First Attempt: Yes
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a mechanical engineer by qualification. I worked in the industry for about three years before I joined a start-up called Sports Paddock in sports management in Bangalore. I have a total work experience of 4.5 years.
What motivated you to do an MBA?
I knew after I worked in the industry that I wanted to be on the business side. I want to do an MBA to get a better perspective of business and learn subjects that I absolutely have no experience in.
How did you go about with your GMAT Prep?
My approach was pretty methodical. I took a month of classes and prepared for 3 months after that. I would practice every day, even if it was for a short duration. I always made it a point to do something every day so that I didn’t lose momentum. I was able to meet my targets as to when I should write the exam. I stuck to official material and practice tests. Verbal was a piece of cake for me. I felt I needed a lot more practice in Quant since Data sufficiency was the hardest for me.
How was the day of the exam?
The last 2-3 weeks before the exam, I didn’t learn anything new. I concentrated on practicing what I already knew. I never put myself under too much pressure. I planned for the test day by going a day earlier to get used to the environment and made sure I took enough food, so that I could focus on the exam. I took the test and scored a 730.
What B-schools did you have in mind?
My initial idea was to study in the US. I applied to 8 schools in the US and as a fallback option, I applied to ISB. I needed a scholarship, but I realized I was too late into the game and wasn’t going to get aid. So I took up the ISB admit.
How did u go about with your applications?
When I spoke to a few people, I understood that I had to start thinking about what to write in my essays even before the GMAT test. I took about 2-3 weeks to do brainstorming upfront so that it’s easier. I looked at sample question templates for different B-schools. Most of them followed a common pattern, so I listed down important pointers.
Once the application season started, it was easier since I could go back to refer to the document.
How was your interview experience?
I think my stories were compelling; coming from an engineering background to an entrepreneurship role.
I was roasted for 45- 50 minutes during the interview. But that was probably a tactic. The panel had 2 people with extreme responses. I let them take my case and didn’t respond negatively so that probably worked in my favor.
How was your experience with CrackVerbal?
It was really good. My essays needed fine-tuning and CrackVerbal helped me refine my essays and bring out the essence of the story so that the reader understands. I could call them up anytime to clear my doubts. I probably wouldn’t have landed an admit to ISB if it weren’t for CrackVerbal.
Do you have any words of wisdom for other MBA aspirants out there?
What works for me might not work for you, but these are my GMAT mantras:
Spend some time understanding your strengths. There is no point of practicing something if you know you’re already good at it. Focus on your weak areas, identify your errors and correct it. That is the right way to go about it. I think what most people miss out on is analyzing the practice tests. Try to understand the pattern using various tools.
Don’t waste time on exam day understanding the difficulty level of the questions. Think of some strategies upfront. If you’re stuck on a question, don’t spend more than 2 minutes on it. If you linger, you would lose much more than you would lose on that one question.
Try to keep your brain fresh on test day. I’ve had the personal experience of watching people who were well-prepared but forgot their passport on test day. Use some technique to relax.