My answer to “How can I get into a good MBA College Abroad?”

I often feel a shiver the moment I come across emails from complete strangers asking questions like “How can I get into a good B-School Abroad?” or “I want to do a Global MBA from Abroad. Do I have a chance?”

I mean, come on, how do I know? I don’t know anything about YOU. Your mail doesn’t contain anything apart from your name, the question and some useless jargons describing your good-self. So how is it possible for me to tell how you can get into a good B-School Abroad? Give me a break!

So generally when I get these emails I take a deep breath and write a polite reply asking them to speak to me over phone or Skype for a detailed discussion.

But last evening when I received another such email from a guy called Sauvik Sinha (whom I don’t know at all as usual), may be out of frustration, I decided to write a long email to him.

And I thought of sharing this reply here on the blog so that next time I get a similar email without feeling the shiver I can comfortably share this link in response. Here goes my email response to Sauvik.

——————————–

Re: How can I get into a good MBA College abroad easily?

Hi Sauvik,

Thanks for your mail. It’s indeed interesting to know that you are considering a global MBA abroad. And as a part of Team DIKSHA I would be happy to help you on this. But unfortunately it’s a bit difficult for me to answer the question easily. If you have some time you can go through this long email that may give you some idea about Abroad MBA. But whether that’s helpful for you or not, I am not too sure.

Please note that without your detailed profile (education, work experience, scores) and your requirements (country, budget, career interests) it’s very difficult to say that how can you get into a good B-School abroad.

And moreover, you will also need to define the term “Good”. For some people INSEAD is a good B-School, for someone else SDA Bocconi might be a good MBA College and still for others it has to be a Harvard or an LBS. So what’s good for you?

Finally, let me also tell you that “good” things generally don’t come “easily”.

Without the background information, my response is not specific but rather it’s going to be generic – what the management gurus would term as the “rainfall approach”.

Assumptions:

  1. You are thoroughly convinced that you actually need an MBA from Abroad and you do have sufficient reasons for that
  2. You are sure that you will be able to afford that either through your own sources or through Education loan
  3. You do have some decent work experience (at least 2 years)

Note: In case your thoughts on the above points are “Not true” or “Not sure”, then STOP here and try to sort these out.

 

Definition of Good B-Schools in context of this response: Top 125 Global B-Schools in USA, Europe, Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore, China/ Hong Kong etc.

The Steps for getting into “Good” B-Schools Abroad:

  • Prepare for GMAT
  • Prepare for IELTS/ TOEFL
  • Take GMAT and IELTS/ TOEFL exams
  • Get good scores in these exams
  • Shortlist the “Good” B-Schools where you should apply
  • Get your documents in place
  • Research and Write MBA Essays for the shortlisted B-Schools
  • Complete your B-School application
  • Get Interview Calls from some of them
  • Prepare for your MBA Interview
  • Crack the Interview
  • Get admission offer from some of them
  • Select the best one
  • Pay & complete the Visa process
  • Prepare for Visa documentation & Visa Interview
  • Get your Visa
  • Complete your pre-flying chores
  • Fly to your MBA destination

While the steps listed above may look rudimentary, but actually you have to physically go through all these steps. And it takes time, patience, resource, guidance and motivation.

In general the entire process will take about 15 to 20 months time. So it’s better to be mentally prepared for this eventful, exciting & stressful journey right at the start.

And if you decide to go for it then to make this journey somewhat smoother, here are 5 specific guidelines on the first part of the journey.

  1. Decided your MBA Session: which session you would like to start your MBA. This is May 2016. So Fall 2016 (starting August this year) is out of question. Depending on your own planning the earliest could be Fall 2017
  2. GMAT Timeline: Start preparing for your GMAT now. Based on your Quantitative & Verbal skills it may take somewhere between 3 to 6 months for the preparation for most of the students (of course I am referring to the average students and NOT the genius or the dumbos). In your case, if you are applying for Fall 2017 then ideally you should be done with your GMAT by end of October 2017
  3. Your GMAT Preparation: As you must be knowing GMAT is Computer Adaptive Test for assessing the Academic Aptitude for potential MBA students. It consists of three parts: the first part consists of 2 sections (Argument Essay of 30 minutes and Integrated Reasoning of 30 minutes); next is Quantitative Aptitude (37 questions in 75 minutes) and finally it’s the Verbal Aptitude (41 questions in 75 minutes). It’s very difficult to write about how you should prepare for GMAT in a single write up, but in short let me tell you it’s a rigorous and disciplined approach (and may be some able guidance) that will be required for a good score in GMAT. Your mathematical concepts should be absolutely clear. You should be accurate with all the standard written English grammar rules. You should be an amazing “READER” (expert in reading and getting a “fairly good idea” about long, high-quality, complicated and boring passages in a short time). Generally I suggest my students to adhere to the rigorous study schedule as designed for you by the Diksha GMAT Transcend. Leave no stones unturned in your practice – memorizing rules, doing the assignments, studying the explanations of practice questions you answered (correctly or incorrectly), taking mock tests strictly under timed conditions and maintaining a good health throughout your preparation schedule etc. In short, be stubborn about improving your GMAT score on every single day leading up to the test.
  4. Ideal GMAT Score: The total GMAT score is 800 (except the first part, consisting of Argument Essay and IR, that is scored on a Scale of 6 separately). Now it’s very difficult to say what score would be ideal for you. Of course, higher the better! If you score a 740 plus – you’re OUTSTANDING. If you score 700 plus – you’re EXCELLENT. But please note that despite being outstanding you can be denied admission in a particular B-School. In general, if you are eyeing an admission in Top 25 B-Schools I would say aim for 720 plus. If you are targeting Top 100, then 700 plus is good. And if you can go one level below (i.e. Top 125) then 670 plus will be really fine.
  5. TOELF or IELTS: These are International English Proficiency Tests designed by ETS (USA) and Cambridge University (UK) respectively. Both measures the English Communication skill of a candidate in four Sections comprising Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. It is required by all candidates planning to study abroad (even those who are planning immigration) to take either of these tests and score more than a certain cut-off marks. Now a days, almost 75% of the Universities or Countries are quite flexible with either of the exams (that is, you can submit your IELTS score in USA and your TOEFL Score in Spain). If you are planning for Fall 2017 admission then ideally you should be through with your IELTS/ TOEFL exam by end of October. But since I have already suggested end of October as you GMAT exam date, hence you can take IELTS/ TOEFL either 45 days before that. Depending on your grasp on English communication (again considering you are not in the extremities), the preparation should take somewhere between 1.5 to 3 months. Please ensure that you work on your pronunciation, essay writing skills, extempore etc. Besides do watch USA/ UK English News Channels and English Movies (without sub titles). IELTS is a pen ’n paper exam where each of the Sections carry a maximum band score of 9. The Overall IELTS Score is also out of 9. TOEFL is a Computer/ Internet Based Tests (it’s called the TOEFL iBT) where each section is scored on 30 and the Overall TOEFL Score is out of 120. Generally the Universities or the Countries specify a requirement Cut-Off marks in IELTS or TOEFL. To be on a safer side you can take the higher limit of the cut-off as
    • IELTS: Overall 7 and not less than 6.5 in any of the sections
    • TOEFL: Overall 98 and not less than 22 in any of the sections

For any specific questions please feel free to revert. You can mail me to dikshalearningservices@gmail.com or call me at +91 9674484100.

Best wishes.

Debasish Basu

Chief Advisor

GMAT & MBA Admission

DIKSHA LEARNING SERVICES P LTD.

 

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