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 seek in their applicants? Why do they insist on candidates possessing certain qualities apart from good academic credentials?
By and large, business schools look for a blend of purpose, talent and passion in the applicant. Let us examine some of these aspects.
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.
While filling the application form, you could highlight such aspects with concrete examples. It could even be as simple as having organised a voluntary electronic waste disposal drive in your locality.
Sense 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 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.
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.
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.
While some of the MBA programs do not insist on prior work experience, 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
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 you passions and interest. They could also gauge your leadership and team player capabilities by analysing these interests.