A Beautiful Mind

The Reflections Of My Mind

To apply or not to apply is the question.

with 4 comments

After clearing all the required exams and doing my research I have started working on my applications for admission to an MBA course for Fall 2010. I have already applied to ISB as I believe it is one of the best schools for my future goals and now I was almost (90%) ready with my target list of schools for Fall 2010. My primary research tool has been the school web sites and some of my contacts in each school that I was targeting. After four weeks of research and after sending out mails to 15+ current students and alumni at all these school I am now in a state of shock. It looks like I may have to remove a few schools from my list. My target list is having mostly mid-ranked schools in the US. It includes Simon, Kelley, Owen, UNC-KF and Cox. I will now have to add a few other higher ranked schools that initially I thought are out of my range primarily for three important reasons:

First, it is the fact that these schools are highly ranked in most of the rankings and have very low selectivity. The selectivity at these schools is less than 15% each. On top of this, at each school the percentage of internationals is less than 25%. In some cases, class strength from India is as low as 2-3%.

Secondly, my profile for such schools is just an average profile. I stand in the average of each of the statistical parameter (age, GMAT, GPA, etc.) of the annual class profile. So getting an admit as an international student is bound to be tough.

Finally, I was looking for a decent financial aid in the form of a scholarship or an assistant ship at my target schools. Chances of getting a scholarship at higher ranked schools are low as the application pool is very competitive and they usually do not dole out huge number of scholarships.

However, after talking to people from my target mid-ranked schools I am bound to make adjustments to my list now. Each of my contact has recommended me to not to look at their as a first choice and take an admit only when I have no other option. I am still looking for more info in relation to the current scenario but  I am told that these schools are not so good in terms of brand value outside of the area in which these are located. They gave many scholarships in Fall 2009 but now many of these scholarships are withdrawn. Yes, I knew that each year scholarships are renewed but didn’t expect such a situation. Placements are pathetic. Some students have returned back to India. I now personally know a student who has returned from UCLA due to lack jobs in US. On top of this, he is under a debt of Rs. 50 lacs.

In some cases, the placement of the most recent batch (2009) is not even close to 65%. Even US citizens and green card holders are still looking for jobs. Schools that have gone up the ranking table have stopped giving many scholarships now. Most of the schools are out of funds to give scholarships any more. The money used to come from endowment funds that have booked huge losses and the alumni are also out of funds to donate. Schools that are in remote areas are affected to the max due to location problems. Schools that are close to other well-reputed schools  are having f****d up placement statistics as these areas produce a huge number of graduates each year. These include MBAs, MIS grads, BBAs, PhDs, etc.

Now, my friends have recommended me to apply to higher ranked schools so that I can easily get a non co-signer loan and at the same time, take an advantage of the brand value of the school. Some of my contacts from such higher ranked schools benefited from the brand value of their schools. They have managed to get a job in US after passing in 2008 and 2009.

Considering my future goals, the schools that appear to be relevent now are Haas, Cornell, Fuqua, and NYU Stern. I am still doing my research on these schools and have managed to get into contact with people (current students and alumni) from Stern and Fuqua. The responses are good and these two schools look to be promising right now. I believe I should be able to change my list now and add one or two of these schools in my list (offcourse after removing a lower ranked one).

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Written by abeautifulmind1

September 18, 2009 at 1:13 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Which Fuqua program are you considering?

    Randy Zwitch

    September 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm

  2. Day-time MBA.

    abeautifulmind1

    September 18, 2009 at 7:39 pm

  3. Cool. I’m currently in the Duke Cross Continent EMBA. You should ignore the other sub-par schools in your list and go to Duke 😉

    Randy Zwitch

    September 20, 2009 at 4:02 pm

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