A decision to pursue higher studies to refine one’s skill set and bridge the knowledge gap is an extremely practical decision one has to take to move up the career ladder. But to be admitted to a top business school is certainly not a cake walk. A lot of time, energy and effort need to be put in to be able to make it to a top-cadre school. When one aspires to study aboard the first few names that one thinks of are Stanford, Harvard, Wharton and the likes. But is getting into these business schools that easy?
For our readers today we have tried to consolidate a few tips that would assist in putting up a superior application to these elite business schools:
- Begin your process way ahead of the deadlines. It helps you in addressing loopholes, if any, in your profile and provides sufficient time to build your profile. A half-hearted application that lacks proper strategy always proves fatal.
- GMAT is one of the crucial parameters that may decide your fate. Most schools would expect that their applicants have a certain minimum score at the time of applications. Keep that score in mind and prepare rigorously for the test. In cases where your scores do not match your expectations you might have to retake the test; in such a scenario starting early leaves you with more time at hand. A good GMAT score will hold you in good stead for a scholarship too.
- Pay a personal visit to your dream school, attend a class and experience the vibrant culture on campus. This is an expensive affair; however, if it suits your pocket it is worth a shot. Since you will be spending the two crucial years away from the workforce you better make a well-informed decision about which school you would be attending.
- Networking starts from the day you decide to apply. So talk to the university students, whether current or past; it would give you a broader perspective of what the school has to offer, how the school culture fits you and in what way.
- Learn new languages or pursue some certifications that would enhance your profile if time permits. If you haven’t heard of Coursera, go take a look at it online.
- Business schools are interested in understanding how you would add value to their community. This means that only a bookworm or a workaholic may not impress them. What they would want to understand is whether you are a sports enthusiast or have an inclination towards community service or have nurtured a unique interest. Basically, the school would try to gauge how you would add to the diversity of the school and contribute to its dynamic student base.
- Be honest in your essays; if you can portray the “Genuine YOU” in your essays and not pretend to be someone else, chances are you will be able to impress the adcoms.
- The expertise of an Admissions Consultant could make things easier for you. Hiring one wisely would ensure you apply to the right set of schools and not miss out on any important deadlines. Plus brainstorming your essays with the consultant would ensure you are on the right track.
- Transcripts and Recommendations are other important documents in your application. Apply for your transcripts early on so even if there is a delay from your university on issuing these you will not land in any trouble.
- Interviews are crucial. Whether telephonic, Skype or face-to-face, if the interviewers think you are the same person who the essays claim you are, if you appear confident and if you showcase immense potential to make it big during and after the program; chances are you will nail it.
- Top schools design their curriculum keeping in mind what the industry demands and hence all provide crème de la crème programs. However, schools, especially the ones in the USA, offer different specializations and hence, students must map their requirements and shortlist schools accordingly. So if you are a Marketing professional you would choose Kellogg which is good for Marketing over Wharton which is known for Finance.
- You must try to understand what a school looks for in its applicants before making an application. The Harvard Business School admission committee looks at a go-getter attitude in its applicants, is a good example of this.
With these few but really important tips we believe we have helped you in our own little way. However, if you wish to add anything to these based on your personal experiences, don’t stop yourself. Add your thoughts in the comments section below.