'Does an MBA abroad add value to my career?'
In an online chat with readers on September 5, Naveenan Ramachandran, expert, 4GMAT addressed queries related to cracking the GMAT, admission at global b-schools and MBA abroad.
Administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the Graduate Management Admission Test, which is crucial for MBA admission abroad.
The GMAT is a multiple-choice test that is held throughout the year.
Besides some of the Indian Institutes of Management, the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, S P Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai and XLRI, Jamshedpur also accept GMAT scores in India.
For those who missed the live chat, here's the unedited transcript:
Naveenan says, Hi All .. Welcome to this chat session on GMAT preparation. With the R1 application season in progress and with the ISB R1 deadline on Sep 15, any questions on admissions are also welcome and we shall try our best. Welcome, one and all!
akkkss asked, Hi, I heard that funding an MBA abroad is big problem.I came from a middle class family .What are the other ways of securing/arranging the funds?
Naveenan answers, at 2012-09-05 15:53:05Hi ... Most of the public sector banks and private sector banks have the mandate that they have to extend education loans ... There are some rules that you need to check. Approximately, till 4L: just parent's guarantee will do. Above 8L: collateral is necessary. As in the case of any loan, the lender is going to ask what per cent of the tuition fees are you going to spend from your personal savings. If it is above 25 per cent, you have a good chance. As you would have realized, this does mean that a ivy league program which costs Rs 80 lakhs would be beyond the reach of many Indian families. Check out the fee details - they are given in all the admission websites. Choose a college which well fits into your budget. A huge education loan, even if you get one, adds to the pressure while you are at school. All the best.
Ron asked, Hi, I've researched quite a bit on the internet about foreign MBAs. Most colleges require a minimum of 2years Work Experience. Could you please tell me some good-great colleges abroad that don't have the work experience factor as a mandatory admission criteria?
Naveenan answers, Hi Ron ... Most of them only say that the two years of experience would be "great to have" ... It would not be mandatory at most schools ... There are so many graduates who apply as freshers with very good GMAT scores. Check out the fine print!
sunny asked, Hi, I am pursuing BBA Final year from Dav college and preparing for gmat-quant section I want to know how colleges reach us and what are the finanacial requirement for it
Naveenan answers, I am not sure what you mean when you ask "how colleges reach us" ... We need to reach out and the other way round - the admission pages of almost all colleges give a good idea of the cost involved. Depends on the country, state, tax structure in that state, whether it is a private college or a state sponsored college. All the best.
gmaat asked, how to prepare for the verbal section in gmat
Naveenan answers, Hi .. Get started with the OG Verbal Review ... This is different from the OG, 13th ed. ... That gives a base to start from ... Most Indians struggle with Sentence Correction - it being grammar driven. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and play accordingly. All the best!
akkkss asked, How about getting the scholarships based on GMAT scores?Is there any minimun GMAt score above which I can get the scholarship for sure.
Naveenan answers, Hi ... GMAT scores definitely improve your chances of getting scholarships. The GMAT score above which you will get scholarship will depend on the school you apply to. With a 740 in GMAT, you will get scholarship at a college whose average / median score is 600. With the same GMAT, you will be lucky to even get admitted at a Harvard (leave alone getting a scholarship). So, it depends on the school that you are applying to. All the best.
AB asked, Hi,Naveenan... i have 6 year exp in infrastructure industry...and having BBA & DCE..Foreign MBA will help my career to grow further....can u suggest to go for full time MBA in UK..
Naveenan answers, Hi AB ... Yes, only full time courses will help you get a big boost to your career ... Just be watchful of colleges in the UK -- Make sure you get into one which ranks well on the FT list of colleges. Also be mindful that the UK government, due to its own economic reasons, is not too open to allowing people to work in the country after studies. This means that you might have to return to India and hence might not want to burden yourself with a big ticket loan. All the best!
gmatter asked, How should one go about preparing for the essays?
Naveenan answers, Hi, I assume you are talking about the AWA essays ... Good news is that there is only one essay -- the one on arguments after IR entered the picture. It is very similar to the weaken kind of question in CR. The job is to critique the argument the way it is given and highlight invalid assumptions or additional data points that you will need. I hope this helps. Check out templates available freely online. All the best.
beena asked, why Indians run for education abroad....
Naveenan answers, GMAT is not just education abroad. At last count, more than 70+ colleges in India accept GMAT. Most of the one year executive education programmes in India accept only GMAT.
SepMAT asked, What are the other admission deadlines in R1? Do you mean R1 as Round1?? Then totally how many rounds are there?
Naveenan answers, Yes -- Round 1. ISB has only two rounds. R1 deadline is Sep 15 and R2 deadline is Nov 30. For most US schools, there are 4 rounds. R3 and R4 are generally not open to international candidates as we will not be able to get the visa in time. Hence, that limits us to R1 and R2. R1 is spread across Sept / Oct. R2 is spread across Dec / Jan. This should give a good idea of colleges and their rounds. The dates are on the basis of their announcements in 2011: https://email@example.com&ctz=Asia/Calcutta&gsessionid=OK
akkkss asked, I am pretty much sure about scoring good marks in Quant but skeptical about RC and SCs.Can you please advice.
Naveenan answers, SC: Fix the grammar basics even before you start with the 7 or 8 errors normally tested on the GMAT. Get used to really long sentences / paragraph being erroneous. RC: Get used to abstract topics written in American style. WSJ is a good source to being with. Start active reading -- at the end of every para try to summarize the idea in one line. Do the same for every passage you read - irrespective of whether it is on WSJ or on rediff.com. All the best!
gmatter asked, Sorry for the confusion. I was refering to essay preparation for MBA colege admission
Naveenan answers, Hi ... I think the core is to work on your reason as to why you want to do MBA. Most colleges in US -- and nowadays in India -- look for a strong need / urge in candidates for the MBA program. Just saying that I have been a good student all my life and MBA is a natural progression is not cutting ice anymore. Start introspecting on your achievements and why you want to do the program. MBA is only a means to an end. What is that end which you cannot attain now? What is that you really, really, really want to do an MBA. All the best!
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
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'Is coaching important to crack GMAT?'
akkkss asked, I work in a software company,so not able to give time to prep. in weekdays.So,is it advisable to join a Coaching institute(weekend batches) to ace through the exam?
Naveenan answers, Hi ... A coaching institute provides a helping hand, a framework to prepare, the dos and donts of the game and gives access to a motivated peer group. Even if you go to one, please do make it a point to set aside at least 1 hour a day for preparation. Like I keep telling my students, just open the book and sleep on it - but open it. First week, you might sleep. Second week, I am sure something would get started. All the best!
indian asked, Is coaching a necessary evil , or will self study is enough to take us through?
Naveenan answers, Hi ... A coaching institute provides a helping hand, a framework to prepare, the dos and donts of the game and gives access to a motivated peer group. Even if you go to one, please do make it a point to set aside at least 1 hour a day for preparation. There are have been so many self motivated individuals who have cracked the GMAT with just self - study.
rohit asked, with mba colleges accepting GRE now, how far giving gmat make scense ,considering the tution fee?
Naveenan answers, Hi ... Most of the MBA colleges still accept only GMAT ... Writing GRE only could severely limit the MBA programmes that you could apply to.
Soumya asked, Hello Sir. My GMAT is scheduled in Dec 2012. I want to start a program in 2014. Targetting Insead, IMD and looking for good 1 yr programs in US like Cornell. Can you suggest few more ? Profile : 7+ exp in Investment Banking, female, 31 yrs old.
Naveenan answers, Hi ... Most of the 1 year programmes in the US accept people with more than 10 years of experience only. You might want to look at the Sloan programme offered by LBS. How about the PGPX programmes offered by IIMs A/B/C.
akkkss asked, Thanks Naveenan for your valuable inputs.Suppose ,I start investing 1 hour a day towards my preparation,then how long would it take(in months) to crack the GMAT with a decent score(720+)?
Naveenan answers, Hi, Anytime! It would depend on the base that you start with. In general, GMAT is an examination which requires an investment of about 200 hours uniformly spread over 3 months. Thanks.
rajesh asked, hi Naveenan - I have never applied for GMAT exam. but have a figure of more than 720 in mind. Can you guide me how can i reach there. Is it necessary to take classes.
Naveenan answers, Hi Rajesh - You might want to give a diagnostic test. There is one available for free on mba.com This will help you figure out the areas that will need improvement. 720 is a tall ask and requires good expertise in Quant and Verbal - definitely not an impossible task though.
indian asked, How are the Singapore MBA Colleges - are they any better ?
Naveenan answers, Yes - Especially, if you are looking to work in the Asia - Pac - India region, a degree by NUS, NTU, SMU are very helpful.
nsj asked, What is the minimum GMAT score required to just qualify for London Business School
Naveenan answers, There is no such minimum GMAT score as the entire profile is taken into consideration. To give an example, if Arvind Kejriwal (though I am sure he is not going to!) were to apply, I am sure LBS will consider his application even if he gets only a 600. Thanks.
sudarshan asked, How important are the essay scores for institutes like Insead/IMD?
Naveenan answers, Essay scores are not that important for most of the schools. Of course, the application essays are very, very , very important.
c asked, If i give the gmat on 25th nov as i am abroad as of now and have taken the date as 25th Nov for GMAT,can i still apply for ISB R2..As i know they require the official score from GMAC but it will take 2-3 weeks for score to reach ISB from GMAC.
Naveenan answers, Yes - you can. They just need the unofficial score. Theoretically speaking, you could write the GMAT on 30th November and hit the Submit button any time before 23:59:59 on the same day. I hope that clarifies.
indian asked, 3 + Years of Work Ex - is it a good enough exp. - can i expect good MBA Colleges considering me for their courses ?
Naveenan answers, Yes - Definitely - if the application is padded up by a good GMAT score and brilliant essays.
sudarshan asked, Keeping the current Euro crisis in mind how advisable is an institute like Insead (based out of France and Singapore). Also keeping the work visa situation in mind how advisable is London Business school?
Naveenan answers, In general, schools abroad do not proactively help you with placement unlike the Indian schools. Many students who pass out of Insead end up having to search for a job and get a good one within about 2 to 3 months of passing out. This is where networking makes a big difference. As I previously mentioned, keeping the work visa situation in mind - the candidate helps himself by not having to take up a huge education loan.
LG asked, Hi, I was average in math and english in my school days. So did not take up math in college. However, I have cleared CA (and have 10 years workex post graduation) and am now planning to go for a 1 year MBA. I have two questions 1. Which B schools should I target (Not targeting ISB)? 2. How should I go about to get a score of at least 720? Thanks in advance!
Naveenan answers, Hi ... Appreciate your candid analysis ... 1. IIM PGPX courses, LBS Sloan program, IMD are some places that could cater to your current experience level. 2. Get started with the OG Math Review. If necessary, get going with CBSE math books 9th and 10th standard levels. GMAT math is a lot about knowing the fundamentals inside out. And that is the reason why we start there. All the best.
shishir asked, hi naveen. i have 5+ years of experience in IT. will writing gmat be good for me? do i need to have A1 profile to get into big schools?
Naveenan answers, Hi - the question is rather whether you do want to do your MBA. There is no such thing as an A1 profile - a lot depends on how badly (in a +ve sense you want to start the MBA program). Whether you want to be a technology stalwart or a move to the business side? The answer to this question will help one decide. All the best.
GMATCOOLBOY asked, Naveenan Sir, I am into my family business of exports and imports since the last 4 to 5 years. Will it be counted as work experience? How?
Naveenan answers, It will be counted as full time work experience. However, the admission committee / interview committee will ask very detailed questions just to be sure that you were involved in the thick of things. All the best.
indian asked, Is it really important to keep on working in your current job till you get an admission in a Bschool based on GMAT ?
Naveenan answers, Depends on the mandatory experience requirement of the school. Unless that gets violated, one could quit several months before actually getting started with the school. Thanks.
worried asked, How important is the gmat score when it comes to admission in ISB as well as colleges abroad? How much would a person with 3 years of work ex be required to get considering the fact that most people who apply in colleges abroad have 5+ years of experience.
Naveenan answers, Very, very important - all the more since you have 3 years of exp. - just a tad above the 2 years minimum requirement at ISB. There is no such thumb rule - Just make sure that you are at least 30 to 40 points above the average / median GMAT score of the school that you aspiring to join. Do not "worry" ;-)
Amit asked, I have 15 years of work experience. Which B schools shall I target pls. No funding constraints.
Naveenan answers, Hi Amit ... PGPX programmes of IIMs, Sloan programme of LBS, ISB, Kellogg's 1 year programme are some of the ones you should seriously consider. You said it - GMAT score, essays, experience, profile, purpose behind doing the MBA, why now are some questions for which the admission committee is looking for answers.
gautam asked, Are there any online test series which you think people with higher score ambition should adapt?
Naveenan answers, Yes - one should give at least 10 mocks before the actual G-Day! The 4 hour marathon is generally very taxing and if one does not practice, you run out of steam halfway through the crucial verbal portion!
Vish asked, Hi Naveenan, I have recently taken GMAT with a score of 690( Q50 V33, AWA5, IR8). Total experience of around 8.5 years in BIDW space and actively engaged with couple of NGOs as community worker in area of micro financing and adolescent education. Please advice good executive MBA programs in India and Asia Pacific.Also, what are my chances if I apply in ISB?
Naveenan answers, Hi - Very, very good chances - if you do a good job on the essays. There is a lot of diversity that you bring to the table when compared to the normal application pool. There would be enough and more to write in Essay #1 of ISB. As long as you have a plan to put down in Essay #2 and good matter for Essay #3 (which I am sure you will have considering 8+ years of experience) - I personally think - "very bright chances" - touch wood !
sudarshan asked, What I am trying to gauge is the true merit/value of a school like Insead. I understand its higly ranked and dam expensive. I have studied and worked in US for more than 6 years and am presently located in Bangalore. Thus I am trying to gauge the ROI of Insead.
Naveenan answers, Good way to think about it. RoI will look attractive if you are willing to look at more than 5 years pay back period. There is the 1 year's opportunity cost also that you would be packing into the analysis. Is there some role / designation that would really, really want to get into - which might be almost impossible with your current profile? The answer to that will give the qualitative angle to your objective RoI analysis. All the best!
piyushsingh1607 asked, hi naveen i am an MBA with nearly 2 years of experience nd i want to give gmat nd have an excecutive from a b school. pls suggest me the right time to give gmat
Naveenan answers, Hi Piyush ... Normally, it would take at least 4 years or something for you to develop a story as to why you need a 2nd MBA. You would say that I want to do X, Y or Z - I tried my best over the last 5 years - I know that there are competency gaps - I realize I was too fresh / raw the first time around - so on and so forth. However, to be able to paint this story, you will need at least 4 years between the two degrees. I hope that helps. Thanks.
worried asked, Thank you sir! I have a rather decent quant as well as verbal capability. Keeping that in mind, I am aiming for a 750 in GMAT. Will such a score be sufficient considering my rather low work ex-3 years? And how important is the alma mater of your bachelors degree? Lets take for example that I happen to be an alumni of an IIT or an NIT.
Naveenan answers, A 750+ will definitely help you get into a school of your choice. Having a good alma mater definitely helps. However, they are going to ask - how you leveraged / made use of that spring board.
Santosh asked, Hi Navin, How MBA from top B schools make a different?
Naveenan answers, 1. Alumni network, 2. NPV over a fairly long period of time, 3. Ability to open doors at all levels of business, 4. Recognition if you decide to start your own business or profession. I suppose these are the areas where it is going to make a major difference. All the best!
indian asked, I am planning to give GMAT in December , 2012 . is it a good time to give ?
Naveenan answers, Hi - There is no such thing as a good or a bad month in terms of percentiles or toughness levels of questions ... Just make sure that you safely clear the admission deadlines of your target schools. All the best!
vish1981 asked, Thanks Naveenan Sir. Please advice on good executive MBA programs in India and Asia Pacific.
Naveenan answers, Hi .. Check out IIM PGPX courses, ISB, XLRI, NUS programs in India and A-Pac. All the best!
LG asked, How imp is the community service while applying for an MBA? I don't have any community service workex as of now. However, I was engaged in a few businesses in the past. Will that help? One of the options you suggested me was Sloan. It requires a 12+ years of managerial work ex. Can you explain what do they mean by managerial?
Naveenan answers, Community service - If it is there - good. Otherwise - please do not bother about it at all. The experiences that you gained in the businesses - definitely helpful. They could be talking points in the interview and could provide a solid reason as to why you want to do the program. "Managerial" is a little misleading ... It does necessarily mean a designation involves managerial responsibilities - as long as the role involved having to manage a team or a product or an area, it gets counted.
sandeep asked, When u have modest academic background with 5-6 yrs of exp in Software developer in MNC.The application to top10 B-school with GMAT score of 680-720 is considered.my question to u is the Eassy and recommendation other are equally important to make ur profile.In other words - when u can make it to Top10.
Naveenan answers, Hi - A very loaded question ;-) Yes - the essays and the recommendations are very, very important. Even at 720, it becomes very touch and go at the top 10. If you really want to get into the top 10, you might want to give the test again and score a 750. Idea is that there is little that can be done about a "modest" acad background. GMAT is the only area on which the candidate has complete control. It is the tool used to "signal" your readiness for the tough academic environment. Hence, the importance. All the best!
Anurag asked, Hi naveenan , if i give 2 gmats before applying which one is considered , the latest one or i get to choose which one i show ?
Naveenan answers, One does not have a choice as to which one to show. Normally, schools take the latest / better score.
Amit asked, How important is community service for B School admissions?
Naveenan answers, If community service has been done - great. At what level - matters a lot and gets questioned at the interviews. Is it mandatory? No. Can I start involving in community service three months before the application deadline? No - Do not bother.
chinmay asked, Dear Sir, I am C.A and planning to give GMAT in DEC-12 for AUG-13 intake for MBA(Fin.) in USA. Is 3 full months time enough to practice for GMAT and score 650+? Also,do top-30 B-schools in USA consider C.A articleship experience of 3years as work experience as its full time and how are career prospects?? Pls guide. Thanks
Naveenan answers, CA articleship experience is NOT considered as work experience. Reason quoted is that it is a course requirement. However, the achievements could be used to build your profile. 3 months full time involvement is definitely enough in order to get 650+. All the best!
Naveenan says, It was a very engaging discussion that we had today! Thanks to the Rediff team for arranging the platform and thanks to the participants. We are having to call it a day due to time constraints ... Hope to have a similar meeting soon. All the best!
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh