“Top US B-schools want more female applicants,” says Kagzi, CEO, ReachIvy Education

Will a Trump presidency in the US be favourable to Indian students, or should you travel to Taiwan instead? Recently, PaGaLGuY met up with Vibha Kagzi, CEO of ReachIvy (an international education coaching and consulting organisation), to explore answers to some pressing queries by the study abroad community on the internet. 

In your opinion, what could be the prospects of a US MBA/MS after Trump’s election win?

In our perspective, the prospects of students going to the US from an MBA/MS remain unchanged. 5 billion dollars are spent by Indian students every year to study in the United States. Trump being the financial wizard that he is, he’s not going to let the economy suffer. We don’t presume any changes in the study in US trend due to this reason, and students shouldn’t panic either. 

What do you think are the chances of a reduction in H1B pool in the US, and its probable effect on admission applications from Indian students?

In order to get into an H1B pool, Indian students in the US need to be categorised as highly-skilled or highly-specialised workforce like in the fields of computer science or aeronautical engineering. These rules have been in place for the last 20 years. The US is not producing that much specialised workforce in these fields internally to take away such jobs from a talented immigrant and give it to the blue-collared Americans. In order for the job transfer to occur from immigrants to locals, the US government will first have launch schemes to educate more number of Americans in such fields. It will take at least 5-7 years for this swap to happen. So from the job perspective, we do not see any change in the H1B pool, because it is targeted to the top calibre people only.  

What about people in industries like civil and aerospace engineering, where most jobs are into the US government funded projects?

In specific government-funded projects, there is a possibility for Trump to introduce policy changes and favour Americans over Indians in the recruitment process. But as of now, he hasn’t made any such proposal in his election rallies that we have seen. 

In terms of exploring new study abroad destinations, which would be your top or your country of choice?

There is an emerging interest in China and Taiwan, countries which have started positioning themselves to Indian immigrants as being geographically close to India and the learning atmosphere relative to US. There are also some very good state-funded universities in China and Taiwan, with classes taught in both English and Mandarin, to help easy student transition. Moreover, both countries have good growth potential for immigrants. 

What is the viability of ‘Study Abroad’ after an Indian MBA to obtain citizenship or residency? What are the options available?

On the west coast, Canada is considered as an immigrant friendly country. In Asia, the Singapore government has also introduced some immigrant-friendly policies. If you already have an MBA, a great option is to pursue a second MBA in these countries, which is also very popular amongst Indians these days. Then one can go through the regular institute placement process and take a job in the country to settle there. However, if there is no inclination towards a second MBA, then an executive education is the next best option. One can take up a vocational course in one of these countries, although, such courses don’t have the same systematic campus recruitment process that a B-school would have. Hence, students may need to work harder towards finding a job after an executive degree. 

You had mentioned in one of your articles that you think business schools in the US want more female applicants. Why is that so?

There are two primary reason. One is diversity, which is usually favoured by top B-schools in the US because, if there is a majority American or male population, there are chances of classroom discussion being skewed heavily towards country or gender biases. Second, we are seeing an increasing push by companies to have more women board members. Companies have been signalling the problem of a shortage of women board members for decades. If there are few female students graduating from business schools, then there are few women entering companies at the managerial level and fewer women getting elected to the boards. So the idea is to tackle the problem at the grassroots level. Since there is a demand from industries to have more women managers, business schools have also started reacting to the demand by inviting more female applicants. Besides, when female alumni from business schools get elected to the boards of top companies, it brings glory to the B-school as well. 

For more queries, ReachIvy will be conducting a QnA session on Twitter on November 28. Students can ask numerous questions about their study abroad doubts and ReachIvy will provide a reply immediately.