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Male/Indian/IT pool - who belongs in there ?

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Male/Indian/IT pool - who belongs in there ? [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 13:50
Hey guys. So in doing my research, Ive read a lot about the many number of b-school applicants who fall into the "male, Indian, IT" pool. From what I read and hear, this pool is extremely talented, and therefore, very competitive.

My question is: what determines whether an applicant gets lumped into this pool ?

My background: I am Canadian, but have an Indian background. I never went to school in India, or lived there for a matter of fact. I got a B.Eng degree in undergrad, and I currently work as a telecom engineer.

What are your thoughts ? Will I get lumped in there or not ?
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 13:52
i think you get lumped into the indian-american/male/it pool. not as bad as the one you mentioned, but no joke either.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 13:53
Doh !!!
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 14:06
I'm looking forward to getting to campus and seeing what things are really like. If you just go by the posts on this and other b-school boards, you'd think that 80-90% of the students at the top schools are Indian. In reality, I think most of the top schools have about 8-10% Indian students. In terms of applicatoin volume, something less than 10% (possibly less than 5%) come from Indian nationals.

I think one of the real challenges for the demographic is that such a large percentage of Indians have an IT background. My guess is that schools would be ammenable to admitting more if there was a bit more diversity, but you just don't see too many Indian Humanities backgrounds around here.

If I have any technical question next year, I'll know who to ask.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 14:16
From what I've read and understood, the problem is not that there are too many male / Indian / IT applicants (Well .. maybe that's also a problem .. but I'll ignore that for this argument), but the problem is that all male / Indian / IT applicants seem to have similar backgrounds, have similar stories to tell and have similar achievements and extra-curriculars (If any). I remember reading about an adcom's comment: "You are all so similar".

Why do applicants from this demographic seem similar? Because, for one, these people do have similar backgrounds and stories. And second, these people do not know how to sell themselves well to the schools - perhaps because the process of getting admissions in Indian schools is very very different. So a lot of them focus on highlighting the same traits - ones which are not very valuable in adcom's eyes.

Coming back to your question, I don't think that you fall in the male / Indian / IT pool. "Race" is not a very useful demographic variable for the schools. You might look Indian, but will act, think and speak like a typical Canadian. Then why would they treat you as male / Indian / IT? I would say that "the country where you grew up", "your socioeconomic status", "your undergrad school and it's location" etc are more valuable traits for them to ensure diversity.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 14:19
Thanks for the feedback guys.

mNeo, I am totally with you. I moved here (to Canada) when I was 11, and before that lived all my life in the Middle East. I shouldnt be unfairly pooled with individuals just because we are of the same "race" or "heritage". I hate to say it, but race is pretty much where our commonalities end.

Do you think my question is a valid one to ask adcoms at MBA fairs for example ? Id love to hear what schools themselves think.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 14:26
pelihu wrote:
If you just go by the posts on this and other b-school boards, you'd think that 80-90% of the students at the top schools are Indian.

In terms of applicatoin volume, something less than 10% (possibly less than 5%) come from Indian nationals.

I think one of the real challenges for the demographic is that such a large percentage of Indians have an IT background.


I agree. When I first started visiting this forum (And BW), I freaked out at the sheer number of Indians mentioning their GMAT scores and asking which top 10 school they could get into. But now I feel that we are just more vocal on forums. I guess because a forum is still a "too-techy" concept for a lot of non IT people.

As far as Indians from non-IT background are concerned, the number of non-IT Indians who have been exposed to the world of quality US education is still fairly low. I think that the things will change in the coming decade.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 14:30
mNeo wrote:
Coming back to your question, I don't think that you fall in the male / Indian / IT pool. "Race" is not a very useful demographic variable for the schools. You might look Indian, but will act, think and speak like a typical Canadian. Then why would they treat you as male / Indian / IT? I would say that "the country where you grew up", "your socioeconomic status", "your undergrad school and it's location" etc are more valuable traits for them to ensure diversity.


unfortunately, i dont think the adcoms think that way. if people were grouped only by nationality, then there would be no differentiating between african-americans, caucasian-americans, and asian-americans. but you can bet there is that is not true.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 14:31
pmenon wrote:
Do you think my question is a valid one to ask adcoms at MBA fairs for example ? Id love to hear what schools themselves think.


My guess is that their answer will be, "We look at each application holistically and evaluate each applicant on his/her merits. We do not group applicants on any basis".
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 14:40
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unfortunately, i dont think the adcoms think that way. if people were grouped only by nationality, then there would be no differentiating between african-americans, caucasian-americans, and asian-americans. but you can bet there is that is not true.


Wow, every other post on this thread is mine. ME OWNS THIS THREAD !!

I didn't say that nationality is the only demographic variable. I just said that "race" in itself is not a very valuable variable (Unless adcoms are worried about the school looking too white, black, yellow or brown. Who knows, maybe they do think about that).

African/Caucasian/Asian/South-Asian americans have a lot of differences among themselves. So they belong to different demographics altogether. But my point is that those people are not similar to Africans, Europeans, Asians or South-Asians respectively. I think you agree as you also said something similar in your first post.

And because the male/Indian/IT tag means a certain kind of profile that is usually found in applicants from India or US (H1B / Green-card), I don't think the original poster should worry about falling in that category.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 15:22
mNeo, you DO own this thread ! Thanks for the advice, though.

It was just a thought , as I did notice quite a large # of individuals from India posting on here.

Wish I could get inside the head of adcoms to see what they *really* think !
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2007, 16:12
I've found myself wondering if I will be lump into the Indian/Male/IT group also, but I realized its a waste of time. You just have to show your unique experiences in your essays and hope that it falls in line with what the schools want.

I am an ABCD (American Born Confused Desi :lol:) that works for a big telecom company but as a mechanical engineer in supply chain. Will I get lumped in with the rest of the Indian/Male/IT group? Probably, but I am hoping my experiences set me apart and prove I bring something else to the table.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2007, 02:10
mNeo wrote:
pmenon wrote:
Do you think my question is a valid one to ask adcoms at MBA fairs for example ? Id love to hear what schools themselves think.


My guess is that their answer will be, "We look at each application holistically and evaluate each applicant on his/her merits. We do not group applicants on any basis".


haha..I agree with you mNeo. I guess that is the standard answer they have for all occasions. But do those adcom guys really think beyond their preconceived notions? I wonder.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2007, 14:42
As one of your typical indian IT male mba candidate from last year, I have experienced some of the same feelings that you folks are going through now. I have been frustrated at times, pissed, felt dejected, wished I was born in Bhutan, and many others in that line.

Ultimately, after submitting many applications, appearing for interviews, and getting dings I was able to get myself admitted in a decent school. Looking back this past year, I would say that the only schools that called me for interviews (and where I had a better chance of getting in than the ones where I got dinged without interviews) are the ones for which I have spent the most time and effort writing the essays. Now when I read these apps and compare them with the unsuccessful ones, I can clearly see that I was able to write essays that focussed on specific qualities with lively examples and each essay was, as rhyme would say, like different chapters of the same book.

So, coming back to the original topic, I would say that it does not matter a lot whether you are Indian or IT or male or a mix of these 3, what matters most is that you stand out from the crowd. To do that, take some time, think hard on who you are and what things have been important to you in life (things that have shaped you and give you direction) and then kick some @ss on those essays :)
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2007, 15:57
Thanks for your advice, gmatmba.

Funny you mention how the essays should focus on how youre different from all the others; I was actually talking to my Dad about this very subject today !

I think Ive got some ideas, but at the same time Im also afraid that they wont be "significant" enough to be considered something special by anyone else. I mean, what happens to the applicants who have NOTHING special to say and share ?
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2007, 17:12
pmenon wrote:
I mean, what happens to the applicants who have NOTHING special to say and share ?


We all have something special to say and share. We just need to spend some time introspecting and digging our past to find it out.

ps. Well said gmatmba
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2007, 18:45
pmenon wrote:
Thanks for your advice, gmatmba.

Funny you mention how the essays should focus on how youre different from all the others; I was actually talking to my Dad about this very subject today !

I think Ive got some ideas, but at the same time Im also afraid that they wont be "significant" enough to be considered something special by anyone else. I mean, what happens to the applicants who have NOTHING special to say and share ?


The ideas that you have, are they significant to you? Thats what matters, why they are significant to you and how you can paint a clear picture in your essays and communicate that to the adcoms.

If I tell you that I drove in India when I was 15 years old - and thats significant, you may not feel the same about my achievement. Now if I tell you that I did that the year after I had a bad accident where I lost 1 leg and 1 hand and had to overcome my fear of cars and roads, now we're talking. So you have to explain why things that have happened to you are significant, it doesn't matter if they are significant compared to other applicants.

To think of it a bit differently, if you are applying to HBS, or CMU, or Hult, why are you applying there? Obviously you think that you are good enough to study there and compete with others there. Then go out and prove it. If you think that you have nothing to offer, no significant experiences and nothing to talk about, nothing to prove to this world, nothing to achieve - then why MBA???
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2007, 18:48
pmenon wrote:
Thanks for your advice, gmatmba.

Funny you mention how the essays should focus on how youre different from all the others;


To make it clear, you actually dont have to focus on how you are different from others, because you have no freaking clue what others have to offer. You just have to dig deep and paint a picture of who you are, and you will automatically succeed in differenciating, because there aint no other pmenon in this world, or another :)
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2007, 23:56
great thread, and thank you for the insights... I'm coming to the conclusion also that it's not really about how to "differentiate" yourself, but how to tell your own story, and let the differentiation happen by itself.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2007, 06:24
Good thread, all, and I think you are coming to the right conclusion. (Though I would add the introspection in a bubble is no good. Figure out who you are and what you're story is. You'll have a wealth of material to use. Then talk to others, think some more, read this forum, check out admissions books to figure out which pieces of your story will make the best package.)

On a less serious note, I was at an informal get-together with some incoming Duke students yesterday. I think half - or maybe more - of the students there were Indian. One Indian friend told me I didn't need to do an exchange program; I was having a cultural experience right there! We were joking, of course, and you can't really draw conclusions based on the demographics of one brunch. However, the word on the street is that there are a TON of Indian students enrolled at Fuqua this year. We'll see when classes start.
  [#permalink] 06 Aug 2007, 06:24
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