The overall process to get into an MBA school is an exhaustive one that has many layers like an onion you need to carefully peel to get to the core. One of the key layers in this process is the interview stage, for it is one step away from that dream school admission you have been waiting for. Remember, the interview is not just for the school to know you better but also for you to know the school. It allows you the opportunity to connect with the key figures at the school so as you can evaluate how their specific MBA programme and the school offerings will support you to achieve your career goals.
This is your one of its kind and unique opportunity to gain more information about the school from the faculty, present students, alumni, staff or anyone else who represents the school in the interview. The goal is to make a practical decision on how the programme will benefit your goals, but also to help yourself make an impression on the interviewers that you are serious about your choice of school and want to determine what would fit best for your b-school goals and hopes.
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Here are some questions we suggest you must practise and prepare before you interview;
A – What would you do?
Let’s align perspectives here – yours and the course we are opting for.
You aim here is to put them in your shoes. Ask them if they were you with a career goal specific to yours in a niche sector, what would the top 1-2 assets in the school’s MBA programme be that would be advantageous to you.
You are seeking information that supports your goals here, vital to understand that their answer here will offer you information that can be key to your final decision. This aspect also lets them know you are serious about achieving a specific goal of your MBA, hence, putting forth your choice of school.
B – Campus/ School assets
Let’s understand the offerings of the place where you will spend long days and sometimes burn the midnight oil.
Considering you will spend long hours at the campus during your programme journey, you must enquire about the school’s campus and its assets that will help you gain perspective. Is it a lean campus? Or a wide open one with a flexible working space, simulation rooms, group learning, are there support programmes for students that school prides in, does the campus style and their offerings match your personality and needs? What is their campus culture like – is the atmosphere more inclusive and accessible?
Ask them about the salient features that their current students and alumni always find interesting and most fascinating.
C – Asking the present students/ alumni
Let’s gain more information from the alumni / current students – if you are being interviewed by them.
B-schools set a round of interview calls, one of them is usually with an alumni or current student. This is a great places for you to understand from another (ex) candidate how they feel about the campus, programme, school’s overall features and more.
Ask them how the school helped them achieve their career goals, how far have they come from where they were prior to the MBA programme to where they are now, how tight knit is the school’s industry networking and engagement, also how frequent is it.
D – Industry connect/ placement cell/ incubation programme
Let’s get clarity on the placement numbers, the entrepreneurs raised and supported and how strong are the industry ties for the school.
Your interview is the perfect setup for you to find out the average placements number for the past 2-3 years, the highest package to the lowest package and an average – what sector hires the most, what profiles are most sought after. All these answers should help to highlight your career path and how the school may possibly help to achieve it.
If you are aiming at a programme where you can seek the support of the incubation cell to raise, grow and push the entrepreneur in you, ask them about who are the incubation industry partners, how frequently do they meet, what are the numbers for the past 4-5 years for the incubation cell.
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Many universities and top b-schools are known for their unique women focused programmes where they take in special efforts to make sure there is a larger women participation in their university programmes be it from application to final candidate selection. Even then the process does not stop there, b-schools have committees, dedicated women entrepreneurship clubs, incubation cells and industry networking platforms where they help their female candidates take the lead to break the glass ceiling. If you are a women seeking to find you b-school for the dream MBA, here are some question you must prepare for and ask:
1. What programmes/school assets are set in place at your school to help women take the lead in entrepreneurship?
Your aim here is to understand the school’s most proud assets they have designed to transform women candidates into leading management professionals.
2. What percentage of women candidates are able to gain employment via the school’s career services department in their choice of industry?
Remember your goal for pursuing an MBA – it is to land you that dream career. Asking this question will help you to analyze the school’s industry connections, how the women candidates before you have been able to find their place in the industry of their choice, at what positions and their answer will also aid you to know how seriously the school takes their female candidate career goals.
Also read: Part one – Sports and Luxury: Iconic sports star ambassadors of watch brands
3. Are their women dedicated scholarships?
B-Schools are known for their exclusive industry connections. Some of these partnerships for certain schools may also offer a female candidate focused scholarships. This question will help you find niche scholarships where you may have a higher chance of gaining an advantage to win the scholarship helping you with financial assistance if that is one of your needs to pursue the programme.
Your aim is to gain a better perspective on how the school will help you achieve success in your career path – from the learning at school to the placement opportunities, how they will do this – does your learning style match their pedagogy style?
Also read: Part two: Sports and Luxury – Iconic sports star ambassadors of watch brands
Stay tuned for more updates about MBA programmes and how to approach them on mba-esg.in
If you are seeking to apply for an MBA in – Sports Management or Luxury and Fashion Management, we recommend you check the courses offered by MBA ESG, Bengaluru.