How different are B-School applicants? What can they do to project a strong candidature?

first_imgThousands of applicants apply to Global B-Schools without really how to introspect and assess their own strengths and weaknesses. Without a strong clarity of theory own stories, the applicants try to gamble their way up and a lot of times the odds are not in their favour.I wanted to elaborate on this problem and help applicants understand how to assess their own candidature, and what steps to take in order to make up for the shortfall in the candidature.Let us start by giving you an understanding of how do schools see you and looking a the factors these schools consider while categorizing your candidature as HOT or Dead.If you are looking at the Ivy League MBA programs, you will be hot for these programs if your GMAT Score if 750+, your past experience is with one of the target group of companies that recruit from your prospective schools (Top tier consulting firms, Bulge bracket investment banks, top Private equity firms, or companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft) for 4 to 5 years, and you have an undergrad from a top 3 to 4 college of your country (IIT’s/St. Stephens) with a GPA north of 3.6.You have been regular at a team based sports activity such as Football, Cricket, Basketball etc. and have represented your college/City etc. Moreover, You are very active in the alumni association of your college and have done decent charity work.If you do not make it to any school in this list, you are going terribly wrong in your story- either you do not know why you want to do an MBA in the short term, and your long term goals are not convincing enough, or you have average recommendations.advertisementLook at the second half of this article to assess where you could have gone wrong.In the second category, you have everything from the list above, but you did not go to IIT’s or the top tier colleges of the country.You do not have to lose heart, and you can still work on story execution to maximize your chances. Your chances are lesser than the first category above, but you are not ruled out.The third category is of people who do not have target companies or Top tier undergrads and do not have a 750+ GMAT Score. In this scenario, if your GMAT Score is below 640, then you do not have a strong chance at top 50 and a retake is strongly recommended.However, if you have a score between 660 to 730, you should apply to a broad range of schools in the Top 50 category. If you are exploring ISB, or IIM’s, you need to have strong reasons to convince them of the ONE YEAR MBA story.What can you as an applicant do to have strong execution in your stories? After you have categorized yourself on the basis of the factors above, you should take the following measures to help the schools understand your story.Short term and Long Term aspirations: You have to project a great understanding of the short term and long term goals. Give them a detailed understanding of the industry and functions you will be a part of immediately after MBA. The research will be so comprehensive that you should even know the positions that his target recruiters hired for.Expressing Why this program? : You will have very strong reasons for joining that particular program. You should have conducted a great amount of research by talking to the existing students, and the alumni body. Simply researching on the website will not allow you to tell themWhy you want to join TUCK or Columbia? He will have created a list of questions that you plan to ask the alumni body. It is not about conducting personal interviews. It is about knowing how that school will help you in your future.Make a class Visit: I will also encourage you to make a class visit. Go to the websites of your target schools and identify the class visit schedules. Research on these schools, and ask effective questions. The interview should not be the first time they should see you. Meet them way ahead of the cycle. Ask smart questions and take good notes. Why this school? essay, reflect on the experiences you had.GMAT Score: You need to have a GMAT Score between 720 and 770. With a 720, an IVY League admit is not impossible but gets really tough. While GMAT is only one of the factors that they take into consideration, you still have to satiate the DEMOGRAPHIC needs of the school. i.e. If you are an Indian IT Male applicant, you need to give them something more than the peer group. If you are an applicant from a social services background and aspire to do something in the same area, they might consider you with a low GMAT Score as well. You need to be aware of the sensitivities of the school when it comes to picking up the right demographic mix.advertisementExtracurricular Activities and the context: You need to have great stories in his/her extra-curricular activities. It is not about stating facts. They are more interested in learning Why you performed those activities and what you learnt out of those? This candidate will have led many social/cultural activities and will showcase a pattern that will add value to the school’s alumni body in the future as well.Nature of the organization: You should have also worked with one of the feeder companies. There are many companies that are on the top of the recruiting charts. While you do not have to necessarily belong to these companies, it still helps if you have worked in companies such as Google, Microsoft, McKinsey, Morgan Stanley, KKR, PWC, Facebook( and many more). Having been nurtured in the leadership of these companies, you become a good target for the top schools.The expression on the essays: This candidate will have a very candid expression on the essays. Remember: They are not driven by heavy-weight vocabulary on your essays. It is more about storytelling and expressing your life. It is more about Why did you do whatever you did?. It is about What matters most to you?. You will also have a very effective letter of recommendations.I know that it is not easy to qualify all the parameters described above. However, I wanted to be unrestrained in my expression as you have many months to work in this direction.(Authored article by: Jatin Bhandari, Founder, PythaGURUS)last_img