Indian Women: 6 Tips to Get Admitted to a Top MBA Program
Business schools are luring the best female candidates from the around the world and enrollment of women is on the rise at top programs. Here are six things Indian women applicants can do to increase their odds.
1. Portray a Well-Rounded Profile
Admission to Indian educational institutions is focused on academic history. Business schools around the world look at the candidate’s overall profile. Having a high GPA and GMAT/GRE score is not enough to get you a seat at a top business school. While demonstrating the ability to handle the quantitative coursework at business school is important, Indian women candidates also need to show that there is more to them than just numbers.
Think about your personal and professional experiences. What you have learned from them and how those experiences have shaped you. Talk about what makes you unique and what you can contribute to the program—both in the classroom and in outside activities.
2. Showcase Leadership Teamwork Communication (LTC) skills
Leadership Teamwork Communication (LTC) skills are essential for success at business school. Candidates should highlight their LTC skills through their professional and personal experiences. For example, did you chair a committee for your undergrad tech fest or lead your company’s CSR initiative?
Leadership should not be confused with having authority or managing people. Leadership can be in any form such as taking initiative or where you led something, organized an event or stepped up to take responsibility. Indian women candidates must demonstrate that they have what it takes to lead—that they can collaborate and have good communication skills.
3. Research Schools and Determine FIT
Everyone wants to be associated with the best brand. While brand is important in Indian culture and across the world, the ‘best’ MBA brand may not always be the right option for you. Given the number of business schools out there, it is important for candidates to research MBA programs and determine which school offers the right FIT for them while considering their career goals, opportunities, culture and location of the school.
4. Look at the Numbers
When selecting schools to apply to, consider which ones may be looking to increase the percentage of women in their program. Most of the top 10 MBA programs have ~40% women. If you look a bit further down the rankings you will notice some fantastic schools that have substantially lower representation of women. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) has a mere 26% women while Indiana University (Kelley) has 29%.
5. Start Networking and Create Connections
Networking can be very powerful and Indian women candidates should focus on connecting with current students, alumni and admissions representatives from the schools they are interested in. Take up the opportunity to attend the MBA fairs, online webinars and admissions event to learn about program offerings and get in front of the members of the admissions team. Reach out to school club officers, current students, alumni and professionals in your career field of interest.
6. Get Guidance
Crafting a strong MBA application while working full-time can be a challenge. Candidates should consider getting guidance from a trusted advisor on how to manage the admissions process and craft a compelling application. Having an extra set of eyes, whether it is an admissions counselor, friends or family, review your application can be beneficial and help avoid errors to maximize your chances for success.
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