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For those who are planning to apply for this admission season, GMAT might be the foremost priority. Don’t take your eyes from the practice tests and the iterative tackling of the GMAT sections. However, allocate at least two days to develop a strategy for the next admission season.

Strategy vs Plan

I might be preaching to the choir. A strategy captures the ideal outcome that would help you achieve the post-MBA goals. Whereas planning is the nitty gritty of how you will fulfil the strategy.

For instance, in order to transition into a Marketing job function from your current position as a Consultant, getting admissions to Kellogg should be a strategy.

Post-MBA Goal: Switching career from Consulting to Marketing

Strategy: Get accepted to Kellogg’s 2-year Full-time MBA


For a $200,000 MBA program, statements like ‘find your true passion’ has no particular meaning. Life experience has shown that chasing happiness has a financial cost. Less stressful and happy jobs have a low pay. So we take the pressures of the ‘popular’ job on the chin and assume that it is normal to feel down in our daily routine. This is a myth that has been propagated by previous generations, masking it in the form of ‘paying one’s dues’ and ‘you have to put in the work’ and ’10,000 hours of BS’. You won’t become great spending hours in a job that you hate.

Weekend Retreat: Soul Searching

Planning for a post-MBA career requires solitude that you are unlikely to get in your daily grind. Dedicate a weekend to get out of the routine. Preferably, travel to the countryside where the cues for obsessively checking your email and social media alerts are at a minimum.

Carry a notebook and book a room with an inviting view. That would encourage you to get out. Go for a walk. Spend most of your time outside and dedicate 3-4 hours in the evening for planning.


MBA Re-application is a painful process. The wounds are not fully healed, and you are back at evaluating profile weakness, re-taking the GMAT, and talking to new recommenders. Although the number of re-applicants accepted to top MBA programs varies, and most schools have not revealed the numbers, close to 10% of all applications are from re-applicants. The volume is so consistent that some schools have begun offering the option to apply as a fresh applicant.

Here are 10 winning strategies for MBA Re-application

1) Class Size

The first metric that should interest the re-applicant is the class size. With Harvard explicitly mentioning that "Of the 900+ students in the Class of 2017, 94 of us were reapplicants.", the class size makes the whole difference. For smaller class size, the percentage of re-applicants decreases as applicants tend to apply where the odds are better. Re-applicants, taking advantage of this trend, should target smaller but reputed MBA programs

Q) I am Indian CA with GMAT 640. Post-trump Era has been hard on Indian immigrants. Should I target top MBA programs in the US? How should I approach the GMAT re-take?

Instead of randomly studying and re-taking the GMAT, approach the process methodologically:

1) Take a Full Mock GMAT test

2) Review the test for 1 hour

3) Note down all the topics where you have not scored

4) Categorize the mistake: carelessness, lack of knowledge and lack of practice

Q) I have 5 years of experience in Sales & Marketing. GMAT has been my Achilles heel. Travel is mandatory for my job. The unscheduled travel has jeopardized my GMAT prep. What are my chances for Rotman, HHL, and Strathclyde MBA?

GMAT 530 is a poor score for the Canadian schools, Rotterdam and HHL. Strathclyde does not have a GMAT requirement. But if you look at it in another way – your chance of reaching a 650 or 680 is higher than someone in 650 aiming for a 700+ score.

Travel is not an excuse.

Set a fixed schedule (30 minutes during lunch break, 30 minutes in the morning before work) for GMAT Prep even if you are traveling. Carry the Office GMAT Guide with you.

1) Make a list of all the topics for GMAT Verbal and Quant
2) Start taking 2-3 full GMAT tests
3) Note down the topics that you are getting it wrong. Assign more days for your weak topics.
4) Practice only for your weak areas for one day. Let us say Number Properties (Solve 15 problems on number properties) while randomly working on your strong areas (two questions from two strong topics)
5) When you are getting the answers wrong, categorize them into:
a) Careless Mistake (Error in writing down the data or connecting data or error with Formula)
b) Conceptual Mistake (You have yet to master the fundamentals)

What are the career prospects of consulting in USA, Europe, Australia and Canada?

Management Consulting is a lucrative career with the current estimate showing that the industry would grow to over $150 billion by 2020.

Since consulting typically serves the Fortune 500 companies, USA has a giant lead in terms of the total consulting market (over 1/3rd of the total Consulting market). Europe is 2nd, Canada 3rd and Australia is at the last position.

Depending on your current role and previous experience, switching industries becomes tricky if you don’t choose the right MBA program.

Previous year’s employment trends and the reputation of the MBA program among Consulting companies influence the yearly intake.

Since the popularity of niches within Consulting depends on the economy, in the near future, most of the engagements will be in Change Management (Integrating technology), Operations (adapting manufacturing processes to the latest technology), and Financial Services (Blockchain/regulations).

I have written about Top 31 US MBA programs with ...

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