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MBA Admission Tips from Vibranture

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Status: Strategist & Coach
Affiliations: Vibranture
Joined: 30 Nov 2014
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Location: India
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MBA Admission Tips from Vibranture  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2016, 02:26
Applying this year? Do these five things NOW

If you are considering applying for MBA in Fall 2016, there are quite a few things you can do to enhance your chances of admission.

1. Test scores: If you have not taken GMAT yet - this is the best time to prepare and take it. This will leave you with ample time to work on your essays, recommendations and other aspects of your application. In case you have scored below your target score, you might want to consider retaking the test. Here's why:

a. Chances of admission: There is no denying that a good score can help your application considerably. Even if you are not aiming for the top schools (which you totally should), the higher the score, the better your chances. Period. If you belong to certain overrepresented pools of candidates such as Indian Male Engineers, then a higher GMAT becomes even more important.

b. Scholarships: A good score helps you stand out and definitely boosts your chances of getting a substantial scholarship. We have seen several students with 730+ scores (even Indians in the over-represented pool) getting up to 100% scholarships from top B-schools. If you are aiming for a scholarship with a slightly lower score, then you will have to be strategic about your school choices.

c. Career goals: A lesser-known fact is that most of the top Management Consulting and Investment Banking firms look at GMAT scores at the time of recruiting. Usually, the cut-off is 700 and even if you can cross that barrier, you will be competing with many who will have 740 plus scores. Hence, if Consulting or I-Banking is your career goal, then having a good score is critical. If your score is low, the admissions committee might not see you as an attractive candidate in front of your target employers. This could jeopardize your chances of admission.

2. Enhance work profile: Utilize the next 3-5 months you have in your hand to further improve the quality of your work experience. One of the ways could be taking leadership roles in your line of work or in related projects. If that is not possible, then you can simply take initiatives and find areas/ projects where you can leave an impact. At the end of the day, you will be compared against those with profiles similar to yours, so differentiating yourself by showing a superior work experience would definitely work in your favor. The initiatives you take now could also translate into meaningful stories for your essays and interviews- so be proactive and make the best use of the time you have now!
If you are considering taking on a new job/role, this is the right time to do it. It will give you enough time to show your results and also give your recommenders a chance to know you better and comment on your performance in a significant way.

3. Strengthen extracurricular: Strong extra-curricular activities make one stand out and are indicative of a well-rounded personality. The adcom will judge you based on the things you are interested in and the causes you care about. But mind you, it is not simply about having a certain hobby listed on your resume or taking up something new just a few months before the application just for the sake of it. It requires passion, commitment, and involvement. Also, simply being a passive member of an organization will not help your application. It is important to be able to demonstrate the impact you had on a group, a cause or a community. It is all about how your immediate world became a better place with your presence in it. So, take initiative, do something extraordinary, go beyond what is routine and defined, preferably take a leadership role in the organization/ club/ group that you are already associated with and make a positive impact. You will learn and grow and one of these experiences could potentially become a great story for your essays.

4. Perform school research: A sure shot way to improve your application and differentiate yourself from your competition is by conducting an in-depth research on your target schools. Many students skip this part completely and fail miserably at convincing a business school why their MBA program is best suited for the student. On the surface, it appears that all business schools offer similar programs and it can be fairly confusing to decide which program is better and why. But if you dig a little deeper, you will definitely find aspects of different schools that will make it a better fit for you personally. Your application should show that you have put in time and effort and have taken an active interest in filling it out.

The schools spend a lot of time and dime in marketing their programs and would be more than happy to help you with information about the programs. Remember: before you apply, you are school’s ‘customer’. They will (mostly) make a good effort to sell their programs to you. Once you apply, however, it's your application that will try to sell you and it should be convincing. Use this time to schedule campus visits. This reflects your interest for a particular school and all the school’s appreciate it. It will give you a lot of things to talk about in your essays and interviews. If you are overseas and can’t visit the school, attend MBA Fairs and Tours. Many schools travel internationally and fairs provide you with a great opportunity to connect with the adcom and current students and get to know about the MBA programs. In case you are unable to do either, your best shot is connecting with the school via email. Many schools have designated Student Ambassadors and the adcom would be more than happy to put you in touch with the students.

A note of caution: When interacting with anyone from the business school community, act courteous and professional. Assume you are being evaluated in each interaction. It could be your chance to make (or break) your impression.

5. Solidify your post-MBA goals: One of the main reasons for rejection by B-schools is the lack of clarity about career goals. Contrary to what some MBA students might say about not knowing what they wanted to do after MBA, most B-schools expect you to give thoughtful consideration to your career plans after MBA. This includes research on the kind of role(s) you might take up, your target employers as well as your long-term career vision. Please note that we are talking about vision as opposed to a goal, so go beyond the obvious description of what you want to do and highlight why you want to do it and why you and the school you have chosen will be the most suitable and adept in helping you achieve your goals. In this regard also reaching out to current students and alumni could give realistic and invaluable information about your chosen goals.

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User avatar
Status: Strategist & Coach
Affiliations: Vibranture
Joined: 30 Nov 2014
Posts: 225
Location: India
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Re: MBA Admission Tips from Vibranture  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2016, 17:30
Why you should ABSOLUTELY attend B-school events! (and a guide to do it the right way)

Do you know the sure shot way to differentiate yourself from your competition?
By conducting in-depth research on your target schools.

Would you ever buy a house or a car without researching it? You might even take the car for a test drive! Right? But when it comes to applying to business schools, not enough students tend to research the programs. MBA is perhaps one of the most expensive investment you will ever make in yourself. But it is quite unbelievable that many students apply without spending adequate time and effort learning about the MBA programs. And, unfortunately, it is clearly reflected in their essays (which are often copy pasted across applications) and interviews.

Some schools such as Columbia CBS and NYU Stern (and Tepper in past) ask(ed) about the steps that you have taken to learn about their programs. Many other business schools will ask you in the online application if you have attended any events, your points of contact at the school, what led you to decide for their MBA program.

And if it does not seem apparent initially, let us tell you that it is important to be on the radar of business school's admissions team early one. So that when they read your submitted application, they already kind of know that you have been serious and committed to joining their program. You don't come across as a stranger they have never heard of and believe us this can be a definite plus.

Do yourself a favor and try to find as much as you can about the schools that you're interested in applying. It will place you in a much better position versus your competition who will tend to be lazy and ignorant and write genetic and vague answers in their essay questions.

Okay, so now that you are convinced (hopefully!) that you should make efforts to know about the MBA programs, let's look at some of the ways in which you can accomplish that.

A campus visit is a significant and the best possible way (if you can do it) to know about an MBA program. During the visit, you can meet current MBA students, possibly take a sample class, interact with faculty, learn about the facilities and social life and get the overall 'feel' of the business school. You can also make some good contacts that you can, later on leverage in your application.

Here is a guide on how to make the best use of the events

Before the event (preparation)

1. Find out as much as you can about the program from online resources- website, blogs and social media. Discover the class profile, their average GMAT score, recruiting companies, and details of the curriculum. You should not be asking for this information (which is easily available online) at the event from an Adcom member. It just leaves a bad impression.

2. Prepare an elevator pitch about yourself. What that means is - try to summarize your experience and your intent for an MBA in about 90 seconds or so. For example "Hi, my name is Rahul Sharma I am an electrical engineer from IIT, Delhi*. I have 4 years of work experience in this company* doing XXX. I have a GMAT of XX. After my MBA I want to do XXX and very interested in learning about your program."

3. If you can know in advance who will be hosting the event, try to find information about them. Find out about their background (industry, function, internship, post-MBA roles etc). This will help you ask relevant and insightful questions.

4. Print a few copies of your resume and take them with you. Sometimes schools might offer you an on-the-spot profile evaluation. Be careful ONLY a few schools do that, so politely ask but don't push for you.
(* mention the names of college and company only if it is a well-recognized one)

At the event (approach and etiquettes)

1. Stay away from detailed profile evaluation questions. You can briefly ask if given you profile, would the school encourage you to apply? Sometimes you can get candid feedback on your GMAT score, work experience that will help you make informed application decisions.

2. Please also avoid asking- 'how is your program different from 10 other top programs?". Instead, make it personalized and you could ask something like "I want to do XXX after my MBA, what resources/ opportunities do you think your MBA program can offer to help me get there?"

3. Be courteous of the host's time add other students (if any) in the queue at a booth. Try to ask no more than 1-3 questions an limit the discussion to about 5 minutes. If you would think that the other person. is enjoying the conversation and there are no other people in line, then go ahead and have a long chat :)

4. You don't need to leave your business cards but definitely, pick the business cards of as many people as you can. Even if you are not able to connect with someone, just pick their card and connect with them online later. If they don't have business card write down their information. Email is good enough.

5. Try to also connect with other MBA applicants. You will learn a lot from other people's experiences and might also find support and companionship in this journey.

6. Dress formally. Business casuals are good. But a good suit never hurts!

[A quick insider tip: Most MBA events have generous food option. But if possible try not go hungry to the event. That way you can skip the time at the food table and instead use it to make more personalized contacts with the school teams. (We learned this at B-school networking events during MBA!)]

After the event: (follow-up)

1. Within 24-48 hours, send thank you emails to your contacts. That's why business cards are important! You can use this opportunity to briefly (verry briefly) reiterate your strengths and a strong interest in the respective program. You could also ask for an introduction to a student/ alum in the same industry and function as you to learn more about their experiences and guidance for you.

2. Stay connected and if appropriate (be judicious about it!) you can send 1-3 updates about your application/ interest during the admission process.

What if you're not able to make it to the campus are any of the in-person events?

Well, in that case, you can attend online webinars and online chat hosted both by most business schools as well as active MBA communities like GMATClub. These are good ways to learn about the program, get application tips from the admissions team and also get questions to your questions. After the online event, you can send a personalized email to the presenter thanking them and briefly describing your interest in the program.

We have collected a list of upcoming events hosted by the top schools for 2016-2017

Harvard Business School MBA Events
Wharton Penn MBA Events
Stanford MBA Events
Kellogg MBA Events
Chicago Booth MBA Events
Columbia Business School MBA Events
MIT Sloan MBA Events
Tuck Dartmouth MBA Events
Yale SOM MBA Events
Berkeley Haas MBA Events
Ross Michigan MBA Events
Duke Fuqua MBA Events
NYU Stern MBA Events
Darden Virginia MBA Events
UCLA Anderson MBA Events

In addition, you can attend the following Fairs and Tours

The MBA Tour
QS World MBA Tour
Forte Forums

You might also like to read:

Applying this year? Do these five things NOW
What B-schools look for and how they evaluate your profile

For help on your MBA application
Sign up for a Free Consultation
Joined: 22 Nov 2014
Posts: 60
Re: MBA Admission Tips from Vibranture  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2017, 02:52 ... 90964.html

Any MBA contenders should read y previous post on my experience with Vibranture. Highly not recommended.
GMAT Club Bot
Re: MBA Admission Tips from Vibranture &nbs [#permalink] 20 Feb 2017, 02:52
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MBA Admission Tips from Vibranture

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