Indian Engineer MBA Candidates – What You Need to Know

Question:

 

I am an Indian male software test engineer. That should probably automatically eliminate me out of contention for a lot of b schools. In terms of leadership roles, I have none that can be quantified in terms of official roles. I have only two promotions and 5 internal organisational awards in my previous job. I hear that a score of 720 and a run-of-the-mill IT profile is hardly attractive to b schools. 

 

Answer:

 

Unfortunately you heard correctly. It’s because Indian male IT is the most overrepresented profile in terms of applicants. The acceptance rate is less than half of what the average is.

 

So that puts a lot of pressure on having a good GMAT, and also finding ways to differentiate yourself.

 

Two promotions doesn’t sound so insignificant to me at all. I’m sad to hear that you haven’t had any leadership roles but challenge you to think creatively about the word leadership.

 

If you found a new way to organize the grocery carts at the local market that could count as a process improvement. So really think about how you have added value by way of changing processes, led others in terms of people and projects, not just official roles.

 

One of the most important things for Indians is to establish community service, hobbies and a record of extracurriculars. This is because not so many Indians have it/them and it really differentiates them.

 

If you are planning to apply to round two…hmm…I question that. Indian should apply early action round and round one for best results. It’s not an absolute ding but know that many of come before you already. You really have to sit and ask yourself, why would they choose you over the Indian male IT candidates with more leadership, ECs, and a higher GMAT who applied early action and round one.

 

For this reason, I don’t think you should apply to Duke even though your GMAT make sense for that school but rather wait for early action round next year. Cornell might be a good choice though if you are hell-bent on this year.

 

If at all possible I encourage you to wait a bit I would like for you to get involved with Toastmasters and get some leadership experience at a nonprofit organization ASAP…. that makes sense for your profile and seems organic… and then apply early action round for Duke and Darden. And then round one for other schools.

 

If you were to bump up your score by 30 points that would be a game-changer for you. So if you haven’t absolutely maximized everything you can possibly do on that test I really recommend that you do so. The better your score the better the school the better the starting salary and it would make sense to wait if you haven’t done your absolute best yet.

 

You seem to have communication skills, maybe good interpersonal (soft) skills as well. If so, I recommend that you *leverage the crap* out of this for your application and really put this across. Choose a community leadership role that will bring this out.

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