THE NEXT THIRTY MINUTES… “You must unlearn… what you have learned.” - Master Yoda 1) Jon’s Intro 2) Vijay Lights it up 3) Supporting Cast 4) Jon’s Indian (App) Experience 5) Q and A
WHAT DO PEOPLE IN THE US UNDERSTAND ABOUT INDIA?OR… WHAT DO THEY THINK THEY UNDERSTAND? Outsourcing. High Tech. Poor. Foreign. DIFFERENT! BUT ON THE RISE! Ask any US citizen, what do you think about India. They will say, “India and China are taking over!” And that’s just fine with us... Why is this significant? Because now you know what the adcom is thinking about you. Make them feel like you are NOT too foreign. You CAN do more than IT. You’re capable of BIG picture stuff. Juuuust like any American…
WHAT DO US ADCOMS UNDERSTAND ABOUT INDIAN MBAAPPLICANTS? OR… WHAT DO THEY THINK THEY UNDERSTAND? EXTREMELY SMART PEOPLE. Test scores. A possible lack of creativity? Lack of soft skills. “Management science” was born in the “West” (vs. outsourcing, etc.) Lack of international experience, international perspective. Why is all this significant? Not because any of it is “true.” But because must overcome these misconceptions in our applications.
SO WHAT IS OUR GOAL? Essentially, we need to get from here… To here.
VIJAY: AN INTRODUCTION• Indian/Non-IT/Male• Education: Master of Science• Work Experience: 6 years• Current Job: Researcher• Area: Chemicals & Metals• International Experience: 7 years• Volunteer Activities: Amnesty International & Greenpeace• GMAT: Below 700
VIJAY: BACKGROUND• Didn’t study at IIT in India and any top (known!) universities• Didn’t get gold medal during studies (Failed in 2 BE exams!)• Didn’t score 700+ in GMAT (70% in Quants!)• Don’t work for one of Fortune 500 companies• Don’t have direct report (Never led anyone at work)• Don’t have budget responsibility• Didn’t have any promotion• Don’t have any friends/family members who did MBAIf I can get into INSEAD, anyone can. YOU CAN.
VIJAY: APPLICATION PROCESS• GMAT – August 2011• Campus Visit: LBS, IMD, INSEAD, HEC, Oxford, Cambridge, IE & RSM• LBS – Round 2 – January 2012 – Ding• IMD – Round 2 – April 2012 – Waitlisted• INSEAD – Round 1- April 2012 – ADMITTED• HEC – Rolling – May 2012 – ADMITTED (+ Merit Scholarship)
VIJAY: TIPS • ESSAYS are very important • Again, ESSAYS are very important. Don’t focus too much on GMAT • Get admission consultants help (INSEAD Fee: 59000 Euros, Consultant Fee: ~1500 Euros) • Visit campus, if possible. Attend MBA information sessions • Read case study, books & newsletters of B-schools you target • Avoid technical jargons • Join volunteer activities
INTRODUCING: ANARDegree collector? (OPTIONAL ESSAY.)Older? (WILLING TO WORK, 1 Yr MBA.)Work experience? (SHORT BUT GOOD.)
INTRODUCING: ARCHITNot IIT? (SUPER SMART.)Start Up? (Straighten out career goals.)Typical Indian? (Check out Interests.)
INDIAN APPLICANTS FACE A UNIQUE SET OFCHALLENGES IN THEIR APPS—MBA APPS ESPECIALLY That’s where we come in. We have done 12,000 MBA applications in five years. Last year, well over 50% of our client base was international (90% Indian and Chinese.). All Admissionado MBA consultants attended Magic 7 MBA programs in the US and live in the US or Europe, and are native speakers. My co-Founder Raj Patil is of Indian descent and we know the Indian story intimately. I have trained all our guys personally—and Raj and I look at EVERYTHING before it goes out the door. When there is a second MBA (all Deluxe packages), I do the work personally… We have both the Indian and the US perspective. It takes BOTH!
WE KNOW THAT WE’RE THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN, FORINDIAN MBA APPLICANTS … SO LET’S “TALK TURKEY” As part of our patented application system for Indian applicants, we have split the MBA application into five parts: Work Experience. Essays. Test Scores. Letters of Recommendation. Interviews. Let’s talk about each one, and how each is uniquely different for Indian applicants.
PART 1 OF 5: THE ROLE OF WORK EXPERIENCE IN ANINDIAN MBA APPLICATION US Companies (Bridging the gap). “This applicant GETS the way it works in the US.” English skills Soft skills Comfort with US culture International Companies (Bridging the gap). The ability to work to an international standard. The ability to adapt across cultures. Europe, for example, “feels” less foreign than India. Family Businesses. Can be huge for all applicants...especially Indian.So if you don’t have any of these three benefits in your app, how will you account for that?“I don’t work for a US company, but here is proof that I know English ANYWAY, etc.”
PART 1 OF 5: THE ROLE OF WORK EXPERIENCE IN ANINDIAN MBA APPLICATION Starting with an IT background? Well let’s take it…in a new direction. IT as a path into Product Development Very logical progression: you know the backend, and now it’s time to get exposed to the front-end. General management, so to speak. IT as a path into Consulting Sure I work in IT. But in fact, I spend all my time solving problems, working on teams. Sounds a lot like…consulting to me. IT as a path into Marketing I know the back end and now to “make stuff.” What I don’t know is how to market the sh*t out of it. That’s what is missing. IT as a path into Finance I know the backend—have you heard of etrade? Online finance platforms are BIG business. But I need the finance background… IT as a path into Entrepreneurship. Anyone ever heard of Apple? Google? They were all startups...
WHAT’S THE LESSON HERE? IT can lead us into ANY field. It is not a drawback, it is a GREAT way to segue into other areas. IT is perhaps the only field in the world of MBA apps where a “career change” is not just okay, it is to be expected. And there are COUNTLESS ways to skin it, as we have shown. You cannot hide from your IT background—the REAL skill is in being able to man up, saying that YES you have this background, and BECAUSE of it you will get a job. BECAUSE OF it, not IN SPITE of it. Lesson? MAN UP. You won’t fool anyone. If you’re doing it right, your IT background is not a liability, it is a STRENGTH.
PART 2 OF 5: THE ROLE OF ESSAYS IN AN INDIAN MBAAPPLICATION • OVERVIEW An example: walk across the room. Three Key Ingredients: OBJECTIVE OBSTACLES STAKES Your readers are on autopilot. But THESE three items create an itch, and create tension. After all, you only have 5-7 minutes.
PART 2 OF 5: THE ROLE OF ESSAYS IN AN INDIAN MBAAPPLICATION • CREATIVE ESSAY ORGANIZATION A Scary Statistic… Question: How long does it take an Adcom member (on the first review) to read your entire application? Answer: 5-10 minutes! Why is this significant? Because if your essays are engaging, you will have a distinct advantage. So then, what’s the secret to writing engaging essays? Dramatic Writing Focus today: Organization
PART 3 OF 5: THE ROLE OF LORS IN AN INDIAN MBAAPPLICATION Usually, applicants write them themselves. This is very, very bad. For some reason, we find this especially true with Indian applicants… It is obvious. Not a killer, but obvious. We leave out a TON of great stuff. Why? 70-30 rule. The role of specifics—there are only so many adjectives. The role of…TONE! Versus the role of, well, tone?
PART 4 OF 5: THE ROLE OF TEST SCORES IN A INDIAN MBAAPPLICATION GMAT must be high. Why? 99.9% of colleges are unknown. Even in the top 3, their reputation is that students don’t work. And again, India gets a bad rap. The GMAT is a powerful equalizer. EVERYONE must take this test, everyone’s on the same footing. And besides, it is just so darn competitive for Indian applicants; let’s run through the Stanford math: 330 accepted students 110 will be “international” 55 will be “men” This means that 55 men from ALL countries will be accepted. There are a lot of countries out there folks…
PART 5 OF 5: THE ROLE OF INTERVIEWS IN AN INDIAN MBAAPPLICATION Walk me through your resume. Walk me through a powerful leadership experience. Why do you want to get an MBA? Why do you want to go to Columbia? Walk me through a couple strengths and a couple weaknesses? Do you have any questions for me?
PART 5 OF 5: THE ROLE OF INTERVIEWS IN AN INDIAN MBAAPPLICATION Walk me through your resume. Keep it quick. 4 minutes max. And fill in the they dont see TRANSITIONS in their copy of your resume. Explain WHY in a story. Walk me through a powerful leadership experience. Let’s talk about YOUR GREATEST HITS shall we? You can tell ANY story, for ANY question that is asked… Why do you want to get an MBA? Very logical—I am at Point A. I wanna get to point C. Therefore, I need Point B. I am NOT a tech guy. I am NOT a typical Indian candidate. Links to Career Goals. Why do you want to go to Columbia? Two ways to skin it; hard and soft. Academic/career, and social. Walk me through a couple strengths and a couple weaknesses? Strengths are easy (and pick a leadership oriented one.) Weaknesses though play on your strengths…
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