Dear Mentor:

If I get an MBA in the US, will I be affected by racism?

I've done Bachelor of Engineering in Printing Technology. I'm interested in doing MBA from a top 10 MBA schools in the US. I did Diploma in Printing Technology after my 10th standard and worked for 2+ years before joining Engineering. I completed my engineering in the year 2000. I am currently working as head of a marketing division in a premier print and publishing company in Bangalore. My TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language] score is 610 and GMAT [Graduate Management Aptitude Test] score is 690. With the work experience of nearly 5 years and my scores, can you please tell me about the US colleges on which I am suppose to concentrate for MBA? What are the kind of average salaries Indian students completing MBA in Marketing from the top 10 US colleges are getting? How has the recession in the US economy has affected them? Will racism play a major role in getting campus recruitment in the US? I'm worried because I am an Indian planning to work for a US company. I'll be grateful to you if you could send me some contacts of Indian MBA Student in the top 20 MBA schools in USA. Thank you.

Late and Concerned, Banglore, India

Dear Late and Concerned:

The iMahal Authoritative Guide for Studying the America and Canada answers your key questions on selecting colleges, applying for admission and financial aid, and improving your chances of success. You may wish to pay particular attention to the Chapter on Applying for Admission and Financial Aid. You are probably late for applying to start your MBA this fall. Top MBA schools in the US have typically three deadlines: first - early admission for which the deadline is October; second - deadline around December-January; third - the last deadline around March-April. Alternatively, they have rolling admissions - that is, they give admissions on an on-going basis as the applications come in. There are no standard rules, so you have to refer to the specific deadlines for your target colleges.

Unlike India, the admission criterion for MBA in the US is not one-dimensional, based strictly on your performance on the entrance exam such as the GMAT. Other criteria include your past academic performance, reputation of your colleges, letters of recommendation, personal essays, and so on. However, your GMAT score can be used as a rough guide for selecting colleges, for which you can use the iMahal College Finder in the iMahal Education Section.

The average salaries for students graduating form the top MBA schools in the US are around $85,000 per year. Again, your should look at the specifics of your target schools and they would offer you information on the average starting salaries of their graduates.

Consideration of a recession - now or in the future - is not particularly relevant. Typically you would start applying for admission about a year before you start the program, and then the program itself takes 2 years to complete. No one can predict the state of the US or world economy 2-3 years hence. What typically does happen to the graduating MBA students during a recession is that the job opportunities are fewer with fewer employers but the salary itself is not effected much. The impact is nominal on those graduating from the top MBA schools; it is felt more severely by those graduating from 2nd and 3rd tier schools.

Now comes the issue of racism. You should get that out of your head. If anything, Indians are held in high regard in the US. Of all the ethnic groups in the US, Indian have the highest average household income and the highest average level of education. Regardless, one should focus on what one can do and do one's best, rather than focus on what others would do to one. That is an integral part of the formula for success.

You may face a legal issue that you must not confuse with racism. You will be an international student in the US, and this issue applies to all international students regardless of their country of origin. You legal status in the US imposes certain employment constraints on you. Prospective employers would have to deal with additional legal efforts to employ you beyond the 12-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) period. Employers would want to take on such additional costs and risks only if you are either an outstanding recruit or they can not find a permanent US resident or citizen. There is no good reason to complain about this: the situation for international students is similar in all countries, including India. In fact, the situation is arguably most lenient in the US, given is competitive market economy.

You can contact the students associations at various colleges. We offer the List of Indian Student Associations in the US in the iMahal Education Channel.

Dear Mentor: Mainpage More Questions and Answers


   Search Help

Tell a friend about this webpage!