Based on hard evidence, we’ve also known for a long time that Indian MBA Applicants more likely to be rejected from top b-schools compared to applicants from other countries.
Within this already competitive applicant pool, it becomes an even bigger challenge when you are an male IT engineer.
No wonder it’s considered the toughest applicant pool in the world.
But how did we get there? Let’s trace the reasons.
Why do so many Indian engineers go for an MBA?
A basic engineering degree can no longer carry the onus of guaranteeing a successful career any more in India.
Of the lakhs of engineers graduating each year, only a fraction manages to obtain jobs specific to their domain, while the rest hang on to various flavors in the IT industry.
According to a survey (Aspiring Minds report), a majority of the vast number of engineering graduates walk into the real world with very little employable skills.
Even among those engineering grads who come from top tier tech colleges with a sound placement, the job situation either stagnates or provides little room for vertical development.
This is especially true for engineers in the IT industry where there are plenty more pickings with similar backgrounds. Competing in those scenarios needs additional edge.
So, to top their engineering degree with skills that can not only help their professional future, as well as personal growth, most seek an MBA degree within or outside India.
In the IIMs, for instance, almost 80% of their MBA classes consist of engineers.
Why is it tougher for Indian IT Male Engineers?
Though getting a clear estimate of Indian IT engineers in foreign MBA programs is difficult, one can be assured with a pretty reasonable certainty that the pool of international MBA applicants that belong to the dreaded Indian IT male engineering background is huge.
So big, in fact, that it has now become a challenge for adcoms to differentiate among such profiles.
MBA admission committees (adcoms) look for well-rounded candidates who are blessed with not just analytical and quantitative skills, but also leadership, extra-curricular, solid work experience, and that extra unique feature that will add variety and richness to their MBA class.
Business schools consciously try to have a rich demographic diversity in the class i.e. a good mix of industries, roles, geographies, gender and other aspects. Which means they can’t allow the classrooms to be dominated by a single demography.
That is perhaps why even reputed hard-to-get-into MBA programs often offer admits to candidates with seemingly poor GMAT or low GPA, but quite colorful or interesting backgrounds in either their work or other experiences – like sports, music, or even radio jockeying.
Unfortunately, most Indian engineering applicants who arm themselves with 700 plus GMAT scores and plenty of mad math abilities, fail to understand the value of differentiation as a profile building exercise for MBA applications.
They come, as do many others, with pretty typical IT abilities and offer little to set themselves apart from the crowd. And when adcoms are faced with thousands of applications, Indian male IT engineers face a higher chance of getting dinged (rejected) to make room for someone more interesting.
But all is not gloomy. Despite the caveat of being too generic by virtue of belonging to an overrepresented applicant pool, there is hope.
As long as you are able to build an appealing profile, select the right business schools and tell an compelling story through your MBA essays, or application at large, there is a good possibility that your application will not be overlooked.
In fact, we have worked with a large number of such applicants who have managed to accomplish much success in their MBA admission journey. That said, they did have to work to stand out from the crowd.
Let us take a look at what they did to come out of the shadows of being just another Indian IT male engineer, to become an Indian IT male engineer with a world class MBA program.
If you’re among the tens of thousands competing in this super-competitive international MBA applicant pool, these success stories are a must read.
MBA application success stories for Indian IT Male Engineer candidates
National University of Singapore (NUS)
The art of story telling is not something to be trifled with in MBA applications. This engineering graduate with work experience in the IT industry could have been passed on as someone with the usual applicant from India, pursuing an MBA degree.
However, with the right introspection and strategy, he was able to share a powerful essay and overall application to convert five out of eight business schools plus scholarship. He made his final choice at National University of Singapore.
Georgetown University McDonough School of Business
Even with a 700 GMAT score and an impressive work experience in the software industry, this Indian engineer was rejected by multiple b-schools.
Only then did he revise his application approach and focus on his MBA goals and a well crafted essay to tell his story, which despite belonging to a most competitive pool of applicants, set him apart in clarity and motivation, among others. He made it to Georgetown MBA.
This engineer used his training as a classical musician and his communication skills to organize and lead cultural and technical fests at his engineering institute (IIT).
His ability to employ his skills into such multicultural activities, managing small to large teams, certainly helped his MBA application process at INSEAD.
ISB, Toronto Rotman & Washington Foster with scholarships
Another accomplished Indian applicant with an engineering degree and a software job had to face the challenge of writing his unique story among so many who shared his background.
He shares how he managed to improve his profile and secure multiple admits from business schools in Canada, with generous scholarships.
This INSEAD admit topped his engineering degree with a Master’s in Operations Research from Canada’s University of Toronto and an analyst profession at Canadian Tire Corp. before making his move towards MBA.
Carnegie Mellon Tepper Business School
Just as there are plenty of engineering applicants that apply to international business schools, there are also plenty of b-schools that MBA hopefuls need to pick from.
B-school selection is an important factor in determining application success. That, and the ever important career goal evaluation, GMAT score, profile mapping, and a game changing essay.
Find out how this engineer went through years of processing his MBA motivation to finally achieve his dream admit at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper Business School.
Despite having an engineering degree from the best institute in India, this candidate was plagued by a low GPA and low work experience.
What he had to offer, instead, was a strong extra curricular background and clarity of his future goals. He followed a disciplined approach, with our guidance, to achieve successful admission to HEC Paris.
Even with the best intentions, friends and family may not be able to provide the expert eye in MBA application reviews as a professional and credible MBA consultant would.
INSEAD MBA admit, with the overrepresented Indian IT Male Engineering background, shares how the right guidance made him realize that to overcome the competition he needed an overall strong application, sound in each and every aspect.
Read and find out more – INSEAD MBA grad’s experience with admission consultant and his tips on MBA applications.
There are additional success stories among engineers and others who have achieved MBA admission success that you can find here.
Having worked closely with a fair share of applicants from all sorts of background, including the protagonists of this article, it is quite apparent that being a wholesome and interesting applicant is the key. They almost always win over the good yet generic.
If MBA is in your distant plans, we suggest you check out our MBA Profile Builder that can help you realize your strengths and weaknesses and plan an effective path towards a strong MBA applicant profile.
If you are looking to see how well prepared you are and which b-schools you should be targeting, take a stab at our flagship product, the MBA Mock Application Process (MBA MAP).
Drop us a line at info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com for professional admissions consulting.
Meanwhile, check out these insightful articles here in our archive for Indian IT Male Engineering stories.
Sources: 1, 2, 3 | Image by Naim Ahmed (Unsplash)