6 tips to get admit into the world’s top business schools

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Interested in getting an MBA from one of the world’s top Business school? Here we have Deepika Singh sharing her experiences that secured her admit into Kellogg School of Management, US. Let’s keep calm and hear to her.

“I applied to 4 business schools in US last year (Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, and Duke Fuqua), was accepted at 2 of those. I started at Kellogg this fall :) I’ll try to share what I think might be helpful.

Business schools tend to look at various factors (in no particular order). You would need to focus on all of them while building/writing your application.”

Here we go!


1. GMAT score

While schools have no minimum cut offs, Indians and Chinese form the most competitive pools and so a 720+ score will be a positive check. Anything lower than 700, you may want to take the test again while, anything above 740 is said to be helpful for scholarships but I am not sure about this point.

That said, especially we Indians tend to focus too much on this aspect (forgive the generalization but we do love tests). This is a part of the application, just a part.

Also read 3 simple steps I followed to score 340/340 in the revised General GRE test


2. Academic profile

Not much to be said about this except good grades, certificates and awards are a help. Past performance is considered as a good measure of future success.


3. Work experience

I believe this may be the most important aspect of your application. Business schools value applicants who have leadership/management experience. Look for roles that give you the opportunity to hone these skills. The experiences you gain will need to be highlighted in your application essays (Take a look at the application essay questions for the top 10 schools, you will see that leadership is a common theme in addition to cultural fit).

Business schools usually ask for 1-2 recommendations. Talk to your boss, partner or client. Their support will be critical not only to get the right roles you would need, but also if you plan to get a recommendation from one of them.

4. Extra-curricular activities

Schools look for well-rounded individuals. So focus on a few things outside of work. If you have interests in music, dance etc. and have been committed to it for a significant time, it plays to your advantage! Also, if your role hasn’t given you the opportunity to show leadership skills, this may be a great place to highlight those skills (team sports could be an example). That however does not mean that all hope is lost if you have been solely focussed on academics and work. It takes all types to make a diverse MBA class!!

5. Focussed career vision

Think about this quite hard. Why do you want to do an MBA? What will it get you? Is there a particular industry such as consulting that you want to transition to? Do you want to move to a particular geography? Are there skills that you need for a role you see yourself doing in the future? These are important not only because an MBA is a big investment but because schools grill you on this. They have been doing this for a while now and know a well thought out plan from a ‘story’. Also, answering these questions is tough. It took me a year!
I thought hard, spoke to people in the industry I wanted to transition to and did tonnes of research!

6.  Reasons for selection

You need to explain in your application why X school is THE school for you.

Research about schools, speak to current students and alumni. This will not only help you understand the school better, but will also help you highlight your interest and why you think you will be a good fit at the school. It is not just about the rank. For e.g. at Kellogg and Duke, teamwork is the foundation of the learning process. If you don’t enjoy working in a team, those are not schools you want to apply to. 


Article contributors:

Deepika Singh Deepika Singh

Deepika is an MBA candidate at Northwestern University- Kellogg School of Management, USA. Prior to this, she worked with Dr.  Reddy’s Laboratories at Hyderabad, India for four years. She also has an MBA in Pharmaceuticals Management from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, India.   


You are most welcome to share your MBA experiences! Use the comments section below

Written by

Damini Mahajan is the CEO and Co-Founder of WeMakeScholars.com. #Masters in Bioprocess Engg, University of Sheffield, UK #SocialEntrepreneur #Enthusiast #LoveDancing

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