Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What constitutes the 'Fit'?

Most people are of the opinion that you should just look at the fit-factor from your point of view and let the university decide whether you fit in its jigsaw puzzle or not. I would say we should always start looking at a school in that way, but in the end, the decision to apply or not should also depend on the probability of getting accepted to the school you are going to apply. It takes around $250 to submit an app to a top school and we better spend this money wisely.

To present an example, here's 5 reasons why I applied to INSEAD:

  1. A major reason behind my decision to pursue an MBA is the opportunity to interact with a diverse student body. Where else than the most 'International' of all MBA courses - going by the statistics that is. It has arguably the most diverse student body in terms of nationality as well as quality.
  2. One of the better one-year courses in the world.
  3. Brand name, esp in Europe. For someone looking to pursue a career in Europe, INSEAD is bound to be among the top-choices.
  4. Amazing spirit of community.
  5. It costs lesser than a two-year course in the US.

And here's 5 reasons why I should not have:

  1. I have never travelled abroad. To apply to INSEAD with the international travel part of your application blank is blasphemy for a profile like mine.
  2. Demonstrated leadership is a crucial factor for admission at all top B-schools around the world. INSEAD seems to value this demonstration a lot more at work than outside it. I was a team lead at my previous company, but later switched to a product development form and am currently leading a team of zero. INSEAD's essay one goes thus: "Please give a detailed description of your job, including nature of work, major responsibilities; and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, number of clients/products and results achieved."
  3. Most of the Indians getting through either already hold a master's degree or have diverse work experience (read non-IT).
  4. One of my stronger points was GMAT, and INSEAD simply couldn't care less for this given the rest of my profile.
  5. To make the most of my education and succeed post-INSEAD, I now think that more work-ex than 3-4 years is preferable if I was looking for a career switch. So while I still think INSEAD is a good fit for me when it comes to enjoying my education and learning the most out of it, INSEAD may actually have done me a favor by not offering an admit.
The point is that there are a whole lot of things to be looked upon when you apply to a B-school. We all apply to schools we think are stretch targets for us. But it is wise to choose the best out of those stretch-schools and not just go ahead and apply. Would I apply to INSEAD again if given a chance to begin my app process all over again? I'm not sure...

Disclaimer: Thoughts mentioned above are personal and have nothing to do with what INSEAD recommends.

1 comment:

Rahul said...

Hey, Thanks for your comment.
So, have you accepted Duke? Any updates on Tuck?