Could you tell us about your profile?
I work as a software developer with Juniper Networks in Bangalore and have a work experience of 3.5 years in the telecom industry.
How did you know about CrackVerbal?
Once I had decided on preparing for the GMAT, I was on the look-out for some good coaching centers in Bangalore. I figured that I needed help on the verbal section of the GMAT. One of my friends at that time suggested I come to the ‘Verbal Experts’ for GMAT coaching and that was how I joined CrackVerbal.
Tell us about your GMAT journey!
Well, before I wrote the GMAT, I had taken the CAT and got a 93%ile but unfortunately did not get a call from any of the IIMs. To be honest, I had no idea about the GMAT until then. It was only in March 2014 that I discovered a career path through the GMAT. I gave the first mock test and scored a 610. Quant was easy, however, I found trouble with the verbal section on the GMAT and that was when I joined CrackVerbal.
One very important section on the GMAT is on Reading comprehension where most students struggle. The strategy and techniques taught at CrackVerbal helped me to a great extent and in just two weeks I gave another mock test and scored a 690! That was a huge jump. I knew I was making progress as I had my basics in place, thanks to CrackVerbal.
All I needed to do now was to practice a little more. My performance had increased and I was scoring between a 750 – 770 range in my mock tests. I was quite satisfied by my mock results and so decided to take the GMAT in July 2014. I scored a 750 on the actual GMAT test!
Why did you choose to do an MBA?
I wanted to have a mix of technical and managerial knowledge. After 3.5 years of core experience in technology, I wanted to experience the different managerial roles and have a much broader profile. Also, right from my college days, I dreamed of doing an MBA. I was just waiting to clock the relevant work experience so that I could do my MBA from a top B-school.
So which B-schools have you applied to?
I started my research on B-schools only after my GMAT test. I applied and was being interviewed by 3 US B-schools:
1.Kelley School of Business
3.University of Maryland
I successfully converted my interview to the University of Maryland. My GMAT score definitely worked to my advantage and gave me an extra edge.
How did CrackVerbal help you through your MBA applications?
I worked with CrackVerbal for my applications to Kelly School of Business. The Admissions consultants at CrackVerbal worked very closely with me. They helped me delve deep into my reasons for doing an MBA, my short term goals, my personality, professional achievements, and my overall expectations. This initial brainstorming helped me discover my interest in politics, social research and also gave me some thought direction for writing my essays.
I was able to give a definite structure to my essays and also CrackVerbal puts every candidate in touch with an external consultant who is an alumnus of the concerned B-school. In this way, you also understand the expectations of the B-school when they evaluate your profile.
Though I worked with CrackVerbal only for one B-school, the guidance and strategy that was shared helped me incorporate the same into my other essays as well. I had a great experience working with CrackVerbal for both my GMAT and my MBA applications and I strongly recommend all my readers to work with a consultant on your application!
How was your overall experience with CrackVerbal?
I would recommend CrackVerbal to all MBA aspirants who want to achieve excellence when it comes to their verbal skills. The classes at CrackVerbal establish the perfect balance towards fun and learning. Their course is designed in a very nice way. They provide feedback over forums and also have a dedicated support team to answer all your queries. The forum will particularly interest you since it has a lot of ongoing discussions and debriefs that will inspire you.
I feel CrackVerbal is the perfect place for whoever wants to get into an awesome B-School!
Any strategy and tips that you would like to share with our readers?
I would strongly recommend all my fellow GMAT aspirants to refer and practice questions only from the Official guide. Also, the strategy to get a great score on the GMAT is to be able to identify and eliminate the wrong options. Spend enough time and practice on understanding the concepts tested on the GMAT test. You have only 1 minute to solve a question, hence a good knowledge of concept is necessary.
A score of 750 on the GMAT requires a little more than just finding the right answer. You need to analyze and eliminate the wrong options quickly. The analysis is the key to crack a score of 750 and above! Also, if you join CrackVerbal, their books and resources are sufficient to refer (along with OG material, of course!). They have great content and the faculty at CrackVerbal are very approachable. They are the best study partners to work with!
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I did my graduation in Chemical Engineering from SRM University in Chennai. Soon after that, I worked in sales and then moved to marketing. I have a total of 6 years of work experience and the domains that I worked on were mostly automation systems and aerospace.
What motivated you for an MBA?
Well, there were two things. After engineering, I immediately jumped into sales, because even while I was in college, I knew that manufacturing was not my thing. My inclination was always towards something else.
When I was working, I understood that if I have to change jobs, the industry isn’t just looking for someone with experience, but also for someone who has a degree from a premier institute. I didn’t have a degree in marketing, and I realized I needed that in order to make faster progress.
Secondly, like most people, I felt like my education was incomplete if I didn’t have a Masters degree. I wanted to do it from a place that was not just about the brand and environment but from a place that would give something back to me.
How did you go about with your GMAT Prep?
I started preparing in 2012. I was struggling with work so I took time and practiced each sub-section of the Verbal section for one month. I just prepared from the OG for 6 months. I used to get 620 and 640 in my mock tests. I understood that there was a lot I needed to do. Work picked up and I got distracted but I kept in touch with CrackVerbal and in 2014, I was back.
I actually prepared well in 2014. I took a friend along so that I had company to prepare together and we both ended up getting the same scores in Verbal and Quant and an overall 700.
I had actually given two attempts. The first time I felt like I was well prepared, but only got a 650. I revised my Verbal section since that was where I felt I needed improvement and after a week or two, got a 720 on my mock, and finally got a 700 on the actual test. And I decided to go ahead with that score!
What was the difference between both the attempts?
I realized that when it comes to the GMAT, it is more about patterns than knowledge.
When you’re preparing for different tests, you miss the pattern that the real test has. That was the difference between my 650 and my 700.
What were the B-schools you had in mind?
Some essays I wrote on my own, and some I took CrackVerbal’s help for. I applied to NUS, Memphis, Berkley, Cambridge, ISB and IIM-B and got admits from Memphis, IIM-B, and ISB.
How was your experience with CrackVerbal?
I consider myself as one of the oldest students of CrackVerbal. I was constantly in touch with them. Although it took years to get my GMAT prep and exam done, I got constant guidance and motivation from CrackVerbal. CrackVerbal classes helped me get my grammar right. I referred this book called Manhattan which had clear explanations for Sentence Correction.
When you’ve done a lot of good work and you’ve gone out of your way to do something extraordinary, but you don’t showcase that properly, you lose out on a lot. Even though I worked on my first few essays by myself, it was only when I worked on my NUS application with Arun that I understood how to put forth in a way that it’s understandable for the reader.
Everyone’s making sure to do their best and it’s very important to have a guide at this point to mentor you and that’s what I got out of CrackVerbal. I had the best guidance which best showcased my work.
Do you have any pointers for other MBA aspirants out there?
I would say there are 100 factors that matter in while preparing for an MBA. It’s a different scenario for everyone. You’re lucky if everything falls into place. Keep trying to make it work. The advantage I had was that since I was in the same company for so many years, I knew the system well enough to plan my studies.
For GMAT, the pattern is really important.Understanding the pattern is a zone that you get in. If you don’t push hard enough, you won’t reach there. You have to be in that zone to write the GMAT. You might probably take a month to understand the pattern. Just the knowledge would not do. You will be able to time yourself well if you know the pattern. Leave the rest to hoping that everything else will fall into place.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I have a total work experience of about 6 years. I worked for 5 years with Godrej as the Regional Manager and soon after that, I started my own company in the E-commerce sector.
What motivated you towards an MBA?
While working in Godrej, life was pretty good. I had got promoted out of turn and had settled down in life. There was nothing challenging that motivated me to work further. When I started my venture, I realized it’s really important to have a deep knowledge about the company or product that you’re managing because as an entrepreneur, people begin to judge you from every angle- your education, your background etc. I felt that an MBA from a premiere institute would stand out on my resume. I wanted to learn how people in this sector have that kind of confidence and connect to the outside world. As an entrepreneur, people begin to judge you from every angle- your education, your background etc. I felt that an MBA from a premiere institute would stand out on my resume.
How did you approach the GMAT? And what was your score?
The hardest thing on the GMAT was to have things in order. GMAT is a test where you can’t lose your focus. The approach towards developing yourself for the exam is very specific and I was able to keep a specific approach while preparing.
Since I’m an avid reader, I could manage with RC. I had a major problem with CR. I had signed up for Verbal classes with CrackVerbal and had specific CrackVerbal material that was provided to me- that helped.
On the GMAT, it’s not about 10 hours of preparation, it’s about 1 hour with quality focus and dedication.
How was the day of the exam?
Before going for the actual exam, I actually replicated it by giving mock exams. I gave these at the same time, wore the same clothes and the same bag and estimated the travel time it would take to reach the test center. I happened to score a 710 on prep 3, prep 4 and on the actual exam too.
Which B-schools did you apply to?
I applied to ISB, IIM-C, and NUS and bagged admits from ISB and IIM-C.
How did you go about with the Application process?
Since I wasn’t in touch with studies or writing long essays for more than 6 years, I needed someone to guide me. The deadlines were fast approaching and I had 3-4 months to prepare for the GMAT, application, and interviews. That’s when I decided to go to CrackVerbal. I targeted B-schools according to the profile they offered and followed a clear discipline to get the process done on time.
How was the interview experience? What were the questions asked?
The interview was a bit of both- easy and hard. I was interviewed by a Marketing professor who was quite easy going and an alumnus who was quite the opposite. He made sure to create a pressure situation during the interview to test my calm. They asked me about my start-up and asked me to explain my balance sheet. I was questioned on my previous role at Godrej and why I left such a good paying job to plunge into entrepreneurship. The whole interview revolved around questions about my risk- taking abilities, my personal background, what I wanted to be in the future, whether I wanted to go back to doing business and so on.
How was your experience with CrackVerbal?
When I started preparing for the GMAT, I wasn’t really sure on how I should approach the Verbal section. Being an engineer, Quant was easy for me. For Verbal, it’s not just about vocabulary or grammar, it’s all about logic and how you interpret passages. I felt I needed somebody who’s been in my shoes and could help me with Verbal. My brother told me about CrackVerbal after hearing about them from other resources. The first RC class I attended was a demo class. The way Arun teaches is quite different. He approached the subject in such a way that made realize that Verbal is achievable. When it came to applications, CrackVerbal helped me realize what I needed to portray in my essay, rather than just writing the essay for me. It was like more of a self-awakening thing. The approach by CrackVerbal was impressive. Their opinions truly mattered and they made sure I got everything done on time.
Do you have any advice for other MBA aspirants out there?
Everyone says the GMAT is hard and that you have to give a lot of attempts. I would say, create your own experience rather than relying on others words. It’s up to you how you approach the GMAT. Nothing is difficult if you have the right people to guide you and the right resources and the right approach. If you believe, you can achieve.
Can you tell us a little about your professional background?
I graduated as a computer science engineer from Sir M. Visveswaraya Institute of Technology in Bangalore in 2014. Right now I work for AIG Analytics and Services Pvt. Ltd. I have been there for about 4 years now. I work as a catastrophe modeler. The role basically involves supporting insurance underwriters. We do the risk assessment for the underwriters.
Why did you decide to do an MBA?
I actually had the idea of doing an MBA at the back of my mind towards the third year of engineering. I wanted to get into a managerial role, but I had to explore the corporate world before I could pursue my MBA.
I gave my first attempt of GMAT in 2014 and I scored only a 600 which was not enough for me to get into a good business school. So I decided that I would first take a shot at the corporate world to understand what it takes to become a manager or a business graduate.
What mistakes did you make the first time you wrote the GMAT?
The first time, I made the mistake of crunching through a lot of material and free resources, solving a lot of questions. Rather than understanding the GMAT, I was just processing a lot of material. It was only later that I realized that the GMAT is more of a pattern based exam that you have to crack.
So how did that change the second time?
So the second time I gave the GMAT, was in August, 2016. I took one year to prepare this time. It was an on-and-off preparation because I was trying to juggle it with work. I started maintaining an error log this time to keep track of the sections where I was making a mistake. In this, the Crackverbal material really helped me. I would look at the 700- questions in the CV Prep material and analyse where I was going wrong.
Can you talk about your Crackverbal classroom program experience?
One thing I noticed is that the instructors at Crackverbal have a very good understanding of the GMAT, almost on the level of the GMAT test-makers themselves. So initially I went only for Verbal classes but later felt like I needed help with the Quant section as well. Arun was my instructor for Verbal and he taught everything so smoothly. The second time round I managed to score a 710.
How did you select your B-schools to apply to?
So I mainly focused on the US. I also focused on a couple of schools in Europe like Rotterdam School of Management in Netherlands and Said School of Business, Oxford. I chose all of these schools based on the post-MBA employment statistics in those regions and I felt US was the place to do an MBA. I had applied for fall of 2018 and I had applied to 7 schools. I noticed that European schools stress a lot on work experience, 3 years at least.
What was the application experience like?
The first time I applied I made it more about my GMAT score, essays and how well you can personalise your essays. I would look at a lot of essay topics and basically gather a lot of material and practice by trying to put in within the word count. But I realised that it is more than just those things and you need to craft an overall profile that is strong and makes sense. Schools focus on a lot more, like diversity factor, work experience, undergraduate background and more. The first time, I got an interview call from 2/7 schools and then after the interviews I was rejected by both. That’s when I realized I need to focus on the overall profile.
So how did you go about it the second time?
The second time I did more research on all the universities to understand the diversity factor, job prospects in the region and what each university specialized in. This time my essays were more focused about my achievements and my professional experience and how I could leverage it in the MBA program. There were a few additions to my profile this time round because I had just gotten a promotion and international experience and it really helped me a long way. This time I applied to 7 schools and got interview calls from 4 of them.
How were your MBA interviews?
I went through 2 cycles of interviews. The first time was when I applied for 2018 fall. One of the interviews was in Rice University. It was scheduled for 30 mins and a second year student took my interview. He began asking me the cliched questions like “Tell me about yourself”, “why MBA?”, “Why Rice?” and then it moved towards questions like “How would you handle a team?”, “What is your idea of leadership?” and so on. So what I realised is that I was running out of time and it was like he was setting the tone of the interview. So when I asked for a review, he told me that my responses were lengthy and should have been shorter. So I took these tips and used them to my advantage the second time round.
What was your score for the first time?
I got 720 in the first attempt and then I got 750. For the first time, I prepared on my own, but for the kind of score I was targeting, I thought I could use a better GMAT score and I’m capable of getting a better score.
Can you tell us something about your background?
I’m basically an engineer, graduated from NIT Suratkal in 2012. Subsequently, I joined EY in the operations consulting role and slowly shifted into strategy consulting. I still work with EY as a management consultant. It has been five years now.
What motivated you to do MBA via GMAT?
I was always keen to do an MBA because I felt more inclined towards the business aspect than any of the technical roles that I had encountered through my engineering. I had done some technical internships and I also had a chance to intern with EY. I realized that I’m more inclined to the business aspects of work. I had the idea, then, that I should probably do an MBA. Just generally talking to people, I realized I wanted to get more perspectives because what I have seen is, typically, in Indian MBA programs, you can join IIM as a fresher. That was one of the options I was considering. So, I even gave my CAT, but the reason I decided to wait and look at doing an MBA abroad is the access to perspectives and the diversity you get is unparalleled when you compare it to the Indian MBA programs. Even if you look at the top programs like IIM and ISB, a lot of Indians, unfortunately, have a similar background – engineering – and I’m one of them. I did feel that going outside will give a better perspective in terms of people from other areas and other countries. I also had a long term goal of working for a multinational company and I felt, from that perspective, working abroad for a few years will help develop my profile further and prepare for future jobs in that kind of role much better than an Indian MBA would. And obviously, once that’s decided, GMAT is a mandatory requirement.
Could you tell us about the challenges that you faced and how did you overcome them?
I initially studied on my own and gave the GMAT a shot. The number one challenge is getting back to the studying mode because the first time I gave the GMAT test I had worked for about three and a half years and trust me, getting back to spending time studying really does take something. You basically forget a lot of things and the entire practice of studying goes out of your system. I think that was one big challenge. I think it is very important to get the fundamentals right when it comes to GMAT. The first time around, while I knew the formulae and went through the questions and understood the GMAT format, I think there were a couple of key things missing, which helped me do better the second time. One of the main things is to actually look at GMAT as a pure test of common sense and logic. I think the mentality a lot of Indian students have is they tend to look at formulae and solving specific types of questions, hoping that you’re prepared for similar questions. In GMAT, you have to go back to the first principles and think about common sense and logic more than just formulae. Secondly, I think you need to be mentally and physically prepared for it.
What kind of research did you do prior to coming to CrackVerbal?
My research might not have been as extensive as others’ research because I knew a couple of people who attended CrackVerbal who gave me some good feedback. I did enquire about two other institutions. I attended a couple of trial classes, one by Aditya and the other by Arun and I was impressed with Aditya’s approach in solving maths. Engineers mostly think that we are good at maths, but I think his whole approach in understanding GMAT was lacking in my approach before and Arun’s method of conducting the verbal classes made my decision simpler.
How do you think CrackVerbal helped you?
I think it should not be too much of a challenge for people who have a strong academic background to get a score of 680, 700, or 720 if they just put in the work. Getting that 30-40 point increment above that, I think that’s where external coaching can help you. From that perspective – going back to basics and looking at a whole new approach to solving GMAT problems, especially in quant, which I was exposed to through Aditya at CrackVerbal, I think that really made a big difference to my score. At the end of the day, my verbal score improved by two points, but again, from 39 to 41 is a sizeable jump.
What can you say about the support team, apart from the faculty?
I interacted with Likkesh and Prateek and both were very supportive. They took a lot of effort – I had a special situation where I was retaking the exam after 9-10 months and at 720 I was in two minds. So even though I’d forgotten some things, I was very keen to prep for a month and immediately take the exam again. In terms of customising the classes to crunch everything down to 3-4 weeks and cover all the topics, I got a lot of support from the team to that end. They even scheduled the mocks, gave me access to faculty whenever needed, even followed up with me after my GMAT. They enabled me to take full advantage of the faculty and resources at my disposal.
What are your future plans and how are you going about preparing for it?
CrackVerbal helped me with my applications as well. I’ve already gotten into ESADE in Barcelona and I’m waitlisted at Johnson Cornell. I have also applied for a couple of more colleges in the second round.
Could you elaborate on the services as far as the application services are concerned?
I worked personally with Arun for three or four colleges. There was great one-on-one support and I got timely access and quality feedback from Arun. Everything was customised to the story that I wanted to pitch and I got support for the specific colleges I wanted to apply to. CrackVerbal helped me narrow down my choice from numerous options to the ones that were best for what I wanted. They really considered all possible aspects from geographical location, class size, to companies known to recruit heavily from certain universities. It was very comprehensive.
What advice would you like to give for the aspirants planning to do GMAT or wanting to study abroad?
The only advice I would give is think about the right school to take full advantage of the MBA experience. Just speaking to students from colleges I wanted to be in gave me great insights and helped me make my choice. The opportunities provided by top universities abroad are enormous. This is one of the most important decisions of your life. Don’t get caught up only in your GMAT prep, take the time to talk to students and figure out your best fit.
How much did you score in your GMAT test?
I scored 770.
That is an impressive score. Was it the first time you took the test?
No. It was a second attempt. Although I did fairly well the first time, I scored 710 but I felt I could do much better. That made me take the test the second time and it worked out.
Great! That’s quite an achievement. Can you tell me something about your background?
I actually studied mechanical engineering and after that I started working in a data analytics firm and up until very recently, I was with them. I’ve just started an internship at an asset management company in Mumbai. Besides, I have cleared Level 2 of the CFA Exam.
Could you tell me about the preparations you went through and the challenges that you faced?
Yeah, in terms of preparation, I think I stuck to the official guide, that is the OG for Quant and Verbal, and CrackVerbal’s Guides and advanced documents that Crackverbal had given. Even the instructors mentioned that it is better to stick to two-three sources. I agree with that. More than the questions you deal with, I think what you take back from the questions is more important.
How did you hear about CrackVerbal?
I had actually gone to CrackVerbal about four years ago. While I was doing my engineering, I was contemplating applying for the 2+2 or YLP, one of those programs. At that time, I had heard about CrackVerbal online, visited CrackVerbal offices and attended a couple of programs but decided not to do that and instead give it a few years. So this time, it was just a matter of calling them back because the experience was really good.
How do you think CrackVerbal actually helped you?
First of all, the instructors are really good, not just in terms of how they manage to break it down and really understand how a student would approach studying the whole thing, but also in terms of the strategies. I think the time hacks – the more you start doing mock tests and reaching the fag end of your preparation, you start realizing how important the strategies they give are. All the time-saving strategies add up together. That was a major difference point. One more thing is how ready the instructors are to make as much time as you want. No matter how many doubts I’ve had, I’ve always gotten the help I need on email as well as in person. Everyone is really supportive. I’m not the only one, there are so many students – so, the time they make is really appreciated.
Can you point out one specific feature that interested you or you liked in the entire course?
One thing that I really, really liked – this actually happened after the classes when I was taking all the mock tests. There was literally a phase where I’d take a mock test, I would come out and then whatever I didn’t get right, I would sit and discuss with Aditya, the quant instructor. He would explain to me everything that went wrong. It was a kind of instant feedback that really helped me a lot.
What would you say about the support provided by the team, apart from the instructors?
I have interacted with Likkesh and Prateek. They helped in mock-test scheduling and arranging classes that I missed. Divya responded to my emails promptly. All of them were approachable.
What are your future plans?
Firstly, I’m hoping to hear from some college.* Besides that, like I said, I’ve just started this internship which will keep me busy for a few months. This is in the asset management field, so for me, it is a shift into the career path that I always see for myself.
What advice would you like to give for the aspirants?
I think more important than the number of questions that you do is the takeaways that you get. On the exam day, be calm and confident; don’t try to do a lot of questions before the exam and make sure you’re in a good headspace when you’re walking in. And don’t underestimate your hunger, carry a snack along! Don’t worry if you feel like you’re getting too many easy questions during the exam.
*Update: Sushiksha is now studying at Saïd Business School of the Oxford University.
What was your motivation behind an MBA?
So, I’ve done my engineering in Electronics & Tele-Communications, and I have about 4 years of work experience. When I started off, I joined a company called Ice Asia as a service engineer. So, what this company does is that they are a service and sales partner for several European firms who are into the field of automation. I joined here as a service engineer and was later promoted to handle technical sales. Somewhere along the line, since I was very passionate about consumer electronics, I felt I needed a shift.
What aspects did you highlight on your profile for an admit to Schulich?
I think my rapid career development due to the various roles I had taken on while working in the service department, while simultaneously handling sales & technical sales, was something that helped me in great ways. An added plus was my hobby of writing for blogs on daily life experiences. This was something that was unique about me, and I felt that it helped me crack an admit to Schulich.
What was your GMAT Mantra like?
Before joining CV, I had approached the GMAT like any other typical engineering exam just like all Indian applicants do — cramming whatever you can into your head just before the exam with a text book and a few notes.
Although Quant was easy, Verbal was the real obstacle during my first attempt. So later, when I started doing some research on various forums, this one post on GMAT Club really caught my eye. It was written by a student about how CrackVerbal provided him the perfect approach that was required on GMAT Verbal and how the GMAT is a test of logic and not skill, plus how there is a pattern in every question on the GMAT.
Coaching from CrackVerbal was an integral part of my journey especially because it helped me understand this pattern, which in turn helped me score well on the Verbal section considering that was my weak area. Plus, it taught me how to keep time when I’m writing the test.
When it comes to the hardest modules on GMAT Verbal, I would say that CR and SC were my kryptonite. At CrackVerbal, they taught me the right way to ace the Verbal section by helping me understand how we can classify each question and distinguish between them. Hence, with all that, you’ve got a definitive approach to each question that appears on the test.
What sort of material did you use?
I would say it was always a combination of different reference books along with the material provided by CrackVerbal. No matter what the book was, when it came to practice, I would only use the strategy taught to me during my online classes (Yes! I took the CrackVerbal Live Online Course!). Another thing that aided me when it came to my prep was the student forum that you have access to. They’ve got the solutions for all the OG questions, along with responses from other fellow students. This really helps you understand all the unique ways in which other people approach the same question.
What was your experience like on the day of the GMAT?
Firstly, I ensured that the slot that I booked was perfect for me to write the exam. Because when you are in prep mode, i.e., the last two months of studying, you understand at which point of the day your mental health would be peaking. So, I booked my slot around the time my mental state was the most active.
Secondly, I would say that two chocolate bars would do you good during the break to keep the sugar going and to keep your mind alert.
Thirdly, the most important thing I’d like to say is that you need to be calm although you might make mistakes. Never get disheartened, and always keep your cool.
What was your application process like?
Here, again, CrackVerbal comes into the picture. They helped me when it came to structuring my essays along the right line of thought and ensured that I don’t make common mistakes that other applicants do. I was certain that it was either Canada or Singapore where I wanted to go. The mentors at CrackVerbal were very easy to talk to, and they knew what you needed to have. They ensured a one-on-one personal approach when it came to applications.
What all schools did you apply to?
I applied to Schulich, Rotman, NUS, and ISB. I got admits from Schulich and NUS, but Schulich was my dream school. I chose schools on the basis of the regions I wanted to settle down in after my MBA. The second reason for choosing Schulich was because I was looking for a more holistic experience when it came to my MBA. Plus, I wanted to understand not only the role that I would play in business, but also the roles of other people related to me.
How do you feel CrackVerbal helped?
I took the CrackVerbal Online Course. They have very good faculty who go out of their way to help you. I don’t think classroom or online makes a difference. During my entire MBA journey, I felt CrackVerbal was a major game changer. The instructors and the forum at CrackVerbal helped me with my prep in ways that I cannot even imagine. When it came to applications, they ensured that I would be up to speed with whatever I do. CrackVerbal’s USP would have to be its approach to Verbal and its unique student forum.
Do you have any words of wisdom for our MBA aspirants?
GMAT Quant is very easy, but when it comes to Verbal, everyone finds it hard. This might sound like I’m trying to market CrackVerbal , but I truly feel that they’ve mastered the art of Verbal! They know what works for Indian applicants.
It is very important that you don’t freak out on the day of the exam. You need to be relaxed and composed when it comes to approaching the questions on the test to ensure that you deliver.
As far as applications go, adcoms look at you as a developed individual. It’s not all about academics. It’s what you’ve done in life and how exactly you went through it all. They want to know you as a person who has his own individual identity. At the end of the day, it’s you against another bunch of individuals more or less like you!
So, Tell us about yourself!
I did my B.Tech Electrical from IIT Rourkee, an Alumnus of the 2013 batch. After the completion of my engineering degree, I joined Samsung as a Software Engineer.
How did you find out about CrackVerbal?
My friend who was also planning on taking the GMAT told me about CrackVerbal. Through word of mouth and also research on GMAT forums like PagalGuy, and BeattheGMAT which showed some fabulous reviews about CrackVerbal. There was no looking back from then and I joined CrackVerbal for my GMAT.
Tell us about your GMAT journey!
I took the GMAT twice. I joined CrackVerbal before taking it for the second time and boosted my score by 40 points. With regard to my MBA applications, it took me almost a month to get done with after my GMAT. I scored a 700 (Q 51, V 32) on my second attempt.
The first time when I took the GMAT, I scored a 660 with a breakup of Q 41, V 31. Before joining CrackVerbal, my prep was pretty disorganized. Some days I would come back and study for the GMAT while some days I would skip my prep because I felt very tired after work. It felt like I had no direction. I used to borrow notes from friends at other institutions and used to learn for the GMAT.
In the end, I took a mock test and then appeared for the GMAT test. But unfortunately, this approach to the GMAT did not help me attain the score I wanted.
I knew I had to join a coaching institute to give me the required discipline and strategy to carry out my GMAT prep and so I joined CrackVerbal. I had a diagnostic test and scored a 700+. My quant improved drastically after joining CrackVerbal. The classes helped me not only in identifying my mistakes but also helped me build around my weaknesses.
Verbal was a problem for me. I used only CrackVerbal’s material to solidify my grasp on verbal, especially in SC and RC. SC was the trickiest according to me. Also, during this rigorous verbal practicing process, I did not neglect my quant preparation. I made sure I balanced out the study time for both sections of the GMAT. The CrackVerbal material was more than enough for my preparation. Thanks to CrackVerbal, I scored a 700 on the GMAT and I was all ready to apply to ISB.
What Schools did you apply to?
I applied to two schools ISB and MIT Sloan. I got a reject in the second round of MIT. I availed the CrackVerbal application services only for ISB. While working with CrackVerbal, I got to know of how important thought and goal clarity is in an MBA interview. It was this clarity that helped me bag an admit to the Indian School of Business and I owe it to the admission consultants at CrackVerbal who were patient and helped me introspect on my MBA and future goals.
How did you differentiate your IT profile to the Ad-comm members?
Being an IT engineer with minimum work experience, I had to ensure that I do way more than my regular day job. I knew I had to move away from the “IIT graduate” tagline and do more to enhance my profile. Before I started working with Samsung, I used to do a lot of co-curricular projects.
I was an enthusiast when it came to making the world a better place. I had worked on a project called “Thought for Food” which basically aimed at feeding the poor and hungry in India and slowly eradicate the hunger problems in our country.
I had been to Berlin, representing Asia for this project where I exhibited my ideas in front of millions. In my free time I used to develop apps on the Android Platform since I had come from software engineering background. These extra initiatives helped me in portraying the budding entrepreneur within which made all the difference to my ISB application.
Why MBA and not MS?
I was asked this very question by ISB during my interview. I wanted to do an MBA since I had an inclination towards entrepreneurship and product management. My co-curricular activities instilled a very strong desire for social service too and I believe an MBA would help me formulate new goals and ideas to make the world a better place.
Any advice for the IT Guys and Girls in the house?
For all you IT Guys and Girls out there, every B-School wants to see what we IT guys bring to the table. Why do people like us with technical background want to shift to a financial or managerial role? They are basically looking at goals and thought clarity behind your post MBA goals. I would suggest you do a bit of co-curricular activities or take extra initiatives apart from your regular IT job.
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