The Tuesday Q&A: Should I Switch Jobs to Improve My Chances?

QUESTION:

I am an Indian male working for an IT company. I have about 9 months of job experience. I understand that business schools get a lot of applications from Indian IT males each year and it is very difficult to stand out in such a crowd of applications with almost similar profiles. I am thinking of quitting my current job and working for an NGO. Will that improve my chances at a business school? If yes, then should that NGO be an internationally recognized NGO or any NGO from my native country will do?

ANSWER:

You are correct, man, that there is a LOT of competition among Indian IT males applying for business school. And you are also correct that you’re going to have to work hard to stand out among the crowd. You’re a very smart guy .

Now, just HOW you stand out is the question

Applying to work at an NGO may help your chances… and it also may not. Yes, standing out is going to be a VERY important challenge for you, but I’d say it’s even more important to be successful. What do I mean?

You gotta have some important responsibilities at work, good advancement and good achievements. And that’s important no matter where you are. So if you’re on a good track at your current job, you’ve gotten a lot of leadership experience and have the potential to do even more impressive things (bonus of those things happen to be International in nature), leaving may not be the best thing for you. You can use all of those experiences to your advantage and if you frame them correctly, they could absolutely stand out in your application.

If you’re only going to move to an NGO to try and improve your chances for b-school, I wouldn’t recommend it. If, however, you are really passionate about it and have lots of opportunities for leadership there, then yes. Go there. Do great things. Experience new things. But, again, if you are only thinking of doing it to “Be Original,” I’m not sure it’s the best idea.

Hope that gives you a little clarity,

— Jon Frank

MBA Round 1 Application Timeline