From the experts
What qualities does a top MBA institute look for in a candidate?
Just preparing for CAT entrance exam is not enough. To land in the MBA institute of your dreams, you first need to know what qualities the MBA institutes look for in a candidate. And then get cracking!
We look for the factors like overall presentation, content, educational qualification and personal background are also taken into account: Dr. B S Sahay, Director, IIM Raipur
Just preparing for CAT entrance exam is not enough. To land in the MBA institute of your dreams, you first need to know what qualities the MBA institutes look for in a candidate. And then get cracking! This MBAUniverse.com article will help you understand what MBA institutes are looking for.
Written tests check academic caliber
Among all entrance exams, CAT, XAT, MAT, ATMA entrance exams are the most popular exams which give entry of multiple MBA institutes. There are some institute specific entrance exams such as FMS for Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi; IIFT, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi and Kolkata; JMET for the MBA institutes of the IIMs, NMAT, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. There are state level entrance exams like Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MAH-CET), Tamil Nadu Common Entrance Test (TANCET) etc.
These entrance exams look for the Quantitative, Verbal and Data Interpretation Abilities. It also tests the accuracy level of the candidates.
Post clearing the entrance exam
After clearing the CAT as well as other MBA institute entrance exams, the next step is GD & PI. Based on the candidate’s MBA entrance exam performance, the institute calls them for GD & PIs. A few MBA institutes short-list candidates after the group discussion stage and only the short-listed candidates are interviewed.
Dr. BS Sahay, Director of IIM Raipur says, "We look for the factors like overall presentation, content, educational qualification and personal background are also taken into account. We want the students to be original. If they pretend to be someone else, that won’t take them to IIMs."
Some of the entrance exam also conduct essays as per the selection procedure XLRI and IIFT give importance to essays. Many of the IIMs like IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Indore and Kozhikode also hold Essay Writing. According to a member of the Admission Committee of a top MBA institute, candidates can express their opinions and facts in a much better way than GDs which mostly take a chaotic turn.
B schools like IIMs, MDI Gurgaon etc. are also giving weightage to the previous academic records and work experience.
What do MBA institutes look for in a candidate?
Why is excelling in written exam so important? A good MBA course is so rigorous that if the candidate is not academically sound, he won’t be able to cope up with the pressure.
While talking about the qualities looked for in a candidate during the Personal Interview session, Dr. Pingali Venugopal, Dean XLRI Jamshedpur mentions, “We check whether the candidates have proper knowledge, interest and depth of the subject or not. We also test whether the candidate is genuinely interested in doing MBA or is just following the common trend. XLRI also looks for certain personality traits in the candidates. We look for all those qualities which a manager must have, such as communication skills, leadership qualities, and awareness, to name a few.”
GD-PI assess a candidate’s personality
The purpose of GD is to measure the quality of a candidate on parameters like content and knowledge, rational thought process, communication skills, group behavior and leadership skills. “GDs are conducted to test managerial attributes like interpersonal skills, leadership, analytical and rational thinking, knowledge and personality traits. Communicating in a clear and fluent manner is a must,” Jaya Desai of IMS Learning says.
A personal interview is aimed at knowing a candidate more intimately, assessing the clarity of thinking process, future goals and how much is the candidate fit for the MBA institute. Desai tells MBAUniverse.com, “The personal interview aims to assess the skills, attitude and personality of the aspirant. The MBA institutes check if the candidate is fit for their courses."
Work experience matters, but not essential
Apart from the MBA entrance exams and GD & PI performance, MBA institutes include work experience, academic record and extra-curricular activities in their selection criteria. Usually work experience is given weightage only if it is a full-time experience after graduation. In most cases, any work experience of less than six months is not considered during selection process.
In past few years, top MBA institutes are admitting more number of candidates with work experience. For example, according to IIM Ahmedabad, among the 310 students admitted in the batch of 2009-2011, 57.42 per cent have an average of 23 months of work experience. IIM Bangalore admitted a total number of 354 students for the Post Graduate Program (PGP) of 2009-2011. Of them, 241 students have work experience ranging from 12 to more than 48 months, while the average experience is that of 29 months.
Whereas MBA institutes offering one year MBA programs like ISB Hyderabad, and Great Lakes School of Management, Chennai, require a minimum of two years of full-time work experience.
Complete package matters!
While selecting candidates, the selectors always look for special qualities which will justify the MBA institute as well as the courses offered by them. “They should be innovative and creative. We are looking for candidates who can out of the box ideas,” says Dr. Venugopal. Dr. Anwar Ali, Director of IMT Ghaziabad, says, “The candidate should have ‘fire-in-the-belly’ and zeal to achieve something big! We look out for achievers.”
“An aspirant should first qualify as a good citizen and then strive to become an MBA executive. And above all think about the society as a whole, besides your own career,” says Dr. Sahay and adds, “An aspirant must have passion for pursuing an MBA. They must have the quality to be become global managers.”
Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more articles on MBA Basics.