Pallavi Bhaskar

First Attempt

It was amazing what Arun did because on my own I would have never been able to get into such a good B-School. I owe him a lot. I am very thankful to him because when I gave my test I had lost all hope of getting into MBA. Arun helped me a lot through my application and essays. He helped me in preparing essays that were very genuine and reflected me as a person.


Could you share your background with us.

Yeah, sure! I am a civil engineer and I had been working in Gurgaon for 5.5 years. For past 2 years I am working with a public sector company called Rites Limited, a sister concern of Indian Railways. My husband is a software engineer in Gurgaon itself. I applied with a GMAT score of 640.


Could you please tell us about your GMAT prep? When did you take the GMAT? And how it happened?

I prepared for GMAT for around 4-5 months and I studied from the Manhattan GMAT. I took GMAT twice, one in the month of June and second in the month of October. But surprisingly instead of using the second score I used my first score itself. This is because I scored 640 in my first GMAT test and 610 in the second.
Actually I also remember that I had contacted Arun before my second GMAT test and told him that I was much more confident than my first test and I would definitely score better. I had also started working on my applications before hand while preparing for the second time.
However, during my second test, I wasn’t keeping well. I was in my first trimester but since I had registered for it before hand, I thought to give it a shot, but later on I realized, it wasn’t a prudent decision.

Could you recall, whether you applied for Round 1 or Round 2?

I applied for Round 1 in all the colleges including Melbourne Business School and Schulich Business School.

So, how did you short list your MBA schools? Which schools did you decide upon? What was your rationale behind the schools you selected?

My first choice was Canada. This is because I am married and Canada is a place where my husband can easily get work permit. Working on these lines, I short listed the best B-Schools in Canada. First one was Richard Ivey School of Business. I had already started working on Richard Ivey, but later I learnt that the sessions will be starting in April 2012 and it wasn’t feasible for me as I am due in April. So, I shifted my preference to Rotman School of Management and Schulich Business School and Arun assisted me all through my applications.
Though I received the interview calls from Rotman and Schulich School of Business, I made it through Schulich but not Rotman. I didn’t apply in any of the colleges in US as it would have been very difficult for my husband to get a US Visa. Therefore, apart from Canada, my second most preferred destination was Australia, as getting a PR is Australia is comparatively easier. I applied at Melbourne Business School. I also applied at NTU, Singapore because Singapore is relatively cheaper. As my GMAT score wasn’t in the range for NUS, I applied at NTU, Singapore.

What influenced you to do an MBA?

My job profile is such that I need to interact with a lot of contractors at construction site. My current company, Rites Limited, outsources its work to various firms and keeps the control of checking the quality. These firms are very small firms but you will be taken aback how well these are doing financially. I realized that despite having better technical knowledge than these contractors, I am not gaining much in financial terms in comparison to these firms.
So, it occurred to me, if I could start a small business of my own, it will be more fulfilling. As a civil engineer, I have the necessary job experience and technicalities. An MBA will help me out to brush up my managerial skills – a perfect combination for an entrepreneur to begin with.

How did you come to know about CrackVerbal? How did you get in touch with Arun?

I heard about Arun from great recommendations from others and it proved to be very helpful. And since my GMAT score wasn’t that good, I really needed someone who could guide me well all through the application process. Before this, I had contacted many consultants in Delhi, but they didn’t seem to be genuine at all. Most of them were money minded and told me that they have all the essays ready, I needn’t worry at all. I candidly told them I DO NOT want their essays, I want them to help with MY essays.

Who did you take your recommendations from?

I took two recommendations. One was from my current boss in Rites Limited and the second one was from my ex-boss at DLF. And in the colleges where I needed three recommendations, I took one from Rites and two from DLF.

How was the interview process with all these schools, anything you would like to share?

My Rotman interview went quite well, infact I found it very easy. They just asked some basic questions like ‘tell us something about yourself’ and so on. After the interview was over, I felt very confident.
Conversely, at Schulich School of Business the questions asked during the interview process were more than the basics such as ‘who is your ideal business figure’ and so on. After this interview I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to make it, but the results proved to be just the opposite. I got through Schulich but not Rotman. At Melbourne Business School also, I wasn’t prepared for the questions that were asked during the interview, still it went fine.

Tell us a few things you wish you knew before, while preparing for GMAT or applying at various B-Schools?

There are a couple of things, if I wish I knew before hand. Firstly, I didn’t analyze the tuition fees of the colleges before receiving the interview call. Infact, after I received the mail from Rotman School of Management regarding the interview, I analyzed their fee structure and found it out of my reach.
To my surprise, the fee structure of Schulich Business School is almost half of that of the Rotman. All wells, that ends well! In retrospect maybe it is a good thing that I didn’t get through Rotman, otherwise it would have been very depressing to let go such a good college only because of financial reasons. Thus, it is always advisable to check out the fee structure before you apply to any of the B-Schools.
Secondly, when I was preparing for GMAT, I always found that I was good with quant but not with verbal. So, I thought I would be able to compensate with my score, in a way that I will score well in quant and score average in verbal and get a total score of around 700. But when my results were out, I ended up scoring lower than my practice scores in Quant and realized you should not ignore anything or any part of the preparation.

Some final thoughts how CrackVerbal helped you?

It was amazing what Arun did because on my own I would have never been able to get into such a good B-School. I owe him a lot. I am very thankful to him because when I gave my test I had lost all hope of getting into MBA. Arun helped me a lot through my application and essays. He helped me in preparing essays that were very genuine and reflected me as a person.
My essays showcased the reality why I want to do an MBA and my career plans ahead. I am sure the interviewers must have easily correlated me with my essays. That was a very big challenge for me to get through a good college with a lower score. That was only possible with Arun.