A decade of work experience can create a lot of problems when it comes to convincing the admissions committee of the employability of the applicant post-MBA.
Despite that, Arnav cracked a top 10 US business school, UCLA!
Here’s how he did it.
Arnav’s goals story started off good. He explained his current job and professional background well. The roadblock he was facing was the transition from his current job into consulting, his short-term goal. Accessing the consulting encyclopedia, we had created helped solve this issue to a large extent.
Another mistake that Arnav was making, and we would like to warn you against it, was not quantifying his achievements. Rather than saying he worked in a multi-million-dollar project, mentioning the approx. cost of the project would make more of an impact on his story.
These were small issues with the short-term goals. However, the issue of transition, ironically, was carried forward to his long-term goals as well.
Arnav needed to create a version of his story where his skills from the past combined with the skills he would learn in an MBA program would help him with his goals of consulting, which would further generate more skills that would eventually help him lead a tech-based company.
In addition to the transition, we also needed to work on making his short-term goals more precise. You don’t want to tell the school that you’ll just be waiting for your desired opportunity to come your way post-MBA. You want to create a clear vision of what types of organizations and roles you will be targeting.
While there is always a possibility of these goals changing post-MBA, and the admissions committee certainly understands that, they still wish to see an applicant who has researched their post-MBA employability and have a clear vision of how an MBA would help them reach their goals. Thus, if you don’t have clear goals, how can you make a strong argument for the need for an MBA?
The biggest issue we faced during the essay section of Arnav’s application was the “why this school?” essay. The school wasn’t interested in the goals story for this essay, nor were they purely interested in the professional aspect of Arnav’s profile.
Arnav however stuck to telling the school about his goals. The few reasons, for targeting the school, that he mentioned in the essay were also generic. Schools don’t want generic reasons, that means you could join any school and achieve your goal. Then why should, the elite and exclusive school you’re applying to, choose you over every other applicant that they have?
This problem could be solved by networking.
So, Arnav started networking with the current students and the alumni of his target school. He needed the inside scoop. He could have easily found more reasons to attend his target schools than he had already mentioned, but he needed to find very exclusive and unique reasons that could only be divulged by people who had experienced the school firsthand.
In the end, his hard work paid off and he achieved an admit to his dream school.
Arnav cracked the UCLA-NUS program, and will now be joining one of the top business schools in the world.