The MBA application process is a project in itself and often involves elaborate planning and hard work. Here are some tips/ important factors to be considered by international applicants
- Plan well (Application Deadlines): Make a tentative list of schools you wish to target and check the deadlines in advance. There are two factors to be considered while deciding whether to apply in R1 and R2. You should plan to apply to your dream schools (maximum 2) in R1 so that the results are out soon and hence you may discontinue application to other schools in round2. The second factor is scholarship. There are certain schools which require early application for consideration of scholarship. You should apply to these schools in R1 itself (or by the deadline as specified). This approach is likely to save money and ensure effective time management.
- TOEFL/ Language requirements – command over English language is critical as MBA involves high interactions, networking and heavy readings. It is hence important to see if the b-schools you are applying to require TOEFL and accordingly plan to write TOEFL ahead of deadlines. Some schools also waive TOEFL if you have completed graduation in English medium. Even in such case, it is advisable to write a mail to Adcom and doublecheck regarding the waiver.
- Evaluate your short term and long term goals before applying – Since an international MBA is an expensive affair. It is important to assess your goals. You should be clear whether you wish to work abroad/ settle down in home country after MBA. This is a decisive factor in choice of b-schools.
- Prepare your transcripts – Most of the b-schools require an official copy of transcript (issued by the college you attended) to be sent. Also, you would be required to convert the grading system to provide your scores in line with US education system (typically 4 point GPA scale). Do these activities in advance.
- Visa – It is imperative to understand the visa/ immigration policy and rules applicable to the countries where your target b-schools are located. This is the prime reason that b-schools encourage international MBA aspirants to apply early. Another important point to be noted is that student visa is generally issued specific for the institute that an MBA aspirant will attend. Therefore, once you make up your mind, ensure that you are not likely to change it else the visa process may need to be repeated.
- Work ex– Many a times, the organizations that international aspirants work for are not big MNCs and hence not known to the admissions committees in target b-schools. It is, therefore, advisable to elaborate a bit about the organization and kind of work in the essays. Optional essay is generally a good place to do so.
- Cost and financial planning – The amounts involved in international MBA are by no means small. Please plan for the funds in advance. In case you definitely require a loan, read the financial aid policies of b-schools. It is suggested that you prefer schools which guarantee a loan after admission. Please note that scholarships in good MBA programs are few and can’t be taken as a reliable and full source of funds.
- Understand the international education system – Last but not the least, MBA aspirants must ensure that they have researched/ learnt through networking about the education system and culture of the b-schools/ countries they are applying to. After all, everybody wants to avoid a situation where you mind is occupied with the thought ‘is this want I wanted/ where have I landed myself”. Attending MBA tours/ b-schools get together/ alumni interactions are some of the best sources to do the same.