Indian MBA Applicants: Advice For Getting In

740 GMAT? Check.

IIT alum who graduated among the top 10% of their class? Check.

Four years in a blue-chip firm with international management experience? Check.

Chances of getting into a top MBA program? Unlikely.

Those are the odds facing Indian MBA applicants, particularly men. Working in a high profile industry for a brand name company and making a quantifiable impact? Doesn’t always matter. Fact is, India’s talent pool is oversaturated. Brainy engineer, IT whiz, or family business scion? It almost works against you. Everyone is good. The harder it is to differentiate yourself, the easier it is for adcoms to send you to the rejection pile.

What can you do to stand out?

HBSGuru Sandy Kreisberg & Poets&Quants Founder John A. Byrne

HBSGuru Sandy Kreisberg & Poets&Quants Founder John A. Byrne


The first step is finding someone who’ll tell you the truth, however painful. That person must possess inside knowledge of how the top schools operate. More than that, they should’ve worked with enough applicants to know which gaps you need to fix and how to position yourself. In the MBA world, that guy is Sandy Kreisberg, the HBS guru.

A former writer professor at Harvard and communications director at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Sandy has emerged as the go-to guide for getting into an M7 school. His admissions expertise has been solicited by outlets ranging from The Wall Street Journal to The Economist. Even more, he has helped hundreds of MBA applicants land at their dream programs. Sandy has also partnered with Poets&Quants to produce a weekly Handicapping Series. In these videos, Sandy meets one-on-one with an MBA candidate to review the person’s resume, GMAT, goals, and target schools. As part of the dialogue, he’ll share what candidates can do to increase their odds of getting accepted. His quips can be salty – and hilarious – but they are an extension of a tough love philosophy that gets results.

In recent years, Sandy has met with a dozen Indian applicants in the Handicapping series. In one case, he dished out advice to a candidate with a 750 GMAT and stints at ExxonMobil and PwC – who also dabbled in standup comedy and Toastmasters. Sure enough, Sandy was quick to zero in on the candidate’s unique proposition to his target schools.


“Indian males, which is – to some extent – the bucket you’re in, they could fill a class with Indian males. So that is a competitive bucket. Man, Indian males with a standup comedy background who have also transitioned from IT to a strategy and planning role – that bucket is not so big. You have a lot going for you.”

Wondering how attractive your background might be to a business school? Looking for ways to catch the eye of an adcom? Click on the Handicapping videos below to learn how Sandy has helped candidates set themselves apart and improve their prospects for getting into the school of their choice.

MBA Handicapping: Indian Applicants NOT From IIT

MBA Handicapping: This Indian Male Breaks With The Stereotype — Will H/S/W Be Impressed?

MBA Handicapping: HBS With A 2.9 & An Indian Male? Why This Guy Could Be The One

MBA Handicapping: H/S/W Tips From This Desai Superstar

MBA Handicapping: Can This Indian Male With A 3.4/710 Leapfrog His Cohort?

MBA Handicapping: Are All of India’s IITs Created Equal? 2+2 Applicant Says Each Can Get You Into HBS

MBA Handicapping: Applying To B-School From Big Energy

MBA Handicapping: How Does An Indian Applicant Stand Out At The Top 7?

MBA Handicapping: What It Takes For A Non-IIT From India To Get Into HBS 2+2

Handicapping Your MBA Odds: Do Female Indian Techies Have An Easier Time?

Can This Indian IT Male Get Into HBS With A 3.4 GPA But 750 GMAT?

Real Good Odds For This Indian Do-Gooder At HBS. See Why



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