IMD, Lausanne admit taking questions

*Indian male, mid-600 GMAT score, married, second mba, good previous acads and extra currics: In pursuit of happiness aka an international MBA & success at last with admits from LBS (London Business School) & IMD, Laussane- taking questions! …

Indian male, mid-600 GMAT score, married, second mba, good previous acads and extra currics: In pursuit of happiness aka an international MBA & success at last with admits from LBS (London Business School) & IMD, Laussane- taking questions!
Journey's pretty much chequered with a bout of rejects from US Schools...followed by sudden great news from LBS and ultimate admit to the best - IMDJ
As for my profile - Low GMAT score, strong work experience, added to that am married and taking my wife along with me to school & managed to get through with flying colours with a strong application, confidence in my capabilities and the belief that someone would have a more holistic approach to my application - have faith in my abilities rather than be prejudiced by my average score of 660!
Voila - it worked and hence my re-affirmation in the fact that if you believe in the beauty of your dreams, they do come true.
Getting back to terra firma, further SWOT analysis of my chances showcase the fact that
  1. I played on my strengths and planned out the entire application process over a span of 2-3 years.
  2. Planning included: Career moves, educational pursuits, gaining international experience - in short packaging the candidature began with the onset of me deciding to go to B School 5 years ago.
  3. Savings: to ensure that I had substantial corpus as a base.
  4. Choice of schools: Choice was a mix-match of schools across Europe and the US - catering to my skill sets and background and commiserate with my ultimate short & long term goals.
  5. Applications: Make them crisp, clear in content and let them paint a picture of you as a unique candidate - a candidate who will have much to offer in a class room environment.
  6. Interview: Preparation is a major key - it is worthwhile going through a list of potential questions (including the clichd why MBA, short- and long term goals etc.) and practising impromptu presentations or answering lateral thinking questions.

In short I concur - the AdCom does look at you as a package in totality. Give it a shot if you think you have a go at it.
Will be glad to give my 2 cents worth of adviceJ

Hi Orientalkhichdi,

a truly amazing post. It shows that a planned approach to B school admissions do pay off. congratulations. Which stream do u choose to pursue your second MBA in ?? Planning out your apping process over a period of 2-3 years is truly amazing. I too plan to apply next yr or the yr later. I have taken my gmat and scored a 710. Your post inspires me to undertake a proper approach to this apping process.

Could you suggest me some ways in which i can improve my candidature over a period of 1.5 to 2 yrs ?? e.g: learning a new language or doing some certifications.

Hi Sandy!

Yes I can possibly provide you with some indication about what your course of action should be over the next yr or so - but before doing so, I'd like to get a brief on your profile apart from your score, along with the schools that you have in mind.

Let me know & we'll take it on from there...ciao

Firstly, CONGRATS for the IMD admit
Wow:wow:... That was an amazing post... and an amazing story... I would love to repeat it... with proper planning, just as you did! I would appreciate some help from you about how I go about it... I am very keen on getting an MBA from a top 20 BSchool no matter how many years I have to wait and keep improving my profile. Eventually I want to start my own company
My Profile:
Indian Male IT:(, 2 years experience (more about that below), decent acads but institute not very well known, not very great extracurricular activities or community service....
Corrective measures planned by me:
Giving a best shot at GMAT (aiming around 750), Already started getting involved in community service, planning to do something for extracurricular like learning a guitar, Planning to do some short term courses in management like entrepreneurship development by EDI and some finance related courses just to understand and know my field of interest. (I dont know in which field I would like to do my MBA)
In my engineering days, I used to assemble computers and had set up a small business for the same with help of some friends.:satisfie: I chose to continue with that after my engineering completion and did not look for a job. After eight months I realized that this business is going to do me no good.:( I understood that I need some years of quality work experience pre and post an MBA if I really want to do good business and make it big. I came to know that experience, capital, networking and knowledge are important to succeed in a business which can be acquired by working and pursuing an MBA.

And now
The fastest way to get an experience was to get into software and so I did that. I am working with a top IT firm for the past one and a half year. But recently I feel that this is not really what I wanted to do. I should have given a thought before joining IT. I love to do creative things like designing, writing, acting; I have an interest in advertising. But the crap work I am doing currently is no where related to these things. I am very confused ??:and I see the following options in front of me:
1. Quit job and start an own business OR make a career shift and look for an MBA after 4-5 years (do something in advertising / designing etc). Not practical and wastage of time
2. Do an MBA in India just to make a career shift and perhaps do a second MBA later (international top 20) wastage of 2+ years as a change in my field would mean I will have to start from scratch.
3. Immediately look for an international MBA in top 20-40 category.
4. Stay in this same job for another 2 - 4 years and then look for an international MBA (killing my interests..)
About my extracurricular and social activities:
In college, I did a lot of event organizing and participation in plays, skits, elocution, extempore, sports, writing for college magazines :)etc but all this seems to have dried up since last 2 years
Again in college I was involved in social activities like relief work during earthquake and tsunami etc but no more
Thats all about me Any inputs on how do I plan my career from here, would be highly appreciated.

Dear Orientalkhichdi,
First of all many congrats on your admit at IMD & all the best for LBS. I read your reply to Sourabh. That was really inspiring. Great Skill of articulating your thoughts. Thanks for your reply. That was really relieving.
B.E. Production from Pune University, First class with Distinction, Aug.2005.
I was in First 10 students among 80.
Avg. Extra Circulars Activities at College level.
GMAT: Yet to be given. Preparing for the same. Confident of getting good score because as usual I started preparing well in advance.

I believe that our approach to B-school admission is quite similar = "Remove failure as an option". I am 23, meticulously planning my career & other activities. Planning MBA from Top B-school in next 2-3 years. My Profile is as follows:
Thanks for answering our queries & guidance:
I kindly request to evaluate my profile & help in deciding how can improve the same.
1. Working as a Principal Consultant with Private Consultancy Firm affiliated to H. B. Maynard, Cop, USA. It's a Manufacturing related Consultancy with domain expertise in MOST (Maynard Operation Sequence Tech.) which is a work measurement Tool.

Career Progression: Analyst to Consultant after 18 months. Confident of next promotion in next year.
2. Consulting Assignments Handled in Blue chip companies: Honda, Mahindra & Mahindra, ITC, Gabriel, Kirloskar, Perfect Circle (Dana Cop) etc.
2. Responsible for various Initiatives In Company like: Knowledge Management Awareness & Implementation (ongoing), Starting Knowledge Sharing group, contributed to Local Lateral thinking club, etc., Responsible for initiating Quarterly News Letter/ Magazine of the Company.
4. Community Services: Affiliated with Vipasyana Meditation Centers, Counseling to poor children in schooling at hometown. Taught Pranayama to children in my Building & many others. I have been involved in serving people at Vipassayana centers on weekends.
5. Extra Curricular Activities : Conducted Yoga, Meditation & Pranayama Training Programs for company consultants, Authored articles on websites on subjects like Lateral Thinking, Philosophy, Manufacturing related. Planning to write a small book about my personal exp/ Learning in life till now in next couple of years.
6. Professional Achievements:
1. Awarded with "Outstanding Employee of the Year" in 2006-07 (first year of Professional exp.)
2. In each of projects (mentioned above) the concerned client has increased productivity by at least 15 -20 % by either increasing production or decreasing manpower (which is lifetime saving).
3. Certified BASIC MOST Applicator by H. B. Maynard Co., USA.
4. Certified MINI MOST Applicator by H. B. Maynard Co, USA.
Personal Achievement: Overcame disability of stammering in last 3-4 years. I have done this with constant practice, Auto-suggestions, Meditations tech, using tech.of Sub-conscious mind development.
1. What kind of First impression the above profile creates? Secondly Do I even qualify for Top-15 US B-schools?
2. Considering that I am 23 and will apply in next couple of years how can use this time available to me?
3. Should I mention the above mentioned personal achievement in essays or this will against me as lack of communication skills?
4. I was advised that "I don't have that "Wow" factor in my profile, so I should focus on Accomplishments for the same. Would you like to add something on this front?
5. As a consultant how can I differentiate my profile from rest, I mean if I am standing on the edge (when compared with other consultants) what can differentiate me?
6. In general what are the loopholes you can find in my profile? I mean what the things you are not finding in my profile as compared to students who get admitted? Say for e.g.; Lack of International work exp or something like that which will weaken my application?
How can fix the same (if Possible)?
I think your post surely did make me nostalgic - took me back memory lane to my graduation days in Pune.. I too at that time during the 98/99 dot com wave had started my own portal 😃 but soon realised that reality is not about only putting a good product on the block - its also about selling it correctly, about always having capital to invest in the same and the business acumen to mange your resources (people & capital correctly) @ age - 20 yrs I don't think I had those..but it was an invigorating experience.. really got me interested in doing my own business some day...:-)
Yes I too used to be part of the College Cultural society and be very interested in acting / directing plays and used to be involved in a lot of social initiatives.. Its with great pride I state - One Children's home we started years ago is still alive at Ahmednagar and houses more than 25 kids now :-)
My reasons to pursue my first MBA in India from IMT, Ghaziabad were probably the same - post my under grads - I was only getting a job as an Article Clerk (to a CA), Call Centre Associate or join Career Forum and teach people LR / AR / DI.. The last option was something that I wanted to exercise but didn't..I choose to go to school - reasons then were my WL's from XL & SP which were not getting converted and I wanted to an MBA fast to reach my dream sooner.. so I enrolled at IMT.. and I think that was my best decision till date... 😃 really enjoyed each day there and learnt tons of stuff from my classmates and profs.. Luckily I also managed a great job at the end of the day.
Like you I too was very interested in Advertising back at IMT - I used to be fairly creative I think and my classmates used to definitely believe I will be a great Ad guy.. Luck of the draw - Lintas came on Day 1 and I got placed Day 0. The year was 2002 (the worst MBA placement year) - you had to take your first job ..I could not even apply :-(
Rest of the story has been written earlier...But yes I was always very clear that an International MBA is what I intend doing at some point of time. So last year when I felt ready to apply - Apply I did to schools which have a strong entrepreneurial focus - H/S did not happen 😃 but the next best IMD / LBS happened..Today IMD is the only school that boasts of an entrepreneurship course integrated into the MBA curriculum (its not an elective) its the genesis of the prog and the Dean Benoit Leleux is among the foremost Entrepreneurship Mgmt profs and is himself an Angel Investor. LBS also today has the Entrepreneurial summer school included in the course and has some great profs.. So its been nice enuff for both these schools to think I am good enough:-) That's a lot about me..:-)
Now coming to answering your questions -
  1. Present status - My advice start looking around for a job in the fields you are interested in. Don't quit your present job, but keep looking for opportunities in the domains you enjoy working. In the last few years I have only learnt one lesson - Do what you enjoy, Its easy to say this but I think its also easy to practice it :-), if you have a family which is supportive. Please apply to some Ad agencies - Advertising is great - does not pay very well initially, that's why if you stay with your parents - I guess you will manage fine. Ogilvy's epitaph reads - Take men with character you can always teach them Advertising, this holds good in any industry or job. If you think you are good and will it your best be rest assured you will do well and make the moolah :-). So my advice don't quit your job without a job in hand...
    1. If you were not getting a job in your chosen field in the next 2 months, than you can think of the options you have mentioned i.e. do an MBA in India or do an MBA in the Mid ranked schools.

  2. GMAT - 750+ would be just perfect, please manage the Sentence Correction piece very well. I didn't manage that well. There are some great resources on PG so please go through them. My advice please get above 700 - for an Indian today that is the lowest benchmark - the competition is only getting tougher
  3. Short Term Courses - I like the idea of doing them, but focus on one priority at a time. First look for a job in your fields of interest, than move to start preparing for the GMAT. Post you managing these two goals you might like to think of doing some short term courses. Keep them on the back burner for the time being
  4. Community Work - A lot of people harp on this aspect and make a very big deal of it. Its important no doubt but its not the decider according to me. Please focus on your priorities - job & score, if you get time please get involved in this else just contribute money to some agency. You can always write in your essays I contributed money which is also a good deed. Yes if your organization is involved in some community work you can always do that since the Community Days are organized and stuff. So you will also get office time to work on this aspect.
  5. Extra Currics - You seem to have done a fair bit in college so don't worry, you don't need much more. If you do want to do something else please do it.
I will end with the same thing I have said above - study hard for your GMAT and get a fab score, I never had the liberty of a fab score so I needed to put extra effort in everything else from my essays, job profile and the interview / assessment centre. If you have a great score you will have a little leeway.
Look for a job you like doing.. because if you get that you will automatically start giving more to yourself & society (its something that I have observed) when stuck in the wrong job we only complain and don't move our butts.. So I sincerely hope you do..
All the luck & wishes.. Bon voyage - its the best journey you are undertaking - The journey to an International MBA its like the Arbian Nights lots of challenges and waits continuous pressing of the F5 key, hoping for the call - but its all great.. makes you stronger.. I am sure you will get there..:-)

Hi orientalkhichdi (would be great if i could know your name),

That post of yours was very inspiring man... I have already started looking at the various optons available in advertising... I just came to know that MICA offers a 15 month course on communications management and entrepreneurship... I am not sure how useful it would be but i am planning to apply... Though the dates are over, i called up the admissions office and they say they may accept... Do let me know your views about this one...

I am looking at a course because going for a career shift without any base/prior experience would be difficult and less rewarding... Correct me if i am wrong... Further if i look at CAT or GMAT, i will be wasting yet another year in IT... but i can get started with this course which starts on 16th august this year... (provided i clear the MICAT and interview...)

Your inputs are awaited!!

Dear Sanket,

I think you have the WOW factor.. genuinely I don't know of many people who are 23 and have done so much.

If any consultant told you you don't have it.. I am sure over the next few years you can prove him wrong :-)

Can you also share with me your academic profile - Post which I will reply in detail all your queries.

The dot com I had started was an educational portal ( does not exist any more:-( so a lot of you guys can even ask me questions about other Global schools and schools in India.

Dear Sourabh,

We are a husband & wife team writing these posts - My name is Sonal Matai & my wife's name is Shweta (orientalkhichdi is her handle).

Yes MICA was a school where I had an admit in 2000.. I know about this course.. I think its quite nice.

My advice -

- Start applying for Advertising jobs in Chennai - The market there is very don't worry even without being from the same industry you might be able to squeeze in a job, if you are sure of your capabilites and can convince the interviewer once invited for the interview..
- Als apply for the MICA course and clear the exam :-)
- If by Aug 16 you have a good job in an Ad agency in Chennai & have secured an admission at MICA - we can take the decision then on whether to join MICA or not :-)

You only loose Rs 1500 app fees.. hope u game for that..

rest keep the faith

I have edited my profile which now includes the Acdemics as well as career progression.
Thanks in adveance for evaluation & gidence.

Woha ! Congrats dude. You deserve it and my best wishes to you for the year ahead.


Firstl COnratulations on IMD! :)

And thanks for such a wonderful initiative..

I too would love to do an international MBA.. These are the roadblocks I am facing..

Since I am a Computer Engineer by Graduation.. and working as a S/W engineer.. I beleive I come into that same cast of a typical Indian IT Engineer..

I just have a year's experience at present..

Is it absolutely imperative that I change my sector ?...

If no, then what are the other things I could do to 'Differentiate' my profile.. or convince them that I am separate from the herd!

I have been a good student managing to get a 90+ PLUS in both 10th and 12th Standard and a 75%+ in my Graduation..

As far as Extra-currics go
I want to prepare my profile meticulously.. which is why I want to know if I MUST change my SOftware job to set myself apart.. or are there things I can do to get myself an International MBA Admit by doing certain things to spice up my profile by remaining in the mould of an Indian IT Engineer..

The fact that I am not particularly fond of my job must be mentioned here... but thats another story..

Looking forward to hearing from u on the same..

Thanks in advance!

Thanks for your wishes inblue - now to get ready for next year's grind:-)

Hey Amit!

Just a couple of pointers - hope this helps...feel free to shoot further!
All the best with your planning....

Since I am a Computer Engineer by Graduation.. and working as a S/W engineer.. I beleive I come into that same cast of a typical Indian IT Engineer..

Not necessarily - in the broader sense I guess being an Indian & a SW Engineer added to that definitely places you in the majority of the applicant pool - but then it also depends on how you package your candidature, inspite of probably fitting into the clichd mould

I just have a year's experience at present..

Experience is one of the factors that would speak volumes in your application - not in terms of a specific time frame, but also in terms of quality of work done.
Important highlights in your application include:
  1. Team management & leadership skills
  2. International experience
  3. The kind of work and projects that you have been involved with - the scope of the project and your contribution. This is something you might probably want to keep in mind - a conscious effort to be involved in projects you think you would gainfully benefit from and at the same time build on a strong base
  4. Recommendations

Is it absolutely imperative that I change my sector ?...

You 'll have to seriously think about this.
Do you want a career switch - if yes - then where do your interests lie? Do you have any options? We can take it this discussion and how it fits into your plans from thereon
Also, you will have to think about why you want to do an international MBAdo you want a career switch, or are you looking at lateral placements within the field you work etc etc.

I have been a good student managing to get a 90+ PLUS in both 10th and 12th Standard and a 75%+ in my Graduation..

Your academic profile is great - you must try and do extremely well at the GMAT - aim at a base of 700+ as a score. The Indian applicant pool is a highly competitive one - coupled with fantastic GMAT scores, if you are to compete, that becomes a necessary pre-requisite.

As far as Extra-currics go

Cool - all of the above can be highlighted in your essaysJ

I want to prepare my profile meticulously.. which is why I want to know if I MUST change my SOftware job to set myself apart.. or are there things I can do to get myself an International MBA Admit by doing certain things to spice up my profile by remaining in the mould of an Indian IT Engineer..

The fact that I am not particularly fond of my job must be mentioned here... but thats another story..

Give me your perspective on your line of thought - how do you intend going about the entire application process.what are your ideas regarding sprucing up your profile - let me know and I'll be glad to share my views on the sameJ
Hi Sanket,
Like I said earlier of course you have the WOW factor in your profileJ
Then again your profile can also be as WOW as you package it but given the fact that you have achieved so much in so little time definitely adds volume to your application. You just need to get it fabulously right in your essays.
Also, the average age of admittance into US schools is lower than that in Europe added to which you wil be applying in a few years time that gives you the added advantage of investing in worthwhile experience and time to plan out the entire app. Process great going!

As far as additional highlights in an application to count a few, these are:
  1. Team management & leadership skills
  2. International experience
  3. The kind of work and projects that you have been involved with the scope of the project and your contribution. This is something you might probably want to keep in mind a conscious effort to be involved in projects you think you would gainfully benefit from and at the same time build on a strong base
  4. Recommendations
Career-wise youve progressed well, acads & extra-cirrics are strong now go get that 700+ score and decide on your choice of schools based on your goals and intent then get cracking on the essays & recos get the last 2 pieces right & you have a strong chance at being thereJ

Thanks a ton for your reply! :)..

I will put things in order and get back on this thread. Am also sending you a message which briefly state my profile..

Thanks again for all the inputs... It's helping me channelize my own thinking as well..!


I am a candidate who is interested in apping to IMD, but I not very sure if I will have a fighting chance or not.

Can u please evaluate my profile(I know there goes a lotta stuff into essays and recos),but atleast I will have an'on paper' feedback from somebody who has done it.

Age: 26.
Qual: B.Tech from N.I.T(R.E.C),Bhopal in '03.
Career: 3.8 yrs. 4 .2 at the time of joining(if at all)
1) Software engg in HCL Tech for 2 yrs.
2) Tech Consultant at AT&T; for the next 1 yr.
3)Business Analyst at RAZORSIGHT Soft for the last 8 months.

GMAT : 720.
Extar currilcular:
Lots in college......
Tachnical societies.(DRISHTANT and ISTE)0
Tech event Organiser: Technosearch ( for all yrs)
College Badminton and Lawn tennis teams.
Tech presentatins and 1st prize once.

Social service: I have been associated with a social org for the past 7 yrs working and helping ppl in education.

Recos: I will have them from my Director, Prod engg and Product Manager.

Do u think that I can have a fighting chance this year. or should i wait for another yr. I personally think that I am rady but then I want to be realistic as well.

Can u please suggest me a few gud colls which i shud app for: Europe and Us r the only places that i am luking for. I do not want to compromise(Asia/Aus)....Thannx in advance:)

Hi Abhi,

Sorry about the delay in replying - was out of station trying to recoup from delhi heat:-)

As for your profile & IMD - yup you definitely have a chance - but maybe it's a good idea for about 2-3 years before applying. You'll enjoy and gain from the experience in a far more enriching manner than now.

My advice is that you should concentrate on solid work right now & wait for about 3 years prior to applying to any school & specifically IMD.

If you want to apply early, then apply to the schools in US - they are more open to younger candidates - but the choice of schools will be entirely dependant on what your long-term objectives are.
Let me know what these are & maybe I can suggest a few schools which fit your profile.


Hi All,
I am only half way through my preparation for GMAT..
Please tell me what time the admissions open for most of the B-Schools..By how much can I delay taking the test so that I have sufficient time for applying to the B-Schools?
I am planning to apply for S.P. Jain, NUS, Nanyang Business School, Great Lakes and Asian Institute of Mgmt..