Wanted to write my whole application experience and review for Pythagurus. This one is long overdue. I had applied twice in the past 3 years ( 2014 with a GMAT 680 and 2016 with a 730. Got admitted to Columbia and INSEAD this year and have decided to join INSEAD January intake. Was hesitant as CBS was a better brand but have chosen INSEAD because of scholarships and duration of the program( Hope I am right in the long run).
Worked with two different consultants across two years. First one ( Name hidden) was okay but there were many factors that led to multiple rejects including low GMAT Score and work experience, school selection and stories. Second one- Jatin Bhandari ( Pythagurus) -recommended by some of my colleagues from Wharton and MIT.
Two months into the process, I was advised by Jatin to take GMAT. I had been resisting this a lot but finally decided to go for it and ended up not applying to any program that year. Decided to travel to the US and Europe to make class visits and realized that it was GMAT Score indeed that was the major roadblock. Visited many campuses and realized- Many admitted students across most of my target programs did not have out of the world profiles but my 680 was staring at me continuously. I had even attended seminars by many ex-applicants of Pythagurus at their Gurgaon center and many admitted applicants from Top 10-15 schools did not have profiles that were way superior than mine (Some were exceptional but not all). Decided to drop the entire year and reapply in 2016.
Final Score: 730
Final Results: Columbia Business School ( 2017 Intake) and INSEAD w/scholarship) - ( Jan intake).
Stanford - Dinged without an interview
Tuck- Reject but not a surprise( Tuck Reject was not a shock. I connected really well with the admissions committee during class visits and I reconnected with them in 2016. However, my interviewer did not like me and that was very evident. He was not convinced with my goals story. He spent 20 minutes in trying to convince me that management consultants really do not do anything in life and investment bankers play with real money and add real value to the industry. He was an ex-banker and a PE guy and probably did not want to accept a perspective different than his. I thought I will write to Tuck but did not and decided to let it go.
Wharton- Dinged after interview.
I owe these admits to a thorough admissions process absolutely and thanks to Jatin for being a great partner. My advice to everyone- Your clarity about how an MBA program can help you achieve your aspirations really is very important. Your research will matter in both essays and interviews. I was advised by Jatin to literally stalk the MBA programs I am aspiring for. I went for a class visit and did informational interviews with the adcoms. I think I literally I spoke with almost everyone who was available to speak across all my schools. I will advise everyone to communicate with all your target programs and understand how they can help you with your goals. As we moved ahead in the process, Jatin changed my understanding of my goals and essays completely. I grew up to realize how I should focus on sub-functions in finance and why value investing at Columbia was very important for me. For other schools, I used a management consulting story.
INSEAD admit came after I had my Visa stamped for US. I was not expecting it as I was not very satisfied with my interview apparently. My interviewer was rude and cold I thought but I think I was wrong in my judgment or probably I misread him after my Tuck interview experience.
I will finally be joining INSEAD Jan intake primarily because of scholarships and short duration of the program.
Finally- thanks to Jatin and Pythagurus for all the help. We did it finally.
Good luck to everyone who is applying.
7 CATs FREE!If you earn 100 Forum Points
Engage in the Beat The GMAT forums to earn
100 points for $49 worth of Veritas practice GMATs FREEVERITAS PRACTICE GMAT EXAMSEarn 10 Points Per Post Earn 10 Points Per Thanks Earn 10 Points Per UpvoteREDEEM NOW
Pythagurus Reviews Columbia and INSEAD Scholarships
Congrats! Tell us how you did it