I had to think for some time before deciding to write this one down. Primarily because I did not want my blog to turn into yet another ‘how to get into XXX MBA program’ blog for there are already too many. I do not deny the importance of such blogs, forums etc, because I was greatly helped by these and undoubtedly, the telling is something worth doing once you have some idea of how to.

So I thought, maybe I should not write posts and posts on this subject, but probably one to summarize my take away shall be a good idea.

Here is what I think

  • Forget everything you have heard about MBA in the past. Reevaluate your basic idea of MBA and how it fits in your life. Is it really necessary? (for some time, forget about CTC and the fact that almost everyone is doing it.)
  • First step is to feel the real need of MBA in your life. Read about what is taught in MBA, what do people learn during this period of life? What kind of people you meet and work with during this period? How will this education help you in achieving the kind of the life you want to lead and your goals? Basically convince yourself first about the intention. If possible avoid getting influenced during this period.
  • Once you have firmly decided that you really want MBA, start writing the application. This background thinking will reflect in your application and shall help you a lot throughout the process.
  • Essays: Understand the questions properly and understand the college very well. Do some solid analysis of yourself and then sit down and mark out the points from your life which are related to the essays (and try to relate them to the school too). Then weigh them substance wise and put them in clear language.
  • Do not hesitate to rewrite the essays from the scratch at a later point, if you realize that the essays are not strong enough. Write and then rewrite until you satisfy yourself. Check for language errors and word limits finally.
  • While writing the essays always use dedicate some time explaining the big picture of your achievements at your current organization, other than your mundane work. Having been involved with the ISB adcom, I found that the candidate’s contribution/impact on his organization and his evaluation of the difference that he has created to it are two factors that carry good amount of intrinsic weightage for the adcom, even though it is not a written constitution.
  • Recommendations are very important. Get them written from people who can write well for you (if possible get a peep into these recommendations before they are finally sent out. If you can manage, convince your boss to share a glimpse). These people may not be the highest ranks you have interacted with, but must be the best known people.
  • Interview: Search for the unclear story in your application. I don’t think this is easy to do on your own. Ask an intelligent friend to look through your essays and comment on what he/she thinks is not clear. Prepare answers to these. It is almost sure that the questions shall be around the missing links in your application. Or if you’ve missed out to exemplify any qualities which they look for in their admits, then prepare to answer those questions.
  • Answer confidently during the interview. If you are patient enough, before answering, think about it for a few sec, check if there is a hidden question, and then speak. Attempt to answer structurally and clearly. Be honest while answering because you may be cross questioned and of course, they are smart.
  • One article which I found to be of great help is here from CIO.com

All the best!

© 2011, Prerna Singh | ISB. All rights reserved.

Prerna Singh | ISB

Prerna Singh did her MBA from ISB and BTech from IIT Kanpur. She currently works with Max Specialty Products in the Corporate Strategy vertical. Before ISB, Prerna worked as Technical Sales Support Engineer at Johnson Matthey, a global specialty chemicals company, where she was responsible for sales and marketing of key products of the company in the Asia Pacific region. She started her career as Research Associate at Evalueserve where she gained experience in US Patent laws and IP portfolio management services to customers in US and UK.