Q1. Do people with work experience get preference from B-schools?
Most B-schools take MBA aspirants with work experience, this is because a large number of them apply to these B-schools! There is no defined 'quota' for experienced personnel, nor are they given any 'preference' at any stage of the process. Students with work experience do have a psychological edge in the interview as their interviews tend to focus predominantly on their work (which they should know) whereas fresher interview focus more on academics (not everyone's strength!).
Read more about who's getting into B-schools
Q2. What are the pros and cons of part-time MBA?
Opt for a part-time MBA only if the income that you earn forms a significant part of your or your family's livelihood. Part-time MBAs is ideal for those who have a considerable amount of work experience and are now looking at moving up the corporate ladder. It is also for those who don't want a drastic change but want to move ahead in their existing line of work or want to know more about management.
Read more about the part-time MBA program
Q3. Can my managerial aptitude be increased?
The objective of the MBA program is to eke out the manager in you. There are quite a lot of qualities a manager possesses, such as leadership skills, strong communication skills and so on. For some people these qualities are portrayed in their day-to-day activities. But for some, they are dormant. The key to answering this question is whether there is a will in you to learn. If there is, then an MBA program from a good B-school will make sure that it gets the best out of you.
Q4. When should I start studying for MBA entrance exams?
That's the question foremost in the minds of most students. Our experts suggest that the ideal time to start your preparation depends on a number of parameters including:
1. What your existing competence is, in the areas tested
2. The amount of time you can dedicate to your preparation
3. The institutes that you are targeting for application
With the increasing difficulty level of the CAT, it is highly recommended that you start your preparation as soon as you have decided that you are serious about a career in management. Though for most 'good' candidates, 3-4hrs a day for 6-8 months is sufficient.
Q5. What extra do I need to put in?
Cracking entrances is all about getting your basics right. Apart from that, practising exercises like speed-reading and random Maths calculations can also help you. Do eclectic reading like the editorials of a newspaper, practise formulae and you will be playing a totally different ball game.
Q6. Investing another two years in an MBA program? Is it a good decision?
Well, your question has the answer in it. MBA is an investment, one that might not provide you immediate financial or career returns, but two years down the line when you walk through the mean streets armed with an MBA degree, all the sweat will be worth it. Finances should not stop you from applying for an MBA, financial aid is easily available.
Read more about the financial planning
Q7. I want to do my MBA from India's top B-school. But why should I focus only on the IIMs?
IIMs are without a shadow of doubt India's premier institutes. They are far beyond all other B-schools with respect to infrastructure, placements, faculty and learning environment. But, everyone can't go there, and the number of people taking the CAT each year is only increasing, hence it is extremely important to also apply to other B-schools in the Top 10-15 if it is an MBA you want.
See Pegasus's B-school ranking
Q8. What if I don't get into an IIM? Should I settle for another B-school or take the CAT again?
It depends on what you settle for. There are other institutes such as JBIMS, IMT Ghaziabad and TAPMI that are doing quite well. Check the Pegasus top B-school list. An MBA from B-schools in Clusters 1 - 3 will be a good choice. Go for the rest only if you have to do your MBA this year. Else taking the CAT again would not be a bad idea.
Q9. Will I get financial aid for my education?
Most B-schools do not offer financial aid. IIMs are the only B-schools that have a policy of not denying any deserving candidate admission due to lack of funds. However, it is still easy to get financial aid for doing an MBA, especially if you are going to any of the top ten B-schools. Banks are willing to give student loans to aspiring MBAs and you have to repay these only after you start working. Considering that you will be going to a top B-school, finding a high paying job should not be difficult at all.
Q10. I'm interested in an pursuing an MBA degree but at 35, am concerned that I'm too old for many schools to consider.
Well, you are never too old to study so your age shouldn't stop you from pursuing an MBA. The only question you need to ask yourself is, do you need a full-time MBA or will a part-time program fulfill your need.
Q11. What is the most important factor for a B-school when choosing an MBA candidate?
To begin with, your aptitude. This is tested in the entrances. Entrances are screening tests. Once you clear the entrance phase will you get to interface with faculty from the B-school itself. As far as other skills are concerned: B-schools look for clarity of goals, communication skills and your honesty, which they test in the phase two of their entrance with various personality assessment tools.
Read more about the B-school entrance
Q12. I'm having trouble narrowing down my list of possible schools. How many would you recommend I should apply to?
There is no ideal number to apply to. But don't apply to all the B-schools that you know of, apply smartly and effectively. Identify your interest area or the specialization you want to pursue and then accordingly shortlist those B-schools for applications. It's always better to err on the safer side and apply to a couple of extra schools rather than to too few.
Q13. Do you think that business school fees are on the rise and, if so, do you expect this to accelerate over the next five years?
Inflation has affected all service sectors and education has been no exception. With the demand and constant effort to meet international standard of learning, there has been considerable increase in B-school fees. There will be but only moderate fluctuations, with regard to the services provided.
Q14. I have a low CAT score. What other factors can I use to impress admissions committees?
If you have work experience, make sure you make good use of that. If not, be sure you are thorough with the subjects you studied in college. Remember, if you have made it to Round 2 inspite of your low CAT score, you stand an even chance of final selection. Be confident; be clear of what you want. Be honest and best of luck.
Q15. How many years of work experience is sufficient?
Usually 2-3 years of work experience is sufficient. B-schools have started a trend of lateral placements where students with 2-3 years of work experience get placed even before their regular placements.
Q16. Do I have to be a graduate from a premier college?
No. It is not necessary that students need to be from premier colleges. You get into a B-school on the basis of your performance in the entrance exams conducted by the B-schools themselves.