Global Business schools, unlike most of the reputed Indian B-schools, tend to look at multiple factors (of course, in no particular order) for admission in their flagship MBA programs. As an Indian student (or, professional) aspiring for a global MBA from a reputed B-school, you should start focusing on all these 6 success factors in your preparation phase.
2. Academic Records
3. Work Experience
5. Clear career vision
Let’s look at these factors a bit more closely….
While most of the reputed B-schools across the globe don’t specify any minimum cut off score (there have been instances where a candidate with just 620 has got through Harvard), Indians and Chinese students form the most competitive pools in MBA applications and thus as an Indian a 720+ score will definitely be helpful if you are planning for top 25 B-schools. Anything less than 670, you may want to take the test again if you are planning for top 40 B-schools. And if your score is less than 650, top 75 B-schools could be a distant dream for you (unless of course you have a stellar work profile). But all said and done, please note that GMAT is just one step of the application process. It’s a major step, undoubtedly. But there are other steps as well.
As you understand good grades, merit certificates, scholarships and academic awards definitely add to your profile. But this is something you can’t do much about if you are working already. In case you are still in the final year or final semester put that extra effort to ensure your grades go up.
3. Work experience:
Top global Business schools value applicants who have leadership/ managerial experience, preferably in some reputed companies. Sounds biased? May be, but that’s the way it is as of now. So when you are scouting for jobs after your graduation, try for roles that give you the opportunity to hone these managerial skills and try for companies that are recognized. Another important aspect that you should keep in mind if you are planning for a top MBA program – always keep a good rapport with your boss, super-boss and key clients. You will need their recommendations (LOR) during your application.
Business Schools look for well rounded individuals. So focus on a few things outside your study or work. If you have a serious EC (like music, dance etc.) then certifications and accolades are helpful. If you are into sports, then at least representation at inter-college or inter-university level is important. Your involvement in NGO, College Cultural fests and Office CSR activities are also counted provided you have documentary evidence to support your claim. So if you are still at a planning stage utlize the 24 months that you have in hand.
5. A Clear career vision:
Why do you want to do an MBA? What will it get you? Are you planning to switch from an IT to business consulting? Are there skills that you need for a role you see yourself doing in the future?
These are important for you to answer. Business schools are going to roast you on these. The admission officers expertise in doing this and hence can see through a well thought out plan from a ‘story’.Think hard, spoke to seniors in the industry, and research thoroughly to answer these questions.
In your application, you will need to explain to the admission office why you think that particular B school is THE school for you. Research the schools, speak to current students and alumni, check out the professors, the facilities and understand the ethos. Not only will this help you understand the school better but will also help you highlight your interests and traits that fits in. It is not just about the rank of a business school. For example at Kellogg and Duke teamwork is the foundation of the learning process. If you don’t enjoy working in a team, those are not schools you want to apply to.
Note1: While GMAT is the preferred test for MBA admission, some business schools have started accepting GRE scores as well.
Note2: Apart from GMAT, you will also need to crack an English proficiency test (such as IELTS and TOEFL) for an MBA admission abroad.