York University’s Schulich School of Business offers an international MBA course in Ontario (Canada) and Hyderabad (India).
If you check out the class profile, you’ll find the average work experience to be 5 years (average age of 29). The average GMAT score is 664, half the students are international (i.e. from outside Canada) and 36% are female candidates.
Manish Gupta, from the MBA Crystal Ball team interviewed Imran Kanga, from the Schulich School of Business to find out more about the admissions process, GMAT requirements, financial aid, placements, locational differences and more.
MBA Crystal Ball: Schulich busines school is one of the early B-schools to setup a campus in India. Tell us what prompted this decision and how has been the response so far?
Imran: The Schulich School of Business is the first B-school to offer an International Management Degree in India. Our decision to enter India was due to the increase in demand for International MBA programs amongst Indian students, and the lack of high quality Institutions present in the country today to meet this demand.
The response for this program has been overwhelmingly positive. We have grown from a class size of 23 students in 2009 to a class of 40 students in 2013.
MBA Crystal Ball: What is the process for choosing one campus over another? Demystify for us in terms of what factors should a candidate consider while selecting the campuses? Is the India campus primarily focused around the local talent or you expect this to be an International hub as well?
Imran: What we offer in India is simply Year 1 of the 2 year MBA program. The same curriculum is taught by the same faculty on both campuses, so there is no difference there.
However this program is unique in the sense that it offers candidates global business exposure, as they learn about business in an Indian context as well as the North American context, and so candidates from this program are open to job opportunities in India as well as North America.
MBA Crystal Ball: What candidate profile is suited for your MBA in India program?
Imran: Going beyond the Academic and Work experience requirements, we look for candidates who have demonstrated strong leadership potential, who have shown growth potential in their work experience and candidates who have made a positive impact and have added value to their organizations.
MBA Crystal Ball: How have been the placements for the two campuses? Do you have shared placements? How do you manage expectations in India of having a classic ‘placement week’ and on-campus recruitments?
Imran: Placements happen throughout the year at Schulich, so there isn’t a dedicated time period for placements. Students participate in Recruitment when they go to Toronto for Year 2 of the program.
MBA Crystal Ball: What kind of roles have folks from IT and Technology backgrounds gone to? Both within and without their sectors.
Imran: Our program has been successful in placing students from an IT and Technology backgrounds in various different roles, it really depends on the student’s career goals.
Students who have chosen to stick to the same industry have been just as successful in doing so as students who have wanted to switch their careers.
One of the main reasons students do an MBA is to make a career switch, and our program is designed to make that happen.
MBA Crystal Ball: As part of the application, you have an optional essay question. Do you expect candidates to use this only to highlight gaps in their career or extenuating circumstance? Or they can use this space to highlight a noteworthy achievement that hasn’t been covered in other essays?
Imran: It could be used for both, and definitely should be used by students who want to explain any gaps or shortfalls in their application or students who want to highlight their achievements.
MBA Crystal Ball: Do you interview all candidates? What are the modes of communication you use commonly for conducting interviews for international candidates?
Imran: Yes we interview all candidates. It is part of the selection process.
We would usually conduct the interview over Skype or over the phone if Skype is not possible.
MBA Crystal Ball: How can candidates overcome some drawbacks of not having the opportunity for in-person interviews?
Imran: Our advice to candidates would be to treat a Skype interview just as he or she would an in-person interview.
MBA Crystal Ball: Approximately what percentage of the incoming class gets MBA scholarships? Given that this can be a significant aspect of choosing a program, how can candidates improve their chances of getting a scholarship?
Imran: Typically the top 15-20% of the class would receive some kind of Scholarship. Our scholarships are Merit based so we look closely at the candidates’ academic record and GMAT score.
MBA Crystal Ball: How does the Schulich MBA in India compare with the global one in Canada in terms of costs?
Imran: All students in the India program receive a scholarship of $10,000 in Year 1 and an Academic Scholarship of $10,000 in Year 2 based on the Academic performance in Year 1.
Moreover, students spend 1 year in Toronto instead of 2, so that works out to about $10,000 – $15,000 in cost savings on living expenses.
In total, students can save approximately $30,000 by choosing the India option, and still receive a Schulich MBA degree.
MBA Crystal Ball: What is the range of GMAT score that your incoming class have typically? What has been the lower GMAT candidates you have admitted and what in their profile helped them make the cut?
Imran: We don’t have a minimum score cut-off. For the September 2013 intake, the lowest score we accepted was 590, the highest was 770. The average GMAT score for the Schulich MBA was 680.
The students who had low GMAT scores typically had very strong work experience and were exceptional well-rounded candidates.
MBA Crystal Ball: How important is the GMAT score distribution? For instance, can a low verbal score be overcome by a really high quant score or vice versa?
Imran: GMAT score distribution is very important, because it tells us a lot about the candidates. We prefer candidates who have a well-balanced score.
MBA Crystal Ball: You offer a variety of Graduate Diplomas. How do these vary from the Specializations?
Imran: In order to get a Specialization, students need to take a minimum of 4 courses in a particular area. For certain specializations, if the students take 7 – 8 courses and do an internship/project in that area, they can be awarded a Diploma along with the MBA degree.
MBA Crystal Ball: Can candidates from India campus take up non-Schulich electives?
Imran: In the 2nd year of the program, students can take a maximum of 2 non-Schulich electives in Toronto
Check out the Schulich School of Business website for more details.
Read the interviews with the Admission Committee officers of many other top bschools.