3 Most Neglected Steps by Prospective Candidates before B-school Applications
Here’s another gripping piece shared by our student Shrinkhla who has successfully converted 5 out of 6 schools that she applied to. In her previous blog, Shrinkhla shared some interesting college interview tips from her experience with the university adcoms and how she appeared for the interview confidently! In this blog, she is sharing the 3 steps students most commonly neglect before applying to their dream B-school!
Let’s see what Shrinkhla has to say –
I completely understand the anxiety of searching for your perfect B-school. There are so many aspects to consider simultaneously that it is almost mind boggling. However, following the right steps will allow you to get much better insights into the schools and will iron-out your application process.
The steps that I’m going to emphasize on in this article are usually the most neglected and little talked about. However, if followed, they can do wonders for you and your B-school application. I personally did all three of them, so I speak from experience. I will tell you the benefits you will reap from doing these 3 things and how to do them. So, let’s start –
I. Send an Email to the admission committee member using the ‘Get in touch’ feature on the school’s website
This step has innumerable advantages to it. But is, unfortunately, missed by many students. I discovered this very late myself, but I was still able to mail 3 B-school Adcoms. So, what information should be included in the email?
Introduce yourself in the email to the Adcom member by giving a brief on your work experience. If already taken, mention your GMAT score and your IELTS/TOEFL score as well.
Further, I would advice you to mention –
- Your goals – both short-term and long-term.
- Why you are interested in an MBA now and what do you intend to gain from it?
- Lastly, you may mention what you found particularly interesting in the MBA program offered at the school.
The fab part about this is that one email can be sent to as many B-schools as you like – 2,5, 10, or even 20, with minor changes to the why MBA part on basis of what you found different about the school. A few days after I emailed them, I got very positive responses from all of them.
The beauty of this step is that this allows you to –
- Make an impression on the Adcom by interacting with them
- They will mention the unique strengths they saw in your profile. This must be incorporated in your essays because these pointers were given by the school itself so basically, these strengths matter a lot to them.
- They will also mention how well you fit in their program i.e. what they can offer you which will help you achieve your goals. Again, you can inculcate these points in your essays.
- You can ask them for scholarships and other financing options. In some schools, the overall profile and interview are taken into perspective to decide the scholarship amounts. In other schools, you have to submit a separate essay for the same. You will have better clarity about what is needed to get scholarships and how decisions regarding the same are made. Thus, you can work on your profile accordingly.
- Although it did not happen with me, a friend was interviewed by the same person she had been in touch with. So, the interview was even more comfortable. You never know, you too may get lucky!
Also, you can inform the Adcom member after submitting your application. Apart from this, I got a huge advantage because I undertook this step. Within 3 days of submitting my application, I got an interview call and in the next 2 days, I was interviewed. The process was lightning fast.
II. Attend Touring Events
The touring events provide a platform for B-schools and students across the globe to meet each other. These events are conducted by companies such as the MBA Tour, Access MBA, etc. Their mission is to develop awareness about international business education opportunities.
How it works?
Depending upon the size of the event, the number of B-schools will be anywhere between 4 to 20. I attended 2 such events in the Delhi NCR region, India. At one event, there were 4 schools including Schulich York University, Canada. At the other event, there were around 15 schools, including Duke and Rotman.
Importance of Attending These Events
As prospective candidates, it is an opportunity for us to interact with the adcom members/representatives in a personal setting. You can register yourself for a half-an-hour slot to talk to the Adcom member to discuss your profile, ask them questions about their program, etc. Ensure that they are meaningful and not just focused on the average GPA/GMAT. I was surprised to see how students only care about these criteria. This is a golden chance to make an impression on the mind of the Adcom member. It would be a good idea to prepare an elevator pitch, in case it is needed.
You can register yourself to meet with as many B-school representatives as you like. You will learn about multiple schools and more importantly, the key features of the schools you like. In my case, I learned that the school I was confused about applying to provides great scholarship opportunities. This information was nowhere mentioned on the school website. So, I finally decided to apply.
Key Pointers –
- These events are conducted in all the major cities across the globe round the year. You can either register beforehand for these events or go for on-the-spot registration.
- The setting is a bit casual but I suggest you dress professionally.
- Don’t forget to carry printed copies of your CV.
- Get the business card of the Adcom.
- Write a thank you mail to them the next day.
III. Attend webinars conducted by the B-schools
These are info-sessions conducted by B-schools to give more information to prospective candidates about the school. These webinars include interactive Q&A sessions and are thus quite insightful. Also, the Adcom goes through the admission requirements in detail. This is an incredible opportunity to learn about schools from the comfort of your home.
Further, with all this knowledge, you will be more certain if you must apply to that school or not. Most questions are around average GMAT, GPA, work experience, employment opportunities, etc.
An added bonus tip: Some B-schools give application fee waivers to those who attend these info sessions. So, a little money-saver tip as well. You can find about the details of these events on the school website or they will mail you regarding the same, given that you have subscribed to such mails.
Hope you follow these steps to simplify your B-school search which goes way beyond rankings and the brand value to actually determining how perfectly the school fits your goals.
All the best!