How Neha got into Kenan Flagler and IIM Ahmedabad?

A GMAT score of 710, an engineering background, and just two years of work experience. Anyone familiar with MBA admissions will easily tell you that this is a difficult profile to get admitted with. On their own, all of these attributes can be a part of a great profile. But together, they make up a profile that fills the MBA applicant pool every year.

But the applicant’s skills, personality, and professional maturity matter a lot.

Neha proved this by getting into Kenan Flagler and IIM A with a GMAT score of 710, an engineering background.

The first part was picking out the schools, obviously. Without indulging in Neha’s personal information, we want to warn you of a mistake that she was about to make. On the list of schools Neha wanted to apply to, she had a school that was mainly known for Entrepreneurship. While, no business school is good at only one core-curriculum, but this particular school would have made no sense for Neha since her goal was never Entrepreneurship and we had much better school options available.

Lesson: Make sure your selection of business school is in sync with your goals to create the maximum possible scope for Employability.

Once finished with school selection, we needed to move pretty quick. One of our major roadblocks was Neha’s work experience. With just two years of work experience, she wished to compete with the applicant pool of schools like Kenan Flagler, where a 6-year work experience was considered “normal”. In addition to that, we could not go for the Early Bird round for the school as that would mean finishing up and submitting the application in a mere 14-day period.

Our reservations about the low work experience was confirmed by one of Neha’s seniors who was studying at Kenan Flagler. Despite the risks, Neha decided to go for round 2 of applications at Kenan Flagler, and we agreed.

Her risk played out well when she received an interview call from Kenan Flagler, along with IIM A, and ISB.

The Interview Prep

The mock interview brought a few issues to the forefront.

Instead of answering “why this school?”, Neha was answering “why MBA?”. Her answer was generic and lacked inspiration or research. Thus, we asked her to ask herself a few questions:

  1. Why do you like the course structure of Kenan Flagler?
  2. Why do you want to stay in India and study in IIM A?
  3. What are the employment opportunities at Kenan Flaglerthat attract you?
  4. Why do you think are the diverse students important for your growth and development? What is it about the diverse student body at Kenan Flagler, or IIM A that you think you would value?

Now, while diversity might have a single meaning in a literal sense, a school in the US and a school in India would look at it very differently. Majorly, the types of people you encounter, and the challenges and experiences they bring to the MBA program are completely different.

Thus, Neha had to answer the question of diversity with each school in mind.

After giving Neha a thorough feedback of her Mock Interview, and prepping many more interview questions with her, we began waiting for the final results.

We first received a ding from ISB but were sure that our Rockstar candidate would crack a top school.

We were proven right when Neha received admits from both Kenan Flagler, and IIM Ahmedabad.