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Frequently Asked Questions

Question1: What are the different MBA admission offerings at PythaGURUS? How are they different?

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Answer: We have two admission offerings:

Premium Services: It caters to the Tier 1 Global Schools. These schools are very competitive in their approach and the generation of students applying to these schools is breathtaking and is a lot more accomplished early in their lives.

Regular Services: This offering caters to the other schools outside of Tier 1. Most of these schools accept candidates with low GMAT or without any GMAT scores and/or with lesser number of years of work experience, and aren’t that competitive. If you do not have a GMAT score or it is below 640, this offering is better for you.
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Question2: What are the different components of our admissions offering?
What do we cover in these services and how long does the entire activity take?

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Answer: Please download our “Admissions Guide” for our offering details or click here to learn more about our admissions program.
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Question3: How long does the entire activity take?

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Answer: If you are applying to the tier 2 schools, we should be able to complete your first application within 10 days. The interview preparation for these schools starts right after the first application. Some of these schools do not have mandatory interviews and offer admissions without interviews too.

For people looking at the tier 1 global schools, the time duration varies from 3-6 weeks for us to finish your first application. In addition, you may be engaged for a period of 6-9 months with us. Different schools have different interviewing styles, and may vary from conversational tones to a fixed set of questions that the interviewer has for the candidates. We have seen both repetitive as well as surprise interviews in the top-tier schools, and the experience at times depends on whether you are interviewing with a School Alum or an admissions rep or even a second year student.
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Question4:. I do not have a very mature understanding of what I want out of my MBA program. Do I really need to know what do I want to do post MBA or can I make a decision later? How do I address the “What are your short term/long term goals?” portion of the application and how important is it to the school.

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Answer: In our experiences, candidates at times build career stories that are either generic or statement of dreams.

For candidates with Great Experience, above average GMAT scores, strong GPA’s, what are the common reason for rejections:

  • Generic Personal Statements: “This decision of pursuing an MBA stems from my desire to gain a managerial perspective and rise through the ranks in my industry. MBA will help me take more responsibility and will help me improve my leadership style”. Under these circumstances, the candidates clearly do not know their reason for pursuing an education in business and the schools can easily sense that.
  • Inappropriate career choices: While these candidates are ambitious, they do not understand that their career choice does not easily exist in the industry. In choosing your short term career choice, you are giving a strong sense of insecurity to the school in their ability to find the right recruiter for you. Example: “After working at the research desk of ABC company, I gained extensive experience in data analysis, and the corporate finance for clients across various verticals. I want to leverage this experience and make a move in to Private Equity, and gain experience in deal making”. While you are telling the school that you are ambitious, you are also making them wonder if they would be able to find the right job for you. That school is more likely to see an applicant like you pursuing a career in investment banking or consulting, and subsequently picking the right career into deal making. They are not going to accept you unless you are thorough in your understanding of why you are shopping around for business schools.
  • Not understanding the “Fit” with the school: Not knowing why this particular school would help you in meeting your career objectives is a very common reason for rejections. Just as the schools are in the process of picking the right candidates, so are the candidates in picking the right schools that would meet their requirements. During these interactions in the essays and applications, schools certainly want to know your understanding of the various factors that led you to pick them as the preferred institution.

This is the most important part of any application and we will work with you extensively in preparing your short term and long term goals, and generating a strong sense of careers post MBA. Some of the things that candidates will experience are

Structuring a Personal Statement:

Most of the top schools ask for a personal statement in which the candidates discuss their goals, aspirations as they relate to an MBA, and more importantly to that school’s MBA program. This is the most important part of your application as this is your “ENTIRE STORY”.

You should normally use a past-future-present sequence in your essay structure as it is important to give your background, next describe your goals, and your employability, and later move on to how will that school help you in getting there. Personal Statement.

Figure: A Personal Statement Diagram: Note: The diagram is just an illustration and is in past-present-future sequence.

Different schools and subtle differences in their personal statements. How have these personal statements changed over the years?

In the last 3 years, a lot of top schools have taken the emphasis off the work history in the personal statement. These personal statements used to be a lot like: “Discuss your employment history. Why you do need an education in business to achieve your goals? Why MBA from our program?” Schools now feel that a candidate’s letter of recommendations, resume, and interview provide sufficient information about the candidate’s background and using a significant portion of the personal statement is increasingly unnecessary.

Some schools still follow the traditional approach:

Northwestern University (Kellogg): Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at Kellogg. (600-word limit; 2009–2010 essay question)

The others do not explicitly ask for a work history in your personal statement, but forming some basic background from the perspective of your goals is still important.

Columbia Business School: What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals? (Recommended 750-word limit)

Berkeley Haas: What are your post-MBA short-term and long-term career goals? How do your professional experiences relate to these goals? How will an MBA from Berkeley help you achieve these specific career goals? (Recommended 750-word limit)

Briefly describe your short-term and long-term career goals. Why is an MBA the best choice at this point in your career? What and/or who influenced your decision to apply to Ross? (500-word maximum; 2009–2010 essay question)

Describe your career goals. How will the Ross MBA help you to achieve your goals? (500 word maximum

If a school explicitly asks you to discuss your “career progress to date,” do not take this as an opportunity to offer every accomplishment on your resume. Some candidates make the mistake of writing about their work experience for 75% of their personal statements, even though they are also submitting a resume with their application. This wastes precious essay space by repeating facts the admissions committee already has elsewhere. We recommend limiting your discussion of your career history to approximately 40% of the essay length and including brief, but strong, examples of success to represent an accomplished career.

Employability: Goals

This is the most rigorous part of the entire exercise as employability is the most important factor taken into consideration by top schools while short-listing candidates. They ask for it over and again in essays and interviews. In my experiences, most of the applicants have very naive expressions on the essays. There are others who express unrealistic goals. Let us take an example of financial Services: Plainly expressing that you want to make a career in finance will not help. You ought to articulate in greater details your reasons for pursuing any of the career paths below:

  • Finance – Commercial Banking
  • Finance – Consumer Banking
  • Finance – Investment Banking
  • Finance – Investment Fund Management
  • Finance – Investment Research/Analysis
  • Finance – Investment Strategy/Portfolio Management
  • Finance – Private Equity
  • Finance – Project Finance
  • Finance – Real Estate
  • Finance – Sales and Trading
  • Finance/Corporate – Accounting
  • Finance/Corporate – Strategy
  • Finance/Corporate – Treasury
  • Consulting – Financial Advisory

If you are keen on making a career in finance by starting an MBA program at one of the top tier schools specializing in finance, you ought to spend time on creating these goals, and sound accepting and affirming.

Similarly, some of our previous candidates who wanted to establish a career in marketing looked at the following sub categories:

    • Marketing – Advertising
    • Marketing – Brand Management
    • Marketing – Business Development
    • Marketing – Channel Management
    • Marketing – Communications
    • Marketing – CPG
    • Marketing – Market Research/Analytics
    • Marketing – New Media
    • Marketing – Public Relations

People in consulting normally look at the following areas:

      • Consulting – Financial Advisory
      • Consulting – Human Capital
      • Consulting – Management/Strategy( Majority )
      • Consulting – Marketing
      • Consulting – Not-for-Profits/Federal
      • Consulting – Technology
      • Consulting – Supply Chain Management( Operations )

If you are making a career switch, throw yourself at the deep end of this research to establish a connection between your existing career and the new one. Career switch is not easy but doable.
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Question5: How important is an application? How important is GMAT?

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Answer: A. GMAT Score cannot be the sole factor in getting you in, but it can certainly be the sole factor in getting you out. If you are hovering around the average GMAT score of that particular school, there are chances that your application will be considered for a review. However, if your scores are lower than their acceptance standards, you should not be very optimistic. Before short listing applications for a review, schools do take in to considerations factors such as:

GMAT
Nationality
Function
Industry
Gender
Number of years of work experience

GMAT Score expectations from an Indian IT Male applicant are different from those of an GMAT Score expectations from those of an American Arts Female Applicant. If your score is lower than your peer group applying to that school, you need to express your candidature more strongly through applications.
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Question6:First round Vs. Second round? When should I look at the schools?

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Answer: Even though there is not a big differentiation between these two rounds, I still always advise applicants to start ahead of time. All the seats, and every dollar of scholarship fund is up for grabs in the first round. As you progress towards the subsequent rounds, you do affect your chances of getting an admit and scholarship. Schools are very open minded in their approach in the initial rounds.
If you can get them in the early bird round, that is even better.
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Question7:Should I decide to start with you, when is the best time to approach you?

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Answer: Please read our offering details. There are a lot of activities that take a significant portion of time and energy. In addition, the bottleneck is the turnaround time of the applicants for many deliverables usually. At times, the inputs are very narrow without any significant attention to details. The more we are exposed to your candidature, your applications, and other parts of your story, the better we get at building them further.
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Question8:When is the best time to take GMAT?

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Answer: You should take the test when you are well prepared. A school’s deadline should not influence the test date as getting a low score will certainly affect your chances.
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Any other? If you have any more specific questions,you can reach out to us on
admissions@pythagurus.com or call +91-96500-11233

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