Thursday, July 1, 2010

What I did in last 15 days to shortlist schools

After a brief period of hibernation, I have come back to write a post on the final list of schools that I will be applying. My rigorous research on schools after CFA Level 1 (on June 6) has brought me now to a logical closure on list of schools in my "dream" category.

My research criteria -
1) Whether the schools can place me in the job I seek after MBA, target industry and recruiters.
2) Practical Exposure provided by the school beyond the case studies and lectures!
3) No. of students in the class, collaborative environment, people not running behind grades (grade non-disclosure non-discussion environment).
4) Being an international candidate, preferring city where my target recruiters are present in the city itself so that I can find a job faster as most Alum, Job recruiters will be present nearby. Though I may have to trade-off this attribute with high cost of living!

Schools that I have come up with -
1) Columbia - for points 1),2) and 4). Absolutely for the new york advantage and strength in finance curriculum.
2) Booth - for points 1),2) and 4).inspiring place, flexible curriculum, great recruitment in finance.
3) Ross - for points 2) and 3) (practically no grading at all). Programs like MTrek, MAP etc and because Ann Arbor is wonderful city.
4) Kellogg - for points 1), 2), 3) (very strong) and close 4). Kudos to Kellogg for making such a great collaborative community.
5) Tuck - for points 1), 2) and 3). The most conducive environment for studying. No distraction, strong sense of community, less students. And because I am clearly impressed by Tuck's leadership course.

My research sources:
1) Business Week guide to Best Business schools (2003 edition) (bought from
2) Grads/current students from the schools. (Kellogg, Booth, Ross, Harvard)
3) How to get into top MBA programs by Richard Montauk (bought from
4) School's website
5) Other sites -, blogs of students

I will be applying in the following order:
Columbia - Early decision
Booth -Round 1
Ross -Round 1
Kellogg - Round 2
Tuck -Round 2

Other than three dream schools in October, I will be applying to two more schools in Round 1 - one in each reach and safe category. I still have to research on those schools.

I am not sure how to end this post but I think writing this is a relief as now I have created formally a final list of schools.
The decision was tough because I have wandered. Somewhere out there might be a school that I have missed in my list and where I could be happier and better positioned. Also, somewhere out there could be a dream school that I have left out but where my chances of getting in were brighter.
But now the list has been written and decision has been made. And I am confident that I have made the right decision. In worst case scenario even if I haven't, I will have to turn the tide.


  1. datz such a nice read... as i'm also a part of this research and decision, seems you have selected the right schools for you... lets rock n roll now... all the best :-)

  2. :-) Thank you....sometimes after I get a comment, i realise why you keep on asking comments from mr.

  3. Awesome thought stream.. Thanks for sharing...
    Even my rigirous search is on.. Hope I shortlist in time too...

    BTW, @A and Mukaam: Did you guys make it to the Reliance next round...?? I got dinged... :(

  4. I like the way you rationally laid out the criteria.
    All the best for your apps.

    BTW, I am also applying this fall. So far I have shortlisted INSEAD, Tuck & Booth. Trying to pick two more's getting tough to pick them.

  5. Hey Anagha. Thanks for your comment. Me and A both didnt make it to Reliance schol.

    @Arun. All the best for your apps.
    Tuck and Booth are great schools. INSEAD is highly craved too. Since all three are top schools you might be considering applying to a reach and safe school.I am also struck there. tough job i know. Thanks for your wishes.

  6. Hi Mukaam, I think it's great that you've done so much research to focus on which schools you're going to apply to. I remember going through the same thing!

    I'm Kaneisha, and I am a Harvard Business School graduate who owns an essay and career coaching company called The Art of Applying. I'm offering free and discounted essay coaching services to selected MBA applicant bloggers and I'd like to give you more information. Please send me an email so I can tell you how to participate!

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  7. Hi,

    Good post. Good selection Criteria.

    Make sure you read 2 posts on my blog...One about the " Book of dreams" and other about " Ross first question Analysis".

    I am sure you will find something interesting to write your Ross Application better....