5 signs that you are not a serious MBA applicant

The MBA applicant from one of the elite engineering institutions in India had posted some very basic questions on a discussion forum about his application to the toughest bschool in the world. And the query ended with – ‘Deadline is very close. Please answer urgently!!!

This is not an isolated case. If you spend enough time on the MBA forums you come across many such queries that make you wonder if the people posting it are really serious about their MBA plans.

No doubt, these are smart, intelligent people who can do wonders if they get the right opportunities (which is what a top MBA is all about), but their attitude towards the MBA application process leaves much to be desired.

Here are 5 signs that you are NOT serious about your MBA application.

  1. Starting too late
  2. Some brag about it – ‘Well, this is how it’s been with me. I completed my engineering degree by studying at the last moment.’ Unfortunately, unless you have a brilliant profile that’ll dazzle admission committees and make them ignore the weaknesses in your application, you will need to spend a considerable amount of time on it. Ever thought about why bschool admissions season starts a whole year in advance (more if you include the GMAT preparation time)?

  3. Not doing your homework
  4. It’s a whole lot of work – right from preparing for the GMAT (often after several years of being away from the academic world) to researching schools and then finally creating customised applications for each of them. Many of the skills that made you successful in your undergrad (all nighters, superior memory, the class nerd helping you out) will fall flat when it comes to bschool admissions.

  5. Expecting others to manage it for you
  6. Others realise the need to do all that we just listed. And they have an easy alternative. Outsource. Hire someone who’ll do all the tedious groundwork for you and then you saunter in at the last minute to put your thumbprint on the application before sending it out. For starters, that’s unethical. Then there’s the ownership issue – Is it your story or your consultant’s?

  7. Depending too much on luck
  8. It’s confusing! You see all the disappointing stories that get posted on public forums by candidates with virtually indestructible profiles. And right after that there are these success stories posted by folks you’d think had absolutely no chance to get in. Lady luck to blame (or thank)? So if it’s a lottery anyway, why bother. Just go with a tick-mark approach and give the school all the components they wanted – essays, recommendations, GMAT score, resume. Let’s see if lady luck will shine on us as well.

  9. Getting desperate
  10. This is the grand culmination of all that we just talked about. Mix some or all of the ingredients that we listed earlier and what do you get? Desperation! When the deadline comes closer, junta starts hitting the panic button. That’s when you see all those wonderful posts on the discussion forums.

So if you have top MBA bschools on your list, start early, do your research and save yourself the distraction (and the additional effort) of dealing with acidity, ulcers and other medical marvels of the digestive tract.

Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball | Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter @mba_cb | Facebook

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