Updated: May 19, 2022
Written by Gunjan Kulkarni
An MBA or a Master’s in Business Administration is the degree you pursue when you are crazy about the machinery behind businesses, HR, accounting, finances, management and all the allied fields. It is a highly lucrative, yet competitive field with millions of students applying for it worldwide!
You may endlessly surf through websites to get a feel for this degree, how it works, what it demands and what lies ahead once you accomplish the MBA program. But, all this curated content is no match to the personal anecdotes of the seniors who have succeeded in this stint. In the session “How to Get your MBA”, we invited four ICT alumni to speak, not only about their own experiences of MBA, but also share some insights on starting the preparation and following through with the plan.
The first and foremost thing all speakers agreed on was, “Each one of you will take a different path, each with its own ups and downs, to reach the common destination of MBA. So, just focus on yourself and believe in what you are doing, there is no need to compare yourself with your peers.”
The speakers divided the entire MBA preparation into 5 broad categories listed below:
1. Resume Building
College years are those golden years of life where you can explore yourself. Taking up various activities and responsibilities in your college will not only enrich your resume, but will also help develop you as a person, and prepare you for various situations in life. Sample a number of things to figure out - what you like and what you do not. Internships, research projects, community service, and hobbies are few such arenas you can indulge in to get a feel for what lies beyond your institution.
2. Work experience
Although work experience is not a mandate for entering into an MBA program, it will definitely be an additional flamboyant feather in your cap. It introduces you to the operational world of business and equips you with valuable experience relevant for your career. It can serve as a period of self-reflection, either assuring you that you are fit for this program or, if not, it can push you to find the right path for you. Also, it will aid you financially.
3. Identifying schools
Shortlisting business schools is one of the most important aspects of the process. Do not just go on the rankings or the number of placements. You need a holistic approach accounting for course structures, duration, professors, alumni, student life, location, and finances. Talking to the alumni will give you a clear understanding of the culture and nature of the college. People interested in applying for scholarships from foreign universities were advised to target the top 20 universities in the world. These institutes have a well established and structured system for scholarships which can increase your chances of receiving a scholarship.
4. Entrance examinations
It is essential that you find which exam-score your dream institute demands. Aim for approximately 20-30 points higher than the acceptance and cut-off scores of the previous years. Join reputed classes or test series and give as many mock tests as you can. SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) or critical analyses are key steps towards success. If you are aiming for a college outside India, a GMAT score above 720 is essential.
Once you have rocked the entrance exam, you start the most crucial ‘make or break’ part: the essays, interviews, and the group discussions. You have to sell yourself and justify all the decisions you have taken so far. Any shortcomings in your resume, either low grades in a certain subject or a gap year, can be creatively justified through your narration. You have to make them see you as an asset by elaborating what values and skills you bring to the table and how you can contribute to the school. For the interview, you need to be thorough with your fundamentals and well-versed with current affairs. How you answer decision-based questions, like “Why MBA? Why this program in this particular institute?” will be critical. So prepare well.
The speakers also shared some additional suggestions:
Be authentic and do not try to forcefully fit yourself into any profile.
Do not start community volunteering just 6 months or a year before you apply for your MBA. Try to start earlier.
Start networking with alumni at an early stage.
Try to obtain a recommendation from someone who knows you well (e.g., your immediate boss or a professor with whom you have worked closely).
If your reference is an alumnus of the institute, it will serve to your advantage.
Getting an MBA, from preparation to acceptance and completion, is not a cakewalk but is definitely a memorable journey! Do your research well, keep your basics crystal clear, just be yourself, and you will ace it!
If you have any feedback comments, suggestions or questions for the speakers or the team, please feel free to convey them to us via the feedback form. Your reviews are crucial for us to know how we can deliver better!
Here’s the link to the form: https://forms.gle/7pDbeHbxm5mx94mB7
Our speakers have explained all these topics and many more useful ones in the webinar titled “Getting Your MBA”. Check out the video recording for more details!
Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dABl-2C87N4