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MBA applications are a hard nut to crack. And with acceptance rates for top schools for highly visible demographics like Indians, Chinese and South Koreans running into very low single digits (like 1-3 %) and competition among some very serious candidates, you need to be extremely differentiated to get in. Starting early helps. Often times, a mentor who is able to look at your application from a different perspective can make a positive difference. However, in general, focus on your strengths and applying to a school that is aligned to your personality works.

A lot of my students ask me whether it really matters that they get into top schools. We all know that getting into a top college like Harvard or Stanford is extremely difficult, and additionally these colleges are extremely expensive. More so, with the advent of MOOCs great content is freely available. Then, why should I try to get into a top-tier university like Columbia or Yale?

Lot of students are under the impression that getting into a US program is easy. As opposed to rigorous selection based pathways like Engineering at IITs, MBBS, or MBA/PGDM from IIMs, many people are under the impression that getting into a top class program at US is a cake-walk. They think that they can prepare their application in a few days/ weeks and can easily get into an IVY. Nothing could be further from truth.

Can I sit next to you, Son?
Can I sit next to you, Son?

Recently, a lot of ink has been spent writing on the bankruptcy proceedings for “Toys R Us”, a US based toys’ retailer, that fueled the fancy of many children’s dreams with its premise of being a toys’ wonderland. The bottom-line has been that the chain could not compete on price and unlimited variety that Amazon could provide. But, Toys R Us is not alone. There are about 42 national chains in the US that have shut down or are in the process, thanks to the unlimited window front, discounts and efficiency that Amazon provides.