Which Business School to Apply in March?

You reveal quite a few things about yourself if you ask ‘which B school to apply in March” when it is already mid-March. Some examples:

1. You did not make it to an IIM or any other of the Top 20 B schools.
2. You are mildly depressed.
3. Your family wants you to get into a decent B school this year itself.
4. You do not want to spend another year preparing for CAT.
5. You don’t want to take a huge bank loan to get your MBA from some vague school in Australia, Canada, France, Singapore, U.K. or the U.S.A.
6. You are tired of relatives and friends ask you “So, what are your plans? What will you do next?”

What you know is that you will have to apply to a few of the 2980 B Schools in India and get selected by one, just one of them, before June this year. It is a race against time. Trouble is that you don’t know what will help you decide the B School to which you want to apply.

You went through the web sites of a few B Schools. You felt that they all said pretty much the same things: Great Board of Governors. Great campus. Great facilities. Great faculty. Great course outline. Great alumni. Great placements. Easy application process. The websites didn’t help you decide which B Schools to apply.

You asked your friends for advice. They more or less said:

Yaar, Why do people go to B Schools? To get good jobs. And what are good jobs? The ones which pay the most money. The rest, is all bakwas (nonsense). It is not all that complicated. Ask two questions – how many companies came to the campus for final placement this year and what were the CTC packages they gave. Apply to the B School which got the most companies to come and got their PGDM/MBA the highest CTC. That’s it, yaar. Simple! ”

You are not convinced. All kinds of thoughts run in your head. Looks like a press conference is going on inside it.

Sure, getting a good, high paying job is important. But you have to perform well in the interview to get it. How will you crack the interview?
By answering the interviewers’ questions.
How will you answer your interviewers’ questions?
By knowing stuff, your subject matter.
How will you know stuff?
By attending class and studying.
Is knowing stuff enough to clear an interview?
Let me think. Let me think…No, it isn’t. One must first get called for an interview.
How will you get called for the interview?
By writing a winning resume.
How will you write a winning resume?
By getting trained in writing resumes.
Is training all you need to produce a winning resume?
Of course not. You have to have material to put in it, the resume I mean.
Like?
What you want to do. What you have done which will let you do what you want to do. What knowledge and skills you used to do what you did and can help in doing what you want to do. What education gave you the knowledge and helped you develop your skills.
Ok, let us say you get called to an interview. Is your resume all you need to get you selected?
No. You need to answer interviewer’s questions, confidently and convincingly.
How will you answer the interviewer’s questions confidently and convincingly?
By getting trained in interviewing skills.

The answer to your questions is hidden in your thoughts. I walked in your shoes. I too had similar thoughts. Then I decided I would send B Schools whose websites I liked more an email. In it I would say something like:

“Dear Sir/Madam:

I am considering applying to the PGDM program in your B School. I secured ___ per cent marks in my ______ examinations (Fill in the appropriate degree) from ________ (Fill in the name of your Institute/College as appropriate). I was placed in the ___ percentile in ______ (Fill in the name of the admissions test you took. E.g. CAT, XAT, GMAT, CMAT).

Before I send my application (along with applicable fees), I have a few questions and would be grateful if your Placement Office could answer them:

1. Does your B School have a Placement Office?
2. Does your Placement Office market your B School and its programs to companies?
3. Does your Placement Office provide students training in self-assessment, resume writing,
interviewing skills? If yes, can you share some details about such training?
4. Does your B School provide any Work Study Scholarships, where students are given 20 hours
of assignments in exchange for scholarships, such as Tuition Waiver?
5. How many companies came for placement to your campus this year?
6. How many graduating PGDMs found jobs through campus interviews?
7. How many job offers did students receive on average?
8. What were the lowest and highest CTC packages?

Thank you for your help in advance.

Yours sincerely

My name,
My mobile phone number
My email address)”
___________

I would wait to hear from them. I’d give them about three weeks. I would not be surprised or disappointed if a majority B Schools did not reply. To me B Schools which did not reply to my letter demonstrated that they really didn’t care about and respect their students. I wouldn’t apply to them.

I’d study the replies I got from the B Schools. I’d short list those B Schools whose answers to my questions made sense and felt real. I’d then compare and evaluate their fees, payment schedules, scholarships etc. I would apply to B Schools that made me feel comfortable and hopeful. I’d do this because this is what works for me. You have to do what works for you.

Good luck with your B School hunt!
Dr Naganand Kumar

Dr. Nagananda Kumar

Executive Director, MYRA School of Business

June 3, 2014