What do B-Schools look for in a MBA Candidate?

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What do you think B-schools look for in students seeking admission in MBA programs? Is it a good academic record, a good score in the MBA entrance exam, a good extracurricular record, or something else? The right answer for this would be: all these and more!

Given the fierce competition, top B-schools in India, including the IIMs, have diversified their selection criteria for admission to MBA programmes.Therefore, leading MBA colleges in India now look for several other qualities in addition to academic brilliance. Jagranjosh.com therefore decided to consult some well-known academic experts to find out what exactly are these skills and qualities that B-schools look for in prospective MBA students. The findings were most interesting and should help all future MBA aspirants.

Analytical Skills

Top Business schools like IIMs look for candidates with good analytical skills. Analytical skills refer to the ability to collect and analyze information, problem-solve, and make decisions. These strengths can help solve a company’s problems and improve upon its overall productivity and success.

Prof. AmitBardhan, Faculty, FMS Delhi says “In an MBA programme, more than teaching, the emphasis is laid upon developing attitude and perspective among the students. Therefore, B-schools look for students who possess good analytical skills i.e. the ability to navigate through diverse and complex situations and problems.”

Therefore, as an MBA aspirant, you should have strong analytical skills which can be sharpened during the MBA course and later applied in the job setting.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Communication is the key to good business and is therefore a vitally important weapon in the arsenal of an MBA aspirant. As a future business manager, an MBA aspirant needs to possess impeccable interpersonal skills to impress the admissions committee. Having excellent interpersonal skills will not only ensure smooth work flow and operations within the team but, it would also open up several opportunities for networking. It also works in favour of aspirants if they can take things up a notch and also develop excellent negotiation skills along with interpersonal skills.

Problem Solving Skills

Problem solving skills are the process of working through details of a problem to reach a solution. It may include mathematical or systematic operations and can be a test of an individual's critical thinking skills. Business administrators are termed as problems solvers in the corporate world and the same rule applies to MBA aspirants when they are being assess by the best management colleges in India. A key quality that MBA aspirants must possess is to calmly assess a problem situation and offer realistic and implementable solutions under pressure. Therefore, good problem solving skills remain as one of the top skills searched by B-schools in prospective MBA candidates.


India’s top B-schools like IIMs and FMS prepare students to be future leaders in the business, corporate and social world. Leadership skills are not something that can be learnt from a book or taught in a class; they are imbibed and developed by a candidate over several years. So, if you have a proven track record of being in leadership roles even before you set foot on the campus, it would certainly work in your favour during the group discussion and personal interview rounds.

Ability to deal with uncertainty

In these changing times where the only constant is change, businesses need to operate in an atmosphere where nothing is certain. Because of the digital revolution, the pace of change is even faster and one cannot predict what can happen tomorrow. In such an atmosphere, it is very important for business leaders to be able to not only function optimally but thrive under uncertain circumstances.

This requires, confidence in oneself, the ability to think under pressure and the deep rooted belief that there is always a solution to a problem no matter how difficult it may seem. Employers greatly value this trait as they want their managers to be able to withstand pressure and deliver results under tough circumstances. It’s no surprise then that B-schools also value this trait and look actively for the same in MBA aspirants. Hence, B-schools Summing up the qualities that B-schools look for in MBA aspirants.

Hence, while the B-schools certainly value a good academic record, good score in the MBA entrance exam and a good extracurricular record, other qualities that they look for in MBA aspirants remain theAnalytical skills, Communication and Interpersonal skills, Problem-solving skills, Global Awareness and Exposure, Leadership skills and the ability to deal with uncertainty.

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