MBA applications: Make your mark
Each part of the application provides the admissions committee with different information about a candidate's skills, which is important to the
evaluation of his or her candidacy. Often, Indian MBA aspirants believe that a high GMAT score is all that is needed to obtain admission to a top B-School. But the admissions committee actually considers applicants multi-dimensionally. They assess your career goals, work experience, academic ability, motivation and drive, leadership, teamwork skills, and overall fit with the school.
The following describes each separate component of the MBA application process and how and why these components are evaluated.
The MBA is a professional degree. Hence, applicants have to be able to explain why they want to pursue it. The applicant will need to articulate whether his/ her goals include a change in career (and why!), the ability to assume different responsibilities and the development of skills necessary to start a business.
The information collected from a CV, letters of recommendation, interviews, and essays tells the admissions committee whether an MBA aspirant is at a point in his or her career, where an MBA will be beneficial
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An applicant's work experience typically demonstrates many things - that the candidate has progressed professionally, learned to recognise his or her strengths and weaknesses, understands the challenges of working with diverse groups of people and accepts risk and responsibility.
"Work experience is an essential component of the application process. The average work experience for aspirants admitted to the HEC MBA programme is five years. MBA participants are generally looking to transition or enhance their career paths and develop into leaders in their chosen fields. To facilitate this, much of the time MBA participants spend in class is spent working in groups. As a result, cooperative learning is inherent in the programme. For this to be most successful, it is necessary for participants to bring multiple years of real-world experience with them. They are then, not only learning from their professors but, also from from one another,” says Rick Doyle, Business Development Manager - Asia, HEC MBA Programme, HEC School of Management
Strong academic skills are necessary to complete your courses successfully. The demands and stress of MBA study are high, and the admissions committee wants to make sure that admitted students have the necessary preparation
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Leadership and Teamwork
MBA aspirants need to be able to demonstrate their leadership and teamwork abilities. Admissions committees are looking for evidence of initiative, willingness to take risks, influence (direct or indirect) that brought about change at work or at home, or any other examples of leadership potential.
Additionally, since so much of the work during the MBA degree and upon its completion is done in teams, it is important for the applicant to show that he or she has some team experience. This could be at work, in sports, or even something that was accomplished collaboratively with family or friends. The committee wants to hear how he or she grew by working with others to achieve common goals and overcome challenges or disagreements. It is very important, when describing leadership and team experiences, to give specific information about what was learned and the impact of the experience on the MBA aspirant's professional development.
"Leadership in the past is the best proof of managerial potential for the future, which is what our admissions committee is looking for. It can take many forms, for example leadership in extra-curricular activities or on work teams. The best examples are those which show a sustained commitment to a group or organisation, structuring activities and roles that involve persuading others of a shared vision. Some people are natural leaders and others develop their skills over time. Either way it is important to show that you have the raw material to refine during business school, to reach a whole new level of leadership power,” says Craig Hubbell, Associate Director of Admissions, Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles
The MBA degree is an important step in one's professional and academic development. For this reason, it is of critical importance to have researched the MBA programme carefully. There are a number of ways to do this, including conversations with alumni, meetings with representatives from the business school at fairs, conferences and information sessions and visits to the campus. As part of a successful application, the aspirant will need to explain exactly why that MBA will help him or her achieve both personal and professional goals. Each business school offers a unique opportunity, the successful application will demonstrate how that particular opportunity will benefit the student, as well as how the MBA aspirant's experiences and skills will benefit the other students, faculty and staff associated with the programme.
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