Why Lakshman chose MIM over MBA?
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
The good old MBA vs MiM debate has been a hot favorite for aspiring candidates, alumni, and admissions consultants alike. While there is no right or wrong answer to that, as for probably everything else in life, it really comes down to what you are looking for at that point of time as an individual. Here, we share with you Lakshman’s extremely reflective journey of always wanting to do an MBA and ending up pursuing the unsung hero - an MiM.
Right from the alleys of St. Gallen, here is Lakshman’s story for you!
My journey to the St. Gallen MiM program started very early, when I did not even think of pursuing an MiM. Naturally, I was inclined towards pursuing an MBA and started my research with deferred MBA programs (2+2 MBA programs) around the world. While I knew that I did not have the strongest profile to apply to these programs offered by some of the best schools across the globe, I wanted to get an insight into the actual application process. I wanted to understand what these schools are looking for in candidates and how different applications are structured. The entire process also helped me identify the aspects of my profile that I needed to strengthen further and understand what I should do next amongst a multitude of options.
After gaining some work-experience, I opted for a profile evaluation with an admissions consultant to further my understanding and gain a third person’s perspective. It was that conversation which made the difference! I learnt that I needed to work for a few more years to add on to the leadership and managerial aspect of my profile. As luck would have it, I ended up downloading the brochure for the MiM program at HEC. Now my MBA-oriented mind thought that if I have downloaded it, why not give it a read? That was my first rendezvous with an MiM program, and I have to say, a great one at that.
I realized that an MiM was way more suited to my short and long-term goals, in terms of what I wished to gain out of my postgraduate education. There were multiple things which stood out - the curriculum, the program offerings matched with my expectations and the fee, obviously. That is when I decided to delve into this further and instead apply to an MiM program.
When I specifically looked at the SIM program being offered by St. Gallen, the curriculum, with its emphasis on reflections, leadership, and social responsibility, really appealed to me. Since my prior professional experience was more focused on startups and the social sector, St. Gallen became an obvious choice. I ended up applying to both HEC and St. Gallen and was fortunate to get selected for the SIM program.
St. Gallen is known for its unique application process. In addition to the usual statement of purpose or motivation essays, it also includes video interviews. Especially for St. Gallen, there is not as much specific emphasis on just the motivation essay. It follows a very holistic approach in terms of carefully assessing candidates’ profile based on academic background, professional experience and extra-curriculars. The questions that they pose are aimed at achieving a much deeper insight into who you are as a person. The duration given for thinking about your answer and then actually giving your answer varies depending on the type of question asked. To tackle these video essays and to really showcase your authentic personality, it is imperative that you practice a couple of mock questions. I repeat, do not attempt them without practicing!
I think a few key pieces of advice from my personal experience that I would like to share with aspiring applicants to either of these programs would be to start early and do not leave things for the last minute; there is a lot that goes into submitting a good application. Secondly, and I think most pertinently, do not focus on what the admissions committee would like to see in an application - just be authentic and try to be the best version of yourself. Do not try to fit in; instead, show what unique values you can add on to their class!
My experience at St. Gallen has been great in several aspects, especially since I come from a purely non-business background. There was a lot for me to explore, gain and learn and the opportunity to build a strong, culturally diverse network gave unparalleled exposure. Another thing which stood out in my experience at St. Gallen was the heavy emphasis on communication-based learning, which was further amplified by the diversity.
Staying true to the ‘reflections’ aspect of the curriculum at St. Gallen, I definitely have been able to introspect deeper about what motivates me, what I enjoy learning and doing and what I am eventually looking for. It has widened my horizon and given me a lot more perspective about the things that I would want to do and achieve in future. But my most important learning has been that if you bring something different to the table, you always have a chance! Always ponder upon that and highlight it when you are reaching out to people or applying. Communicate your passions, your reasons for doing something, the choices you have made and how all of them tie together to help you steer in the direction you eventually wish to head in.
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