Insider Tips For Admission To A Global Business School

Insider Tips For Admission To A Global Business School

A cursory web search for “insider tips for admission to a global business school MBA” generates a plethora of tips and guidance — leaving MBA aspirants with the problem of excess! There are multitude of sources for MBA aspirants to lean on: experts, B-school websites, alumni forums, and blogs that curate and update these tips, check lists and insider information, and the volume of such content spikes with every enrollment cycles. And if this was not sufficient, ChatGPT and other AI tools are adding to the pool of insights available for MBA aspirants. So, what should MBA aspirants do to further enhance their chances of getting into a global business school of their preference?

Frankly, and sadly, there is no single, straightforward answer to this question — the reason being that the “one size fits all” approach fails when it comes to preparing and securing an MBA admit in a highly reputed, global B-school. What really works are some essential ingredients that carefully narrate a “compelling story” about how you complement and accentuate the student body and future alumni community of the B-school.


Insider Tips For Admission To A Global Business SchoolMost prestigious B-schools have their USPs and offerings that distinguish their graduates and alumni. These vary from school to school and include faculties, global campus locations, pedagogy, specializations offered, diversity, key recruiters, industry partnerships, etc. MBA aspirants need to assess the extent of alignment between their candidature and school requirements.

What maybe seen as a “differentiating factor” at one school may be seen as a potential de-railer by another. An effective strategy is to carefully curate a list of potential B-school in different categories such as safety, reach and match that fit with your overall profile and post MBA aspirations.


Business comes before school at every B-school! Candidates who demonstrate their passion and keen interest in business and management obviously stand out in the screening and selection process. While it is easy to read up about industry and management trends and prepare statement of purpose, what most schools look for is the extent to which the business acumen is imbibed in the personal and professional life of the candidate.

For example, a candidate claiming deep interest in FinTech or sustainability and able to support with experiences / live-projects or assignments, including specific demonstrable outcomes, is likely to impress the admission panel more than one with purely academic knowledge of these topics. Other competencies include creativity and innovative thinking, evidence of creating winning solutions or addressing a real business issue are seen as a differentiating element.


With businesses undergoing digital transformation, and the onset of new technologies including AI, ML and data analytics, it is essential for future business leaders to demonstrate a keen sense of appreciation and understanding of digital technologies in business and society. Leaders today are expected to drive team and organizational performance through a myriad tasks and decisions. The ability to analyses complex data and acquire data driven decision making skills and competencies are essential success factors for MBA aspirants.

While it is not expected that all candidates posses mastery in these areas, basic digital literacy and data awareness is likely to tip the balance in favor. It is important to note that data literacy is not necessarily limited to quantitative data, but there is a surge in qualitative and unstructured data, and awareness and ability to comprehend data is fast becoming an essential skill.


Increasingly, organizations are moving towards distributed and empowered workplaces that calls for employees with personal leadership and drive. As part of the learning process, MBA programs are designed to tests its participants by placing them in unpredictable and uncomfortable situations. Hence an essential ingredient is the leadership attribute of MBA aspirants. This is also an area that is under constant external scrutiny owing to the critical impact that business leaders have on organizations, employees and society in general. Gone are the days of traditional command and control forms of organizations, future workplaces are designed to work in non-traditional, blended work environment with diverse workforce, and teamwork and collaboration is considered as hygiene factor.

Peer learning and group learning are a corner stone of most prestigious programs’ pedagogy, hence the ability of an MBA aspirant to add value to the study group and peer learning has always been a consideration, with most B-schools placing significant emphasis on soft-skills and smart-skills over purely academic achievements.

Lastly, being part of a demanding MBA program also requires significant personal motivation and drive to succeed. Most B-school selection panel takes keen interests in understanding MBA aspirants’ ability to deal with challenges and setbacks and their strategies to overcome life’s hurdles effectively. Being able to demonstrate a well-rounded candidature with unique strengths at the same time self-awareness about potential blind-spots are always appreciated by interview panels.

In summary, MBA aspirants should remember that just as they are stiving to receive acceptance into their dream program, B-schools also face the challenge of attracting the best. Once the essentials criteria such as CGPA, quality of work experience, GMAT scores etc are met with, what B-Schools are looking for is authenticity and clarity, and there is no substitute to a good preparation!

Dr. Veena Jadhav is associate dean of MGB and associate professor of leadership & HRM at SP Jain School of Global Management, which has campuses in Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, and Sydney. 

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