A series of articles regarding MBA programs and US B-Schools will be put up on a weekly basis. These are mostly a student’s perception of the entire application process and in no way unquestionable. This is not the one-stop for all the information you ever wanted about acquiring an MBA abroad. But for starters, it is a feeble attempt from the author’s side to encourage prospective MBA students to look at various opportunities outside India. The sole purpose, here, is to create some kind of awareness by clearly demarcating the black/white from the grey areas. Just a plain honest attempt to make a few things less hazier than they actually are!
Global MBA… Why not!
At the end of the day, it is all in the mind. See, an MBA anywhere will obviously give you some requisite skills to sustain in some kind of industry or business. So, when you are in the peak of your career and look back, it doesn’t matter whether you graduated from X, Y or Z Business School in India or abroad… It might not matter to you but for people around you, it always will. There are some amazing schools in India and after graduating from the IIMs, ISB, XLRIs etc, you will surely be among the coveted few. But that is not the point we are discussing here.
All I am saying is, why don’t you spare a moment and think about some really amazing B-Schools abroad? For anybody who has been working for about 4 years plus, it is definitely worthwhile to investigate the opportunities available outside India. Now, others who have done something substantial and have lesser work experience can also give it a shot. There are no definite profiles of people who make it to the Harvard, the Stanford and the likes; you could be a painter or an orthopaedist but the more passion you exude in your essays and your application, the better your chances of being accepted. One point to be noted here is, it is extremely challenging, if not impossible, to make it into a TOP MBA School abroad. You don’t have to necessarily be the next Nobel Prize winner but an attitude such as that will take you a long way.
These weekly articles will slowly take you through the process of selecting schools, taking the requisite exams, applying and of course funding. I have said earlier that guys with 4 year plus work experience in their pockets have some advantage because they are already touching that average age of 26-27 that these schools prefer. Schools abroad look for some specifics because they want to ensure that a student has enough smartness to gauge where he is going after some exposure in an industry. Sure, there are 22 year olds who already know where they want to end up exactly 5 years from now. But they are exceptions. For mere mortals like you and me, some kind of experience in different roles and different industries will be more valuable. Firstly, the finite number of years gives you inkling about your interests and strengths and hence enables you to portray realistic future goals. Secondly, the essays you need to pen are real long and arduous, so, the more examples you can quote from experience the more you can pass off as an intelligent adult. Thirdly, the school will at least be sure that you might end up in a decent firm with reasonable responsibilities and that they do not have to spend endless nights worrying about your post-MBA scenario, and hence their recruitment statistics. Think in this direction and you will encounter more reasons to apply with adequate work experience.
Before you get totally excited and start jumping about ‘Apping’ let me warn you that applying to a Business School is a ‘big’ ride with innumerable hurdles and kinks of traumas and heartaches but along with it, comes immense satisfaction of reaching that ‘ideal-dream’ school. But the most important thing, either you get accepted or not, is that feeling of understanding self. Also, there are expenses involved, for the GMAT, then the application, later on the confirmation deposits once you get admitted and of course the actual living and tuition fees. Do not get into the game of applying and then worrying yourself to death about the costs incurred. See, nobody can tell you whether you will get that ‘right’ job or whether you will network with the ‘right’ people but start seeing the MBA from a TOP School as an investment in yourself, a life-long investment that will bear good returns sooner or later. Attending Business School can be a life-changing experience for some. For others, it might just be a wonderful phase, may be the best but for all it will be a challenging time – balancing studies, parties, friends, communities, alums and much more. So, week after week, stay with me and we shall together unravel the mysteries of the Application Game. ?
The authoress, Sowmya aka Simba is one of the moderators of PaGaLGuY forum. She is currently working with a leading telecom provider in Mumbai, India and apart from being a regular volunteer of MLCS group; she has diverse interests in various activities that are beyond the scope of this small introduction. Having seen the admission process with interviews et al for 2 continuous years and being successful in getting admitted into 5 and a ½ schools out of 7 schools, she definitely has some useful things to share, though no one knows for sure where she is heading for her MBA. Now, she is enthused to help others go through the maze of applying and getting accepted by schools abroad.
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