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What B-schools look for and how they evaluate your profile

Before you start crafting your MBA applications, it is important to understand what business schools look for in prospective MBA students and how they evaluate your application. You might have heard that schools evaluate your profile in a holistic manner. If that left you confused and puzzled, we have broken it down for you. Read below to know what traits and quality most schools are looking for and how they assess you from different application components:

1. Intellectual aptitude: MBA coursework is quite rigorous and the admission committee (adcom) wants to make sure that you will be able to handle the pressure of the program. If they feel that you might struggle with the coursework or fail to complete the assignments within the assigned deadlines, they will not be inclined to admit you.

How is your intellectual aptitude evaluated

a. The GMAT/GRE test score is one objective parameter that helps the adcom assess your academic readiness. It also shows if you are industrious- a trait valued tremendously in B-schools..........





Why you should ABSOLUTELY attend B-school events! (and a guide to do it the right way)

Do you know the sure shot way to differentiate yourself from your competition?

By conducting in-depth research on your target schools.

Would you ever buy a house or a car without researching it? You might even take the car for a test drive! Right? But when it comes to applying to business schools, not enough students tend to research the programs. MBA is perhaps one of the most expensive investment you will ever make in yourself. But it is quite unbelievable that many students apply without spending adequate time and effort learning about the MBA programs. And, unfortunately, it is clearly reflected in their essays (which are often copy pasted across applications) and interviews.

Some schools such as Columbia CBS and NYU Stern (and Tepper in past) ask(ed) about the steps that you have taken to learn about their programs. Many other business schools will ask you in the online application if you have ............





Applying this year? Do these five things NOW

If you are considering applying for MBA in Fall 2016, there are quite a few things you can do to enhance your chances of admission.

1. Get good test scores: If you have not taken GMAT yet - this is the best time to prepare and take it. This will leave you with ample time to work on your essays, recommendations and other aspects of your application. In case you have scored below your target score, you might want to consider retaking the test. Here is why:

a. Chances of admission: There is no denying that a good score can help your application considerably. Even if you are not aiming for the top schools (which you totally should), the higher the score, the better your chances. Period. If you belong to certain overrepresented pools of candidates such as Indian Male Engineers, then a higher GMAT becomes even more important. ................






Should you pursue an Executive MBA?

The Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) is a program that allows employees to study whilst continuing with their fulltime employment. The EMBA is tailored specifically for mid-career professionals who have a number of years of industry experience and who want to move up the corporate ladder. The EMBA program can help to enhance strategic and critical thinking, improve networks, and hone skills essential for success in the workplace. The program is by no means easy, and as far as life commitments go, the EMBA program can and will impact all aspects of a studentís life. However, by pursuing and graduating with an EMBA from a reputable and rigorous school, the course can be a truly career and life changing experience.

By choosing to pursue an EMBA program you are making an investment in yourself. Here are 5 of the top reasons:

1. Career advancement
You have been working for a while now, and have developed the cores skills that you need to excel in your current role. But, if you want to move up the corporate ladder then you need.........




How Alok landed with up to 100% scholarship from US B-schools

This month we are publishing our interview with Alok Rana from Simon School of Business. Alok applied to five US business schools and he obtained scholarships from all of them! His GMAT score was 710 and he had 4 years of work experience in banking sector in India.

In addition to Simon School of Business, Alok applied to Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary, Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, and Mayís School of Business at Texas A&M University. He was admitted into each of these schools with scholarships ranging from 70% to 100% tuition fee.

Please tell us about your background and why you decided to go for an MBA?

Before joining the business school, I worked with ICICI Bank in the role of Commercial Banking Relationship Manager. I was responsible for all trade activities in the cluster of six ICICI branches in Ghaziabad, India. During those four years, I gained.......




An Indian sailor's journey to Duke Fuqua Class of 2016

In this section, we interview Avinash Deori who will be starting at Fuqua School of Business, Duke University in Fall 2016

Tell us about your background and your journey to Business School admission.

I am an Indian Marine Engineer working with a Monaco-based Specialty Cruise Company, Star Clippers. I have over five years of experience on tankers and sailing vessels around the world. Iím also an avid sportsperson with a keen interest in cricket & football. With a long-time association with NGO work and a passion for dancing, I had a host of extracurricular to support my profile. Add to that a unique profile with a good amount of international exposure made me believe the MBA journey will be a cakewalk. But it was not as easy as I thought it would be. However as they say ďAll is well that ends wellĒ. In Fall 2016, I will be joining Duke Fuqua after rejecting offers from IIM B (with $$) and a few other reputed US/European colleges.

Now let's talk about your GMAT experience. What are your insights on this aspect of application?

I took GMAT in 2014 and managed a respectable score of 740 Q50 V 40 IR8 AWA 5.5. GMAT is important in MBA admissions but the weight of GMAT score as part of your overall application package will vary......




Top 5 ways to make the most of MBA Tours & Fairs

Do you know what is the most IMPORTANT step in MBA admissions?

Applying to the right business schools.

Unless you are wise about your choices, you might end up wasting a huge amount of time, effort and money. Therefore, it is important that you should not only look at what schools you aspire to attend but also try to find out what all business schools would want to admit you. This requires extensive research which is often very time-consuming.

One way to save time and conduct research quickly and efficiently is by attending the MBA Fairs. Most of the Top B-schools travel all over the world, even to a city close to you! We attended the QS MBA Tours in New Delhi on Dec 1st. More tours are coming up this month. If you are in India, make use of this opportunity!

Here are TOP 5 WAYS you can benefit most from attending the MBA Tours and Fairs

1. Do your homework: Look at the list of schools attending the Fair (you can often find that on the event registration page) and make a list of your target schools. Then plan your schedule in a way to connect with the adcoms and alums during the presentation or open fair.

2. Ask insightful questions: So what should you ask? Try not to ask the information that you can easily find online- such as class profile, program duration, tuition fee, etc. You could ask the adcom about the resources available to you for pursuing your career goals. What all companies come to......




Said Oxford admission: an Indian applicant's Success Story

We interviewed Rimi Chatterjee, 2015-16 MBA candidate, Said Business School, University of Oxford, to bring you her insights on what led to her success in gaining admission to Said Oxford School of Business for the Sep 2015 intake. Read the interview below to know why she chose to apply to one-year MBA programs, how she approached her essays and how she gained from attending MBA fairs. Rimi also talks about financial planning every MBA applicant must consider much before the admission offer comes through.

Team Vibranture: Help us understand about your career and why you decided to pursue an MBA?

Rimi Chatterjee: After earning a biotech engineering degree from West Bengal, I was hired by Infosys. What really impressed me about Infosys was they strongly encourage entrepreneurs with new innovations and ideas. My career reviews and my appraisals showed my peers and clients liked my ideas. That is when I really started thinking about becoming a consultant.
Around that time one of my friends wanted to open a pre-school to train Indian children. He approached me to do research and help him with how to run a pre-school. So for one year I worked at the pre-school and it was a very interesting and rewarding experience to play a pivotal role in training young minds. Our sponsors began backing out and we had no other money. The startup venture failure was disappointing but I learned I liked working with people of all ages.......




How to be a successful reapplicant?

Did you apply to business schools in the previous year(s) and didn't get a single admit letter? Yes, we know it can be extremely disheartening and one might be inclined to give up. But DON'T. If MBA is indeed your dream, if you truly aspire to a better career and a better life and you are convinced that it can happen only with an MBA, give it another shot and make sure it is your best! As Lance Armstrong, the famous cyclist and more importantly, cancer survivor, puts it, 'if you ever get a second chance for something, you've got to go all the way.'

Now let's talk about how to create an admission worthy application as a reapplicant.

Step 1: Discover and annihilate all weaknesses/errors in your earlier application.

Step 2: Demonstrate that you are now a far better candidate than you were 12 months back.

The first step is diagnosing what went wrong and why. It is the most critical aspect but often difficult to comment on. Paraphrasing Tolstoy, one could say "Successful MBA essays are all alike; every dinged application package is screwed up in its own way". Not quite true but you could have gone wrong in a million ways and without a look at the application, it would impossible to pinpoint. Still on conducting several Ding Analysis, some of the common reasons ..........




5 Tips on answering the video questions

Many business schools have started asking answers to video questions as part of online applications for their MBA programs. The video section gives the adcom a unique way to evaluate your personality, communication skills and ability think on your feet.

Most of the time you will have an opportunity to practice your responses to practice questions. If you don't see that option in the application section itself, it would still be good to record 60-90 sec responses to short common questions. Here are some tips to record high-quality answers for your business school application.

1. Dress appropriately: Ideally you should dress in business formals i.e. a suit with tie for men and an official suit or dress for women. Treat these videos as mini-Skype interviews and you should be dressed accordingly.

2. Posture matters: Though mostly your torso up would be visible on the video, this is not the time and place to sit relaxed or slouch. A good posture will make you appear attentive, alert and make a more positive impression. .............





AdCom Q&A with HEC Paris

In this section we bring to you our conversation with HEC Paris Development Manager for MBA programs, Ms. Lauranne Bardin.

Team Vibranture: How would you describe the culture at HEC Paris and what type of candidate would be a good fit with your program?

Ms. Lauraane Bardin: On joining HEC Paris, students join a very prestigious French school and a truly global MBA program. Our students are very open-minded and have an international mindset. This is why it is really important for us to be sure that a candidate will be able to adapt to this global environment. Therefore, international experience is very important in a studentís profile. When Iím evaluating an application and I see that someone has never traveled outside of their home country, I look to see if this person is working with a multi-cultural team or working on an international project, demonstrating their open-mindedness.  It is important for us to know that while a student is benefiting from a global student body, that they in return will have something special to contribute to the classroom........





AdCom Q&A with Goizueta Business School, Emory University

Located in the dynamic Atlanta city, Goizueta Business School offers  a competitive MBA program. We connected with Ms. Kathleen E. Edwards, Sr. Associate Director, MBA Admissions to get her insights on what adcom is looking for in prospective students.

Team Vibranture: How does Goizueta Business School evaluate submitted applications?

Ms. Kathleen Edwards: "We evaluate all applications on two foundational aspects. The first is the academic readiness, which is broken into two parts: test scores and quality of the transcript. GMAT/GRE scores get a lot of attention, as it is one area applicants have more control over Ė you canít change your undergraduate GPA, but you can work hard to ensure a competitive GMAT/GRE score. The 50th percentile on the quantitative section is a good benchmark to aim to exceed. The second part is the quality of professional work experience the applicant brings to the classroom. We look at the applicantís body of work, including the level of exposure within organizations, and the value added to those organizations. In addition to academic and professional success, the second factor is determining how a student would fit in the community. Applicants often have a lot of anxiety along the lines....




Ross School of Business, Univ. of Michigan: Success Story of an Indian Reapplicant

Sanmeet Singh Jasuja has joined the MBA Class of 2017 at Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, US. Sanmeet hails from Delhi and is B. Tech from IIT Roorkee. His GMAT score was 740.

Team Vibranture: Please describe your background and why you decided to pursue an MBA?

Sanmeet Singh: I graduated from IIT Roorkee in 2009 and the obtained five years of work experience in the financial services industry. My job involved supporting the banking teams in US and UK, but it did not require me to have any client interaction. However, during my work, I realized that a role that would involve client interaction will be better for my career in the long-term. Hence, I decided to pursue an MBA to make a transition from a support team to a client facing role.

Team Vibranture: How did you do go about doing the school selection and how did you pick Ross School of Business for your MBA?

I'm interested in pursuing a career in finance, so I decided to pick business schools that are good in finance. I started by looking at the B-school rankings and then short listed a few schools based on my career goals. While speaking to many current students and alumni, I realized that I should also look at business schools that have started to build their repute in finance because their growing focus placements in the finance industry. ...........




Success Story: Five Admission offers in first attempt!

Reem J. Odeh got admitted to MBA Class of 2017, Kelley School of Business. She also received admission offers from Tepper, Olin Washington, Smith Maryland & Fisher Ohio.

Team Vibranture: Reem, could you tell us about your background?

Reem Odeh: Before joining MBA, I worked in the mortgage industry. I graduated from North Carolina State University in 2012 and I got a job at a mortgage servicing company where I help borrowers with any questions that they have, and then I quickly moved from there and became in charge of a department in January. That job led me to consulting because I started seeing all these inefficiencies in our company, and I wanted to fix them. I also wanted to make our policies and procedures compliant and more efficient, so I started taking on this consulting role for the company. And that is when I realized I need to build a foundation. I donít have an experience in consulting beyond what Iíve done recently, so to be able to move into a full-time strategy consulting role, I knew I would need an MBA..............

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AdCom Q&A with MIT Sloan's Asia School of Business

MIT Sloan's new collaborative initiative Asia School of Business is heralding a new and innovative MBA 3.0. We speak with Director of Admissions, Ms. Julie Strong to understand the various aspects of this program.

Team Vibranture: Please help us understand the thought behind MITís initiative and collaboration of coming up with a new business school in Asia.

Ms. Julie Strong: "Asia School of Business is an exciting collaboration developed with the passion and vision of Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz from Central Bank of Malaysia. Sheís been the governor for the last 15 years, and sheís quite an amazing woman. She started the Islamic Finance Institute in Kuala Lumpur couple of years ago. They have over 2,000 students now, and that institute has single-handedly set the standard for Islamic Finance in the world. So it is because of her great vision that weíre participating in this collaboration. Asia School of Business will be its own legal entity and its own campus. MIT Sloan has an agreement with the Central Bank Negara to help develop the school over the next ten years. So itís a deep and long-term commitment, and when MIT enters a partnership like this, it's really looking for inspirational partners that we feel we can collaborate with. ............




HEC Montreal & Concordia University: Success Story of an Indian Reapplicant

Sikander Rajwade proudly joined MBA Class of 2017 at Concordia University, in Montreal, Canada this year. He also got accepted to HEC Montreal after facing rejections from top five Canadian B-schools in 2014.

Team Vibranture: What all Business schools did you apply to this year?

I applied to 6 universities in total for 2015-16 intake. HEC Montreal was my first application and my first admission. I recently received offer letters from Simon Frasier and Concordia. I got an interview invite from McGill (as reapplicant), UBC, Sauder School of Business and Schulich School of Business (awaiting result). I had plans on working on three more applications this year, but after getting admit from HEC Montreal, I dropped the rest.

What was the most challenging part of MBA application process?

I applied to 5 universities last year but got rejection letters from all. This was really heartbreaking, and my confidence and self-esteem took a big hit. To pick me up, reassess what went wrong and start the entire process all over again was the most difficult...............




AdCom Q&A with Foster School of Business, University of Washington

In this feature we invited Ms. Sarah Eytinge, Director of MBA admissions to learn about the Foster MBA program

Team Vibranture: What exactly is the admissions committee looking for in prospective students?

I often get asked the question, ďwhat is your typical MBA candidate,Ē and I say we donít have one; we are looking for diverse backgrounds and a broad range of experiences. We arenít a finance school that will take in applicants and churn out half of Wall Street Ėthatís not who we are. We want diverse perspectives in our classrooms, say, a musician, or a teacher; candidates with different profiles interests us. We think we can learn a lot from them.

Another particular that we try to look at is the drive to succeed; what has this student done so far, and where do they want to go? Are we the right place to help them achieve that? We want people who want to be part of this community, and who want to reap the benefits of being fully engaged in trying to do everything they can to reach their goals while they are at Foster............




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