Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. International Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85
Ross | Mr. Saudi Engineer
GRE 312, GPA 3.48
Harvard | Ms. Consumer Sustainability
GMAT 740, GPA 3.95
Columbia | Ms. Retail Queen
GRE 322, GPA 3.6
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Tuck | Ms. Confused One
GMAT 740, GPA 7.3/10
NYU Stern | Mr. Health Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Regulator To Private
GMAT 700, GPA 2.0
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
MIT Sloan | Mr. Spaniard
GMAT 710, GPA 7 out of 10 (top 15%)
Harvard | Ms. Marketing Family Business
GMAT 750- first try so might retake for a higher score (aiming for 780), GPA Lower Second Class Honors (around 3.0)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred MBA Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Colombian Sales Leader
GMAT 610, GPA 2.78
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Family Business Turned Consultant
GMAT 640, GPA 3.0
Tuck | Ms. BFA To MBA
GMAT 700, GPA 3.96

Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Ashna Bindra, Georgetown (McDonough)

Ashna Bindra

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

Never-say-die attitude; learn better from challenges than success.”

Hometown: Kota, Rajasthan

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m passionate about dancing and am a self-taught dancer. I’ve choreographed a lot of events and performed in stage shows since the age of 10. I dance my heart out and this keeps me mentally fit!

Undergraduate School and Major: Ceramic Engineering, IIT-BHU

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Finastra, Senior Software Engineer

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Georgetown is known for its global mindset and community culture and that is the first key factor that led me to choose this school. I believe I thrive in an organization that would stand together as one community. Moreover, I learned from the current students how the Jesuit tradition is truly valued at Georgetown.

Not only this, throughout the application process, I reached out to a lot of students, faculty and members of Admission Committee; my interactions with them made me feel like I was already a part of their community. As I planned to embark on my MBA journey, it was important for me to be sure that I fit in the program to accomplish my professional and personal goals. I instantly felt that connection and all the above factors played a significant role when I decided to enroll at McDonough.

What excites you most about studying in Washington, DC? Not one, but there are quite a lot of reasons that excite me about studying in D.C. The one major reason is the near-endless networking opportunities. D.C. is a career-oriented city. There are internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities in almost any field we can think of. While there are myriad opportunities to pursue a future in D.C., it is also a great place to remember and appreciate the past. Awe-inspiring monuments, memorials, and museums abound in D.C. and would make my business school experience more exciting.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? The quality that best describes my MBA classmates is the sense of community that makes them a true Hoya indeed! Since the day I’ve known them, they have stood by each other and motivated their peers. Whenever I interact with them, I feel great warmth and a desire to help. Even in the uncertainty in the COVID times, my classmates have made sure to stay connected through the digital media and connect every single day to learn, network, or play games!

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Since the day I’ve decided to join a business school, the part that excites me the most is the club activities. McDonough has 40+ clubs and the clubs I’m most excited to join are the following:

1. GWiB (Graduate Women in Business) Even before the start of the course, I’ve interacted with the club members a lot of times and the way the women of this club motivate and cheer each other is exceptional! I can’t wait to contribute and support the upcoming initiatives by the club.

2, Technology Club I look forward to joining this club as I’m confident that with my experience of five years in a tech industry, I can be a great contributor to this club and simultaneously hone my skills by learning from my peers.

3. Net ImpactI believe my journey at Georgetown would not be balanced and complete without working toward giving back to society in some form. I was so excited to learn about the efforts the current students put in the activities organized by the Net Impact club and would love to be a part of it!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest achievement in my career has been the establishment of a dedicated ‘Digital Banking’ team at my organization, Finastra. When I joined Finastra, the banking applications relied on an old user interface and could not be used on any digital platform. It was then that my team won at our annual technical event and the Product Management team wanted us to start developing a complete product worth selling to clients. We started as a team of just three developers and delivered a fully stable digitized banking application within a year and signed our first deal. This growth was unstoppable. In another year, a team dedicated to Digital Banking worked on several digitized products and I got to lead and impart my knowledge to several new people who joined the team. Today, my team consists of more than 15 people and this has been no less than an achievement for me.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have spent more than five years in the fintech industry. In this span of time, I’ve had opportunities to work on and learn about major products of the retail banking sector. I’ve witnessed how new technologies are evolving and disrupting the traditional banking models. My team worked on digitizing these models, and digital banking is the future. Simultaneously, in these years, I’ve had opportunities to lead, learn, work under pressure, and even resolve conflicts. I wanted to contribute more in this sector by providing effective operating model to fintech industries and ensuring that the technological resources are aligned with the company’s business needs and future goals.

This is when I realized this was the perfect time for me to hone my personal and professional skill set to work towards my goals and leverage my experience and knowledge.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Other than Georgetown, I applied to the USC Marshall School of Business and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Most of the admissions process has been a very relaxing journey for me. I always love sharing about my professional and personal experiences. But one question in my interview that was the most challenging for me was ‘Tell me about a misconception that people have about you.’ This is something we may know well but normally don’t open up about. I remember how sharing this with my interviewer made me feel more comfortable and confident at that moment.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? When I decided to pursue an MBA, I visited many online portals, read about the schools, analyzed the rankings in various fields, and looked for diversity, and placement reports of the schools. I then shortlisted my target schools and took the GMAT exam. It took me more than one attempt to reach my target score, but I was successful.

My next step was to contact current students or alums from all of these schools. I discussed my career goals with them. This helped me in ruling out a few schools. Now for international candidates, the biggest challenge while determining the fit at schools is that they are unable to visit the schools personally. I, too, faced this, but was fortunate enough to attend one of the MBA fairs where I could meet representatives from a lot of my target schools. I learned about their culture, values, and plans for the school and students. Talking to the admissions committee helped me further. That is the trajectory I followed to determine fit at various schools.

P.S. – It was one such MBA fair where I instantly fell in love with the global mindset and community culture at Georgetown and I would advise internationals to attend such events!

What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? I’m relying a lot on students from Georgetown and they have been giving me the best advice from their experience. While some of them suggest taking a break before the hustle begins, others have advised me to read a few books or learn basics so that I can be prepared to dive into advanced topics – I am trying to keep a balance of both.

Other than that, I e-meet my classmates every Sunday and we prepare for different case studies and indulge into discussions. These sessions are not only preparing me in advance, but also giving me an opportunity to network and develop relations with my peers before we could meet in-person.

I’m also loving how the Career Center at McDonough is already keeping us engaged with career-related assignments and preparing us well in advance.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment was on my graduation day. After my high school, I had worked hard to get admission in one of the top engineering colleges in India, IIT. All my dedication paid off and my five-year journey at IIT was a memorable one. I gave as much time to extracurricular activities as to academics. It was an unbelievable moment for me when I was conferred with the Gold Medal at my graduation for securing the highest DGPA. Academic excellence has always mattered to me, but this time it was different! Coming from a small town in India, I was now an inspiration for other girls there. Since then, the medal has not only been a prized possession but also empowered me to be courageous and determined. It taught me the power of perseverance. My decision to join a business school, away from my country, never scared me, and I gained enough confidence to believe in my professional and personal capabilities and present my story to the business school.