MBA APPLICATIONS: Whom are you compared against?Ever wondered what happens once you hit the “SUBMIT” button? You probably already know the basics: that your application gets printed and filed, read by 2-3 members of the ad-com and finally a decision is rendered. However, you might have missed a few basics.

Like a rubik’s cube, an applicant has different dimensions. In this post, we have covered the most important comparative dimensions.


Here, are three more things you should probably know:

  1. You are compared against the people from the same nationality:
  • There is a reason why Indian and Chinese applicants, despite their great GMAT scores, find it hard to get into top business schools. According to a study done by Poets and Quants, Indian applicants are 7 times less likely to get an offer from their American counterparts.
  • But, before you press the panic button: here is what you can do to differentiate your profile.
  1. You are compared against folks from the same professional background (and even gender):
  • Business Schools don’t want to create a homogenous class. This is because, in addition to several other things, they don’t want to be pigeonholed as a “Consulting School” or “Banking School” etc.- this dissuades potential applicants from applying. Therefore, there are limited spots for almost ALL backgrounds at MOST business schools. Hence, you should focus on communicating your background effectively.
  • Implication for you: If you are from the Indian IT pool (or from any other overrepresented background, for eg. Investment Banker applying to NYU/Columbia), then you need to put in a significant amount of time differentiating your profile. It might very well happen that you think that (a) you don’t have any differentiating element in your profile (b) you don’t know how to communicate your profile differently. In our experience, it is probably the latter: YOU DON’T NEED A DIFFERENT PROFILE, YOU NEED TO COMMUNICATE IT DIFFERENTLY.
  1. There are miscellaneous factors at play- you are also compared against people who have similar career objectives
  • Business Schools have the tendency to bet on certain profiles. For example, few years back Stanford was big on Clean Tech. More recently, Fin-Tech has evolved as a preferred option for schools such as Stanford and Wharton.i>

Implication for you: You should not force-fit your profile to these trends. However, if you do have a legitimate case to leverage on these trends, then definitely do so!