Tips for working professionals applying to MBA program

In this article we shall look at the five key points to be kept in mind by working professionals while appearing for an MBA entrance interview.
Prepare your KRAs (Key Responsibility Areas)
You need to ensure absolute familiarity with work responsibilities and related challenges as you are more probable to be assessed on this aspect of your profile. The following need special attention:
  • Key learnings while working
  • Key contributions at the workplace
  • Organization/Industry profile
Demonstrate professional conduct
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The panel expects you to have a certain optimum level of professionalism in terms of attitude, behaviour & communication. They also anticipate you to be mature enough in treating questions. You are also expected to have a pragmatic understanding of vision, mission, teams and other commonly used terms in organizations. Further, you should be able to justify why you want to quit working and pursue an MBA program and clearly link your career goals with the MBA program.
Quote examples from workplace
Highlight situations where you showcased management qualities, as the panel is looking for candidates suitable for contributing to the professional space.These qualities may include leadership, team dynamics, problem solving, decision making etc. Demonstrate a sense of social cause, as most the organizations these days focus on social responsibility of business.  Mention any instances of conflict resolution, indicating a favourable temperament for working in teams.
Prepare basics of graduation
Candidates assume that work experience will make up for lack of conceptual clarity, but this may not be true. While we do understand a heightened probability of being questioned on professional challenges and work related dimensions, this does not overrule the possibility of being assessed on graduation basics and subject rudiments. It is suggested that you brush up your graduation fundamentals, particularly the ones which relate to management.
Avoid the following
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  • Being complacent: Candidates with professional work experience may assume some kind of an advantage over their non-working counterparts, breeding some kind of a complacency. However this myth needs to be dispelled unless there is some indicated preference by the B-school in its admission criteria. Infact, most of the schools look for diversity in profile intake and may desire a healthy mix of people with and without work experience, as both the categories have a potential to contribute in their own ways.
  • Assuming that the panel would not know about your functional roles/ domain: Some candidates assume that the panel may not have an understanding of their job roles; but this is a dangerous thing to do as the panel is fairly smart to connect with these aspects of your professional domains and be very well equipped to asses you therein .
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