Experts’ Global: Hi Akhil, thank you so much for interviewing with us! Could you kindly share your story in your own words?
Akhil: Thank you for having me as well! I hold a B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering. I worked at Capgemini for three and a half years as a software engineer, with a stint in the Netherlands as my introduction to global business. The team structure at Capgemini was geared towards getting each of us invested in the business aspect of our product work, looking beyond the how to the why. Naturally, I began to target an MBA in order to facilitate my transition to the strategic area of business. Starting my GMAT prep in March 2022, I relied on MBA admissions consultants Experts’ Global and was able to secure admission to Rice University!
Experts’ Global: In your opinion, what are the decisions that made the difference in your success?
Akhil: The most important decision was the choice to pursue the MBA. Close to four years into my career, I felt an MBA could accelerate my growth as a professional. Thereafter, I decided to go for an international program in order to get an extended two-year immersion.
Experts’ Global: With the benefit of hindsight, what are a few mistakes you believe you committed in the process?
Akhil: The first mistake I made was not taking my GMAT mocks seriously. I would recommend that you treat your mock attempts as seriously as you would the real exam. In this way, you will condition yourself to rise to the stress of the actual GMAT. Make sure to take the practice tests at the same time of the day as your real GMAT is scheduled.
When it comes to attempting the different sections on the GMAT, take your time to find a sequence that works best for you. I also started using the official material quite late, and I advise other GMAT applicants to make the official material the focal point of their GMAT prep.
Experts’ Global: Going back to your GMAT preparations, what were the main resources that you used?
Akhil: For my GMAT prep, I relied on the questions in the official material, as well as Experts’ Global’s GMAT online course. GMAT Club also proved a helpful community with which to reason out some of the more challenging questions.
Experts’ Global: With what area of the GMAT did you struggle the most and how did you master it?
Akhil: The most challenging part of the GMAT preparation phase was figuring out how to balance my studies with my work load. I also initially struggled to find a prep strategy that worked for me, and took some time to figure out what my strong and weak conceptual areas were.
Experts’ Global: According to you, what number and frequency of mock tests should an aspirant take?
Akhil: At the bare minimum, you must attempt the six mocks in the official material. Thereafter, do your research and attempt each free GMAT practice test that the GMAT mock series vendors out there offer to decide on the further mock tests you take. I would recommend taking around twenty mocks to get into the correct rhythm.
Experts’ Global: What mistakes would you advise all GMAT aspirants to avoid?
Akhil: Most importantly, treat every mock GMAT you attempt like the real deal. Try and identify the order of sections that you need to attempt in order to maximize your score through the mocks that you take. Remember that everyone has their own pace of learning; so, you need to devise your own timeline for your GMAT prep. Master the concepts, and do not end up attempting practice questions from multiple sources because you will end up wasting time that way.
Regarding your applications, thoroughly research the schools that you select. Try and identify schools that reflect a taste of admitting students with profiles similar to yours. Further, if you are not very sure of your funding sources, make sure to apply to more practical, scholarship-friendly MBA programs as well.
Experts’ Global: With what aspect of the application process did you struggle the most and how did you overcome that challenge?
Akhil: Looking back, I had my desired GMAT score in hand in the last week of August 2021 and was targeting MBA deadlines for the first week of October 2021. Wanting to make the best go in my first attempt at MBA applications, I reached out to Experts’ Global. Their application support process encouraged me to introspect and craft stories around my life’s challenges and achievements to highlight my strengths and how I have overcome my flaws. Their help with my essays helped in truly engaging my profile, and the MBA interview preparation program with Experts’ Global gave me an edge during the last leg of the applications.
Experts’ Global: Would you please describe your interview experience with the business schools?
Akhil: I applied to eleven schools in total and received interview calls from nine of them. I was able to schedule all of them within the span of a month, with at least a two-day interval between each interview so that I could analyze my performances and improve upon them. My training at Experts’ Global, and their help in equipping me with an understanding of the core USPs of my journey, helped me sail through most of my, largely conversational, interviews!
Experts’ Global: What is your final message to the GMAT and MBA aspirants out there?
Akhil: Be sure of your motivations. If you are taking a break from your career, be certain that you have the drive to resume working after a two-year educational break. Start with your GMAT prep as early as possible once you are decided on taking the MBA leap. Make sure to reach out to alumni from your targeted schools, as well as current MBA students, to learn from their mistakes and shape your vision of your business school experience!
Experts’ Global: Thank you for talking to us today, Akhil!
Akhil: I hope my words prove helpful for other MBA dreamers!