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Saturday, February 04, 2006


Sometimes I feel really disturbed witnessing the cruel aspects of business. The recent example of an Egyptian ship sinking in the Red sea is a glaring example of this. How can the owners of this vessel think of making money out of the vessel, when they know that she is already 25 years old? How can the classification societies allow her to sail with 1400 passengers at a time when she should have been taken out of service and allowed to rest? I am sure SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) will redefine some of its clauses to create a safer maritime environment. And I hope that classification societies will learn something from this disaster. But the people who really suffered have no faults of their own.

Anyway,I will get back to my discussion on MBA and briefly go through the pre-requisites to get an MBA from good institute from either India(ISB, as admission process of other good colleges are different) or abroad.

1) Prior work experience - According to me, this is the most important single criterion. The advantages are numerous. Apart from the job related knowledge and experience, a person learns a lot about the subjective picture of the work environment. He tends to be more mature in his thoughts and decisions as compared to a fresh guy just out of his college. And when people from various backgrounds meet together at one place (lets say at B-School) , it definitely creates a great mutual learning center. Students also gain from the contacts they make with various professionals from diverse backgrounds. I know, a fresh guy just out of college may not appreciate what I wrote, but I am sure, some day he will.

2) Essays - Your marketing skills will be best exhibited here. Assume that these essays are the products you are selling to the B-school. It is a good idea to read good sample essays to help you realise the best way to pen down your skills and ambitions. Do enough soul searching which will help you bring you closer to your post MBA goals.This will help to write clear and lucid essays. Give sufficient time to the essays (they really deserve this time and energy) and if possible ask some of your best friends and well wishers to suggest modifications.

3) GMAT- This is perhaps the easiest way for the B-school to judge the present intellectual ability of an applicant. Although, schools are aware that a GMAT score depends a lot on a single- day-performance, yet the importance of this exam cannot be underestimated. I strongly urge applicants to give sufficient time and energy to this exam. The higher the score, the better it is.

4) Reputation of undergraduate college and performance during this time- I feel B-Schools place this factor quite high in their selection checklist. A reputed undergraduate school and a good undergraduate performance speaks a lot for an applicant. Good undergraduate performance includes both academic and extracurricular activities.

5) International Workexperience- This is a huge plus for any B-School applicant. International experience provides lot of skills which are extremely important to do business in different cultural set-ups. Different countries have different cultures and what may seem very polite in one culture can be the reflection of lack of confidence in another culture. Again, confidence in one culture can be potrayed as rude arrogance in another. For instance, Japanese and Korean (especially the older generation) normally donot like looking straight into the eyes while talking with each other. The same thing if done in America can tempt Americans to challenge your confidence level. Although a lot about cultures can be learnt from tourist books and guides, yet international work ex has no real life substitute. Knowledge of international languages (like Spanish/French/Chinese) adds an extra feather to the cap.

6) Extracurriculars- Extracurricular activites if correctly projected can be extremely strong positive factors in the selection process of an applicant. So all the applicants, make sure you do something out of your regular work/study life. It can be as easy as finding some time from your schedule to do some social service, play some sports or learn some musical instruments. Just start the process and it becomes a part of life.And once you get a B-school dont forget to continue all the good things you started doing before your MBA application.

7) Recommendations- Good recommendations show superior "superiors-management" skills on the part of the applicant. Know your recommenders well and give them sufficient time and information so that you get good recos.

I think this is enough for the pre-requisite section. Will be back tomorrow. Ciao.


Anonymous said...

u blog rocks. U have given lots of inputs for a very good application package. I am an ISB aspirant. Can u giev last year list of ISB essays? and few sample essays. PLease mail the same to



Anon, Pls go thru the topics like ur career progression, definition of success, career aspiration, role model, short term and long term aspirations, and most importantly ur critical analysis.
Always be urself...and try to get the best out of what u have...

Anonymous said...

HI Sabyasachi ,

Ur blog is really informtive. I am planning to apply for ISB for fall 2007.
do u hve any previous yr sample essays.just need to have a feel of essays before starting off.
can you please mal it to