Meet The Wharton MBA Class of 2017

Aayush Tapuriah

Aayush Tapuriah

The Wharton School Of The University of Pennsylvania

Hometown: Mumbai, India

Undergraduate School and Major: Cornell University, College Of Engineering – Bachelor of Science, Operations Research & Information Engineering

Graduate School: Cornell University, College Of Engineering & Johnsons Graduate School Of Management – Master Of Engineering, Operations Research & Information Engineering (Concentration – Strategic Operations)

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Gotham Consulting Partners (New York (NY), USA) – Business Analyst

Suminter India Organics (Mumbai, India) – Manager, Corporate Strategy & Business Development

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Spend some time going over all the theory – reading all the Manhattan guides was helpful for me.

And then spend a lot of time practicing. Do as many of the questions from the official guide as you can and then move to practice tests. Tests from Manhattan, Princeton, etc. are good practice but are harder than the actual test. So don’t let your performance on these get you down. Do the official practice tests closer to your actual exam date. Your score on these tests is the most accurate reflection of what you will score in your actual test. I would highly recommend buying the two additional official tests so you have four tests in total that mimic the actual exam.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? First spend time thinking (and preferably writing down) what you want from business school. Be honest with yourself and critical of yourself to identify areas that you want to focus on during the program.

Also think about where you would want to live or not live and whether you prefer a smaller class size or a larger one. I made an Excel sheet of all the different factors that were important to me and then started researching schools. I spoke to at least one alumni member from each school that I considered applying to. I also visited every school I applied to. Visiting gives you the best sense of what a school is about and also gives you access to current students at the schools.

Once you have all the quantitative and qualitative data, make a short list of schools that best fit what you are looking for. I applied to five schools and would strongly advise you not to deviate too far from this number. Applications are tough and time-consuming. Doing too many applications would probably result in you not doing justice to the applications of your dream schools. Having said that, you should know yourself well enough to tell which are your dream schools and which are realistic ones. Do not only apply to dream schools. I have friends with stellar profiles who only applied to the top schools and got rejected from everyone they applied to. It’s an extremely competitive process and there are a lot of people who have done exceptional things competing with you for seats.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf?

Start with doing a lot of introspection. The coolest thing about the MBA application process for me was analyzing why I have done what I have done so far in my life and why I want to do what I think I want to do going forward. Once you know this, writing essays is very easy. Get a lot of feedback on your essays from people who know you well because they can understand the why’s of your life choices and give you honest and critical feedback. Be completely honest in your essays. The admissions team is smart enough and experienced enough to gauge when things are not quite adding up. If you have been honest in your essays, the interview process is very easy. There are no trick questions and the admissions team just wants to get to know you better.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA?  Wharton has a strong entrepreneurship program as well as one of the largest and strongest global alumni networks. I see myself as being a global businessman in the future and therefore this appealed to me. Also Wharton’s large class size was a plus for me as my goal is to become an entrepreneur straight after school. The probability of finding like minded people as co-founders increases with the larger class size as does access to a larger pool of ideas. Also from the alumni I spoke to across all schools, the Penn alumni were the ones that seemed to have the best time through their MBA. Forging new and strong friendships and enjoying my time at school is very important to me and it seems like Penn is the best place to do that.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I want to have a business plan ready to execute by the time I graduate. Entrepreneurship has been a life-long goal for me and my experience in the organic/sustainable products space has given me an industry I am passionate about and one in which I can make significant impact. My professional goal is come out of school ready to start a business within this space.

On the personal front, I want to make friends with and learn from people around the world. I also want to travel around South America and Africa, two continents I have never been to which are also places where I see tremendous scope for sourcing organic products.

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