This post is for Indian applicants applying to the ISB. Just like with other business schools, at the Indian School of Business, there’s a significant advantage to hitting up the adcom with your application in Round 1. There’s less competition then, with fewer applications coming in the door. It’s easier for a strong candidate to…
Probably not too many people in this situation but every now and then someone asks about it.
The best business schools will turn you away; they won’t even accept your application. An undergraduate degree is a requirement of admission.
There’s a couple schools around the world who might give you a chance though. It’s a little strange for them to be called “graduate schools” of course if they’re willing to accept people who don’t have the undergraduate part, but whatever.
The one we know of that definitely will consider you without an undergrad degree is Oxford Said.
Here’s what they, er, said (chortle):
Do I need to have a degree?
A good undergraduate degree or equivalent is usually required. Applicants who do not hold such a qualification may be considered if they have a very strong employment record demonstrating a high degree of responsibility.
So that’s interesting.
Another program that very well could consider an interesting American or European (or South American or Russian or Canadian or anything as long as you’re not Indian) candidate is the Indian School of Business. Of course, this isn’t exactly an “MBA” degree – it’s the PGP which is the Indian equivalent. Of course, their website says that an undergrad degree is required, but if you’re a really interesting guy and you contact them with a really compelling reason as to why you want to go there… we’re betting that maybe they’d be willing to take a look at you. This is because they are committed to expanding their program beyond the borders of India and the best way to do that is to increase diversity among the class.
So if you’re in the unusual position of waking up one day and deciding that you want to go to bschool – without having completed college before – then maybe there are some options for you.
Recently we talked about the Kellogg 1Y program – but we didn’t exactly explain what it is. So here’s some backstory to fill in the gaps, in case we piqued your interest in this quick-I-want-to-be-done-with-it MBA option.
First though, let’s start with the basics. The Kellogg two-year MBA is the standard full-time MBA degree that everyone thinks of when they think about getting an MBA. It’s geared for people in their mid- to late-20s, maybe early 30s, who are often trying to switch to a whole different career, or maybe to use the MBA to jumpstart some entrepreneurial ambitions. Pretty standard stuff.
The Kellogg 1Y is the same exact degree as that standard two-year Kellogg MBA, and nearly the same curriculum, and it’s designed for people who are about the same age (though this may be shifting to slightly younger folks in the coming years.) The main difference is, it’s for those who either majored in a business-y discipline in college, or who have significant work experience in, say, finance, for whom much of the first-year core curriculum would be a little repetitive. 1Ys don’t get to skip all those basic classes entirely, but they go through an accelerated version of them during an early-start summer session, and then in the Fall, they jump quickly into the electives and specialized classes that most people don’t get to indulge in until the second year of bschool. They graduate one year later. There is no opportunity for a traditional internship. Thus, this is not the best program for anyone looking to make a radical career shift.
Kellogg 1Y is not a part-time MBA. It’s not an Executive MBA. It’s much closer to the regular two-year experience, in that it’s 100% on campus, fully immersive, and intense. You would participate in student clubs and activities, just like any other full-time student. You just go on a whirlwind tour of bschool, and get spit out into the world again at breakneck pace.
There are only a handful of MBA programs like this at top U.S. bschools. One that is comparable to Kellogg 1Y is the Columbia J-Term, except that you get through 1Y faster, at 12 months total instead of the 16 months required for the J-Term. Kellogg 1Y is even more comparable to the Cornell Accelerated MBA (except that obviously Kellogg is higher-ranked than Cornell). All three of these programs are best for those looking to advance their existing career, and for entrepreneurs.
All these programs result in the “MBA” degree – there won’t be anything on your diploma that indicates which flavor of education you pursued at the given school. All are competitive, with average GMATs and GPAs in the same universe as the schools’ two-year tracks. These are just ways for the schools to segment their markets and package up their products in different ways for different consumers. That’s it.
As far as we know, these three are the only U.S. schools which such an offering. Of course, the LBS and INSEAD and ISB MBAs all leverage a similar shorter-format model, though they prefer somewhat older students (comparatively speaking) than these U.S. programs, and in some cases, they may provide more opportunities for an internship.
If you know what you want to do with your career — and you’ve already started doing it — then any of these programs might be a good choice. The Cornell and Kellogg fast-track options are only open to you if you’ve already got a baseline knowledge of econ, stats, etc. If you’re coming to bschool without that foundation, then Columbia J-Term (or one of the Asian or European MBAs) is your best bet.
Questions on any of this? Want to know if your profile might be a good fit for one or the other? Feel free to post in the comments, or send us an email and we’ll let you know what we think.
Today we have a list of items that certainly aren’t “mistakes” but they’re practices that EssaySnark is not fond of. We prefer NOT to see these things in business school essays – and your professors in college were probably not too keen on them, either:
1. Cross-references. Each essay should be self-contained and complete. Please don’t put a reference in one essay to what you’ve discussed in another — no parentheticals that say “As discussed in Essay 2, blah blah blah.”
- The main rationale behind this advice is that you should be presenting new and different info in each essay. If you’re cross-referencing, it’s like you’re a stand-up comic from the ’70s dredging up old and tired material in his Las Vegas routine. Make each essay fresh and new; bring in some other part of your profile here, don’t rehash what you’ve already covered.
- The other reason is, what’s the point of the cross-reference? Do you want the reader to drop the current essay and go over there to that other one, right now in the middle of the sentence, to read up on the whatever-it-is you’re referencing?
2. Headings and Subsections. In some cases, when a school has a part A, B, and C in their essay, they want SEPARATE ESSAYS. In other cases, they’re simply calling out the different parts that they want you to answer IN A SINGLE ESSAY. In the latter case, it should be written as a complete unit. For most schools with multipart questions, you should not use subtitles or labels in your essay – even for a longer essay like the single Harvard essay allows, it’s better to just write it out as a cohesive unit. That’s what makes it an essay instead of a report. We go into the specific requirements (and expectations) of specific schools like Haas and NYU in their respective MBA essay guides.
- Headings take away from your valuable word count, and they are just unnecessary with today’s shorter essays. They chunk your content up too much. It becomes a choppy series of answers, instead of a cohesive, polished presentation that flows. Your essay should have a formal intro and conclusion, and transitions between each paragraph. Remember, this is an essay.
3. Start with a quote. We’ve ranted about this one at least once or twice before. Please don’t put inspiring words from Gandhi* at the top of your essay. Embroider them on a pillow if you are thus enamored of them, but don’t weigh down your bschool essay with such high-and-mightyness. They’re eating up valuable words, and they are NOT ABOUT YOU. And they are setting the bar so g*ddamn high for you that it’s ridiculous. Make the essay about YOU, not about some dead dude who said something that sounds smart. The adcom wants to see if YOU’RE smart. Based on what YOU have done. Quotes at the top are college admissions essay material (and even then they’re not recommended!!!).
None of these are illegal — you are not committing some type of grave bschool applicant sin if you do them. But they don’t help you, and in some cases, they can be detracting, at least mildly. Your essays are your own, of course — feel free to disregard EssaySnark’s advice completely!! (Just please don’t talk about “business acumen” in any essay you send over to us or we will get a little upchuck in the mouth and not like you one bit for it.)
And one more? Just for the history books? This one other little act of irksomeness that we hope you will never commit? Please don’t call bschool a “college.” We don’t often see this in essays but we sure do on the message boards. “Tell me what colleges I should try with a XXX GMAT.” People. Bschool is graduate school. Not college.
For those of you struggling with these basics of how to write an essay, we have another useful post: How to cut a too-long essay down to size. (Most people don’t have the opposite problem; we have only rarely ever encountered an essay-writer who couldn’t get to the max length of their writing assignment.
And if you’re still not sure how to do it: How to write an essay.
* Or Steve Jobs!!!!!!!!! Please God no, don’t put a quote from Steve Jobs in your essay… Even if you had it there before he passed away, it totally does not belong.
Updated February 2016: Here’s an excellent article from the smart people at Stanford GSB about innovation… and buried within it is some great guidance for those of you who still can’t resist using that Gandhi “be the change” quote in an essay.
We’re hearing of many Brave Supplicants scrambling to put together their ISB application.
We know some of you have been considering asking for our opinion on your drafts. We also know that American prices can be steep when you’re paid in rupees.*
Well, here is your chance.
[sorry this deal is not being offered any longer]
Once your payment is processed, you should send over your ISB drafts via email to us (essaysnark at gmail). Include your GMAT score including quant/verbal/AWA/test date, your academics (undergrad institution, major, GPA or class ranking, ditto for any master’s/graduate work), and also include your resume for our reference (comments will not be provided on the resume). Written feedback will be returned by email within two days from receipt of payment.
This offer expires at midnight US Eastern time (GMT -5) on Sunday, November 20.
If you don’t have your drafts ready yet, you can pay by the Sunday deadline, and then submit your essays by Tuesday midnight Eastern time.
If you pay but then do not submit your drafts by Tuesday, your money will be refunded.
- This is for ONE round of review only, just a single critique (one review of the set of three essays); you will not get your essays rechecked for this price (sorry)
- This offer is only available for the ISB. This offer is not available for any other school. If you purchase this essay review for a different school, your money will be refunded.
- Only the three ISB essays will be reviewed. You need to provide your resume for reference (and your GMAT score) but you will not get feedback on the resume
- The three ISB drafts must be no more than 25 words overlimit; at or under word limit is recommended. Overlimit essays will still be reviewed however it will be up to you to cut them down to the word limit before your submit your app; the feedback you get may include suggestions for how to do so, however any edits provided to your drafts will not be done to cut them down to word limit; that will be up to you (that is not the type of editing that we provide).
Shoot, with all those disclaimers it’s unlikely anyone will bother with this, but we’re tossing it out there just in case someone is feeling desperate.
* Honestly, we don’t have too much sympathy for this, however — if you’re doing well enough in life to consider going for an American MBA, which pretty much all of you are, and you’re paying the application fees at multiple schools, you can afford paying for some help if you really want it. Even at full price, EssaySnark’s rates are cheap both in comparison to what our competition charges, and most definitely in comparison to the advantage it’ll give you. But that’s clearly for you to decide for yourself.
There’s been a backlog of essays coming in that never made it to the blog. So we are multibirding today. Here’s the quickest/dirtiest of reviews for some of the time-sensitive ones – note also that EssaySnark tweeted some tips for a few of these essays around 2AM Eastern time Monday morning. If you submitted an…
Wowser you Brave Supplicants are having a tough time with Wharton’s “innovative” question. We’ve been reluctant to do full essay critiques on this one because… well, because they’re so long. Critiquing a 600+ word essay in a blog post makes for a very long blog post. ‘Cuz you know that we can never be brief. …
We were reminded by a Brave Supplicant’s recent inquiry about the MIT Sloan “cover letter” (asked in the comments on this post) that this whole “leadership” concept can be a slippery one for ya’ all. The MIT “cover letter” asks for you to “Describe your accomplishments and include an example of how you had an…
>It’s ISB Week here at the EssaySnark Blahg!We’re getting an influx.Well actually… this one has been lounging in our inbox for awhile. This here Brave Supplicant did *not* get the memo about effusive praise. Sent it over without even a warm-up note of kindness to speak of.BUT… EssaySnark just took another gander at his submission…
>The ISB contingent has found the blahg!Today’s essay is from a Brave Supplicant who got the memo about showering compliments but then got a little anxious and started getting a bit pushy. No matter. We’ll still offer some commentary on the ISB career goals essay that he sent over.Here it is: Where do you see…