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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

B-school interviews


For MBA aspirants, who have applied for round 1 (i.e. November) deadlines for globally reputed MBA programs, the interview is an integral part of the admissions process.  It is also a standard practice among B-Schools designed to surface talents and capabilities that are more tacit in nature, and therefore, less apparent in a written application. B-SCHOOL interviews are basically about testing your communication abilities, particularly in an improvised setting. What you say is important but how you say it is more important. 
International candidates, who have qualified in the basic admission requirements round, are allowed phone interviews. Alumni interviews are conducted for B-schools like ISB, Great Lakes, SP Jain, XLRI, IIIM PGPX etc. in select metros.

Commonly asked questions: You will be asked questions similar to those themes that recur throughout the admissions process:
·         Academic capabilities/ qualifications
·         Leadership experience and potential
·          We all have weaknesses. What are some of your major weaknesses?
·         What are your strengths?
·         What type of decisions do you have difficulty making?
·         What is your work ethic? Give an example when your work ethic was challenged and how u dealt with it.
·         What is your biggest failure?
·         Describe your ideal career.
·         Work experience - Where do you see yourself five years from now? Describe a major goal you've set for yourself recently.
·         Experience with working on teams
·         What do you expect to do  with your MBA and what you expect to get out of the program
·         What you will bring to enrich the class
·         What questions you have about the program

Preparation:
Think long and hard about the obvious questions such as... Why MBA school? Why now? Be able to articulate this very well verbally.

1.       Your response should be focused and purposeful.
2.       Communicate a pattern of interests and skills that relate to the B-school in question.
3.       Be alert and confident.

Duration:  Anywhere between 30 mins to an hour long


Specific B-school questions:
Rotterdam School of Management- Erasmus Graduate School of Business. \

Admissions Officer. "Marjolijn Dijksterhuis" wrote, in a phone interview, I can tell you that you will be asked a number of questions about your application (e.g. objectives, motives). The questions will be in line with the issues addressed in the essays.
ISB interview:
Related mostly to work, no reference to application essays.
1.       Why ISB?
2.        Questions on ISB? Why at MBA at this point of time?
3.       Some very specific work related questions
         Chicago-GSB:
·         10 mins on your professional experience, starting from the first job.
·         5 mins on the extracurricular background, your present activities outside professional activities and the activities you would like to participate in GSB?
·         Why MBA? Why this school? Short-term goals where and what industry would you work?
·         What are you specifically are you looking to gain from this MBA program?
·         How and when did u realize the need of an MBA? 5 mins -Questions on the school?
           OLIN Business School (University of Washington in St .Louis):
·         Why mba? Why this school?? When did you first hear of the school - How? Questions on the school?
·         3 adjectives to describe your strengths as per you? If I talk to your colleagues what would they say regarding these strengths - will they agree?
·         What would they say on your weaknesses?
·         What 3 criteria would you use to select the school to join, in case you are accepted by all the schools you have applied to?
·         How do you spend your leisure time?
·         Where and what industry do you want to work? Why
Dos and Don’ts:

Do’s:
·         Be alert and hence confident
·         Know in detail about the B-school Program, thus showing enthusiasm about attending the B-school
·         Speak clearly and audibly.
·         Please be punctual for the interview, if in case of rescheduling please inform the admission’s committee in advance.
·         Select a sound proof place for the interview
·         Always have an alternate number for phone interview.

Don’ts:
·         Don't put yourself into a position where you have to get into school no matter what.
·         Don’t bluff or over emphasize.
·         Don’t be arrogant with the interviewer
·         Don’t pose an accent
·         Don’t sound bored.
·         Don’t use a cordless phone.

Last but not the least consider the interview as one last opportunity to tilt the admit scale in your favor. If an interview is offered , grab this opportunity ,since in person we tend to be more compelling and can address certain weaknesses , or bring other qualities like enthusiasm,  sense of humor , maturity to life which  could positively tip the scale in the admit decision.

GOOD LUCK!!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Excerpts from my SOP Editing Process...


Statement Of Purpose  Original Draft 1:
I am looking for a place where I can juggle with some hardware, do lots of
coding in interfacing systems and use control engineering principles to build robots and
automatic systems. I am glad that my thought process had a fusion of mechanical
structures and firmware right from my childhood any specific instance/background that brought about this interest , which could possibly be my inner drive to graduate me in Mechatronics with distinction.
I recollect that my debut in the programming area was during my final grade in
elementary school. I started programming in BASIC, the most primitive parlance of
computers. Eventually, I obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Application when
I was just about to complete my middle school at the age of …!!l, by then, I had developed some games with my Uncanny reword this has a –ve connotation to it expertise in C programming.
It was during my high school days when I tried to learn the nuances and
intricacies involved in software engineering principles and gained expertise in many of
the commercial computer languages and packages – through a  Higher Diploma in
Software Engineering from APTECH Computer Education. It was really a wonderful experience when I built my first ever radio with my petty exposure to electronics. Burgeoning interest in electronics motivated  me to pursue  a Diploma certificate in what ?.
It was really a criticaldecision for me do a bachelors in Mechatronics engineering – with high hopes that I would attain my destiny?(intangible reword this maybe goal/objective)  why mechatronics  as field of choice is not clear there is no mention of your intrest in mechanics its only Hardware and software that you are discussing here .
My graduation did partially satiate my thirst for learning & technological
proficiency. Though, I gained substantial exposure in a gamut of technicalities like Thin-
Films fabrication, Machine Vision, MEMS, Embedded Systems and Robotics. I could not
fathom my research capabilities with my work on sensors and vision systems.
Expectations grew big on me when I, jointly, did industry projects and indigenously
developed a very low cost humanoid robot. My ambidextrous robot could  roll on its legs
and had the ability to speak from text. It can be controlled from a remote computer as the
mechanical structure was actuated by a remote application, which was built using Java
RMI and Java Speech API. The making of my robot was a memorable experience both in
terms of success and hardships, as this metallic incarnation was  as though bringing to life a part of my imagination.
I invigorated myself and joined a software consulting multi-national corporation –
where I honed my soft kills and efficiently utilized my technological skills in achieving
excellence. I did showcase an excellent demeanor and proved my mettle in executing
critical projects in a demanding atmosphere your reasons for joining software firm have to be more convincing here , you need to correlate this to your Masters program  .
Conclusion needs to talk about why this program , and why at this university – this needs to discus your short term goals and how these can be achieved through masters and lay the foundation for your  long term goals

Heading to take my next leap towards my destiny?(goal would be better here) –where I can accomplish my succeeding milestone in a long peregrination of research & development of an intelligent micro-mechatronic system catering the ever-changing technological needs of humans. ( this appears very vague , make it specifc as explained above)

Version 1 Edit 


Statement of Purpose
I am looking for a structured learning program where I can juggle with some hardware, do lots of coding in interfacing systems and use control engineering principles to build robots and automatic systems.  I am glad that my thought process brought about  a fusion of mechanical structures and firmware right from my childhood as I used to dismantle old transistor radios and also,play with electromagnets connected directly to an AC supply and getting a shock rarely discouraged me from doing so again Robots have always drawn the curiosity of children, industrialists and robotics professionals. Like any other kid I was intrigued with robots and enjoyed to have fun with them (mention if u exposure to robots here )..

I can vividly recollect my debut in the programming area during my final grade in elementary school. I started programming in BASIC, the most primitive parlance of computers. Eventually, I obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Application when I was just about to complete my middle school at the tender age of 12. While doing my course I developed a shooting game with my expertise in C programming (what was so novel abt this program).It was during my high school days when I tried to learn the nuances and intricacies involved in software engineering principles and gained expertise in many of the commercial computer languages and packages – through a Higher Diploma in Software Engineering from APTECH Computer Education.  Correlate here technically bring out shortcomings of software which prompted to    It was really a wonderful experience when I built my first ever radio with my petty exposure to electronics. Burgeoning interest in electronics motivated me to pursue a Diploma in electronics where I learnt the circuitry of a tape recorder and television and realized how manipulation of electrons and electromagnetic waves could help humans to enjoy the benefits of information technology (not IT or probably electronics)

Though, I had an opportunity to take up other programs like computer science engineering which was the trend among many of the high school students in my state. I believed in applying both my software and electronics skills at learning new technologies I found Mechatronics as the best course which could suit my career interests at that stage.I fondly refer to this course as a “Sandwich of mechanical and electronics engineering topped with software”. True to my thoughts, the definition of Mechatronics does read as the synergistic combination of mechanical, electrical, electronics, control and software engineering I  also wanted take robotics as a profession rather as a hobby and just for this reason it was really a critical decision for me do a bachelors in Mechatronics engineering – which was offered in very few colleges in India. I believe that the intrinsic interest developed in the childhood also led to an inner drive for me to pursue my graduation in Mechatronics with distinction

My graduation did partially satiate my thirst for learning & technological proficiency. Though, I gained substantial exposure in a gamut of technicalities like Thin- Films fabrication, Machine Vision, MEMS, Embedded Systems and Robotics. I could not utilize  my research capabilities to the fullest pertaining to my work on sensors and vision systems Expectations grew big on me why?  when I, decided to jointly, undertake industry projects and indigenously developed a very low cost humanoid robot. My ambidextrous robot could roll on its legs and had the ability to speak from text. It can be controlled from a remote computer as the mechanical structure was actuated by a remote application, which was built using Java RMI and Java Speech API. The making of my robot was a memorable experience both in terms of success and hardships, as this metallic incarnation was as though bringing to life a part of my imagination.

            During my Bachelors I had done  a course on “Software Engineering” where I was theoretically exposed to the activities involved in project management like discerning scope, planning, estimation, risk mitigation, cost and time management. These skills I believe are highly essential for any research or for executing industry projects. Coincidently after my graduation, I got a chance to  hone these skills as a software consultant at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. a multinational software consulting company. Here, I was involved in 3 projects concurrently and multi-tasked effectively, , meeting the expected deliverables and suggesting cost effective solutions. I honed my soft kills like ? and efficiently utilized my technical knowledge in achieving excellence. I have displayed an excellent demeanor and proved my mettle in all my assignments.

Why still the need for masters is there after working for two years ?
           
Why this university: This para needs to tailormade to the university research

           I am looking forward to work in your esteemed institution under your able guidance.why talk abt the research done in their dept /lab , u can even mention the name of a prof you have interacted with  I find the researches and the publications from you team is related to my interests and I believe that your lab (name any specific lab)will be a perfect platform for u need to map u’r short term goals I strongly believe that pursuing my career in developing micro-mechatronic products for bio-medical application will not only help in achieving my ambition in professional career but also make me a valuable asset for human society. This could be your short term goal   to the masters programi,e what u abt what u aspire to do post the MS degree and the talk abt the long term goals as mentioned here  my next venture be explicit mention what it is?

I believe that I have the perfect blend of all the relevant  technological and  project execution skills to take up my graduate research in the field of  Mechatronics.

Almost Final Version
Statement of Purpose
I am looking for a structured learning program where I can juggle with some hardware, do lots of coding in interfacing systems and use control engineering principles to build robots and automatic systems. I am glad that my thought process brought about a fusion of mechanical structures and firmware right from my childhood as I used to dismantle old transistor radios and also play with electromagnets connected directly to an AC supply and getting a shock rarely discouraged me from doing so again. Robots have always drawn the curiosity of children, industrialists and robotics professionals. Like any other kid I was intrigued with robots and enjoyed to have fun with toy robots.

I can vividly recollect my debut in the programming area during my final grade in elementary school. I started programming in BASIC, the most primitive parlance of computers. Eventually, I obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Application when I was just about to complete my middle school at the tender age of 12. While doing my course I developed a shooting game with my expertise in C programming. This program consisted majority of the functionalities in C right from file-manipulation to graphics and handling interrupts. It was during my high school days when I did a course on Higher Diploma in Software Engineering, from APTECH Computer Education. This course helped me to learn many of the commercial languages, packages and database systems. I found myself inclined towards systems programming similar to device drivers like accessing the hardware signals connected to the computer, manipulating directly with memory address and TSR programs. At that stage when I self-learnt to flip-flop the LEDs in the keyboard with a small program it was really amazing to me and started fooling around this activity by doing permutations and combinations in switching on & off of the three LED bulbs in keyboard. I could not find any application for this feature which I felt as my in-ability to seam this program with any external device since during the same period I had built my first ever radio this motivated me to further explore the field of electronics through a diploma course in electronics where I learnt the circuitry of a tape recorder and television and realized how manipulation of electrons and electromagnetic waves  with the help of a computer could help humans to enjoy the benefits of electronics.
Though, I had an opportunity to take up other programs like computer science engineering which was the trend among many of the high school students in my state. I believed in applying both my software and electronics skills at learning new technologies I found Mechatronics as the best course which could suit my career interests at that stage. I fondly refer to this course as a “Sandwich of mechanical and electronics engineering topped with software”. True to my thoughts, the definition of Mechatronics does read as the synergistic combination of mechanical, electrical, electronics, control and software engineering. I also wanted take robotics as a profession rather as a hobby and just for this reason it was really a critical decision for me do a bachelors in Mechatronics engineering – which was offered in very few colleges in India. I believe that the intrinsic interest developed in the childhood also led to an inner drive for me to pursue my graduation in Mechatronics with distinction.

My graduation did partially satiate my thirst for learning & technological proficiency. Though, I gained substantial exposure in a gamut of technicalities like Mechanics, Thin-Films fabrication, Machine Vision, MEMS, Embedded Systems and Robotics. I justified my decision of choosing Mechatronics when I did a small project for a contest. I purchased the mechanical links of a four-legged walking robot discarded the circuitry that came along with it and refurbished the robot with my own circuitry to connect it with a computer using IR links. I made the circuitry actuate the robot by using my old childhood program, which was the flip-flops of the LED bulbs in keyboard. I was satisfied that I was able to  finally fnd an application to this feature..I could not utilize my research capabilities to the fullest pertaining to my work on sensors and vision systems. and my tryst in different research activities had increased the expectations of my faculty hence I decided to do an industry project for my thesis. We worked on automated textile inspection system for textile industries to identify a couple of textile defects we really did better to satisfy all the stakeholders of the project. While doing my thesis I also developed  an Humanoid Robot - ambidextrous robot could roll on its legs and had the ability to speak from text. The making of this robot was a memorable experience both in terms of success and hardships, as this metallic incarnation was able to bring only a part of my imagination into reality. by utilizing my research in sensors and vision (can we say this )
            During my Bachelors I had done a course on “Software Engineering” where I was theoretically exposed to the activities involved in project management like discerning scope, planning, estimation, risk mitigation, cost, and time management. These skills I believe are highly essential for any research or for executing industry projects. Coincidently after my graduation, I got a chance to hone these skills as a software consultant at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. a multinational software consulting company. Here, I was involved in 3 projects concurrently and multi-tasked effectively, meeting the expected deliverables and suggesting optimized solutions. I honed my soft kills like leadership qualities and people management and efficiently utilized my technical knowledge in achieving excellence. I have displayed an excellent demeanor and proved my mettle in all my assignments.

            Looking back at  the research  I have accomplished till date along with my software experience , I still believe that I need to channelize my learning process. through a Masters in Mechatronics where I can develop micro-mechatronic products dedicated to perform minimally invasive surgery and cater the emerging needs of bio-medical applications.

            MIT has always been the dream destination for many of the researchers and engineers. The university offers a very wide range of areas to conduct good quality research. I am much specifically impressed by the researches going on in      D’Arbeloff Bio and Robotics Laboratory and Robot Mobility Group. The project on the biological inspiration of five finger bio-robots is really amazing. I am sure that working under MITs’ enriching academic milieu will help me to develop my research potential to the fullest. My continual research in the area of Mechatronics will definitely help me complete my doctoral thesis at MIT.





Sunday, 20 January 2013

Upcoming B-school Deadlines


JANUARY 2013

  • JAN 20: Foster (University of Washington) R3 application deadline
  • JAN 21: IESE R3 application deadline
  • JAN 23: Anderson (UCLA) R1 decisions released
  • JAN 23: McCombs (University of Texas - Austin) R3 application deadline
  • JAN 24: CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) R2 application deadline
  • JAN 25: Judge (Cambridge) R2 decisions released
  • JAN 25: Goizueta (Emory) R2 decisions released
  • JAN 29: Sloan (MIT) R1 decisions released
  • JAN 30: Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) R3 application deadline
  • JAN 30: Johnson (Cornell) R3 application deadline
  • JAN 31: CUHK Business School R1 decisions released
  • JAN 31: CUHK Business School R2 application deadline

FEBRUARY 2013

  • FEB 01: Fordham University GSB R1 application deadline
  • FEB 01: ESADE R4 decisions released
  • FEB 01: IMD February application deadline
  • FEB 01: Queen's R3 application deadline
  • FEB 01: Merage (University of California Irvine) R3 application deadline
  • FEB 01: University of St.Gallen R3 application deadline
  • FEB 01: Haas (UC Berkeley) EWMBA R1 decisions released
  • FEB 01: Northeastern University R2 application deadline
  • FEB 01: W.P. Carey School of Business (Arizona State) R3 application deadline
  • FEB 01: Carlson (University of Minnesota) R3 application deadline
  • FEB 04: Wharton Exec East Regular application deadline
  • FEB 04: ESADE R5 application deadline
  • FEB 04: Kenan-Flagler (UNC) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 04: Madison (University of Wisconsin) R2 application deadline
  • FEB 06: Wharton Exec West Regular application deadline
  • FEB 08: Tuck (Dartmouth) November Round decisions released
  • FEB 08: HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) R1 decisions released
  • FEB 13: Anderson (UCLA) FEMBA R3 application deadline
  • FEB 15: Richard Ivey-(University of Western Ontario) Final decisions released
  • FEB 15: Olin (Washington University in St Louis) R4 application deadline
  • FEB 15: Babson College R2 decisions released
  • FEB 15: Indian School of Business R2 decisions released
  • FEB 15: W.P. Carey School of Business (Arizona State) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 15: McCombs (University of Texas - Austin) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 15: Carlson (University of Minnesota) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 15: Wake Forest Scholarship application deadline
  • FEB 15: Babson College R3 application deadline
  • FEB 15: Simon (University of Rochester) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 15: Stern (NYU) R1 decisions released
  • FEB 15: Hong Kong University R1 decisions released
  • FEB 15: University of British Columbia R2 decisions released
  • FEB 15: Neeley (Texas Christian University) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 20: Johnson (Cornell) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 21: Haas (UC Berkeley) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 22: University of British Columbia R3 application deadline
  • FEB 25: Jones (Rice University) R3 application deadline
  • FEB 25: IESE R4 application deadline
  • FEB 25: Cox (SMU) R2 decisions released
  • FEB 25: Mendoza (Notre Dame) R3 application deadline
  • FEB 28: Hong Kong University R2 application deadline
  • FEB 28: Broad (Michigan State) R3 application deadline
  • FEB 28: Guanghua (Peking University) R2 application deadline

Important Update for Test Takers in India




A limited number of test centers located in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Trivandrum were recently closed. Affected TOEFL® candidates are being contacted directly by Prometric or ETS to reschedule their test appointments. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
Posted: January 16, 2013

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Your gmat score is not that important







If you read what the admissions officers from some of the best business schools have to say you’ll realize that good gmat score & gpa on their own are not enough to get you into any of the top MBA programs.  Angel Navedo, Assistant Director of Admissions at the MIT Sloan School of Management, for example, states unequivocally that “grades and test scores only get your foot in the door they don’t open it.” 
So how do you get past the threshold?  To gain admittance to the school of your choice you have to be able to sell yourself. Unfortunately, most of us find it easier to describe our weaknesses than our strengths.  And even if you are able to blow your own trumpet with finesse, do you really know what the Admission Committees are looking for?
·        Essay writing – essays are probably the most important part of your application. Winning the MBA Admissions game, will show you how to generate ideas and present yourself in the best light, as well as remind you of the fundamentals of good writing such as sentence construction and paragraph length.
·        Recommendations – no matter how wonderful the writer may think you are, no amount of hyperbole is going to impress the Admissions Officers if it is not backed up by any evidence of the skills valued by the school.  Recruiters are looking for recommendations which are detailed and which support the qualities and experience you claim.  Winning the MBA Admissions game will tell you what the ideal recommendation looks like and who would be the best person to approach for a solid recommendation.
·        Experience – what does your work experience say about you?  Have you changed jobs often or perhaps have only part-time work reflected on your resume?  Using Winning the MBA Admissions game you will learn how to downplay your weaknesses and emphasise your strengths.  Remember, even if you have been in full-time employment in a relevant field, it is still important to be able to explain how this experience has prepared you for the MBA program.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Writing a winning Essay/SOP






Statement of Purpose

                        A 11/2  to 2 Page Essay on..


  • Why do you want to study this subject?
  • Why do you want to study at our Univ?
  • Why should we select you?

A Good SOP…

ü  is interesting and distinctive
ü  talks about you as a person
ü  is tailor-made for that university
ü  is genuine and personal and not copied
ü  is in correct and concise English

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Financing your MBA


         With an MBA under your belt, higher salaries are likely to come your way. "The average salary, according to the 2007 Global MBA Graduate Survey  was $88,600." But the challenge is how to come up with upwards of between $40,000 and $60,000 a year to finance your way through business school so that you can get that higher salary. So, you need to start considering the different funding options available out there, from government grants to private loans, scholarships to corporate sponsorships.
             Financial aid options vary at each school. So once you decide on which school you want to attend, your best bet is to visit the financial aid office or check out the school's website. For instance, Darden has an arrangement with Bank of America in which students (both international and domestic) can borrow the total expected student budget without a co-signer. Similarly, INSEAD has an arrangement with ABN AMRO.
Going into debt isn't the only way to get your MBA. There are a host of scholarships and fellowships that are available. You can do a web search to see what kinds of scholarships are out there.

Your best bet though, is to check in with the respective school financial aid office. Once you've secured your loans, your main concern during school is proper debt management which means making intelligent spending habits. Once you graduate, you'll soon have to start paying back those loans. And the payback options available vary.
With proper planning and research, you can find a myriad of ways to finance your MBA. Always see MBA as an investment, and you have to ask yourself if that's an investment you want to make. "One of the intangibles that is difficult to measure-in purely quantitative terms-is: How do you put a price on the kinds of opportunities that are available to you, after you have this credential, that weren't available to you before you went to school? That's what really makes the degree as transformative as it is."
IF YOU fancy yourself as a globetrotting executive it makes sense to start as you mean to go on and hop on a plane to a business school. You can absorb a range of cultural experiences while gaining your MBA - what is more, it can be cheaper than studying at home.
Steve White, a Brit who recently graduated from Tuck Business School in the US, took some classes in the US and UK before deciding where to apply. "The energy in the classroom is just at a higher level in the US. You got a real feeling that anything is possible; there is a buzz that I just didn't get in the UK."
Most US schools offer financial assistance programmes - loans with favourable interest rates and payment terms. White was given $40,000  in the first year and $44,000 in the second year of studying at Tuck.
There are other opportunities to finance your stay abroad too. Ten-week internships between the first and second year of study are common and can add $10,000-$20,000 to the piggy bank. Many schools also offer the chance to take on some tutoring work in the second year; this can net about $15-$22 an hour.
Other things to bear in mind when considering studying abroad are the cost of living in the country where you are headed and using your assets back home to raise funds - renting out property for instance.
There are also plenty of scholarships aimed at International students who want to study away from home - some are school-specific, such as the Kennedy Memorial Trust [www.kentrust.demon.co.uk] for those who want to study at Harvard or MIT, or Louise Franck Scholarships at INSEAD [www.insead.edu]. It is a good idea to check individual school websites.
Other monetary aid schemes are country-specific, such as the US-UK Fulbright scholarships [www.fulbright.co.uk] or BUNAC Educational Scholarships [www.bunac.org/uk/awards]. All of which goes to show that money doesn't have to be a barrier to signing up for an MBA abroad.
David Simpson, the senior manager of MBA marketing and admissions at London Business School (LBS), says: "We advise prospective students to really plan ahead and build a funding portfolio from as many different sources as possible. There is money out there and they should take advantage of the opportunities."
LBS estimates that more than 40 per cent of International students beginning the full-time MBA course there next year will have some form of scholarship. Most MBA students, though, use a variety of funding options, including loans, company sponsorships, bursaries, scholarships and savings.
The mode of funding chosen to fund study tends to vary depending on the type of MBA course - the majority of those taking a part-time MBA are sponsored by an employer, while most of those on full-time courses tend to fund themselves.
When calculating MBA finances, prospective students need to consider three things: course tuition fees; living expenses; and what are known at business schools as "opportunity costs" - the money lost because you are not working. But it is not all spend, spend, spend, MBA study also brings earning opportunities: internships and projects can generate cash, and job offers made during the course sometimes bring signing-on bonuses and sponsorships.
 So even though you still might have time, it is best to start thinking about how you plan you finance your MBA.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Three REAL Reasons to Attend Business School


1. Network. “The long term argument.”
Meet amazing people who will help you in ways you can’t even imagine today. People in all kinds of businesses that may well, one day, be useful to your own business. For example, one time I was asked by a friend to help them raise money for a movie he was making. I thought to myself, “Why not?” I mean, nobody from HBS is so big in the movie business—we’re in Boston, don’t have any entertainment classes, etc. Then one quick click online, and I saw that TONS of CEOs of HUGE ENTERNAINMENT companies are HBS alums. HBO, MGM Goldwyn, AMC—literally within a day of checking the HBS database, I was (true story) on the phone with the CEO of AMC Theaters. 
When will you ever be surrounded by so many amazing people, in one room, ever again? LEARN from them. Not just in terms of “I now know executives in every major company in the US,” but also in terms of benefiting from the experiences (shared during class, and outside class) of your peers. They have done amazing things—learn from them. Especially if they’re from OTHER fields than yours… after all, you already know about YOUR field. Learn from your peers from OTHER areas.
We don’t talk much about friendship in business school applications, do we?  Well, we should. If you surround yourself with hundreds of folks like you—similar hopes, dreams, skills, etc.–you will perhaps forge lasting, lifelong friendships. Think about it—two choices:  stay at your current job with your current friends, or meet 900 new people, driven like you.  Pick two—develop your PERSONAL network, which is really just code for “go out and make new, amazing friends.” .

2. Land a sweet job right upon graduation. “The short-term argument.”

Some great companies hire only MBAs. Neither of the two jobs I had directly after school hire anyone but MBAs, and some only hire MBAs from top-tier schools. At that point, of course, it is just a numbers game, but if you are interested in certain companies (McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, for example), you will only be hired (or promoted past a certain level) if you have an MBA.
If you want to change careers, a good MBA may be like Obi-Wan Kenobi… your only hope. Imagine you work in HR for an investment banking company, and you get a resume from someone in the non-profit space. “Does this person have any relevant experience? No? Well, let’s go to the next resume.” Now if that same person comes to HR, but has a high-powered MBA, majoring in corporate finance, perhaps leader of the corporate finance club, and perhaps even with a summer internship in banking…NOW that guy has a shot. But only with the internship, and only with the MBA. Career changes are ALWAYS difficult, but MBAs, when used in a savvy way, can make it possible directly after school.
Your MBA program’s Career Services will introduce you to companies you’d never even know existed, to apply to. All companies come recruiting for smart, talented (and relatively cheap) young MBAs. By simply fingering through the lists of companies that come recruiting (including ours, for example) you will be exposed to countless new companies, even entire fields that you would have never otherwise looked at. This is a great chance to brush up on your interviewing skills, as well as, of course, the chance to find yourself in an unexpected but promising new area.

3. Life’s a journey.

Go to a new city, man. It’s just… cool. Even a new country to study. When’s your next chance gonna be to do it? Pick up and move for two years to Boston if you’re from Texas. Move to Texas if you’re from Boston, to LA if you’re from NYC, and so on. Spend a year in Barcelona! This is a free look at a new city, a new lifestyle, and perhaps a new future for you. Take it—such chances often come only once in a lifetime. And by the way, meet PEOPLE from different cities, countries, and industries. Countries especially—business becomes increasingly global every year. This is the best way to learn about yourself—by surrounding yourself with, well, “others.” And the best businessmen are the ones who know themselves—their strengths, weaknesses, and passions—the best.
Take two years off. When’s your next chance to take two years away from work, and magically after you return…get a pay raise? At b-school, you can travel to far away countries, bounce new ideas off of exciting new people (not just at the b-school, but even elsewhere in the university, in the world), and…see what happens. This is your chance to shake things up a bit.  And to get rewarded for the two-year vacation, with a higher salary, two years later. Life is a journey, folks; there is a TON of upside here, who KNOWS where you will find yourself after two years. And the downside, in contrast, is relatively nil.
Perhaps the most valuable tool you will take with you along this soul-searching journey, will be your newly-minted, instantly credible pedigree. In five years time, ten years even, who knows where your journey may take you? One thing’s for sure… having this degree under your belt will work in your favor. No matter what you want to do, whether work as a doctor, lawyer, supplier, service provider, banker, consultant… you name it. It is all, at some point, a business. Leaders in all these fields will always respect the opinions and backgrounds of credible, respected businessmen. After all, business is just code for “leadership,” anyway. So with an MBA, you can be credible, even a leader, in ANY field. What an amazing weapon this credibility will be for you, as you expand your horizons, and travel on along your increasingly exciting lifelong journey.