Meet The Top First-Year MBAs From India

Aastha Pitalia-PoetsAndQuants-Classof2018

Aastha Pitalia

London Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:  An engineer-turned-political reformer, a passionate political administrator infusing technology in an extremely bureaucratic political setup.

Hometown: Bhopal, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to walk especially late night.

Undergraduate School and Major: IIT Delhi, B.Tech in Civil Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:  Head of Policy and New Initiatives, Office of Member of Parliament; previously Associate Consultant at Hay Group, a leadership and people consulting firm

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:  As a policy and new Initiatives head at the office of Member of Parliament, I started a social incubation center in the rural constituency to empower rural talent and encourage innovation. Within six months of start, we incubated two business ideas, a smokeless stove built by women in a particular village, and a school bag that could be converted into a desk to overcome poor infrastructure problems in village schools. We also trained local talent empowering them with ideas, resources and basics in commercializing and launching such businesses. I personally led several of these coaching sessions as I helped them understand market access, and future organizational design with simple circles, squares, and arrows.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? The most important advice for future applicants is to start early. It will require approximately two to three months for GMAT and nearly a month for each application.

For GMAT, practice as many practice sets as possible, which will help in improving both speed and accuracy. Purchase additional practice questions and tests from GMAT as they are the most accurate replica of the GMAT examination.

For essays, make a workflow. List down colleges you wish to apply, along with questions, and recommendations for each. Allocate time for each. Then start writing everything you have done so far in a document.

Prioritize what the key important experiences are that will be appreciated by the admissions team. You can learn more about this if you attend information sessions of respective schools or talk to current students and alumni of respective schools. Most important, make your essays personalized. More than sharing your spectacular experiences, give the admission committee a flavor of the person you are. Send essays to close friends, MBA students for review, but be selective in incorporating the feedback as you might end up losing the story you want to convey.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? London Business School offers a truly global MBA with top students from nearly 69 different countries. As an aspiring global businesswoman, understanding geographical diversity is extremely important to me. Hence London Business School was always my top choice. Other reasons are London Business School’s brand and network. It provides you access to so many coveted organizations. Being in London provides you opportunity to network with professionals even during lunch hours and between classes. Building new and strong friendships and enjoying my time at school is very important to me. I think there cannot be a better place than London to do that.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I wish to join one of the MBB firms after my graduation. As a long-term career goal, I wish to start my own advisory firm for social enterprises.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I wish my future classmate finds me resourceful in team assignments, clubs and classes. Using my past experiences, I aim to enrich their London Business School experience by taking various initiatives for the batch such as trip to India to understand how politics and policy affect business, conduct leadership simulation workshops, etc. Apart from being resourceful, I also want them to see me as a good listener with whom they can discuss ideas, share problems.

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    A large fraction of the Indian students who study at B-schools in India, join the programs just after completing their undergrad education. These Indian MBA programs are most likely like the pre-experience Masters in Management degrees offered at places outside India. In the US or Europe, MBA programs expect candidates to acquire a number of years of experience. So going for an MBA in the US, after completing an MBA from India and working a few years in industry does not fall out of place. Moreover, I think that B-schools in the US/ Europe are able to provide the students with more international/ global exposures. Last thing is, the Indian schools lack overall recognition outside of India. The US/EU schools and their parent universities are world renowned.

  • Rajeev

    Wonder why there are folks who already have an MBA and still going to US to get another one!