This, very useful, introspective video shall lend you a logical approach for evaluating your own profile. Through this video, you will be able to adopt a logical thought process towards the MBA Applications process and not be influenced by any irrational judgments and commonly floating myths.
How to evaluate your profile for MBA Applications
Before beginning the MBA application process, there is one important step- making an honest evaluation of your own MBA profile. It is on this basis that you can figure out which schools will be the best to apply to and how to go about preparing your resume, drafting your application essays, and preparing for interviews.
This can actually be one of the most difficult steps in the process, as you may have to overcome your own emotional biases to think rationally. Applicants often tend to make mistakes at this juncture because they let emotion win out over logic by being overly optimistic. Certainly, it is good to be confident but you need to maintain a realistic view of your strengths and weaknesses as a candidate. This is important as you need to understand which schools it would be a good idea for you to apply to, and how best to present yourself to the Admissions Committee of those schools. But this irrationality does not end up being applied only to the applicants themselves. Candidates often end up giving too much importance to rankings and become obsessed with getting admittance to a “top X” institute rather than picking a school that is realistic, or, more importantly, one that fits their subjective needs. The value of the skills you learn in an MBA program is more important than the “brand value” of some degrees and it does not make sense to give up on the MBA journey altogether because you could not get into an absolute top notch program.
While evaluating yourself, you need to focus on three major fields. The first one is your academic acumen. This is based on your GMAT score and undergrad GPA mainly, but other factors include professional/ academic certifications as well as academic awards honors and scholarships you may have won. The second field is your professional maturity. This is based not only on your professional life but also any non-career related activities that may have fostered skills pertinent to your work. Primarily, you need to take a look at your years of experience, industry, functional area, promotions, industry awards or honors, job stability, and, above all, the leadership roles, and type of impact that you have had in your organization and industry. The third field you need to consider is your overall personality, or at least the parts of it that concern the admissions committee. You need to have good interpersonal and communication skills. You need to have dimensions in your profile that the admissions committee will want to see in a candidate - someone with an interest in community service, a love for the arts, an understanding of culture etc. Overall, the committee will be looking for certain virtues amongst their candidates, for example, honesty, work ethic, academic bent, analytical abilities, and a versatile personality.
As part of this evaluation process, you need to research a variety of schools and match their profiles against your own profile. The best source of information on the school will be the schools own website, which will have information on its pedagogy, program structure, concentrations offered, class profile, placement records and industry trends.
You will, undoubtedly, have to use student statistics and university rankings as part of your evaluation to best match yourself against an institute and maximize your chances for admission. However, you will need to be aware of several possible pitfalls that are commonplace when dealing with statistics. First of all, avoid global rankings; due to variations between countries, it is very hard to compare MBA programs of different nations. Instead, one must use regional rankings, like U.S news rankings for the U.S and the Financial Times rankings for Europe. When considering student statistics always be mindful of demographics. The median on GMAT, GPA, work experience etc only matters if you are a median candidate. If you are a candidate from an outlying demographic, whether it is nationality, educational, career backgrounds or industry, you need to look at the medians from your demographic as that is where your competition will be. Failing to take this into account is how we get myths like, “Greater work experience can compensate for low GMAT”.