How to Stand Out as an MBA Candidate

Monday, June 24th, 2019

How to Stand Out as an MBA Candidate

From the last few decades, the MBA has become a popular term amongst people of all the age groups. The increase in business transactions and business exchange globally has led Indian students to opt for courses related to the management of the business. MBA holds a world-wide recognition and importance and its demand has been increasing every day in our country. Whether it is climbing up on a corporate ladder or opening your own start-up, through MBA from a good business school, any student can think about it. IIMs, being the premier management schools in the country, practice academic rigor and provide high-quality education to the future managers. And, the Common Admission Test (CAT) is the entrance test which one has to clear to be part of the coveted legacy.

This all India level exam will take you one step forward towards this dream. If you strategize time and concepts according to your strong areas you can crack CAT. It is a computer-based test held in India. The test scores a candidate on the bases of Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability (VA), Reading Comprehension (RC), Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR). The students appearing for CAT are usually under tremendous pressure before the test.

The top business schools like IIMs and HBS is not looking only for your scores and achievements on your CV. Academic excellence is, of course, a pre-requisite to get into a good business school but it is more than that guys. CAT/GMAT score is just a beginning, the complete application for the MBA Graduate program needs to outstand from other candidates. For that purpose, we have some key elements for you to concentrate upon while preparing your application:

Wise list of your b-schools:

Choose your b-school according to your needs. In what sector you see yourself working down the lane after 5 years. All MBA graduate programs are not equal.

Take a wise decision whether you want to pursue a general MBA graduate program or you are looking for a specialization in the field of marketing, supply chain, finance, etc. Don’t be too unrealistic with your choices. Decide accordingly.

Alumni Connections:

The knowledge of the institution is an important part of the whole application and interview selection procedure. An extensive alumni network before even entering your dream school may help you more than you imagine. The insights of the campus and the program can be provided by the alumni of your dream school. In addition, they may also provide you quick tips on how you should prepare your application and survival tips in your initial phase once you enter your B-school.

Personal Story Connection:

You may think that the people on the other side of the table is not interested in your personal choices. It is a misconception. As your personal choices and decisions make who you are right now. You should be able to connect dots in your MBA graduate program application. Your personal choice on why you choose this MBA program needs to be highlighted in the application. It will help in many ways to communicate your idea and make you stand out than other candidates who may just highlight the achievements and monetary benefits or skill development through the program.

Your defining values:

Your values and strong beliefs will help you define your overall well being. Do not underestimate your hobbies. Try to connect your passions and values together and what importance they hold in your life. Achievement of your personal and professional goals is highly important.

Your personality SWOT Analysis: SWOT analysis is a common term used in the business world to define the company’s strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. In the same way, you should critically and honestly define your strengths and your plans to overcome major weaknesses to perform better.

You should elaborate in your application some previous instances where you have used some certain opportunity and highlight achievements in this section instead of plainly mentioning them in your CV. How you can utilize your personality traits in the business world. What plans do you have in mind after the MBA and how will you like to utilize your overall personality traits. How do you plan to develop more skills through the specific MBA graduate program are a few of the major questions you should elucidate in your application.

Recommendations from mentors:

Make your mentors task a little easy. Prepare a rough draft of your own recommendation letter. It will help you to deeply reflect what skills you have and what you want to sort of highlight in your letter of recommendation. Be in constant touch with your mentors and try to create a genuine bond with them rather than just running behind them before your strict deadlines.

Apply as early as possible:

If you are planning to apply for more than three to four colleges .you should start your research early. Three months of advance planning will be sufficient for you to research, prepare, proofread and make changes in your application.

Writing tips for MBA Graduate Program Application:

  • Beware of your grammatical errors: Constant mistakes in grammar is common when we get down to write an application and essay for some specific purpose.
  • Re-read after you prepare a rough draft and before final submission. It may look a tedious task but it is highly important as it will reflect your ability of clear communication.
  • Use online tools, applications to correct your grammatical errors.
  • Be clear and concise in your essay and application.
  • Be honest.
  • Mention relevant points only.

Maintain formal diction in your language in the application.

This article was contributed by Uday Bhaskar from IIM Udaipur
Uday is a mechanical engineer with around six years of manufacturing sector experience in mid-level management roles in companies like HZL and Tata Steel.
With a change in interest towards social sector and especially into higher education domain, Uday moved to work with IIM Udaipur in the role of Programs Officer where he manages the academic administration components of multiple programs.

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