How CrackVerbal Leveraged 20 Years of Work Experience to Get An IIM-A Admit

V.A. Guha Prasad


GMAT Score – 700

Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad


When you think of an MBA aspirant, you will most likely picture a person in his/her mid- to late-twenties in formal clothing, holding books and flashing a confident smile at you. Yes – the young adults from all the ads and posters – those are the ones you think of as MBA aspirants.

What you don’t picture as an MBA aspirant is the 40-something Vice President of J.P. Morgan.

Yet, that’s exactly the person CrackVerbal helped to become an MBA student. And yes, we know what you’re thinking.


Why did the VP of J.P. Morgan want an MBA?

It is because of the way the investment banking industry works.

V.A. Guha Prasad felt that he had gotten as far as he could have in the investment banking sector with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Mathematics from Delhi University. In his own words, “Investment banking is a knowledge-intensive field.”

Although he had acquired his knowledge through 20 years of hard work at a series of prestigious investment banks, as a Vice President of one of the nation’s top investment banks, he felt he still had a fair way to go.

According to Prasad, “The hierarchy is pyramid-shaped, so the higher you go, the tougher the competition gets. If you want to be considered for super-senior positions in investment banking, there are three very important things. One is pedigree – the (educational) institution which you come from. The second is the quality and level of your work experience, and the third is the performance ratings and skill set you bring to the table.”

Prasad had almost all of these – except pedigree. In an industry chock-full of Harvard and Wharton graduates, a Delhi University undergraduate doesn’t make the cut.

Besides, the increasing involvement of technology into investment banking – especially tech involving data science – meant that he needed to upskill himself to keep up with the times.

Naturally, Prasad needed to find a way to acquire a stronger pedigree as well as to upskill himself so that he brought more to the table than before. He realized he was in need of not only an MBA but also one from a highly reputed institution.

This is where the problem comes in: Prasad’s profile was far from the ideal MBA aspirant’s.

He was well above the average in terms of both age and work experience – both traits that would normally weaken his profile.

CrackVerbal turned that disadvantage on its head.


What would Prasad need to do to get into IIM-A?

Having operated in the field for years, the team at CrackVerbal had a fair idea of what AdComs look for while evaluating an aspirant’s profile.

Prasad’s career could be his strength when it came to proving what he can add to the cohort and why he’d definitely make a great alumnus for IIM-A. With that in place, three more things needed to be established:

  • What Prasad stood to gain from the program

  • That he would be open to learning, and,

  • Why he deserved the MBA more than his competitors

“The best way to demonstrate what he stood to gain was to cast some light upon his future after getting the degree,” says Arun. “His past experience will only be a problem if that is all the AdCom can see. Profiles of younger candidates are more attractive profiles because they have a long career ahead of them – we needed to highlight that Prasad had the same, too.”

In the field of investment banking, professionals at the top of the hierarchical pyramid can easily be around 65-70 years old. Often, people are also found to be in about the same position that Prasad was in, even at that age.

“You can remain within the system without progressing beyond a certain level,” he explains. “It’s not like you have to climb the ladder or leave. But you have to ask yourself if you are okay with staying where you are, or if you want to keep rising further.”

So, Prasad and Team CrackVerbal decided, after brainstorming for his essays, that he should elaborate on his future goals and lay special emphasis on how this MBA would be the key to achieving those.


It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

Prasad’s essay, written with guidance from CrackVerbal, showed the AdCom that Prasad had a long career ahead of him and that the IIM-A Executive MBA was critical for his progress.

The essay reflected his clarity of mind, which plays a huge role in helping convince an AdCom of a student’s integrity and worthiness.

In effect, what the CrackVerbal did was this:

They took Prasad’s story exactly as it was, considered the factors AdComs want to see, and highlighted those within his story. This helped keep things authentic while covering all the necessary bases.

And that’s how V.A. Guha Prasad, Vice President of J.P. Morgan, became an IIM-A MBA student in spite of having 20 years of experience.


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