When you come across discussion forum posts (from Indian candidates) that start off as follows: “I belong to the IIM pool…,” chances are that our friend isn’t referring to apna hallowed institutions of management learning (the Indian Institutes of Management). He probably means ‘Indian IT Male’, an acronym that’s enough to send shivers down the spine for a large majority of desi applicants.
I came from the same pool and I don’t feel it needs to be something to be really concerned about. Like any other field, the challenges when you are working on your apps would be the same: demonstrate what makes you special in this category, show that you have the potential, convince Adcoms that you deserve that seat.
Here’s a quick case study:
– Computer Science Engineering
– Worked for Big-4 IT consulting for several years.
– My GMAT was pathetic for an IT/Indian/Male
– Spent a lot of time getting the mix of schools right. Didn’t apply to the usual suspects (Harvard, Stanford etc). Chose those that matched my profile and future aspirations.
– Didn’t hide my background or my work in the IT field.
– Just highlighted the fact that I was knowledgeable about multiple industries, highlighted my leadership success stories, my team-leading experiences, my international work.
– Spent a hell-of-a-lot of time on my essays. Tweaked them, tore them apart, built it up all over again till I was satisfied that it did justice to my profile and presented it in the best light without bending the facts.
– Submitted my apps and prayed like crazy, hoping I’d get an interview call. Had several mock interviews to ensure the general questions as well as the odd ones don’t take me unawares.
– Got into all the schools that I applied to. I chose Cambridge.
– Got a double scholarship from Cambridge. Also got a scholarship from another school.
– After the MBA, switched careers completely and moved from IT into Strategy / Mergers & Acquisitions
Incidentally, in that extremely competitive year, in my class I was the only ‘Indian from India’ (there were two more, but one was from Zambia and the other was a British citizen, both with very strong profiles). I’m guessing a ton of Indian candidates with far better GMAT scores had applied as well. So there was something about the process that I adopted that made the application stand out despite being from the dreaded Indian IT Male Engineer pool.
In my role as an MBA Admission consultant, that elusive differentiation is exactly what I’m helping out other Indian candidates achieve as well.
Structure your strategy well and you have every chance to get into the school of your choice. If you need some help along the way, you know where to reach us.