GMAT Preparation

5 factors that B-school Adcoms look at

If you are aiming for getting an MBA degree and have already spent a humongous amount of time and money on GMAT prep, your next step would be to assemble a strong, appealing application that tells the adcoms you are just the student they need. So, while you work on your essays, update your resume, and collect recommendations, do not forget to keep an eye on the 5 factors that B-school adcoms would love to see on your application –

The 5 most important factors

I. Academic Potential

The most important factor that Adcoms look for is whether you will be able to cope with the rigor of an MBA. Hence, they prefer students who have a good past record in academics. This includes your GPA and GMAT score. Now, the admission committees do understand that different universities around the globe have different ranking mechanisms. So, if your GPA is numerically low but you were in the top students of your batch, you can definitely mention that to them through your applications.

On the other hand, if your GPA is low, you can can compensate it to an extent with a high GMAT score. However, it is needless to say that a good GPA along with a great GMAT score is a deadly combination. So, now that you can’t control your GPA (unless you’re yet to complete your graduation), your focus should be on improving your GMAT score. You can also strengthen your application by doing relevant certifications such as CFA/FRM. We will be covering this in our upcoming posts.

II. Career Progression

Adcoms like students who plan their careers well and excel in what they do. They will look at factors such as the profile you work in, your designation, your company, your career progression, international exposure and so on.

For example, if you have worked in a Strategy/Operations Consulting profile, it will help you significantly as the day-to-day experience you have will give you an advantage during your MBA. If you got quick promotions at work or you work for a firm that is very selective during recruitment, it will work in your favor.

III. Leadership Skills

If you have shown leadership skills in your life, make sure you showcase them well in your application. So, if you are a team lead or you managed a team of individuals for a social cause or did something significant in your college time, do talk about them.

Leadership skills do not always mean that you have to lead a team. The focus here is on leadership skills and not on managerial skills. So even in an individual capacity, if you’ve taken initiatives and motivated others around you to do so, that can really help your case.

IV. Extra-curricular

This is another factor on which schools give a lot of emphasis. Schools take a keen interest in knowing what you have done outside your professional and academic life. So, involvement in sports, community work, art & theater, and societies & committees in college life will come in handy here. Ideally, adcoms would like to know the impact that you created by these activities. So, it is much better if you have lead a team or initiative during these activities.

If you haven’t done anything till now on this front, you might as well plan some activities around it to improve your profile by the time you submit your applications.

V. Interest in the program

Adcoms understand that MBA is probably one of the biggest investments you will make in your life and hence they would want to know how serious you are about this investment. Hence, they like candidates who do their groundwork about the program. Read the curriculum in detail, understand the courses that are offered, the internship opportunities present, and other things pertinent to the program. Get in touch with the alumni, attend webinars and fairs, and talk to the adcoms if needed, but ensure that you do your best to know the program in detail.

Story Building

This is the part where you put all the above points along with your research on your target programs and showcase your story to the Adcoms. Even if you do well on the above 5 points and mess up here, it might ruin everything. The ideal story is one in which the MBA program is a very important piece of the puzzle that completes the whole picture.

Talk about your long term goals and the decisions that you have taken so far to fulfill them. This is the part where your understanding of the program will also help you. The school will love to know how you will add more value to the MBA cohort, so do talk about factors that make you standout.

We hope this post helped you understand some of the important points Adcoms will look at. In the upcoming posts, we will be talking about the above aspects in lot more detail.

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