Applying to a business school is more complicated than seeking admission for any other professional degree program where the decision is taken mostly based on your academic record. So, what do business schools look for in MBA applicants? Why do they insist on candidates possessing certain qualities apart from good academic credentials?
It’s no wonder there are so much anxiety and stress involved in the B-School admissions process. Despite all the resources available for prospective students on B-school websites, blogs, and social media pages, the selection criteria can still seem quite murky.
By and large, business schools look for a blend of purpose, talent, and passion in the MBA applicants. Successful MBA applicants are those who frame their candidacy in the giver mindset. Let us examine some of these aspects apart from the academic abilities.
What makes a Leader?
A leader is someone with the knowledge and skills to take charge of any situation. He or she should be a person capable of motivating a team to perform at their best and deliver results on time.
This does not mean that you shout and throw your weight around to get things done. A good leader uses soft skills like persuasion and firmness as the occasion demands. Business schools look for evidence of emerging leadership skills, which include integrity, humility, and a global mindset, among numerous other attributes.
While filling the application form, you could highlight such aspects with concrete examples. It could even be as simple as having organized a voluntary electronic waste disposal drive in your locality.
Clarity of Purpose and Career Goal
You should be able to display a sense of purpose. What is the exact reason for joining an MBA program? Is it for a career change? Is it for gaining more knowledge in your sector of interest like Finance or Manufacturing?
Here the questions are easy, but the answer is deceptively difficult: again, clarity is essential. You have to convince admission officials that you have well thought out career goals and the qualities needed to achieve them. Career goals could be broken up into short term and long term goals. B-Schools’ Admissions officers need to understand how you will contribute to their MBA program.
What has passion to do with it?
Passion is the emotional commitment towards achieving your goals. It should not only reflect in your application form but also at every stage of the admission process including the essays, group discussion and personal interview.
Admission officials look for a certain amount of competence in this field as MBA programs involve handling numbers and displaying logical or critical thinking abilities.
Strong communication skills were the most frequently mentioned attribute for an MBA graduate. Students need to be able to communicate effectively (clearly, concisely, compellingly) across platforms. You need to be able to articulate your ideas in a clear and persuasive manner not only in speech but also in written communications. You have to be a good listener.
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While some of the MBA programs do not insist on prior work experience while some Executive and One Year MBA program required. Professionals usually get a head start in GDPI (group discussion and personal interview round). Also, remember that the number of years at work may not matter as much as the quality of work undertaken during the period.
Academic as well as General Knowledge
A school will determine academic potential primarily through your academic scores. However, the GMAT/GRE/CAT and other management entrance exam’s score is also a key factor in the selection process. Entrance exam Score provides an opportunity to strengthen your application.You should not only be proficient in academics or work experience-related areas but also in general knowledge.
Your extra-curricular activities provide admission officers a fair idea about your passions and interest. They could also gauge your leadership and team player capabilities by analyzing these interests.
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