It was a great experience having you join us for the Seminar with Lynn Garnett. I am sure you got great insights to the MBA marketplace. I wanted to write to you all and offer the synopsis of the 2 hour long chat.
Speaker: Lynn Garnett ( Admissions lead from Tuck, Darden and Georgetown MBA Programs
Points of Discussion
- School Rankings: There are numerous rankings and other media publications floating around. While some of these have overlaps, and you do get to see a common pattern in the performance of the schools. However, there are wide variations in some cases, and the schools tend to have very different performance scores as they give very different weighted average scores to numerous factors such as student satisfaction, R&D budgets, Faculty, and the ROI. It is important to understand the methodology behind the ranking methodologies and most of these publications offer these formulas on their portals. Student satisfaction should be your most important data point as that gives you a good picture of previous satisfied customers.
- 1 Year Vs. 2 Year MBA: For people who are in the premature stage of their career and have less than 5-6 years of work experience, a 2 year MBA was strongly recommended as it allows you to run experiments, try out different career opportunities, go through the internship cycle, and make an effective career choice.
- Teaching Methodology:
- Class Visits: If you are planning to spend $1,40,000 on your MBA education, it will not hurt to spend another $4,000, visit your target schools. Spending a day at a school tells you a lot more than the website, and helps you in making an informed decision. You do not want to be surprised ! Moreover, it will help you in building relationships with the existing students, admission committee members, and others in academia. In the MBA market, it is imperative to come out of your shell as you are not only GPA’s and GMAT scores, and there certainly are other facets of your personality that a school would value.
- Rural Vs. Urban Schools: As a candidate, you need to identify the personality of your target city too. What will make you more comfortable?
- Networking with the Alums: It is important to network with the alums in your city or even outside as that gives you feel of what the school experiences would look like. Networking with the alums would require some amount of initial groundwork on building your story, elevator pitch, the right structured emails, and asking relevant questions. Remember, if you are not well prepared, and are networking without a decent understanding of the program, it can work against you as well. They will not know “Whom to hire?” but they will certainly know “Whom not to hire?”, and the things can work against you too. So, prepare ahead of time and come out of your shell. The MBA recruiting will not be representative of what we all have experienced in undergraduate institutions.
- Class Size: A small MBA program will have roughly 300-350 graduating students every year as compared to a larger program that will have as many as 800-1000 MBA graduates in the full time MBA program. One needs to identify the right comfort level. Are you more comfortable with small communities, and work in a program characterized with great camaraderie or will a large competitive program sharpen you more for your future. There are not good and bad decision in picking up the class size and it is entirely a personal decision.
- Faculty: How popular are the Faculty in your areas of interest. If you are keen on a strong career in Finance, does your school lay a good emphasis on research, and development of international cases( Classroom cases), and does the school spend significant amount of $$ on grooming and keeping the right talent.
- Career Change: Is it feasible to switch careers after roughly 8 years of work experience? If you have been exposed to marketing for 8 years of your professional life, how easy it is to switch over to Finance or operations? : It is just about a convincing story, and how you narrate the events, and your interests of making the switch. As long as you are in the school’s comfort zone, and they will confident enough to get you the right employer, the switch is justified. On the other hand, if your switch comes out to be irrational, it can minimize your chances of getting through to the program of your choice. A marine engineer at the age of 41 could successfully move over to Private Wealth Management at bulge bracket investment banks( an example shared by Lynn during the session)
- Gap in Employment: What is an acceptable term of a gap in your profession? : Entirely depends on the reason, and is very subjective. ( Sounded like a Black Box to the attendees)
- Community Work: We Indians do not have a great history of participating in community related activities. : How important is it? : There were numerous examples offered of people who had great community achievements. However, it is not the volume of your experience but the quality that brings more value. ( Sounded like a Black Box to me again)
- Military Candidates: Do the schools short change an experience in the armed forces? Would an experience of 14 years be equivalent to a 7-8 years of managerial experience: No! Schools really like the diversity that the military candidates bring to the class, and believe that people with armed forces background have the experience of working in a very disciplined and rigorous environment. This experience is valued by the recruiters as well, and historically(
Once again, we thank you for your participation, and hope you came out with the a better decision making ability. The only thing that is on the top of your mind these days is : GMAT Score: and I believe that is the right way to approach this situation. Without a great GMAT Score, a lot of what is offered above would not matter, and will make the schools resort to the famous last words “ This is not your year ! “
As we discussed earlier, we will soon be reaching out to you for resume review.
Should you have any questions in the meanwhile, you can reach out to us on +91-96500-11233 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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