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My 4-yr pre-MBA journey finally ends with destination as ISB

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ingenuous99 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Posted:
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My 4-yr pre-MBA journey finally ends with destination as ISB

Post Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:02 pm
4 years of MBA journey..8 admits..More than 15 rejects..This piece is to share the the things I have learned during this roller-coaster ride, which I hope will help others obviate the obstacles I have encountered..
About me : My name is Saicharantej, a typical IIM (Indian IT Male). Work Experience - 5.5 years in a top MNC. Would be commencing my MBA at ISB this April.
2010 - Realized GMAT is not everything
After seeing the score of 750 flash across the screen, I said to myself - "I have arrived bigtime on the MBA scene". This GMAT score made me believe that I just need to formally apply to the top b-schools and I will be offered admission. With this mindset, I applied to the top b-school in the country, Indian School of Business. Got an interview call with just 2.2 years of experience. I went in to the interview room with bundles of optimism. Within 15 minutes, all the hopes evaporated. I gave a shocking interview and it ended abruptly within 15 minutes. I was rejected for the first time in my life.
2011 - Went all guns blazing and applied to 10 b-schools
I was determined to set things straight. I decided to apply for ISB again, this time with a stronger application. As a backup plan, I also decided to apply for top b-schools outside India. But there were just so many good schools out there and I was lost for choice as to which school fits my post-mba goals. In order to navigate the tedious process of b-school admission, I reached out to the admission consultancy ExpertsGlobal. I had deep discussions with the mentors at Experts for over a week and short-listed a list of 10 schools. I took constant feedback from them on the various facets of the admission process (essays, choice of recommendors, mock interviews etc). My interactions with them also completely changed my perspective about the world of MBA. As a result, I got admits with full tuition-waiver and scholorship to Smeal, Boston University and also got admitted to IESE,Tepper, HKU,SP Jain Global MBA. But my primary choice ISB did not turn out as expected - and I was rejected again after another shocking interview. After considering all the options, I deferred my Tepper offer,let go off all the other offers and decided to give one more shot at ISB the following year.
2012 - Made a mistake
I became a bit over-confident owing to the admits I got the previous year and so went ahead with applying to b-schools without the help of ExpertsGlobal or any other admission consultancy. Applied to a myriad of other b-schools but was rejected after the interview.I just waited for the application round and applied to ISB as a second-time reapplicant. But this time, I did not even get an interview call - which was frankly a shocker to say the least. Then I realized that I put in so much effort towards interview preparation that I grew complacent over my essays and did not even ask for essay-feedback from anyone else. I realized that I made a big mistake not taking a second opinion on my actions during the admission process. The feedback from ISB echoed the same. Torn between joining Tepper and waiting for one more year, I decided to give one more shot at ISB. As we do an MBA only once, I wanted to do it in the school of my choice.
2013 - Finally..
I decided not to repeat the mistake I've done previous year and reached out to the Experts again. Worked with them for two months to gain constant feedback over close to 20 versions of my essays. Rather than waiting to get into Consulting after doing an MBA, I worked as a freelance consultant for various start-ups and NGOs. I also changed my perspective towards my work at my work-place and proactively took on various challenging projects.These experiences brought more clarity to my post-MBA plans and also helped streamline my essays. All these efforts paid off and I got the interview call from ISB during my 4th time of applying. Took close to 15 mock-interviews with my mentors at ExpertsGlobal over three weeks, fine-tuned my responses and got rid of the interview mental blockade. On the D-day, was able to give my best interview in the past four years and finally got accepted by ISB.
All through this journey, the biggest take-away for me is the feedback I received from various quarters, especially from my mentors at ExpertsGlobal. For those of you who wish to apply to top b-schools and avoid making the mistakes I did, I strongly suggest reaching out to ExpertsGlobal. They will guide you on the strategies to tame the arduous b-school admission process. As I came to learn, having someone guide you on this journey, will turn out to be a huge shot in the arm.

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