Top 7 Reasons to Do an MBA!

Reading Time: 17 minutes

We live in an era where everyone—from fresh graduates to those with some years of work experience—wants to get an MBA!

Most of the time, people make this decision without really knowing the purpose behind an MBA or how an MBA helps them. Perhaps the biggest blunder most MBA aspirants commit is to prepare for MBA applications without answering the question— Why MBA?

‘Why MBA’ may be one of the shortest questions in the professional world, but it is one of the (if not the) most important questions. You will be making several decisions and sacrifices on professional and personal fronts to get the MBA tag. You know that it will be a life-changing experience for you!

For some of you out there, this is possibly the second most important decision in your life right after your decision to get married—both in terms of major life changes and investment 🙂

How does knowing the answer to this fundamental question help you? Well, we have a few ideas.

In this article, we will discuss the following:

A. What is the Purpose of an MBA?

B. What are the Top Seven Reasons to Do an MBA?

  1. To Make Progress in Your Career
  2. To Help You Make a Career Shift
  3. For Better Knowledge and Skills
  4. Self-growth
  5. Because Your Network is Your Net Worth
  6. To Gain the Brand Equity of a Top B-school
  7. For a Change in Geography

Let’s first see why knowing why an MBA is important, shall we?

A. What is the Purpose of an MBA?

Most people think that an MBA is just a trend. Do you wonder why it might be more than that? Imagine you live in Germany but you don’t speak German. Let’s say this is similar to you wanting to succeed in business without knowing any of the business principles or skills required. Can you survive in Germany without the language? Sure, you can! Will it be full of mistakes and risks? Most definitely! The bottom line is that if you want to succeed in your business, you need to learn the business principles. Simple?

Let us give you 6 quick reasons to understand the importance of the question—Why MBA:

1. If you want to invest in self-growth, you should go for an MBA. This will boost your personality, giving you skills that are much-needed to take you to the next level. It helps you gain interpersonal skills through vigorous training, classroom debates and discussions.

2. If you want a general understanding of the business rather than specialized skills in one dimension alone, an MBA is a must-have. An MBA can help you understand the bigger picture where most others can only make sense of their own special field.

3. Most of the top organizations have MBA as a requirement at entry levels. These management trainees find it easy to climb the corporate ladder, because they come equipped with the skills necessary.

4. The MBA degree has a far reach. You want to be able to fit into a diverse culture in an organization abroad. An MBA can help you here. Look at the top heads of brands across US, UK, or Canada. You will find Indians and Asians with an MBA heading them.

5. If you think about Return on Investment, you will see that post-MBA employees earn a higher package than any other counterpart.

6. “Why MBA” is a question that you will be constantly bombarded with—be it in your application essays or during your interview. It is important to have an answer that is compelling and convincing. Figure this question out right at the beginning, and it will help you in your journey towards your MBA.

B. What are the Top Seven Reasons to Do an MBA?

1. To Make Progress in Your Career

It’s a wild, competitive world out there! Extremely performance-oriented where you need to be on top of your game—100% of the time. If you get the recognition you deserve for being smart, hardworking and results-oriented, you will easily make it to a middle management position.

This is when things get tricky. Promotions seem harder to come by. You have to bring another 100% even when you are at your optimum output to prove that you are not just another brick in the wall.

career progress

This is exactly where an MBA from a top B-school can help you in your career. An MBA is that shiny tag that tells prospective employers that you have done what it takes. It signals to them that you have that ‘much required’ cross-functional knowledge or that you bring a diverse perspective which you developed from engaging with your MBA peers. In some industries like Consulting, you need an MBA to climb higher up the corporate ladder.

2. To Help You Make a Career Shift

Consider this situation: you have been in IT for the past five years, but you realized that your true calling is marketing. You decide to enroll for weekend courses or take up internship opportunities to gain some marketing know-how.

Even after all this, you see that every job you are eligible for is only an entry-level job. Which also means that you will take a massive pay cut to switch over to marketing from IT. And no one wants to do that. What other option do you have, then?

Confused road

That’s right. Just get an MBA!

How do we know an MBA will help you shift careers? If you look through the placement reports of major B-schools around the world, you will find that many students switch over to a new career right after graduating. Their pay packages are significantly high as well.

It goes to show that an MBA is a great way to switch over into a different career. Take a look at our guide to post-MBA careers for more.

A quick note of caution here, though:

In India, people usually take the CAT and go for an MBA or a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Management or Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration immediately after graduation. This means that they have no work experience when they graduate with an MBA, a PGDBA, or a PGDBM. So, employers only have their academic record to look at, which makes the hiring process simple and straightforward.

If you do your MBA through the GMAT, however, you will need some work experience before you can start your MBA program. That way, when it comes to hiring, employers will look at not only your academic record but also your work experience. This can be more challenging to tackle because you will have to field a wider variety of questions.

3. For Better Knowledge and Skills

Getting an MBA through GMAT at a top B-school is like having a thali meal. When it is served at first, there’s a little bit of everything on your plate. You need only take second helpings of the stuff you like. Similarly, when you start your MBA program, you will study everything there is to know about a career in management. Eventually, you will be allowed to choose electives and specializations like second helpings that you want more of. These will allow you to explore the subjects you like in more detail after you get a basic understanding of all your options in the beginning.

Besides, MBA programs use classroom discussions as a teaching method. The faculty encourages debates and discussions so that students can learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives. You will be exposed to an overall knowledge about business from different areas like Marketing, Finance, Sales, etc. Case studies, presentations, projects, and research papers are also common teaching aids used in MBA programs.

They help ensure that your education is not just theoretical but also involves experiential learning. So, your knowledge of general management, business, and your chosen electives will get better and more detailed through an MBA.

4. Self-growth

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.

Self growth

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.

5. Because Your Network is Your Net Worth


Network is your net worth

What does networking mean? Basically that you get to interact and connect with thousands of people. And in the case of a B-school, you will interact with the students and alumni as well.

For example, everyone who has ever graduated from Harvard Business School will have the ‘HBS Alumni’ tag. They 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, they will bond immediately.

In short, carrying a school’s tag can be beneficial in the most unexpected ways because of the alumni network it instantly connects you to.

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 form a network with influential people in important places.

As you know, your network can help you launch, grow, and expand your business ventures.

6. To Gain the Brand Equity of a Top B-School

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. There is a big difference in doing an MBA from a lesser-known B-School in your region and doing it from a top school such as ISB.

Recruiters are aware of how difficult it is to get into a top B-School, so an MBA from such a school holds a lot of brand value.

If you get an MBA from a top B-School, potential employers already know that you have cleared the first level of acid tests: high GPA, high GMAT score, great essays, glowing recommendations, and tough admission interviews.

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 future. Since the MBA Admissions Committee has already done your assessment, recruiters are well-assured of your potential.

You must keep in mind that this brand equity can only open doors for you — after that point, you have to prove yourself.

Also read: Top MBA programs across the Globe

7. For a Change in Geography

There must have been instances when you wanted to move to Australia or Canada or any other foreign country to work there. Often, the biggest obstacle to doing this is finding a job abroad that will make such a move possible.

In all probability, a job similar to the one you currently have will not offer a salary that is viable for you. So, you need a job that’s at a higher level. The problem is that you’re not likely to get a promotion or a job in a different field abroad that easily. If you don’t have exposure to the local markets, getting a job at a higher position is nearly impossible.

To get a job that can make a living abroad viable, you’ll need a job that pays well. An MBA, say from Stanford or INSEAD, can help you land such a job.

An International MBA from a top B-school can help you understand the market, increase your international network, and learn everything you need for an international career. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to find a suitable job, allowing you to live a successful life abroad.

Also Read:
Selecting the Right MBA Program – 6 Factors to Consider


We hope this article has given you some insights on the top reasons to do an MBA.

Before you apply to B-Schools, analyze why exactly you wish to pursue an MBA. Knowing why you want an MBA plays a critical part in helping you choose the right MBA program for you.

At the end of the day, it’s all about your passion, your career, and your long-term goals.

So, follow the below steps before you start preparing to get an MBA:

  1. Take your time and think about how an MBA can benefit you.
  2. Then take a call on whether it is worth pursuing.
  3. Once you make up your mind, you will need to decide whether to get an MBA in India or abroad.
  4. Then decide whether to take the GMAT or the GRE.

We hope this post has made 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.

If you’re still wondering whether your profile is good enough for an MBA, use our free profile evaluation tool to find out!

Sub-700 GMAT Score – What are your chances at ISB?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

You know that you want to get an MBA from India, and you have your eyes set on ISB. I mean, after all, it is one of India’s best B-schools.

But if you are like me, you have seen the average GMAT scores at ISB before setting your mind to this. And maybe you are not entirely sure if scoring above 700 is going to be possible with the little time that you have ahead. Or, you have already taken the GMAT and your scores are now set in stone, and they are below 700.

In any case, you’ve come to the right place.

Because in this article, I am going to give you an overall picture of why GMAT matters but also why it doesn’t matter entirely.

In this article, you will learn:

  1. Why Does ISB Care About Your GMAT Scores?
  2. Is Your GMAT Score the Only Important Factor for ISB?
  3. How Can You Improve Your Chances with a Sub-700 GMAT Score?

I know you want to be quick about this; so let’s get started!

1. Why Does ISB Care About Your GMAT Scores?

You are probably with me when you think, “What?! Scores don’t tell you much about anyone. It’s the 21st century. We all know this by now.”

While I know and believe this, I also know that GMAT is probably one important way for the B-school to get a better sense of you.

I say this because the GMAT is not your average exam. It’s not about learning “by heart” or “rote-learning”!

Hear me out:

In many ways, the GMAT is an assessment of your ability to handle complex problems under highly stressful conditions.
What I mean is that the B-school uses your GMAT score to understand how well you handle curveballs that are thrown at you: immense pressure, quick decision making, logical thinking, amazing time management, etc. Especially because you’ll need the exact skill set to finish your 11 month MBA program at ISB.

isb aspirant

ISB’s PGP is an intense program. No doubt about this. You have to do a bunch of stuff in a short period of time and some more additional stuff like networking, organizing, attending events, partying… Stress to the extreme degree. “Work hard, party harder” is the norm!

Your GMAT score will tell them at ISB that you have what it takes to be a next level ‘multi-tasker’ and a ‘multi-thinker’ (if you know what I mean!)

So, a high GMAT score tells ISB that you have what it takes to be a corporate ninja.

Let me also reveal another secret:

ISB wants high GMAT scores because it needs a high GMAT average for itself.

Average GMAT score Indian b schools

Think about it!

If they have a good average, their MBA Ranking goes up. It is good for their brand value. They can pat themselves on their back and say, “Look! We have GMAT high scorers coming to ISB.”

Now that we know why they want to see good GMAT scores, let me tell you how GMAT fits into the whole portfolio.

2. Is Your GMAT Score the Only Important Thing for ISB?

I think by now, you have a good idea about where this is going.

A good GMAT score is a brownie point for your application, but it’s not the only thing that matters.

ISB AdCom will look at your application portfolio to see what other aspects stand out. These are some of the obvious questions they will ask:

What is your academic background?

What level of industry experience did you come away with?

Is your cultural background or existing skillset unique?


Now, you will have to take it upon yourself to showcase your profile in the best way possible. Expecting them to make inferences, connect the dots, etc. is not how you should go about it.

The best way to understand whether your profile has factors that ISB will find unique is to look through the detailed Class Profile. It will immediately tell you where your profile matches the typical ones that ISB accepts and where it is different.

I’m sure you know what a ‘Sales Pitch’ is. And this is probably the best way to understand my point.

Highlight your uniqueness, your unconventional perspectives, your expertise, your achievements in such a way that the AdCom will clearly think, “Oh, this candidate must have taken the GMAT on a bad day; everything else is outstanding.”

Because ultimately, they are also looking to see how well you will fit in with the crowd while standing out. You know how a classroom is, right? A lot of learning happens through discussions, debates, case studies, etc. If everyone in the class has the same opinions and thought processes, then there won’t be any great takeaways.

Of course, the fact that there’s no such thing as an ISB GMAT cut-off is enough to prove that there’s more to it than your GMAT score. I know that with the Indian education system everything is about “cut-offs,” but lucky for us, this is not how things work at ISB, or any other good B-school for that matter.

Here is another fact that should motivate you: ISB accepts students with a wide range of GMAT scores; the range of score in the Class of 2020 is from 600 to 770.

How do we know this? We looked at their class profile for 2020. 😛

GMAT score range for ISB

Some sub-700 scorers’ profiles have traits proving that they are worthy of being in the class, in spite of their low scores.

Why don’t you give our article on 6 traits B-Schools look for in applicants a read to get an idea of how to pitch yourself to a B-school like ISB?

3. How Can You Improve Your Chances with a Sub-700 GMAT Score?

Suppose you’re looking for a life partner and you’ve got two non-negotiable checkboxes you want them to tick:

1. S/he should be tall.
2. S/he should have a stable and good job.

Now, say you find someone who is 5’2 and has a great job. So you can tick one of the two boxes. You come to know that there is a promotion soon.

But the first box (height requirement) is not fulfilled. You don’t expect a lot, but a 5’8 would have been awesome.

Now reverse this scenario:

Suppose you meet someone who’s 5’10. Go ahead and tick that first checkbox! Unfortunately, this person is between jobs. There is a chance of a better job.

So, there is hope. There is a chance that this person will fulfil both the requirements.

If you have to pick between just these two, which one would you choose?

Definitely the one who can make up for the missing criterion! Smart decision!!

That’s exactly how it works with your MBA application to ISB.

The school has a set of requirements that it expects you to meet. However, if you don’t meet one of the requirements, it is not necessarily a deal-breaker. You can make up for it by doing other things within the same bracket.

man thinking

Your GMAT score falls under the umbrella of academics. So, if you have a low GMAT score, make up for it by completing some specialized courses and certifications. You should mention and highlight everything that could show a high academic aptitude—like any research papers you’ve published, or if you own any patents, etc. Basically, things that will boost your academic category of the portfolio!

These additional academic papers will show that you can handle the course load and pressure.

As long as you can show that you’re strong on the academic front, an admission with a sub-700 GMAT score for ISB isn’t too unrealistic


Now, this is an important ‘however’—if you tried the GMAT way a couple of times and luck hasn’t favored you yet, you can go the GRE way. There’s a chance that you’ll do better on the GRE than on the GMAT. Read our article on GMAT vs. GRE to help you figure this out.

GRE score range


I hope you’re convinced that GMAT is not the only thing that matters for an admit to ISB. I have also told you how to amp up your portfolio if your GMAT is below 700.

What do you think?

Do you have insights that you would like to share with me on this topic? Go ahead and let us know in the comments below!

Wondering if you will get that interview call from ISB? Try our free ISB Interview Predictor now!

Why Class Profile is Crucial when Choosing an MBA Program

Class profile
Reading Time: 11 minutes

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:

Why is it important to consider an MBA Class Profile?
What should you look for in an MBA Class Profile?
Comparative Analysis of MBA Class Profiles from 10 Popular MBA Programs

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:

  • Age
  • 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.

  • Undergraduate Majors
  • 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.

  • Pre-MBA Industry
  • 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.

  • GPA
  • 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.

  • GMAT/GRE Scores
  • 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.

  • Diversity
  • Three factors that usually come under this are:

    1. The percentage of women
    2. The percentage of international students
    3. 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:

Kellogg School Class profile

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.

3. GPA:

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.

GMAT scores 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:

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Stanford School of Business
  3. Columbia Business School
  4. Booth School of Business
  5. Rotman School of Management
  6. London Business School
  8. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  9. Indian School of Business
  10. 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.

Average age & work ex of MBA Applicants


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?


best B schools

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


pre MBA industries

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:

  1. Program Duration
  2. Specializations
  3. MBA Rankings
  4. Geography

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!

GMAT Scores for ISB in 2019: Everything You Need to Know

Reading Time: 11 minutes

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:

  • “Do not apply with a sub-700 score”
  • “My cousin got in with just 640”
  • “You don’t stand a chance without a 740”
  • 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:

    1. What were the Average GMAT Scores at ISB over the Last Decade?
    2. What GMAT Scores do I need for ISB?
    3. What is the GMAT Score Range at ISB?
    4. 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?


    Average GMAT score in ISB

    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


    Mid 80% range

    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.

    Average GMAT score for ISB

    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.

    List of Indian B-Schools accepting GMAT Scores

    Indian Flag
    Reading Time: 23 minutes

    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


    Andhra Pradesh

    1. Gitam School of International Business (GSIB) – Vishakapatnam


    1. Indian Institute of Management – Raipur

    New Delhi

    1. Faculty of Management Studies – New Delhi

    2. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade – New Delhi

    3. Indian School of Business & Finance – New Delhi

    4. Apeejay School of Management – New Delhi

    5. Delhi School of Business – New Delhi


    1. Goa Institute of Management


    1. Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad


    1. Indian Institute of Management – Rohtak


    1. XLRI – Xavier School of Management – Jamshedpur

    2. Indian Institute of Management – Ranchi


    1. Indian Institute of Management, (IIM-B) – Bengaluru

    2. T. A. Pai Management Institute – Manipal

    3. MYRA School of Business – Mysore

    4. Kirloskar Institute Of Advanced Management Studies – Harihar

    5. Indian Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli – Tiruchirappalli

    Madhya Pradesh

    1. Indian Institute of Management, (IIM-I) Indore – Indore


    1. S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research – Mumbai

    2. School of Management, NMIMS – Mumbai

    3. Institute of Management Technology – Nagpur

    4. K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research – Mumbai

    5. National Institute of Securities Markets – Mumbai

    6. FLAME University – The Pioneers of Liberal Education in India – Pune

    7. SDM Institute for Management Development – Pune


    1. Indian Institute of Management, (IIM – Shillong) – Shillong


    1. Xavier Institute of Management – Bhubaneshwar

    2. Asian School of Business Management (ASBM) – Bhubaneshwar

    3. School of Management (IMI) – Bhubaneshwar


    1. Indian Business School – Mohali


    1. Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Rajasthan

    2. Indian Institute of Management Udaipur – Udaipur

    Tamil Nadu

    1. Great Lakes Institute of Management – Chennai

    2. VIT Business School – Vellore

    3. Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras (DoMS) – Chennai

    4. School of Management – SRM University – Chennai


    1. Indian School of Business – Hyderabad

    2. Institute of Management Technology – Hyderabad

    Uttar Pradesh

    1. Indian Institute of Management, (IIM-L) Lucknow – Lucknow

    2. Institute of Management Technology – Ghaziabad

    3. Shiv Nadar University – School of Management and Entrepreneurship – Greater Noida

    West Bengal

    1. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade – Kolkata

    2. International Management Institute (IMI) – Kolkata

    3. Indian Institute of Management, (IIM-C) – Kolkata


    1. ISB – Hyderabad and Mohali

    Name of the college – Indian Business School

    Average GMAT

      •Hyderabad: 70
      •Mohali: 708

    Average work experience – 4 years

    Tuition fees – INR 25,00,000

    Location – Hyderabad and Mohali

    Courses Offered

      • PGPM
      • Management Development Programmes
      • Custom Designed Programmes
      • PGPMAX
      • YLP-Young Leaders Programme


      • Entrepreneurship
      • Finance
      • Information and Technology Management
      • Operations Management
      • Marketing
      • Strategy and Leadership

    The Industry specializations offered are

      • Healthcare
      • Manufacturing
      • Public Policy
      • Infrastructure


    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

    Courses Offered

      • PGDM
      • PGPM
      • PGCIM


      • 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
      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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
      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • MBA
      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • PGP
      • PGPPM
      • PGPEM

      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • PGPM
      • PGDM

    Alumni – 

    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

    Courses Offered

      • PGP
      • PGPEX
      • PGPEX-VLM
      • PGDBA


      • Ajit Balakrishnan, founder and Chief Executive Officer of; 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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[27]
      • 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

    Courses Offered

    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


      • Ghaziabad
      • Hyderabad
      • Nagpur
      • Dubai

    Courses Offered

      • Ghaziabad
      • 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)
      • Hyderabad

    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

    Courses Offered

      • EPGP


    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

    Courses Offered       

      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • MBA
      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • PGDM
      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • MBA Consultancy Management
      • MBA Manufacturing Management
      • MBA Quality Management
      • MBA Finance


      • Sanjay Mehrotra, founder of SanDisk Products and Services
      • Phanindra Sama, founder of
      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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


      • Delhi
      • Kolkata

    Courses Offered
      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • PGDM
      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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

    Courses Offered

    Master of Business Administration

    Alumni –

    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

    Courses Offered

      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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



    Location – Vellore

    Courses Offered


      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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)  

    Alumni –

    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

    Courses Offered

      • 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

    Courses Offered  

      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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 collegeIndian 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

    Courses Offered

      • PGPM
      • PGPEx
      • FPM


    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

    Courses Offered

      • MBA
      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (PGDM)
      • Post Graduate Program for executives (PGPX)
      • Global MBA

    Alumni –

    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

    Courses Offered

      • Post Graduate Programme (PGP)
      • Fellow Programme in Management (FPM)
      • Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives PGPX)
      • Management Development Programme for Women Entrepreneurs (MDPWE)

    Alumni –

    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

    Courses Offered

      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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

    Courses Offered
      • PGDM

    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

    Courses Offered

      • 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.



    Location – Bhubaneswar

    Courses Offered



      • MR. NIPUN SACHDEVA – Marketing manager – KOTAK SECURITIES
      • 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

    Courses Offered

      • 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

    Courses Offered
      • 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.

    6 Traits B-Schools Look For In Applicants

    Reading Time: 7 minutes

    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

    Application Acceptance Rate at B-Schools

    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
    2. Work Experience
    3. Leadership
    4. Diversity
    5. Personality- The X Factor
    6. Goals

    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.

    Academic Potential

    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.


    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.

    Work Experience

    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.

    3. Leadership

    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.

    4. Diversity

    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.

    6. Goals

    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.

    tell me why

    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!

    Selecting the Right MBA Program – 6 Factors to Consider

    Right business school
    Reading Time: 16 minutes

    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:

    1. Does my profile match the MBA class profile?
    2. Is the B-School’s location right for me?
    3. What are the specializations the MBA offers?
    4. How can MBA Rankings help in selecting the right MBA program?
    5. Should I choose a 1-year MBA or a 2-year MBA?
    6. 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.

    Profile match

    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:

    a. Age
    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?

    c. Diversity
    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.

    c. Language
    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!

    d. Culture
    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.

    e. Climate
    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.

    We have compiled a list of which MBA rankings you can trust. Hopefully, those will help you in selecting the right MBA program based on 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.

    Program duration

    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:

    1. Reach Category
    2. Stretch Category
    3. 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?

    Here’s why:

    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.

    Finally, let’s talk about the Dream Category. Every person who has ever thought of getting an MBA has surely dreamt of studying at Harvard Business School, Wharton School of Business, and the likes.

    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!

    How to Get an MBA through GMAT without Work Experience

    MBA through GMAT without workex
    Reading Time: 7 minutes

    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:

    1. Can I get an MBA without work experience?
    2. What is Deferred Admission?
    3. 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.

    1. Harvard 2+2 – Harvard Business School

      Harvard 2+2 program

      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.

    3. Yale Silver Scholars – Yale School of Management

      Yale Silver Scholars

      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.

    5. Young Leaders Program & Early Entry Option – Indian School of Business

      ISB YLP

      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.

    Why 2019 is the Best Time for Indians to Study in the US

    Best time study abroad US
    Reading Time: 5 minutes

    Recent news reports show that Indian students have started choosing Australia and Canada as study abroad destinations rather than the US.

    We believe there are two things that could have sparked this trend. One is the seemingly hostile political climate towards immigrants under President Trump’s administration. The second is the soaring costs of studying abroad.

    However, both these are actually beneficial trends for Indian students who want to study in the US. In this article, we will talk about:

    1. Increasing Odds of Admission
    2. Better Scholarship Opportunities
    3. Changes in H1B Visa Regulations
    4. Expected Change of Government

    These are pertinent factors that greatly impact your decision to study abroad. So, let’s take a look at each one in further detail.

    1. Increasing Odds of Admission

    As per reports, the number of Indian students applying to universities in the US has reduced.

    The decline in the number of international applications has been sharp enough to spur US B-Schools into taking action to boost the numbers. In fact, even the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took note and started offering STEM MBAs via US B-Schools to help attract international applications.

    Increasing Odds of Admission

    Now, here’s why this should matter to you:

    Remember that the number of available seats remains the same irrespective of the volume of applications received. This means that a rising volume of applications will reduce the acceptance rate and therefore, your odds of getting in to study abroad.

    At the same time, though, a decline in applications will raise acceptance rates across the board. By extension, this means your odds of getting an admit rise when the volume of applications falls.

    Additionally, remember that you will only be competing against other Indian applicants.

    This means that your chances of getting in are not affected by the number of applicants from other countries. So, a fall in the number of Indian applicants raises your odds exponentially.

    As such, your chances of getting into an American university are higher than they’ve ever been.

    2. Better Scholarship Opportunities

    You’re probably quite familiar with the price war that’s been on between e-commerce companies around the world.

    But did you know that the same has been going on between American universities?

    People have missed this phenomenon among news articles about rising tuition costs across the US. To be fair, it is quite true that tuition costs and other fees for higher education programs are rising.

    Better Scholarships

    However, international students are spending less on getting advanced degrees today than they did a decade ago.

    How’s this possible, you ask?

    It’s simple. Look at university expenditures on scholarships instead of just the rise in tuition and other fees.

    Universities across the US have been using scholarships to lure the best candidates towards themselves since before 2014. This has had a two-fold result: firstly, the absolute prices of higher education have risen over time; secondly, it has become cheaper for international students to study abroad in the US.

    Our point here is simple:

    The number of international applications is declining, so the competition for these abundantly available scholarships is lower than ever, too. This means you have excellent chances of getting great scholarships from US universities if you apply now.

    3. Changes in H1B Visa Regulations

    Statistics show that most students applying to universities in the US want to stay and work there, as well.

    Even though the current US government in 2019 is known to be anti-immigration, the US desperately needs qualified people to take up the jobs the economy is expected to generate in the near future.

    H1B Visa regulations

    Therefore, the US needs to attract international students to stay and work in the US after completing their education. So, there’s a proposed reform in Visa regulations aimed to attract young professionals.

    H1-B visas are given out based on two lottery rounds, one is exclusively for those holding advanced degrees from American Universities and the other one is a general round for all.

    The proposed reforms look to maximize your chances of getting an H1-B visa if you hold an advanced degree from an American university. To understand the reform, we’ll have to compare it with the current system under which these visas are granted.

    Here’s how the current H1-B visa system works:

    The first lottery round is only for specialists holding advanced degrees from US universities. The second round is a general one, where everyone who wants the visa can apply for it. Only 20,000 visas are handed out in the first round and 65,000 in the second one.

    Here’s what the reform plans to do:

    In the new system, the rounds get reversed, meaning that you have to apply through the general round first irrespective of your educational qualifications. If you don’t get a visa through this, then you can apply through the specialist round.

    Statistically, this increases your odds of getting the visa by close to 15%.

    For more details on how this reform works, read our article on everything you need to know about US visas.
    Now, let’s talk about Trump!

    4. Expected Change of Government

    If you’re planning to apply to the US, you’re definitely aware of the socio-political climate. Or, at least, you should be – after all, Visa and immigration regulations are among the first things to get changed when the government changes!

    Every year, the US sees a massive influx of immigrants looking for a piece of the “American Dream”.

    As a result, immigrants and immigration reform are a huge part of public discourse and are highly vulnerable to political whims. For example, under President Obama, the American immigration policy was very immigrant-friendly but it became hostile nearly as soon as President Trump took over.

    Immigration is likely to play a pivotal role in the upcoming election of 2020.

    government change

    For those of you who are still wondering, here’s how this affects you:

    Assuming that there is a regime change and President Trump does not get re-elected, there will be changes to the policies and regulations that determine how easily you can get a US visa.

    This matters right now because if you’re taking your GMAT and applying in 2019-20, you are likely to graduate around 2021-22. This means that the next government will be the one determining whether you get an H1-B Visa or not.

    In essence, if you’re applying now, then the current government’s policies won’t be responsible for your visa.

    So, consider this if your main concern is that you may not get to live and work in the US after graduation.

    To conclude, we find that 2019 is the best time for Indian students to study in the US because the competition is lower than ever, granting each Indian applicant greater access to scholarships.

    The proposed changes in the process of granting H1-B Visas as well as the upcoming elections, both look promising for Indian students with advanced degrees from American universities.

    We recommend that you start building your profile for your applications right away!

    MBA in India vs. MBA Abroad

    MBA India vs abroad
    Reading Time: 10 minutes

    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:

    1. What are the benefits of doing an MBA in India?
    2. What are the disadvantages of doing an MBA in India?
    3. Is it better to do MBA abroad?
    4. What are the risks of studying MBA abroad?
    5. 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:

    Advantages Indian MBA
    • Affordability and ROI
      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.

    • No Visa Problems
      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.

    • Familiar Network and Culture
      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.

    Disadvantages MBA India

    • Limited Use if You Want to Move Abroad
      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.

    • No/Limited International Exposure
      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.

    • Limited Growth Opportunities
      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
      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.

    • Better Pedagogy
      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.

    • Learning Opportunities
      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.

    Advantages of 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
      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.

    • Starting from Scratch
      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.

    • No Safety Net
      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:

    Where to do MBA

    1. Your Background
      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.

    3. Your Aspirations
      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!

    Should I Get an MBA After 30?

    MBA after 30
    Reading Time: 24 minutes

    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:

    1. Who is an ‘Older Applicant’?
    2. Why Don’t B-Schools Accept Older Applicants?
    3. What Can You Gain From an MBA After 30?
    4. Why Didn’t You Do an MBA Earlier?
    5. How Can You Get an MBA After 30?
    6. How to Select the Right B-Schools?
    7. 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
      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.

    • Flexibility
      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.

    • Class Fit
      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.

    • Salary & Career Transition
      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.


    • Knowledge
      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.

    • Perspective
      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.

    • Network
      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

      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.

    • Wasn’t Aware of MBA Benefits
      wasn't aware of the benefits of mba after 30
      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!

    • Didn’t Get Through via CAT
      Didn’t Get Through via CAT
      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!

    • You Have Done an MBA Before

      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
      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.

    • Preparing for the GMAT
    • 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.

    • Scoring Well on the GMAT
      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.

    • Applications
      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.

      Then, to get in, you’ll have to write or record video essays, find the right recommenders and get your letters of recommendation, and then get through interviews with Admission Committees.

      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.

    • Getting Through
      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.

    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)
      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.

    • Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (India)
      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.

    • International Institute for Management Development (Switzerland)
      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.

    • Indian School of Business (India)
      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
      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.

    • Learnability
      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.

    • Employability
      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.

    • Why NOW?
      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.

    • Class Contribution
      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.

    • Your X-Factor
      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.

    • Why Full-Time MBA
      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.

    In Conclusion…

    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!

    Which MBA Rankings Are Reliable?

    MBA Rankings
    Reading Time: 12 minutes

    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:

    1. What are MBA Rankings and Why They May Not Work For You
    2. CrackVerbal’s Ranking of MBA Rankings
    3. Should You Rely on MBA Rankings?
    4. Trends Among Indian MBA Aspirants
    5. 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

    The concept of MBA Rankings was pioneered by John Byrne, founder of Poets and Quants, during his time with Businessweek.

    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
      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.

    • Lack of Personalization
      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.

    • Inadequate Comparison
      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
      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 MBA Rankings
      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.

    • QS MBA Rankings
      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.

    • The Economist MBA Rankings
      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.

    • Financial Times MBA Rankings
      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:

    • Dream
      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.

    • Stretch
      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.

    • Reach
      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.

    • Safe
      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.

    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:

    North America


    1. Rotman School of Management – University of Toronto
    2. Schulich School of Business – York University
    3. Smith School of Business – Queen’s University
    4. Ivey Business School – University of Western Ontario
    5. Special Mentions
    6. Desautels Faculty of Management – McGill University


    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.

    New York

    1. Leonard N. Stern School of Business – New York University
    2. Columbia Business School – Columbia University


    1. Booth School of Business – University of Chicago
    2. Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University


    1. MIT Sloan School of Management
    2. Harvard Business School

    California (Bay Area)

    1. Stanford Graduate School of Business
    2. Haas School of Business – University of California Berkeley
    3. Anderson School of Management – University of California Los Angeles

    Special Mentions

    1. 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.
    2. 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.



    1. Saïd Business School – Oxford University
    2. London Business School
    3. Cambridge Judge Business School
    4. Special Mentions
    5. Alliance Manchester Business School, Warwick Business School, Cranfield School of Management


    1. INSEAD
    2. HEC Paris

    Special Mentions

    1. Germany – University of Mannheim Business School
    2. Spain – IE Business School, IESE Business School
    3. Switzerland – International Institute for Management Development, University of St. Gallen School of Management



    1. Indian School of Business
    2. Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad
    3. Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore
    4. Indian Institute of Management – Calcutta
    5. Special Mentions
    6. Xaviers School of Management
      Indian Institute of Management – Lucknow
      Great Lakes Institute of Management


    1. Melbourne Business School – University of Melbourne
    2. Australian Graduate School of Management – University of New South Wales


    1. National University of Singapore
    2. Nanyang Technical University
    3. Singapore Management University


    1. Asian Institute of Management – Manila
    2. China Europe International Business School – China
    3. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

    What is the ROI of an Executive MBA?

    Reading Time: 7 minutes

    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:

    1. What is the meaning of ROI for MBA?
    2. What are the Factors Affecting the ROI of an MBA?
    3. What is the Comparative ROI of Popular MBA Programs?
    4. How do I Calculate Value of Intangibles?

    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.

    1. 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.


    3. 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.


    5. 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.

    1. Think Long-Term
      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.

    3. MBA vs. Non-MBA
      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!

    5. Consider the Intangibles
      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
      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.

    • Career Path
      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.

    • Industry
      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.

    • Country
      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.

    What is the Difference Between MBA and PGDM?

    MBA vs PGDM
    Reading Time: 5 minutes

    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:

    1. The Birth of MBA
    2. Management Education in India
    3. MBA in India Today

    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:

    1. MBAs are postgraduate Master’s degrees whereas PGDM and PGDBA are both diplomas.
    2. MBAs have accreditation from the AICTE while the diplomas don’t.
    3. MBAs are likely to be regulated by University bodies while PGDMs and PGDBAs are regulated independently by the institutions offering them.
    4. 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.

    1. PGPx – IIM Ahmedabad
      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.

    3. PGP, EPGP, PGPEX, IPMX, and GMP
      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.

    These Are Canada’s 10 Best MBA Programs in 2019

    Top MBA Programs - Canada
    Reading Time: 6 minutes

    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:

    1. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
    2. Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario
    3. Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University
    4. Schulich School of Business, University of York
    5. Smith School of Business, Queen’s University
    6. HEC Montreal
    7. Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia
    8. John Molson School of Business, Concordia University
    9. University of Alberta School of Business
    10. 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.

    1. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

    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.

    2. Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario

    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.

    3. Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University

    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.

    4. Schulich School of Business, University of York

    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.

    5. Smith School of Business, Queen’s University

    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.

    7. Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia

    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.

    8. John Molson School of Business, Concordia University

    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.

    9. University of Alberta School of Business

    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.

    10. DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University

    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!

    Top 10 One-Year MBA Programs in the US

    Top 10 One-Year MBAs in the US
    Reading Time: 7 minutes

    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:

    1. Stern School of Business, New York University
    2. Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
    3. SC Johnson School of Technology, Cornell University
    4. Goizueta Business School, Emory University
    5. Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh
    6. Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California
    7. Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame
    8. F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College
    9. Southern Methodist University (SMU) – Cox School of Business
    10. Pepperdine University – Graziadio School of Business and Management

    Read on to find out what it takes to get into them!


    1. Stern School of Business, New York University

    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!

    2. Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

    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. 

    3. SC Johnson School of Technology, Cornell University

    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!

    4. Goizueta Business School, Emory University

    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!

    5. Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

    Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
    Duration: 11 months
    Average Work Experience: 4.6 Years
    Average GMAT Score: 621
    Tuition: $68,167.00
    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.

    6. Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

    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!

    7. Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame

    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!

    8. F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College

    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.

    9. Southern Methodist University (SMU) – Cox School of Business

    Location: Dallas, Texas
    Duration: 12 months
    Average Work Experience: 4 Years
    Average GMAT Score: 636
    Tuition: $70,408
    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.

    10. Pepperdine University – Graziadio School of Business and Management

    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!

    ISB YLP – A “Catch Them Young” Leadership Program from ISB

    Reading Time: 5 minutes

    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!

    Why MBA – A 5-Step Process to Answer this Essay Question

    Reading Time: 8 minutes

    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:

    1. Why MBA is Important
    2. How to Write the “Why MBA” Essay
    3. Are you ready for an MBA?

    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
    2. List out Relevant Work Experience
    3. Decide Which Skills You Want to Highlight
    4. Draw Up A Skeleton
    5. Flesh it Out, Edit & Finalize

    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.

    All You Need to Know About STEM MBA in 2019

    STEM MBA in the US
    Reading Time: 8 minutes

    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:

    1. What is a STEM MBA? How is it different from an MBA and a Masters in Business Analytics?
    2. Current Scenario of STEM Designation
    3. STEM MBA Careers
    4. 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.

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Technology
      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

    1. 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.
    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.
    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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!

    Here’s What an Ideal ISB Profile Looks Like

    Reading Time: 7 minutes

    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:
        • Accenture
        • ABG
        • Infosys
        • Lodha
        • HUL
        • P&G
        • Godrej
        • 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 🙂

    The Ultimate MBA Planner (Step-by-Step)

    Reading Time: 8 minutes

    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.
    It’s not.
    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.



    Resources :

    Want to find out about some of the best advice on the GMAT? Read the articles below:

    All about the GMAT

    Changes in the GMAT

    3 month GMAT study plan

    Mistakes test takers commit while preparing for the GMAT

    Things you should know before taking any GMAT Practice Tests

    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!


    Resources :

    3 Factors that GMAT accepting B-schools Want to See in your Profile!

    How To Select The Right B-School For You

    How To Finance Your MBA Especially When You Don’t Have Enough Money

    GMAT Section Select Order : Everything You Need To Know


    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.


    Resources :


    5 Ways AdComs test your Communication Skills

    Sample MBA Application Essays for Top B-Schools


    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!
    Good luck!

    A Guide to choosing the right MBA program

    Reading Time: 18 minutes

    One question that frequently pops up in a MBA aspirant’s mind is – ‘How do I go about choosing the right MBA program?’

    This is probably the second most important decision of your life, after the one you make about whom to marry! ☺

    In terms of your commitment, an MBA costs you 1 to 2 years, and between 50 lacs to 1 crore on an average ( including opportunity costs).

    The difficulty of choosing the right MBA program is further aggravated by the fact that all the brochures and websites look the same and talk the same language!

    But let us begin with a more fundamental question –

    Why would anyone do an MBA?

    There are two reasons we keep hearing again and again:

    My job sucks: Many of us are stuck in jobs we don’t enjoy. Maybe the work is boring, maybe there is no easy way up, maybe we just want to start over. An MBA seems like a very alluring ticket out of boredom.

    I want to make more money: For good or bad, we live in a capitalist market – and a lot of us seem to want to make more money and retire rich. An MBA seems like a good option to achieve this end.

    But, these are reasons you would ( should not) not put down in your application.
    If you were to look deeper, beyond just money, there are many valid, real reasons why an MBA will help your career.

    Career progression-

    In some positions, in order for you to reach a particular position, it is mandatory to have an MBA. If you look at a typical IT profile, you eventually become a project manager because of your skills. But after that, becoming a delivery manager or a VP is not as easy. What has taken you so far may not be enough to take you forward. What does it take to be successful at the start of your career? You need to be smart, hardworking and show results. After a point, once you reach middle management, you will realise that everyone else on the table has similar traits which is what bought them there. At this stage, an MBA could be your differentiator.

    Career switch-

    This is applicable for people who are still in the early stages of their career. ‘I got into IT, because there is no option but to do engineering- the only companies worth paying something those days were IT companies. When I looked at the package, I didn’t think I would end up doing mundane work. But now with experience, when I look forward, the future looks really bleak, my potential lies in something else.’

    Does that sound like you?

    An MBA gives you the pedestal to reach out to another career.

    It’s not easy to switch careers after a certain number of professional years have passed. If you have 10 years of experience and you’re 32, your chances of breaking into the financial belt are slim. In fact, it may not be worth it because after 10 years of experience, you don’t want to start at the bottom of the ladder once again. But if you are aiming to shift your career after 2-3 years of working in one area, an MBA fits the bill perfectly.


    An MBA is not really going to make you an expert in anything. Knowledge is important but how much of what you learnt in school or college do you remember? Probably very little. When you go to a Bschool, you have a better appreciation and perspective of the business world, but in terms of pure cold knowledge, you won’t learn much that you can’t learn from a book.

    B-schools don’t want you to be an expert or manager, but a leader- a CEO. You’ll have a lot of people reporting to a CEO- HR, Sales & Marketing, Finance. On an average, the span of control of a CEO is not more than 6 reportees. The idea is that each one of them manages the entire vertical by themselves.

    For example, in the technology field, is the CEO expected to understand technology and argue with the techie on why a particular architecture should be in that way? No. He only needs to understand what is the cloud and how it will affect the total cost of ownership of his solution, how to implement or leverage IT for whatever he’s doing.

    Similarly, if you deal with Sales, you just can’t go and say to your salespeople “My next target for you is 5 million dollars.” They will tell you how the market is poor and give you dozens of reasons as to why the target can’t be met. As a CEO, can you stand, look eye to eye and say, “these are the numbers and this is how we’re going to do it. “

    Take finance for example. This guy has a truck load of charted accountants working for him. Are you going to say that you know more accounting than him? Probably not right? However, you do need to know enough of finance, you need to know how equity is raised in a company, how underlying money is being utilised and so on. You need to know how to read a balance sheet and recognize patterns in it.

    If you look at HR, one of the toughest jobs that a CEO has is the mandate that is usually given when he enters the company. The morale of the company is very low and you are expected to charge them to have a high performance team. It’s like you went to college, got 50000 graduates who have no clue why they’re there, put them on bench and you’re expected to somehow magically transform them on how they see the company and how they see the future. But that’s a challenge right. Sometimes the HR would say, “There’s no need to worry, some other company is having a 20% acquisition. We can have a 17% acquisition.” The right question to ask at this point would be, “Why should our company have 17% acquisition? “

    So coming to the point, an MBA at best, is a general management program teaching you cross functional skills. It is not expected to make you an expert in any one field. You need to be a generalist rather than a specialist – this is the knowledge that an MBA imparts to you.


    This is a word you keep hearing. So what is networking? Do I go to a B-school to build my network? How do I measure it? Do I measure it by the number of people that I add on Facebook? Or the number of connections I’ve made in LinkedIn?

    I think a lot of people have a misconception that networking is the number of people that you directly know. But it’s not that. The way in which you need to probably look at this is how many people do you know who in turn know people who are important enough.

    If I were to give an analogy, you are surrounded by 10 other powerful people who have large networks. If you have 500 such connections and each of them in turn have 500 connections, you actually have 250000 connections- the actual reach you can access.

    How do I know each of these guys? Here’s the good news. When you graduate from a top B-school, the whole world acts like an old boys’ school association- that’s the truth. People like you not because they know you but because you went to the same school. How many times has it happened to us that we meet someone who happens to come from the same city as we do, or went to the same school and the first conversation that you strike up is “Hey, so good to see you. What happened to that guy? That teacher we had? Which dorm were you living in? and so on.

    So the point is, people know you only because you graduated from the same school. They don’t know you because you added them on Facebook or LinkedIn. But eventually, if you were to add them – if you tell them you’re an alumnus from Stanford, they would become your friend. Now, how do you leverage that? Let’s say you’re a businessman. There are 180 places where HBS has an alumni association. If you go to Botswana and you want to set up your business over there, you just need to go to HBS Botswana chapter and you’ll probably find a couple of people who are going to help you deal with the government and the local policies.

    Of course you need to know people, but it’s important to know people who are in turn powerful.

    Brand Equity-

    What does brand equity mean? It means the recognition or the value of your title. Let’s assume you were to come across someone who has an MBA from a top school – the moment you hear that the person has an MBA from Stanford, you automatically confer a high level of intelligence and smartness upon that person that would otherwise take a person a few months to prove.

    A lot of times I’ve seen that in consulting when there is a client case, the manager would come in and say “Hey, we got the new associate on role. Don’t worry he’s a smart guy- he’s an MBA from Harvard.” The moment they say this to the client, the client is assured. He assumes that he’s perhaps got one on the best minds to work on his case. So brand equity definitely helps.


    This is a question that usually comes when people have accumulated more than a few years of experience. Usually self-growth occurs when you start working- you spend a couple of years of doing the same thing. And then, one day you wake up and say- “Hey, you know what? I don’t want to wake up to the sound of the buzzing alarm and the grind of the traffic and get to work and sit in this little cubicle tucked away somewhere in some corner of my company’s premise. I’m looking for something a lot more fulfilling in my life.”

    An MBA helps you take out 2 years of your life and give time to yourself. This is something that a lot of people won’t accept readily, but I think it’s a great way to think about an MBA. So think about all the financial instruments that you’ve invested when you probably started your career. Think of fixed deposits, think of the stock market.

    Probably, the only financial instrument, if I could call that one, is your career. The biggest investment that you want to make is in yourself which is why self- growth is a very important aspect.

    Probably the last time you had the freedom to learn and grow on your own time was when you were in college. At that point of time, you had the independence, but you did not have a perspective. Now, when you’re working, you have the perspective, but unfortunately you do not have the independence and the time.

    What an MBA does is it gives you that independence along with the perspective because the next time that you’re going to get the same independence for a year or two is probably after 35 years – after you retire.

    Change of Geography-

    You have lived in India, worked in India and India’s been all that you have known, but let’s say you now want to go and work in the US. But, you don’t want to work as an entry level programmer and the chances of going through an Indian company through L1 seem to be very slim.

    Whether you want to go to Singapore, Europe or the US, an MBA gives you an opportunity to explain to them that you’ve been in this culture for the last 2 years and you’ve have taken so much course work, you’ve worked with peers and professors, all of whom understand this culture. The entry-level barrier drops steeply when you have studied in the country you want to work in.

    Choosing the right MBA program

    Post MBA Goals-

    The first thing you want to ask yourself is what is it that you want to do post your MBA? Can you specify which country you want to work, which industry you want to work in, what is the kind of title you’re looking at. It is very important that you look at your post-MBA goals and fit in the MBA program that will help you realise your goals. For example, if I want to be a consultant at McKinsey and I end up going to a B-school where McKinsey does not even come for interviews, then the chances of getting into McKinsey are next to zero. Be clear about your post MBA goals and how your MBA program fits into it.

    1-year v/s 2-year courses-

    The second question that I keep hearing a lot is whether I should go for a one-year program or a 2-year program. According to me, if you’re above 30, if you’re married, have kids, you already invested in a house, then probably a one year is meant for you.

    If you’re 24, you have a couple of years of college experience and you don’t have any liabilities, probably you should be looking at a 2-year program. Especially if you’re deciding on a career change, a 2-year course is always preferable over a 1-year program.

    Is there a thumb rule or a way in which I can decide whether one year is better or 2 years is better? It’s like neither is better- it’s just a question of where you are. It’s a very subjective question. Usually what happens is, the people who are struggling with this question would be 28, about to get married – they are just around the threshold- they are not 22 and unmarried. Nor are they 32 and married with kids- they are somewhere in between – this zone is where the confusion is.

    2 years is more expensive but you also have an opportunity to do your internship- it’s a lot easier on you mentally because you have time to assimilate the course. One year is obviously going to be relatively inexpensive because you finish it off in half the time but one complaint that I’ve heard from a lot of people who did a one-year course is that it got over so fast that they wished they had more time. So it’s a call that you need to take.


    The third thing is that you need to also be very clear on the Geography. As I mentioned earlier, that if you want to work in the US, then probably you shouldn’t be doing an Indian MBA or MBA in Europe and vice versa. If you want to eventually work in India, why would you want to do an MBA from the US? So the question eventually becomes- India vs Foreign MBA.

    Should I apply for ISB or Greatlakes or XLRI v/s should I apply for a top b-school abroad? According to me there are pros and cons so let’s look at the pros and then the cons.

    So what works for an Indian MBA is – Most of the times you have a non-collateral loop- for example if you get into ISB, you probably have 8-9 nationalised banks waiting for you. You just have to hand over your degree certificates and whatever else they require to give you a complete loan for the course.

    When you are to apply to a foreign b-school, it is a little tougher for you to get the loan. So, that’s one thing that you need to consider.

    All your experience and education has been in India which means that your maximum network is in India and there are maximum chances for you to get a job. Because if you think about it, this is a culture that you understand, this is a culture that you very readily fit in and people know you. So that I think works for an Indian B-school.

    I’m assuming that if you’re going to be applying to an Indian b-school, you’re an Indian citizen, then you don’t need to really worry about visa. Whereas if you were to look at the schools abroad, that usually becomes a very big problem.

    If you go to US, while you’re studying there, you have an S1 visa. Post that, for a period of 12-24 months, it’s called the Optional training period (OTP) during which time you have to find an employer who can give you an H1B1 visa- H1is the work permit.

    About 3 years ago, I used to think that UK is probably the easiest place for you to go post MBA to get a job but that has changed. They used to have something called as HSMP – Highly skilled migration program which is now being scrapped and now it is almost very tough. It is very hard to get a visa post your MBA in UK. So things keep changing.

    On the flip side, here’s what works for an International b-school

    Brand equity-

    So IIM and ISB, these are all great brands within India, but the fact is if you look at the global arena, it cannot really beat the brand equity that a Harvard or a Stanford or a Wharton MBA has. It is almost like a global passport that will take you anywhere that you want.

    The second thing you need to consider for a foreign MBA is that most of these MBA’s – they have various departments. You can optionally take courses across these departments. So the variety of electives that they offer is mind boggling if you go to say, one of these top schools.

    So Harvard means you also have access to Harvard law, it means you also have access to Harvard medicine and the alumni base of these institutes is huge. Every year Harvard churns out 1000 MBA’s and maybe 10-20000 other different streams which means that over a period of time because these schools are 100 years old, the kind of depth that you have in alumni in terms of internationalisation is pretty huge.

    The third part that probably works for them is that it is really a passport to a global career and you have a very international mix. Lot of people want to do an MBA because they want exposure to different perspectives.

    Although Indian b-schools have little variety in that sense, that they take people from different backgrounds, its predominantly Indians. If you go to an IIM or PGPX or if you go to an ISB, you can be guaranteed that majority are going to be Indians, but not true for example, a school called IMD in Switzerland- they have a batch of around 90 students and usually the nationalities represented are between 45-50 and even of the others, it is not necessarily an Indian staying in India. It could be an Indian staying in Singapore or US.

    So the kind of diversity that you have in terms of culture is probably a lot more when you look at a foreign MBA.

    Specialisation/ Expertise-

    Though it might sound a little contradictory to what I said earlier which is that MBA is a general management programme that provides you with a cross- functional exposure, the fact is you don’t become a CEO by becoming a deputy CEO or becoming associate CEO. There are no titles like associate CEO or deputy CEO. You essentially are going to end up becoming a CTO or Senior VP Sales or CFO or COO in order to become the CEO.

    So MBA will essentially help you rise along these individual growth paths. So that’s what an MBA does, it helps you reach the pinnacle of these individual growth paths before you eventually end up thinking of becoming a CEO. If I were to choose between specialisation/expertise and the school ranking, I would probably choose school rankings.

    For example, a school called Babson in the US specialises in entrepreneurship. If I get a choice between Babson and MIT, I would still go in for MIT because even if they don’t have a proclaimed specialisation, I know for a fact that MIT in terms of the brand, in terms of the network, in terms of the infrastructure and facilities would give me a far greater reach than Babson.

    Just to give an idea, if I were to take all the companies that were started by MIT graduates and if that were to be a country, it would have the 5th largest GDP in the world. So you can imagine the size of something like MIT. But all things being equal, you know for a fact that Kellogg is good in marketing, you know that Columbia is good in finance, Wharton is good in finance, etc.
    So there are some stereo typical specialisations that we want to consider which is aligned with what we plan to do.

    Profile Fitment-

    This is one thing where you’ll have to be conscious. It is important that you do that and try to ask yourself, “Is this the class I really want to be in? Do I want these classmates to be the ones who I’m going to spend one or two years with?”

    I’ll give a very simple example. Take IIM PGPX- the average age is 34 years and when you compare it with Stanford, the average age is 24. So not only do I have a question mark whether I’ll get into a program where the average age is a lot lower than my age, but I also want to know if I want to sit with people who are 34 and more mature, who probably can understand the conversation, who have the depth of experience that I have rather than with people who are just starting off their career- they are also equally smart.

    On the other hand, if you’re 25, you probably want to sit in a class where the average age is around your age rather than sit with a bunch of oldies- if I could call 34 year olds that. Make sure your profile is fitting into what the school has to offer because at the end of the day, it’s what you learn from them which is more important and a coronary to that is also accepted. So be very clear that you don’t end up applying to 5 schools which are going to be very picky.

    If I’m going to apply only to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg and MIT, then I’m going to tell myself that with my profile I may get in but there is a chance that I may not get in – in which case I choose not to do an MBA.
    But if you’re very clear that you want to do an MBA this year and you’re ok to go to beyond the top 5 or 10, just pick 3 categories:

    Dream schools– Schools that you really dream of getting into. E.g.: Harvard, Wharton’s
    Reach category– I can get there, It’s a stretch but I can get there.
    Safe category– Now what happens is its easy for me to get in but the question I have to ask myself is “Do I want to get in? Do I want to be in that school?” It’s very important that you don’t lay all your eggs in the same basket.

    Typical Post MBA Career Paths

    Product management & Marketing

    Project & Delivery management

    IT Consulting


    Hedge Fund & PE

    Venture Capital

    Investment Management

    Investment Banking




    Strategy Consulting


    Just one thing, be careful not to confuse IT consulting with strategy consulting. These are 2 different things so when you look at IT consulting, it is where the Accenture’s of the world come in and strategy consulting is where the Bains and McKinseys of the world come in. So they are slightly different in that orientation.

    So lot of IT guys end up doing one of the 3 things. If you get to be the product manager of Microsoft or Google or any of these awesome IT companies that have pure product management or delivery management roles, you will end up taking care of large turnkey projects or you could get into IT consulting where typically you’re working with enterprise software such as CRM or SCM or ERP.

    When it comes to finance, it requires a lot of background work to get into hedge funds, PE and venture capital. You need to very well networked and you already need to know key people before you get into a b-school.

    But investment management and investment banking are two areas that you can get in; it requires a lot of quantitative skills especially something like investment banking which will require you to structure these but with obviously a knowledge of finance.

    With regards to entrepreneurship, people ask if they should do an MBA before they get into a start-up. My personal opinion is probably not. You don’t want to start a business with a 100k loan on your head.

    But if entrepreneurship is few years down the line then I definitely think you should consider it because that time your student loan would have gone, you would have got significant experience and built your network and you know exactly what you’re getting into . That’s also the right time to leverage the brand equity of your MBA.

    I think sales has a lot to do with personality. So just ask yourself if you’re cut off on a sales role. Can you handle the pressure of taking a monthly quota, quarter after quarter? If that’s you, then an MBA is a great way to get into sales.

    Marketing has digital marketing, offline, PR- there’s a whole bunch of things that come under marketing so these are all valid post-MBA careers.

    You need to be very clear on what is it that you’re planning to do and how do I actually get there. These are 2 questions you need to ask yourself.
    North American Schools

    Great economy

    Land of opportunities

    Great schools

    In North America the economy is still great. If you think about it, all the top IT companies, great product and service companies are there. It’s a land of opportunities- you really get a break, you can rise as far as your potential can take you. Not many countries can say that but the US and Canada can help you do that. It has great schools that has helped build MBA so they know what they’re talking.

    M-7: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Sloan, Columbia, Booth, Kellogg
    Top: Haas, Darden, Fuqua, Ross, Tuck, Duke
    Mid: Marshall, Kelly, Krannert
    Canada: Richard Ivey, Schulich, Rotman

    Most of the programs in US are 2 year programs, whereas in Canada there are some great one year programs. In fact, in US I think there are only 3 programs which are 1 year- top programs like Cornell, which offers a one-year program for those who have a master’s degree. Then you have Kellogg which offers a one-year program if you’ve already completed a set of prerequisites. And you have Emory which provides you a one-year program if you have the relevant experience and background.

    APAC Schools

    Closer to home

    Growing economy

    Relatively inexpensive

    It helps since these schools are closer to home. Some of them are advanced countries but still growing. So lot of growth options are there. It is relatively inexpensive but it’s not going to be less than 20 lakhs or so.

    Australia: Melbourne Business School, AGSM Sydney
    Singapore: NUS, NTU
    Others: HKUST Hongkong, AIM Manila, CEIBES China

    Schools in Australia like MBS have started an accelerated one-year program. Other than NUS and NTU, SUM in Singapore is also there for people with a slightly higher level of experience.

    One question that a lot of people ask is, “How good is AIM Manila?” The point is you can’t ask a very objective question. There is nothing like how good or how bad. It is subjective- what is it that you want to do? If it helps achieve your career goal, it’s a great school but if it doesn’t help achieve your goal, either you have to reset your expectations or you have to choose a different school.

    So instead of asking that, ask yourself what is it that you want out of a program and whether the program will be able to deliver it. None of the programs can guarantee anything. There is nothing like 100% guarantee.

    You will have a reasonably safe probability that you’ll end up doing something. So if you go to Harvard, you can have reasonably good probability that not now, but 10 years down the line the brand equity will help repay the loan.
    European Schools

    Good Schools

    Easier work permits

    Great culture/ quality of life

    What has changed over the past few years is the easy work permit. It isn’t as easy as it was earlier. It has a great culture. Just imagine, SDA Bacconi is in Italy- who doesn’t want to spend 2 years of their life in Italy – going to Rome and Milan and all these nice places.

    Mid: SAID, Judge

    Others: SDA Baconni, Rotterdam, Eramus, IESE, ESADE, HEC

    A lot of people ask if INSEAD is a Singapore college or French college. The idea is, INSEAD started its campus in France and even now the admission happens out of France. You can choose whether you want to be part of the French or Singapore campus. But you have to be good enough to get into INSEAD in the first place. So I’ll still put it as a European school.

    The reason I put SAID Oxford and Judge Cambridge as mid-tier schools is not because they are mediocre. They are awesome schools- think about the brand that they carry. They carry the brand of Oxford and Cambridge – this is as gold plated brands you can possibly get.

    Plus, they offer a one-year program if you’re interested. Probably what works against them is right now the economy and the fact that these are relatively US Schools. Oxford has been there since 1300 or 1400s, but these schools have started relatively recently so in terms of the alumni penetration and a lot of other things, they are probably not up there as some of the top US b-schools are.








    Great LAKES

    SPJain, Dubai

    On our website, we have listed all the programs which take GMAT score, so you might want to check that list because this list constantly keeps getting updated as more and more schools have started to accept GMAT scores. ISB and the PGPX programmes offered by most of the top IIMs are pretty much the most preferred schools.

    XLRI has a great 1-year general management programme. GLAKES started GLIMS- Great Lakes Institute of Management Studies, a one-year program in Chennai. SP Jain has an international global MBA with one campus in Dubai and another one in Singapore, so you actually get an option to do it in Dubai or Singapore.

    You also have a part time course offered by IIM Bangalore called PGSEM, so those of you who have a few years’ experience and are okay with a part time MBA, would want to consider this. The forms of this are already out for this year and the deadline is around December and they take GMAT or CAT scores.

    You can google for Businessweek MBA rankings or check the financial times for the current year rankings. With this list, you would be able to think about where is it that you should apply.

    Pro Tip: Curious about how to start off your own journey towards an awe-inspiring GMAT score ? Try out our free GMAT Online Trial course.

    The Secret of Maximizing your Time at MBA Information Sessions

    Reading Time: 9 minutes

    Many top MBA schools in the world are coming to India to attract top-quality applicants. Though a few host independent info-sessions, most prefer coming as part of MBA conferences.

    There are 2 such events coming up.   1. The MBA Tour.   Click on the below link to get more information and register for the event.   Register for The MBA Tour   2. The MBA Tour.   Click on the below link to get more information and register for the event.   Register for The Access MBA Tour   If you are reading this article then you probably have an MBA session coming up.   Are you are just curious.   Or you believe in preparation 🙂   Whatever the case, this article is all that you need to know EXACTLY how to nail the MBA Info sessions. These could be sessions held by individual schools or an MBA event conducted by organizations such as The MBA Tour, Access MBA Tour, or QS MBA Tour.   In this in-depth article, I will show you how exactly:   1. Why you should maximize the time spent on these info sessions (and avoid some costly mistakes).   2. How you can really act as a “cool customer” – and maybe strike up a conversation that leads to a positive first impression.   3. What questions you should be asking them and what you should be wearing – to make the maximum impact. Does this sound like a deal?   Read on!    

    4 Reasons why attending an MBA info sessions might be a good thing for you

      Why would I need to attend an MBA info session? Why can’t I just read them up on the website / look up on social media.   Especially since MBA events held in cities such as Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad involve a lot of travel (considering many such events are held in 5-star hotels in the central business district during workday evenings).   However, such info sessions can provide you with valuable information that you cannot otherwise get from the website.   Here are 4 reasons to attend an MBA admissions event:  

    1. Compare various MBA programs on offer and choose one that’s right for you.

      Have you decided if you want to pursue a full-time MBA or a part-time MBA or an Executive MBA or a Global MBA or even an online MBA?   Also a lot of times while talking to a school rep or an alum – you get a “feel” for the school. The culture exudes in the way the people talk about their MBA experience – make sure you clued in on that.   I have had many students tell me that MBA information sessions are sometimes like a blind date.   There will be ones that you will hate, and ones that you will fall in love almost instantly!    

    2. Explore Networking opportunities

      An MBA fair is a brilliant opportunity to network with admission officers and MBA alumni. While admission officers can provide direct assistance with your applications, ex-students will be able to provide you with an overview of campus life.   Remember to ask for the college representative’s contact details, so that you can contact them at a later date to stay informed of other info sessions/open houses and visit the campus if you get a chance. It is also recommended that you talk to the alumni present at the event. This will give you a fair idea of their experiences with the school, the support they’ve received and the exposure they’ve got.    

    3. Learning how to finance your MBA

      An MBA info session can be a great place to learn about different financing options.   This is a great opportunity to know how other students who have been admitted in the past have dealt with financing. In most cases – this might have been through loans, so you can dig a deeper into that.   You can also get information about the various scholarships offered by the school. If there are none – you get to know that too.   Apart from the colleges, you can also connect with financing companies such as Credila and Prodigy Finance to learn more about their loan offerings.   It is good to do your homework so you know what you are getting into.    

    4. Learn more about student visas

      An MBA admissions fair is the perfect place to find out more about global B-Schools, their admission requirements and the course fee.   You can also learn about the student visa rules and regulations for different countries and accordingly make an informed decision.   Make sure you are asking specific questions about both ease of getting a student visa as well as the opportunity to convert it to a work visa post the program.   You can get to know about the placement of the batch that graduated the same year (or the previous year). How hard or easy is it for students to get the work visa.    

    Pro Tip: Many times the reps might end up giving you information that is “off records”. That is, stuff they cannot put on the website or on official mails but stuff they share in a casual conversation.

        Now let us look at some simple tips to make the most out of an info session.  

    How to look superior to others in the MBA Information Sessions?

      CrackVerbal has been associated with various MBA fairs and info sessions since 2010 and has seen very closely the kind of interactions that happen in such meets.  

    Here are the top 3 kinds of people who attend such seminars/info sessions:

      1) Curious Cat   curious-cat   He has come over with little clue about what he wants from the session.   He has definitely not taken the GMAT nor is he aware of B-school admissions processes.   As the name suggests, he is just curious to understand how this whole thing works.   He can be spotted by the way he goes from one stall to another collecting brochures but not really engaging in a conversation with any admissions representative.   2) Anxious Anna   anxious-anna-1   This one has perhaps taken the GMAT and has some idea about MBA applications.   However, our friend is also trying desperately to find answers to questions such as “Will I get admission to your school?” or “What scholarships will you offer me?”   However, she is busy hopping from one booth to another desperately trying to find someone who will answer in the affirmative.   But as the questions are way too subjective, she will never get an answer!   3) Cool Customer   cool-customer   This one is really assured and is typically seen only at a few select B-school booths.   The person has already researched on the school and therefore has very specific queries that pique the interest of the MBA representatives.   He/she knows what to look for and is seen engaging in a meaningful conversation with the MBA admissions person Typically the person is seen having a dossier in hand – with important stuff such as a 1-page business resume, and a list of specific questions for the B-School rep.   So who do you want to be? Don’t bother answering – it was more of a rhetorical question 🙂   Remember that the AdCom members are keeping their eyes open for people who are smart, articulate and can make for a good fit for the program.   There have been instances when they have started a conversation at an MBA info-session and have ended with an offer once the candidate applied.     If you really want to see yourself in the 3rd category, here is a checklist of 4 things that you can do to look “cool” in the eyes of the admissions committee.  

    1. Assess your goals and needs

      Before you attend an MBA fair, ask yourself the following questions:   What are your short-term and long-term goals?   Why an MBA? How will an MBA help you achieve your academic and professional goals?   What are you looking for in the ‘perfect’ business school?   How will you contribute to the school, as a student?     Here’s how you can present your profile to the Admissions Committee.   Learn how to get into a Top B-School   Once you have your answers to these questions, it becomes easier to assess the resources you have in hand, your academic and professional eligibility, your budget and then decide on the kind of schools you’d like to pursue.    

    2. Make a list of schools that you will be visiting

      Have a good idea of the schools that are going to be visiting in the seminar/fair, so do the background research by Googling everything you can.   What is the ranking of the school in a particular geography (you may want to check out Bloomberg, or US News)   Look at the geographic location – does it have any locational advantage?   What are the various specializations offered – are these in my areas of interest?   What is the program cost and does it fit in my budget?   Learn how to select the right B-School    

    3. Decide on the criteria for choosing a B-School

      Once you’ve done some basic research, fix certain criteria to further shortlist colleges of your choice.   Ask a few detailed questions such as:   What is the student profile like?   Do you know anyone from that school on Linkedin so you can connect with?   What are the companies that recruit from these colleges?   Which industries do the students bag the most jobs in?   What social activities do the colleges focus on?   What is the approach to learning?   Once you have a comprehensive checklist of criteria and schools, it will become easier for you to visit different booths and strike up an appropriate conversation on the day of the fair.    

    4. Prepare to sell yourself

      Carry a 1-page business resume.   If not above, just carry a sheet that gives a high-level summary of your profile such as GMAT, Education & Experience, along with major extra-curricular activities.   While you hand over a copy to the representatives, you can start your 60-second elevator pitch (link). This makes the conversation crisp.   Ensure you get their business card so you can write to them later.   Thank them for their time, and always put in a word of praise (based on what you have read up) as it is courteous to do so.    

    5. Post-Event contact

      Once the MBA fair is over, you need to make it a point to follow up with all the school representatives you’ve spoken to.   Write an email with a short “thank you” and summary of the conversation   Stay in touch by adding them on LinkedIn or following them on twitter   Visit further open house/info session that is conducted by the school   See if you get an opportunity to interview with them face to face   Request them to connect you to alumni   If possible pay a visit to their campus    

    2 Factors that influence your image in the Info session: What you ask and what you wear?


    1. What to ask the MBA representatives at the event?

      Ask questions, lots of them!   Don’t think too much about approaching a school’s admission officer. They have come all the way to answer your queries.   As mentioned earlier, ask them questions that are relevant, well-researched and insightful.   Not just to impress them but also because these questions can help you choose a school that’s aligned with your requirements.  

    Another tip is:   For all questions you can end with “Is there anything else that you think I should know?” or “Is there anything else that you think is important for this”?   Make sure the Admissions Member is able to provide you pointers that you may have NOT anticipated.

      Also, remember: Don’t ask for data – ask for opinion   The value should be given to the person’s perspective and not to something google-able. So try to pick their brains by asking things specific to your case.   Here is a table that can help you:   mba-infosessions-table-final-1    

    2. What attire to wear during such MBA events?

      You don’t want to be wearing full formals and end up feeling odd in the crowd.   You don’t want to wear your pair of khakhi shorts and sandals either.   You want to wear something that is in middle: makes you look professional yet not over-dressed.   Step in Business Casuals!   mba-clothes (img src:   Here are a few “thumb rules” that will help you decide:   Would you wear this for an interview?   Can you go to a fine dining restaurant after the event?   Is this something you typically wear to meet clients at work?   If you answer these questions honestly, you will get the answer.   Bottom line: be comfortable whatever you are wearing!     Now that you are all set to go, get going on that list of questions you want answered at an Admissions event.   Register for The MBA Tour   Register for The Access MBA Tour   If you need any help with your MBA profile   Get your Profile Evaluated!

    Improving your MBA profile – 40 ways to an awesome MBA application!

    Reading Time: 21 minutes

    Most MBA grads will tell you that an MBA from a premier B-school can change your career and life in general in a myriad of amazing ways.   Most of them will also tell you that getting into a top B-school requires you to have a stellar B-school profile and a rock-solid application.  


    If you have your eyes set on a B-school this year or next year, you probably fit in one of the below categories:  


    1. You have great work experience, but are hampered by an average academic record. Or, you are an academic achiever, but you’ve worked at a lack-lustre job for a few years, without much to set you apart.  


    2. Your career and academic performance have both been noteworthy, but you are not sure if you have that ‘x’ factor in your profile which can differentiate you amidst a set of similar achievers.


    3. You have had a great career, an academic record that you can be justifiably proud of, and a differentiating factor or two- but you are wondering what you can do to improve your chances even further!  


    Well, there’s a lot you can do! We have compiled a list of 40 things that can add sheen to your application. Some of these ideas will directly benefit your profile, while some will have an indirect bearing. Even working on a handful of these tips will improve your candidacy and impress the adcom!



    1. Learn a new language


     improve MBA profile


    With B-schools trying to increase diversity in their classrooms, working knowledge of a foreign language will boost your profile. And did you know that learning new languages helps improve brain function?


    It is observed that learning new languages results in improved conversational abilities, better study skills, and heightened concentration- all of which you can channel to help with the GMAT and your interviews. So go ahead, enrol for a language course and impress the adcoms with your knowledge of French, Spanish or what-have-you.   To do next : Check out DuoLingo, a great app for learning a new language! Need more inspiration?Watch this TED talk about how to hack language learning!



     2. Start a Small Business 


        improve MBA profile


    Try your hand at a start-up idea. Start small- you could even try a solo venture. You can work independently as a part time photographer, web designer, caterer, or handmade artifacts designer online. Though this is a microcosm of the business universe, you will get exposure to the world of pricing, marketing, and other business functions.


      To do next : The internet is choc-a-block with ideas for entrepreneurship. To start with, you can find some interesting business ideas here. Read this page to understand how you can use Facebook to take your business to your customers.  



     3. Volunteer in your Community


     improve MBA profile


    Besides giving you a wider, more humane perspective, the experience of volunteering for your community can improve your ability to take initiative and hone your interpersonal skills. A volunteering stint could also be a great place for you to network.


    You could take the initiative to conduct seminars and talks for school kids on awareness about issues like drug abuse, sexual abuse, adolescent health, staying safe online, etc. Imagine the multitude of skills you can learn through such an experience! You will learn how to communicate across age-groups, you will hone your speaking skills, and you will learn valuable facts about these issues that you could dispense to the benefit of everyone around you.


    What’s the B-school angle, you ask? This will reflect to the Adcom your commitment to social responsibility, your ability to take initiative, and your organizational and leadership skills.  

    To do next : Check out iVolunteer, a social enterprise that has a presence in most major cities in India and that can help you find the right volunteering experience for you.  


    4. Pursue your favorite Sport 



    If you gave up your involvement in a sports team in school so you could focus on academics, it is now time to pick up where you left off. Playing sports inculcates the ability to work in a team to achieve a common goal. This ability is highly desirable in an MBA candidate.


    So gear up, round up your new team, and get going! You may also find this to be a great stress-buster during your MBA admission process.   To do next : If you’re interested and are looking for team-matesor a playing arena, check out Playo, GroundWala or Athletto.  

     5. Learn to play a musical instrument



    Almost nobody is immune to the charms of a talented musician. But how will learning a musical instrument help you impress an Adcom, you ask? Well, being able to play a musical instrument will not just add to the versatility of your B-school profile, but will act as an indicator of qualities such as discipline and creativity. You can also show the adcoms that you’re never too old to learn something new!


    To do next : Like everything else in life, musical education has gone online too!   Check this link for some of the best resources on learning an instrument online.

      Download E-Book


     6.  Sign up for a MOOC 



    Take up an online certification course (or courses) through Coursera, Udacity, or edX. There is a plethora of courses offered online. A course related to the subject you will be studying in your MBA will show the adcoms how serious you are about your goals. You can also do courses on leadership, creative thinking, etc. that will help you develop your skill-set.  


    To do next : You can check out some of the best websites that offer online courses here.    



     7. Participate in a new Adventure Sport 



    When was the last time you lived life on the edge? There are many benefits to dabbling in adventure sports such as river rafting, rock climbing, or bungee jumping, whether as a newbie or as a hard-core enthusiast. One of them is that it displays to the adcom your willingness to take risks and indulge in the spirit of adventure.   Success, as they say, lies outside your comfort zone- and the adcom is on the lookout for candidates who are willing to step out of their comfort-zone to pursue success.  


    To do next : Check out the best adventure sports activities to pursue in India.  



     8. Write a Blog



    Whether writing has been an interest of yours or not, you will find that polishing your writing skills will pay off when it comes to MBA admissions.Writing in a blog will give your recruiters credible proof of your flair for communication.   Also, writing a blog will give you visibility and give you a channel to put your perspective out there. To write informed blog posts, you will have to read a lot – this will help you improve your research abilities. For all these reasons and more, a well-maintained blog is definitely a way to up your B-school profile.  


    To do next : Read about some great tips to start a successful blog and decide if this is something you would like to pursue.  



     9.  Contribute to your Alma Mater 



    When you give back to your alma mater, it shows your commitment to the institution – this will reflect well on you since top B-schools look for candidates who would be part of their strong and committed alumni network.   You can contribute to your alma mater financially, or show support as a guest lecturer or student mentor. The alumni-alma mater relationship is a mutually beneficial one- your contributions will benefit your alma mater by helping it uphold its popularity, and this will in turn contribute towards ensuring that the brand value of your education does not diminish.  


    To do next : Start by reading this article on how you can contribute to your college. Go to your college website, check out the alumni page, and take it from there!  



     10. Travel to a new place 



    “Nothing opens your mind or your eyes like travel.” Travelling opens you up to new geographies, cultures, and economies. The experiences you gain while travelling will develop your ability to relate to others, to negotiate well, and work with people from different backgrounds. So take some time off work to travel through all the countries you have always wanted to see!   


    A more interesting way to do this would be backpacking. Backpacking is a great opportunity to find joy in ambiguity and soak up experiences you never imagined undergoing. Backpacking is now made more exciting by concepts like You will get to be a host to international travellers visiting your locality.   As a host, you may open your home for travellers to stay, or be part of events where you can meet travellers in different cities. Meeting new people and gaining exposure to cultures from all over the world will add a great deal of shine to your MBA profile.  


    To do next : Need some inspiration? Start by reading a couple of excellent travel sites here and here! Want to get started? Check out this travel app!  



     11. Learn the basics of Finance 


    This is an important one if you do not have a background in management studies. A sound knowledge of the concepts like capital budgeting, capital structure, dividend policies, and risk and return is important to your post MBA job. Show the adcoms that you are dedicated towards your goals!  


    To do next : Check out these online resources to learn the basics of finance!    



     12. Continue a long lost Hobby 



    Playing the guitar, illustrating, dancing…did you do any of these while in school or college but later lose touch with it because of your busy work life? Now’s the perfect time to take your dancing shoes out of the closet and brush the dust off. You can also become part of meet-up groups to interact with people who share a similar passion. Hobbies give you joy, keep you creative, act as an outlet for stress, help you refocus on work- and look great on your B school resume!  


    To do next : Here are some cool hobby clubs you can explore.  



     13. Do your bit for the Environment



    Many B-schools prefer candidates who have made a positive impact to the world around them (some schools, such as Said, Oxford, are very particular indeed about this aspect, as evidenced by their essay questions). Join a group or organization that works towards making the world a greener and cleaner place.  


    If you commute to work on bicycle instead of a car, you can be part of or start a bicyclers’ club. Or, you could start a club on a local scale to plant trees in your locality. You can help in waste management by doing simple things like advocating waste segregation in households, encouraging the recycling of paper and plastic, etc.   


    There are also youth groups in India’s cities that focus their efforts on beautifying their cities- join one of these to feel part of a larger whole and collect material for your application essays!   To do next : Check out organizations that are doing great work in this space an explore if you can be their next volunteer!



     14. Attend conferences related to your field




    Attend conferences on topics in the area you want to work in post your MBA. You will find that there are several conferences taking place in the management institutes in your city. These are not just opportunities to gain knowledge and network with professionals, but they give you an enhanced perspective that will definitely show through in your essays and interviews with the Adcom.  


    To do next : You can find out here about conferences happening this year, and take part in the ones happening in your city. You can also check the conference pages of various premier B-schools and attend the ones that are open to public (check upcoming ISB conferences here.)  


    15. Work for a Startup



    If you look back, our parents’ generation experienced career progression in a slow and steady fashion. No matter how sincere and talented they were, it was not easy for them to disrupt this pace and accelerate their learning curve.  


    Today, however, we have a profusion of founders and CTOs who are yet to hit their mid-twenties- because it is the age of the startup! How does working for a startup benefit you? Well, it could be a crash-course in leadership, dealing with ambiguity, managing stress, multi-tasking and so many ‘more useful skills!  


    If you’ve worked for a startup, especially one that’s on the rise, it tells the Adcom that you had the aptitude to survive in a dynamic workplace and that you had the courage to take the risk of working in an uncertain environment.   To do next : Begin to explore the startup ecosystem and the best startups to work for here and here.  



     16. Become active on Twitter


    Having a lot of followers on Twitter extends your influence- you’ll have social authority, and you can spread ideas and influence people. Posting valuable content that is worth retweeting, and commenting on relevant and trending news will increase your presence on the platform and bring you more followers. So, use your Twitter account to show the adcoms how influential and up-to-date you are when it comes to current events and trends.  


    To do next : Read this Harvard Business Review article on managing your socia presence. And then, start tweeting! 🙂    



    17. Get involved in your Society’s General Body




    Become a member of the Resident Welfare Association for your housing society. You can play a role that suits your interests. For example, you can work as secretary and conduct regular meetings to discuss the concerns of individuals, or you can even maintain the organizations’ funds as a treasurer.


    You can also organize events in your housing society. Take charge of organizing a festive celebration, a cultural event for kids, a charity drive, or a fund raiser. This experience could have the potential to make for a good story in your essays. This experience will display your ability to take initiative and hone your team-playing skills.  


    To do next : Here’s a guide to apartment associations. Start by attending the next association meeting of your society to explore if this activity interests you.  



     18. Pick an ambitious project at work




    For a great MBA profile, it is important to have a spike in your career in the last one to two years. So, pick up challenging projects at work that relate at least a little to the career path you aspire to pursue post your MBA. Take up responsibilities that you could use to build a story for your essays.


    Most schools ask you to describe an instance where you showed leadership and/or problem solving skills. Start building experiences early on so you can pick the most impressive one of all your stories.

     To do next : Read this and this. Initiate a one-on-one meeting with your manager and tell him/her that you want to take on high-visibility opportunities at work. Also, keep a constant lookout for new opportunities – read all company newsletters, network more within the organization and pay utmost attention during all those long meetings and conferences 🙂  



     19. Volunteer/ Work with Teach for India




    Spend some of your free time on weekends volunteering at Teach for India. You can work as an assistant teacher in their classrooms, or in administration. Alternatively, you can apply for the Teach for India fellowship, which makes for a strong entry point to an MBA.


    Either way, a stint at Teach for India will definitely add a great deal to your profile.


    To do next : Visit the Teach for India website and read about the experiences of TFI Fellows.  



     20. Read a new book every month



    Reading keeps your mind stimulated and improves your speaking and writing skills. It will also indirectly help you with writing an impressive application essay, and you will probably never fumble for words in an interview or group discussion. So get a library or kindle membership, as the case may be, and use your time well with the pages of a book.  


    To do next : Here is a list of 50 books you need to pick up now, as an MBA aspirant. If you’re interested in finding out what others like you are reading, you can check out this social network for readers.

    Download E-Book



     21. Join a Fitness Program




    Following a fitness regime will make you energetic and disciplined, which will help you in all aspects of life, including your MBA admission process.


    And if you have always been a fitness enthusiast, you can start a fitness club in your community, which will also credit you with leadership skills and the ability to take initiative.  


    To do next : Find a fitness program that strikes your fancy- whether it be yoga, dance, zumba or cross-training, and stick to it. If you find yourself wavering, get back on track by reading inspirational material, such as this.


     22. Try your hand at something creative





    Having a creative hobby, such as painting, pottery, or illustrating can add a touch of uniqueness to your profile. A creative skill, especially a self-taught one, reflects the fact that you are self-motivated and dedicated. Also, a creative hobby will train your brain to think more creatively even when it comes to work. You can engage your interviewers in an interesting conversation about your hobby that can set you apart from other candidates.


    To do next : The sky’s the limit here! Are you wondering where to start? Here are some great hobby ideas.



    23. Master your negotiation skills



    Negotiation skills are an asset in any career path you choose. But when it comes to MBA admissions, it will help you greatly during your interview. Some positive results of mastering negotiation skills are the ability to communicate better and the ability to persuade.  


    You will be able to see the perspectives of all parties involved in a discussion, become better at understanding the nature of a discussion, and talk your way into making your interviewers understand why you are a perfect fit for their school.


    To do next : Get started by enrolling for an online course on negotiation.  

     24. Take part in Cross Functional Activities at Work




    Cross-functional and cross-organizational events require a specific kind of leadership skill-set. They will require you to plan, coordinate with a team that has no formal structure, and delegate work to people that you may not even know.


    A few examples of such activities:- When your team is hiring a new member, try to participate in the hiring process. You can help develop the selection criteria, participate in the interview, and give your inputs while making the final decision. Being a part of this process can reflect positively on your credibility within your organization, and show that you understand what makes for a great employee.


    You can take part in the training process for new employees in your team, and conduct sessions in your area of expertise. Or you can act as a mentor to a junior to help him or her with their professional growth. This will further enhance your own skill level and will be a testament of your own professional development.  


    To show the adcoms that you take initiative and are a leader, start a club at work. It can be based on an interesting hobby or a skills development club such as Toastmasters. Your unique hobby and the activities you organized for it can make your profile stand out among others.


      To do next : Speak to your HR manager or reporting manager to understand how you can pick projects that cut through teams. If you would like to explore Toastmasters, read this link on how to start a ToastmastersClub.  



    25. Junk TOI and start reading “The Economist”




    Reading a ‘serious’ newspaper/magazine can do wonders to the way you perceive the world and articulate your ideas. The Economist covers news on international and regional economic trends that will help you understand the workings of the business world.


    It carries articles on current events in politics, finance, business, science, and the arts from all regions of the world.   You will not just be updated on news, but will get to read thoughtful analyses of important events. This kind of reading will sharpen your skills to put across well-structured arguments about various topics in your essays and interviews.  


    To do next : To start with, check out The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly and Foreign Affairs.  



     26. Write a Personal/ Daily Diary




    This may not be something that will have a direct impact on your profile, but the benefits of writing a daily journal will definitely have a positive impact on you. Writing everyday will help you clarify and disentangle your thoughts and emotions, and you will be better at expressing yourself.  


    When writing a journal, you do not just write about an incident, but you go into the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’- that is to say, you introspect. Also, putting something down on paper creates a sense of accountability, and therefore you can use your daily diary to document your progress and stay on the straight and narrow path.  


    To do next : Did you know that you can now keep a personal, private journal online? Here’s how.  



     27. Learn the basics of Data Sciences




    The job of a data analyst is most definitely an exciting one and one of the highest paid jobs. Even if this isn’t your post MBA dream job, a basic knowledge of data sciences will greatly benefit you in the heavily data-driven business world we are forging into.When you are able to manipulate and analyze data, make inferences and predictions, you have an edge when it comes to a job promotion or an MBA admission.  


    To do next : Sign up for an online course now to gain data science skills!  



     28. Become a Wikipedia Editor




    Anybody can be a Wikipedia editor and work anonymously, but it requires a little effort to become a trusted member of the Wikipedia community. You can create a Wikipedia account and user page to get credit among the community. Creating an account will give you the ability to edit some articles that are locked from anonymous edits.


    Also, being a Wikipedian, you will get to be part of meets like Wikimania and Wiknics, where you can socialize with fellow Wikipedians from around the world. How does this benefit you as a B-school aspirant? It adds to your coolness/quirkiness quotient!  


    To do next : Read up about how to become a Wikipedia Editor.  



     29. Volunteer Overseas




    Take a sabbatical from work and enroll for an overseas volunteer program through organizations such as Global Vision International and Projects Abroad. You can work in a country of your liking in areas like community development or wildlife rescue.  Such a volunteering project is a great way to broaden your mind regarding social and environment issues and to broaden your network. Needless to say, an overseas volunteering stint is not something everybody is into- and hence, it could really help you differentiate yourself at a B-school.  


    To do next : To know about some interesting projects abroad, check out this link.  



    30. Practice your Oratory Skills




    Having awesome public speaking skills is as desirable a quality in an MBA candidate, as it is in life. Make use of every such opportunity you get at work to hone this skill. With good public speaking skills, you can reach out to and influence a larger number of people. The ability to talk well to a large group of people is also a vital step towards becoming a great leader.


    If you’re having trouble getting up on that pedestal, you can join a public speaking club and get an oratory make-over!  


    To do next : Find out if your organization or neighbourhood has a Toastmasters community you can join!  



     31. Meditate




    Practicing mindfulness (through meditation, zentangling or whatever else strikes your fancy) improves both physical and mental health. It is proved to reduce stress and improve working memory and attention span. So, try practicing mindfulness as it would be a great way to clear your mind and prepare for your interviews.  


    To do next : Here is a fantastic site on the practice of mindfulness in daily life. You can check out apps like Headspace and Take a Break to help you get started.



     32. Create a YouTube Channel and Post ‘How-To’ Videos




    If you have a skill you are proud of,what better than sharing it with the world? You can create an explainer video series for any topic you can imagine! You can be as creative as you want when making your videos, using different techniques like animation, live-action, or anything else you can think of.  

    Posting how-to videos and gaining followers on your Youtube channel is not only a platform for you to show off your skills in that particular topic, but is also an opportunity to exhibit your creativity and increase your circle of influence.  


    To do next : Learn how to make a great how-to video.  



    33. Become a Top Contributor on Quora





    You can become one of the ‘most viewed writers’ on Quora by answering queries on topics you are an expert in. Contribute frequently and thoughtfully, with quality answers and solutions. Pick specific topics that are related to your field of study so you can project your academic seriousness to the adcoms.  


    To do next : Read up about how to become a top writer here.    



     34. Spruce up your LinkedIn Profile




    Make sure to keep your LinkedIn profile updated with your professional experience and skills, recommendations, and resume. Other than this, you can write quality articles on LinkedIn.


    Since your connections as well as others can follow your posts, strong content can get you the right attention as you are already addressing the right professional audience on LinkedIn. Write articles that could be featured on LinkedIn Pulse as that will give you visibility amongst millions of users. This can help you gain a large number of followers and opportunities to engage with readers.


      To do next : Read this article for tips on how to create a killer LinkedIn profile.  



     35. Kick an Unhealthy Habit




    Losing those extra pounds or getting rid of an addiction is not that easy. It requires patience and a strong will power. So a feat like this shows that you are determined and focused. Not to mention, it would be good fodder for the ‘What are you most proud of’ essay that is common to many B-schools. Also, healthy habits keep you positive, and this will benefit your candidacy.  


    To do next : Read this thoughtful article on how to kick a bad habit. Introspect! Look at what changes you’d like to make to your life, if any.    


     36. Contribute to Newspapers and Magazines




    Write to newspapers and magazines and get yourself published with a byline. You can write in the form of a letter to the editor, voicing your opinion on a current issue, or you can write an article for a magazine about the latest developments in an area of your interest.   Most online publications have a ‘Write for Us’ section where you can submit your article.


    A publication in a renowned newspaper or magazine will show to the Adcom that you are up-to-date on important issues, that you care enough to voice your opinion, and that you are articulate enough to be published!   To do next : Research publications that are aligned to your areas of interest.


    Check out the ‘write-for-us‘ or ‘contribute’ section to figure out how you can get your articles published.  



     37. Join a Political Party




    Being part of a local political party will get you involved in the grassroots problems of your society. Awareness of governance policies and an in-depth awareness of the problems faced by your community prove your social consciousness. You can diversify yourself as an MBA candidate through your involvement in politics. Also, you can experience leadership in a completely different environment.


    To do next : Read up on how to join a political party here.    



     38. Be very active on GMAT/ MBA Forums




    Be helpful! Share all that you’ve learned with your peers on GMATClub, BTG and any network you are following. Reciprocity is a powerful human emotion- if you help out fellow aspirants, you are widening the network of people who are at some stage likely to help you in return. Staying active in the B-school aspirant circle will also ensure that you stay updated about all new developments and trends in this space.  


    To do next : If you haven’t done so already, create an ID on GMATClub here and BeatTheGmat here.



     39. Consider Part-Time Teaching




    A teacher needs excellent interpersonal skills to interact with students and communicate ideas to them. The fact that you have had experience as a teacher would reflect your ability to articulate well and to guide a group of people. You can take up a part-time teaching position, or you can simply take tuition classes at home- both could make your profile look more desirable.  


    To do next : To start out on this path, you could upload your profile here.  



     40. Visit the B-School Campus




    Visit the school you want to get into through freshman visits or group visits programs. You will have an opportunity to interact with students and the admission committee and also have a guided tour of the campus. This would give you a clearer picture of what the school is looking for in a candidate, and interaction with current students from the program you are applying to is always an added advantage.  


    To do next : Check out this article for useful tips on how to conduct your B-school campus visit.



     Now that you know all the things you could do to improve your profile, here are two important points to keep in mind while you polish your B-school profile.  


    First, choose activities that would help you break the stereotype people would fit you into if they wanted to. For example, if you are one amongst the over-represented IIM (Indian IT Male) population, joining an NGO might not really distinguish you that much, because a LOT of Indian aspirants tend to have NGO experience on their resumes. Try and pick something unexpected that will stick in the minds of the Adcom.   For example, if you are an accountant and showcase a skill that is not expected of an accountant, such as writing poetry, your profile will be memorable.  


    The second crucial point is that you need to understand the art of storytelling. Telling their stories well is not a skill that comes very naturally to most B-school aspirants. However, with a little guidance and practice, you can master the art of presenting your story in such a way as to make it sound unique and unforgettable.   How do you get better at this? There are some great books available on pitching your B-school application well. Besides, you can also reach out to application consultants to help you frame a winning B-school application!  


    Click here for a downloadable PDF version of this article   Download E-Book



    Profile Evaluation Crackverbal


    5 Ways AdComs test your Communication Skills

    Reading Time: 4 minutes

    “Communication” is a key skill that top hirers look for in applicants nowadays. GMAC recently conducted a survey of nearly 600 employers and they ranked communications skills, on average, twice as important as managerial skills.
    Therefore the selection procedure to the top B-schools across the world is designed such that they are able to take-in candidates who are already effective communicators. One more reason this makes sense is because MBA by itself requires effective class participation, adaptability and teamwork.


    Source: GMAC (2014) Corporate Recruitment Survey


    When a candidate finishes his/her MBA and steps into the real world to seek a job, it is assumed that he/she possesses the entire skills package – core business knowledge as well as strong analytical, quantitative and technical skills. Now imagine a situation where a candidate actually possesses all of these skills and is still not recruited.
    One key factor here could be “Lack of Communication Skills”.


    What is the point of having all the skills if a person is not able to share those with his/her team-mates or articulate into words whatever he/she wants to say?


    So let’s look at 5 ways how prospective students are tested for communication skills by B-schools and what can be done to improve or highlight these skills:


    AWA Test Scores

    The AWA section on the GMAT matters. Some students take this section way too lightly. Scoring respectably on this section is very important because you don’t want the admission committee to doubt your written communication skills.One good way to improve your score on the AWA essay is to practice writing essays along with full length practice tests.
    In fact you can send those essays to us and our team of experts at CrackVerbal will review it for you. Our experts will not only pinpoint your weaknesses but will also provide you with a definite strategy to improve.


    In Interviews AdCom sees whether the candidate can express his/her views clearly. Though a lot of basic questions like, “Tell us about yourself…”, “Why MBA…” and “Why now…” sound clichéd, it’s important to prepare well for each one of these e.g. If you are a person who uses lot of fillers while speaking, you could rehearse the answers with a friend.
    Sometimes coming up with a short and interesting write-up about yourself can probably do the magic too. Practising in front of mirror can be of great help as you become more aware of your body language and gestures. You will know how to use your hands better to communicate effectively. Make use of the 3C approach and make sure all your Cs are in place to crack it.

    Application Essays

    Here your written communication skills are on display and the AdCom looks for clarity and consistency. Preparing well thought answers to the questions and doing your homework well helps a lot. The better you do your homework, the better you will be at answering the questions with confidence. This is one place where you can mention all the things you have achieved in the past to highlight what you bring to the table as a student.
    But at the same time it is also important to not go overboard. Being realistic is the key. Finally the essays should give the other person a pretty good idea about who you are as a person. CrackVerbal has a team of in house experts from the top b-schools to assist students with their application essays.

    Letters of Recommendation

    If you are yet to apply to programs and you intend to ask your current supervisor for a recommendation in the next year or so, start thinking about your communication skills and how others perceive those. Because some applications require evaluators to score students among peers in areas such as communication skills.
    It’s a good idea to choose your recommenders intelligently -A recommender should preferably be a senior person you know in the organisation with whom you have worked extensively in the past. He/she should know you and your career goals well. Educate your recommenders and when you actually approach your supervisors for recommendation, make sure they understand exactly what skills you would want to be highlighted and what not.

    Video Essay/ Group Discussion

    These are some creative ways how B-Schools can get a peek within you for a duration of 90 seconds and get a real feel of who you really are. On one hand applicants may find this intimidating but on the other hand, if a clear strategy is planned out to deal through it, you can turn this into a great opportunity by making that FIRST excellent impression. Let’s dig a little deeper into each one of these :

    Video Essays: How long are 90 seconds actually? I’d say a one page document with double line spacing. It’s a good idea to be ready with a well-rehearsed script before you start shooting the video. You could call a friend and rehearse on the phone to receive feedback. Use that feedback to improve your script, tone quality, voice modulation etc. and once you have perfected that you could graduate to the video.


    Group Discussion: Assuming that you are up to date in your knowledge of current issues and have no problem in putting your points across in an urbane manner, two things that can help during a group discussion are:

    Being a good listener
    Being a good speaker

    You have to do both of these together in some way. You have to juggle between both of these intelligently. Have you ever played that game where two people hold the skipping rope and move it? The other players have to intuitively enter the rope, jump a few times and then exit. This requires some practice.
    Start listening actively – this is easier said than done. Most of us listen to reply and not really focus on what the other person is trying to say. Start listening for the sake of listening. And speak only when you feel that you actually have something unique to say that will add value to the discussion.


    Did you face any obstacle due to lack of communication skills during your MBA selection process? We’d like to hear your story. Leave your comments in the comment section below!

    Want to know more about Application processes for B-School Admissions? Check out for our E-Book library!
    View E-Book Library!

    3 Factors that GMAT accepting B-schools Want to See in your Profile!

    Reading Time: 2 minutes

    Top B-schools that admit through the GMAT decided that to see potential and future leadership, they could look at 3 broad things:



    Academic Potential:

    1. What are your GMAT Scores – including your split in Quant & Verbal?
    2. What is the reputation of your Undergrad school & the course that you took? (They have a pretty good idea of the Indian educational system so don’t worry!)
    3. What was your GPA over the entire course? (including any upticks such as – moving from a lower GPA in the 1st year to a higher GPA by the last year)
    4. Did you take any MOOCs? Did you write any other professional exams? Do you have any certifications?

    Leadership & Diversity:

    1. At work have you done anything inspirational?
    2. Outside work have you been involved in anything? It could be anything – ranging from volunteer work at NGOs to your own startup ideas.
    3. Do you come from a disadvantaged background? Do you have any interesting experiences? Have you travelled? Do you know how to mix cocktails? In short – anything that makes you interesting?>
    (Helpful Hint: Check out our comprehensive article about how to improve your MBA profile and impress the AdCom!)



    Clarity of thought & Personality:

    1. What are your short term goals?
    2. Why should we select you?
    3. Why do you want to do an MBA to reach there?

    4. Why did you pick our institute to do an MBA?


    If you have a good answer to the above questions then you have made it to Harvard  –  WhartonStanford – you name it.


    The good news is that some of the Indian schools such as the rong>ISB have been started after the same model. So once you take the GMAT you realize that it is ONE among the several inputs they take to make an overall assessment of your candidature.

    Want to get a detailed information about B-Schools all over the world? Check out our B-School info page
    View B-School Insights!

    MBA 2015 Round 2 Deadlines – Your last chance

    Reading Time: < 1 minute

    Here are the list of schools you can still apply too !! Prepare for your GMAT with our CrackVerbal Fastrack Program and meet your deadlines !

    Give it your best shot and make it to a Business School this year !

    1,NUS,Oct 1st – Jan 31st 2015,Feb 1st – march 31st 2015

    2,IMD,Feb 1st 2015,April 1st 2015

    3,IE BSchool,Rolling Admission

    4,IESE Spain,Jan 13th 2015

    5,IMD,Feb 1st 2015,April 1st 2015

    6,York-Schulich,Jan 7th 2015,April 30th 2015

    7,Queens Canada,March 14th 2015,June 13th 2015

    8,Harvard Business School,Jan 5th 2015

    9,Wharton,Jan 5th 2015

    10,Ross,jan 5th 2015

    11,Tepper(CMU),Jan 4th 2015

    12,Duke(Fuqua),Jan 5th 2015

    13,Kelley(indiana),Jan 5th 2015

    14,Georgetown (McDonough),Jan. 5 2015

    15,Dartmouth (Tuck),Jan 6 2015 (January Round)

    16,Texas-Austin (McCombs),Jan. 6 2015

    17,Chicago (Booth),Jan. 6 2015

    18,Stanford Graduate School of Business,Jan. 7 2015

    19,Northwestern (Kellogg),Jan. 7 2015

    20,Cornell (Johnson),Jan. 7 2015

    21,UC-Berkeley (Haas),Jan. 7 2015

    22,Virginia (Darden),Jan. 7 2015

    23,UCLA (Anderson),Jan. 7 2015

    24,Yale School of Management,Jan. 8 2015

    25,MIT (Sloan),Jan. 8 2015 (Second & Final Round)

    26,Vanderbilt University (Owen),Jan. 13 2015

    27,INSEAD,Jan. 14 2015 (September 2015 Intake)

    28,New York (Stern),Jan. 15 2015

    29,North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler),Jan. 16 2015

    30,University of Washington (Foster),Jan. 20 2015

    31,Columbia,April 15 2015 (Final Regular Deadline)
    You can go through this blog for more information on Meeting Round 2 Deadlines

    “The Competitive Edge: What an MBA means for the Indian market”

    Reading Time: 3 minutes

    Highlights of the Access MBA Panel Discussion on “The Competitive Edge: What an MBA means for the Indian market”


    CrackVerbal had participated in the Access MBA Tour on 29th Oct, 2014 at the Taj Gateway in Banglore. The Admissions team at Crackverbal, participated in the panel discussion on “Competitive Edge: What an MBA means for the Indian market” along with Namita Thitta, part of the India admissions team of IE Business School.


    Here are the highlights of the discussion:


    What role do rankings and accreditation play in school selection?


    Accreditation’s and Rankings are two sides of the same coin. While accreditation add to the credibility of the school’s brand, rankings help to promote it.


    However, you should not go just by rankings while short-listing schools. Use them in two ways:


    To learn about school names you have not heard of previously. For instance, ESADE Spain or Emory Goizueta are great schools, but which are not familiar names.


    To understand roughly which schools fall in the top, mid and lower tiers. The specific rank or position does not matter as much.


    Is entrepreneurship or being part of a family business considered as work experience?


    Of course yes! Even a failed entrepreneurial venture is seen positively by B-schools. They value your learning and experiences during make you an asset for their MBA program. The only challenge that you may face here would be while choosing recommenders. B-schools require recommenders to have an official email ID and many family businesses may not have that. Also, most B-schools do not accept recommendations from friends or family. So you may have to think creatively when it comes to selecting the right recommenders.


    What determines the kind of scholarship you get?


    The GMAT score plays a key role in merit-based scholarships. As long as your GMAT score is much higher than the average at your target school and you have applied early in the admission cycle, you can expect a good scholarship. Niladri Chakraborty, a student of CrackVerbal with 750 on the GMAT and some excellent career milestones won a USD 90,000 scholarship to UNC Kenan-Flagler last year


    Other determining factors include your career progress, awards and recognition, and demonstrated leadership instances. Read this blog to know how Adcom members look at your profile.


    Many schools offer specific scholarships for Asians, women, and those from developing countries etc. Before applying, make sure you thoroughly research all the scholarships and financial aids that B-schools offer and identify which ones you have the best shot at.


    Which is better, a one year program or a two year program?


    There is really no one right answer! It depends on what your individual requirements and constraints are. If you have less work experience or are planning to make a career switch, a 2-year MBA is a better fit as it gives you an internship opportunity to get some experience in the new domain.


    If your work experience is on the higher side, you have a family, or are looking for career progressions without being away from the industry too long, a 1-year MBA is probably a better fit.


    It’s no surprise that European MBA programs (mostly 1 year) have a higher average work experience/age than US MBA programs (mostly 2 years). Read this blog on one year versus two year programs to know your best MBA fit.


    How important are test elements like the GMAT in the selection process?

    Are you still wondering if you can get into a top B-School this year? Let us help you!

    Get your Profile Evaluated!

    3 things you MUST know about GMAT scores for Top business schools

    must know things about gmat score
    Reading Time: 3 minutes

    “What is a good GMAT score?”


    The person who asked this question was someone who had recently given up hopes of belling the CAT and had just started exploring the GMAT. He had little idea how complicated this question is to answer 🙂


    Until a few years ago, everyone wanted to somehow just cross 700 because this was considered a great GMAT score. But now, the average GMAT score itself at many top business schools is 700+! So does that mean you need a higher score? If so, how much do you need? 720? 750?


    Here are 3 things you MUST know about GMAT scores for Top business schools:


    1. The higher your GMAT score is, the better your chances:


    I can almost see you rolling your eyes and saying “Duh-uh!” But hold on – let me put things in perspective! The higher your GMAT score is than the average score at your target school, the better your chances are.
    This means that if you are aiming for a top business school with an average GMAT score of 690, say Said Oxford or Texas McCombs, then 720 is a great score. But if you are aiming for business school with an average of 732 GMAT score (Yes, Stanford!) then 720 is not going to be a major advantage.


    2. The GMAT score is a key factor that decides the amount of scholarship you get

    The higher your GMAT score, the better your chances of getting a large scholarship because business schools want students with big numbers on their profile, who will drive up their average GMAT score (which in turn will impact the schools’ reputation and ranking)

    3. The GMAT score may play an important role during your post-MBA job search

    When you look for post-MBA roles, you may find that some recruiters will be interested in knowing your GMAT score. Take, for instance, consulting companies. These prefer candidates with high GMAT scores. So if your post-MBA goal is management consulting, then you must aim for a 720+ GMAT score.

    However, the GMAT score is NOT the only thing that matters in admission decisions.

    Top business schools look for multiple parameters while evaluating applicants: academic potential is just one part. The other significant areas are:
    1.Quality of work experience – your performance, career progress, employer, nature of work etc.
    2. Leadership – initiatives and experience at and outside of work
    3. Goal clarity – how clear are you about where you want your career to go?
    4. Diversity – what uniqueness do you bring to the classroom? Personal experiences interests, activities, perspectives and viewpoints… and so on.
    Thus, by highlighting how well you are doing on these other parameters, you maybe able to offset an average GMAT score and convince a school to interview you. And that is another chance you get to convince your dream school to take you!
    Another thing to keep in mind is that if you pick the right schools/programs, your GMAT score need not be a handicap at all.
    For instance, applying to a mix of Ambitious, Reach and Safe schools. Take a step back and evaluate your career goals. And then ask yourself, do I need to go to a Top 10 B-school to achieve these goals? For instance, if your goal is to become a Business Analyst at Deloitte (or a similar company), then you don’t need to go to Wharton to achieve it.
    It’s good to be ambitious and apply to top programs – but if it is important that you join an MBA program next year, then increase your chances by applying to some Reach and Safe schools also.
    The second question to ask yourself is Do I even need an MBA degree? For instance, if you are keen on a career as an equity researcher, a Master’s in financial engineering or quantitative mathematics may be a better idea than an MBA. You could even consider applying to a specialized program such as the Kellogg MMM or the Krannert STEM MBA.
    Are you still wondering if you can get into a top B-School this year? Let us help you!
    Get your Profile Evaluated!

    Interview with IIM Lucknow IPMX Prof. Anita Goyal

    iiml noida
    Reading Time: 2 minutes

    In a conversation with IIM Lucknow IPMX professor Dr. Anita Goyal about the admissions process, Noida campus, placements and more.


    1. What makes the IIM Lucknow IPMX different from other Indian 1 year MBAs? What are the unique aspects/ highlights of the program?

    We are the only IIM with an exclusive campus for our executive program. The IIM Lucknow IPMX is the flagship program of our Noida Campus. We started this in 2005 with the goal of bringing Executive Education to the NCR region. The NCR location helps in better industry interface due to proximity of potential recruiters.
    Industry leaders are often invited on campus for interactive talks or workshops with students. Adjunct faculty specialized in different areas is available, if required. As the campus is near a commercial hub, student life is benefited in multiple ways. Executive students’ families find Noida very suitable as schools for kids, markets and offices of spouses are nearby.
    The IIM Lucknow IPMX is a 4 term program instead of 6 terms in a year. Hence students get adequate time to learn the concepts in class. We have a strong international immersion module with our partner schools, which gives students a chance to learn of global management practices and appreciate the cultural diversities in managing business.

    2. What are the key parameters on which the IIM Lucknow IPMX admissions committee evaluates applicants? What is the weightage given to each of these?

    Past work experience, GMAT score, Statement of Purpose (SOP), two recommendation letters, written ability and personal interview. Weightage criteria may change year on year. All components are important.

    3. What is a “competitive” GMAT score to gain admission to IIML IPMX?

    The IIM Lucknow IPMX admission committee looks at the overall profile of the applicants. The GMAT score is not the only criterion. An average GMAT score with some great work in the past is definitely a strong application and vice versa is also true. Based on past data, a GMAT score of 600+ with strong work experience should make your application competitive.

    4. Could you give us some stats related to the current placements for the IPMX? A few top recruiters and hot sectors for jobs?

    At IIM Lucknow, we don’t disclose our placement statistics. We have always stressed on our knowledge development. Though we can assure you that our placements are at par with any leading institute in the country.
    We maintain strong relationship with the corporate world. Our students have been placed in sectors like manufacturing, IT, consulting, banking, medical, media etc. in the past. Major roles offered are like product manager, program manager, VP, center head, Sr Consultant etc. In executive education each student is unique. Everyone has their own background, hence it’s near impossible to generalize the placement trends for an executive management program.
    IPMX recruiters include: Accenture, Amazon, Dabur, Deloitte Consulting, Deutsche Bank, Edelweiss, Fidelity, GE, Goldman Sachs, Google, KPMG, Microsoft, Mindtree, NIIT, Oracle, PwC

    5. Any tips or advice you would like to share with aspirants?

    Stellar work experience could make up for a below-average GMAT score – so take a chance and apply! There is no application fee except for your effort!
    Inspired by Anitha’s story? Want to know if you can get into IIM Lucknow too? Let us help you!
    Get your Profile Evaluated!

    Do entrepreneurs need an MBA?

    MBA Entrepreneurship
    Reading Time: 5 minutes

    Arun Jagannathan, the Founder & CEO of CrackVerbal has devised a simple test to assess your need for an MBA if you are an entrepreneur by nature. Take the test now and tell us your scores! 🙂

    Entrepreneurship – A Rising Trend

    In almost every MBA batch of any reputed B-School, one can find a certain cluster of students who have joined the program with the clear goal of starting their own venture instead of following the secure route of high-paying jobs. Though some people may feel that such a move is unnecessarily risky, these folks are not to be blamed, because the spirit of entrepreneurship runs in their veins!
    Most entrepreneurs have some unique traits that set them apart from others – perseverance, an appetite for risk, leadership qualities, the ability to innovate and the foresightedness to grab opportunities at the right time and place.
    So if some people are simply made to venture into entrepreneurship, the question begs to be asked – do they really need an MBA or is it just a passing fad? Is it really worth spending so much money on an MBA program, when you already know that you will be investing substantially in your business idea too?
    Conversely, what is driving more and more entrepreneurs to get formal education and training in business management? What value addition will an MBA program provide? In our search for answers to this question, we, at CrackVerbal, surveyed some young entrepreneurs to understand their views on the subject.

    Straight from the horse’s mouth!


    Abhinav Jain – Founder, Alitum Solutions

    The dynamic Abhinav Jain is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore. For the past 1.5 years, he has been fully engaged in his start-up Alitum Solutions, a firm that helps companies grow, by setting up business performance systems that aid de-centralization of management, inter-departmental collaboration etc. Abhinav feels that his MBA program helped him immensely to acquire practical & diversified business knowledge and develop key contacts that might come in handy in future.
    The course also enhanced his self-confidence and prepared him to deal with different types of people and situations. Though he confesses that the MBA degree was accompanied by societal pressure to take up a regular job, it also worked in his favor. Abhinav has the confidence that owing to his IIM B degree, he can get back to a corporate job any time and this gives him reassurance. He believes that the educational loan he has incurred is like any other debt that accompanies entrepreneurship. So he was already mentally prepared for it.
    His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs? Be true to yourselves and be convinced just why you want to do an MBA!

    Amit Sharma – CEO, Go Untucked

    Self-motivated Amit Sharma is the founder of Go Untucked, an online apparel shopping website that prides itself on trendy designs at reasonable prices. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and has been working full-time with his startup for 2 years. He asserts that the MBA program has provided him with a general management perspective and helped him to ‘THINK BIG’.
    His stint there also helped him to create a strong network of contacts, which he feels, is crucial to develop and expand his business. Amit doesn’t think that societal pressure is too much at this stage as he has learnt to take independent decisions with full faith in himself. What he feels is the hardest part of this journey is the debt that comes along with the MBA program and the entrepreneurship.
    Amit’s take on the relevance of an MBA? A formal degree is not necessarily required to start your own business or even in the early stages of growth, but to scale up and raise funds in the long-run, such a program will definitely be of great use!

    Nitin Pulyani – Founder, a socially adaptive learning platform

    ISB alumnus Nitin Pulyani, a true IT-aficionado, established a socially adaptive learning platform for competitive tests. Nitin rationalizes the need for an MBA program for entrepreneurs by stating that a well-knit MBA program helps to augment networking and build up a strong business perspective.
    For him, it was a smooth transition from corporate life to business as he knew exactly what he wanted and just needed self-motivation to turn his dreams into reality. The flip side, Nitin feels, is that it is quite hard to manage an educational loan as well as investment involved in his venture. However he feels lucky as his spouse is also earning.
    His message to budding entrepreneurs? An MBA degree is certainly not mandatory –go for it only when you are clear what you want from it and how it will help grow your business!

    Sameer Kamat – Founder, MBA Crystal Ball

    Sameer Kamat a Cambridge University MBA, is the founder of the 1.5 years old MBA admission consulting firm, MBA Crystal Ball. He strongly feels that the knowledge, education and everything else in the MBA program was fantastic but most importantly the brand value of his alma mater worked for him! As his current venture involves helping other MBA aspirants to get into the top international schools, the Cambridge tag enhances his credibility.
    After completing his MBA, Sameer moved into mergers & acquisitions, a highly sought-after field. So the general expectation from him (mostly implicit, though a few well-wishers were vocal about it) was to stick around and make lots of money. His transition from a high-paying job to a start-up did not happen with a bang -it was gradual. Only when he was convinced that the new venture had serious potential, did he transition out completely.
    Sameer attended a 1-year MBA program and was lucky to have got a couple of scholarships as well. So, though the loan was a concern in the initial years, he was able to quickly pay it off and save a little as well, for a rainy day. That made his jump into entrepreneurship easier!
    The words of wisdom from Sameer? Stop assuming that an MBA will convert you into successful entrepreneurs overnight! Entrepreneurship is more about having the right attitude, passion & skills and less about having a fancy degree. Start early and take small (calculated) risks. Have a ‘Plan B’ in case things don’t work out. And most importantly –keep faith and don’t let small failures stop you from trying!

    The Bottom Line

    Thus, while their inherent qualities fuel the spirit of an entrepreneur, the right MBA program can provide you with:

    Business acumen and perspective


    Credibility with your business associates


    A network of contacts and like-minded professionals

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    TOEFL Vs IELTS Which Does One Pick?

    Reading Time: 3 minutes

    If you are planning an MS abroad, an additional requirement apart from the GRE will be an English Language Test. The most popular ones are the IELTS and TOEFL.
    Understand that both TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and the IELTS (International English Language Testing Services) are intended for students planning to do their higher education at a foreign country.
    Typically, a student whose first language isn’t English will be required to take one of these English Language Tests. Both these tests evaluate students on four functional areas: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. How they do this though, varies.

    Which of these tests do you write?

    Short answer: Find out which test the universities you’ve shortlisted accept. Write that test!

    But of late, universities have begun accepting either of the test scores. In this case making a decision on which to write can be difficult.
    To make a decision let’s figure out how these tests are different.
    The obvious difference is that IELTS is a paper based test, TOEFL is a iBT, which expands to internet Based Test. The TOEFL is taken on a computer. Beyond this let’s take a closer look at the tests section wise.


    While writing is done on-screen on TOEFL, responses are to be handwritten on the IELTS.
    This could be a factor for those who have either very slow typing speeds or those who have an aversion to writing on paper!


    IELTS conducts its speaking module separate from the other sections. It is either done right after the written test is completed or perhaps a day or two after. One is required to speak to an examiner, luckily the kind of questions that the examiner can ask is highly structured.
    TOEFL on the other hand requires you to speak into a microphone (that is recorded on the computer). Your responses will be recorded and there will be a stipulated amount of time for preparing and speaking (not unlike IELTS). For example you will be given a 15 second window to prepare a response and a period of 30 seconds to speak during. There will be an onscreen timer that tells you the time you have remaining.
    Of course this will be a concern only if either speaking face-to-face with an examiner seems extremely daunting or you are completely incapable of speaking to a computer as a timer ticks away!


    Listening on the IELTS is straightforward,you’ll have to listen to the respective tracks, you’ll have some questions on your test sheet which you will have to answer! How it gets tricky is that you’ll be required to make sense of pictographic data and relate it to what you are listening to.
    Students find one thing about the IELTS very frustrating: the recordings of people speaking with accents that could range across the whole of Europe. This is a big problem with a lot of people who have difficulty perceiving foreign accents!
    TOEFL on the other hand integrates listening with reading and you will have to respond either by writing a response or speaking out your response (this links back to Speaking and Writing)
    Listening should be a point of concern to make a decision on if foreign accents baffle you – god forbid you are played a lecture given by a Scottish man!


    Reading on the TOEFL will have a very similar look and feel as does the GRE reading. It will obviously not be as mind wrenching though. Reading on both and TOELF and IELTS are more or less comparable except for the fact that one is done on a computer and the other on paper.
    There are many other pivotal differences between the IELTS and the TOEFL could help you make a decision between the two. The best way to figure this out is by taking an official mock test of each of these tests and getting a feel of the test first hand.
    Do you have any questions about these two tests? Leave your comments below and our GRE experts will respond!

    B-school Selection – The first step

    Harward University
    Reading Time: 2 minutes

    The obvious first step is to look at your experience, GPA, GMAT and misc factors to understand what is a
    (a) stretch school – dream school but chances are low
    (b) reach school – chances are high but not in top 10/20
    (c) safe school – it is the school where you will get a sure shot admit but is not high on the rankings etc (I am against this concept personally as I feel you rather not do an MBA than do it at a place you will never be proud of).
    Over and above these “hygiene” factors you should consider the following 4:

    1. Geography:

    Some areas are better than other PURELY based on personal preference. India (obviously), Australia, Singapore, UK and US are the top 5 destinations. Then you have Countries in continental Europe, Philippines (Manila) also can be considered. Various factors here – post-MBA job prospects, ability to get VISA, English-speaking etc etc

    2. 1 year v/s 2 years:

    Various factors (a) current experience (b) social responsibilities (read marital status/kids) (c) post-MBA career options are the top 3 to make/break the decision.

    3. Specialization:

    Though I have said this before let me reiterate that Brand Name >> Specialization. So you will have more Management Consultants coming out of Harvard than say Darden. Or more finance guys from Wharton than say Stern. Or more entrepreneurs from Stanford than from Thunderbird. Thats’ the way it works. However if you are looking at marketing then you have Kellogs, for finance there is Colombia etc. So keep this in mind (what the school “’specializes” in) before going ahead.

    4. Minor points:

    Case-study might be more appealing to some, background of students admitted and their career progression as shown by say linkedin, a friend who is an alum might influence your decision, location – small city v/s big city, size – small class size and close-knit v/s large (Harvard has 800+) etc. can be reasons.
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    Achieving the MBA Dream Without the CAT

    Plan A Plan B
    Reading Time: 2 minutes

    Hello and welcome to this session of Wednesday Wisdom. Since the CAT results are out, a lot of students have come and asked me, “I didn’t do as well on CAT, is there anything else that I can do?”.


    One thing that I advise to students and that I would be advising to you is – you really have to think about what you want to do apart from CAT? For the last 3 – 4 months, you’re studying for CAT, but really, is CAT you objective in life? CAT is not the objective right? Your objective  in life at a larger level is to do something productive, do something meaningful, do something with your talent and potential.


    In order to maximise the talent and potential, you have chosen to do an MBA. From step 2, you boil down to step 1 and then in order to do an MBA, step zero was the CAT. Assume, CAT is not there, try to think of another way to get to step 1.


    One advice that I have for everyone is please, do look at GMAT. One thing that people don’t realize is GMAT is used for Indian B-schools. For example T.A. Pai Manipal is accepting people through GMAT. We have great one year programs such as Great Lakes, we have programs such as ISB – ISB is in fact open to freshers, they have something known as the Early Entry Option, where freshers can apply and get an admit. We also have the great global schools.


    And another myth is, “We need 4-5 years of experience.” – not true. Most of these schools are more than happy to take people with even 2 to 3 years of experience as long as there is something that they have to offer to the incoming class.


    This is where I really want you to think. Don’t worry about CAT, focus on step 1 which is really to get a great MBA and for that I would request that you consider taking the GMAT.

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    MBA Application Strategies for Round 1, Round 2 & Round 3 Deadlines

    Reading Time: 2 minutes

    This week’s edition of Wednesday Wisdoms talks about application strategies for the Round1, Round 2 & Round 3 MBA application deadlines.



    So one question that we keep getting asked is whether the 1st round, the 2nd round and the 3rd round of the applications – do they really matter?


    First let me give you an idea of how these rounds work – when you apply to a b-school, typically, there are 3 rounds in which you can apply. You can either apply in round 1 which is in October, Round 2 which is in January or Round 3 which could be as late as March.


    Now all things being equal, it is better to apply to the best schools that you want to, in the 1st round. Which means if you have a choice between say Haas Berkeley, which is your number 1 school and Krannert Purdue as your number 2 school, it is better to apply to Haas in October because you will typically get to know the decision and you would need to make a payment by say end December.
    So you would apply to Krannert Purdue, depending on whether you get an admit from Haas. So all things being equal, try to apply to Round 1 as opposed to Round 2.


    Having said that, one common myth that people have is that if I do not apply in Round 1, my chances are going to be slashed by 50% – not true. My advice is to apply to the school with your best possible application. Which means if you apply with a 650 GMAT score in Round 1 and a 720 GMAT in Round 2, you will definitely have a better chance in getting through that school with the Round 2 720 GMAT. So put in your best application.
    Having said that, the schools that you want to most get into, try to use that in Round 1 and the second preference schools in Round 2. So that way you get to know the decisions.


    Now coming to Round 3 which is going to be in March – the only problem for international applicants in applying in the last round is that by the time the decisions come, you need to take care of your I20 which is essentially required for your Visa, you need to take care of your finances, you need to take care of your tickets.
    There are a lot of things that you need to do and sometimes 3 months that you get from the time the decision is made till the point you’re going to join the college could be a little too short for your comfort.

    So net-net – Round 1, Round2 & Round 3, probably that’s how I would stack in order of preference. Thank you.


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    3 Mistakes ISB Applicants Make: Tips From ISB Alumnus & Admissions Panelist Pradyot Anand

    Reading Time: 3 minutes

    When it comes to ISB (and more generally MBA) admissions, getting an interview short-list is only the first step. While there is no guaranteed formula to convert an interview call into an admit, there are a few things that are guaranteed to not get you the admit.

    In this post, I want to elaborate on 3 common mistakes I’ve observed aspirants make during the interview.


    1. Under Preparation:


    Take it for granted that the interview panel has already read your application pack and is therefore interested to know more about you. So even if the question is the same as what is asked in the essays, be prepared to go in-depth in terms of the hows and the whys. Don’t merely repeat your essay. Given the word limits, it is hard to get into any depth in the written essay and the interview is a medium to get into the nitty gritty.

    For example, if you have written that you want to get into consulting, be prepared with an understanding of the consulting industry, major companies and the kind of work they do, where in the hierarchy do you see yourself immediately and 3-5 years post MBA, what skills are needed to get into consulting, and how will you utilize the one year at ISB to gain those skills.


    2. Unrealistic Goals:


    Most B-schools like go-getters and those with a can-do attitude. However, there is a difference between setting aspirational, yet realistic, goals and lofty goals that will remain out of reach. Be it in terms of 3-5-10 year post-MBA career goals or what you will do while at the school, ensure that your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) and tie-in with your strengths and past experience / credentials.

    If you have never been in the top 10% of your class and have a GMAT score of 660, it is unlikely (although not impossible) that you will be in the top 10 at ISB and be the most sought after student by companies. Similarly, if you say you want to change the world and make a big social impact in 3 years post-MBA, what are the chances of that happening given that you will have to service student loans immediately after MBA?


    3. Lack of Demonstrated Interest in the School:

    At the end of the interview, most panels will give you the opportunity to ask questions. Do not say “I have none”. Ask genuine questions that demonstrate interest in the school, and tie-in with what you bring to the table and what you expect from the school. The difference between a good question and a bad / poor one is that a good question is reasonably specific and personalized such that the answer helps you evaluate whether the school fits you (the overall admissions process will decide whether you fit the school).

    For example, asking how someone with your kind of a career background made an industry shift (if that’s what you are interested in doing) using the resources at the school would be a good question. Poor questions are extremely general and serve no purpose. Examples include asking the interview panel for their experience while at the school or information already available through the website and / or roadshows.

    In my experience, even candidates who are good (and whose profiles are extremely interesting going by their applications) tend to sometimes make these mistakes. These mistakes are secular in the sense that I’ve seen them committed by aspirants from various backgrounds, both genders, and at various stages of their career. The fact that you have been shortlisted for an interview means that the school is serious in considering your application for admission. Do make use of that opportunity and avoid these mistakes that have cost many an aspirant.

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    TOEFL Preparation – The Ten Commandments!

    Reading Time: 5 minutes


    This is the month of the year when most of you are thinking, “I have taken the GRE and I have another ten days for the TOEFL. Is it really enough?”

    You are also asking, “I have prepared for the GRE. Will that help for the TOEFL?”


    The TOEFL is an acronym for Test Of English as a Foreign Language and is usually a requirement for many universities abroad as an indicator of your ability to communicate in English. This includes reading, writing, speaking and understanding English. Here are Ten Commandments you must follow during your TOEFL preparation:


    Commandment: 01 – Thou shalt know the structure of the TOEFL.

    The TOEFL comprises four sections – Reading, writing, listening and speaking:

    Reading: 3 passages / Approximately 39 questions / 60 minutes or 5 passages/ Approximately 65 questions / 100 minutes.

    Writing: Independent task that asks you to write an essay in about 250 words in 30 minutes / Integrated task that asks you to Read, Listen, Comprehend the information in both and write an essay in about 150 words in 20 minutes.

    Listening: Academic Lectures and Campus Conversations have to be listened to and questions need to be answered.

    Speaking: There are 6 questions in speaking; 2 of which require only speaking, 2 of which require to Read, Listen, Comprehend and speak and 2 of which require you to listen and speak.

    Unless you know what is expected of you in each section, you will not be able to perform well in it. For example, in Integrated Writing,you must know that your essay comprises points from Reading and Listening. If you don’t know this, you might not take down relevant information from the passage and the track. The purpose of having Independent and Integrated writing is just to ensure that your comprehension of English is tested in situations as close to real life as possible.

    Commandment: 02 – Thou need not read the Reading passage while doing the Reading section.


    The questions in the reading section are in the order of the passage. This means that you don’t have to really read the passage in detail or make maps unlike in Reading Comprehension on the GRE.So just go ahead with the questions and start working with them. Also there are two facts that you can use to your advantage:


    (1) You can move back and forth between questions in the same passage

    (2) The subject of the question is highlighted in the passage.

    (3) The questions are sequenced such that you can easily guess the location of the answer. That is, if the answer for the first question is in Line 3 and the answer for the third question is in Line 7 then the answer for the second question is definitely between Line 3 and 7.


    Commandment: 03 – Thou shalt remember that the last question in the Reading passage is based on the whole passage.


    The last question in Reading is usually a summary or a sort question. And this depends on the entire passage. Since you would have already read the whole passage in parts for the other questions, you should ideally not have a problem answering this question. Also remember that this last question usually carries more than one point on the test.


    Commandment: 04 – Thou shalt take copious notes on the Listening section.


    The key to doing well in the Listening section is to take copious notes. This also applies more to the Academic Lectures as they are long and heavy to comprehend. However the god-send here is that these lectures usually talk about a process or a description of something, thereby making it very easy to take notes.


    You could draw or use whatever signs/symbols/shorthand you like to capture the highlights. A caveat here is to not start writing down everything verbatim as this is unnecessary and will just tire you out.


    Commandment: 05 – Thou shalt stick to a 4 paragraph structure while writing.


    It’s best to stick to a 4 paragraph structure while writing essays on the TOEFL.


    Paragraph 1:  Introduction, which should contain the direct answer to the question being asked.

    Paragraphs 2 & 3:  Contain the body of your essay.

    Paragraph 4:  Conclusion, which summarizes the takeaways from your essay


    Commandment: 06 – Thou shalt give personal examples on TOEFL writing.


    While popular examples are recommended in your GRE AWA essays, remember that the task on the TOEFL tests personal preference and hence it is apt to give at least one personal example.For instance, consider a question that says, “Given an hour extra a day, what would you prefer to do; 1. Go for a long walk listening to your favourite songs 2. Snuggle with your pillows and take a much-needed power nap.”

    Saying “The famous environmentalist XYZ prefers going on a long walk when given some extra time as he feels that it gives him more time to enjoy nature.” in response to this question does not make sense. You must simply talk about your personal choices.


    Commandment: 07 – Thou shalt use the Note taking “T” while taking notes on Integrated Writing or Integrated Speaking.


    While doing Integrated Writing or Integrated Speaking which involves reading a passage, listening to a track based on the passage and then writing or speaking based on what was discussed, remembering points might be very difficult as there is a just too much information.


    So, even though the points in listening may not be in the same order as they were in reading, you can match them up while taking notes, or later, while brainstorming before you write.


    Commandment: 08 – Thou shalt not stammer or use too many fillers while you speak


    Your actual Speaking time on the TOEFL will be very less – around 30 to 60 seconds. But the pressure is what makes it challenging. As a result, you may end up stammering or saying “Er… ummm…” etc. when you fumble for words or points. Practise extensively beforehand to avoid such situations as using fillers will eat up the time available for you to speak and reduce your speaking score.


    Commandment: 09 – Thou shalt be very clear and organised while giving answers in the speaking section.


    Remember to use the time given for prepping very effectively. Always make use of one standard template for your answers.

    Your direct answer to the question / The main point of the answer.
    Reason – 1 / Point – 1
    Reason – 2 / Point – 2
    Reason – 3 / Point – 3
    Summary line


    Commandment: 10 – Thou shalt keep calm and tackle the TOEFL 🙂


    All this information may seem a little overwhelming at this point of time. But a bit of prepping and a lot of confidence will ensure that you handle the TOEFL well.

    Use the TOEFL ETS Guide and mock tests – they are as close as possible to what you will encounter on the actual test.

    Worry not, thou shalt sail through the TOEFL – All the Best!

    What are your problem areas on the TOEFL? Leave a comment and our experts will guide you!

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    Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business: Interview with Regional Director (India)

    Reading Time: 3 minutes

    Duke University’s MBA program at the Fuqua School of Business is consistently ranked among the best in the world, recently coming in the 6th position in Business Week Rankings. Boasting of famous alumni including Apple CEO Tim Cook, it is a fiercely competitive school with average GMAT scores touching 700. We got in touch with Fuqua’s India Director, Mr.Dan McCleary to answer some pertinent questions for aspirants to Duke. Here are the key takeaways from our interaction:




    How is your MBA program unique or different from others, in terms of the school’s focus, curriculum, pedagogy etc.?


    Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is a pioneer in global education, designing and running the world’s first truly global executive MBA program. We bring that global perspective and experience to everything we do, and it has had the effect of attracting globally-minded students.


    What are the most important parameters considered by the Admissions team to evaluate applicant profiles?


    As with all top schools, we expect strong academics, good scores, and valuable work experience. One of the most important factors is the story our applicants tell: who they are, what they have done, and what they hope to accomplish at Fuqua, in their work, and in their life. Nothing is more powerful or memorable than a good true story.


    What are the typical mistakes you see applicants – especially Indian applicants – making?


    Many applicants have not done the work to determine which schools are the best fit for them. You can get a great education at many schools, and many of the features of business schools (team-based culture, student clubs, and international opportunities) are similar. We recognize that visiting target schools is not always an option, but phone and Skype extend the opportunity for prospective students to learn from current students or alumni about multiple schools. duke-quote1


    How does a student who belongs to an over-represented demographic profile fit in? For instance, an Indian male applicant from the IT sector.


    As India’s own economy has grown and diversified, Fuqua has seen a widening spectrum of backgrounds of MBA applicants. Along with the United States and China, India remains one of the top three sources of MBA applications (and MBA students) for most US business schools. We certainly have Indian males from the IT sector applying to Fuqua. A typical successful applicant is the one who convinces us that he  or she possesses the transferable skills and business knowledge that will be valuable to employers in the next stage of his career.


    How do students typically fund their studies at your program? What are the deciding factors for a student to win a scholarship?

    Fuqua has been very fortunate to have a loan program available to non-US citizens without a US co-signer that will cover the majority of tuition. Many students take advantage of this loan to help pay for the program. Merit scholarships, ranging from partial to full, are also available. As with admissions decisions, Fuqua looks at each candidate holistically to determine merit scholarship awards.

    What career services does the school offer to help students obtain internships and jobs? How has the hiring scenario been for Indian students, given the visa regulations and the economic climate?

    Fuqua’s Career Management Center starts working with incoming students even before academic classes begin. Among the services are career consulting and advising, resume and interview preparation, recruiting and hosting companies on campus, organizing “Week in Cities” trips, and much more. Last year, 82% of international students without permanent US work authorization received offers by 15 May, and 89% by 15 August. In the United States talented Indian students with top-tier MBAs remain in high demand.

    If you have any other questions about MBA applications in general or Duke in particular, do comment below or simply drop a mail to [email protected].

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    6 Factors To Look For While Selecting A Business School – #6 Overall Research

    B School Research
    Reading Time: 5 minutes

    We hope this series has helped you realize that the answer to an ‘ideal’ B-school is quite subjective.
    Thus, methodical research on B-schools is crucial to make this process more objective than vague!
    In fact, no school is good or bad by itself. It is your aspirations and requirements that make it suitable for you. Always remember that the definition of ‘Quality’ is not being ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, it is actually, ‘Conformation to requirements’. Thus, if an average B-school fulfills your requirements, it is the best B-school in the world for you; otherwise even a Chicago Booth would be a bad choice!

    Let’s quickly glance through some other significant factors that usually get ignored during B-school selection:


    1. The faculty


    Whichever school you pick, if the faculty do not inspire you or add value to your aspirations, no MBA program can help you out. So, do a meticulous research on the faculty profile, their areas of expertise and testimonials from past or present students to get a fair idea of the quality and credentials of the faculty.




     2. Infrastructure


    What is the first thing that attracts you towards international B-schools? You may not realize this, but the infrastructure and ambience of B-schools greatly influence your subconscious choice. Great resources, a world-class campus and the latest research facilities, offer a conducive environment for study and also make your learning experience enjoyable and worthwhile.


    3. Teaching Methodology

    Method of teaching also makes a great difference to your learning experience. Do you want a case study-based program, simulations, team projects, role-plays, simulations or research, or any other specific method of study? Each B-school has a distinct preference for some of these pedagogical approaches – make sure you do your research on which of these your dream schools practice.

    4. Class size


    Did you always wish for a small group of peers where you will get personal attention or are you the one who wants to be a part of a big classroom with rich discussions and a larger alumni network? Be very clear what you want with regard to class size.





    5. Career Statistics


    This is probably a no-brainer, and is possibly the first thing that most applicants look for. Yet, we will reiterate: career statistics are also an important factor to consider while selecting schools. The number and kind of companies that approach your B-school for placements, the number of students placed each year, what career services are offered, what are the starting salaries etc. are some of the questions you need to find answers to. Off-campus recruitment should also not be ignored in this process.

    6. Return On Investment


    An ideal MBA aspirant will not look for a low cost or ‘less expensive’ MBA but an MBA program which will provide him/her with maximum returns. It is not the program costs that matters so much as the pay-scale that he/she will be earning after graduation. Thus, the debate on 1 year vs. 2 year programs is a valid one! ROI gives you a long-sighted view of managing your finances than a short-run expense or benefit.
    It is highly likely that there will be no single B-school that will fit all your requirements – it is here that you will need to prioritize what is important to you!
    We will conclude this series with this thought – just like on the GMAT, the process of elimination will help you spot the right B-school! 🙂

    After discussing so many factors involved in choosing the right B-school for you, let’s see how you can make the research process easier and more fruitful.


    1. Read the official websites a couple of times

    The first and the most convenient way of researching for B-schools is the official website of the B-schools. Even before you google to find extra information, first read through the official website of the B-schools thoroughly! This will answer most of your questions! Don’t miss the FAQs section of these B-schools.
    Instead of relying on any other internet source, the official website will give you very authentic and up-to-date information. Once through with this, even the B-school ranking websites are a great reservoir of latest facts and figures pertaining to the B-schools world over (as we covered this in our ‘rankings’ blog)!

    2. Forums

    Forums provide a friendly platform where you can interact not only with experts but also people sailing in the same boat as yours. You can get some really valuable information shared by others with respect to MBA, B-schools, MBA admissions, the deadlines, important announcements and so on…The thread that runs through many people makes the discussions very rich and productive.

    Some of the best MBA forums include:


    3. Attend Info Sessions


    Once you get a fair idea of the B-schools you have shortlisted through the internet research, the next step is to attend info sessions. Info sessions are nothing but B-school authorities and alumni coming together and addressing the key features of their school with MBA aspirants. As most of us cannot visit campuses of B-schools in U.S. or U.K., such info-sessions form a bridge between the B-schools and the MBA aspirants.
    Info sessions are great avenues to learn more about the B-schools, their latest happenings, career placement opportunities, MBA specializations, etc. You expand your networking by personally meeting the authorities, alumni and other MBA aspirants. This helps you to craft your essays precisely, follow the MBA application process in the right direction and choose the right B-school program for you! Rendezvous with representatives from the B-schools makes a lot of difference in influencing your B-school selection.
    I believe the 5 factors that we already discussed in previous blogs, plus an overall research will be sufficient for you to create a list of 3-4 B-schools you are targeting at. A methodological approach will definitely help you to make a pragmatic selection!
    Don’t miss our post on B-school selection based on MBA specialization!
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    6 Factors To Look For While Selecting A Business School – #5 Specializations

    Reading Time: 3 minutes

    Whip out your B-school checklist and take another look!

    Your profile fits seamlessly with others in your targeted B-school
    The location is exactly what you always wished for
    A crisp 1 year program suiting your needs
    And amazingly your B-school also ranks high
    But wait a minute… what is your post-MBA goal? Do you want to get into Marketing? Or Consulting? Or Supply Chain Management? Whatever your area of interest is, does the B-school you have shortlisted cater to this? Does it have specific electives, industry immersion programs or active clubs dedicated to your area of specialization? What about career options in this area?
    It is very important that you are clear about your post-MBA career goals and make sure that the MBA program you have selected is the best-suited for this.

    These are some of the common specializations you could opt for:

    Supply Chain/Operations Management
    International Management
    Information Management
    IT Consulting
    Strategy consulting
    A typical B-school curriculum consists of core courses which are compulsory for you to understand the fundamentals of business and management. It is usually in the last terms or the second year (depending on the duration of your program) that you have the option to select electives such as E-commerce, Entrepreneurship, Financial Analysis, Behavioral Economics and Decision Making, Brand Management, Global Strategy and Management, International Finance etc., which finally decide the exact terrain you wish to build your career in. So, you need to take a careful look into the electives offered by different B-schools before you make your final decision.
    If you are asked to name a talented Indian cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar will probably be the first name on your lips. Similarly, for almost any specialization, Harvard, Stanford, Booth and Wharton are going to be on top.

    Let’s look at some schools beyond the Big 4!

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    Tuck School of Business, Michael G. Foster School of Business, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, George Washington School of Business
    Said Oxford, MIT Sloan, Babson College, IE business school, Haas School of Business, London Business School
    NYU Stern School of Business, Columbia Business School, INSEAD, IE Business School, Tepper
    Information Management
    MIT Sloan, London Business School, Haas School of Business, Kellogg School of Management, IE Business School
    MIT Sloan, Stanford Business School, Kellogg School of Management, NYU Stern School of Business, INSEAD, Judge School of Business
    International Management
    INSEAD, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Marshall School of Business, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Fox School of Business
    IMD, Chicago Booth, Kellogg School of Management, IE Business, INSEAD
    Operations Management
    Tepper School of Business, MIT Sloan, Krannert School of Management Cranfield School of Management
    Tuck School of Business, MIT Sloan, IE business Marketing
    Kellogg School of Management, Judge Business School, Fuqua School of Business, SDA Bocconi School of Management, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Emory

    The exciting Dual programs!!!

    Ever heard of McCombs’s MBA/Master of Arts in Asian Studies or Stanford’s MS Environment & Resources/MBA or Fuqua’s JD/MBA program?
    We are actually referring to the Dual programs offered by some of the top B-schools. What are dual programs all about? Are they worth undertaking? What are their pros and cons?
    Dual programs involve the study of two different university degrees simultaneously. The two degrees could be in the same or in two different subjects. Some of the fields in which students can opt for dual programs are Public Health, Architecture, Bio Sciences, Journalism, Law, Architecture, etc.


    1. Offer lucrative career opportunities
    2. Specialization in two fields, so greater scope
    3. Greater leadership opportunities
    4. A rewarding pay scale


    1. Not as popular as MBA programs
    2. A huge investment of time, effort and money
    3. Return On Investment is still uncertain
    4. Fewer students, so fewer opportunities for networking
    How important are the Rankings while selecting a B-school?
    Is there something else that you need to know before you finalize your target B-schools?
    Check out the next blog in the series…

    Wondering which top B-School you can get into? Let us help you!
    Get your Profile Evaluated!

    How To Select The Right B-school Based on MBA Ranking

    MBA college based on Ranking
    Reading Time: 3 minutes

    B-school rankings are more than just an annual ritual undertaken by various media groups. If taken with a pinch of salt, B-school rankings can help MBA aspirants, companies and others to assess the reputation and credentials of a B-school in comparison to others.

    But rankings should not be considered as the sole criteria to judge the standing of a Business school.

    For instance, if you glance through any of the B-school rankings such as those of U.S. News, Business Week or Forbes, 3 schools that are ranked on top are Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. If Financial Times ranks Stanford first and Harvard second, does it mean that Stanford is better than Harvard? Or that you will have better career prospects at Stanford? No, not at all!

    Rankings merely tell you whether a particular B-school you are applying to falls in the  Top 5, Top 10 or Top 20, based on which you can make a wise selection. As we have discussed previously, there are other criteria (geography, post-MBA goals, duration etc.) that determine which B-school would be best for your requirement. So, just because Chicago Booth is consistently ranked in the Top 5 doesn’t mean that it is also the most appropriate program for you!


    What are these rankings actually based on?

    1. Average post-MBA starting salary and bonus
    2. Return on investment/Value-for-money education
    3. Full-time graduates employed at graduation
    4. Credentials of faculty
    5. Programs offered
    6. Quality of Networking
    7. Kind of industries and recruiters approaching


    Here is a glimpse of some of the B-school rankings!


    U.S. News Rankings:


    US NEWS B-school ranking

    Source: US News 2016 Rankings


    Business Week Rankings:


    BLOOMBERG B-School Ranking

    Source: Business Week 2016 Rankings


    Financial Times Rankings:


    Financial Times MBA Rankings

    Source: Financial Times 2017 Rankings


    Forbes rankings:


    forbes MBA Ranking

    Source: Forbes 2016 Rankings


    The Economist Rankings:


    The economist MBA ranking 2017

    Source: The Economist 2016 Rankings


    At the end of the day, B-schools do try to achieve higher rankings every year or at least maintain their position because rankings directly impact their marketability. The bottom-line is: do not be guided solely by the rank of the school – do your research; secondly, make sure you understand the ranking parameters and methodology before you accept the final numbers.

    Are you confused between 1 year and 2 year MBA program? Read to know the pros and cons of each of these…

    Wondering which Top B-School you can get into? Let us help you!

    Get your Profile Evaluated!

    How To Choose Between a 1 year vs. 2 year MBA Program

    1 year vs 2 year MBA programs
    Reading Time: 6 minutes

    There has always been a debate on whether a 1-year is better than a 2-year MBA program. In this blog we have touched upon the advantages and disadvantages of both!


    There is a wrong perception that 1-year programs are less valuable than 2-year ones. You may be surprised to learn that both of these will earn you a full-fledged MBA degree with equal job opportunities and a competitive pay-scale in the market.


    So what really are the differences?

    A typical 2-year MBA is a 18-24 months program , and is very popular in the U.S. Whereas, a 1-year MBA extends to about 10-12 months and most of the U.K. B-schools offer this. Here is a sneak peek into some of the advantages and disadvantage of 2-year program which actually become disadvantages and advantages for 1-year program respectively.


    2-year MBA program: 


    Advantages of 2-year program:

    1. One of the main reasons why many people aspire for an MBA degree is to change career paths. After working in Technology for a few years, you may realize that your calling is in Management Consulting and not just coding. For these people, a 2-year program will prove very beneficial.

    2.  In a typical  2-year program, the first year will be dedicated to fundamental business courses such as marketing, organizational behavior, economics, accounting and so on; specialization through the choice of electives happens in the second year. So, you will get ample time to make mistakes, learn new things and finally make up your mind about your area of specialization (on which the choice of electives depends). Essentially, you can learn at your own pace.

    3. You will have ample opportunities to mingle and network with your peers in a 2 year MBA program, as this gives you more time to join student bodies and participate in extra-curricular activities and group projects.

    4. A 2-year MBA program provides you with a summer internship which is very helpful to land a lucrative job afterwards. An internship gives you a hands-on experience in your field of interest. In fact, most employers look to summer-interns for recruitment, especially in the fields of consulting and investment banking.

    5.  An MBA is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people; It is not just a professional journey, but often also a personal one of self-growth! And a 2 year MBA program gives you the complete student experience, simply because your experience is longer and well-paced.


    Disadvantages of 2-year program:

    1.If you are very sure about your post-MBA goals, a 2-year program is of lesser significance to you as it will be less rigorous and less focused as compared to a 1-year program. People who look at the MBA as a tool for career growth, a 2–year program may not be particularly more advantageous.

    2. 2-year programs are very costly as compared to 1-year programs. In fact, a 1-year program from a reputed B-school provides you equal brand equity at a lesser cost!

    3.  Joining a 2-year program means that you will be out of work for 2 years; this means that the opportunity cost will be very high as compared to a 1-year program.

    4.  For older applicants – specifically, those with familial responsibilities, children or other dependents – a 2-year program may not be very feasible.


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    Some of the top B-schools in U.S. offering 1-year MBA program


    1 year US MBA programs


    1. Kellogg School of Management (USA):

    One of the first one year MBA programs in the US. The one year program is your fastest path to get a Kellogg MBA.

    The course is designed to build upon your business fundamentals, develop new skills and knowledge to propel your career forward. The course starts in the month of June every year.

    Location: Illinois
    Tution Fee: $91,700
    Average Salary: $163,000 (post 3 years of graduation)


    2. Cornell University’s Johnson School of Business

    This course is ideal for Professionals with significant work experience who wish to acquire new business Skills & management knowledge.

    The Course starts in the month of May every year.

    Location: New York.
    Tuition Fee: $90,000.
    Average Salary: $142,700 (post 3 years of graduation)


    3. Emory University’s Goizueta School

    With more than 30 years, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School is one of the top One-Year MBA Programs in the US.

    Emory’s One-Year MBA offers three semesters of rigorous learning to prepare you for career success. The course begins in the month of May every year,.

    Location: Atlanta.
    Tuition Fee: $ 89,500
    Average Salary: $ 134,370 (post 3 years of graduation)


    4. USC (Marshall)

    The course is designed for mid career professionals training for global leadership positions. The average age of students is 35.

    The 12-month program at USC’s Campus starts in the month of July.

    Location: Los Angeles
    Tuition Fee: $104,068
    Average Salary: $135,200 (post 3 years of graduation)


    5. Notre dame (Mendoza)

    Notre Dame’s One-Year MBA provides a powerful strategic business education and makes you part of one of the world’s most loyal and active alumni networks.

    The program begins in May and students graduate the following May.

    Location: Indiana
    Tuition Fee: $73,063.
    Average Salary: $127,995 (post 3 years of graduation)


    6. Boston university Babson (Olin)

    The Babson One-Year MBA program is designed to allow students to leverage their existing academic foundation​ to complete their MBA in an accelerated format.

    The program begins in the month of May every year.

    Location: Massachusetts.
    Tuition Fee: $80,167
    Average Salary: $ 121,312 (post 3 years of graduation)


    Other colleges include Thunderbird Florida (Hough) & Pittsburgh (Katz)  



    Some of the top B-schools in Europe and U.K. offering 1-year MBA program



    1. INSEAD

    One of the most sort after one-year MBA programme with campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. INSEAD has a multicultural and diverse community at INSEAD with 90 percent of its faculty and students being international.

    Location: France, Singapore & Abu Dhabi
    Tuition Fee: $81,000
    Average Salary: $167,000 (post 3 years of graduation)


    2. IMD

    The IMD MBA program supports and accelerates leadership development beyond the campus by developing technical competence, self-awareness, and moral judgment.

    The course starts in January.

    Location: Switzerland
    Tuition Fee: $87,000
    Average Salary: $157,000 (post 3 years of graduation)


    3. IE Business School

    The one-year MBA from IE School of Business provides students with an opportunity to interact with future business leaders from around the world.

    Intakes in the month of September & January

    Location: Spain
    Tuition Fee: $72,440
    Average Salary: $159,000 (post 3 years of graduation)


    4. University of Oxford – Saïd Business School

    The one-year MBA from SAID aims to develop your ability to think logically, laterally and independently that will take you anywhere in the world.

    The course begins in the month of September every year.

    Location: Oxford
    Tuition Fee: $ 68,160
    Average Salary: $139,235 (post 3 years of graduation)


    5. University of Cambridge – Judge Business School

    The course allows students to opt for sector-based topics that can improve their expertise in their chosen fields. It also runs a personalized career development program.

    The course has single intake each year which starts in September.

    Location: England
    Tuition Fee: $67,000
    Average Salary: $156,300 (post 3 years of graduation)


    6. London Business School

    The course is rated as one of the most flexible MBA program with flexible exit points to complete the course in a span of 15, 18 or 21 months and provides an unparalleled opportunity to build your global network.

    The course has an intake in August.

    Location: England
    Tuition Fee: $92,600
    Average Salary: $154,150 (post 3 years of graduation)


    7. HEC Paris

    The Course is Custom designed for managers between the ages of 25 to 35 with previous work experience averaging 6 years. With a 92 percent international student body, studying at HEC Paris allows you to develop a truly multicultural approach to strategy and problem-solving.

    Intakes in the month of September & January

    Location: France
    Tuition Fee: $77,500
    Average Salary: $132,073 (post 3 years of graduation)


    Other notable B-schools conducting one-year MBA programs in Europe include Copenhagen Business School, SDA Bocconi, IESE Business School -Madrid, Cass Business School, City University London, ESADE Barcelona & Birmingham Business School


    Did you read our previous post on how important is the location while selecting a Business School?

    Wondering which top B-School you can get into? Let us help you!

    Get your Profile Evaluated!

    How To Select A Business School Based On Geography

    Reading Time: 7 minutes


    Each one of us will definitely find someone in our neighborhood or among our relatives boasting of their daughter or son getting into an MBA program from say, Boston or Melbourne. But the location of your choice of B-school is not simply a matter of prestige. It is not something that you can select based on a game of ‘Inky Pinky…’.

    Unfortunately, everyday, we encounter students who have no idea why they want to do their MBA in a particular country/continent.

    The location of your B-school – from continent and country, right down to the city – is extremely important, and plays an important part in your MBA experience as well as your post-MBA opportunities.

    Here’s why:

    If you are planning to work in a particular country after your MBA, say France, an MBA from HEC Paris will be a better option than an MBA from Harvard or Darden. Similarly, if you have decided to continue living in India, then your best bet is ISB (which, by the way, is not the best option if you want to be placed outside India!)

    Visa regulations and work permits in the country of your choice are also important criteria to consider. For instance, it is easier to obtain work permits in Canada and Australia than in Europe. Location is a strong factor in determining the kind of internships available to you.

    If you are planning for an internship in venture capital or technology, then Haas and Stanford could be great options because of their proximity to Silicon Valley. Similarly, Stern at New York would be a great option for someone who wants a financial career.

    If you already have relatives/friends staying in a particular country, you may want to look at schools in that region as this may impact your cost of living.

    Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of B-schools in various countries:


    1. US Business Schools:



    Advantages of US B-Schools are:

    Undoubtedly, the U.S. is a land of opportunities, with the best of infrastructure and great research opportunities, where you can safely invest your future.

    You will find the Headquarters of most of the top companies in the world situated in the U.S. So, the number of top management roles in the U.S. surpasses that in any other country in the world.

    The U.S. is home to some of the greatest B-schools in the world. Schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, etc permanently feature in Best B-schools lists. In fact, the oldest Graduate School of Business in the world is Tuck School of Business situated in Hanover, New Hampshire!


    Disadvantages of US B-Schools are:

    Visa regulations are quite stringent in the U.S. and becoming more so in recent times. To work in the U.S. after graduation, students need an H1-B visa sponsored by employers and there are only a limited number of visas that are issued every year.

    The global economic situation and high-end job market are not in a great state at present, including in the U.S. So, post-MBA career options may not be as robust as expected.

    U.S. MBA programs are some of the most expensive programs in the world. Many may not be able to afford these, especially in the absence of scholarships.



    Some of the well-known US B-Schools are:

    M-7:Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Sloan, Columbia, Booth, Kellogg  (Dream B-schools)

    Top: Haas, Darden, Fuqua, Ross, Tuck, Duke, etc  (Very reputed schools)

    Mid: Marshall, Kelly, Krannert  (Reputed schools)

    Canada: Richard Ivy, Schulich, Rotman  (Usually less considered but having some great MBA programs)



    In fact, the Canadian economy is closely related to the U.S. economy. After graduating from Canada it is easier to work in U.S. and vice versa.


    2. European Business Schools:


    Advantages of European B-Schools are:

    There are quite a few impressive B-schools spread over different parts of Europe. With good infrastructure, an international curriculum and diverse classrooms, they account for splendid programs for MBA aspirants.

    Many  European schools have dedicated 1 year programs in contrast to U.S. schools which a typically offer 2 year programs. So, if you are in your 30s with a good number of years of work experience and want an MBA degree to enhance your career, European schools may be your best option.

    This choice will be accompanied by all the advantages of a 1 year program such as lesser cost, getting back to the market faster and a more focused & rigorous course.

    Europe is blessed with a great culture, quality of life and picturesque locales such as England, France, Switzerland, etc. So your experience is bound to be awesome!


    Disadvantages of European B-Schools are:

    Poor economic climate in Europe: this may not be the best time to join a European school, especially if you wish to work their post your degree.

    European visa regulations have been tightened. You will need to find a job while you are still on a student visa. Ironically, you may be denied a work visa because you don’t have a job – and you may end up caught in this vicious cycle!

    European culture is not as relaxed as American culture. You will need to learn at least one of the European languages such as Spanish, French or German to cope in a European B-school.


    Some of the well-known European Business Schools are:


    Top: IMD (Switzerland), INSEAD (France), LBS (London)

    Mid: SAID (Oxford), Judge (Cambridge), HEC (Paris)

    Others: SDA Bocconi (Italy), Rotterdam (Netherlands), IESE (Spain), ESADE (Spain)




    3. APAC Business Schools (Asia Pacific Business Schools):


    Asia Pacific B-SCHOOLS


    Advantages of Asia Pacific Business Schools are:

    South-Asian B-schools are closer to home, so you will have an “at home” feeling. It is easier to gel with your peers of similar ethnic backgrounds and culture.

    Also, it is easier to come back to India on vacations in terms of time and cost. South Asia is a growing economy with some very promising B-schools and great MBA programs.

    Countries like China, Singapore and Korea are giving U.S. and U.K. economies a run for their money. If you are looking for a decent MBA program at a very reasonable cost, you can look at South-Asian programs which are relatively cheaper than American or European programs.


    Disadvantages of Asia Pacific Business Schools are:

    It’s true that the economies of South Asian countries are developing at an accelerating rate, but they are still far behind their Western counterparts.  For instance, despite its well-developed infrastructure, the Australian economy is still very much agrarian in nature. So, you have to carefully consider what kind of jobs you could find there after an MBA.

    B-schools in South Asia are not as international in their approach as compared to those in the U.S. or U.K. You will not find many Americans or Europeans opting for South Asian MBA programs. So, the classrooms tend to be less diverse in nature.

    An MBA program from the U.S. will be helpful even if you want to work in a South Asian country, but the opposite is not necessarily true. If your ultimate goal is to work in London or New York, an APAC MBA program may not be a great idea.


    Some of the well-known Asian Pacific Business Schools are:


    Australia: Melbourne Business School, AGSM Sydney

    Singapore: INSEAD, NUS, NTU, SMU

    Others: HKUST-Hongkong, AIM-Manila, CEIBES- China




    4. Indian Business Schools:


    Indian GMAT Mba programs


    Advantages of Indian B-Schools are:

    The biggest advantage is that there are no visa regulations in your own country!

    Half of the hassles with regard to foreign MBA programs involve obtaining visa permit to study and work abroad. You will essentially be in familiar territory – in your own comfort zone – and have opportunities to network with people of a similar cultural and ethnic background.

    Reputed Indian B-schools such as ISB will familiarize you with case studies specific to the Indian market, making you fit to work and excel in India. Today, many Indian B-schools are accepting GMAT as an admission criterion.



    Disadvantages of Indian B-Schools are:

    Doing your MBA in India will not help you to get out of your comfort zone and explore newer opportunities in life. You will remain in your cocoon!

    Indian MBA programs do not offer many international job opportunities. So if your goal is to work abroad, an Indian MBA may not be the best way forward!

    Indian B-schools still attract a very small percentage of international students as compared to U.S. and U.K., and have large classrooms. This means less diversity and lesser classroom interaction.


    Some of the well-known Indian B-Schools are:


    IIM A – PGPX

    IIM B – EPGP



    IIM L – PGDX

    XLRI – GMP

    Great Lakes Institute of Management



    Do you know how important Profile Fitment is, in selecting an MBA program?

    Read our blog on Profile Fitment! Next in our series: 1 year vs. 2 year MBA programs! Are you wondering if you can get into a top B-School this year?

    Let us help you!


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    How To Select The Right B-school Based on Your Profile

    How to Select a B-school Based on Profile
    Reading Time: 3 minutes

    Profile fitment simply means whether your profile is apt for the B-school(s) you are applying to. 


    For instance, say you are a 32 year old MBA aspirant with 9+ years of banking experience.


    Given your age and work experience,  what would be a good MBA program  for you? The one-year IIMA-PGPX program, where the average age of students is 34 years, will be a great fit! But what if you are just 25 years old with 3 years of IT work experience? Your profile will not fit this PGPX program. In fact, you may not even be eligible to apply as this program requires a minimum of 5 years of work experience! Similarly, a typical two year MBA program at Darden is also not what you should look forward to, where you will be surrounded by much younger and less experienced peers!

    Age and work experience are not the only criteria that determine profile fitment. You should also look at your background. For instance, if you are essentially looking for a diverse classroom, applying to a school where most of the students are from an IT background will not be fruitful to you, irrespective of the ranking or reputation of that B-school.

    Why do you need to look into MBA class profile or business school profile? And why is profile fitment so important?

     Once you join a B-school, for the next 1 or 2 years (depending upon the duration of your program), you will be spending most of your time with your peers rather than with the faculty. Thus, your peers will influence not just your learning but also your experiences and perspective. If you are not able to strike a chord with your peers right from the beginning, or if you feel that you have very little to learn from your batchmates, you will definitely not be able to benefit from your MBA program fully! The fact that networking is one of the primary reasons why MBA aspirants select a particular B-school makes profile fitment all the more important.

    The entire idea behind profile fitment is that you should fit in with the average class profile of the B-school(s) you wish to apply to!

    You can easily find the class profiles of previous batches on the official websites of most top B-schools.

    Profile Fitment Parameters that you need to consider:

    Age (mean, median)

    Number of  years of work experience

    Educational background

    Pre-MBA industry

    Class composition


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    Here is a snapshot of an MBA Class Profile!

    Harvard Business School: MBA Class of 2019 Profile



    So go ahead – before you invest money and efforts applying to a B-school, spend some time researching whether you are the right fit for the school!
    Do you know  how to select a business school? Read this write-up to know more…
    Also check out our second blog to this series on  “Why the location of a Business school is important!”


    An ideal shortlist will have a mix of Dream, Stretch and Reach schools, with some applications for Round 1 and some for Round 2.

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    Top 5 myths about ISB application busted!

    Top 5 myths ISB
    Reading Time: 7 minutes

    Over the last decade of its existence, ISB has evolved into a brand in itself – a sense of honor, prestige and accomplishment for everyone who has graduated from the Indian School of Business!   Constantly ranked as one of the top B-schools in India and also as 20th in the Global Top MBA Rankings 2012, Financial times, London. ISB has a lot to offer to future leaders in terms of research based innovative curriculum, international outreach, global best practices and insight into emerging markets for career growth. So if you are an aspirant trying to put your best foot forward in your ISB application, this blog will give you a headstart. 


    ISB has been constantly ranked as one of the top B-schools in India and also as 20th in the Global Top MBA Rankings 2012, Financial times, London.


    ISB has constantly maintained these esteemed rankings for five years consecutively. To add more feathers to its cap, ISB has also been revered with South-Asia’s first AACSB accredited school! Undoubtedly, MBA aspirants are not leaving any stone unturned to add ‘ISB’ into their CVs.   However, in this helter-skelter, several myths have cropped up over the last few years. Most of these grapevines are related to the ISB application process. We are looking at the top 5 myths!  



    Myth 1: You are bound to get rejected with a sub-700 score!



    GMAT is important. Very important! This is because to select among thousands of applicants, this concrete 3 digit number is of great help to B-schools world over. GMAT provides a good indication of a student’s logical application in a business context that will make him an effective future leader.   But do not forget that GMAT is just a part of the selection process and not the selection process itself.


    Any reputed B-School, including ISB looks for a complete package to fit in their MBA program and not just one aspect in isolation.   There is a reason why an ISB application with a lower GMAT score are accepted. Else they could have just put up on the website “Applicants with only a GMAT score higher than 700 need apply”. According to the official ISB statistics around 25% of the entering class had a sub-700 score. Infact over the last few years we have had several of our own students get through with a sub-700 score getting!  


    According to the official ISB statistics around 25% of the entering class had a sub-700 score.


    This myth is perhaps propagated by those who got rejected because the other factors such as weak essays, poor interview are intangibles that no one wants to admit. I have not heard an applicant say “I got dinged because my post-MBA goals were perhaps a bit fuzzy”. While GMAT gives a more solid reason – “I got dinged because I had a 690” makes the excuse a bit more palatable.   Read on for a detailed Analysis on the ideal GMAT score range for ISB.    



    Myth 2: You shouldn’t apply with more than 10 years of work-experience!


    ISB Application


     Till date, ISB has created over 4000 global leaders who are spread over 25 countries! Though the average experience in the class is still a “young” with 3-6 years experience being the median on the curve, more and more mid-career professionals are seeking an ISB PGP to catapult their careers to the next level.  


    ISB PGP admissions committee understands the unique background such senior people bring in, and works hard with the industry to ensure that they are rewarded with a position that is commensurate with their talents and experience. While the usual career progression is into a managerial position (“LEAD”), the students with more than 8-10 years of experience are provided with opportunities to interview for senior management roles such as Country Head (“LEAP”).  


    Students with more than 8-10 years of experience are provided with opportunities to interview for senior management roles such as Country Head.


    However, a caveat over here is that ISB (or any Bschool in the world) cannot guarantee placements. This is a known fact that there are fewer positions at such a level and that an MBA is not a “placement agency”. It is important that applicants with rich experience bring with them their own network, as well as understanding of their domain. ISB placement committee can ensure that the required groundwork is done to help facilitate the process.  



    Myth 3: The details in the ISB application form are not that important!


    ISB Application


     The online ISB application form that contains details regarding the applicant’s profile such as educational details, work-experience details, essays, video, and recommendations. Along with this there are also some details, which many applicants consider “minor”, such as extra-curricular, awards, languages known etc.   However the admissions committee gets to review a file which contains these very details before it even gets to see your essays. Thus, these details on the ISB application form become the initial point of contact between you and ISB.


    First impression may not be the last one, but first impression does take you to the next level, that is the interview!   Thus, every aspirant should ensure that he/she reserves enough time to fill out all the details in the ISB application form completely so that it comes across convincing, interesting and unique.


    The admissions committee gets to review a file which contains these very details before it even gets to see your essays.


    It is very easy to create a login to see what are the details required. Do not leave out filling the form to the last date of the ISB application, when you will be hurried and might end up making mistakes.    



    Myth 4: Showing NGO/not-for-profit work is a must on your ISB application!


    ISB Application


     ISB is in search for people who bring varied perspective into the classroom discussions. That is why you will come across many interesting yet so-called “unconventional” profiles at ISB of people who have been involved in the society around us through various NGOs.   However, it is a myth that ISB wants everyone who applies to have contributed to a social cause.


    Though, it is true that such an association does impact your ISB application in a positive way, it should only be added if the applicant has genuinely done so. Association with an NGO just for the sake of embellishing your ISB application will actually reduce your chances of an admission!


    Association with an NGO just for the sake of embellishing your ISB application will actually reduce your chances of an admission!


    Integrity is a quality that is highly regarded in B-schools these days. Culturally Indians tend to use their times constructively in many other different ways – not just in social causes. So, candidates should look at creative ways of revealing their managerial or leadership qualities such as playing a sport, or being a part of rock-band!  



    Myth 5: The essays are the crucial aspects, the interviews can be handled!


    ISB Application


     Applicants place a lot of emphasis on the ISB application essays – a correct thing to do because it is through essays that B-Schools will actually get to know about who you are as a person, and what you bring to the table.   However, it is also equally important that you focus on the interview process, through which the admissions committee tries to see if the person behind the essays is interesting in real-life.


    Those 20-40 minutes are crucial because it is an opportunity for you to bring out real-life examples to convey your strengths and managerial traits.   There is more to you than an application form and the ISB interview panel wants to see that. Don’t deny them the opportunity by trying to play safe and telling them what you think they want to hear. Or still worse talking something tangential to what you have mentioned in your ISB application essays.  


    The panel wants to know you better, and the only person who can help them is you.


    Here is what we suggest to applicants facing an MBA interview – treat it like a conversation, not a quiz. The panel wants to know you better, and the only person who can help them is you. Just ensure you are able to articulate the main questions well – why you want to do an MBA, why specifically ISB, why is now the right time in your career, and why should they select you. The rest of the questions should be about what *you* have done in *your* life – something you should definitely not worry about!  


    I hope this article was useful in busting a few myths about the ISB apllication process for you. Did you believe in any of them before you started reading? Is there any other myth you would like us to answer? Do let us know.  


    For those planning to apply to ISB this year , please write to [email protected] or call us @ 9008177800.


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