CrackVerbal Alumni Meet 2014 – A Snapshot

Last updated on April 14th, 2014

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We had organized a CrackVerbal Alumni session on 23rd March where we invited some of our star alumni to interact with present students and others in a panel discussion format. Their profiles varied from game designer to doctor.


The Panel Consisted of:

Niladri Chakraborty (GMAT: 750, UNC Admit)

Saurabh Gupta (GMAT: 750, ISB Admit)

Bhupati Reddy (GMAT: 680, XLRI GMP Admit)

Abhinav Singh (GMAT: 680, XLRI GMP Admit)

Jayashree Bhat (GMAT: 710, ISB Admit)

Dr. Bhargava Swamy (GMAT: 710, ISB Admit)

Moderator: Arun Jagannathan, Founder – CrackVerbal


We Covered 4 Main Focus Areas:

GMAT Preparation

School Selection

MBA Applications

Choosing Recommenders

Here are Some of the Salient Inputs from the Panel:


GMAT Preparation

Bhargava: Most of what determines your score on test day happens in the weeks and months of prep before the test

Saurabh & Niladri: 3-4 months is an ideal preparation time frame for most high scorers

Bhupathi: However, if you have specific weakness areas, you must take the time to work on them and fix those gaps

Jayashree: just because you think one area is your forte – be it Quant or Verbal – don’t take your performance for granted. Focus on both sections.

Niladri: You don’t need to refer to any material apart from the Official Guide, the CV Guide and the CV Advanced Documents. Together, these contain ~2000 questions – that is more than enough practice.

B-school Research

Niladri: go to the websites of your target schools and download the Career Statistics for the past few years. Don’t go by school ranking; see whether the school can help you achieve your goals.

Saurabh: Use LinkedIn to look at the profiles of the graduates and students of your target MBA programs; this will give you a good idea of the opportunities the school can give its students.

Arun: Check out the Poets and Quants website – it has a plethora of information about different business schools and programs, and will aid your research.

Jayashree: While a 2-year MBA is generally preferred for a career switch, it is upto the candidate to convince the recruiter of his/her ability to transition to a new and different career after a 1 or 2 year program. The duration by itself doesn’t guarantee anything.

All panelists: Indian applicants with a typical engineering/ or technology background need to work harder to differentiate themselves from the crowd.

MBA Applications

All panelists – Taking the help of expert admission consultants makes a real difference to the essays and interview performance.

Bhargava – the initial brainstorming with CrackVerbal helped clear his thought process and helped me realize what AdComs look for, and how much I needed to think.

Niladri – the brainstorming sessions with CrackVerbal laid the right foundation for the applications. Arun kept probing me to think of how every story would differentiate me from the crowd, and how it was unique to me. While writing the essays, I would call the team for help many times every day.

Saurabh – The difference between my very first draft of essays for the evry first school, and my last set of essays, is drastic, and I should thank CrackVerbal for that. I got a lot of useful inputs and they went out of their way to help me fine tune my stories and make them better.

Abhinav – try to build a story in your application; each of the essays must be an essential component of that overall story you are trying to convey to the reader. And with CrackVerbal’s help, I was able to build that.


Choosing Recommenders

Saurabh – choose your recommenders carefully and prep them well with a copy of your essays and a list of your achievements. Maybe get them a gift for their trouble!

Bhargava – I let my recommender write on his own; when I read it, I was surprised at how many insights he had about my profile. There were things I hadn’t known about myself. So sometimes it is also a good idea not to “lead” the recommender if he/she knows you well enough and can write effectively.

Arun – NEVER use personal IDs for recommendations. “[email protected]’ isnt acceptable! Make sure your recommenders have official IDs. In fact, many schools do not accept personal IDs for recommendations.

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