Nikki Asked Sandy To Be ‘Extra Mean’ In A Mock Interview: Here Is What Happened

Nikki Gupta, co-founder of an edtech startup in London and an MBA applicant

Nikki Gupta is a gutsy entrepreneur. Co founder of an educational startup in London, she now wants to get an MBA from a prestigious European business school. With a 700 GMAT and a successful entrepreneurial venture, Gupta has her sights set on either London Business School or University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

She’s a compelling candidate. Born in the United Kingdom, raised in Saudi Arabia for six years and then in Delhi for seven years, Gupta returned to London at the age of 14. She has a bachelor’s degree with first class honors in mathematics from University College London and a master’s in actuarial science from Cass Business School. After a stint with KPMG, she co-founded in 2014 MarkIt, an edtech startup for high school STEM teachers and students.

Get Sandy Kriesberg's advice to make handicapping your odds of getting in possible

Sandy Kreisberg, founder of

Gupta raised £320,000 (or nearly $450,000) over three years from angel investors, led the development of an interactive learning platform, recruited and managed a team of four people and successfully introduced a series of products that are now used in 200 schools. She now wants an MBA to leverage that entrepreneurial experience, gain knowledge and skills in the business basics and continue a career in the edtech space.


To prep for an admissions interview, she not only volunteered for a mock interview session with Sandy Kreisberg, founder of, a leading MBA admissions consultancy. She asked him to be “extra mean” in the mock, wanting the practice of a tough session to best prepare her for a successful interview. That’s also because, says Gupta, her friends and family have apparently been “too nice” in practice.

Tell-it-like-it-is Sandy obliged. During a half-hour session today (April 20), in what was his fifth consecutive Friday’s With Sandy’s episode, he brought Gupta through all the most common questions MBA applicants face in an admissions interview, along with a few surprise queries.

To see how it all went down on our Friday’s With Sandy Facebook Live event, turn to the following page (only for Poets&Quants registered users). Meantime, make sure to join us next week at 2 p.m. EST on our Facebook page to see the next episode of Friday’s With Sandy live.

Do you want a chance to be featured on Fridays With Sandy? Submit your profile for consideration of review HERE.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.