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How to Shortlist MBA Universities
Researching on business schools and taking time out to find the best possible options for yourself can be very rewarding and lead to making more intelligent choices. But how do you begin and go about the entire process?
. Do you make a list of colleges based on geography, course structure and placements?
. Do you look at things like environment, international student body and social factors?
. Or do you look at placements, ROI and brand?
There's a good chance, you answered yes to all of the above. However, zeroing in on the perfect combo of 5-6 schools may seem like a daunting task. This is especially true if you do not consider the most important parameters relevant to your profile and start looking at colleges solely based on brands, ranking or endorsements from friends and family because it seems like the easy way out. What then is the best way to start looking? Start at the ending. Look closely at where you see yourself and what you envision doing. Then look at the most likely way to reach your destination post MBA. Look at schools which actively place students in the industry and function of your choice.
Should you rely solely on rankings? Rankings by all means can be the beginning of your programme search but you do not want to solely base your decision on these. Most rankings are surveys and data which help students to compare schools on various criteria like reputation, recruiter satisfaction and are not very accurate measures of the educational quality of institutions. And really, course offerings are different from school to school and individual criteria and personal expectations of a student vary so an excellent "fit" school for one might not even be on a list of another. This is why there is no substitute to doing your own detailed research. Randomly applying to schools just based on rankings can lead to disappointment later. I am not discouraging you to not refer to rankings but keep the following parameters in mind while looking at possible business schools:
1. The rankings do not necessarily tell you about the schools in detail with respect to the course details, networking opportunities, support system, extracurricular opportunities, internship and placement opportunities and percentage of industries where students land up. Overall rankings hide the strengths and weaknesses of schools in different areas and there are many outstanding programmes beyond the top twenty - thirty schools.
2. The rankings do not highlight the differences between various schools or compare programmes. For example, there could be a huge difference between two schools in terms of percentage of international students or the kind of employers hiring graduates.
3. Surveys which ultimately decide rankings are very incomplete indicators of the quality of courses. Existing students and alumni participate in surveys and they have their own interests while giving positive reviews.
4. Rankings do not indicate class size. A choice of whether to study at a school with a large class room consisting of 300+ students or thriving in a more personal and close knit community of under a 100 is only a student's and cannot be made through rankings.
5. Rankings also do not give you details and professional background break up of students which might be critical in weighing in choices. Most business schools have set criteria to admit a certain percentage of students from Engineering, Business, Art backgrounds, etc which can help while narrowing choices.
What you should really do: There is nothing compared to conducting a detailed research after narrowing down a couple of schools. Start looking closely at school websites, research on the curriculum and faculty and try making personal connections with these schools either through direct contact ( connecting with the admissions office or visiting the school campus) , through fairs, virtual information sessions or current students and alumni. Pay very close attention to the companies hiring at your target schools. Many offer complete employment reports on their websites but in case they don't, you can always reach out to their career development centres directly. They are always happy to help. Scrutinise the target programme and each of its component. Also look at extracurricular activities on offer and see if these are in sync with your educational needs. Remember, the school should appeal to you on a professional and personal level and you need to be 100 % convinced of your choice. Utilise every opportunity to interact with current students and alumni to get first hand perspectives on the quality of course and its impact on their personal and professional life. An insider's peep will also help you decipher if the school's values are in sync with your own. Lastly, do not miss any opportunity to visit the school campus if possible. You will probably not get any bonus points on account of having made the effort, but the preparedness and thoroughness will definitely reflect in the quality of your application, taking you a bit closer to the ultimate goal.
I completed my Civil engineering in 2011 from NIT Jalandhar and have been working since then and will be completing 4 years full time work ex this year in Adani Group. I am starting preparation for GMAT right now. Please assess the suitability of my profile for MBA in Canada and USA and also suggest counselling and preparation guiders in Gurgaon / New Delhi.
B-school Selection: How to go about it
This is a reprint of a blog post we recently wrote about the various resources you should use for selecting business schools.
If you are just getting started with the MBA application process, this is a question that could be tormenting you like none other. Which 5-7 b-schools should I apply to? If you have trawled any admissions related forums, you would already have picked up buzz words like "fit" when collating your "target b-schools" list.
Essentially this means how well do you fit into these b-schools' environment. Will the teaching method suit your learning needs? Will you thrive in a small class size and a college town environment? Will you perform better if the programs emphasize on hand-on learning as opposed to theoretical learning? Do you have any geographic preferences for the post- MBA job?
These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself.
We always recommend applicants to conduct a primary research by reaching out to the stakeholders- students, business school representatives and alumni. The insights you get from these resources will not only bring clarity about your "fit" with business schools, but also help you write more convincing essays explaining the same.
Here are some ways that you should use to conduct your research:
1. Campus Visit- Every B-school encourages you to visit its campus. There is nothing like sitting through a case study class at Harvard or Darden to understand whether you like the case method and can live with it for two years (500+ case studies). You can attend a class, workshops, open houses to really get a feel for the school, besides getting a tour of the campus.
Some b-schools such as Tuck, Kellogg and UNC Kenan Flagler give you the option clubbing your interview with the on-campus visit.
2. Register for online events - Attending school hosted webinars and chat sessions is among the simplest ways to get to know b-schools. Most have a school briefing followed by a Q&A round, where school representatives will answer your questions. The topic of discussion could be general MBA admissions queries or specific to a department (e.g. marketing) or an industry (e.g. private equity). Chicago Booth for instance regularly hosts regular online chats while Wharton has a long list of archived webinars uploaded on their website. Previous Booth chats are also available for your reading.
To read points 3 through 11, click over here
I completed my engineering in 2011 securing 62.5% from UPTU and MBA from MDU,Rohtak securing 70%. I would be having an experience of 2+ yrs by August 2016. I would be appearing for GMAT on 22nd August 2015 for admission in universities in Canada and US. I have 71% in class 10th and 77% in class 12th.
Please do suggest some good books and good coaching centres for counselling since I am currently working and would be preparing for GMAT at home itself.
Also please do suggest how much is my profile suitable for admission through GMAT.
I came to know that while applying for GMAT exam, one can select five college for free application. This has to be done before taking the exam. Please confirm.
How long does it take for GMAT score to reach the universities ?
I will have 6.5 years of experience by March 2016. Is it worth writing CAT this year or should I focus on GMAT?
Hi, I need your expertise on studying abroad for mba! Following is my profile.
My marks are as follows: Xth - 91.4%, XIIth - 84.4%, BE - Mechanical - 74.7%.
I work at General Motors and have a work ex of 3+ years by 2016 when I am planning on leaving. i am into product development.
For extracurricular activities - I am Taekwondo black belt holder, completed state level rajya sabha in scouts, active participant of an NGO my family is associated with, worked on enhancing UAV Nishant for DRDO, Presented technical papers at state level competition, played soccer at school, college and company teams.
I want to do an mba in strategy and operations
1. Is 3+ years work ex enough to get an admission in US B-schools? I have heard from many of them that I am on the lower side.
2. Will I get a scholarship with 3+ work ex and my profile? It is pretty much impossible for me to go abroad without some scholarship.
3. Can you provide names of some of the top 10 US b schools for strategy and ops?
4. How are the MS degree on strategy and ops? Are the career options lucrative in them?
5. How are colleges in Canada and Singapore for mba in strategy and ops?
I thank you in advance for any sort of help you can provide.
Need help kind consultants! Can someone please guide on a shot at IVY league? Profile as under-
1. Xth- 73% 2 XIIth- 64%
3 Engg(pvt college)- mechanical- 74%- 2004
4. Post grad in banking n finance from NIBM 1 year COURSE (RBI college) through CAT- 7.78 CGPA.
5. 8 years of workex with Bank of Baroda in Project Finance and Investment Banking (led a team of 8 ppl for 2 years)
6 extra curricular includes basic knowledge of French and Spanish languages. I know it's not much to write home about.
Planning to take GMAT in 2015. In case I get above 700, do I stand a chance? the cost part at Stanford, INSEAD (1 year) is prohibitive! How does it work out?
I have once taken the GMAT but the score was'nt good enough, so i am preparing to retake it in couple of months. Although I'm working hard to achieve anything above 700, i would like to have your advise in case i land somewhere between 600 and 650. Which B-schools in India shall i consider applying, and what are my chances? I am considering to completely shift my profile to a more dynamic role. Will a 1 yr MBA be a good choice or a 2 yr MBA. Please enlighten me.
Class X : 71 %
Class XII: 51%
B.tech, WBUT, Kolkata, Electrical Engineering: 76%
Post Grad: National Power Training Institute, New Delhi: 70.6 %
Work Ex: 6 yrs. Working as an operations engineer in a power plant under Qatar Water and Electricity Corporation, in Qatar since 2009.
1) Led a Green Project that resulted in a net annual saving of 90K USD for my company.
2) Awarded best bowler award, in inter company tournament for 3 consecutive years.
3) Awarded HSE award for Safety initiative in 2014.
4) Gold Certificate holder for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. 2015.
5) Wildlife photography, submitted photos displayed on Nat Geo.
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