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Meet The Top First-Year MBAs From India

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Aparna Saravanan

Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Enthusiastic. Creative. Optimistic. Persistent. Slightly tardy. Likes to run. Loves Instagram!

Hometown: Bangalore, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I believe the best way to relieve stress is by singing in a car, and scaring away traffic with (bad) singing!

Undergraduate School and Major: PES Institute of Technology – Telecommunication Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Deloitte; Consultant

Deloitte; Business Technology Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In each of our careers, and in each of our projects, we do encounter challenges that involve long weekends, endless hours of brainstorming and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. My biggest accomplishment would be the ability to adapt and consistently perform well on each of these challenges posed. Very specifically, an opportunity to work with my client team directly during a crucial stage of a certain project, at an early stage of my career, is an accomplishment I cherish.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? From my experience with the entire process, I would like to share the following…

GMAT: Although this seems really huge, this is just the first step! Preparing for GMAT differs for each individual, and the same formula might not apply to everyone. Studying from the right material, which includes questions with varying complexity, and building your focus for three to four hours would be key.

Picking colleges: One of the trickiest parts of the application process! Digging deeper within yourself to understand the environment you thrive in is extremely important. Some of us may do exceptionally well in small class sizes, bigger cities, warmer weather conditions, proximity to family, etc. Identifying important factors and prioritizing them will help short-list colleges. Also, rank is just a number – the “fit” is much more important.

Application process: Discussing with current students and alumni would be the perfect way to understand how the school works. Ensure your essays and the application overall focus on how you benefit from and contribute to the school!

Admissions Interview: The easier part of the application process! One quick tip: be frank, focused and crisp. Also, remember that the interview is an incredible opportunity to learn more about the school from the perspective of the admissions committee.

Overall, the application process is an eye-opener. You will definitely surprise yourself with what you have and can achieve!

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? An MBA is a huge investment in terms of time, effort and money. Although I could not personally travel to the school during the application process, I had a chance to interact with multiple students virtually! Candid discussions with alumni and current students helped me to understand how incredibly supportive and collaborative the student community is at Tepper. Coming from an engineering background, I wanted to be immersed in a curriculum with a rigorous quant and data analytics focus. Additionally, I was looking at a small class size and a big cultural diversity factor. An added bonus would be the multiple opportunities to interact with students and faculty from various other schools within Carnegie Mellon University. I’m certain that the resources and mentoring provided at Tepper, coupled with the strong leadership program, will transform my career!

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I would like to move over from technology consulting to management consulting, specifically towards the strategy and operations areas. I believe the skills gained from my prior experience in technology consulting along with the analytical skills from my engineering background, would set the perfect platform for my transition. With an in-depth understanding of the markets and industries, I hope to provide compelling business strategies that would help clients accomplish their goals. Also, given that management consulting roles would usually involve late hours and frequent travel, my dream job would be one where I can learn to manage my work-life balance!

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? She is a highly dependable team member who pushes boundaries while fostering strong relationships in the process. A leader who has the business acumen to identify and seize opportunities, and to work towards globalizing businesses. Most importantly, a good friend who learns, adapts and inspires.

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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!