by Yasmine Qureshi
This year LinkedIn welcomed 20 million members from India with Brazil trailing not far behind with 10 million. These emerging market BRIC countries have a lot in common, and what one lacks the other complements. BRIC refers to countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China who are set to be the next economic powerhouses of the mid 21st century. Historically, higher education in developing countries has been linked to wealth. However, with advancements in technology, a rising- middle class emerged in both Brazil and India.
India is well known for its plethora of Engineering and IT professionals who annually apply for the MBA admissions rounds. These particular candidates, from an admissions perspective often lack soft skills. According to a study featured on the WSJ, “75% of technical graduates and more than 85% of general graduates are unemployable by India’s high-growth global industries, including information technology and call centres” results from assessment tests administered by the National Association of Software and Services Companies. These stark figures paint a picture of a factory- like process of engineers rolling out of India. To a university admissions team, especially from an MBA programme, a resume filled with ‘JAVA’, a degree in Engineering and a 710 GMAT is a dime a dozen. Diversifying soft skills, as well as demonstrating leadership and management qualities, is highly sought- after in India.
In contrast, Brazil boasts MBA candidates with strong backgrounds in the fields of manufacturing, technology/software and the healthcare/pharmaceutical industries. Consulting is also a very popular field for Brazilians. The average Brazilian MBA candidate generally works in marketing with a background in either finance or consulting. Brazil also hosts an emerging middle class but unlike India, Brazilians are often quite fluent in several languages- English and Portuguese being the primary ones. Literacy rates are higher in Brazil, but India has more students in the sciences. Graduates from both of these countries want to study in North America; the American dream is still attractive. Professionals and students alike from Brazil and India can learn a lot from one another. There is no perfect formula for an MBA applicant, but there is definitely room for improvement on both sides.