Home > Academics, Career > Going for a second MBA…

Going for a second MBA…

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

The biggest question I’m asked… not just by the admission committee at my target business schools but also my friends n foes alike is, “Why do you need to get another MBA?”

It’s just not another midnight dream that pushed me to think about a second MBA… after all, I cannot afford such a $150K dream as yet!!! This was something I’d planned for right before I moved out of my first business school (IIM) and had kept the question open about when to do it… a full-time MBA if within 7yrs of work experience or an executive MBA if beyond that.

Having done lots of research, spoken to a number of business leaders and mentors, and then doing some internal soul-searching, I came out convinced that a second MBA from a top 5 US business school will better prepare me for my long-term career goals:
1) I matriculated at IIM just two months after completing my undergraduate engineering degree. At the time I saw IIM as a way to round out my analytic and technical strengths with “softer” management and leadership skills. Although I do not regret my decision to pursue a graduate degree immediately following college, I do now understand what I gave up by taking this path. At IIM, I had no “real world” experience to apply my learning’s to. Lacking this context no doubt worked against me as I tried to develop mental models and understand the pragmatic applicability of what I was learning. My lack of work experience also limited my ability to contribute to my classmates’ learning.
Now that I have significant experience, I am convinced this MBA will provide me a much richer developmental opportunity. I will look at management/leadership material in a whole new way and be able to better understand how to integrate those concepts into my leadership “toolkit.”

(2) With my experience as both a consultant and a business leader, I understand that there are still many areas I need to develop further. As I reflect on my career to date, I would like to be more proficient in areas like strategy development, operations management, financial modeling, capital allocation, and tax factors. This MBA will give me the opportunity to focus in on some of these disciplines and make me a stronger business leader.

(3) Given my decision to pursue a graduate degree immediately following undergrad, I did not have the opportunity to compete for certain positions (e.g., strategic consulting associate). Although I am in a better position now for those career options, I am convinced an MBA from any of my target schools will immediately position me very well for pursuing those opportunities and advancing my personal career plan.

(4) Having completed my under-graduate and post-graduate in India and having worked extensively in Asia and Africa, I am looking to bring a global touch to my perspective and management thinking. I know that I would not only get a US perspective on management and leadership but I would also get to study with a diverse class which would advance my international awareness and understanding.

(5) Finally…. the real reasons come to an end. And now, time for glossing it up with specific gyan on the USPs that each school has to offer.

If you’re thinking that I am so patient to write out such a long essay only for the sake of this blog, you’re mighty wrong. It’s just taken from one of my business school essays 🙂

  1. Kava
    March 18, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Dude – wassup … been really long time since we caught up. hows life, where u these days? – second mba huh – sounds interesting: which univ are u headed to?

    • November 8, 2010 at 3:16 am

      @ Kava: It’s been a long time since we spoke. I moved to New York a few months back and have started off another MBA at Columbia Business School. Wassup with you?

  2. Tina
    November 20, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Thanks Moid for the reply. So, Columbia! It seems great. Congrats.
    I would like to ask you 1 more favor if it is not difficult for you. For me, it will really be important to have info regarding your profile in order to get a feeling of the admissions. Is it possible to provide this info here (GPA, GMAT, Companies) ?

    Thanks again for the reply and wish the best for the internships and work opps. Your story keeps my faith.

    • November 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      @ Tina:Appreciate your kind words. Columbia has had one of the most amazing student profiles… I can see that in my classmates… ranging from NFL player of the year to a chief designer for a design label to the editor of a global entertainment magazine… so not sure if my profile would give you a complete flavor of the CBS student body.

      My academic and professional background is available on the blog at https://renditions.wordpress.com/about-me/

      My GMAT score was 750 and GPA was around 3.9

  3. SPRA
    November 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Hi, Congrats for getting into Columbia..I have around 8 yrs of work exp and mulling for a global MBA? Can you tell us what % of students have more than 8 yrs of work exp in Columbia? Is it a disadvantage considering that most have between 3-6 yrs..

    • November 25, 2010 at 4:53 am

      @ SPRA: Thanks! I don’t have precise statistics on number of students with over 8yrs of work experience but I know that the average work experience is between 5-6 years which means that there are significant students with as much work experience as you have.
      Nonetheless, quantity of work experience is not really an evaluation criteria for the admissions committee… it’s more of the kind of work you did before. Good luck!

  4. sinh
    November 25, 2010 at 12:12 am

    hi Moid , congrats for getting into CBS and persuing what u wished , i seek your advice as i too want to do second MBA , my academics are not that strong , 75 in 10th , 65 in 12th , 54% in BCom and did PGDBA from ICFAI with CGPA of 7/10 . got 7 yrs of work ex and currently employed as manager ( sales ) in a tata group company.

    just wanted ur take on , if i get a good GMAT score , will i be able to get into some good B school for persuing MBA in Finance .

    • November 25, 2010 at 4:58 am

      @ sinh: Thanks. Nice to know that you’re thinking about a second MBA. It amazes me to see that in spite of it being a second MBA, I am learning many more new things than I had expected.
      Answering your specific question, GMAT is definitely one of the data points for the admissions committee to assess your capabilities but then that’s not the only thing. However, in your case, getting a high score on GMAT would definitely ease the pressure from your previous academic grades. That being said, I would recommend focusing more on other aspects of the application as well. Good luck!

  5. November 25, 2010 at 3:17 am

    hi I was luck to discover your topic in digg
    your topic is fine
    I learn a lot in your Topics really thanks very much
    btw the theme of you blog is really brilliant
    where can find it

  6. Ishwinder
    December 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Moid,
    Just stumbled upon your blog..very interesting indeed..I think we may have even met at 1 of the alumni meets in Dubai – I have a very similar profile as u (Comp Engg + IIML + Big 4 in Dubai)..great to know that you have begun your 2nd MBA..thats something I have been considering myself but probably after 2-3 years..would be great if you could share how you went about planning for a 2nd MBA (Bschool selection/preparation/schols etc)..and lets keep in touch…ishwinderjeetsingh@gmail.com

    • December 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm

      @Ishwinder: Good that you’re planning for it ahead in time… let’s chat sometime and I can share my admissions experience. I am going to be busy for the next 10-12 days with final exams so will reach out around 25th Dec. Hope your work is coming along well.

      • Ishwinder
        December 11, 2010 at 11:12 pm

        Sounds good…All the best for the exams !!

      • December 14, 2010 at 12:56 am

        @Ishwinder: Thanks!

  7. Tina
    January 13, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Hey, Moid, happy new year. I hope you did well on your exams.
    Again, I would like to ask you one more question. Assuming that now is the time for internships, how can you see the attitude of employers regarding the second MBAers? Is it difficult to change careers especially with the second MBA and specifically from management consulting to investment banking) ? Thank you again for your time (I remembered in the days of my MBA it was invaluable, I suppose yours too!)

    I wish again the best to happen for you.

    • January 19, 2011 at 12:53 am

      @ Tina:

      Happy new year to you too!

      Exams were good and so was my winter break. You’re right about internships… am in the middle of my interviews hoping to land a decent job.

      I am recruiting for consulting so can specifically talk about their attitude towards second MBAs but I guess this also applies to investment banking. Recruiters are looking for certain characteristics in your profile (experience and academic background). So long as you have something significant to talk about from your post-MBA work period and you have spent good amount of time after your first MBA (in my opinion, 4-5 years), they don’t really care so much about your first MBA so much so as about your professional achievements.

      As for time, I have also benefited from taking advice from others who have treaded this path before me… so I am glad to share my experiences if they can help you make the right career choices.

      Thanks again for your wishes and good luck!

  8. Mandar
    January 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Hey Moid !
    Hope you doing well!
    Need some advice from you considering the fact that you are doing your second MBA after doing your first MBA from a great school in India.
    My background:- Mech Engg- Goa Engg College- University Rank- Worked with Crompton Greaves for 2 years;
    After that I did my MBA from Goa Institute of Management and I am currently with Hewlett Packard (Enterprise Business) as account manager (Sales). In-spite of having prior work ex I didn’t apply my mind as to what I want to do after MBA and since I got a PPO, coupled with bad financial year-2009, I landed in HP. working here for last 20 months. ( hope you will appreciate my position since you have worked with IGS )
    Now, I feel that IT sales is something which I don’t want to do in life. I want to get into management consulting/ strategy- I like economics.
    MBA degree from an avg school is also not helping me to change fields. … So I am contemplating a second MBA from US… hence need your advice on when should I start applying considering I have just 20 months work ex after MBA + will my work ex before MBA will be disadvantage – since I have not done MBA just out of college like you. Lastly, if I want to get into management consulting – will 1 yr MBA (Kellogg’s) will help me to make a career shift?
    My mail is long but advice from you will be helpful for my career.


    Good luck with your internship!

    • February 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      @ Mandar

      Your arguments are definitely reasonable but the challenge is to communicate that in your application very convincingly.

      If you can get admitted to Kellogg’s 1-year MBA program, you would definitely have opportunities in management consulting. That being said, any top business school would open up as many doors.

      Take it step by step… research and see which schools would be reasonable to target and then work on making your candidacy as attractive as possible. As you might already be knowing, it is very competitive for Indian applicants to get through the top US business schools since most of them are very strong applications.

  9. Shveta
    February 28, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Hi Moid,

    Hope you are doing great and enjoying the wold cup:)
    I have been looking to talk to people who have/ are doing second MBA and I came across this profile. I really can relate to your profile and have been thinking of going for another MBA from ivy league school. I also did my MBA immediately after my graduation and entered banking industry soon after (am not even an engineer). Now the thoughts of second MBA are coming to me (after 4.5 years of experience). I have been thinking about this since an year now and I really want to take an informed decision. I have certain doubts. It would be great if you can help me either through email (malhan.shveta@gmail.com) or a small chat.


    • March 1, 2011 at 9:25 am

      @ Shveta,

      Happy to share my perspective beyond what I’ve highlighted here on my blog.

  10. stuti
    March 5, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Hi Mold,
    ur profile & decision of going for 2nd MBA is really interesting & inspiring since there are most people who are interested for pursusing studies after having experience but unable to take a decision.

    wud be thankful if u just help me taking a decison since i am an economics post graduate,having 2 years teaching experience the after entered into garment apparel trade as a head design & merchanding,i am really confused whether i sud go for an MBA in marketing or finanace
    thnx again for ur advise. stutimayee_nayak@rediffmail.com

    • March 5, 2011 at 9:24 am

      @ Stuti

      Thanks for your kind words. I am more than happy if someone can make use of my experience to make their own career decisions.

      In terms of deciding on what major to pursue in MBA, my personal opinion is that MBA is all about building “general manager” skills which will help you run any business organization successfully. However, if you’re sure of a particular industry / set of industries you want to pursue a long-term career in, you can do some elective coursework in a function that is core to that industry (e.g. Marketing for CPG industry, Finance for Financial Services industry, Operations for Manufacturing / Industrial).

      So, while a school’s strength in your expected area of specialization is a major decision criteria, I would recommend taking a step back and looking at the overall MBA program to see how it can prepare and position you well in the industry. This would mean looking at the institutional brand equity, overall MBA curriculum, recruiters’ perception.

  11. Zap
    March 28, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Hi Moid,

    I’m planning for similar second MBA as you’re doing and pretty much for similar reasons. I’m an IIM Calcutta PGDM graduate. Is it possible for you to mail me your email id so that I can talk in details about the process? Thanks!

  12. aseem
    April 1, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Hi Moid,
    A very interesting blog indeed. I have a question; it would be great if you can answer. I am a recent IIM-C alumnus. Before that I had 2 year work ex in Deutsche Bank, Singapore. I am planning to do a second MBA. I wanted to ask which US top universities encourage second MBA?
    THanks – aseem12321@gmail.com

    • April 2, 2011 at 10:47 pm

      @ Aseem

      Thanks for your feedback.

      It’s interesting to see that there are quite a few IIM grads exploring a second MBA option. I am really keen to know what your reasons are… Do share if you can!

      As for US business schools, Stanford is the only from the top 10 which explicitly discourages second MBA applicants… Additionally, based on my experience, HBS also subtly takes the same view. Other than that, I don’t think there’s any school which explicitly discourages second MBA applicants.

  13. Kulbir
    April 12, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Hi Moid,

    Its great to have stumbled across your blog…your profile displays you were one of the Vitality hires at IBM in 2005. I am a 05 graduate from IIM Indore and joined IBM the same year, so wonder if we were in the same induction group (May2-May9’05)

    I have been with IBM since then, and primarily have been in U.S on various roles with IBM GBS from 2006. I am actively exploring feedback on my qualifications for pursuing a 2nd MBA from one of the big US BSchools. It would be great to connect with you sometime to get your PoV. Many thanks!

  14. csb
    April 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Hi, MOhid

    I have done my MBA from 2 tire B School immediately after my under graduation and get my placement in HDFC BANK LTD. in Sale job. and currently I have less than year experience. but I want to know would I can do my second MBA from top B Schools of India. If yes than which B school will entartain my application.

    • April 17, 2011 at 10:34 pm


      I don’t have a certain answer to that but I know that IIMs have accepted candidates with a prior MBA from a lower-tier business school. If you’re trying for a second MBA right away, IIMs are the best option but if you intend to work for a few more years and then go for an MBA, then ISB would be a better fit. However, you will need to find out about ISB’s approach towards second MBA applicants.

  15. spra
    April 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Hi,saw that you did your summers at McK..Congrats! wanted to know how much weightage your previous work exp has for a summers in consulting or finance…I already have a MBA from a Top Indian B-school with 8 yrs exp in global BD and advisory roles for IT services major…Now want to get into I-banks/PE/VC, etc..Do you think I have realistic chance of being interview by fin companies for summers?

    • April 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm


      If you’re talking about job opportunities after another MBA from a top-tier US business school, then there are lots of precedents in terms of career switching. In relative terms, your switching wouldn’t be such a surprise once you see that people go into these roles with pre-MBA backgrounds in writing, acting, music, teaching et al.

      Most strategy consulting firms and bulge bracket investment banks basically look for areas like leadership potential, analytical horsepower, academic and/or professional excellence. These can be demonstrated from whatever background you have.

      • spra
        April 30, 2011 at 8:14 am

        Thanks moid…one more thing I understand that you will get a student visa for doing your MBA..what after that? Can we stay back and work in the US? Is it easy to convert from student to work visa?

  16. April 30, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    @ spra

    Many companies (but not all) that hire at US business schools offer to sponsor work visas. And there shouldn’t be any problem in terms of H1B visa limits for almost all these firms.

    That being said, there are some very good firms (like Pepsi, GE et al) that only hire students with work authorization i.e. US citizens or Green card holders.

    Bottom line is work visa shouldn’t be a major deciding factor for you at this point in time if you’re considering going for an MBA to the US.

  17. Amit
    May 4, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Thanks for the good work you have been doing here.
    I did my MBA from a 2tier BSchool in India and am now contemplating another MBA. Currently , I am work in a global product management function in an IT MNC and also nearing 30 years. My question is : Is age will be a hindrance while applying to a US BSchool for a second MBA (though I hardly have any control on this :))

    Secondly, Is there any way to know about the schools where most number of Indian/International students students doing a second MBA ?
    Lastly, What is the attitude of employers towrads an international candidate with second MBA?
    Thanks in advance.

    • May 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      @ Amit

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Getting to your questions…

      1. Age is definitely not an important consideration going by the fact that the average class age is 28years at most schools. However, more important is to see how many years you’ve put in after your first MBA. Many candidates with just 2-3 yrs of post-MBA experience have a liability of not extracting most out of their first MBA and hence lose out more often than not.

      2. Good question… Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate such information during my admission time. That being said, you will see second MBA students (most of them are from India only) go to almost every school that doesn’t disallow second MBA aspirants. In terms of ivy league schools, I found second MBA students at every school barring Stanford.

      3. In terms of employer attitudes, most US employers don’t really pay attention to the “second MBA” tag since lot of students would have done Masters (non-business). What they look for is the richness of your experience and your potential.

      Hope this answers. Good luck!

      • Amit
        May 5, 2011 at 1:57 am

        Thanks a lot for your prompt reply.Would be great if you help me in some specific queries .I have some 6+ years experience in High Tech Sales and Product Management. Short term- I want to be in Product management but in a diff industry (i.e.Internet/SW –switching industry seems diff here in India )and long term VC or entrepreneurship(probably focusing on education ). Do you think this is good enough reason to do another MBA? Being in Sales and product management , can I aim at moving into VC firms immediately after second MBA? How easy or difficult is it given my background?
        Thanks once again.

  18. May 5, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    @ Amit

    Frankly speaking, I am unable to give you a concrete opinion on these questions. However, what I can share from my peers’ experience is:
    – Career switching is definitely one of the reasons given by many second MBA aspirants
    – Once you get into a good business school here in the US, then moving into VC or any other career stream is definitely possible.

    At least Ivy League schools are known to spawn a number of career switchers… and that includes extreme changes. For e.g. jazz pianist getting into strategy consulting; marketing in Latin America to Sales & Trading at a bulge bracket i-bank in New York et al.

    • Amit
      May 11, 2011 at 5:13 am

      Thanks for the prompt reply.

      • Amit
        May 20, 2011 at 7:43 am

        Hi Moid,
        One last question : what is the typical pay back time period if one gets into a top 10 US BSchool and doesn’t land up in Consulting/I Banks post his second MBA? Just a rough answer will also help…
        Thanks in advance

  19. May 21, 2011 at 6:47 am

    @ Amit

    I will be able to give you a very empirical answer…
    Assume that cost of the MBA program (all expenses included) is $200,000 and opportunity cost of lost income from job is $100,000 for the two years. That’s total investment of $300,000.
    The average post-MBA salary is around $120,000 for non-consulting / non-banking roles. That’s an increment of around $70,000 in salary every year.
    If we make it a conservative $50,000, then we’re looking at 6 years for repayment.
    So, on the whole, think of it like around 5 years 🙂

    • Amit
      May 21, 2011 at 10:50 am

      Thanks a ton 🙂

  20. sid
    May 22, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Hi Moid,
    What are the options of funding that much money, are there any scholarships and loans.

    • May 23, 2011 at 1:41 am

      @ Sid

      I’m assuming you’re an International Student (versus a US citizen / PR), so the funding options available are:
      1. Bank loans from your home country (esp. when it comes to India, the max loan one can get will only cover 25% of the total expenses).
      2. Scholarships from external organizations listed by most schools (For Columbia, the link is http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/financialaid/mba/awards) – scholarship amounts can vary from 0 to 100% of your expenses.
      3. Need-based scholarships offered by the school – for international students, these are primarily need-based (as the name suggests) and hence are possible for students with relatively lower pre-MBA income levels than other incoming students. From what I heard, the maximum amount awarded was around $30,000.
      4. If you have any US Citizen or Permanent Resident who’s willing to be your guarantor, you can get a co-signer loan from US banks through them. If this is possible, you can get 100% expenses loaned out. This is applicable only to Columbia Business School primarily.
      5. For most other top US business schools, you can get a “no-cosigner loan” which is guaranteed by the school so no need for a US citizen / permanent resident to avail this loan.

      On top of that, you might have your own personal savings / family funds that you can look to use.

  21. pp
    July 11, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Hi Moid,

    Great to have landed on your post. I am another one of the group who plan to do another MBA from a top US B-School- very keen on Columbia, so an ulterior motive of asking you this 🙂
    Actually I did my MBA from IIM-C have been working in a large FMCG based out of Singapore. Will have 2 yrs exp by the time I join. I have a 750 on GMAT. I have 3 core reasons for this MBA:
    1) MBA without working wasn’t a great idea, became an extended graduation for me.
    2) I want to move to Business Consulting as a Career- Placements weren’t exactly rosy for me at IIMC
    3) I want to move to US due to Family reasons, but am not keen to take a Career Hit or move into IT
    4) Really want to experience the IVYs first hand! 🙂

    I need help to understand 2 things,
    (a) will just 2 years of exp be sufficient to build a strong case?
    (b) a superstrong recco from IIM and an average recco from my current workplace be sufficient?

    How do you feel about my overall chances in the top10-15? Looking forward to your reply. Thanks a lot.

  22. July 21, 2011 at 6:34 am

    @ PP

    That was some interesting thinking on your part… in fact, I shared the same “unofficial” reasons for pursuing a second MBA.

    Nonetheless, to answer your questions,
    – 2 years of experience between two MBAs is not a great idea. I wouldn’t discourage you from applying but going by purely anecdotal experience, most second MBA aspirants who make it to top schools have had atleast 3-4 years of experience after their first MBA.
    – This is kind of related to the above point since with 3-4 years of experience, it might be more relevant to get professional reccos only rather than have one academic recco. Also, adcoms typically are looking to guage richness of your professional experience so academic reccos are not preferable.

    I don’t have a crystal ball to comment on your admission prospects… but assuming your academics before and during IIM coupled with a better experience (than most non-MBA applicants who have been doing technical jobs only), getting into the best schools is not a big stretch. Good luck with your plans. Would help to get a different perspective from another second MBA IIM grad.

    • pp
      June 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Moid,

      Its been 2 years since I asked you this. I have since moved to US last year Marketing Manager for a large Enterprise Software company on the West Coast.
      Over the last 6-8 months I feel to truly break out and build my career I do need a Top MBA from the US just going by the fact the IIMs are not that recognized in the industry here. Also I still yearn for that IVY league status.
      So here is where my profile will be by the time I apply for 2014-2016 session:
      1) Experience: 2 Yrs top CPG Branding exp in Singapore + 2 Yrs Marketing manager exp in top enterprise S/W company in the SF Bay Area
      2) Education: Engineering from a top 15 school in india + PGDM from IIMC- avg acads (top 25% both places) + a few scholarships top CAT score
      3) Leadership Exp: Pretty strong with being an elected student rep at IIM + Led teams of 100+ organizing college festivals
      4) GMAT- 750
      5) Recos- Can get 2-3 pretty strong reccos from my past managers (now Marketing Directors, Senior BMs) of different nationalities

      What do you think about the profile and chances for me? And what places should I target.
      Finally, in your opinion does my plan even make sense.

      Thanks a ton!

  23. Ajit
    September 6, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Hi Moid,

    I’m a student of XLRI (PGDM in PMIR).However, I’m already interested in doing an MBA from a top US B-School in 4-5 years. I read your reasons for doing another MBA from a top school in the US and my reasons are remarkably similar to yours. I joined XLRI’s PGDM programme as a fresher and realize that I may need to do another MBA to really make the most of it, especially since my current programme lays too much emphasis on HR and less on other management domains.

    I wish help in understanding a couple of things;
    a) Is doing a second mba an increasing trend? I’m concerned as I couldn’t find many cases like yours in the recent past. Most of the cases I found online were before 2008 and in recent times yours was the only case I found. I want to know the chances of US/European B Schools accepting Second MBA aspirants 4-5 years from now and whether there will be any bias.
    b) How important are academics? I have a 7.47/10 from NITK Surathkal and I’m projecting a 5.5/8 from XLRI. These are above averagish grades but from good institutes. Assuming a 730+ GMAT, good essays/reccos and a good 4-5 years of managerial experience, probably in a Big 4 Accounting Firm’s Consultancy wing, what would be the chances of this profile at the top 10 International B-Schools?

    I know it depends on a lot of factors and that you have no way of accurately predicting but I just want to hear your perspective on this. I look forward to your reply. thanks a lot!

    • September 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      @ Ajit

      I would pick up from where you left and state that it’s very difficult to assess anyone’s candidacy at any of these schools. It’s not just about having the best profile but also the pool of candidates you’re applying with matters significantly.

      Anyways, moving on to answering your questions…
      (a) I am not sure if there ever was a trend… since I didn’t come across many such cases from the past and since getting into Columbia, haven’t come across anyone (yes, anyone) with such instances in any of the top 5 schools. That being said, most students I have seen doing second MBA from India have preferred to go for 1-year programs primarily in UK (LBS, Oxford) and Europe (INSEAD, IMD)
      (b) Academics are definitely important esp. the quantitative coursework. If you’ve put in 4-5 years while applying then overall academic grades wouldn’t really be high on the admissions committee’s list.

      • Ajit
        September 17, 2011 at 9:29 pm

        Thanks for the reply 🙂 You said you haven’t seen second mba cases in the top 5 schools. But in of your earlier comments to someone else you state that you’ve found second MBA students at every ivy league school barring Stanford. Is it that you knew of cases before you joined but there haven’t been any recent cases?

  24. September 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    @ Ajit

    I just realized my reply to you latest message didn’t get published…

    When I said that there were second MBA students in most ivy league schools, I meant people from quite a few years ago… this was when I was trying to track if any IIM alumni had also pursued a second MBA.

    However, in my time (i.e., last 3-4 years), I have only seen second MBA applicants from India going to UK (LBS, Oxford) and Europe (INSEAD, IMD).

  25. Gaurav
    September 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Moid,
    First of all, i will like to thank you for maintaining this blog so diligently. I stumbled on this blog while doing research on my second MBA.

    I am planning to apply to Columbia this year. Have already been to one information session at Uris Hall. I work in an IT consulting company in the financial district. I have a GMAT score of 740 and decent acads. I am looking to talk to a current student like you to get a better feel of the school, I will greatly appreciate it if you could the id

    • Gaurav
      September 26, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      Share an Id where I can write to you.


      • September 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm

        @ Gaurav

        Thanks for your kind words. Happy to talk to you about my experiences at Columbia Business School. You can write to me at MMohammed12@gsb.columbia.edu

  26. John
    October 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Hi Moid,

    I have seen you mentioning your gpa out of 4. How do you convert your Indian gpas to the American system?

    • October 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      @ John

      I am not sure what scale I used back then… but it was basically done at a course-by-course level, something like 90+ is 4, 80-90 is 3.5, etc. If I find it in my archives, will let you know.

      If you’re looking to apply to business schools, then you can ask the respective schools to provide you with a conversion chart or in most cases these days, they are receptive to seeing it in whatever metric grades were originally issued.

  27. Ravish
    October 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Hi Moid

    I found you bold while doing research on 2nd MBA. You are rellly doing a good job here. Please help me out with few Qs that I have below. Before that I will give you my profile in brief.

    BACKGROUND: B.Engg 70%; M.Engg 64%; MBA (Fin & Mkt) 64%, Age 29. Extra Currics not much (Worked with few NGOs during my BE and also member of the Social Service Club at my current employer)
    WORK EX: 2 yrs work-x in IT after my M.E. and 2.5 yrs work-x in a financial company after my MBA.
    PROFILE: My work-ex post MBA is into investment in infrastructure companies/projects, have exposure in variety of domains like roads, ports, water distribution, multilevel car parkings. Have worked on deal structuring using debt / equity/ quasi equity / structured products.
    FUTURE OBJECTIVE: Career Objective is to work with a infra private equity company /fund
    Or with International banks like World Bank/ IFC / ADB etc
    Or with a company which invests / consults in infrastructure space
    Or with a international bank like HSBC etc (all of them have project financing SBUs)
    REASON for 2nd MBA:
    1. To improve my knowledge of Finance (in areas like valuations, risk management, bonds etc. as my first MBA was mostly a light mix of Fin and Mkt both)
    2. As I intend to work internationally, I need that kind of exposure and a good platform to launch my career.
    ACHIEVEMENTS: I am doing really well in my current profile. Recently been promoted to AVP from Manager. Have done investments worth INR 300 crore (60 million USD) and managing/monitoring an overall portfolio worth INR 1000 crores (200 million USD). Was awarded the best researcher award for the year 2011 for the leading the initiative into a new sector (Ports).
    In my first job prior to MBA, I have done very well and was recommended for promotion when I left for MBA. Will get very good professional recommendation from both the places.
    GMAT Score: 680 😦 … thats the sad part of the story.

    Please address my following few queries:
    Q1. Mostly I am looking at only 1 yr programs like at INSEAD. But for good schools like CBS or Stern etc, might chuck this. Problem is, in 1 yr courses at say Kellog or CBS (15 mnth) or Cornell. There is no summer, which is considered imp for placements in US. Whats your take on that?
    Q2. How does my profile look for places like CBS or Sloan or Stern etc.?
    Q3. Any idea about this school IE in Spain (though it is constantly amoung the top 10 for last couple of years but still kinda low on visibility / brand value i feel). Actually they have 1 yr MBA which I can combine with another course in Masters in Advance Finance and complete it together in 21 months.

    • October 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      @ Ravish

      Q1. If one is looking to switch careers, like in your case, a summer internship is recommended especially when in schools where part of the class takes that (i.e., Kellogg, Columbia). However, if you’re in a school which offers a 1-year program only, it wouldn’t hurt since every student is at the same level.

      Q2. While it is difficult to judge any profile, one thing that stands out is your GMAT score. Typically, the Indian applicant pool is very competitive in ivy league schools and with Indian applicants doing very well on GMAT, the average goes upwards of 720-730. Unless you consider retaking the test, it could be a liability in your application.

      Q3. I know of IE being a good school but then have no detailed knowledge about that. However, since you already have 2 Masters, you might want to consider an MS in Finance from schools like LBS, Oxford Said…. rather than another MBA. With there being a small interval between different masters program, you could face a challenge in justifying another MBA…

  28. S.M.
    November 23, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Hi Moid

    I have been working in an FMCG major for the past 6 months, having done my PGDBM in Sales & Marketing from XLRI this June. Prior to that I did my engg from an IIT. Having joined XL as a fresher, I could not elicit the same learning as I would have with some “real world” experience. Hence, I want to pursue a second MBA in Marketing from a top 10 US or top 5 Europe once I have sufficient managerial experience and domain expertise in sales & marketing. I am 24 and hence can invest the next 3 years in building the requisite professional experience in terms of quality.
    I understand that forming a compelling enough reason for the second mba would be important for me to have any chances of making it to a top US/Europe school, and am working to build a cogent enough case for the same.

    Moid, need your help in answering the pivotal questions:
    1. Which schools should I be targeting, i.e. realistic chances of making it and quality of networking & course content in marketing?
    2. Financing options available.

    Thank You!


    • November 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      @ S.M.

      Answering your questions…

      1. With your stellar background and the control you have on how you can chart your post-XL journey, I feel all schools (except for Stanford which explicitly doesn’t admit second MBA applicants) are a good bet for you. At a high level, you can very well look at the top US schools (H/W/Columbia/Kellogg/MIT/Tuck, and Chicago Booth) and then European schools (LBS/INSEAD). You can further filter this school list based on their marketing curriculum and career prospects therein. I am not so knowledgeable about every school on that front but definitely Kellogg does stand out for Marketing… That being said, the industry values graduates from all these top programs as being generalists and so you would have a great shot at a marketing career from any of the top schools. If you have to choose between a lower-ranked marketing school vs. a top-ranked generalist school, I would any day go for the latter.

      2. I am not familiar about financing for non-US schools. Within the US, most of the aforementioned schools (except Columbia) have their no-cosigner loan arrangements whereby the school guarantees your loan with a US bank. At Columbia, they don’t have this arrangement so you would have to find someone (US citizen/ Permanent Resident) to cosign your loan. Many Indian students take part loans from India (SBI/PNB and family) and then find US contacts to cosign the remaining part. Since you’ve a few years before you have to bother about that, you should try and save as much as you can (even though it might just cover a part of your MBA expenses). The lesser the liability, the better 🙂

      Good luck!

  29. Rash-me
    December 26, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Hi! That’s a great post and answered many questions that i’ve been pondering but i still have a few qs that i’d love to have answered. I am an iimk grad. I joined bschool with barely ten months IT experience. I’ve spent the past 3.5 years since graduation at sebi, in their corporate restructuring division. I was part of the team that worked on the newly released indian takeover regulations. I have a rather good academic background- university rank-holder in tenth and twelfth and top 30 at my b-school. I want to go to b-school again because i feel i did not know what to focus on during my iim days and also that i’ll need an internationally recognized degree to have career-mobility. 1. I am wondering whether it’ll be better to have a couple of years in an indian i-bank before angling for an mba abroad. 2. Also, would my background preclude the option of a career in consulting? I have rather severe financial constraints (sebi isn’t the best of paymasters :->) and would need a near cent percent loan. 3. Which should i aim at- a one year mba from insead or lbs or a two year one from the us? I would like to work abroad once i have my second mba. 4. Have heard that it is tough for international students to get placed even at the best global b-schools and that no employer is willing to sponsor work-visas. How true is that? Tia

    • January 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      @ Rash-me

      Thanks for your feedback about the post.

      Answering your questions…

      1. I started business school with 5 years experience since IIM and had no experience after undergrad. So, from a numbers perspective, you can look at applying to business schools in the next admission season. As for what kind of experience you need to add to your profile, it is hard to give any guidance on. But, your SEBI experience sounds unique and very compelling to build a strong profile in itself.

      2. Consulting recruiting is fairly neutral to the kind of experience you have prior to business school… they are looking for some general skills viz. problem solving, leadership et al which can be sufficiently showcased from an experience like yours as well. So, if consulting is where your orientation is shifting towards, it is absolutely possible.

      3. Taking into account (a) your financial constraints, and (b) consulting orientation, INSEAD is a great option since it’s amongst the biggest non-US recruiting ground for leading consulting firms. However, do keep in mind the geographical options you would have to work based on which school you go to. Studying outside U.S. might make it difficult for you to recruit for careers in the U.S. and in my opinion, just the sheer number of U.S. offices for any of these consulting firms makes it difficult to not consider U.S. business schools.

      4. What you’ve heard is fairly true for industry roles (e.g., PepsiCo, P&G, Unilever et al) but for consulting firms and bulge-bracket banks, international students don’t have such visa issues. However, the other issue international students face in consulting and banking is the competition… since a big number of students come with prior experience in these very companies thereby having a strong advantage. That being said, I was a “pure” international students and still was fortunate to be offers jobs at the top-tier consulting firms for their U.S. offices.

      Hope this helps. Good luck!

  30. February 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Moid,

    Great post about second MBA indeed. Sort of a guiding light for some of us aspirants indeed! I am an engineer and an IIMK graduate (2011 batch) working in a Big 4 consulting firm with no pre-MBA work-ex. What I was curious about is since I have sufficent time (2 yrs) before I start applying for colleges, what else can I work on other than my work-ex (not only from an admissions perspective but also placements in the next MBA :))?

    • February 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      @ Ankit

      I’m glad this helps in orienting your plan for second MBA… a couple of suggestions based on your note:

      1. Be very careful about how you time it… since applying with just 2 years of total experience might become a liability as average work experience here is around 5 years… and that too first MBA aspirants.

      2. It helps to have clarity on what kind of career aspirations you have for the long-term and obviously, immediately after the second MBA. So, try and align your career steps from now on towards that.

      3. If you’re considering strategy consulting or investment banking (as I suspect most people to do), they basically look for areas like leadership potential, analytical horsepower, academic excellence, and professional success. So, make sure your on-the-job and off-the-job activities give you ample means to practice and showcase several of these parameters. And in fact, the admissions office is also looking for the same characteristics.

      4. Plan your MBA admission cycle and accordingly get your TOEFL and GMAT done giving yourself sufficient time to learn about your target schools, and also work on your admissions application.

      Good luck!

      • February 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

        @ Ankit

        And yes, do read my replies to several earlier comments… since I have pretty much covered most of the general questions that you might have on your mind.

      • February 11, 2012 at 6:26 am

        Hi Moid,

        Thank you so much for the reply. I did go through all the comments and had many of my questions answered. A couple of them which are more specific in nature still remain. Do you mind if I ask them over the mail?

  31. superwoman_83
    March 10, 2012 at 4:19 am

    HI there.. was really nice to see ur blog.
    My hubby is on his way persuing his dream towards his 2nd mba.. & we’ve been scouting on what exactly do the IV league schools really look at. (as in wht will really help to convince them ) His profile has been good. A basic engg , BE from University of Mumbai, then a work ex of 7 yrs, (total 10 yrs of work Ex till date ) then went ahead & did his MBA for university of strathclyde (UK) an executive MBA while he was workin in Dubai. Graduated from his mba in 2009. His acads show a clear progression, also his CV is great, from being a engg, to sales manager to heading a branch to setting up business in a new location in the middle east to completely taking it to the highest level of success. Getting an MBA from an IV league B school has always been his dream, but cudnt fulfill it earlier due to other commitments. Target colleges are : Harward, Wharton, INSEAD, LBS… (basically the top 5) Intends in the near future to be a global entrepuener… But we all know convincing the admissions committee isnt an easy task. Esp his 1st MBA is also from a uni which was then in the top 30 list (back in 2006) & also not quite far enough dat he’s done his 1st MBA, Besides getting a 760+ GMAT score, what else would the committe find convincing enough & strong enough a reason ??? would be nice if u can throw some light on this. Thanks

    • March 10, 2012 at 4:40 am

      Hi Superwoman 🙂

      Good to know of your hubby’s plans… it is really impressive that he is focused on pursuing an MBA at this point in his career. From what I know about the admissions process at Columbia (and it’s going to be very similar across other schools also), these schools prefer to have people with relatively more years of experience (8+ years) apply to the Executive MBA programs than full-time MBA programs. Also, just a 2-year gap between the first and second MBA might be a bit of a liability. While I am in no way trying to discourage, I am proposing that you both keep this in mind as you make the big decision on this matter. In terms of academic experience, it is very similar to the full-time MBA program though a bit more spaced out (being on weekends) and as far as career opportunities are concerned, same doors open up pretty much.

      That being said, irrespective of whether it is a first or a second MBA, the school looks for spikes in minimum 2-3 areas from the following: leadership potential, analytical horsepower, academic excellence, and professional success. This would be in the context of the job position and industry so one doesn’t have to worry about standard expectations. In your hubby’s context, academic excellence parameter is a bit insignificant (owing to the large time gap since then) and a very high GMAT score will more than compensate for it. So, he has to now focus on having at least two spikes in the other three areas.

      As for the career story, with his conviction, I am presuming that he has a “genuine” solid reason behind pursuing this… so he should continue to build up on that and maybe adapt the story a little bit to make it more compelling. I kinda pretty much knew why I wanted this second MBA and then I worked on my story keeping that in mind. Hope I was helpful here.

      All the very best with the process!

  32. Sid
    March 19, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Hey Moid, great job with the blog and thank you for this rare trove of information. I am currently pursuing my MBA from a tier-2 b-school, have barely 10 months of experience, done engineering from university of Mumbai and have acads on the lower side during my graduation. I am considering a second MBA and my question is that is it realistic to target top US b-schools with this profile? also, what can i do to bring my profile to a level where it can be considered? As my current b-school is not all that reputed, placement in top firms may not be possible. Apart from gathering tons of work-ex, what can I do?


    • March 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      @ Sid

      Thanks for your kind words. To answer it simply, nothing is unrealistic… you can definitely make a compelling attempt at good US business schools… at the moment though, top-tier schools might seem like a stretch but next tier schools should be a match. However, there’s still time between now and when you apply to be able to improve your profile.

      There is no clear mantra on actions to be taken to improve your profile… but as I have stated on numerous occasions on this blog, you should try and create unique strengths for yourself on a couple of dimensions. If academics is not your forte, then you should try and look for these strengths in these dimensions – professional experience, extra-curricular achievements, or leadership potential. Given that your current placements might not be as good as you wish it to be, you should try and focus on taking up a role where you can really learn and deliver at the same time… work content should be good even if the firm brand name isn’t so great. At the same time, take out time to pursue off-work activities that you’re passionate about and see if you can use that platform to showcase your leadership potential / personal impact et al. Good luck!

  33. Abhi
    April 11, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Hi Moid, the replies here are really insightful. I had few questions specific to my profile and need your help on the same.

    Profile: I am a 2003 MBA from MDI, Gurgaon and have now worked for 10 years (1 year pre ex). Currently, I am working for an MNC bank at mid level position.
    (Q-1) Will it make sense to do 2nd MBA after 10 years work ex? I am currently 32 years old. Are the risks too high or is it reasonable to apply? Are there successful examples?
    (Q-2) Trigger for this is my desire to move into strategic management/consulting role. Will top tier consultants be willing to look at my profile? What are the chances of getting through?
    (Q-3) I want to do a 1 year MBA. Which will be best B schools to apply considering my work ex and desire to get into consulting?
    (Q-4) I gave GMAT last week and scored 710. How good is the score, if I want best of schools?

    • April 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      @ Abhi

      1. I recently came across one person who was an IIM graduate… class of 2002 and pursued his second MBA from Kellogg (1-yr program) and is joining a leading strategy consulting firm. So, in short, there is this one successful example… but at the same time, there could be a few not-so-great examples implying there is some risk you need to take.

      2. Again my experience and also of the person I referred to above… indicates that consulting firms are fairly open to that so long as you don’t mind starting from the Associate level.

      3. If you plan to explore only 1-yr MBA programs, then there are very few options… in the US, it’s either Kellogg or Columbia (J-term… isn’t really a 1-yr but more like a 15-month program). In Europe, INSEAD and then LBS (again a 15-month program) are available options. Most second MBA students I have heard of pursuing 1-yr MBA programs go to either Kellogg or INSEAD.

      4. You’re in the same pool as other Indian applicants so your score is judged relatively. Being above 700 is like a bare minimum for almost all top schools… as for how much above 700 it should be, it depends on how your remaining profiles shapes up to be… if there are spikes in other aspects of your application, 710 is good enough to support your candidacy. On an average, Indian applicants score around 720-730.

      Hope this helps!

  34. Abhi
    April 17, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Thanks Moid. That’s useful. Wanted to understand from your view if this 2nd MBA will make sense? Would it make more sense to do an executive MBA at this juncture than just 1 year MBA?

    • April 17, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      @ Abhi

      Executive MBA in the US is basically a part-time MBA and doesn’t help if one is looking for a career change or new job as it is designed for people to grow within their current orgs.

  35. R P
    May 3, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Hi Moid, I have 3 yrs of work ex pre my first MBA from IIM Bangalore … did my UG from IIT KGP … Can i apply after 5 yrs of working post MBA which would make it a total of 8 years of work ex … i see you have mentioned that 8+ years of work ex is considered not so good for full time MBA and they prefer them to go for executive MBA ????

    • May 4, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      @ RP

      That was my firm opinion until I met an IIM graduate who went to a top business school after 8 years of experience… and he partly attested my views but added that most second MBA aspirants who have spent that long after their first MBA end up going to 1-yr programs like INSEAD, Kellogg, LBS… Now, I don’t know the causality here but seems like 1-yr MBA seems a better fit if not an Executive MBA.

  36. Rohit Khera
    June 30, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Hi Moid!! Its encouraging to see you aspiring for greater professional heights. After going through the entire blog, I felt compelled enough to put forward my case.

    I have graduated from NIT with a CGP of 8.55 in 2010 and was then employed with an automobile MNC in their RnD wing. However, seeing the technical side of things was interested to shift to the commercial/ management side of things. Hence, appeared for CAT and managed to get a seat at one of the IITs for pursuing MBA 2012-14 batch. Consequently, I have resigned from my job and waiting for the classes to begin. But, I strongly believe that this might not be the very best of opportunities and so am planning to apply for some good US B schools right this year for 2013-15 session. I gave GMAT last week and scored 750 (had a prepared for cat). I doubt if there had been any such cases of students leaving a school midway for some better school. Furthermore, I have already left my job so might be a couple of months before I can bag another one – this in case u advise to leave IIT this year and work before applying.

    Any inputs in this regard will be appreciated. Thanks.

    • July 5, 2012 at 10:02 am

      @Rohit Khera

      Good to know about your profile… As for applying to U.S. business schools,
      – Your GMAT score is great so that is definitely helpful.
      – I have no knowledge of someone shifting schools in the middle but given your plans of a U.S. MBA, I think you’re better of not doing your Indian MBA since that is a big liability to overcome esp. knowing that you’re yet to start that.
      – For admissions to U.S. business schools, the typical norm viz. work experience is around 4-5 years. Very few cases that I know of less experience than that from Indian students has been IITians working for 3 years both locally and internationally. Given that you just have 2 years, I am not sure if this will help you in any way to apply this year.

      Bottom line, my personal opinion would have been to get back to working again (maybe use this transition to develop your career story for an MBA so your career movements are logical), and then possibly go through the admissions process in U.S. after a couple of years. And this interim period can be used to work on building a solid profile towards a compelling admissions application.

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  38. August 31, 2012 at 3:58 am

    hey, i am a MBA aspirant and if i decide to apply for one, it will be by second and that is how i came across your blog… well written one…
    i had one question – how does one arrange finances for an international mba… can i get finance from the US college or do i have to arrange it from india… what kind of mortgage may be required?

    • April 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Hope it isn’t too late for my response… have been off the blog radar for a while. Financing varies by school… some top tier schools have school-backed loans which make it very easy to get all your financing done in the US. For other schools, you can either take loans from your home country and/or from US using a personal friend/ family member as a co-signor.

  39. August 31, 2012 at 4:00 am

    hey, i am a MBA aspirant and if i decide to apply for one, it will be by second and that is how i came across your blog… well written one…
    i had one question – how does one arrange finances for an international mba… can i get finance from the US college or do i have to arrange it from india… what kind of mortgage may be required?

  40. Fenny
    September 3, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Hi Moid, First of all thanks for all your insightful replies regarding pursuing a second mba.

    It would be great if you could advise what would be more apt for me based on my profile below:
    I have done B.E and then a MBA from full time from Symbiosis. I had passed out two years ago and since have been working in a small time management consultancy in the middle east. I would like to work in a top notch consulting firm like Mckinsey, Bain & co etc. But based on my current qualifications I have not being able to make the cut.

    a) Would you suggest I work for a few years then apply for these top level consulting or would pursuing a second mba in a top international b-school help my cause.

    b) If doing a second mba is more apt. Is pursing 1 year program better than the regular 2 year program ?

    Your inputs in this regard would be highly appreciated

    • April 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Fenny, as I mentioned in this or another post on this blog, there is no defined path to get to a top-tier management consulting firm. Definitely an MBA from a top-tier international business school would provide you that opportunity to recruit for such firms, I have also seen folks laterally get into some of these firm. The key is to demonstrate all the relevant skills required in your current role and build your profile to appeal to such firms.

      I have seen people get into top tier consulting firms with second MBAs from both 1-year and 2-year programs. If I have to characterize the applicability, I think people with higher than 7 years of experience end up doing the 1-year MBA while others go for the 2-year program. That being said, as you might already know, 1-year programs are only available at select top-tier schools (notably, Kellogg, INSEAD, and LBS).

  41. cpt art
    October 28, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Hi Moid … Good stuff .. really helpful going through this and would be great if you could give me some advice on the same

    Bckgrnd: NIT, IIM straight after grad, 4 yrs workex with ITC.. above avg acads

    The thing is that my work ex is primarily in the field of mkt research followed by a stint in brands …

    Key reason for a 2nd MBA frankly is to switch to the big 4

    Was thinking of a 1yr MBA course for the same.

    1. With other factors (GMAT etc, would get excellent work recos) going my way, would an INSEAD or a Kellogs be a good bet or aiming too high

    2. Should i wait for another year in brands and then go for the kill

    3. Is 1 yr actually a good option or should i explore 2 as well keeping in mind my tgt companies and my exp.I read here tht with a switch it may not be a good idea to pursue a 1 yr


    • April 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Hi, you seem to have some solid background. Great!

      Coming to second MBA… there is no formulaic way. If you can show that you have enough experience to showcase your skills in leadership, personal impact, and drive/ initiative… you should be good to apply to schools. As far as choosing schools is concerned, my recommendation is always to spread the net and then make the call later… the last thing you would want is to be very selective ahead of the process and then not be successful anywhere – it’s a trade-off of risking losing another year vs. saving time n application fees.

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  43. stonewall
    December 26, 2012 at 6:14 am

    Hi Modi

    Yours was the second link in google’s results when i searched for articles on second mba. And i have to say that your blog does not disappoint!

    Great to know that you made it to columbia. I too am contemplating applying for a second mba in 2013. I have a total work ex of 5 years – 2 post engineering from IIT and 3 post mba from IIM.

    However, I have only worked in India – a fact that I feel could well be the kiss of death for my applications. I’d appreciate if you could share any insight that you might on how important is international work experience when applying to american b-schools.


    • stonewall
      December 26, 2012 at 6:17 am

      *Moid! Typo!!! 🙂

      • April 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

        Hey stonewall (love your alias),

        Thanks for your feedback. Having a domestic experience is not really a kiss of death… but the bar could be higher as you need something else on your application to make you stand out. If you can show that by the content of your work experience, other aspects of your profile, you are in good shape. For those who work internationally, that becomes one additional element of differentiation and hence people see that as a desired thing.

        There are several Indian students I know from US business schools who made it with no international experience. So, don’t lose hope… all the best!

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  49. Ankur
    August 7, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Hi Moid,

    I am applying to Columbia MBA this year and have a similar educational background as yours i.e. IIM grad followed by 4 years (upon matriculation) of investment banking experience. Wanted to touch base with you to get some perspective on Columbia and how the programme will be helpful for me given prior business education from IIM. Request if you could help me with your coordinates.


  50. Ankur
    August 7, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Correction: By similar profile I meant, applying to Columbia after IIM and not the inv. banking bit 🙂

  51. Shefali
    December 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Moid,

    Congratulations on a very insightful and descriptive account of your journey to Columbia! I am a second MBA aspirant to the Class of 2017 and I was hoping to be able to connect with you over Skype or mail and gain from your experience. Would it be possible to have your mailing or Skype details?

  52. Tina
    October 27, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Your article is interesting, it seems you really want to progress in your life and not just be compromised with your first MBA.
    So, can you tell us what happened? Are you studying your second MBA now? Have you met second MBAers?


  53. November 8, 2010 at 3:20 am

    @ Tina: It’s not so much about doing a second MBA than not ceasing to learn as much as I could. Having spent 5 years in the industry, I realized that there are certain skills and a couple of industries I would want to explore… again a consequence of going for the first MBA right after undergrad with no work experience. Exploring various options (MBA and non-MBA programs), I realized that an ivy league MBA would serve my purposes. And so, here I am at Columbia Business School. I did meet a few classmates who are here for their second MBA!

  1. March 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm
  2. February 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm
  3. October 21, 2014 at 10:30 am

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