Frequently Asked Questions about the One Year MBA @ Great Lakes

We address some of the key queries of applicants for the 1 year PGPM program at Great Lakes Institute of Management. For more detailed information, please refer

1. Who should pursue the 1-year PGPM? 

The 1 year PGPM is designed for professionals with a minimum of 2 years full time experience and looking to gain general management competencies for accelerating their career growth. It leverages the fact that the candidates already have certain expertise, maturity level and exposure to professional work environments. It is quite attractive for professionals who do not want to take a 2-year break from work for various personal and professional reasons.

2. How does the 1 year PGPM’s ROI compare with a 2-year program?

1-year program is more suited for aspirants with significant work experience. A 1 year program lets you get back to work within a year and in the second year you work, earn and gain valuable post-MBA experience. As a very simplistic example, we can consider the case of a candidate with expected post-MBA salary of INR 12 lakhs and fees of INR 16 lakhs. The total adjusted outgo of the 1 year MBA candidate (at the end of the second year) is 16-12= 4 lakhs while that of the 2 year candidate (again at the end of the second year) is 16 lakhs (Ignoring smaller variables like summer internship stipend, increment at the end of the second year for the 1 year candidate, taxes, etc.). So when the end result is similar, a one year program typically has significantly higher ROI due to the lower total opportunity cost.

2-year program is more suited for freshers and people with relatively less work experience where more time needs to be spent on management basics and some exposure to work life is required in form of summer internship.

3. How challenging is the one year MBA program at Great Lakes? I have been away from academics for a few years and would I able to cope up?

Given that the duration of the program is compressed in one year, the PGPM is demanding and intense with limited off days and no significant breaks through the year. Having said this, the program is specifically designed for professionals leveraging their experience and one can cope up with the rigor of PGPM with some discipline and hard work. In fact, many Alumni have stated that the need to manage classes, projects, assignments, work-outs, sports and other personal recreation activities have helped them master the skill of time management and prioritization.

4. What are the key selection criteria for Great Lakes’ PGPM?

The PGPM caters to professionals with professional experience (min. 24 months) and we try to evaluate candidates in a holistic manner and not just rely on aptitude test or academic scores that many schools emphasize on especially for fresh graduates. The aptitude test scores are important at the interview shortlisting stage but have limited weightage as far as the final selection is concerned. We seek to evaluate the quality of work experience, professional and personal achievements, demonstrated leadership and team skills, aptitude and attitude. We also seek candidates who can add value to the class in terms of peer learning and diversity. 

In terms of the process, this year we have eliminated the Group Discussion component since we felt that it was adding incrementally limited value to the whole selection process. Instead our panelists can devote the extra time for a deeper assessment during the personal interview. As part of the Interview process, we also have the analytical writing test which does help in evaluating both the written communication skills and the thought process of the candidates.   

5. What scores does Great Lakes accept? Are there any cutoffs? How important is a good score and what are my chances with a lower score?

Great Lakes accepts GMAT, CAT, XAT and CMAT score of the last two years (For exact details refer the website). While we do not have formal cutoffs, we do set a minimum benchmark to shortlist candidates from the applicant pool. To give you an idea the current class of 2016 has students with GMAT scores in the range of 600 to 760. This is however an indicative range and if we find an exceptional candidate with a relatively lower score, we may still consider the application.  On the other hand we may reject a candidate with a high aptitude test score but with a poor track record in other areas. So while the test scores are important, we emphasize more on selecting well-rounded candidates with a strong overall track record.

6. Which cycle should I apply in? Is there any difference in applying in Cycle 1 or Cycle 2?

Great Lakes PGPM application is a two-step process consisting of Registration and Submission. While you can start your application anytime you need to submit it before the applicable deadline (30th Nov. 2015 for Cycle 1 and 31st Jan. 2016 for Cycle 2) to be considered in the specific cycle.

Cycles are distinguished based on the scores with which one is applying. One needs to submit the application in Cycle 1 if s/he has last year’s scores i.e. CAT 2014, XAT 2015, CMAT 2015 and GMAT taken after 1 Jan. 2013. Applicants who have CAT 2015, XAT 2016 and GMAT (taken after 1 Dec. 2015) scores need to submit the application in Cycle 2.

In terms of the selection process there is no preference given to applicants in any cycle and there is similar probability of getting selected. However, applicants submitting in Cycle 1 get some extra time to manage their exit from companies better as they get an admit offer by end of December and program starts in April.