Hometown: Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
Undergraduate School and Major: Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
- Consultant at Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) based in Bangalore and Shanghai from June 2013 to June 2015
- Consultant at Auronova Consulting Solutions based in Mumbai from July 2012 to May 2013
- Assistant Manager and Analyst at HSBC based in Bangalore from February 2009 to June 2012
- Analyst at Adventity Global Services based in Mumbai from July 2008 to February 2009
Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Balancing is the key to score high on GMAT or GRE. I come from an engineering background and thus the quantitative part was easy for me. I spent most of my time on verbal so that I can score comparable percentiles on both. For the same GMAT score, MBA schools prefer a balanced score on both rather than very high on one (say quantitative) and very low on the other (say verbal).
Most of the GMAT course books like Kaplan or Manhattan provide useful tips. They helped me a lot, but I had to practice using them.
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? I started by creating a clear and realistic short-term and long-term goal. Then, I evaluated my strengths, capabilities and shortcomings. This helped me identify the schools that filled the gaps. I did not simply go by ranking and did as much research as possible. Most of the schools offer school visits and sample classes. I highly recommend doing those tours and asking questions to existing students. I gathered enough information before taking the decision as this was one of the most important decisions of my life.
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?
Essay – The key to a good essay is self-introspection, self-awareness, and finding your passion. The next step is goal setting and making a clear plan to achieve that. It is important to be realistic. I took help from friends or second years who were already doing or had done an MBA. Professionals can help if you feel your writing skills are not that good, but don’t expect them to write the essay for you. Please remember that this is a sales pitch. Only “you” know yourself and so only “you” can sell yourself.
Interview – The most important thing during interview is to “smile.” These interviewers have seen many profiles like ours, so in most cases we won’t impress them. So, our strategy should be to become more likeable. People tend to accept you if they like you. I practiced my answers and worked on my body language a lot. I made a video to observe my own mistakes.
Recommendations – Seek recommendations from someone who know you well. Many times, we tend to seek recommendations from very senior people who do not know us very well or do not have time for us. Both my recommendations were from my direct bosses and they assured me that they had enough time to write a good recommendation.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? My career goal is to become a leader in Asia. A graduation from IIT helped me in developing a strong network in India. I needed to expand my network Asia-wide. Additionally, I wanted to learn to work in multi-cultural, multi-dimensional International teams and thus CEIBS was a perfect choice for me. CEIBS also provide one of the best faculty and classroom experiences in world.
What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? An MBA from a great business school like CEIBS opens up a multitude of opportunities. But, one should be realistic in terms of plan. My learning is focused on mainly two aspects – hard skills and soft skills. During MBA, we learn many frameworks and I keep reflecting upon my past mistakes and how these frameworks and this knowledge would have helped me improve my decisions back then. I also use the opportunities to deliver as many speeches and presentations as possible so that I keep improving my soft skills.