Here is my entire application experience
Started my GMAT prep in October 2016 to apply in January rounds. Got a 710, and started exploring MBA Consultants. Within a week I realized that current score is too low and dropped the whole year. Took my GMAT again and got a 760- YES. After talking to numerous consultants I started with PythaGURUS education last year in May.
Spent almost one month in understanding my goal stories. Started talking to students in my target schools. I was looking for programs where I could get financial aid/ scholarships and zeroed in on schools such as Darden, Duke, Tuck, Tepper.
Was advised by Jatin from Pythagurus MBA consulting to follow the networking activity religiously. I really realized that I did not know what was it that I was looking for from an MBA. I know I will be an entrepreneur one day and before that I want to work with MBA consulting. I needed an MBA for a job and international exposure and did not have any other reasons to pursue an MBA. The whole training on goals and networking was very helpful in finding out why an MBA is needed. It was a great learning indeed. Networking takes a lot of time and patience as you got to wait for days before responses start coming in. Some people were quite helpful and some were not - I guess it is a mixed bag. Surprisingly people at Darden and Tuck were very easy to speak with as more than 50% of them responded to emails in 1 to 2 days.
One thing I realized was that some of my initial calls were a waste of time as I was not very sure what to ask them other than their experiences. Find out real reasons for why you want to go to that MBA program and trust me you will be able to do this only if you take this on very seriously. First 5 conversations with existing students and I thought I am not going to make it. I had a typical Indian engineer profile and was told that creating a strong differentiation with essays and LORs was important.
When I started writing my essays, I got a feeling that I was writing everything I had learnt after talking to so many people and was going way above the word limits. Rewrote a lot of drafts and thrashed them the next day. Pythagurus does not limit the drafts but you have to put in efforts to work on the feedback. One thing I would like to point out about Pythagurus- they will have expectations from you. Jatin has a great grip on creating short term long term goals and knows how to train applicants to see the right fit. Even if you do not know what you want from this education, just be patient. You will be new to this process but it is similar to your life during an MBA.
This process became a little demanding as well at the end as I thought I was not able to create a draft that I can finally submit. I will suggest that do not try to create perfection till the last minute. Your mind will be blocked. Once you have done a couple of essays, start picking up the other pieces of the application and come back to those essays later with a free mind. Doing this helped me as I could bring a fresh perspective. I had 4schools on my list for R1 and applied to Tuck ( Admit- No Scholarship), Darden( Admit - 100% Scholarship), Duke( Reject after interview), Tepper( Admit- 80% Scholarship).
Important advice for engineers- not every Indian engineer has strong extracurriculars or community service activities. But I learnt during the process that many stories and events of our life that we think are not relevant could build very good stories. Your perspective on your personal stories will change completely if you give yourself time. Just be yourself in the personal story essays. That is enough for most of the schools.
Best wishes to everyone who is looking for an MBA.
Jatin- thank you for being a demanding mentor. You made me raise my own expectations from myself. I look forward to your speaking in your MAD Series.
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Tuck, Darden 100% scholarship - thanks PythaGURUS Education
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