Apart from performing well in entrance exams, GD/WAT and PI, there is so much more that you can do to ensure a seat at the B-School of your choice.
Entrance exam scores, performance in GD/WAT and PI, academic background and work experience are undoubtedly some of the most important factors that B-Schools consider during admission time. However, these factors alone do not guarantee admission in the top MBA institutes.
It takes a lot more to impress the admissions committee of the popular management colleges of India.
So, how do you ensure a seat at the B-School of your choice?
To start with, read the following pointers and apply them around admission time to boost your chances of admission.
Connect Through Events: You can attend events/seminars organised by B-Schools within their campuses or at different locations on a regular basis. Through these events, you can connect with in-house counsellors, expert faculty and current students. You can also get information from alumni of the B-School at such events.
Early Application: If you apply for admission in a college as soon as the applications are out, it will express your avid interest in the B-School. Doing so will also highlight your strong planning skills and help you tackle problems that may arise during the application process. In addition, applying early will keep you away from the stress that many students face when they are close to missing the deadline.
Fill Your Application Carefully: When you sit down to fill the application, make sure that all the details are correct. The application should look neat and professional. Before sending out the application, double-check the enclosures.
Essays and Interviews: You can highlight your most impressive achievements in essays and interviews. It is also important to clearly state in essays and interviews the reason/s for choosing a particular programme, and how it will fit into your career goals. You may also highlight your participation in extracurricular and community service activities as B-Schools are getting increasingly interested in one’s personal contribution to an individual or society. A candidate with a reasonable academic performance but who accomplished a lot outside of class may be viewed favourably by the B-Schools because it will show his/her multitasking skills, team spirit and leadership skills.
Go Beyond Entrance Exam Scores: Apart from looking at your academic background and entrance exam scores, leading B-Schools will focus on personal and leadership qualities, creative and innovative mindset. The journey to achieve a management degree from a reputed college may begin with your MBA entrance exam scores, but it will not be a deciding factor as far as admissions are concerned.
Use Your Work Experience, if any: Whether it is essay writing, personal interview or follow-up correspondence with the institute, use these opportunities to ensure the admission committee gets to know about how your experience and background will contribute to the classroom. You can also highlight some of your leadership experiences from your internships, volunteering, work done in office or while managing a family enterprise.
Acknowledge Your Weaknesses/Failures: If you’ve had any problems in the academic or professional areas in the past, be open and forthright about them. Business schools appreciate honesty. Explain how you faced the situation, what you learnt from it, and how you will use that experience to improve things in future. The admissions committee does not expect you to be perfect, but will expect you to be sincere and honest.
Use Your Uniqueness to Your Advantage: These days, MBA institutes like to have students with different backgrounds – geographic, ethnic, and cultural – and varied work and life experiences. The reason is that it enriches and boosts the learning experience in the classroom, apart from contributing to the school’s diversity. So, highlight your uniqueness and use it as a tool to stand out among all other MBA aspirants.
First Impression is the Last Impression: Do not miss any opportunity to create a positive impression! During the admission process, you will meet with a wide variety of people from the institute, including the counsellors, admissions staff, students, professors, and alumni. This will be the time to put your best foot forward.
Plan You Finances: While paying the programme fees is just one thing, you must also think about other expenses such as the cost of living, books, laptop, and other regular expenses. Whether you are studying in India or abroad, you may have to arrange for an educational loan offered by banks and private institutions. You may also save some money by working for a couple of years, and then you can plan to invest in an MBA. For scholarships, you may have to send you queries to the college admissions staff directly.
It is clear that B-Schools conduct their respective admission procedures and related activities to know you more intimately. They want to evaluate your clarity of future goals, and how you 'fit' in a B-school. For the admission committee, what you do around the admission season is a window to assess your interpersonal and soft skills. The suggestion here is – not to see admissions as an uphill task. In fact, you should approach it with all your heart. Remember, B-Schools not just see you as a prospective MBA student but also as a future professional; and how well you perform under pressure.