It was almost exactly ten years ago that I faced three interviewers for my personal interview round before I got admitted to do my MBA.
So it was a different kind of deja vu when I crossed the line and became an interviewer for a B School as they had requested me (amongst others) as they considered me a "well wisher".
After a day of interviewing 12 MBA aspirants these are the thoughts I was left with:
- A majority of the people were engineers with 2-4 years of experience. Most of them were from the IT services industry and of them 3-4 people were people who did software testing and quality kind of roles.
- Interestingly a lot of these people talked about turning entrepreneur after 3-4 years of working.
- Most people wanted to specialise in Finance but when asked why, they could not articulate the reason, except for a couple of them. If you have zoned on one, the panel will ask why you want to pursue that and therefore you should be prepared
- The question "Why do you want to do an MBA" is a sure question, and yet very few people said anything that showed they were ready with a clear and crisp answer to that.
- For budding business managers, awareness of things like the recently released Union Budget and its impact on individuals and organizations should be clear to some extent. That was sorely lacking.
- It's great to have a big grand goal, but show that you can plan the intermediate steps to that goal as well. It doesn't have to be perfect or correct, but I would look for thoroughness in thought.
- On the other hand just thinking of the job you'd like to do a couple of years after graduating from an MBA and not having a larger vision for your career makes it seem that you are in it only for the money :-)
On the panel was a software product person who quizzed the engineers on the kind of work they that done and there was a professor from the business school who had an eagle eye on the academic record of the students.