Turn a layoff into an MBA Admission

Crisis opportunity recession directional sign change

Its all in the news and its all you see people practically talking about. This is the season of layoffs. Workers getting laid off left and right from the biggest companies in the game.

Google recently laid off 12000 of it’s workforce and the CEO of the firm is also looking at taking a pay-cut. Within a span of 3–4 months, 21000 techies were fired from budding Indian startups as well.

It’s appears as all is gloom and doom but there is a silver lining. This could be the time when you can spend time and money in up-skilling yourself.

Why get an MBA during this time?

Top business schools are at their best

A blank sheet of paper with 4–5 wooden blocks at the right side and GENEROUS is written on the left side.
The B-schools are being generous with respect to their rules and it’s wise to play your cards right to benefit from this opportunity.

In the wake of these stunning layoffs, top business schools are bending their rules to attract the top talent flooding the market.

Kellong Northwestern waived the GMAT and GRE exams for laid off tech workers. Top tier elite schools like MIT Sloan and Berkeley also extended round-two deadlines for laid-off employees. More and more schools are following suit.

You are being incentivised to apply for MBA and don’t have to go through as much grind as a regular MBA applicant. Trust me, its not easy scoring a perfect GMAT/GRE score, writing good essays and presenting your best at the interviews. You are being held to lesser standards and honestly, that’s excellent.

Use this time to prepare and strike back when the time is right

A time-tracking sand machine with pink sand, placed on a newspaper.
Plan, prepare, and strike back when the moment arrives.

Especially for early career professionals, whose plans have been upended, this is the time to make a transition. Get an MBA during the recession time and you can have prime employment opportunities when the economy is going strong and companies will be looking to hire more and more.

In all, this is the perfect time to turn a hard time into an opportunity and deliver.

How to prepare for MBA applications as a tech candidate?

Here are solid 5 tips to smoothly ensure your transition to an MBA candidate.

  1. Adapting is a strength
A tree grows out of a hole.
We are defined by our ability to adapt to challenging situations more than by our brilliance.

Unlike popular opinion, schools are not looking for robotic candidates with perfect applications. If you’ve hit some roadblocks, schools will be sympathetic to you provided you explain with great care what lead to the block.

Most candidates make the mistake of priding themselves only on their accomplishments but more than that, its the times when you were beaten down and choose to get up and succeed- these are the times that matter more and are able to show your true potential.

Convey your leadership potential by highlighting some golden moments from your professional life. And be original and true to your story.

As Michelle Obama says, “Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So own your failures the same way you own your success.

2. Highlight your transferable skills

A woman is handling machines, wearing a yellow helmet.
Highlight the skills you’ve earned in your job profile and show how they can be useful post an MBA.

Applying for an MBA is pretty darn competitive, make sure to highlight what you can bring to the table. As a former Tech employee, you can highlight the following skills-

  • Problem-solving- People in tech need to troubleshoot problems often and to come up with creative solutions. Highlight these skills by detailing in depth about a project wherein you solved burning issues.
  • Good articulation skills- Tech workers may need to explain technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders, which is only possible when you are good at articulation.
  • Leadership- Many tech workers take on leadership roles and are responsible for managing teams and projects.
  • Adaptability- Keeping up with the emerging technologies is sine-qua-non of thriving, nay surviving in the tech sector and that requires constant learning. This is a very respectable skill. To be a leaner all through out, no matter how long you’ve been in the sector is admirable.

3. Think long and hard about your career and give a solid view of what it would like

A woman smiles, eyes closed and rests her head on a table.
It’s a good practice to envision your future in free time.

Instead of talking about what you’ve learnt so far, it would be ideal to talk about how you will apply your current knowledge with an MBA and make an impact.

Going on forwards, do you wish to contribute in the tech sector or maybe move inroads in a synthesis of tech+MBA. It’s wise to have a professional view of at least 5 years down the lane.

4. Get solid recommendations

A hand with yellow glove on makes a sign indicating- very good.
Thumbs-up from established professionals in the industry are very very helpful.

Recommendations need to be more than just endorsing you. Specific recommendations that highlight the specific instances wherein you got the chance to highlight your best qualities-this makes for stellar LoRs. This doesn’t mean that you craft the recommendations yourself, authenticity is essential. This simply means you can coach your recommendors. Discuss with them your goals and aspirations with respect to a particular school so they can draft the recommendation accordingly.

5. Highlight your uniqueness

A megaphone has flowers sprouting from the end.
You’ve got a voice, use it to tell your unique story. Don’t sing the same song as everyone else.

Think beyond your accomplishments- no matter how good they are. You’ll be in the workforce for another 2–3 decades or more, dwell upon the purpose in your life. Your aim simply cant be just to earn loads of money, it has to be more than that. Whether its leading a firm or establishing a firm of your own or helping people- talk about it.

Convey your aspirations, goals, dreams and talk about them excitedly. Ad coms are looking for holistic personalities so make sure you present yourself as a rounded human being.

The Final Note

A quote reads- We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails,- Dolly Parton, on a blue background.

This is perfect moment to quietly work behind the scenes and up-skill yourself. Do not feel intimidated or any less because of getting laid off. Like I said, your most challenging moments define you. So put your best foot forward and focus on doing the best.

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