How To Stand Out If You're an "Indian IT Guy"

Free advice from the world's top MBA consultants
This topic has expert replies


User avatar
Elite Legendary Member
Posts: 3135
Joined: 01 Apr 2011
Location: Everywhere
Thanked: 589 times
Followed by:332 members
Male Indian IT engineers probably face the longest odds of any applicant demographic, but that doesn't mean they're the most challenging case for a good admissions consultant. Far from it. In fact, it can be harder to get an American finance guy into a top school than it is to do the same with an Indian IT guy.

Why? Because while there are more Indian engineers applying, a huge portion of those applications are very weak and almost indistinguishable from each other. A few key improvements can move a client into the MUCH smaller circle of "competitive male Indian IT engineer applicants," a pool that is probably substantially smaller than the pool of "competitive American finance applicants."

So what are those key improvements? Here are some of the most important:

1. Cutting technical achievements. IT engineers are often rightly proud of their technical competence, but an MBA adcom doesn't give a damn about your ability to code, compile, or do advanced computer science. As an MBA, you will be the person supervising the super smart, dedicated technical professionals--not one of them. So cut the story where you stay up all night working on a complex technical problem, and replace it with a story where you LED a team to do that work on your behalf.

2. Adding an extracurricular experience or personality trait that is rare in the Indian IT applicant pool. The challenge here is that the Indian MBA applicant pool is already rare/extraordinary compared to the average person. For example, the fact that you got top marks in your city/district/state on a university entrance exam is impressive in the real world, but VERY common in the rarified community of Indian MBA applicants. Ditto volunteer teaching in an orphanage, starring in street plays, trekking in the Himalayas, and having poor parents who sacrificed a lot for your education. To stand out, you need to think of the most impressive Indian IT engineers you know... and then talk about an aspect of your biography that NONE of them shares. Ideally, you've done something they wouldn't even consider doing. Some memorable examples from our backfile: a sailor who crossed the Indian Ocean, a guy who was moonlighting as a manga artist, and an ex-seminarian who almost became a monk.

3. Choosing somewhat realistic goals. Can a person start in back office IT at a second-tier technical consultancy in India, get their MBA, and become a management consultant at an MBB consultancy in New York after graduation? If the MBA is good enough, maybe. But it's not very likely. Nonetheless, a shockingly high number of Indian IT engineers are proposing this exact career path in their goals essays. It's often far more effective to get creative, and identify a goal that takes advantage of the unique technical, leadership and cross-cultural skills an Indian IT → USA MBA graduate has. For example, entrepreneurial ideas directed at the growing Indian middle class or roles that involve managing advanced CS or AI products.

There's more to it, but these three points by themselves will go a long way to moving your application out of the herd and into the winners' circle.
"Hands down the best MBA admissions consulting firm of all-time, and boy, what an incredible founder!" -- Raj Patil, Founder of Admissionado

Something for everyone: ... nter-2018/ ... ked-vol-4/ ... 700945.htm

Reach out, and let's gab. Our only requirement is that you don't prefer warm milk over cold milk. Everyone else, 100% welcome.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 866-409-4753
Hit us up on WhatsApp.
Ping our satellite: 0884#&@-2#101101
Contact us via web form you lazy git:
Mostly, email Claudia.