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Naveen on Babson MBA Admission Strategies, Entry Criteria and Surprises

F1GMAT: Although the entry criteria for Babson MBA are not as stringent as other top schools, what kind of candidates are Babson MBA looking for?

Naveen: The Babson MBA is a one of the smallest programs in the US with an annual graduation number of roughly around 150 - 165 candidates (including One Year MBA). It is also not selective to the extent of top 10 schools and average GMAT scores are almost 80-100 points below top schools. Key reasons (from my personal experience at Babson) are that students are more street-smart as compared to book-smart and largely come from business family or self-owned business backgrounds where business skills are emphasized more than academic skills. Having said that, many of my classmates and peers have come in from the industry (PE, investment banking, consulting, IT, healthcare, motor racing, advertising, marketing, retail, accounting, sales, wealth management and many more professions).

As I mentioned earlier, the class is highly international. Most of my classmates are well travelled, either through their interests or careers. Theres also a strong emphasis on people who demonstrate actionable success rather than just academic strengths.

F1GMAT: You scored a 740 on your GMAT, which is awesome for any B-School. What role does GMAT score play for admissions to Babson MBA programs?

Naveen: Thank you.

The average GMAT for my class is 624. The range (mid 80% of student GMAT scores) is 550 - 700 (Source: Businessweek Babson stats). GMAT is one of the many components of the MBA admissions process. The application will be considered in its entirety (GMAT, undergrad, career experiences). A better GMAT does help with scholarships at Babson.
 
F1GMAT: Is there any financial assistance or scholarships offered by Babson MBA program?

Naveen: Yes. Babson offers merit scholarships.
 
F1GMAT: Can you give some tips for other aspiring Babson MBAs on how to write Application Essays?

Naveen:

1. Try to convey what you really think, not what the adcom wants to hear

Just because Babson is #1 in entrepreneurship, don't try to present average stories that you think will position you well in the eyes of the adcom. Focus on your best stories that will make you stand out.

2. Make your essays powerful
When I applied, there were three mandatory essays in the application. You need to bring out different facets of your life, career and achievements in these essays. Use all three essays to convey a compelling story instead of writing three disjointed essays. Show, don't tell. Babson is one of those schools that values actions more than talk. Show through your essays how you have acted on an idea rather than just think about it. Clearly outline the steps that you took to implement these ideas.

3. Why Babson?
What are the specific aspects of Babson that appeal to you and that you feel a part of? Don't give a laundry list of qualities and touch points. Focus on 2-3 points and make sure you show the adcoms that you have done your due diligence on the school.

 
F1GMAT: What were some of your preparation strategies for the Interview? When you consider GMAT Score, Experience, GPA, Essays and Interviews, which one of them will make or break your chance of getting into Babson MBA program?

Naveen: I prepared for the Babson interview using accepted.com interview questions for Babson. In terms of an application, I feel that all the factors that you list are very important, but I couldn't tell you the variation. In terms of an interview, I think it is very important to be genuine and have a conversation, instead of merely a question and answer session.

Related Download: F1GMAT's MBA Admission Interview Guide

F1GMAT: What is the one thing about Babson MBA program that took you by surprise in a positive way?

Naveen: The structure of the Babson Mods makes them a grueling experience. While most schools work 4 days weeks even in the first semester, Babson worked 5 days every week with 2-3 classes per day and BCAP (consulting project) from Mod 2. The second semester has 4 days of classes and one full BCAP (consulting project) day. So, its again a 5-day week, though you can manage to spread your work a bit more and also by this time, you get used to the pace of the program. We cover 32 credits during the first year.

I struggled to cope with the pace and intensity of the program in the first semester. Many times, I was down and close to giving up, given the pressure of accounting, finance and other courses that were new to me. I used to wonder how I would ever manage to learn anything and stay afloat.

But when I looked back during our winter break and now when I take up more advanced courses (cost accounting, portfolio valuation etc.), I see that I managed to absorb enough from the previous Mods to say that I learnt something. The inter-linked courses by far have stood out because they have taught me to approach a particular business problem from all angles and consider a business from ground up.

Looking back, it has been a true test by fire, but I think that I will look back and feel proud that I made it through.
 
F1GMAT: It was a pleasure to have you with us. Wishing you all the success in your future endeavors, Naveen!

Naveen: Thank you for having me on F1GMAT and for giving me the chance to speak about my Babson experience.

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