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You may have often asked yourself what you should write in your application form to get into top Business Schools.
MBA applications require you to provide loads of paperwork – more than other academic activities.
But before you apply, you need to find the right school and the school needs to know it has found the right candidate.
When your application has been favourably received, you will need to clear the interview round. So, let’s look at both these activities one at a time.
Finding the Right School
When you are looking to find the right B-school, remember that it’s not all about rankings. It comprises a whole load of other factors such as:
- International reputation: This is a strong criteria. The better the reputation, the higher the pay packet, the list of contacts and so on.
- Scholarships: Receiving a full or even partial scholarship certainly helps you decide and fix on your choice of school.
- Career placement: Helping you look for a job is a key component of any B-school. Many schools have companies coming on campus to interview students. For instance INSEAD and LBS have over 150 companies visiting their campus, many of which are international recruiters.
- Specialization: After looking at the list of rankings zero down on eight schools. Your list should comprise three top schools, four to five mid level schools and the rest should be chosen from slightly further down the list. Now narrow down your selection based on the various strengths of the school. Match this with your own interest so that you get the right fit.
- Rankings: These are important but beyond the Top 20 business schools, you should also look at — a school’s accreditation status; one that equips you with skills and knowledge and one that gives you both depth and width as a person.
- In a nutshell your MBA degree should give you — skills, a good address book and a brand strength in the area you have chosen as your career path.
Check out this post for more information – Finding the right MBA
Facing MBA Interviews
Now that you have zeroed in on the B-school, you need to know the basics of the often dreaded interview round:
- Presenting yourself: Wear a suit. It is always good to look business-like. Do not attend the interview in jeans and a sweater.
- Your body language must be positive: This means that you make eye contact; smile and appear relaxed and confident without appearing aggressive or over self-assured.
- Be sure of your answers: Most interviewees are asked the common question, “Why are you applying here?’’ Don’t give a glib answer. Many MBA courses offer the same things – classes, internships, placements a good `address’ book, consulting projects and so on. So, you will need to be more detailed in your answer.
- In order to do this, take a hard look at your short-term and long-term goals.
- The former could be, wanting to get into marketing, consulting, financial services, become an entrepreneur, etc. The latter will be your mission in life or where you see yourself in 10 years.
- Now look at what skills you need to achieve your short-term goals – technical skills like accounting or analytical skills such as strategic planning or even interpersonal skills. Put these together and hone in on the strength of the B-school/s you are applying to. Do they meet your needs. How?
- When you are answering the question, mention the school’s features, its programmes and answer which one is relevant to you and why this is so.
- In short: Start with your short-term goal, follow up with your long-term aspiration, go on to explain how an MBA is necessary to achieve these goals, and end with the aspects of the school that are relevant to you meeting your goals.
- Prepare well: The golden rule here is to know where you are going and never to arrive late. So allow extra time for traveling.
- Know your CV well and be prepared to explain it in detail if you have to.
- Different styles: Business Schools differ in their interviewing styles. For example Harvard Business School will ask you about your future goals; Stanford on the other hand will focus on your past actions in specific situations; Wharton conducts purely behavioral interviews; Kellogg’s interviews are based on your resume and so on.
- Trawl the Internet to find out more about the interview style at the school you have chosen.
- Last but not least, expect the unexpected. Remember that if you want an entry into a particular B-school, the school will need to establish whether it is the right fit for you as well.
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You may also want to check out our article on Demonstrate Leadership in Your MBA Application
Lastly, you can use Google to type your question and add Admission Table in front of it. You’ll likely find an answer to any study overseas questions that you have.
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