Sharad was an engineer with three years of work experience and a 710 GMAT score. Although by itself Sharad had a great profile for his dream school, ISB, it became an average profile in comparison with the applicant pool for the school.
‘Indian male engineers’ is the largest applicant pool to business school and it was indisputable that we needed to help Sharad set himself apart from it if he wanted a shot at ISB.
Here’s his MBA application journey.
Sharad’s goals were all over the place yet streamlined. Let me explain that further. While Sharad had picked target employers for his post-MBA goals, he wasn’t very clear with the industry he wanted to go in. the list of target employers that he had picked was from all kinds of industries like FMCG, Consulting, and Technical. Thus, we asked him to dig a little deeper into LinkedIn to help his research.
He was supposed to find ISB alumni, since that was his target school, that were now working with his target employers in his target functions and understand their career trajectory to get an idea of what his long-term goal would look like in the different industries he was using in his short-term goals.
Then came the second problem with Sharad’s goals story. Even though he had expanded on his previous background, he had done it without any direction for the future.
Sharad had given a good idea of his background and explained some parts of his short-term and long-term goals but there was no link between the two. The equation of employability is simple.
Past + MBA = Short-Term Goals + Long-Term Goals
While Sharad had his past, and short-term and long-term goals somewhat figured out, he had no clear picture of how an MBA fits into the equation. What he needed was to understand his current handicaps that made it necessary for him to get an MBA to move into his future goals.
After a lot of research and multiple goals story drafts, we moved on to the essays once we had a good outline for the goals story.
ISB has a very specific way of asking the “Why this school?” question. They make it more difficult by asking why you should be admitted if there was only one spot left in their program. Now, this is a high stakes question. They aren’t just asking how you would be a good fit for the program or what you would bring to the school’s student body. Instead, they are asking why you’re the best fit out of the entire applicant pool.
Sharad’s answer to this question was about a passion of his that he had honed over the years. While that is a great skill to share, an applicant must also point out the value of that skill to ISB as an institution. After receiving guidance on how to do that, the next drafts that Sharad provided answered the questions head-on.
All the hard work was rewarded when Sharad received the acceptance letter from one of India’s top business schools, ISB.