Indians are increasingly applying for MBA admissions in top business schools in the US. What does it take to gain entry into any of these institutes?
There is no magic formula except to build a strong profile to make your application stand out from the thousands of homogenous applicants with similar academic qualifications was the answer when this question was posted in Quora.
Admission Committees tend to look at various factors including the GMAT scores, academic records, professional achievements, extra-curricular activities and certain other qualities while shortlisting the applicants. Let us take a look at some of these.
A Sound Business Sense:
You are expected to have at least a basic understanding about business. If you have been professionally involved in the sector for a few years, it is counted as a plus point.
Great Communication Skills:
This refers to the ability to gather required data and information and to state your thoughts clearly whether in the admission essays or personal interview.
A Good Academic Record:
You should have a good academic record and high scores of 720 plus in GMAT that could go up to 750 or more for some of the schools. In view of the large pool of applicants from India and China, if the score is below 700, it would be better to take the test again.
Be clear about your career goals, both in the short term and the long term. It would be good to do some research about the target industry and collect as much information as possible. Also, a career plan like working in development and welfare sector or striving for reforms in the financial markets. Normally, you should have a work experience of at least 5 years.
Other than academic or professional interests, you should be passionate about several other activities. These could be sports, arts, music, voluntary work and supporting social causes. You should have spent a couple of years in pursuing these interests to impress admission committees.
Creativity to the Fore:
This is an occasion to display your ability to plan, schedule, communicate and execute a plan. You could bring forth concrete examples of leadership or teamwork from your professional life or extra-curricular activities.
You should be able to display professionalism, maturity, modesty and sensitivity.
Letters of Recommendation:
Get letters of recommendation from your immediate superior in office, who is familiar with your work or someone in a similar position. The letters should bring out your personal and professional qualities.
Take time to draft essays, Research Schools:
The Admission essay is important as admission committees refer to it for getting more information about the applicants during the processing and also at the time of the personal interview. So, spend some 2-3 months to draft the essays.
Which Round to Apply:
Apply in round one in 7-8 schools and leave 3-4 schools for round 2. It is important to do research on the school you intend to apply to by contacting the students, alumni or staff through the official website or LinkedIn profiles to familiarise yourself with the atmosphere and culture and decide for yourself if you fit in there.
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