How Search Has Changed Business


The word ‘seek’ means to go in search of, try to discover, try to acquire. It requires an active, assertive approach to life. – Joseph B. Wirthlin
It is in our inherent nature to seek. Incessant curiosity and the consequent quest for information have played a big role in the survival and evolution of our species. Ever since its inception, ‘Search’ has been hailed as the best and most obvious problem-solving tool. With the advent of technology, the process has been simplified and made user-friendly. The World Wide Web has permitted mankind to swiftly satiate its thirst for knowledge with ease.
Imagine there is a product you have been contemplating buying.

You could go to a physical store or an online one. What do you do?
Most of us tend to avoid the first option. This is because the effort that has to go into a physical store shopping is so much that only a couple of searches can take place before the final buy.
We just reach into our pockets to take out a smartphone – for the preliminary or detailed research and the subsequent purchase. We know that Shopping, once a tedious and time-consuming task, is just a click of a button away.
Search engines like Google and Bing guide us during the buying process by providing us the comprehension that we need to make an informed purchase decision. If an answer exists to our query, a Search Engine can fish it out for us. Today, autonomous search agents propose recommendations based on user’s metadata (including data available on social media sites) and location, which has personalized and enhanced the shopping experience even further.
Whether it is toothpaste we want or a new eatery, which we wish to check out, the search engines can help us acquire reviews and details.
Thanks to Search, there is transparency of market and price. The control has been reassigned from the seller to the buyer. However, the digital information that we receive effects our perception and impacts our choices. Search Marketing aims to use this to favorably influence the potential customers. Need is matched with relevant product, information or service and vice versa.
The bandwidth of Internet Search supports the consumers and raises the productivity of business workers and businesses.
Columnist Trond Lyngbø says, ‘Organic Search has changed the way consumers consider and make purchases’. He deems that the marketers who “get” this are certain to profit big.
Online Search has altered the traditional selling models. For instance, Music Industry is one of the many businesses to have seen a revolution from an existing successful model to that of an equally profitable new model, since the Internet came into being.
Matrimony Industry too has been revolutionized through the people-matching search technology.
Search has given birth to countless Internet business models- Price comparison, Entertainment and Service-provider information sites being at the top of the list.
People employ Search to discover perceived value. This has also created a big market for long-tail offerings or sale of niche items that may not have a large or easily accessible customer base.544325_10151516420269429_1174707428_n
Marketers realized early on that Internet Search is not only useful for discovery of value but also for creation of it. That initiated Search Marketing. The predictive value of Search helps the trend-watchers understand present scenarios and calculate future outcomes.
The return on investment (ROI) from natural Internet searches surpasses the benefit reaped from physical media advertising. Though Search promotes naturally and raises awareness, a business can improve its chances by opting for Paid Inclusion (or
Sponsored listings), which is an effective form of advertising. The more people know a business, the better the chances of it being shown in the top 10 Search results in a Search Engine. If something is already well known, there is a good chance that it could share an even bigger popular status in the near future. This leaves the smaller local businesses lagging behind. They require a good SEO strategy to ensure ecommerce visibility. Content is king. Content becomes the best instrument of engagement.
Many organizations rely on Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which helps promote their websites by increasing the visibility in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). SEM often makes use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to adjust and rewrite the website content to attain a higher ranking in the search results. Pay Per Click (PPC) listings are another frequently used form of Internet Marketing. Keyword research and analysis, simple traffic counters, creation of backlinks, page tagging etc. are some important SEM tools.

Unwanted emails and intrusive social media advertising have failed to keep the intended attention of the customer.
Search Marketing, works much better than the conventional and pushy online marketing. You only impart relevant information to educate those who may find it of interest and value, as per their convenience. A Search Marketer uses various forums like blogs, social media, and news articles to inform, entertain and empower its prospective clients.
With no push from the marketing advertisers, the Search Engine makes the consumer feel more in control. ‘Search’ behaves like a tool, which the customer can use  to make his own selections.
Vertical search engines that match your business, service or products with a target market offer you a higher conversion rate than traditional search engines. Because they have already qualified their interest by coming to a search engine with a specific focus, searchers will be more receptive to targeted advertising. – Marc Ostrofsky Search empowers everyone involved and is forever developing. It is extraordinary that Search started out as a business and eventually changed ‘Business’ itself.
Search analysis parameters will continue to expand to better understand current and forthcoming trends and outcomes. New applications are likely to come up as it keeps on growing.
The future of online Search is as boundless as the word itself.
The ultimate search engine would basically understand everything in the world, and it would always give you the right thing. And we’re a long, long ways from that. – Larry Page

Contributed by Ankita Verma ( Class of 2009, IBS HYDERABAD )

7 Things I Wish I Did Just Before the MBA Session

MBA Session

Usually, a new session at a B-School in India starts in the month of May or June. I assume that you would have confirmed your hard-earned MBA seat around February. Consequently, you would have the option to either (a) Kill the time in between or (b) Invest the interim period of 3-4 months. After repeated retrospection and with the benefit of hindsight, my personal experience consistently favours the latter (and this is coming from an easy-going person).

Mentioned below is my list of 7 important things I wish I did just before I joined the MBA session. I honestly believe that if you work on them now, the following 2 years would rather be less stressful and more enjoyable (contrary to what I experienced). Consider them as a productive pre-MBA workout for you. So, let’s begin.

#1 Read some good Management Books

Invariably, the first year of MBA is insanely intense and can be quite stressful. It will constantly test your ability to withstand extreme pressures. Probably, it’s a never-seen-before world for you. In such a situation, getting a head-start is indeed a sensible solution. I had read loads of management books and business articles during MBA and post-MBA. But not a single one before that.

Ergo, more than half of my class was ahead of me in terms of sheer knowledge. Moreover, being an absolute novice, I struggled to understand the gruelling business concepts. And that too in a ridiculously compressed time frame. ‘Time’ was the key which I didn’t have much. In fact nobody did. Eventually, I learned the hard way. Because not learning was never an option.

To save you from a similar sense of impending doom, I have compiled a list of 5 must-read management books. They are:

(1) The Essential Drucker (By Peter Drucker)

(2) Competing for the future (By Gary Hamel & C.K.Prahalad)

(3) First, break all the rules (By Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman)

(4) 12: The elements of great managing (By Rodd Wagner & James.K.Harter) and

(5) Leading Change (By John P. Kotter).

Read the above books for fun, as a leisure activity. They will bridge your knowledge gap, boost your creativity and improve your writing skills. You can select one of them for your book-review assignment as well. Now pull up your socks, go to and add them to your cart. You can thank me 2 years later!

#2 Mastering PowerPoint

You know the basics, alright. But, you need to delve deeper to become an expert in making presentations. PowerPoint will become your lifeblood for these 2 years. Learn to apply elegant animations, stimulating videos/audios and innovative techniques to place your presentation in a different league. And try to be original. It will directly affect your GPA at every semester’s end.

Download loads of relevant YouTube videos, audios and useful pictures as a pre-preparation exercise. It’ll pay you dividends over a period of 2 years. Given below are some links for free online PowerPoint tutorials.

#3 Self-Introduction Speech

Right from Day 1 of your B-School, you’ll be asked to introduce yourself numerous times. Present yourself elegantly and confidently. Practice a lot it in front of the mirror. Or record it through your computer web-cam to deliver a flawless pitch. This endeavour will simultaneously help you refine your soft-skills and oratory prowess.

It is imperative to leave a good first-impression on the faculty as well as your batch-mates. But more importantly, this activity will inadvertently boost your self-confidence. For me, ‘CONFIDENCE’ (more than knowledge) was one aspect that helped me get through the rigorous MBA program and its unpredictable ups & downs.

#4 Crash Course in Financial Accounting & Managerial Economics

Honestly, my grades in the first two semesters immensely suffered because I belonged to a non-commerce background. Accounting & Economics are hardcore Commerce subjects. Commerce graduates spend 5 years learning these concepts. I had to do it in less than 6 months. It was a hellish experience. I strongly advise all non-commerce graduates to hire a local tutor. Ask him to train you for just the basics of Accounting & Economics in 3 months.

Alternatively, join a 30-40 hours online Mini-MBA program. It summarizes almost all the management sub-disciplines at a nominal fee. This way you can focus on other important activities like group-presentations, projects etc during the course. Always remember that the first semester is the toughest and the most hectic. Invest your valuable time and precious energy smartly. This is where you’ll be tested to your limits.

#5 Read NewspapersMBA Graduates

Reading newspapers regularly is an efficient way of improving your reading speed. Their format is especially designed that way. At the B-School, you’ll have an edge over others if you are able to somehow quickly scan a text-book page or a case-study in a short time. This can actually be achieved with persistent practice.

The Times of India and Economic Times are two newspapers that I recommend you start reading as soon as possible. Besides, the knowledge acquired during the process will serve as a worthwhile asset to you. Food for thought: do you know why ET costs Rs.10/- on weekends and Rs.3/- on weekdays? Incidentally, it’s a genius business strategy. You’ll certainly learn this and many more interesting concepts at your B-School.

#6 Make up your mind on your Specialization in advance

You’ll be asked to choose either Marketing/Finance/Human Resource/IT etc. as your primary subject in the 2nd year of MBA. My advice to you is to figure out your core area of expertise/interest beforehand. Do some research on current industry trends and decide accordingly. From Day-1 of the program, your chosen specialization should be the focal point. Or more precisely your first love.

Since the 1st Semester, all your projects/assignments/presentations should revolve around your area of specialization. This strategy will eventually benefit you during campus placement interviews. Companies hunt for skilled candidates who have clearly defined goals. Persuade them evidenced by your body of work in these two years. I am quite certain that will do the trick.

#7 Save some bucks for Intermittent Entertainment

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And companies don’t hire dull boys, right? So, it’s better to save some money for the occasional get-togethers with friends. Romantic getaways with your girlfriend/boyfriend can be equally invigorating. And if you’re like me, then working out after an exhausting day should clear your mind. Either-way, you’ll need some money in the piggy-bank.

Takeaway: Pre-preparation for the actual MBA Program is bound to make your life during and after MBA easier and a lot more fun. It shall inwardly prepare you for the real battle ahead. Being a non-finance student, I personally experienced these difficulties. Ignoring the seven afore-mentioned pieces of advice had troubled many lives including mine. Particularly during the 1st year.

I honestly don’t want the wretched experience to be replicated in your life too. So why not walk the extra mile now and have an upper hand over others? Please don’t take it easy. It’s an adventurous roller-coaster ride. Fasten your seat belts and gear-up mate! Do well!

Contributed by Pranshu Awasthi ( Class of 2007, IBS GURGAON ) 

Interdisciplinary Electives – the Secret Sauce in MBA Marketing


Ever heard the expression? “Can’t see the forest for the trees.”As budding MBA students, we spend so much energy trying to figure out which specialization or combinations will work best for our first job that we limit our growth in interdisciplinary skills and lose the bigger picture of career progression.

Of course, we need to specialize in something that fits with our existing strengths and aspirations. However, that in no way means that we cannot master subjects in other disciplines that also fit with our skills. For example, a student with outgoing personality and good communication may opt for marketing, but is equally apt in number crunching. Selecting subjects in finance that will help the student to enhance the skill could turn out to be useful in future when this student has to manage a profit center’s growth. Take another example where someone pursuing a marketing stream is also good at logic and analysis. Learning appropriate subjects in systems/IT specialization would actually be a bonus when this person is working in the marketing organization of a technology company. Understanding the software that has to be marketed will assist in developing the right marketing content and targeting the right audience. Also, many marketing functions these days require technical skills like knowing HTML to execute online demand generation campaigns using marketing automation software like Marketo, Pardot and others.

An age old saying is there that you cannot market something that you don’t know about. There will be people, who are very good at developing creative material, conducting in-depth market research, providing consumer insights, laying out promotional plan, organizing media buys, analyzing campaign progress, managing customer relationships and other marketing functions. A very few however make all these functions tie in seamlessly and enable success of the overall marketing of the product or service. These few have an edge over others as they understand the product or service in addition to the various marketing functions. For example, the marketing success of financial services and products like investments, loans and credit cards is dependent on how well the marketingactivity is aligned with the product characteristics and benefits. So, someone who understands how these products will perform under the prevailing macro-economic environment will be in a better position to outline the appropriate marketing strategy. If Reserve Bank of India hikes the repo rate for banks, the bank will be forced to raise or maintain the rate of interest for consumer loans. A marketing communication promising lower interest rates will have to be abandoned and a new strategy addressing other benefits will have to be planned.

Marketing has transformed a lot over the years and is closer to business strategy than thought earlier. Activities leading to consumer insights, value propositions and brand promotion have become strategic in nature and have a major say in the overall business strategy. MBA students of marketing must look at a more holistic picture of the business because the demarcation lines across functions are overlapping.  In the bestseller, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?, Louis V. Gerstner Jr.’s  memoir of his nine years as CEO of IBM,it turned out that his most important decisions weren’t based on technology but on his past experiences as an IBM customer.984172_845711422106635_988165681606638342_n

Post MBA, after years of experience, most marketing professionals settle into one of the following marketing roles – marketing manager, sales manager, product manager, market analyst, brand manager, media planner, digital marketing, direct marketing, etc.  A marketing manager needs to focus on strategy, servicing, customer relationship and account management. A brand manager is responsible for promotion, positioning, advertising and market research. A media planner selects media channels, provides advertising support and fulfills campaign objectives. A product manager looks after the profitability & growth of a product line and executes campaigns for the products. A digital marketing professional works on Google Ads, SEO formulations, web content and social media platforms. As you can notice, the different roles require expertise in one or more areas that a person has to possess to perform that role effectively. These skill sets are acquired through a combination of learning and work experience. But how does one differentiate from the rest, how does a product manager differentiate from other product managers. What is that unique trait in his repertoire that will make the product manager stand out from the rest? Interdisciplinary skills can certainly be the sauce that will make the pizza taste better. If you dream to make it to the top of corporate hierarchy, you must start acquiring knowledge on subjects that may not relate to your present job or role. The world and events around you will find space for utilization of your mastery on additional topics. Remember, CEOs and consultants are generalists at heart. They have expertise in the diverse fields enabling them to make those sound decisions that have an impact across everything.

Each person has a dream and based on that the decision to select a specialization in MBA should be taken. You can weigh your strength and interests to decide the subjects that you should specialize in, however what you want to do in life should influence your decision in a major way. Even if you specialize in something there is no hard rule that you cannot do something else. For example, I specialized in IT but my career has been in marketing ever since I passed out. Currently, I am in love with marketing and advertising, but to think of it I wanted to be a MIS or project manager in an IT company when I opted for MBA.

It is very important to understand that specializations are designed to allow students to develop depth and expertise in a functional or interdisciplinary business area. A student should not look at a specialization as the Holy Grail for the type of job they will work in forever. Rather, a student should focus on the electives within one or more specialization that will enhance his skills and prepare him for the road ahead.

Contributed by Amitava Kundu ( Class of 2002IBS BANGLORE )

Does your MBA College justify your Investment ?

MBA Graduates

A substantial amount of money has just parted from you in the form of your MBA fee and you sit back and try to comprehend the pressure you will be facing soon to justify this investment. Now how would you feel if your college takes half of this ‘Justification’ pressure from you? Wouldn’t that be a reassuring moment for you?

Let’s take IBS into consideration to shed some light on the above mentioned title. Broadly, the college in itself is so renowned that the fee you have just paid would not be frittered away. But as previously mentioned we are talking about sharing the pressure and not imposing the entire of it on the college. And so, you also would have to buckle down.

IBS, from the very beginning of the course, makes sure that you walk on a straight path towards your destination. For that to happen it has installed various street lights on this path named ‘Professors’. The professors are not randomly picked to teach you the discipline but only after a meticulous interview procedure and considering their previous academic experience they are chosen to teach you the management concepts.

The college teaches the concepts with the help of case studies. Not only they are acquired from an International business school but the professors of IBS too contribute in developing new cases. They prepare new cases and read, comprehend and solve the new cases of their respective streams as and when they get published. All these efforts just for the community named ‘Students.’

In case if you are looking for an additional source to learn, besides learning from the experts, there are not one but two libraries. One library is home to thousands of books, covering a multitude of streams like Finance, Marketing, Human Resource or Operation, etc. The other is an E-Library from where you have a direct access to latest journals and research papers along with a plethora of books and it can be accessed by the Intranet server of the college.

Talking about Information Technology (IT) facilities of the college, it brings to the foreground one recent and remarkable achievement by the college. Along with Intranet facility which not only updates you about various events across the campus, the college has developed an official interactive online platform called ‘Quicforce’. This platform allows you to see your academic performance.

The forum, Quicforce, can be accessed by anyone who has been provided with IBS’s email Id. This platform not only allows you to take note of your next lecture with the case associated with it but it also updates you about your attendance in every lecture. The one thing which makes it so special is that you can connect to your peers on a real time basis. You can interact with your college and batch mates and you can even have a word with the students from the other branches of IBS too.


This activity aids in understanding the concepts better. You are virtually surrounded with students and teachers from your campus as well as other branches of IBS. You raise a doubt in the forum and your doubt would be put to rest from the teachers and the other students.

Though the theories taught in the college goes hand in hand with the practicality of the surroundings with the help of cases, the guest lectures by prominent corporate personalities as arranged by the college is icing on the cake. With current insights into the various industries, these lectures also lend you a hand in looking at the concepts of the book from a practical angle.

Aiding the guest lectures and case studies in establishing practicality in the minds of students is Summer Internship Program abbreviated as SIP. Just like a trailer of the movie, SIP gives a fair idea of the C-World. With a project in hand, the SIP lasts for three months after which the grades are allotted on the basis of the quality of the project.

One of the major ways by which IBS justifies your Investment is ‘Networking’. The students enrolled with IBS come from different cultures and places. You learn many things from them while pursuing your MBA but the network also stays strong once you disperse into your professional lives. With the students now working with different industries all at once, you are able to enhance your learning on what’s new in that industry provided you stay in touch with others by one way or other.

And guess what! In case if you have a habit of continuously keeping yourself updated with the events of the corporate world, then the college offers you a large and a strong network of alumni. Most of them hold high positions in their organizations and many others are about to begin their journey. Hence you get to see the C-World from both the ends of the spectrum.

Look at the fun offerings too from IBS. There are various official clubs at IBS with the sole purpose of entertainment along with learning. In addition, there are recreational facilities such as gym, sports. The annual fest, the fresher and farewell parties every year and the family like environment in the form of the hostel life add to the wonderful experience. The college offers nothing but the very best in every aspect, academically, recreationally and personally.

Last but not the least, it justifies your investment and also takes care of the ‘return’ in form of ‘Placements’. From MNCs to Start-ups, the placement cell of IBS makes sure that the list of recruiting companies in their database grows each year and students get placed with a suitable profile with a handsome salary package.

So you see there is plethora of things with which you can ‘Justify’ your primary investment. Interestingly, there is only one thing when it comes to your ‘Justification’ part and that is nothing but your participation in the above mentioned facilities of IBS. Unless you, as a student, don’t involve yourself in the above mentioned activities and programs, the glass would remain always half and you would end up perceiving it as half empty.

In the end, don’t just enrol yourself with a college and pay the fee but remember to team up with your college before you tag yourself as the Master of Business Administration.

Contributed by Hasan Ali Gumani ( Class of 2012-2014IBS HYDERABAD )

MBA: Beyond the Classrooms


Classrooms are where we have been getting our primary learning since our childhood. It is from there we have nurtured ourselves. The study methodologies followed then were traditional where there would be no extended teaching hours, no PowerPoint Presentation, no Case-methodology, no panel discussions, and mostly the students would have to listen to the teacher and parrot the lessons.
The same classroom has been completely modernized in an MBA. The silent listeners have to be active listeners. The students no more have to be a mere spectator but rather dynamic participants with an aggression to willingly learn. They would have to give extensive presentation and initiate impromptu discussions and work on projects until the next day. They would have to agree and disagree to various notions and ideas put forward. In short there is vibrancy in these classrooms which makes MBA an effective course.

However, these classrooms are not the only tool for student’s all-round development. Keeping that in mind the limitations it still possess, MBA looks beyond these four-walls. To make the students more proactive, MBA utilizes various interactive and social environments, those which are more effective beyond the classroom studies. These ad-hoc groups act as a trigger to willingly learn circumventing the traditional channels.

Study Groups, is one such groups in which 5 to 10 random students are assigned one group name. They are assigned a mentor and a specific topic which they would have to collectively do it. This group forms a touch base for the students who get cohesive in time and with a specific agenda. They meet regularly and share ideas and ways to get the agenda done. This group is definitely a team-building exercise and requires minimum supervision by the mentor as the entire group works together to give their best.
Students in this group turn very proactive. In spite of the fact that no one initially knows each other, the amount of shared responsibly for each increases and it becomes a force for them to deliver results collectively. Further, this group has a purpose, an agenda which makes them unified and each has an excitement of contributing something. This makes the entire study group move in one direction rather than wandering aimlessly. In short, the whole process makes the individual learn religiously.
The significant environment beyond the classroom is the seminars, workshops and training sessions which are provided to the students out of the normal routine classes. Several seminars provided by guest lecturers, specially the ones who are intellectual and industry specialist. They provide new insights on electives, industry and career. They provide both theoretical and practical knowledge from their experiences. These Seminars provided by distinguished personalities help inspire students. Their valuable suggestions and ideas provide a sense of association with their own ideas.

During the MBA, various workshops are organized such as yoga, mediation, skill development, workshops on career specialization, etc provides enormous learning. These events are instrumental in providing learning in ways the traditional classroom cannot provide. Few events are backed by contest and prizes which motivates students to give their best. Some seminars are backed by training sessions on Software and Tools which are essential at work place. Such two-way processes are beyond the classroom training which are accompanied with feedback and appraisal and much away from the mundane classes.
During the course, students are asked to be part of various B-school sponsored Clubs and Committees. It goes without saying that these clubs which are diversified in nature right from Financial Club, Marketing Club, Information Technology Club, Festival Clubs, Nature’s Club, Social Club, Sports Club, Hostel Committee, Placement Committee, etc makes the student learn to take responsibility. These social groups and clubs help explore individual potential and many a times we see their willingness to learn.
They go an extra mile to achieve the objective of the club. Such initiative help build strong network, and each participants becomes integral part of the chain and builds a family.
Beyond these four walls, one of the most well known aspects is the Internship training that the students have to go through. Under this the students have to work on-the-job in a company for a month or two.10689419_866651796679264_6567018472196123837_n

The process starts with either choosing your own company or opting from the B-school itself. The students are asked to relocate to the city in which he/she is posted and a mentor is assigned to monitor and guide him/her until the internship is over. The whole purpose is that the course ensures that the theoretical knowledge imparted to the student is actually made a practical use. It ensures the right effort is put in the right direction.
During this Internship, the individual have to imbibe to the company’s mission and vision. They would have to do exactly what they might experience while doing a Job. In fact it is not a drill but a corporate job. In addition to this, the students would have to mandatorily do a report on a topic which adds value to their training. This shows that the Internships are not excursions but a serious affair that has greater importance. These projects are also screened by the B-school and a star performer is handsomely rewarded.

During the course of MBA, the students have an opportunity to study abroad for 2 months or more. Under this, the students are provided oversea-campus accommodation and food. The curriculum has electives and is supplemented by tour and industrial visits. The lectures are conducted by foreign professors as well. These international exposures are great learning experience for the student. Such opportunity goes beyond the traditional classes and provides a new enhanced environment to learn. Last but not the least, the campus life during MBA has enormous value addition in itself. Right from the Hostel Life to being part of Fest Organization leaves an indelible footprint to the students.

Students come across people who are from different states, culture and background. The level of interaction among the students during hostel life provides a reality check to the students. The stay instills a sense of independence to them. It is during campus life that many of the students have to go through several challenges – making new friends, adapting to the place, living alone, getting errands done, and taking care of oneself.
In short, the education provided during MBA is not weighed only by the quantum of electives taught within the state-of-the art classrooms but also by the unparallel life outside these four walls.

Contributed by Mitesh Agarwal  ( Class of 2009-11IBS HYDERABAD )



Once a fresh graduate passes out from his university he is looking for carrier options in life and there are multiple and its being really confusing which to opt and why. Every options have pros and cons and there is a need to make a through examination of these options . The best way to judge is to ask why we want to do it and whether it suits me or not.

It very difficult to say which is better, i shall not be debating in this write up of mine which is relatively better, but shall be throwing light on what significance each hold and how MBA is different from CFA.

However please note when I am saying CFA I am referring to the Chartered Financial analyst course and when I am saying MBA I am referring to the good Business schools of the country.

There are certain distinguishing features of MBA which I am highlighting in comparison to CFA

  1. Better Networking – MBA has a uniqueness of its own, it helps in creating a better networking as during the two year time period, students share a lot of things, they compete with each other and they fight for common goal . It helps in creating a sporting spirit and a feeling of attachment with each other. They have to give lot of presentation majorly group presentations which help in creating a feeling of togetherness. In this 2 year tenure you develop networking with classmates, faculty, speakers, Industry people and recruiters. The best part is that they all come in contact with you at one go. However in CFA this feeling of attachment lacks as they are studying on their own and giving exams.
  2. A better connected Alumni base- The Business schools which are running for decades have developed a strong alumni base and these alumni are spread in different part of the continent, in different sectors, in different industries. It’s being really helpful for the students to make entry in the organisation for different purposes because of existence of alumni base. The CFA Institute is trying to get better, but it just doesn’t have the close-knit alumni community that Business Schools around the country have been fostering for decade.
  3. Better for venturing in different sectors- The best part of MBA is that it helps in creating a jack of all traits along with a master in one domain. In the first year the students are taught all the disciplines like marketing, finance, Human resource and Information technology and in the second year they are provided a specialization in one discipline, so an MBA get a flair of all which helps him/ her in his long professional journey as in his journey a person has to take various strategic as well as day to day decisions , his knowledge of all the fields help him in understanding the subject matter well and placing his thoughts in the best possible manner. However with CFA a person gains specialised knowledge in finance and he not get a chance to understand other disciplines. For MBA the prospects are wide open they can join any industry there is no restriction, he can join an investment banking, merchant banking , banks, marketing companies, research based companies or an act as an analyst, however after CFA the scope is not so wide, they generally act as an analyst.
  4. Better work life balance – MBA generally fresher’s do on a full time basis and it gives student a time to learn lot of things and also help in creating a work life balance as the students are only studying and not doing job along with it, so without job pressure it help them to concentrate and have time to rest. However CFA generally being opted by people who are in job, so it creates a hectic life schedule.
  5. More Practical aspect in MBA – The MBA study focuses on the case studies, and more practical aspects like what are the challenges in running the organisation, how to manage the situation in different scenarios and how to make a turnaround of the company. They are also provided with the industrial training in the form of summer internship. While in CFA it’s a correspondence course, you have to study and pass the papers, though you become expert in finance but not learn the management skills.
  6. Better Mentors – MBA helps in coming in contact with good and knowledgeable mentors who have academic and industry experience, they beside teaching also give tips of practical approaches and share their rich experience. Beside the full time faculty, there comes experienced guest faculty, so students reap a rich experience sharing benefit from them.876d7a5f8bb4abdb
  7. Softskill development – MBA helps in developing softskill like public speaking, dressup sense, eating sense and also helps in adhering to the crisp deadline schedule. CFA do not give exposure to these softskill development parts.
  8. Better for starting your own business- MBA gives a perspective of starting your own business as it helps in infusing the leadership skills. People after doing MBA not just look for job as their final destiny but also start thinking of starting there own venture.
  9. Can be finished in short time – MBA get completed in a two year crisp period and there are rare chances that people are losing a year as the pass percentage in semesters of MBA is close to 100%. While in CFA the passing percentage is close 15 to 20%.
  10. Switchover is easy- For an MBA passout its easy to switch over and change stream like a person is in the finance department for 10 years, but later he can become a part of the top marketing team.
  11. Support by good infrastructure – MBA have good infrastructures and backed by good libraries as well as good data bases, while in CFA you lack these and have to join the private libraries.
  12. Placement Support – MBA’S provide a good placement support, companies from different sectors come to the campus while CFA have to apply to the vacancies as and when they come.

Contributed by Maneesh srivastava (Class of 2008IBS GURGAON )

Mistakes One Ought to Commit During MBA

management skills

Life involves learning at all stages and we should learn from everything, everyone we can. And mistakes are a very important part of learning. They’re the best teachers one can have. It would seem like a catch-22 situation to not want to make mistakes but also wanting to learn something valuable from mistakes.

 Yes, some would say that experience would prevent one from making mistakes but if one goes through just good experiences, they lose out on learning important lessons. He or she can be lucky enough not to make any mistakes but luck always runs out. What don’t run out are lessons you learn by making mistakes.

It’s really important to understand what qualifies as a ‘mistake’.  It can be defined as an unwanted event which occurs unexpectedly. But when it’s repeated time and again, it no longer remains a mistake but can be labelled as a habit. Forgetting to switch your cell phone to silent mode before a class is a mistake if it happens once. It becomes a habit if repeated and the professor isn’t going to be your biggest fan if it happens time and again. You trusting someone with a secret can be a mistake but if you do it just after he’s spilled out someone else’s secret to you cannot be considered as a mistake. So, you see it’s really important to understand what really a mistake is and when we do make one, we need to make sure that it’s not repeated.

During any process of learning, one is bound to make several mistakes and one should. If you’re scared of making one then you’re not going to learn what you’re supposed to. You need to shed away your fear of failure and do what you have to move forward in life. And one aspect of that committing a mistake. During your MBA, there are going to be several instances where you’ll be in a dilemma because you wouldn’t know the right way to handle a situation. But don’t be scared, do what you think is the right thing to do and if you’re not successful at first, learn from your mistakes and try again. Maybe you’ll fail the second time too but make sure that you’re not making the same mistake twice. Yeah, one should make new mistakes every time if one has to learn. So, here are a few mistakes one ought to make during MBA:

  1. Not going by the book: Every movie or television series you watch will have one thing in common. The protagonist never follows the rules. He/she goes out of the bookish rules and does what he/she feels is the right thing to do. And what happens in the end? Through a series of failures emerges a hero. Similarly, your books will tell you a thousand things but you need to understand that the situation that you’re going to be stuck in isn’t necessarily going to be one in your book. What your book tells you is something that has already been tried and tested. A problem that has already been dealt with. But MBA isn’t about dealing with problems with existing solutions, it’s about thinking outside the box to find solutions to problems that exist today without a solution. Or even there is one, it’s never too late to find a better one.Your professor may grade you a little lower but life will always give you an A. The likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg were never the toppers of their classes. But they’re highly successful in their respective fields today, and that’s what matters once you step out those classrooms. So, use your grey matter to become an effective manager. Having said that, you’ll need books to form a strong foundation for your thinking process. Nobody consciously bases their marketing strategy using the 4 Ps or doing a SWOT analysis but the core idea behind all strategies is what they learnt from the books.
  2. Being an over pampered spoilt brat: By the time you start your post graduation, you’re old enough to take care of your responsibilities but there always exists ‘’another you’ who was either pampered a lot in childhood or wants to be pampered. Honestly, it’s ok to be like that. Because the first time that you’ll cook will be for you and out of hunger. You’ll realise the importance of that job and you will value it for the rest of your life. Similarly, the first time you clean your room, wash your clothes, iron them will teach you that even though these chores seem mundane and were left to either to your mother or the house servant when you were back home, they are actually important if you want to live a healthy life. You don’t always get what you want and that fact is not going to be embedded in your mind unless you’re made to earn what you want. Being over pampered earlier will be a big blow to you when you have to become responsible. And one needs to take a few blows to toughen the skin.
  3. mba graduatesTrusting someone instantly: Trust is one thing that takes time to build up over the years but takes an instant to be shattered. As a teenager, you may have had loads of trustworthy friends but as you grow your priorities will change and the ‘secrets’ may be more crucial than those in the teenage world. You may tell yourself a thousand times that you’re not going to trust someone but you will do it eventually. But, back then it was about relationships that were made based on trivial reasons. But now that you’re all grown up and ready to become a manager, you need to understand what you have to keep to yourself and what to divulge. The world is not a fairy-tale and sadly no course in the world teaches you that. Everybody will say that you have to be competitive but you’re not going to be that unless you learn why. The population of the world is increasing at an alarming rate and with that the fight for resources is increasing too. Everybody wants to know what YOU are doing to sustain yourself so that they can use that information to cut you off from the resources or just mimic you. Either way, you lose. But you cannot understand how to defend yourself unless you learn how to manage the gossipers to your advantage. And the only way to learn that is to trust one.

So, these are just a few mistakes I committed during my MBA and thank God I did. There are a million more and I wish you make them but just once so that your management education can be really fruitful and help you become a better person rather than a manager.

After all, it would be better to make those mistakes within a college campus rather than a corporate office sitting in the manager’s chair!

Contributed by Sachin Jalan (Class of 2014, IBS HYDERABAD )

8 Types of Friends You Find @ MBA Colleges


MBA, mostly the final years of study in a person’s life, is a course where one makes the latest friends in a school-like setting. Though, we gather friends throughout our lives, but these friends are slightly different as they are an amalgamation of professionalism, personal touch and hard core competition.

We, the social animals can never escape our habit of making friends, smiling at strangers to initiate talks, building trust to lay foundations and standing by each other in critical situations. Though, we are well-versed with the kind of homo-sapiens that exist in our society and whom we select as friends, there is always more to know and explore.

There is always a difference with respect to the kind of friends one makes during graduation and those ones which we make at post graduation with respect to maturity, responsibility, attitude and behavior. MBA does give you a lot of friends who can be excellent references and professional contacts. Let us now explore the kind of friends one makes at MBA colleges:

  1. The Figure Fanatic: Figure Fanatics are those souls who are excellently capable at number crunching, remembering formulas and figures. They have mastered the art of solving all numerical problems via sheer logic, practice, dedication and unfulfilled desire to become human calculators. Newspapers and financial websites are their breakfast and their discussion is their lunch.  Every formula or ratio you can think of, they can derive in a short while. They are excellent at dividing the bills for group contributions at restaurants and canteens. These specimens excel at subjects like statistics, mathematics, finance or accounts as if it is their birthright. You envy them for their number love but they can add to your skills by motivating you and educating you about their secret shortcuts.
  1. Life savers: Such friends are rare and stand by you in all ups and downs. MBA takes you by surprise when you make new friends, who ditch you with time. But, there are some life-saving mountains of trust and support. At various moments you feel miserable such as rejection during placements or failure in examination; they are the ‘Aal is Well’ friend most of us dream of. They not only remain positive but also lift you when you fall weak. They seem to know your personality, you responses and behavior more than you and at least offer solutions to your critical problems if not solve them. Their presence in life is itself stress busting and enriching for they focus on the present priorities rather than other things.
  1. The Chintamani’s/ Newspapers: Such friends are like alarm clocks who keep on reminding you about assignment and project deadlines. Chintamani’s are the first ones to cry and whine at any change in rules or introduction of new rules in the entire institute. They often volunteer as class representatives owing to their habit of being teacher’s pets and handle the valuable information to people with loyalty and trust. Also, often such people spread rumors which aren’t healthy for others owing to their title of being newspapers. Confidential information must be hidden from them else the entire campus is bound to know! Always worried, tensed, such friends never fail to gather attention for their nervousness at crucial events such as presentations, interviews, group discussions and even outside examination halls. 10473852_857398064271304_581706879872845152_n
  1. The Overactive Politician (OP): With influential speech as their birthright, there are some friends who never stick to a particular motion and bend to the side which is beneficial for them. Emotions hold less significance for them as compared to fame, righteousness and social image that are crucial. They are petrified by the event of their moves being calculated or predicted by their competitors. Politicians are not only great at the political handshakes, maintaining contact with authorities but also taking lead at co-curricular or attention winning activities. Loyalty is not their cup of tea and hence in their pursuit to achieve something they go beyond normal efforts and friendships. OP’s are amazing at convincing others, winning trust, appearing genuine and gathering limelight; backed by their selfish and personal intentions. Academics are never their priority and their only trait that makes them different is their extroversion. 
  1. The Philosophy Honors: Such friends are certainly lost in the philosophy of life; spiritual pursuit or dedication to God. They deliver spiritual or philosophical one liner which make or break your day. They are the modern version of ‘Daadi’ or ‘Naani’ who are attracted by the newer versions of Epics written by modern writers. Yoga and meditation are also their never ending love. They read a lot of self help books and never hesitate in preaching what they read. They are always present to console you when you face failures and teach you to be satisfied in your life. They help you shape your personality by adding the philosophical twist to it with spices such as ethics, morals, principles, values, new beliefs, fairness etc. 
  1. The Knowledge Thirsty: This category of friends is a rare species which includes geeks. Avoiding the friendship sustainability clause, such friendships are about sharing knowledge from all sources and means. Such people are never hesitant of explaining concepts and questions in day to day life or outside the examination halls. Such people always question and have an innate desire to go deeper and deeper in to the subject. They lay emphasis on brainstorming and doubt-raising in classes with teachers and professors. Moreover, some people are stingy and competitive beings who love to learn but not share for the fear of losing competitive edge. 
  1. Butterflies: Some people are your fair weather friends who are present until their interests coincide with yours. Their interests may range from copying assignments to enjoying at your cost. These friends, as the name suggests, are temporary, look promising, very sweet spoken but do not stick to you in difficult times or failures. You can enjoy their presence like butterflies but not expect because expectations bring disappointment.
  1. Spendthrift Maniacs: Friends who spend time or money without realizing value. Some people label them as spoiled brats or filthy rich who flaunt their car, clothes and everything and for them course degree is just a formality. Friends who don’t value time will make you waste your time. People who have loaded baskets cannot understand the situations which masses face.

Practically one must have 3 close friends; the poor to teach you how to live with meager means, the intellect to teach you how to make sensible decisions and the filthy rich to help you understand how to make choices when variety is at disposal. Choosing the friends is however up to you!

Contributed by Chayan Jain (Class of 2011-2013IBS HYDERABAD)

Time Management

Time Management

With the winters setting in, I frequently see many people preferring their warm beds to extend their beauty sleep or having an indoor source of entertainment during leisure hours.  During a number of such occasions, I found out how fascinated we all are with the concept of time and time travel. Many movie buffs around me had a good dose of Hollywood sagas such as ‘Back to the Future’, ‘Minority Report’ and ’The Butterfly Effect’. Some Bollywood stories also made an entry into our living-rooms through ‘Love Story 2050’ and ‘Action Replayy’.

There are several movies and substantial reading material on the chronicles of various protagonists trying to visit the days gone by or visit the times to come. What strikes a chord here is what makes us so enthralled at the prospect of being able to control the dynamics of time! Our minds typically refuse to stay in the present, constantly regretting a past that can never be undone or anxiously awaiting a future that may never arrive. The feeble yet powerful force of time is something that every human soul desires and yet is always unable to devise any definite source for the same. People have spent eons thinking about these concepts and the ideas behind them.

It is safe to say that in the entire fascination and intriguing nature of time, the essence is the same – its fleeting nature. Time, as defined in Google, is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. So, in short as a human, it’s all a matter of how we enable ourselves to make every fleeting moment of time worth its while.

Recollecting our past, we identify that events may have occurred long ago, but the vividness of their memories sometimes makes them seem much closer in time. Another reason why years seem to “rush by” is pure familiarity. As our lives turn into a blur of routine and redundancy, this perceived sprint gets stronger. Our brains tend to “skip over” instances that we do over and over since there’s no need to store data that we already have tucked away. Actual elapsed time is not processed during redundant events, which is why it appears to take forever to drive to a new place, but driving back home feels like it takes half as long, even though you’re going the same exact route both ways.

The solution to “lengthening” your years is simple novelty. Be spontaneous, do something new, break down the old gray walls and time will reduce its pace again. On encapsulating this enigma of time, all that is seen is the ‘present’ of the present.

Utilization of time is one of the biggest, extremely important and mostly misunderstood concepts. Especially in today’s aggressively progressing environment, time is considered to be the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed efficiently, nothing else can be managed. Talking about resource value, the corporates uphold the value of time as the highest commodity.

Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. It’s one of the most important proficiency that one has to learn as soon as possible in the business world. It is also crucial for maintaining your work-home life balance. Completing the job on time is an essential trait expected from all employees, which can only be achieved if time is managed in an efficient manner.


Now what does all this collective wisdom have it in for me? For a millennial, this boils down to only one thing, optimum deployment of resources is a necessity and it always begins with managing time. Organizing the manner in which we are exposed to the best of knowledge and experience all around us is what will pave our way and be our guide to success.

When you’re just starting your career, you need all the help you can get for managing your time. Even when you’re working hard, you could be wasting a tremendous amount of time by trying to multitask or focusing too much on minute details. Key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

If you didn’t complete something by the time it was due, it’s because you didn’t regard it as imperative or satisfying enough to prioritize ahead of whatever else you were doing. Days always fill up faster than you’d expect. Build in some buffer time. Plan only four to five hours of real work per day.

Our generation has a tendency to ‘zone-in’ on a particular attribute at a given time. So, work more when you’re in the zone. Relax when you’re not. Some days you’ll be off your game, and other times you’ll be able to maintain your focus for 12 hours straight. Take advantage of such days.

With innumerable deviations around us, we tend to put all our efforts into too many things at once. If you’re spending your day multitasking, you’re actually draining out your brain. We’re always more focused and productive with a limited time. Work always seems to find a way of filling the space allotted for it, so it sets shorter time limits for each task.

A baby first learns to roll before it can begin running. Start with small tasks to reach the climax. Being a perfectionist is good, but it always comes with its cons. Work iteratively because having an outlook to perform perfectly is oppressive. It’s commonly seen that many people work overtime to complete their day’s work. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that sitting at your desk will somehow extract work from you. We have been given a single life and the best usage of that would be by striking a balance between work and play.

Never fear a large chunk of work. Break down a massive task into manageable blocks. Ideally, you can brainstorm your ideas and then execute them. If you’re constantly stopping your flow of work to rethink something, you’re slowing yourself down. Separate brainless and strategic tasks to become more productive. First things first, organize important tasks early in the day. Time leading up to an event is often wasted.

Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. Work around procrastination. Procrastinate between intense sprints of work. No two tasks ever hold the same importance. Always prioritize. Delegate and learn to distribute effort with other people. To be truly efficient, get over the fear of handing work off to someone else.

Don’t distract yourself with either the successes or failures of the past. Focus instead on what’s in front of you. Set deadlines for everything. Don’t let tasks stretch indefinitely. Spending too much time on a project or procrastinating it for too long will lead to stagnation. Get things done and move on.

And finally remember, we have just begun our professional journey of life. Each day has a new beginning and finishing it with some learning is in our hands. For at the end of life, all that would matter would be your treasure trove of wisdom and happiness.

Contributed by Deeba ( Class of 2013, IBS GURGAON )

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How to Balance Study or Work While Preparing for GMAT

Balance Study or Work While Preparing

GMAT or Graduate Management Admission test is a computer based test which is used to assess the required aptitude for a management program. It is an assessment and not an examination which means that you get a score at the end of the assessment without indicating whether you ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. You will receive your assessment scores and various colleges have their own cut offs for admissions based on these scores. This is intended primarily for graduates and undergraduates (in final year generally) and is intended for various universities/ business schools in USA and some other countries.

Now whether it is your final year studies or you have joined a job and want to go back to studies, multi tasking always seems intimidating. However with proper planning and some discipline it can be managed. Before we get into the ‘HOW TO MANAGE’ part for the sake of comprehensiveness let us also see ‘WHAT’ is GMAT?  And what does this require?

GMAT as whole is not simply about taking the test, but the entire application process. And the application is the toughest part. Structure of the GMAT, tests one’s preparation rather than intelligence. More the preparation, the better chances you have to do well.

Sections in GMAT are as below:

Section Number of questions Duration(In minutes)
Analytical Writing Assessment 1 30
Integrated Reasoning 12 30
Quantitative 37 75
Verbal 41 75

The total test is for 3.5 hrs but you can have short breaks in between sections, these breaks are of 8 min each and not more than 30 min on whole. You cannot refer your study material in these breaks.

Though the score of these essays is not reflected on the application, the AWA (Analytical writing assessment) essays are important as well. The admission committee does make a note of the scores and compare it to the application essays. So practice writing. Any discrepancy in the AWA essay and the application essay will get noticed.

It must be clearly understood that, for the purpose of your GMAT exam the graduation curriculum can only help you to some extent. This is a test to evaluate aptitude and not the technical or scientific knowledge (no rocket science this… eh!) so those who are not necessarily from mathematics background should not feel handicapped. That was the good news. Now for the warning – since this test is only in English and along with a section of Analytical writing assessment also has a verbal section, an individual’s passing/workable knowledge of English will definitely be put to test. For many Indian students whether from English or vernacular a medium, English is barely used in day to day conversation or communication. Even if we write an informal mail, we have learnt the art of writing in Hindi or our mother tongue in English alphabets. ‘Kya baat karte ho bhai, mein to English mei hi type kar raha hun (What are you saying brother, I am typing in English only’) Seems familiar? Well, this does not qualify. Like our mother tongue English cannot be learnt with a crash course! I have found that even the students of best of colleges find it really difficult to maintain the flow of speech when conversing in English.

Hence, first and foremost thing that one must do while preparing for GMAT is start eating, living and sleeping English.

Once you are on track on this, there are few things that you must keep in mind and prepare:

  • Understand the complete process of GMAT. You may refer site for details on the entire process and what all it requires including the fees
  • Start as early as possible (immediately if you have made up your mind and discussed with family)
  • Gather good books and material to have a thorough practice
  • Even if you are able to devote 1-2 hrs per day, do it. Don’t skip it in hope of ‘someday’ for taking out dedicated time for continuous study since that day may never come.
  • If you are studying, try to do an internship. If you are working, then obtain a good recommendation letter or recognition of your work which is useful in the application process. You can also get recommendation letter from professor/lecturer of your college which is an added advantage.

The total test is for 3.5 hrs but you can have short breaks inbetween sections, these breaks are of 8 min each and not more than 30 min on whole. You cannot refer your study material in these breaks.

Though the score of these essays are not reflected on the application, the AWA (Analytical writing assessment) essays are important as well. The admission committee does make a note of the scores and compare it to the application essays. So practice writing. Any discrepancy in the AWA essay and the application essay will get noticed.

It must be clearly understood that, for the purpose of your GMAT exam the graduation curriculum can only help you to some extent. This is a test to evaluate aptitude and not the technical or scientific knowledge (no rocket science this… eh!) so those who are not necessarily from mathematics background should not feel handicapped. That was the good news. Now for the caveat; since this test is only in English language and along with a section of Analytical writing assessment also has a verbal section hence a passing/workable knowledge of English will definitely be put to stretch. For many of us Indian students whether in English or other mediums, English is barely used in day to day conversation or communication. Even if we write an informal mail, we have learnt the art of writing in Hindi or our mother tongue with English keyboard. ‘ Kya baat karte ho bhai, mein to English mei hi type kar raha hun (What are you saying brother, I am typing in English only’; seems familiar?. Well, this does not qualifyJ. Like our mother tongue English cannot be learnt with a crash course! I have found that even the students of best of colleges find it really difficult to maintain the flow of speech when conversing in English.

Hence first and foremost thing that one must do while preparing for GMAT is start eating, living and sleeping English.

Once you are on track on this, there are few things that you must keep in mind and prepare :

  • Understand the complete process of GMAT. You may refer site for details on the entire process and what all it requires including the fees
  • Start as early as possible (immediately if you have made up your mind and discussed with family)
  • Gather good books and material to have a thorough practice
  • Even if you are able to devote 1-2 hrs per day do it and don’t skip it in hope of some day, taking out dedicated time for continuous study (that day may never come).
  • If you are studying, try and do an internship. If you are working then work for a good recommendation letter or recognition of your work which is useful in application process. You can also get recommendation letter from professor/lecturer of your college which is an added advantage.

During the entire process you can be well prepared and make the most of it by following some simple guidelines:

  • Background (Academics – Under graduation/graduation performance/GMAT)
    • It is important to be hard working and sincere throughout your study life. Good marks and achievements always show well on your resume, and when applying anywhere in future, they do catch the eye of the observer. If you have a poor record in the past, work really hard on the GMAT to pull off an excellent score. History can’t be changed but the future can be made.
  • Essays
    • Follow Creativity, keep it Coherent , and write Correct (the 3 C’s)
    • Write it yourself (can include suggestions from others)
    • Structure around academic experience, work experience, personal passion, the B-school strengths, and future vision.
    • Identify a common goal and theme among your work, personal background and career aspirations
    • Keep the grammar correct
  • Resume/Work exp
    • Keep it thorough and up-to-date
    • Include and address any gaps in the career
    • Address anything left out in the resume in the essays
    • Identify and quantify your contributions during work (add monetary values associated with the project you handled)
  • Candidate Interview
    • It not very common, but it’s usually another step to confirm a candidate.
    • Like a job interview with basic questions- why MBA, why this school
    • plan and prepare well. Do a thorough research on the school’s expertise, show interest by talking with professors and students (mail them) and learn about their projects.
  • Recommendations
    • Give the reviewers a few months time to write recommendations
    • Keep more than 2 reviewers than required for the application
    • Ask for recommendations from people you have closely worked with and who can back you achievements mentioned in the resume or essay
  • Personal background
    • A key to separating you from other candidates
    • Mention about (and work on it too!) social service or extra curriculars. Talk about your passions and more importantly about what you do with your passions. (if you like reading and writing, do something more with it and mention that)
    • Talk about how you are a good fit (and not that your background makes you a good fit!), how you can contribute to the school and to the experience of fellow students.

Keep in mind that this assessment of aptitude has a great emphasis on the overall performance of an aspirant and that extra competitive edge compared to thousands, if not lacs, of other applicants. With an early start and good discipline GMAT would be a wonderful experience.

Contributed by Vaibhav Agarwal ( Class of 2006, IBS GURGAON )

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