Understanding the admissions process of business schools is a matter of great importance for an MBA aspirant. Knowing what a business school looks for in a candidate is a part of their entire admissions process.

The admissions office at Great Lakes Institute of Management is constantly flooded with questions on the admissions criteria, entrance score cut-offs, profile-based evaluation and the personal interview process for the one-year Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM). So here’s a ready reckoner for all applicants.

Who is the PGPM program for?

The PGPM is a one-year fast-track MBA program meant for professionals with two or more years of experience. We admit applicants with diverse experience in various industries who can contribute to the peer learning experience. Learn more about how a one-year MBA is more beneficial for experienced professionals here.

Why is it a suitable option for experienced professionals?

Taking a break for an MBA is often a tough decision for someone who has been in the industry, has professional and personal commitments, and liabilities. Two years of opportunity cost in the form of foregone income makes the decision even more difficult. One would want to get back to the industry and commitments as soon as one can. A one-year MBA directly cuts down this opportunity cost by half and lets you get back to a job in one year. At the end of two years after beginning your MBA journey, you are in a position to earn significantly higher return on investment with a one-year MBA than a two-year one. Learn more about the ROI on a One Year MBA here.

What makes you eligible for the PGPM at Great Lakes Institute of Management?

Shortlisting and final selection for the PGPM at Great Lakes, Chennai as well as Gurgaon campus, is done on a number of parameters. We strongly advocate diversity in a batch and evaluate candidates on various parameters such as professional and academic track record, achievements, initiatives and personality. No single criteria such as an entrance score cut-off or a specific kind of role that you have held at your previous job is a clear indicator of your chances of getting selected. Let us understand the process in detail.

Entrance test scores:

For the current PGPM 2020-2021 batch, we will be accepting test scores for GMAT taken after 1st January, 2017, CAT taken in 2018 and 2019, XAT taken in 2019 and 2020. We do not have definite cut-offs, overall or sectional. Since we are more interested in well-rounded individuals suited for the program, all our shortlisted applicants satisfy the minimum aptitude requirement for it, determined by evaluating their profile as a whole. Typically, our PGPM class consists of students who have scored between 580 and 770 in their GMAT, or a percentile between 85 and 98 in CAT and XAT. Having said this, we have admitted candidates with an impressive track record even if their scores did not fall within the range.

Academic record:

We accept graduates from all disciplines, from recognized institutes, and encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply. We not only look at how you have performed in your exams but otherwise as well. So if you have been awarded for any achievement during your academic life, curricular or extra-curricular, do not forget to mention those. They will give you the competitive advantage to stand out among the rest.

Professional record:

Though we look for leadership potential in our applicants, one question that frequently arises is whether they need to have managerial experience. The answer is “No”! While some of our students do come from management positions, what matters to us is if you’ve demonstrated management capabilities, irrespective of your designation. So if you have played a part in activities such as managing clients, teams, projects, vendors, or even events, the experience would count. You could even be managing a family business or running your own start-up. We look at the quality of your work, your achievements, and the rewards and recognitions you have earned.


We accept candidates across industries. We strongly advocate diversity in the classroom and are open to all kinds of backgrounds. You can be from IT, Mass Media, Marketing Communications, Manufacturing, Automobile, FMCG, Banking and Financial Services, Consulting, Insurance, or Pharmacy, for example. We look at how you have made the most out of your work experience, regardless of which industry you come from.


The PGPM Application has two essays, which help us understand your purpose behind pursuing an MBA, what you bring to the table, your thought process, and how you stand as an individual. This is a critical part of the application and must be patiently and carefully drafted. This is one place where you can talk about specific initiatives that you have taken during your academic, professional and personal life, how you have made an impact on others, how you faced challenges, and how you can leverage all of this during your PGPM journey to benefit your peers. These have to be described in a very specific and coherent manner with clear and authentic examples to substantiate your claims.

Analytical Writing Test:

On the day of the Personal Interview, you will be given a topic to write a short essay on. The topic would be on a specific development in the industry, economy or technology. The answers could be open-ended. We want to understand what you think of the topic at hand and how you form an opinion around it. We will use this impromptu essay to gauge your general awareness, clarity of thought, ethics, and communication skills.

Personal Interview:

The final stage of the selection process, the personal interview, is the stage where we get to know you better on a more personal level. This is where we see how well you represent the profile that represents you on the application form, and how well you can communicate it. We would be testing your general and self-awareness, your strengths and weaknesses, your integrity, and your strength of character, to name a few parameters. This is where we understand how authentic you have been and well you would fit into our PGPM cohort.

Early Interview Process:

Beginning this year, we have started the early interview process for Cycle 1 applicants without a test score. Candidates who have submitted their application for the PGPM with their test registration ID's by 30th November, 2019, would be considered for Cycle 1 interviews basis the strength of their profiles. We would evaluate your profile on the basis of your academic and professional performance and achievements, and applicants with impressive track records will be invited for the personal interview. Once you receive your test scores, you will have 5 days to enter your scores in the application form and submit again. If you make it through the early interview process, you will receive your offer only if your scores have been submitted and considered sufficient based on your profile. If you are not called for the early interview process, you can still submit your scores before Cycle 2 deadline and be considered for the cycle.

Candidates selected for the program through the early interview process would receive their offer letters well before the Cycle 2 applicants do. This would give them about a month extra to manage their commitments, complete all formalities at their workplace and for any education loan that they would require, and prepare themselves for the course.

Begin your application right away!

You would need ample time to craft your application and list out all your initiatives and achievements, write your essay and gather all supporting documents. A half-baked application crafted in a hurry would be counter-productive. Also, do remember to keep yourself abreast with current affairs, read ample of quality material including news, business magazines, self-help books, periodicals. Last but certainly not the least, practice. Practice rigorously for your personal interview. Refer a plethora of material online to help you with this. At the heart of all these tips is the one golden rule – stay authentic!

Click here to learn more about the Great Lakes PGPM program and apply.

<< Back to Blog Home


  • IIT Stuart School of Business
  • Babson
  • Bauer
  • Universite De Bordeaux
  • Hkust
  • UMKC
Back to Top