happy if you contacted us; we can share profiles of students who got as much as 70 to 80% of their tuition expense waived off. This means that their MBA was done in around INR 20 lakhs. There are scholarships, for example, the Reliance-Stanford scholarship which offers 100% of your Stanford MBA in return for you coming back to India and working here. There are some clauses you might want to look at, but scholarships are definitely an option that you could consider.
Here are the scholarship details of some top B-schools:
Harvard Business School
This school provides need-based fellowships to students with limited financial resources. The special interest fellowships are for those with various interests or backgrounds.
50% of HBS students are eligible for need-based Fellowships.
These scholarships include The Robert S. Kaplan (MBA 1983) Life Sciences Fellowship (for students interested in a science-based career), Junior Achievement Fellowship( for students with Junior Achievement experience) and Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship (non-profit).
Click here for more info – http://www.hbs.edu/mba/financial-aid/international-students/Pages/default.aspx
Stanford MBA scholarship
All MBA students, regardless of citizenship, are eligible for financial aid. Due to the rigorous nature of our MBA curriculum, they don’t recommend that students rely on part-time work to cover the cost of the program.
The Stanford GSB Financial Aid Office offers “need-based” fellowship and not merit-based fellowships
The Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship Program provides future Indian leaders with the educational foundation for affecting positive change in India. Every year up to five students are selected for the program with a condition to return to India to lead organizations that are at the forefront of growth and development in the rapidly emerging Indian economy.
Click here for more info – https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/programs/mba/financial-aid/us-citizens-permanent-residents
London Business School
London Business School offers a wide range of scholarships. Most of the scholarships are available to successful applicants who apply in Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the MBA application process.
You’ll find out more about scholarships, including how to apply, when you receive your offer.
All these scholarships are subject to change without notice.
INSEAD Scholarships are the most sought-after source of financial assistance. The number of scholarships is limited, and there is significant competition for each award. These scholarships are granted under various criteria, and there are essentially two basic categories of scholarships:
- Need-based: demonstrate financial need
- Non-need based: based on either merit, nationality, gender, professional background, leadership abilities, field of previous studies, etc.
For all INSEAD scholarships, they require applicants to provide accurate details of their financial situation.
Click here for more info – https://www.insead.edu/master-programmes/mba/financing
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)
Scholarships and fellowships are awarded to full-time MBA candidates who exhibit a high degree of potential for success in the program and in their careers
National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore (NUS) offers a number of merit based scholarship schemes to better support and ease the financial burden of students.
Once admitted into the HEC Paris MBA Program, you will have the opportunity to apply for HEC MBA Scholarships. These scholarships are highly competitive. Once admitted, you will receive guidance from your Admissions Officer to apply for a scholarship.
Wharton MBA scholarship
Wharton provides a broad range of scholarship opportunities for exceptional students.
Some of the fellowships offered include the emerging economy Fellowships (students from emerging economies), Joseph Wharton Fellowships (outstanding achievements), Howard E. Mitchell Fellowships (outstanding students from under-represented backgrounds) and Social Impact Fellowships (public or not-for-profit sector).
Click here for more info – https://mba.wharton.upenn.edu/tuition-financial-aid/
In addition to the Park Fellowships, Johnson has over $1.5 million in merit-based scholarship funds to award each year to new students
Chicago Booth scholarships
All Chicago Booth scholarships and fellowships are awarded based on merit. The eligibility for many of the fellowship programs is decided by the criteria of individual alumni and foundation donors.
There are several scholarship programs like India Trust Fellowship (for those living and working in India), The Wallman Fellowship (for women from underrepresented minority groups) and the Akhtarali H. Tobaccowala Fellowship (for students from India)
Click Here for more info – https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/tuition-financial-aid
Said Business School
For over two-thirds of Oxford scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you fulfill the eligibility criteria, your will automatically be considered.
There are various fellowships available like the Forté Foundation Fellowships (Two scholarships of £15,000 for female candidates), Alumni Annual Fund Scholarships (academic excellence ) and Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarships (strong career progression and excellent career potential)
Some scholarships you have an obligation to submit a scholarship essay.
To find out more about the scholarships available at Oxford, and how to apply for scholarships which require applications, please use the Fees, funding and scholarship search.
You are considered for scholarships when you apply to the Full-Time MBA Program, and you are notified of any award when you are admitted. This applies to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and international students.
No separate application is required.
Awards are based on academic ability, professional and personal achievements, and potential to contribute to our community.
Scholarships range from $5,000 to full tuition.
Many private organizations offer scholarships and fellowships to graduate students in all fields. The UCLA Graduate Division offers an excellent resource for finding these external awards
IMD offers a variety of merit and need-based MBA scholarships. Applicants may apply to several simultaneously. However, only one scholarship is awarded per candidate.
Scholarships granted are subject to nomination by the scholarship selection committee, acceptance into the program and confirmation of your intention to participate in the program by paying the advance deposit.
The various scholarships include MBA Class Scholarship for Emerging Markets (good academic results (GMAT), strong reference letters & steady career progression), IMD MBA Future Leaders Scholarships (exceptional leadership understanding – essay based), & Nestlé Scholarship for Women (women from developing countries)
IMD reserves the right not to award a scholarship if the criteria are not met to the satisfaction of the jury/sponsors.
IE School of Business
About 40% of the students receive every year some help between 15% and 45% of the cost of tuition.
The scholarships program of the IE Foundation offers multiple targeting options for different profiles, giving different amounts and to a limited number of candidates depending on each year’s budget.
Click here for more info – https://www.ie.edu/financial-aid/
There are several scholarships and tuition waivers offered by the School, as well as by companies, consultancy firms, and other organizations.
These are usually awarded before the Program begins.
Admission to the Program is independent of the allocation of any scholarship or tuition waiver.
Melbourne Business School
Generous scholarships are available to students to support their full-time study for an MBA at Melbourne Business School (MBS).
There are scholarship opportunities for candidates applying in any round who meet the specific criteria and some scholarships are connected to each Round.
To be considered for their Scholarships you must first complete an online application and refer to the application deadlines for the specified round date.
All full-time MBA students, who have been successful in obtaining a place in the program, are automatically considered for scholarship support. Therefore you do not need to submit a separate application for a scholarship.
When you receive an offer of admission into the MBA program, you will be advised of any scholarship award and if additional documentation is required.
Click here to know more – https://mbs.edu/above-search-links/current-students/scholarships
Yale School Of Management
Yale School Of Management provides a small number of partial scholarships to exceptional candidates for the MBA for Executives program.
Recipients of these highly selective awards will have to demonstrate a track record of outstanding leadership at the intersection of business and society.
Scholarships will be awarded to individuals whom the selection committee members believe will enhance the program experience through their distinctive perspectives and experiences. In addition to merit, demonstrated financial need will play a major role in determining award recipients
Click Here to know more – http://som.yale.edu/programs/mba/admissions/financing-your-mba
ESADE Business School offers and awards a considerable number of scholarships to outstanding Full-Time MBA candidates during their admissions process.
Most of these Scholarships are possible by the allocation of the Business School funds, as well as the generosity of our donors and alumni contribution. The aim is to recognize and encourage talented candidates applying to ESADE Business School.
There are two criteria in which the scholarship can be evaluated. The Talent criteria evaluate the academic excellence, personal achievements, proven professional acumen and a determination to influence the future of business.
The Need based criteria, evaluates not only the merit profile but also the financial need of the candidate.
Click Here to know more – http://www.esade.edu/ftmba/eng/fees-financing/mba-scholarships
Imperial College London
Imperial College Business School offers a significant scholarship funding to their most talented applicants.
A range of scholarships are available and all self-funded candidates are automatically considered for all scholarship schemes for which they meet the eligibility criteria and application deadlines.
The University of St.Gallen MBA is committed to help outstanding individuals from various regions around the world.
There are several scholarships offered like the Expert Scholarship (For candidates with academic background in sciences or engineering), Emerging Markets Scholarship (For candidates from emerging markets), Outstanding Candidates Scholarship, & MBA Event Scholarship (For candidates who meet one of their Recruitment Managers face-to-face at regional fairs or events)
Warwick School of Business
A number of scholarships are available to students admitted into the Warwick Full-Time MBA.
This is to promote gender, geographic and sector diversity, alongside recognition for academic and professional excellence. WBS scholarships are highly competitive and awarded on the basis of three broad criteria: Academic performance including GMAT score, strong career profile and the ability to fulfill future ambassadorial duties for the school.
Up to 20% of admitted Full-time students are awarded a merit-based scholarship. Awards range from partial to full tuition and fees. All full-time applicants (both domestic and international) will be considered and reviewed for merit-based awards.
Click here to know more – http://www.stern.nyu.edu/portal-partners/financial-aid/loans/private-loans/international-students
There are a number of scholarships available through both Goizueta and partnerships with local and national organizations.
Okay, so you are planning to do an MBA from a top business school such as Harvard in the US, INSEAD in Europe, or ISB in India.
You are fairly confident of cracking the GMAT, and you feel that your profile is good enough to get a foot in the door for the interview.
However, you are still worried about the ROI of an MBA!
You have read that a two-year MBA can cost upwards of a crore! That is 10000000!
Heck! you can’t even count the zeros without putting your finger below the text.
If you are wondering how to fund your MBA abroad when you don’t have that much money in the bank (of course you don’t), you have come to the right place.
In this blog, we are going to cover a LOT of ways in which you can get loans and scholarships to fund your MBA. By the end of this blog you will know exactly what to do. It might make sense for you to even bookmark this blog right away!
1. Non-cosigner Loans Given by the MBA Program
There are a good number of US B-schools offering student loans without a U.S. co-signer. This means that the B-school itself will stand as your guarantor.
Here is a list of a few US colleges which provide a non-cosigner loan to international students:
Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Yale, Berkeley Haas, Tuck, NYU Stern, Duke Fuqua, Cornell Johnson.
If you want to learn more about non-cosigner loans, see our detailed blog on
2. Non-collateral Education Loans by Indian Banks
Almost all Indian banks work with the following rules:
- In India, you can easily get a non-collateral loan up to INR four lakhs.
- For amounts up to INR 7.5 lakhs, the bank will assess the risk involved, before making the decision to grant the loan.
- For any sum above INR 7.5 lakhs, you need to show collateral to the bank.
The loans from India are either collateral, or non-collateral.
Non-collateral loans may be offered against your admission to a top B-school, but typically, the maximum offered is somewhere near INR 10 Lakhs, while the norm is closer to INR 5 to 6 lakhs.
If you look at collateral loans, they are granted against property that you mortgage. However, the upper limit could be very high, depending on what you have mortgaged.
Following are some of the top banks which offer study loans by exceeding the limit of the loan without issues of collateral security:
Here is the list of banks in India where you would get a non-collateral loan if you make it to ISB:
For more information, see http://www.isb.edu/pgp/fees-financing/loans
3. Non-collateral Education Loans by Non-Banks/Specialized Institutes
Nowadays, many non-banking institutions provide unsecured loans, i.e., loans without pledging collateral, as typically, banks do not extend loans beyond 7.5 lakhs without collateral.
The amount that a student can borrow varies, depending on the B-School and the cost of tuition for the program. In most cases, the student can borrow up to the full cost of tuition. However, this also varies, depending on the profile of the individual applicant.
Though non-banking institutions such as Avanse, Prodigy Finance, Stilt & Credila provide higher value loans without collateral, they also charge a higher rate of interest when compared to banks.
See the list of various Non Banking Institutes that offer Non-Collateral education Loans to Indian students.
This is something that a lot of people ignore. But when you look at self finance, you’re going to look at every little thing. You don’t look at just the bank account but also look at mutual funds, provident funds, and maybe gratuity. You’re looking at all the money you have invested in other places, such as bonds or fixed deposits. If you have a bike or a car you can sell, you can get some money.
If you are living in a rented house, you probably have a deposit; you can get the deposit back. Even something as simple as liquidating an asset on OLX could better your financial situation. It sounds stupid but people really sell electronic items they have, and may not use. You could possibly look at getting money that way.
5. Soft Loans
Something that a lot of people do not consider. Typically, you get a soft loan from friends, family and what is known as “fools”. You want to get a loan from someone who can lend you about INR 5 to 10 lakhs for a couple of years, and you give your word of honour. It’s maybe an uncle in London who can give you INR 10 lakhs, and you can pay him after you start working.
An MBA scholarship can ease your financial burden to a large extent but to get a good scholarship, you often need a very high GMAT score, and an excellent profile.
Many top MBA colleges offer various scholarships, and there is a general perception that these scholarships are difficult to get considering the number of students applying for them. It might be difficult but surely not an impossible task.
The scholarships are generally classified into merit-based and need-based.
Need-based scholarships are given after considering your financial background, including various assets and liabilities, while the merit based scholarships are offered based on your GMAT score and profile.
If you are looking at scholarship as an option, do check our blog on the various scholarships offered by Top B-schools.
7. Collateral Loans in India
If you look at collateral loans, you pretty much know the interest rates that typically work, and you get the loan against property that you mortgage.
You can get up to 85% of the expense as a loan if you have sufficient assets to show.
The upper limit however, could be very high, depending on what you have mortgaged.
8. Co-signer Loans in the US
While applying for an education loan, international students have two options: the no co-signer option, and the co-signer option.
We have already covered the no co-signer option at the beginning of this blog. We will now talk about the second alternative, the co-signer loan option.
Co-signing mainly involves getting someone who’s been in the U.S. for a while to sign the loan contract with you.
Yes! You are still liable to pay the debt after you graduate but if you fail to pay off the debt after you graduate, your co-signer comes into the picture.
With the co-signer option, the bank reduces their risk by having an opportunity to recover their money from the co-signer.
Being a co-signer comes with some risk, and that’s the reason co-signers are often skeptical about it as their credit ranking and history would be in jeopardy.
Some of the institutions that provide loans to international students with a US co-signer are Wells Fargo, Citizens Bank, Sallie Mae, Union Federal, and Discover.
In a nutshell, there are five important ways to fund your MBA at a top B-School. You could get a no co-signer loan from a bank that the college is tied up with. You could get an Indian loan against collateral, or no collateral. Third, look at self finance. Fourth, look at soft-loans from friends and family, and fifth, look at scholarships.
If you found our article useful, do share it with your friends who are looking to pursue their MBA abroad, or at ISB, India.
Thank you, and if you have any questions, feel free to comment; we’ll be glad to help you. Thank You!
Wondering which top B-School you can get into this year? Let us help you!
Are you curious to know what will it take to get into ISB?
Or maybe you are wondering, “how do I enhance my profile to get an admission to ISB?”
Perhaps you want to know the kind of placements offered at ISB? And whether it fits your career goals?
Well, fret not.
You have come to the right place.
In this article, we will dig into data from the ISB Class of 2018 and see what mystery it unravels.
We will deep dive into specifics such as what the GMAT scores for the latest batch are, the average work experience the class has, the placement profile, offers rolled out and so on.
Well, let’s get started by answering the top questions most applicants have about the Indian School of Business (ISB)
1. What are the typical profile requirements of a student to be selected at ISB?
Well – there is no one type of person who gets into ISB.
Students came from a variety of different profiles and work experiences. There were students from merchant navy, there were dentists, there were army majors who had spent time in Siachen, there were startup founders,…….and the list is endless.
There also were people who came from traditional backgrounds: coders and testers in the technology domain, some who had spent years in the manufacturing shop floor, and bankers who spent most of their waking hours looking at balance sheets.
ISB will gauge your application profile basis the following parameters:
a) Academic credentials
b) Leadership potential
c) Personal Interests
To help ease out your research, we have written about this “myth about ISB MBA applications” in detail on our blog!
So no matter what your experience level is – chances are that if you have a good story to tell, ISB will listen to you.
2. What was the average GMAT score in 2018 at ISB?
The average GMAT score at ISB increased in 2018 as compared to 2017.
Average GMAT score at ISB for the Class of 2018 is 707.
The Class of 2017 average GMAT score was 704.
So if you really want to get into ISB next year, you need to make sure you work towards a score of above 707.
Read this article to understand the real secret behind GMAT scores for ISB.
3. What was the average GRE score in 2018 at ISB?
After ISB started accepting GRE scores last year, this has been a question many students have had.
Well, the secret is finally out:
The Average GRE score at ISB for the Class of 2018 : 324
To score a 324 you probably need about a 165 in Quant and a 160 in Verbal. This corresponds to roughly the 87th percentile in Quant and the 70th percentile in Verbal.
Sounds doable? Then perhaps GRE is the test for you!
Still thinking? Read our blog on GRE scores for ISB.
4. How many female candidates were accepted to the ISB class of 2018?
The total intake for the 2018 batch was 857, out of which 31% (272 students) were female candidates.
Women applying for an MBA at ISB would like to know that in 2017, the class consisted of 30% women, (apparently an increase since 2016).
Also we estimate that the number of female applicants to ISB is lower than 30% that means (all things being equal) as a female applicant you have higher chances to getting in.
5. How many years of work experience does a typical ISB student have?
In 2018, a majority of 507 students had a work experience between 3- 5 yrs, followed by 270 students who had an experience of 5-10 years. There was just one student from defense background who had more than 20 years of work experience.
Here is how the class of 2018 looks:
This is good news for students having fewer than 2 years of experience and those having substantial work-experience. Also remember, many of those students with 2 years experience could be coming from the ISB YLP intake.
For those who are just starting your career – remember that 5% of the ISB class were in the same boat when they applied last year.
And those with 10+ years of experience – remember that if the 23 students who made it to ISB last year could do it – so can you!
Here’s the work experience breakdown of the 2018 batch:
6. What are the various professional backgrounds that students in ISB class have?
When reading this data – beware of confirmation bias.
Don’t assume that since 70% of the students at ISB were Engineers – hence ISB prefers Engineers.
You couldn’t be further from the truth!
Typically a lot more Engineers apply to ISB. We are willing to wager a bet – perhaps 90% of applicants are Engineers!
So it is not necessarily an advantage 🙂
Also to a lot of people asking: if your academic background is average – can you still make it to ISB?
The answer is yes.
We have worked with students who have had backlogs in their graduation and were still able to make it to ISB.
In 2018, if we look at the educational background of the applications, the list was dominated by Engineering graduates. Here are the top 3 undergraduate degrees students at ISB had:
• Engineering : 606 students
• Finance & Accounts : 72 students
• BBA/BBM : 51 students
The rest were from other backgrounds – Medicine, Media & Communication, Economics, Mathematics & Chartered Accountants.
7. What are the feeder schools at ISB?
Along with the usual suspects the IITs (36) and the NITs (36), VTU has an equal number of students, making it a three way tie for the top position.
Next on the list is Manipal University which sent 21 students followed by Sri Ramaswamy Memorial Institute of Science and Technology (SRM), in Chennai which had 8 alums in the ISB class of 2018.
There were also students admitted from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in Anantapur, Sardar Patel Institute of Technology and St.Xavier’s College (University of Mumbai), Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering in Mysore, Hansraj College in Delhi, Krishna Inst. of Engg. & Technology in Ghaziabad, among other institutions.
8) What were the job placements in at ISB like?
More than 98% of the students who graduated in 2017 claimed to be employed within three months of graduating with a salary bracket between 14 lakhs – 17 lakhs.
Remember that salary usually has a performance linked variable component – so not the entire amount would be “take home”.
Recruiters from consulting and IT/TES constituted 20% to 21% of the total number of offers rolled out, followed by BFSI, healthcare and pharma.
Leadership programs in general at ISB came from companies such as Aditya Birla Group, Axis Bank, Amazon, Bharti Airtel, HCL, HUL and Ashok Leyland among other big players.
Recruiting companies for General Management and Strategic Planning roles included:
• Hero Motocorp
• Max Healthcare
In 2017 too, a majority of the candidates received placement offers from the IT and the consulting industry.
In 2018, ISB witnessed a 39% increase in the number of recruiters participating in the current placements season with over 400 companies.
Read this article to know more about the typical post MBA careers at ISB.
9. Has CrackVerbal helped students get into ISB?
Sure! We have plenty of students who make it to ISB every year.
We helped Sivaprasad score a 750 on his GMAT exam.
In his words, “CrackVerbal’s Verbal course helped me in a great way especially their Sentence Correction classes. They’re all about the basics. I only practiced using their given material. I would say their material is the key to my GMAT score”, and he got placed in ISB.
Sreejith Ramachandran, who also got into ISB, wrote a detailed debrief about his GMAT experience on our forum. Read it here.
If you want to read a few more CrackVerbal student success stories, click here!
That’s the GMAT.
If you’re looking for MBA admissions, read about Gautham – An Engineer’s journey from NIT to ISB.
Or you could read a few more MBA admission success stories, here.
Everyone has a different story to say, and we think ISB will listen to each one of you.
What you really need is a way to tell this story, in a compelling way.
We hope this article helped you understand ISB admissions, placements and profiles.
Do let us know if you liked this article, and if you would want to know how we can work together to get you into ISB this year!
If you’re applying next year, and need help with building your profile, we’re just a click away 🙂
Applying for an MBA through the GMAT is scary. We know.
The amount of information you need to read, process, and make sense of? Even more scary.
But don’t worry.
We’ve got you covered!
In this article, we will guide you by providing step-by-step plan to cracking the GMAT and applying to a b-school of your choice.
It will also help you set daily/weekly goals, and help track progress.
This guide is broken down into 4-phases, each giving you the perfect tools and techniques you need to plan your MBA admission process through the GMAT.
It’s time to get over the fear and start planning.
(Note: Depending on the phase you’re in, skip to the relevant section)
Phase 1: Study and take the GMAT (January to May)
Phase 2: Research about MBA applications (March to August)
Phase 3: Work on your essays and applications (July to October)
Phase 4: Prepare for Interviews and Admissions (October to December)
Phase 1: Study and take the GMAT
Let’s be honest – the most important part of the MBA application process is having a kickass GMAT score, right?
Don’t get fooled when people say b-schools look at only your application profile and that GMAT is a prerequisite.
In fact, it is the first thing that the admission committee is going to look at. Make it your leverage.
Given that you cannot alter your admission profile post submission, you can most definitely re-work on your GMAT score.
Just two things:
1. If you are taking the test for the first time, plan to keep some buffer time. (incase you want to retake the test before sending in your application profile.)
2. And if you are retaking the test, check if you have enough time to study and work on your application profile. (yes, worst case scenario, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.)
But why put in half-baked effort when you can ace it the first time?
Don’t worry – with a proper study and focused effort of a few months, you can definitely get the score you need to get into a b-school of your choice.
Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1 : Understand the GMAT syllabus and how the GMAT algorithm works
Step 2 : Collect essential GMAT resources & build a research repository
Step 3 : Create a GMAT study plan
Step 4 : Start studying and do the right things to motivate yourself.
Step 5 : Take multiple GMAT mock tests
Step 6 : Schedule the GMAT test and take it.
Make sure you bookmark the links above. It will help you structure your GMAT test-prep plan.
We hope this 6-step test-prep plan helps you prepare for the GMAT.
However, if you are facing a roadblock at any point, feel free to get in touch with our training experts.
Want to find out about some of the best advice on the GMAT? Read the articles below:
You are all set up for Phase 2 now.
Phase 2 : Research about MBA Applications
If you thought taking the GMAT is the toughest part, think again.
What should you be doing in this phase?
There are two things you need to focus on:
1. Build your profile for an MBA
2. Shortlist the right b-school
This phase is crucial.
Now that you have an essence of what your GMAT scores are, the score will add immense value to your MBA application profile and give you the confidence to shortlist schools that match your profile.
It should also give you an insight into your post MBA career goals.
Let’s get started!
a) Build your profile for an MBA
A lot of you are wondering if you are good enough to get into a top school. Especially, if you hail from an over-represented demographic profile such as Indian – IT – Male.
Here’s where your fear of “what can I contribute to the class that’s different?” kicks in.
For a successful MBA application to a top b-school, it’s important to have something in your profile that really stands out.
They will expect you to showcase :
Pick something that will stick in the minds of the admission committee.
Here are a few ways you can go about building your profile :
Plan out the what’s, how’s and why’s of these achievements being a part of your profile. Think of ways it will add value to the b-school, your career and your MBA degree.
We’re sure you already have something already in mind. But just in case, here are 40 ways you can build your MBA application profile.
Now that you know how to build a profile, let us tell you how shortlisting schools for an MBA works.
b) Shortlist the right school
When you see the website for most schools – they show the same sunny day, the manicured lawns, and the impressive facade of their majestic buildings.
How do we really spot the great ones from the not-so-great ones?
Well, selecting the right MBA program for you is more art than science. It involves a variety of different variables such as:
1. Location: India or Abroad
Geography changes the way you approach building your profile, and the choosing a b-school.
Pan out your pros and cons of each location and see what works best for you. Maybe you can get family for friends to help you settle in.
2. MBA program vs. career aspirations
Understand the ratio of people being placed from your dream b-school to a company/sector of your choice. Ask yourself if the odds are good enough to meet your career aspirations.
3. Duration of MBA & Finance
Here’s where your inner finance guru comes into play. Estimate the cost of living in the city you pick + the course fees (if you have a scholarship, lucky!)
Second thing you will have to close on is the duration of the course (1 year or 2 years)
4. GMAT score
Most top b-Schools have a strict cut-off score for the GMAT. If your score is above average, that’s great.
If not, make damn well sure that your profile mind-boggles the minds of the admission committee members.
Need help picking the right b-school? Read this.
You can also follow these good-to-have tips:
• Subscribe to b-school newsletters
• Join their public forums – helps keeping you up-to-date with events/queries
• Get in touch with the alumni (we recommend LinkedIn…it’s the easiest way)
Now that you know the right way to build your profile and shortlist on a b-school, let’s jump to Phase 3!
Phase 3: Work on your essays and applications
The admission committee reads and assesses a lot of essays.
Essays are designed to help the admission committee understand the aspects of your personality and mental make-up.
They want to know the real you.
Here is a checklist to help you prioritize.
MBA admissions checklist & requirements:
• An above average GMAT score is key to increasing your scholarship chances.
Read this: A solid GMAT score to understand how a good score helps your career post an MBA.
• Experiment with the way you portray your best-self in your application essays.
Read this article on what typical B-schools look for an application essay to get a clearer picture.
• College transcripts – Keep the necessary college transcripts at an arm’s length. Don’t flutter around later like a headless chicken.
• Letter of Recommendation – Try and identify your recommenders early on – it’ll save you a lot of time later on.
If you need more input on what aspects to avoid while choosing recommenders, click here.
• Other requirements – Some schools may require you to take the TOEFL. You can read more on that here.
And with that checklist in place, you should be good to go.
Phase 4 : Prepare for Interviews and Admissions
If you’ve come this far, it means that the b-school is considering you very seriously for admission.
This is the time when a lot of people who have sent in their applications would have started receiving their interview calls.
The personal interview is the last and most crucial point of interaction between the applicant and the school, where ‘fitment’ will be assessed.
The biggest question on your mind right now should be – ‘How can I ensure that I give the best personal interview of my life?’
• Review your application multiple times with a fresh mind (run spell checks too). Always keep an eye out for news and updates.
Make sure your content is credible and backed by facts.
• Communication is key – verbal and non-verbal.
Express your ideas in a way that best portrays you. Stick to simplicity and honesty.
• The sign of leadership is to communicate with clarity with the intent of helping yourself and the place you work for.
B-schools are impressed with when a candidate has a crystal clear vision of his goals.
If you want an in-depth explanation of how MBA interviews work, click here.
While you wait for the b-schools to get back with the results, start planning your logistics. Here’s a checklist to follow:
• Plan your finance (tuition fees, visa, tickets and other expenses)
• Apply for your visa (avoid delays, and keep buffer time, just in case)
• Befriend fellow peers (join the college forum and know your peers)
• Check for pre-MBA courses (gives you insight into how the school and course is)
And you’ve made it!
We wish you all the best with your GMAT exams, and your MBA application.
You can also watch this video where our Founder and Admissions Expert Mr. Arun Jagannathan explains the four phases of planning an MBA through the GMAT.
And if you are stuck anywhere, you always know you can reach out to us!
If you’re applying to the Johnson School of Business at Cornell, you have come to the right place. In this article, I am going to take you through the details about the program as well as analyze the MBA application essays for 2017-2018 so that you know how to approach the essays.
First, let’s look at the program itself. Cornell is an Ivy League school, it’s one of those large universities with a very good brand name. In the Johnson MBA program, if you look at the class size, it’s a lot smaller than many of the large programs. In that sense, you have a large university set-up but you have a very small program size. If you’re looking at an MBA program where you get to be a part of a university infrastructure yet have the bonding, connection and bonhomie of a small class size, Cornell is the program you should be looking at. That’s one important point.
The second point is, in terms of location, it’s really beautiful. It can get cold but it’s a very beautiful location. It’s about three to four hours from Downtown New York – Manhattan. It’s probably a bus drive away. In terms of location, it’s a lot of better than some of the schools in the Mid-west which are in the middle of nowhere. In that sense, though it is not a Columbia to be right there in Downtown, it’s still accessible.
The third thing is perhaps a unique feature of the Johnson program. They call it immersion learning. All the students at Johnson have a very career focused experiential program where the students starting the second semester of the first year get hands-on career training. You get a practical experience in whatever you’re learning. That is a big difference in Johnson as opposed to other MBA programs. In fact, the student management opportunities are enormous. Just to give you specifics, BR Ventures and BR Consulting, both at Johnson School of Management, provide opportunities to the second-year students to actually manage a venture capital fund and a seed stage consultancy. Those are the kind of opportunities where you can roll up your sleeves and dig into real world experiences. In fact, there is also The Cayuga Fund, an MBA fund, where you have a chance to oversee a portfolio of eight million dollars. It’s a hedge fund. Why is this important? It’s important if you’re the kind of person who feels that apart from theory, you are kind of a doer, you’re a a kinaesthetic guy, and you learn by doing. In that case, the Cornell program could be ideal for you because there is so much of your own doing, your own experiences, along with the knowledge you gain from an MBA.
2017-2018 SC Johnson School Of Business MBA Deadlines
SC Johnson School Of Business Essay Analysis 2017 – 2018
The first essay is the goal statement. What Johnson has done here is very interesting. What they have done is, they realised a lot of people don’t know how to write a goals essay. Maybe they haven’t watched my videos or haven’t read my articles. While writing, people just meander, and they go all over the place. The point is, they are not specific. The school, as I have said in my other videos as well, requires you to be very specific with regard to your goals. What is it that you really want to do? If you see, it explicitly states, “if invited to interview, you will have the opportunity to elaborate further and should be prepared to connect your prior experience with your future aspirations.” They are actually mentioning in a way that they don’t expect you to say “Why”. Let’s keep out the “Why” part. Let us just focus on the “What” part. In most career goal essays, the “Why” part is also required to tie your past experience to why you want to do whatever you plan to do. In this case, you don’t need to worry.
Here is what it reads:
A statement of your goals will begin a conversation that will last throughout admissions process and guide your steps during the MBA program and experience. To the best of your understanding today, please share your short and long-term goals by completing the following sentences:
Immediately post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) ____[Role]____ at ___[Company]___within___[Industry]___.
Targeted Job Role:
Target Job Company:
In 5 – 10 years post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) ____[Role]____ at ___[Company]___within___[Industry]___.
Targeted Job Role:
Target Job Company:
Example of Completed Statement:
Short Term Goal: Immediately post-MBA my goal is to work as a(n) Consultant at Accenture within Media and Technology.
Long-Term Goal: In 5-10 years post-MBA my goal is to work as a(n) Founder and President within Nonprofit.
You have the role, company and the industry. Which one? Pick any that you want. You need to pick your targeted goal, targeted job company and the industry that you want to work in. The same thing gets repeated in your long-term goal. They even specify how long a long-term should be, 5-10 years.
Now, a couple things here. First, your best friend is LinkedIn. Make sure that you go to LinkedIn, and research about people who have graduated, and people with experiences similar to yours. So don’t look at someone who probably went to an Ivy League in the US, born and brought up in the US and is working on Wall Street. You need to make sure it is your background, be it in tech, be it in finance, whatever is your background, that background. Try to see if you can get people who are not Americans but Indians or anyone else who doesn’t have a PR status in the US. Now that you found the person you need, find out what it is that they are doing. Look at people who are now at one-year or two –years after they have graduated. That will give you a good sense. It will give you a good sense of the kind of companies that are recruiting and the kind of typical roles that you would get.
Now, if you want to ask, I would say “Employability” plays a huge role. You don’t want to put something that is so weird that not many people can get that job. That cannot be held against you but they are going to look at it and say, “Is this guy going to get this job? And if not, he is probably in the wrong place.” Pick something, for example, I know that some of the largest recruiters like Amazon recruit heavily from most schools, including Cornell. You have the top consulting firms. You have the top tech firms like Microsoft and Google. So try to pick an employer who has employed people with your kind of a background and look at the title and role they have. What do they join as? Do they join as Poduct Managers? Then you talk about the companies and the roles, which go hand-in-hand, and then the sector. Is it e-commerce? Is it technology? Is it finance? Is it consulting? “I want to be an associate at Mckinsey working in the consulting sector”, or something like, “I want to be a Product Manager working at Google in the tech space.” You have to be very clear.
Now coming to the 5-10 years which is your long-term goal. In this part, there are two things you could do. The one thing you could do is that you could think of a career path that is a progression along this. For example, if you’re a consultant, you want to talk about being an engagement manager or maybe a partner. If you’re going to be a Product Manager, let’s say you want to be the Vice President of Products of a start-up. So that’s one path. Now the second path that you can take in the longer term is something that is allied to what you have done but is completely different. For example, you can talk about entrepreneurship. You could say, “I did consulting (or a tech role). I was a Product Manager in Google for five years, and in five years down the line, I want to be a founder or a co-founder, or a CEO or maybe even a CTO at a tech company. At my own company perhaps, and work in the high-tech sector, work in the healthcare sector.” Whatever sector interests you. You could play that card as well.
Going back to what I said before, make connections on LinkedIn. It is also very important for the next essay. I am going to be talking about that but if you haven’t really created your LinkedIn profile, please do so today. My LinkedIn profile is down below (LINK). If you want to connect with me, I’ll be more than glad to connect with you.
The second essay is the impact essay. Now, the essay clearly states “Whether doing the program or following graduation, our students and alumni share the desire to positively impact the organizations and communities that they serve”. Remember, I told you about the experiential learning. This kind of ties with that part. “To help you explore your potential for impact, we encourage you to engage with our students, alumni, faculty and professional staff”. Very important, when they say “We encourage you.” It goes on to say, “You can choose to connect with them via e-mail or a phone or in-a person during one of our campus or off campus events”. If you’re not from the US, perhaps it’s not applicable to you. “As you seek their input and insight, please be respectful of their time and prepare a few discussion points or questions in advance.” Why they have given this background is very important because the actual essay question is going to follow.
Many people, the moment they see this essay, just blindly carpet bomb all the people on LinkedIn who are from Cornell. It really pains me because I have a lot of my alumni students who are current Cornell students who come and tell me, “ We mostly get messages like, Hey, can you please look into my profile and tell me if I got a good chance.” You just blew your chance, you just blew the opportunity to have a meaningful engagement with someone. Nobody can say if you can get into a B-School. Even I cannot say that. Remember, the probability is above 0% and below 100%. Nobody can say that 100% you’re going to get in, and nobody can say you have 0% chance of getting in. Somewhere, it is a probability, it could be 30%, 50% or 60%. What you should do is to be respectful; you should understand that they are busy and they have a hundred other things to do. Do your research and look at the profile to see if there are any common connections. That’s one thing you can do. See if there is any common connection through whom you can get introduced. See if you could approach them, talk about some similarities in your past. Be very specific in what you want to ask. You have a background in “XYZ”, now give them a summary. What is it that you want to ask them about? It’s very important that you do so. Now that you have connected with them, it’s very important that you put that in your essay. Now that you’ve connected with them, you know what the story is.
It’s important for you to pick two or three opportunities. Remember, these are opportunities while you’re at Cornell, or maybe life beyond. Things that a Cornell/Johnson MBA can equip you with. As I mentioned earlier, we spoke about the investment fund. Do you want to be part of it? Just don’t say it because everybody is saying it. What is it in your background that you can bring to the table? Have you done investments before? Are you good at quantitative modeling? Is there anything else that you can bring to the table? Talk about how you could create an impact, and also say what you will gain from this experience. It has to be what I will give and what I will get.
Pick two or three opportunities for impact, and you need to say, “Why is that a reason for you to apply to the Johnson program?”. It’s very important that you tie it. It should read in such a way that someone says, “Wow! This guy has done his research; he has spoken with people. He is very clear, these are three opportunities that he has identified, and this is how he going to contribute, this is what he going to learn, which is why Cornell/Johnson is the number 1 choice for him. They have kind of twisted the “Why Johnson MBA essay” in a slightly different way but that’s really what it is. As I have said earlier, that’s because they value student contribution so much.
Table of Contents
This is the table of contents essay. They say “This is your opportunity to present yourself as an individual. We encourage you to think about your proudest accomplishments, moments of adversity that have been overcome, interesting personal highlights, that will help us to get to know you as a person and potential community member”. hey really want to know about your life. They want to know the highs and lows and not the boring resume. They want to know something interesting, something that pops out, something that makes them feel, “I want to meet that person.” That’s the goal. After reading it, they should say, “Wow! I want to meet this person, I want this person in my class.” Are you able to articulate yourself that way? Let’s look at the specific prompt.
Table of Contents Essay
You are the author of your Life Story. Please create the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style. Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube, etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions.
Maximum file size is 5 MB. If you choose to submit a written Table of Contents, please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer. Multimedia submissions should be under 5 minutes.
First of all, what I want you to do is, sit down, chronologically write down all of the things that you have done in your life. Maybe something interesting about the place you were born. Maybe you can talk about that, maybe that’s a story. What about your education? Is there anything interesting? Don’t tell me what degree you have. That, I already know from your resume. Talk about something interesting. Did you learn anything about yourself? Maybe you met your childhood sweetheart and you got married to her. Maybe that’s the most interesting thing about your education. You can also think of a great story about your life, which can be put here. It’s very introspective. What about work? Where did you work? What was your biggest challenge? What did you accomplish? Now, remember each of them very clearly, remember that it’s table of contents and not the content.
What actually happened? They will get to know the details of it later. At this point, they want to know, “What was the life event?” Once you have listed out all of your life events, just write it down. As I have said, it’s not just professional but also personal. When you were born, when you got married, or when you had a kid. Whatever it is, just write it down. You could also write about adversity, for example, you had a major accident, you were in hospital for three weeks and that taught you something. Put it over there.
Once you have put all of that down, I would say the “How” is actually of lower importance. If you’re a creative person, you would figure out a good way to express this but if nothing else, make sure that each of these points kind of stands out. For example, let’s say that one of things you want to talk about is about when you got an opportunity to face an audience and you had stage fright all of your life and it took a lot of grit and determination to face an audience. Can you put a YouTube link? Yeah, even it’s a small hand held mobile camera that someone took, like a shot, or maybe you have your own personal blog and you wanted to express yourself. Make sure you link it here.
Essentially, you need to keep it very concise. Don’t try to elaborate things. They are not wanting to know “Why”. Just because it is 500 words, don’t exploit it and write paragraphs. It should be one heading followed by a small blurb. The heading can be very interesting. For example, the heading could be, let’s say you want to talk about the time you got laid off and you started hunting for a job and you realized that you don’t want to go back to the job you were doing earlier and you wanted to do something new. Now that’s a lot of things. The heading could be “Second innings” and you could say, “After an unsuccessful attempt at my first innings of the….I started my second innings doing…..” Just one sentence. Just a small blurb.
So, you would have:
<Title> <Blurb> …..
Maybe five or six. I am imagining you’re somewhere under 30, or just about 30. I don’t think your life can have 15 to 20 chapters. That’s perhaps what I would do. Don’t worry about the “How” part. You could figure out a way to be creative, maybe express it differently, or put it in the form of a chart, but I wouldn’t bother too much about that.
This essay is required for applicants seeking re-admission and should call attention to the steps taken to strengthen one’s candidacy. Candidates may also use the optional essay to call attention to items needing clarification or to address any gaps in experience.
My advice always for the optional essay is to write about a huge gap in your experience or your education or something that couldn’t be written anywhere else. Don’t try to retrofit a story just because it didn’t find a place elsewhere.
There is also this Roy H.Park Leadership Fellows Program essay. This is available only to a US citizen who is applying for a two-year MBA program. If you find it in your application form and you’re an international applicant, I am sorry, it’s not for you. I just wanted to let you know.
If you’re applying to the Cornell Johnson MBA program, I would be interested to know how your application is going. Are there any questions? Are you stuck at any point? Is there a way in which we can work together? Please let me know by clicking this link below.
Welcome to this article in which I will discuss the INSEAD Business School, which has campuses in France and Singapore. If you’re looking at applying to INSEAD this year, you have come to the right place.
First, let’s look at the program. What works for INSEAD is the one-year program. It’s actually crunched and more like 10-11 months rather than a year. It offers accelerated learning and if you’re looking for a one-year program, this is definitely one of the top three one-year programs in the world today.
Secondly, INSEAD is truly international. Although most of the US B-Schools have diversity, with 30 to 40% of their class coming in from outside of the US, theirs are predominantly an American programs. It’s the same thing if you look at Europe. However, if you look at INSEAD, the kind of diversity that you have, the kind of geographies that you have with about 40 to 50 different nationalities every year in the program, you see a program that is truly international. I think that’s a huge plus.
One more thing that probably works well for INSEAD is the fact that it has dual campuses (France and Singapore). It is possible for you to take advantage of the exchange opportunity; you can do some courses in the other campus. Thus, you can get a mix of both.
I think one thing you need to look at when applying to INSEAD is the fact that because it’s such an international program, they require you to have some amount of international background. Make sure you go to the website and read their admission criteria. The criteria are:
• Ability to contribute
• Academic capacity
• Leadership Potential
• International motivation (adaptability and flexibility in multi-cultural environments)”. Unless you have experience working very closely with people from different cultures and different geographies in your home country, this is going to be a little tough. You need to have some amount of international exposure. Just keep that in mind while you’re applying for the INSEAD program.
2018-2019 INSEAD Business School MBA Deadlines
INSEAD has two intakes
You also have the option of the January Intake, that’s the beauty of it. The flexibility is that you can join by September or you can join in January. If you’re looking at January 2020, the deadlines are:
Insead Business School Essay Analysis 2018 – 2019
You have four job essays and three motivational essays. We have had students getting into INSEAD almost every year for the last many years, and one thing I can tell you is that for all the other schools one week or 10 days is doable but for INSEAD, it takes a lot more.You need to factor in more time for your application. Now, let’s look at the Job essays.
Job Essay #1
You need to have a short answer. Now, the deal with this is that it is a crunch or a summary of your overall career progression. Don’t try to copy paste your CV over here. Try to be slightly more human in your approach. Try to describe it in a way that a layman can understand because many of these essays are going to be looked at by people who may not be in your industry. See, for the resume that you send to prospective employers, you assume that since they are in the same industry, same domain, they understand a lot of jargon.
For example, don’t write “Ten Thousand LOC”, instead, write “Ten Thousand lines of code”. You need to make sure that you explain in simple terms.
A key thing is that the question also talks about the “…results achieved.” You need to be able to quantify what you did, it’s not just what you did. Just don’t go to the company’s portal and look at the job description for your particular title and copy/paste and say “I developed…I designed….I managed”. You should talk about what the result was. There is a very simple framework that you could use: Situation, Action, and Result. You could talk about the background of the project given to you, what you did in the project, and what the result of the project was. You could easily break it up into three parts.
Job Essay #2
Obviously, they are not just looking at the title so don’t say that “I am a manager and I’ll become a senior manager.” You need to also explain what the senior management role would. entail Perhaps you need to quantify it. For example, if you’re currently handling ten accounts, as a senior manager, you would probably be responsible for 50 accounts, so you need to basically quantify the role.
Job Essay #3
Don’t try to keep this in the resume format. When you graduated, what were the options you had? Why did you pick your first employer, was there a reason for you to do that? After that, why did you pick the second employer? What was the learning that you had with the first employer? What was the learning that you had with the second employer? You need to gradually take them through the journey of your life.
Again, try to be brief. Don’t try to elaborate too much. Don’t try to dramatize it. In fact, this is not an essay where you should bring quotes and emotions and all that into the play. To some extent, keep it dry. That’s what your third job essay is going to be like. One key thing is, “Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices.” You’re not just telling them what you did but also “why you did” “what you did.”
Job Essay #4
Here, the deal is that they are not looking at why you want to do an MBA. So tell them, “what is it that you want to do eventually in life?” If you’re not applying, this is still what you want to do. For example, “I want to be a Product Manager. As a Product Manager, I feel that I am going to be responsible for the life-cycle of a product. I feel I will be able to affect and influence the way users deal with the particular problems faced.” That is what they want to hear from you. You can dream about your long-term. It may not be as concrete as your short term but you could say that you eventually want be in a role where you start your company where technology is going to directly affect in a particular area that you are passionate about. You can have slight leeway in not being very specific but don’t try to pick a bizarre thing. One mistake that people make is that they are good at writing short-term goals but when it comes to the long-term goal, they say something like “I want to be an entrepreneur.’ You want to be “an entrepreneur” is too vague. You need to be slightly more specific. Tie it to your motivation, your passion.
Now, let’ discuss the optional job essays.
First, if you’re currently unemployed, it’s okay. You don’t need to sweat it but you need to show them how you are constructively utilizing your time. You cannot say, “I quit my job, and I am preparing for the GMAT and applying to INSEAD.” Instead, you can say, “I am taking these courses and I am making sure that I am investing in myself so that I can develop further professionally”, or you can talk about your personal reasons for which you have taken a sabbatical. Whatever the reason be, write it. Make sure that you’re not telling them you’re sitting at home and binge-watching Netflix, and goofing off.
Also if you have plans to quit to do something meaningful to you. Well, one of my students who went to INSEAD this year, went and took his pilot license because that was his dream since childhood. He wanted to be a pilot. So he said, “I am going to take this opportunity and spend 2 to 3 months getting my pilot license.” Now, that’s something that is not related to an MBA. People don’t try to see how you’re putting all these dots in this perfect linear curve which is leading towards your goal. It’s okay to do things that appeal to your passion even if it doesn’t link directly to your MBA goals but if it is, please mention it here.
Motivation Essay #1
This is a slightly complex essay. Let’s go through it one by one. You need to talk about two or three life incidents, hobbies, things that have happened to you, and things you did but out these two or three things that you’re going to talk about, you need to be able to cull out the strengths and weaknesses that you’ve discovered in yourself. The strengths and weaknesses cannot be isolated and your stories cannot be different. They have to be merged together.
Let me give you an example. One of my students spoke about how she grew up in a joint family and she said, “Growing up in a joint family, the one thing that I realised was that I always had to share my things and initially, it was very tough because as a kid I would want everything I would get. Every time my parents would get something, they would get five of it because there were five other kids growing up in the same family.” Then she spoke about how that deeply influenced who she was today and how she spun it as positive. Now, going ahead, she spoke about a particular thing that she gained from her father. Her father was someone who believed that you have to go all out and give it your best, and at some point she became slightly high strung. It was always like you had to go for the kill. You always want 100%; it’s not that you’re expecting this from just yourself but it’s something that you’re expecting from others as well. Once she started working, she realised that sometimes you “Let perfection not be the enemy of getting things done.” She realized that there were constraints that she had to work around and not everything goes according to plan but as humans we need to know how to deliver the maximum. Not 10/10 but even if she got 8/10, she learned to be fine with it. This was a potential weakness. She said, “I still go back to the urge of perfection but now I have perhaps come to terms with this fact.”
You talk about a couple of strengths, you talk about a weakness or two, and then you kind of weave your stories into it. At the end of the essay, what does INSEAD really want to know? It wants to know who you are as a person. What are the gifts? What are the gaps? One mistake that people make in the weakness part is that they kind of mask the weakness by saying that it is a strength. For example, in the earlier example, she said, “Perfection is my weakness and it’s not something that I am proud of.” However, people say, “Oh, I am a perfectionist but you know what? Sometimes I have to deal with these people who don’t understand who I am.” Or here is another example of incorrect weakness, “I work so hard. I am a hard worker and I don’t know when to stop. I work for 16 hours a day.”In this example, they try to showcase that as a weakness. A weakness has to be slightly more genuine.
That’s pretty much the first essay we have. As I have said, you need to tie it up together. 500 words, two strengths, and one weakness, 150 words to develop each story. That’s 450 words, then the starting and finish will be 50 words. 500 words will nicely cover it all.
Motivation Essay #2
Very clearly, 200 words for success, 200 words for failure. In the 200 words for success, talk about why you are proud of it. It does not have to be something that is earth-shattering but something that you personally relate to well. Maybe it’s a small thing that you did at work that completely changed your perspective towards leadership. It states “Explain why.” why are you proud? It’s not just the “What’ but also the “Why”.
The second part, “….Where you failed…” Here,what people do is, they say, “I failed but then eventually, I succeeded.” No, it has to be failed. There is really no escape, you failed and it was a spectacular failure. You learned, you fell flat on your face but you know what? You got up. You bounced back. You learned so much about life. In fact, as I have mentioned earlier, in Australia, there is an elite air force where they ask this question, “Have you failed?”, and if respondents say, “I have not failed”, they are actually not considered for the elite corps. The reason is, if you haven’t failed in your life you don’t know what failure is and B-School can be a tough place. They want people with very high EQ. That’s a huge part of the whole B-School experience, which is why the second essay is about your failure.
It’s not so much about what happened, it’s okay if you have made mistakes because everyone makes mistake but what really matters is, “What did you learn? How did that impact your relationship with others?” You also need to talk about how this success and failure have changed you as a person. If you haven’t thought about it, it’s a good time to think about it now. As I said, EQ is a quality that INSEAD looks for in their applicants.
Motivation Essay #3
One of the things that INSEAD or any other B-School looks for is leadership qualities. So now, what do you mean by leadership? Leadership Is when a person says, “My life is not just going to work, coming back home, watching TV, and going to sleep. I am passionate about certain things”, and a leader will typically have one more thing he is going to pursue on the side. You need to pick what it is and quantify it but more than the ‘What’, again I will tell you, it’s about the “Why”. Why is that cause so dear to you? Why did you not pick something else? Why did you pick that sport?Why do you jam with your band every weekend? What about music inspires you? What can other people learn from you? 300 words is plenty of space to elaborate on that part.
Optional Motivation Essay
This is the usual optional essay. If you have any gaps in your education or work experience, the optional essay is the place to address it, or if you feel that there is something that the Admission Committee needs to know, you can write about it. Make sure that this is not something that you’re trying to retrofit, like a story which does not fit anywhere else. Don’t do that. You’re better off not writing this essay than writing something for the sake of it.
I know there is a lot for the INSEAD essays. If you’re applying this year and you think there is any way in which we can work together and we can help, please let us know by clicking the link below.
Welcome to this article in which I’m going to talk about the Harvard Business School MBA program, and its application essay. Firstly, with Harvard Business School, brand credentials are really gold plated. When you think of an MBA, Harvard is the name that comes to your mind. That’s the top selling point for Harvard Business School. In terms of global reach, whichever country you go to, it really gives you the passport of having an alumni network, and having credentials that people will take seriously. The name recognition is a huge thing.
The second thing is the case study method. Harvard really invented this thing, where they said, “We don’t want to teach you by theory, we don’t want to teach you by putting a ppt but we will actually give you a scenario so that students themselves participate”. Everyday, you don’t just walk into class and try to hack it and try to wing it by speaking something. You have to conduct your research the previous evening before you walk into the class. You need to have all your points noted down. You need to make sure that you’re able to present a very cogent argument either for or against the study that is mentioned over there. Remember, if you’re thinking that class participation is going to be easy, you’re wrong. Remember that you’re going to be surrounded by peers who are probably as rabidly competitive as you are. Everybody there wants to make sure that he/she gets their points across. It’s not very easy.
From our students who’ve been to Harvard, we have learned that there is one more thing that is special about Harvard. They have seen that public speaking and confidence level really shoot up in the two years. You are really confident of expressing your thoughts, of dealing with objections, and of putting your points in a way that can be received better by the other person. You learn all of this at the Harvard Business School.
Next, you’re on the Harvard University campus, and you have various other departments at Harvard. Thus, in terms of infrastructure, the diversity of the student population, and in terms of taking courses/electives in other departments, I think there’s a tremendous opportunity here. You’re in Boston, you’re just across the road from MIT. It’s really a great place, and though it gets a little cold in the winter, it’s a great place to be.
Harvard Business School MBA Deadlines
So let’s look at the deadlines.
Most of the students come and ask, “what does it really take to get into Harvard?”. Harvard is looking for significant impact that you’ve made, either in your education, or in your experiences, or maybe even in your extra-curricular activities. You cannot be an average guy. You cannot be a mediocre guy; you cannot just have good grades and average experience. To give an example, let’s say you did your engineering with a score of 70%, and then went to work for a large IT company. You’ve worked there for four years and you did routine stuff and maybe a little more here and there but pretty much stuck to that. You have also participated in a little bit of an NGO activity or a hobby that you’ve pursued. You’re average.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking at Harvard, you need to have something that pops out of the paper. Something that makes people say, “Wow!”. People are not looking at a hundred things. One of our students, Raviraj, got into Harvard. was from IIT Bombay, with a 750 GMAT. All of the things were in place, but what really made a difference was that he started a company while he was still in his fourth year at college. It got picked by a lot of media houses. In fact, he was featured in 27 different publications. He was also featured in Business World, Business Week and on Young Turks on CNBC. He made a huge impact. Now, here is the funny part, his company did not do well and they actually folded in. But the bigger thing is the experience that he had. There was something he did that was very significant. Something that had a huge impact. For that reason, he was able to put in a strong candidature at Harvard.
Let’s now get into the actual essays that you have.
Harvard Business School MBA Essays 2017 – 2018
There is no word limit and it goes on to say, “Don’t over think, over craft or overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language and that those of us who don’t know your world can understand”.
So don’t give me a lot of jargon and don’t expect me to understand a lot. I already have your resume, I already have your recommendation letters, I have your undergrad transcripts, I have your entire work experience, I have all your achievements, I have your GMAT scores with me, I have your Quant and verbal split. I have everything about you. I know all of this and now tell me something else about you. Now if you think about this at a very fundamental level, what Harvard is really looking at is that one story that inspires you. That one thing that gives me the “Why” about you. “What’ I already know but the “Why” I need know. Who’s the person behind all these achievements? What is the real inspiration behind what you do in life?
I will give you an example of a student who had applied to Harvard. He essentially had an entrepreneurial venture in the social space. Hewas into micro-financing and microcredit. He spoke about how he grew up in a family where his father and grandfather were farmers, and he saw the hardships that they went through. While growing up, he realized something as simple as taking loans. Farmers are usually affected by the vagaries of the weather. Sometimes, the monsoons are good, and sometimes they are bad. Invariably, they went to the local money-lender who used to arm-twist them and make them pay through their nose. That’s why he said that growing up and looking at these experiences, he realized that this was something he wanted to set right. He did not know how to do it, but education was the answer. He said, “I went to college not knowing what I would do to fix the scenario but I worked hard and got educated here, and went on to do my Bachelors in St. Stephen’s College in Delhi.” He then went on to get his Master’s. He also said, “When I went back and contributed, I felt in some sense that I am vindicating my parents, my grandfather, and my ancestors because this is something that they faced.”
Talk about something that is very close to you. Something that is personal to you, something that talks about impact because everything in Harvard is about impact. Are you a person who can make a strong impact in the world? It could be through anything, it could be through technology also. If you’re a technology person and you think Harvard is your calling, how will technology have an impact on the world? You need to understand that for Harvard, you can no longer talk about the small things. You need to talk about the larger vision. This essay also has the scope of what you want to do because that’s not mentioned anywhere. You need to talk about your experiences, your background and how you will change the world. I know it’s not easy but that’s how this essay has been designed. It requires you to think and brainstorm. It also requires you to talk to your friends and family, and really put in that core message. Once you have the core message you want to convey, you can blow up the other parts and figure out how to say what. ‘Why” is the core of this essay.
If you’re applying to Harvard, and would like to connect with us, go ahead and click the link below. We can help you draft your essays and can help you brainstorm.
Welcome to this article in which we will discuss the USC Marshall MBA program. They have two programs, the one-year IBEAR program, and the two year program. The former is a one-year accelerated international MBA for mid-career professionals. The average age of students doing this program is 33; it’s meant for people who want a quick accelerated one year program.
However, the main program we’re looking at is the two-year degree, which is their flagship program. A couple of things about the USC Marshall program that you need to know up-front if you’re applying this year. The first is that Marshall has a focus on global outlook. They use their location on the Pacific rim. They have the “Pacific RIm Education” program, which is their prime program, and requires international travel of all students. This is something that differentiates it from other schools.
Apart from the global perspective, because it’s in California, the location makes a huge difference. Southern California has great weather. It is as India as you can get in terms of weather, culture, and people. It’s one of the best places to be in the US. Because of the location, you have a tech focus, and an entrepreneurial focus. You find a lot of tech companies in the LA area, in Southern California. There are a lot of opportunities to work for exciting new start-ups. I think that’s a huge draw for the USC Marshall Program.
The third important factor is the emphasis on team-work. They believe that since classes are often small, the student body as a whole allows each student to receive a great deal of individual attention. The students participate in a lot of programs that are conducted on campus. A student has to work with other students, so teamwork is a huge focus at USC Marshall.
2017-2018 USC Marshall MBA Deadlines
2017-2018 USC Marshall Essay Questions
With 100 words, you don’t have a lot of leeway to talk about things. If you remember, in the usual career goals essays, we talk about how you go from where you are and how an MBA will help you. No such options here. We have to be very specific..What do you want to do after your MBA? Tell them the role, and give an example of the kind of companies you want to work for. “I want to work for the Retail Leadership Program at Amazon.” Maybe that’s your dream. You probably want to talk about what you would do in that role. You have 100 words so you can probably have a little leeway to explain in a sentence, “In such a role I would be doing….”
Remember that you have 100 words; keep it tight and steer clear of things that are generic. Don’t say something like, “I want to be in a general management position” or “I want to be in strategic position.” Be very clear. “Associate Consultant at McKinsey working in their LA office” – you have to very specific. Now that was the easy part. If you know what to do, writing it is easy. (100 words)
A B-School experience is not so much about what you learn in the classroom. It’s a lot about what you learn outside the classroom. What we are really looking at is, “what is it that you would do with your classmates?” You can talk about extracurricular activities. If you have a passion, let’s say, cycling, you need to say how you will bring that passion to Southern California, to the USC campus. Talk about how you would encourage your classmates to follow your passion and help them perhaps take their mind off studies. You can also talk about anything that differentiates you. I would suggest that you pick two or three traits. Although it is 500 words, you need to flesh out the details. You need to say what it is that you have done, and then you need to talk about how you will contribute. It’s going to take 100 to 150 words. You could probably talk about three specific things that you can contribute. Try to steer clear of professional things.
Not just the title and the description, but I am assuming you would want to say why you want to pick the course. Why do you think it’s important? First, please make sure that it’s not the course that is already offered by the school.
I am going to give you a very general guideline of what to write. Talk about something which is futuristic. Talk about something that would probably be required in this changing world. For example; “How to manage millennials” Now, if you don’t know what a millennial is, go ahead and Google it. Managers are getting worried about how they can manage these guys who grew up in the last 20 years with the internet on their fingertips. Maybe you would want to talk about something futuristic like that.
You need to say what is the most interesting day was, but more importantly, you need to say why. For example, a student once wrote, not for this essay, but for something similar, “My most important day was the day I got married, not so much for the fact that I got married.” It’s a very Indian custom that the parents of both the boy and the girl need to meet and agree. In this student’s case, something went wrong. The parents were not on talking terms, and the boy and girl decided to get married with the help of their friends. He went and negotiated with the girl’s father and with his own parents, and somehow got them all together.
He said, “More than me getting married, my family is very important to me,and that is why this day is important.” Now, the idea is not to just talk about the event. That would be shallow. You need to say why it’s so important. In this case, his family was important and he also said, “This gave me the confidence that I have this inner strength. “When the times are weak and dark, I am able to take this inner strength, and push myself to achieve what I want to do”. This should be something else that they can know about you.
Here is what I would do. I would pick this if none of the first three resonates with me. Let’s say there is no specific day in my life I can remember. It happens, right? If you don’t have anything to say, leave it. Let’s look at , Option 2#, the contributions. I really don’t have three contributions that I can make. You leave that one too, and let us say there is no specific course that comes to my mind. What else do you think that Marshall would like to know about me?
What you can do is, you could spin it a little bit and could talk a little about why it is important for you and Marshall. For example, you could say “One essay that I would like Marshall to talk about is, “Your biggest failure, the most spectacular failure. The reason I would like to know this is because in my life, I learned from my failures.” You can go ahead and talk about your failures and what you have learned. You can also say “More than the successes in life, it is the failures that teach people things that make them who they are.”
That could be an interesting spin of you putting your story while underscoring the fact that this is an important aspect that you wish to see in your classmates.
As always, you can talk about your educational gaps, experience gaps, or something that you think is necessary for the admission committee to know and they would not know through the application form. It could be stuff that you plan to do in the future, let’s say you plan to take a course in 2018.
What you should not do is retrofit stories that could not find their way elsewhere. Don’t do that.
I hope this article was useful. I wish you all the best for your application to the USC Marshall Program. I know it’s a little tough; I know it’s the first time you are probably writing essays. If you think there is any way in which we could work together, just click the link below, and we could get in touch.
If you’re applying to the Kenan Flagler program at the University of Northern Carolina, you have come to the right place. In this article, I am going to take you through the program and the application essays for 2017-2018.
Kenan is a good top 15 program. If you look at the various B-School rankings it appears at the top although it’s not in the top 5 programs. It’s definitely a very good program. We have talked to several of our students who went to this school, and one thing the students talk about is the school’s focus on “Leadership development”. Kenan Flagler has something called the “Leadership Initiative” where it brings a lot of guest speakers and exposes the students to them. They also have something called the “Star Program”. You can check this program on their website. The program gives the students the opportunity to gain real world experience in leadership. These are the things that you want to look at when applying to the program.
Secondly, Kenan has a strong international focus. They have an MBA exchange program, and a vast network of partner schools. You can do a semester in another school that is part of the network program.
You also have the ‘Global Business Project Program” wherein the students work for companies in various regions of the world. Furthermore, they also have the “Working Languages Program’, where they teach you foreign languages such as Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, and more for students who plan to use those languages in their career. If you’re looking at a very global expand where you are not limited to the US, you can check this program.
2017-2018 UNC Kenan-Flagler Deadlines
2017-2018 UNC Kenan-Flagler Essay Questions
Essay One (Required)
This is a classic career goal essay with a few twists. Our strategy should be the same. First, make sure that you talk about your career progression until now. It’s very important to talk professionally, and personally to say what it is that you bring to the table with an MBA or without an MBA. What is the value you would be able to give? What has been your experience? This is not a replacement for your CV. your CV details your employment history. It details what you did. Here, they want to know what your progression has been. Now that you have talked about all of these great things you have done, you need to say where you see yourself going from here. That becomes your second paragraph. Four years ago, when you started your career, perhaps you did not know what you wanted. Now that you have had all this exposure and you did all these great things, you realize your actual goal is to be ‘X’, ‘Y’ or ‘Z’. You need to mention that career goal. It has to tie to what you have done. Don’t say, “I have been in the IT industry but I want to be an investment banker, because my Quant is good and I have a 51 in GMAT” or something like, “I did my engineering and I am analytical in my approach.” Don’t make it like that. Give it a very clear fit with what you have done. In this second paragraph, you say what your long term and short term goals are. As I have maintained, short term goals have to be specific whereas with long term goals, you have the leeway to be slightly more generic. As long as you’re able to connect the dots. So that is your second paragraph. Let’s look at the third.
In the third paragraph, you can explain how else you can reach there. Is there any other path to reach there? If you feel that there is an alternate career path to reach there, talk about it here. Tell them about that path. You also need to tell them why the MBA is the best degree for you to get there and when you say an MBA, you need to say t “why a Kenan-Flagler MBA is the best program to getting there.”. So this pretty much becomes your third paragraph.
500 words are enough for you to build a good story. You need to first say what you bring to the table. You need to tell them that now that you have done all of this, what is it that you want to do. Next, say what ways there are for you to get there, including an MBA from Kenan-Flagler. You can write about 150 words for each of these parts. Then you can use 50 words for a strong opening and finishing.
Two very important things:
They specifically ask you for an alternate backup career path, in case your short term goal doesn’t materialize. So I would say, keep your long term goal as it is. Keep two paths to get there with your short term goals.
Next, they very specifically ask you why “now”, so you need to specify why “now” is the correct point to do an MBA, and why now is the point of inflection in your career. Until this point, you couldn’t have done it but at this point, you’re able to figure it out.
Essay Two (Optional)
Not just do you need to tell me what the special qualities about you are, but you also need to make a pitch of how you will contribute using those qualities in the MBA program. My suggestion, for 300 words, don’t pick more than two qualities. You can say something like “I am different because….I have this…..particular trait”. Here is an example of what one of our students had written:
“If you were to summarize me in one word, it’s passion. As Yoda said, do or do not, there is no try. If I take up something, I am so passionate about it. I give my 100% doing that. People have asked me, why I am doing this. If I am doing something it rather be worth my while or I might not do it. That same passion, I want to bring to Kenan-Flagler. I want to participate in” and he went on to list a couple of things he’d like to participate in, based on what he had done in the past.
Passion became one point. So 150 words gone. For the next 150 words, pick another adjective that describes you. So that’s how I would play this essay out, but not more than two qualities. If you’re going to write three qualities for example, it reduces the words available for each quality to 100. One quality might be less and three qualities might be more. Choose a good fit. I have seen successful applicants writing about just one quality, and I have also seen applicants writing about three qualities being successful. So you can pick either one, two, or three. Just make sure you’re able to flesh out the details.
Essay Three (Optional)
According to me, if you have done engineering, chartered accountancy, or if you have done any of the professional degrees from India, youprobably meet the requirements.
This essay could be applicable only for a candidate with a Humanities background. If you’re from the Humanities background, or you have a score lower than 48 in Quant in the GMAT, you can probably take any of the online courses to build an alternate transcript. In fact, you could ask them if there are any ways in which you can improve your profile by showing quantitative rigour. If you’re an engineer and you have a good Quant score of 48 and above, don’t worry about this essay. It’s optional for you.
Essay Four (Optional)
This is one of the places where you can tell them something that is very important. Don’t try to retrofit a story that you just couldn’t find another place for. Don’t do that. Typically, you would talk about the things that you have probably planned to do before you join the program. The things that you cannot put in your resume but have planned. For example, “I plan to learn Spanish next year, and I hope to be in Level B by the time I join the program”. Great! This makes sense to put in here. But don’t put anything that otherwise is just a story about your past.
So that’s pretty much what we have for the UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA program. We’ve had a lot of students who went there, and we keep in touch with them. If you feel that we could help you in any way, if you’re stuck in any part of the application, we would love to help you, so go ahead and click the link below.
Welcome to this article in which we will look at the MIT Sloan School of Management. If you are looking at applying to MIT this year, you have come to the right place.
Let’s first look at the MIT Sloan MBA program. The first thing you think of when you look at MIT, is Technology. You think of the focus MIT has on technology and engineering. You might think that MBA is isolated, but it’s not. You need to understand that it’s a university system. You can actually take courses in the technology programs that the other departments have. Even if you’re pursuing an MBA, you can still take an elective from other departments, and being on the MIT campus, you have a different way of looking at things. MIT is obviously a big place for a technology focus.
Second, MIT Sloan is one of the few programs which has a very condensed core. You just have the first semester where you are required to take the core courses, and the rest of it can be based on electives. You can pick and choose whatever you like. Very few schools have this flexibility so it’s a big plus point.
Third, in terms of international flavour, MIT Sloan has the maximum number of international students for any top MBA program.That’s again a huge plus if you’re looking at diversity among US MBA programs.
Finally, maybe because of the technology focus, MIT also has a strong focus on entrepreneurship. In fact, it is said that if all the companies out of MIT were to form a country, it would have the fifth largest GDP in the world. That’s the kind of history of entrepreneurship that you have in one single place. This is definitely a huge place for people who come from a tech background. If MIT is something that you have been dreaming of, you should be looking at the MBA program.
MIT Sloan 2018-2019 MBA Deadlines
MIT / Sloan Essay Topic Analysis 2018-2019
You need to be writing a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA program, taking into consideration “Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions”. Now, first of all, what do you mean by “Standard Business Correspondence”?. Well, you need to first address the letter to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions, MIT, and then you need to write the content of the letter.
What is the difference between writing a letter as opposed to writing an essay? You are writing to a person, so make sure that your 300 words exclude the addresses and salutations. The actual meat of it is you talking about something more than one can get from your resume. Think about it. They have your resume, they have your application form, your recommenders and to top it, they also have your GMAT scores and undergraduate transcripts. They have everything about your working experiences so do not repeat what they already have. Pick one or two things about you that they don’t know. Perhaps you’re an innovative thinker, maybe you are a problem solver. Maybe you believe in problem-solving under frugality (or in India, as they say, “juggaad”). What have you done? Maybe it’s a small motor pump that you took out from the engine and used for something completely different. Showcase through examples. One thing about MBA applications is, always give examples. First, list down four to five traits that you think define you well. You can talk about innovation, risk-taking, leadership, team working, for example. Whatever you want to pick, pick and list out. You have 300 words. You can pick two things, and convey them in 300 words. Make sure you flesh out all the details and tell them why you are unique. Tell them what it is that you hope to get through the MBA program, and what you are going to learn from the program. It’s really important that you pick those two things.
Now that you have told them who you are, talk about why MIT Sloan particularly excites you because you are this person. What at MIT excites you? Why do you think it gels so well with who you are as a person? For example, if you spoke about innovation, you can have come to the “Mecca of Innovation”, but you have to be very specific. Mention the academics and non-academics pursuits that you want to get out of the program. You may not really be able to get it all out because you have the 300 word limit. You may not be able to write about your post-MBA goals, and be specific, but you can mention “This is who I am, this is what I am going to get from the MIT program.” Then allude to your post-MBA career without getting into the depth of it.
That is how 300 words should be structured. You can be creative in the way you want to express yourself but make sure you’re going to pick one or two important aspects. One mistake that people do is that they talk about ten different things. It just loses the focus of the message. Don’t do that, two should be the maximum.
Now, you’re introducing yourself. What you wrote in the cover letter is very different. You’re not going to introduce yourself to your classmates by saying “I am an innovator, I am a problem solver.” Instead, you need to talk about something about you, perhaps something more personal. Maybe you can talk about what you expect from the MBA program. Remember that you have only 60 seconds, and 60 seconds is very less. If you have a very long South Indian name, maybe 60 seconds gets consumed over there. You have to be very prudent in what you say. Be casual.
You just need a simple camera phone and it’s all sorted. Today’s phones come with very good picture quality and video quality. Now you need to make sure that you keep the camera in front of you. Keep it very simple, and nothing fancy. Make sure that the lighting is bright. That is another mistake that people make. Don’t keep the light source behind you. You would look like Gautam Buddha. The light source should be in front of you so that your face looks clean. Also, make sure that your surrounding is clutter free. Make sure that the voice is being captured very clearly; again, your phone microphone will do its work so don’t really sweat too much on that.
When you’re speaking, take as many retakes as possible. Keep saying the same thing, do it for like 20 to 25 times in front of the mirror before you come in front of the camera.
Initially, when you start, you will become very conscious. Do you know how I know this? Well, I have done this, and I have been in your shoes. I know you get very conscious when you see the camera. Sometimes, you know capturing that moment is for posterity, and you feel a bit stressed, but here is the thing, if you keep doing this multiple times, you will get the hang of it.
What is it that I should speak?
• Speak about yourself. Be casual.
• Talk about your interest
• You can even include a quirk
• You can say what you love doing
For example, “I love gaming and I challenge all you counter-strike aficionados to come challenge me for a game.”
Something of that sort; make yourself sound interesting. I should be able to look at the video and say, “this is the guy/girl I would like to meet.” That’s really the intent of the video essay.
You can use this essay to convey your gaps in education or gaps in employment or use it to convey something that you couldn’t say anywhere else. But please don’t try to retrofit stories that you couldn’t fit anywhere else. Don’t feel pressured to write anything over here.
I know it’s not easy, especially if you haven’t done a video essay before. It can be tough. If you would like us to help you with your application to MIT, please let us know. You can click the link below.
Welcome to this article in which I will discuss the Ross MBA program at the University of Michigan. If you’re looking at applying to Ross this year, 2017-2018, you have come to the right place. In this article, i will analyze the MBA application essays, which by the way, if you haven’t noticed, has changed.
Firstly, let’s look at the program. Based on our discussions with students who went to Ross, we understand that a specialty at Ross is their MAP ( Multidisciplinary Action Project). With MAP, what happens is that you actually do consulting as part of a team. This is real field work; you’re solving real problems. You won’t be just looking at the MBA as a way to gain knowledge but also to actually apply the knowledge you’ve gained. I recommend that you to go to their website, and read more about MAP.
The University of Michigan is one of the largest public universities You have around 40,000+ students, undergraduates and postgraduates from various disciplines. You will get access to that network, to various departments, and you can take electives from some other departments. That’s a huge advantage as opposed to many MBA schools that are standalone business schools.
The third important factor is the focus on operations and manufacturing. You have the Tauber Institute of Global Operations. If you’re looking for operations, you’re definitely in the right place. Although Detroit isn’t doing well in terms of being a manufacturing hub, in terms of operations, logistics, and supply chain, Ross is the place to be. It is definitely one of the top schools when it comes to specialization in operations.
Michigan / Ross MBA Deadlines for 2017-2018
Ross School Of Business MBA Essay Analysis 2017-2018
Short Answer Questions
In each of these groups, you have to pick one prompt and write your answer in less than 100 words. Now, if you have started writing application essays, you know that fewer than 100 words can actually be very, very tough. As Mark Twain said once, “If I had more time I would have written you a shorter letter.” Writing fewer words is a lot harder than writing more.
Let’s look at each of these groups and analyze them.
• I want people to know that I:
• I turned an idea into action when I:
• I made a difference when I:
So now you need to complete the prompt. If you look at all of these prompts, it’s about you they want to know. Is any advantage of picking one response over the other? Absolutely not! Don’t even try to game this by saying “this response is better than the other.” This is going to completely be your personal choice.
• I made a difference when I:
Well, I don’t know when I made a difference. Maybe I haven’t thought about it, so I don’t have to pick that. I am just giving an example here. If you have no idea about it, you don’t have to pick it.