First Attempt: Yes
What was your educational and professional background like?
I’m from Andhra Pradesh, I did my Engineering in Instrumentation & Control from Sri Venkateshwara University. I moved to the department of Atomic Energy as a Scientific Officer. I then worked at Invensys, Dubai for 4.5 years and moved back to India to begin work with ABB as a Training Manager.
What prompted you to pursue an MBA?
My experience working overseas made me meet people from all walks of life. I would often come across people with a Management orientation. My work too, apart from being technical required me to speak to customers, this not only helped my profile but it also helped my company. With this I found that I developed a penchant for Marketing and tilted more towards Management.
I discovered that GMAT would be the ideal route to work in Management. I gave the GMAT a few times after preparing on my own but didn’t succeed in obtaining a good score. My score was around 640. After reading many articles and the blogs of CrackVerbal, and speaking with my friends, I felt CrackVerbal is doing the best job in teaching GMAT.
After returning to India, I joined CrackVerbal’s Verbal classes and then took up Quant classes as I was extremely happy with the Verbal experience and felt the need for both. I finally obtained a GMAT score of 680 and was thrilled with it.
Being an Engineer, it’s usually believed that Quant is easy to tackle, what do you feel about this?
Initially I too felt that Quant is fairly easy, I scored around 47 to 48 but to improve the scores to a 50 or 51, I felt it takes some fine tuning, the right type of strategies and methods. It’s not sufficient to merely practice, and GMAT Quant is quite different from the usual Math we learn in school and college.
It’s more logical and is not limited to learning formulae; this is where I felt I needed some assistance in learning the right tactics and to fill the very narrow, but existent gap of logic. I joined classes at CrackVerbal and they helped me a great deal in improving my score.
After giving the GMAT, how did you proceed with your application process?
I didn’t have much time between my GMAT and my application deadlines. I had given my last GMAT on 7th August, I then attended a two day workshop with CrackVerbal and my application deadline to IIM Ahmedabad was on August 10th. For IIM A, there was not much to do in terms of essays, so I filled out the application myself, though I have to say, the workshop was extremely helpful.
For IIM Bangalore and Calcutta however, I needed help with my essays as the deadlines were at the end of August and it was the first time I had thought about my essays. I had taken the assistance of CrackVerbal for this as well.
It usually takes 4-6 weeks to introspect and write one’s essays, however I had to do my best in 20 days and this was possible thanks to the help and advice I received from CrackVerbal. Even the brainstorm sessions and inputs were quite helpful. The application services of CrackVerbal were very good.
I even applied to ISB on 15th September. I received interview calls for 3 out of 4 schools and I think the application services definitely helped me in this regard.
Which 3 B-schools did you receive the interview calls from?
I received interview calls from IIM A,B & C. I believe my GMAT score was low for ISB and perhaps why I didn’t receive an interview call for the same.
How do the interviews at IIM A & B compare?
Both interviews were on similar lines – they delved deeper into my profile and my essays, and tried to understand me better. They also asked me about current affairs, and since I began my career in the Nuclear industry, they asked me about my opinion on how the industry is fairing. In the interviews, a large part of what they ask you tests how well you can take a stand on a subject and how comfortable you are with your profile. They try to see how quickly you can think on your feet.
What was the nature of the interview, were they stressful?
I never found them stressful, it was more of a casual talk where they tried to get to know me better. I didn’t find it strenuous as I was well prepared with my answers. The Mock interviews with CrackVerbal helped me prepare for the actual interviews and I knew what to expect.
What factors are you considering while choosing between IIM A & B?
I’m looking to further my career in the Energy sector, and placements play an important role in my decision process. Last year I believe IIM A didn’t have enough placements which is deterring me from choosing it.
Relocating along with my family is another concern; I’m looking at these factors and will also speak with the experts at CrackVerbal to make a good decision.
Having international exposure, what made you opt for Indian B-schools?
Indian B-schools are at par with international B-schools, even the Financial Times rankings have Indian B-schools listed amongst the top schools. I feel they provide exposure which is on similar lines as international schools.
The fees are also more affordable, which made me consider the IIMs and ISB.
Finally, I wanted to settle down in India as I was out of the country for a long duration which is why I felt it best to pursue an MBA here.
If you were to list out the top 3 things that helped you achieve admits to IIM A &B, what would they be?
Although I began my GMAT preparation quite some time back, I maintained the persistence and dedication. It’s very important to stay dedicated to your GMAT plans and preparation.
I was also very well prepared with my profile and made sure I was following current affairs pertaining to my industry. It’s vital that you stay up-to-date while applying for an MBA.
A lot of people can offer advice but we will not know if they’re good or bad, The right advice is also crucial. Luckily for me I have been working with CrackVerbal for my GMAT prep, essays and even the mock interviews, this has helped me a great deal in achieving admits to IIM A & B.
What was your overall experience with CrackVerbal like?
I think everything went very well for me, I don’t see any lacks or negatives!
What advice would you give future aspirants?
I think dedication plays a huge role in achieving your goals. One must allocate a few hours each day to study and prepare for the GMAT.
Research is another important factor in choosing a B-school and it being a costly affair, it’s important to learn everything there is to know about the program, the school, and so on.
One should make sure they heed the right advice and listen to experienced professionals while they pursue their MBA dream.
Overall, dedication I feel plays the biggest role, no matter what your goals are.