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Meet The Top First-Year MBAs From India

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Saumya Jain

The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Engineer, entrepreneur. At 22, founded a non-profit K-12 school for less privileged kids in India.

Hometown: New Delhi, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to sing and backpack!

Undergraduate School and Major: BTech and MTech in Biochemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi.

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: JLJ Concept School – Founder and Director

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being able to make my venture self sustaining. It’s on the path to grow forever while I can study and work on my next big dream!

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? I started my GMAT preparations with a diagnostic test from GMATPrep (the official test makers). It helped me figure out two things. First, I knew I had to work on my time management strategy. Second, I could quickly draw up a list of topics that needed work. I studied and took a test every week or two until the official GMAT, working on my weak topics as I went along. I advise most people to follow a similar strategy. It will allow you to improve your performance quickly and with the least amount of effort.

Writing the essays is a long drawn out process. I started with thinking about my life events and identifying moments that ignited my passion. I thought about what mattered to me and about my life goals. One key advice – believe in yourself and your story. Everyone is different and wants different things in life. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t try to benchmark your goals against that of others. That said, do share your essay drafts with students and alumni from your target schools as soon as possible. Getting perspectives helps a lot, but remember that it has to be your story.

When it comes to interviews, the only preparation that you need is to know yourself well and to know what you want from an MBA at your target school. Remember that it’s a two way fit! Be yourself and if you make it, you know you’ll fit well with the school culture. If you don’t make it, you know that you’ve probably been spared two years of frustration.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? When I drew up my list of target schools, there were many things about Wharton that attracted me, including a truly bicoastal footprint and growing entrepreneurial opportunities. In addition, a large class size lets you choose your peer group and ensures that any course that you want is available to take.

When I met my TBD group, I knew that Wharton is the place to be for unique and passionate individuals. And being a data-driven school, it allows you to complement your ambitions with hardcore business skills.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? Wharton is a place that opens doors. And since I’m only starting here, I’m open to a multitude of opportunities – including working with tech companies or consulting firms and potentially working on my entrepreneurial ideas during school. I’m excited about working with Wharton Career Management to narrow down my career choices based on my interests, motivators, and skills. And I hope to pursue the Semester at San Francisco program to expand my entrepreneurial network.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I would like my school peers to remember me as a helpful friend and a driven professional.

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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!