There’s one trait that makes Nitin Vig special – Tenacity. Having known him for a while, I know more about him than this following post reveals. And that I think the quality to hang in there when the chips are down and keep pushing is gonna take him places. For now he’s struggling with an envious dilemma – having to choose between 2 good business schools with scholarship. Read on and see if you can help him with the decision.
How I got into the Kelley MBA and Manchester business school
All hell broke loose – I had taken my GMAT, hoping to cross that magical mark of 700. I could only muster 660. Not good enough for an Indian candidate with only 3.5 year of work experience. No problem I said.
This was back in 2009. I took a break of 3 months – yeah too long! And took the GMAT again in July 2010, This time got 710. Wow!! I thought I took the first “giant step” towards my ultimate dream of getting into the “Big league” – Top MBA Program.
Before long I started to do research about the schools, I realized that there is so much more that is required to get to your dream school – number of years of experience, type of experience, your goals, and of course how well you can market yourself.
However, all those factors couldn’t stop me from applying to some of the top program. I stuck to the simple plan – apply early. So, I selected Oxford Saïd, Darden (University of Virginia) and UCLA Anderson (California) for Round-1. But by November, after getting dinged in all those three schools, I knew that it was time to “dig deep” – find out what went to went wrong. Simple plans sometimes fail!!!
It was no surprise to me that I had done that same mistake that most of us normally – go by the rankings, rather than going a step ahead to find out what actually sets some XYZ school apart from the lot. Ahh!!! “Good Gyan”. But how do we find that??
Now, that’s when my choice of schools changed completely. In round 2, I applied to Indiana (Kelley), and Manchester business school. And finally I got admits from both these schools. So what changed for me? Basically, one needs to understand that all Top 25 schools in the US are really top notch in terms of faculty, exposure, student diversity etc. Kelley is Top 20 School as per BW rankings and one of the best schools under public university – more chances of securing scholarship.
Manchester is another Top 30 Program in the world (ranked #29, 2010, ft rankings), and one of the Top General Management programs in the world. Apart from its big brand and a long history, Manchester offers two opportunities to intern during its 18-month long program – increasing one’s chance of securing your dream job, especially important for international students. Students, especially those living in cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai, will love to spent their time in Manchester. Of course, its easy on the pocket compared to London– am sure everyone would know that!!
Kelley, of course famous for its “renowned” marketing faculty, is also good in finance & accounting and also generates immense interest amongst students wanting to get into consulting. So, in that way, it’s a “smart” school – isn’t weak at anything. Most current students swear by its friendly and competitive culture, especially the work ethics that international learn out of this school. Academics is taken very seriously at Kelley – what else can one ask for!!!
My journey to this point has been really tough, learning through mistakes, but I hope that people reading this post can learn from my mistakes and do a better. So here are some tips:
• Unless you have an exceptional profile, select not more than two schools in Top10 (US schools)
• Go beyond just the rankings – culture at the school, how old is the school, and of course analyse the “selectivity” parameter of the school
• Ways to get insights into the schools – usnews.com, best ranking for US schools, and of course there is no substitute to speaking to current students
• Never overlook some of these schools – Babson, Kelley (of course), Tepper, Fisher, McCombs, Smith and Tippie. All these are good schools and are well recognized in the US
Nitin has (intentionally) stayed away from getting into too many details as he wants to keep it interactive. So if you have any questions for him, post them on the Kelley MBA program at Indiana University.