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Low ranking MBA programs: Accept or reject?

Your seniors (colleagues, friends, college-mates) will confess. In their ‘study abroad’ journey, the international MBA admissions process was among the most agonizing steps. Draining and challenging enough to call for a mini-celebration once the final application has been submitted, without even waiting for the results.

Add to that the fact that an average GMAT score for Indian applicants isn’t something that Admission Officers would go ga-ga over.

After all the application effort, if you get admitted to any of the MBA colleges you applied to, what would you do? Choose the best from the lot and move on to the next phase.

Samriti Sood, who got multiple offers from MBA colleges abroad (USA) with a GMAT score of 670, took the road less preferred. She decided to re-apply in the subsequent year. She explains her rationale for doing so.

Why I rejected admits from low ranking MBA programs in USA / UK

by Samriti Sood

MBA Abroad Reapplicant StrategyI had a Pre-MBA work experience with Nokia Siemens Networks (1 year) 4 years Cisco Systems as a Software Engineer.

Gradually, I realized that I like to interact with lot of people on daily basis and be a front end of a team. Marketing seems a perfect option.

In order to make this transition smooth, I realized I needed an MBA to help me get the exposure and build the skills that were missing.

I started with my GMAT preparation in May 2013. It involved a self-study of 3 months along with coaching (coaching helped me to be more disciplined).

The score of 670 and the typical mindset of people around, disappointed me initially.

700 se kam me to kuch nai milega! [A score below 700 will get you nothing]

So I re-took the GMAT, In my second attempt, I got 670 again!!!

Dealing with the dilemma: Accept / reject low ranked MBA programs

I had got admissions in few average B schools in USA & UK for 2014 Fall intake. This is when Sameer Kamat gave me the most valuable advice. Here’s a summary of what he said.

– Keep your patience and persistence. It is better to wait for 1 year and not go to a low rated school just to save 1 year.

– Since an MBA is one of the most important decisions of your life, do not make decisions in haste.

– Be proactive but be patient as well!

– Apply as early as possible to few more good B schools of your choice.

– You have your job and you do not have anything to lose.

I personally did not want to regret 5 years from now thinking “I could have gone to a better B school“. Thus, I decided not to accept any 2014 intake offer.

I am glad I waited for another year. During the course of this year, I gave a second shot at GMAT, got a 670 again.

Currently, I have got offers from Oxford MBA (Said Business School), Manchester Business SChools and the University of Hong Kong so far.

Oxford University is definitely the first choice. I am still awaiting results from U.S. MBA colleges to which I am a re-applicant- Kelley and Smith.

On the MBA Crystal Ball forum, I’ve shared my Oxford interview questions and some tips that helped me.

After getting the Oxford admit, I haven’t stopped smiling and thanking my mentors who were there to guide me. But I still have to make few decisions before I accept the Oxford offer.

MBA Reapplicant Strategy Tips

If you are selecting any MBA consultancy services, select a consultant who inspires you, does not demotivate you and gives you a practical advice.

Many MBA consultants in India de-motivate you and push you to apply to middle/low quality schools just to increase their conversion rate.

Also, do not try to take advice from everyone. More than helping, it can confuse and hurt you.

Nothing can replace hard work and persistence.

If you planning to start your MBA program in 2015 Aug, finish your GMAT by 2014 early(say March). It gives you time to do research about your colleges/ improve your GMAT score.

All the best!

– Samriti

Samriti’s decision to reject offers from the lower ranking MBA programs was driven by her belief of whether she could do better.

There are no hard and fast rules about which overseas MBA universities are good / bad. A low ranking MBA program may not be bad. Be aware that MBA ranking methodologies can be pretty biased.

Blindly joining a top ranking MBA college also may not be the best strategy. Read up this post on the RoI of top ranked MBA programs in the world.

If you’ve chosen your bschools well to begin with, it may make perfect sense to not let go of the bird in hand. Waiting for a whole year and repeating the application exercise doesn’t guarantee admits from better MBA colleges.

Find out where the sweet spot lies for your profile and then select bschools to target.

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

6 thoughts on “Low ranking MBA programs: Accept or reject?”

  1. Hello,

    this is mounica,i have finished my masters in pharmacy and currently working in Pfizer-a pharmaceutical organisation,my current work experience is 2 years and would like to apply in 2017 for my mba,by 2017 i would be having 3 years of work experience,so can you guide me with respect to avg GMAT scores that has to be obtained to get admissions in top 10 US-B schools.

  2. hi,iam a defence officer with experience in marine field,administration and HR with 22yrs.42 yrs old. Planning to go for a executive MBA and change of career. Need to know
    – what should be my GMAT score to get into ISB ,IIM or US universities
    – what are my chances of getting an admission into these schools
    – which specilisation should i aim for in these schools
    – what would be the value of my profile in the job market after i get my MBA from a reputed institute
    – any additional software skills like short term capsule courses i need to study to keep myself IT savvy cos i only have a working knowledge level with computers,
    rgds prem

  3. hi actually i wanted to know that if i have no work experience then what exactly i have to do
    my profile
    10th – 9.0
    12th – 93.25% (hons) from Delhi university
    1st year complete
    planning to give GMAT after completing my 3rd year

  4. I am about to complete my undergraduate in B.COM (Computers) by 2017 April. I would like to study MBA in US or UK. I could prepare for GMAT. But tell me whether it is possible to me to study in US or UK or not

  5. Hi Sameer,

    I am working in Customer Quality Department in Automotive Sector, total i have 9 years of experience.But i have worked in one department only throughout my carrier…have Worked in two Indian Auto Giants i.e M&M and TML.

    I don’t have any specific Extra co-curricular activities other than Good at Sketching.

    What about getting admission in SP Jain for 1 Year of Executive MBA program. What is GMAT score does SPJain require ?

    I am Mech Engineer ,did my BE with 68 %.
    In 12th is 76 %.
    In 10th is 80 %.

  6. hi .. what type of colleges will i get if i got a gmat of 720+ but low grad scores (i have 60%)aggregate in bsc(comp. sci.).the reason for the low scores was that i was in a rock band and later realised how important studies were also i had 2 backlogs in sy because i didn’t fill the exam forms and had to attempt 18 papers back to back


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