Applicants with the engineering background from India often flock to Top US schools creating an oversaturation in the MBA applicant pool. It might be difficult for such students to stand out but it’s possible.
Before starting her goals story, we needed to help Pallavi pick one of her two selected short-term goals, Management Consulting, and Management consulting for the healthcare vertical. The more precise your post-MBA short-term goal is, the more convinced a business school admissions committee will be of your reasons to pursue an MBA.
That being said, just having a precise short-term goal is not the aim. The main aim is to select a short-term goal that resonates well with your long-term goal and that you have done exhaustive research on. Thus, the first feedback given to Pallavi was to read up on both her prospective short-term goals before deciding on one.
We also provided our own resources about consulting as a career to ease her burden of research.
The goal story is to set a foundation for the upcoming school essays. Thus, with the basics dealt with, we decided to move forward to the application essays.
Pallavi’s answers to application essay questions were very basic. We needed her to pull out some special stories, stories that would really connect her past to her future aspirations and provide reasons that were true and unique to her.
She was also missing the part where she answered, “Why should the school choose you?”. Although she was sharing a lot about her background, she needed to tell the schools about the initiatives she would be taking while studying in that school.
If you’re struggling with answering the same questions, think about the clubs that you will be joining. You need to talk about how you are going to add value. You could start new clubs, or lead the existing clubs, you help the students by organizing the job treks, or maybe engage in a lot of extracurriculars.
Pallavi had been waitlisted by Texas A&M. We knew at this point that we were not ready to let this one slip from our hands and started working on a post shortlisting strategy.
Our aim was to show the school that we valued them since they hadn’t dinged us for the same reason. We decided to meet Texas A&M alumni in India, send the school another recommendation letter, and be even more aggressive with our networking strategy.
We even came up with more strategies as there was no sure shot way of knowing if the waitlist strategy would make a difference for Texas A&M. However, Texas A&M came through and were convinced of Pallavi’s motivations to join their school due to the first waitlist strategy.
Pallavi’s MBA application journey received a happy ending when she received an admit from Texas A&M!