Feb 3, 2012

Top MBA Admissions To-Dos for applicants from Asian region

This post is specifically targeted towards international applicants, in particular the ones from Asian region such as China, Korea, etc and who have not worked in the business environment of western economies.

1. Show not only how comfortable but also how successful you are in western business enviroment.

Mention experiences about your overseas, cross country or multi cultural projects. Showcase how well you understand and appreciate the differences between these different work cultures (of your home country and outside economies) and practices and how adaptable you are to those. Moreover, stress on what you learned from these experiences and how it developed your perspectives in understanding the way of doing business in a particular economy. The exposure need not be only in the professional setting but could be through a study abroad semester, volunteering during school, or anything similar. Learned any language? Tell them.

2. Stress on your community involvement/activities.

In the US, it is common that applicants put in time into extracurricular volunteer/community involvement/NGO activities. Show the admissions committee that you too realise and understand the importance of contributing to the community you belong to by talking about your own involvements.  These are also a great way to exibhit leadership aptitude outside your work place and can be really benefial for those who do not have many leadership opportunities at work. Do not forget that while you talk about your involvement, showing the impact of these involvement is going to be critical.

3. Show focus and a clear direction

While this is critical for any applicant, it becomes even more important for internationals since the adcoms may not have the context of the business and cultural environment international applicants belong to and hence, it comes on the applicants to showcase their excitement, passion and focus on their career path and why it all makes sense to them. Be specific and be clear in your thoughts and writing.

4. Showcase the need of a US/European based MBA program.

It is very natural for the adcom to have questions on why you are aiming an MBA outside your home country and why from that particular MBA program. Why you need an MBA program that is more global in nature? You need to have some solid answers for these questions. 

5. Improve your Engligh language skills.

Not only your application needs to be presented well, in properly written English during the application submission stage, but even during the time of your interview, adcoms will pay close attention to your verbal English if you are an international/non native speaker. In fact, a lot of business schools are eliminating alumni-based interview just becase many alums in Asian region interview in the local language and not English, and adcoms do not want that. They want to make sure that when you sit in a class or talk to a recruiter, your language skills do not pose a barrier for you to follow what is being said. They do not expect a native level proficiency but a decent level of English language skill is definitely expected.

Just for a laugh...

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