How our unique process helps applicants in their MBA journey and beyond?
At MBA&Beyond, our commitment lies in assisting MBA applicants to achieve their aspirations of entering their desired B-School with enhanced self-awareness and a clear understanding of their goals, purpose, and life vision. Not only do MBA applicants succeed in making their applications stand out, but also ready themselves for life at B-School and beyond during the entire MBA admission process. The MBA applicants who work with us have a “pre-MBA & Beyond” and a “post-MBA & Beyond” phase. This is precisely what makes our MBA admission consulting process unique from every perspective.
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Below, we elaborate on our unique MBA admission consulting process, designed to empower applicants in crafting entirely unique MBA applications and securing admission to their dream B-schools. Our approach ensures exceptional clarity regarding their Post-MBA goals.
BEFORE WE START – THE PROFILE EVALUATION CALL:
Your MBA admission journey starts with us as soon as you get on a free profile evaluation call with our experts at MBA and Beyond. Unlike other MBA consultants, we don’t give you a “brief” of your profile. Typically, profile evaluation calls with other MBA consultants last for 15-20 minutes. Yet, we believe that this timeframe is inadequate, failing to allow for a thorough and honest discussion about your Post-MBA goals, profile, and target schools. Explore what applicants have to say about our profile evaluation calls.
We listen to your story, assess your personality and background and give honest feedback on who you are in an extensive 30-45 minutes of Profile evaluation call (Read how applicants get tremendous value in their profile evaluation call with us). From this call, you gain a comprehensive understanding of your identity and receive guidance on your next steps in the MBA admission process (irrespective of whether you choose to go with our services or not).
Let’s evaluate your profile with a 360-degree analysis and create a unique MBA pitch for your dream B-Schools! Click here to get your profile evaluated!
FOUR STEPS IN OUR UNIQUE MBA ADMISSION CONSULTING PROCESS
STEP 1 – EXTENSIVE CONTENT GATHERING
As soon as an MBA candidate enrolls with us, we initiate our ‘crown jewel’ process – our unique Content Gathering approach. This unparalleled method excels in capturing the goals and personality of MBA aspirants to an exceptional degree.
We do the content gathering across three phases, and with each phase, we are able to peel off layers in order to better know the MBA applicant’s journey.
This approach ensures that MBA applicants receive abundant information to evaluate their profile, align their values and Post-MBA objectives with their selected school, and commence the development of their pitch (details on this later).
THE FIRST PHASE OF CONTENT GATHERING – INTROSPECTION
The story starts with the MBA applicant’s journey! In the initial stage of Step 1 (Content Gathering), the focus is on a comprehensive exploration of the MBA applicant’s profile, life experiences, and Post-MBA aspirations. This involves crucial questions crafted from our expertise and insights gathered from dialogues with admissions directors and committees. These questions will enable you to find answers to questions like ‘why MBA, why a particular function, why a particular role, why a certain goal, what is your vision, and what evidence do you have which is sufficient enough to support your vision.’ It encourages you to delve deeply into your own self, gaining a profound understanding of who you are and identifying your greatest strengths and weaknesses.
The answers to these questions resemble puzzle pieces scattered on a table, which applicants later assemble to present a comprehensive picture. Once we get all the content out of you, your Content Gathering specialist is going to help you understand what’s the ‘valuable’ and ‘invaluable’ constituents in your MBA profile, with respect to what business schools expect of you.
Suggested reading: Why MBA essay
THE SECOND PHASE OF CONTENT GATHERING – THE ‘TESSERACT’
Before we guide you through this phase, let us provide some context on why this step is integral to our MBA application process. We invest a substantial amount of time annually engaging with numerous admissions directors and admissions committees (AdComs) of business schools. This effort is aimed at comprehending how they evaluate MBA applications and discerning what they are specifically seeking in applicants for that particular year, ensuring that we stay ahead in this dynamic process.
Over the years, engaging in conversations with numerous schools, we’ve discovered a constant factor in MBA applications across all business schools: that adcoms can identify self-biases in your application.
In fact, it is among the initial aspects that AdComs can readily identify. While you may boast a stellar MBA application, the existence of self-biases tends to leave a negative impression on AdComs.
So, what do we mean by ‘self-biases’? Let us illustrate with an example: When discussing your strengths, you may easily provide numerous examples and supporting evidence, but when addressing your weaknesses, you might find it challenging to draw examples from your life. This is a common occurrence as humans, being Homo sapiens, tend to defend themselves, often not recognizing flaws until they are pointed out by others.
However, AdComs are highly cognizant of this tendency. To present an MBA application that appears both neutral and interconnected, it’s crucial to emphasize strengths while concurrently showcasing an awareness of one’s weaknesses and areas for improvement. This is where the second phase, which we refer to as the ‘Tesseract,’ comes into play.
In order to address and undo self-biases, we seek to understand the MBA applicants’ personalities holistically from a third-person perspective. For that, we believe that friends and family are a great source of information on an MBA applicant’s personality and are able to provide a very good perspective on their profile. In this set, we ask applicants to choose three really important people in their life, one personal, one professional and the third one could be either of them.
The ‘Tesseract’ comprises a set of questions meticulously crafted to gather additional information about the applicant and their personality. We send out a questionnaire to collect some information anonymously, ensuring that you will not know which responses belong to you.
The ‘Tesseract’ not only aids in eliminating self-biases but also assists applicants in refining their stories. When faced with challenges in finding examples from their own perspective, applicants find the ‘Tesseract’ to be particularly valuable. A significant portion of your recommendation will also draw from this content later, especially if it is from a third person eligible to serve as a recommender.
We maintain the confidentiality of the information collected on MBA applicants. However, once an applicant has submitted their MBA application, we are delighted to disclose who provided specific feedback. This allows applicants to share a lighthearted moment with those individuals after the submission of their applications!
THE THIRD PHASE OF CONTENT GATHERING – OUR UNIQUE PERSONALITY TEST
Set three of the content gathering phase is based on one of the most common mistakes that people make while putting their MBA application together – making their MBA application very professional heavy. This plays against MBA applicants who come from an over-represented pool.
Why, you may ask – Because if your MBA application revolves around discussions of revenues and moving KPIs from point A to point B, you are likely to position yourself in a way that makes you comparable to other MBA applicants with substantial work experience. When you make yourself comparable in an overrepresented pool, you inevitably undermine your chances of converting to your dream business school.
Therefore, as part of the third phase, we will guide you through a personality test. Based on the results, we will define the attributes and traits that will form the backbone of your MBA application. All other aspects of your involvement will then orbit around it as supporting evidence. Throughout this process, you will also discover that certain schools place significant emphasis on your personality rather than your professional journey. They believe that your resume alone is sufficient to navigate through your career. Now, you may ask, how long does this content gathering phase take because it looks like a very, very exhaustive process, and yes it is, indeed! It takes on average, 21 days, for an individual to come up with a really strong pitch with good content.
It’s vital to grasp that finishing the content gathering process signifies completing more than half of the work. Everything else is akin to assembling pieces of a puzzle to construct a comprehensive picture—a game of plug and play!
STEP 2 – YOUR MBA PITCH- THE BRANDING DOCUMENT
Once we have gathered all this information about you, we furnish you with a one-page branding for MBA. This one-pager branding document is your holy grail. This document will have your high-level storyline, your theme, and your direction for a stellar and unique business school application.
Essentially, the branding document encapsulates the applicant’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP), a crucial element reflected in the application materials for different schools, which is the key driving point for unique and powerful applications.
STEP 3 – SHORTLISTING THE SCHOOLS
Now, at this stage, if you were struggling to figure out which schools you should apply to, and let’s say you had a list of 15 schools: This is a good moment to sit with your consultant, brainstorm, and discuss the schools you should now apply to. Why now? Because at this moment, your consultant will have good clarity on your pitch and values, and you will have clarity on your vision and aspirations. Based on your Branding, your consultant is going to suggest the best-matched schools for you with respect to the school’s values, where you have the maximum potential of converting.
The shortlisting of schools at Step 3 places applicants in an ideal position to make decisions on the schools to which they will apply. This decision is grounded in the comprehensive content gathering process and thorough discussions with our consultants, who also engage in collaborative discussions amongst themselves.
STEP 4 – THE END PRODUCT – ESSAYS, LOR, RESUME AND INTERVIEWS
Around this point, we are ideally situated to get started with the writing! Typically, at this stage, applicants express heightened confidence in initiating the first drafts of their essays. They also gain insight into how to effectively engage with recommenders throughout the process and comprehend the essential elements required to construct a robust resume for their applications.
Now is when we piece the puzzle together. After all of the content gathering, branding, and shortlisting of the schools, we go school by school and start working on your essays. We help you with full direction and content placement. This, on average, takes three to four iterations. We help you with all the edits, grammar checks, and put your essays together within the word limit.
This essentially means that we do not draft the essays for you (a noob mistake, indeed!) – instead, your consultant and you collaboratively outline the essays based on the values of your target school. Subsequently, you infuse substance into the framework using the content gathered in earlier stages. It’s important to note that there’s considerable work involved between the initial draft of the essays for a particular school and the final drafts. Your consultant is dedicated to spending unlimited hours with you until you achieve the final drafts. These final drafts then undergo a three-fold review process by another consultant to ensure that your essays are exceptionally strong and stellar.
As an example, you can view the ‘before’ and ‘after’ versions for one of our very successful applicants.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
To assist you in coming up with a solid plan for the LORs, we use our ‘LOR Mapping Tool’.
Through the LOR Mapping Tool, we map out the content to be sent to your recommenders and make sure that it resonates with your overall USP, theme and direction of your application, as identified in the Branding document.
Coupled with any other available information (cue in sight – in case the ‘Tesseract’ questionnaire is answered by the recommender, this will give us more information to work with as well), we are able to (a) identify the recommenders; (b) come up with a plan to approach the recommender, and (c) a broad array of qualities (along with the specific examples) that the applicant can discuss with the recommender.
Keep in mind two crucial aspects regarding recommendations: firstly, recommendations ideally should avoid redundancy with information already conveyed by the applicant in the essays; and secondly, they must include robust supporting evidence of the applicant’s qualities—simply mentioning the qualities is insufficient.
We also help applicants with crafting the perfect resume, one that is impactful, remembered, and readable. We allocate a dedicated session to discuss and assist the applicant in preparing a resume that aligns with their story and overall pitch. Our support extends to advising on the format of the resume and ensuring that the narrative presented in the resume harmonizes with the applicant’s journey as portrayed in the essays and overall pitch.
We also interact with applicants and provide assistance with video interviews. Finally, if applicants make it to the final round, we help them prepare for the final interviews. Our Preliminary Prep module helps you understand common mistakes, strategies to drive your interview and types of questions asked in the interview with a question bank of 130+ interview questions. Once the applicant is done with it, we hold multiple mock sessions (most consulting services offer only one or two), until the applicant is prepared with more answers to questions than the interviewer can possibly ask. Our purpose is that the applicant should be the driver of their own interview, therefore, we prepare you in a manner that applicants drive, or lead the direction in which the final round interview is headed.
Through the comprehensive four-step process, we not only guarantee that the applicant can submit an impactful and powerful application that resonates with AdComs but also empower them to transform into individuals who believe in their capacity not only to secure a spot in the best B-Schools but also to excel during their time there and achieve their post-B-School goals.
We believe if you work on the missing links of your applications, you can turn the starts in your favor! And we would love to be that part of your application journey. If you’d like, let’s strategize to get you into your dream b-schools!