Experts’ Global: Hi Meenali, thank you for taking out the time to talk with us today! Could you kindly share your story in your own words?
Meenali: I began my GMAT preparations right after my undergrad ended in 2019. I had a few months on my hands before my first job started, and so I decided to take the GMAT. I come from a small town where there are not many good GMAT coaching centers or even a local community of any size with an interest in the GMAT.
I used the free mocks and resources available as part of the official material as well as on GMAT Club, and consulted a few people from my alma mater who had taken the test. My first GMAT attempt got me a 630, a score too low for the schools I was targeting. To remedy the situation, I decided to select a good quality GMAT practice test series, and my online research brought me to Experts’ Global’s offering. The analytics in the Experts’ Global GMAT mocks gave me insight into my weaknesses and so I was able to alter my studies to work on them.
After a while, I began getting mock scores consistently in the 730-740 range, and my second and final attempt on the GMAT got me a 700. With some ISB admissions consulting to guide me further, I got into the ISB PGP!
Experts’ Global: In your opinion, what actions of yours made the difference in your success?
Meenali: I would say that being diligent in my research about how to improve my GMAT score, building the necessary stamina for the actual test by taking mocks regularly, and using the Experts’ Global GMAT online course made the difference. The GMAT is a three-and-a-half-hour paper, and each second brings one closer to that final score popping up on the screen. Keeping my calm during this time was essential!
Experts’ Global: With the benefit of hindsight, what mistakes did you make in the process?
Meenali: I should have read more before taking the GMAT, since reading comprehension was a weakness of mine. I reached a point with my Verbal prep where I knew I was making a mistake but could not figure out why. Had I taken more than two months to prepare for the exam, I might have been able to amp up my Verbal aptitude significantly.
Experts’ Global: Regarding your GMAT preparation, what resources did you use and what advice do you have for future applicants?
Meenali: There are so many GMAT preparation resources available online that it can be confusing. I would say that applicants should not just go by the many free GMAT mocks available online as each set of mocks has its own scoring algorithm. Rely on the official material, and one or two additional resource sets at most for your studies. GMAT Club is a helpful community that you can access to keep your morale up.
Experts’ Global: In your opinion, what number and frequency of mocks should a GMAT aspirant attempt?
Meenali: Once you book your GMAT slot, you will get two free mocks to attempt. Over the two months of my preparations, I took around 20 mocks. You should start increasing the frequency of your mock tests when you complete the entire GMAT syllabus; space out the first few mocks by taking one a week and work toward getting to a point where you take a mock every two days. You can also use your mock testing to figure out what order you should tackle the sections on the GMAT in to optimize your score.
Experts’ Global: What would you like to say about your lessons from managing the application timeline?
Meenali: The pre-application process encouraged me to be humble, as it put me in contact with many current and former MBA students who had achieved a lot. It also taught me the importance of time management, a lesson that would be reinforced during my PGP as well!
Experts’ Global: How was your PGP interview experience?
Meenali: I applied to the ISB PGP with a GMAT 700, a score on the lower side of the average for ISB. Therefore, when I got the PGP interview call, I was a bit surprised. My interview was held on-campus, and while I went into it expecting a rigorous cross-examination, I instead found it very conversational. The questions focused on the details of the achievements I had presented in my essays as well as the lessons I took away from the said achievements. My MBA interview prep was quite useful therein!
Experts’ Global: What can you tell us about your PGP experience thus far?
Meenali: My time in the ISB PGP can be best described as a roller coaster. In the initial few weeks of the program, I felt overwhelmed and intimated by how accomplished and high-energy all my peers seemed to be. Eventually, though, I realized that almost all the students in my class felt this imposter syndrome, so we came together more firmly as a group. This coming together helped us, as a whole, navigate the intense workload and constant glut of events happening in ISB!
Experts’ Global: How has your job search during the PGP been and what advice do you have for future students on the same?
Meenali: Make sure that you are clear on the domain you want to enter after the PGP. Just like the GMAT and GRE involve different preparation strategies, so do the interviews for different kinds of roles each having their own particularities. Participate in the case competitions on-campus, as they can often lead to PPIs from sponsoring firms. ISB has an on-campus placement process each year that you can benefit from immensely if your goals are defined.
Experts’ Global: What mistakes would you advise other GMAT and MBA applicants to avoid?
Meenali: Confusion is the enemy of the serious MBA applicant. Reach out to alumni from your alma mater, as well as individuals associated with your target schools, to get a grip on the MBA application journey. Talk to an MBA admissions consultant if you need to! Personally, I made a pro and con list of every school I was applying to, and this helped me narrow my focus even further.
Experts’ Global: What is your final word to our readers?
Meenali: Stay positive, and do not always be critical of your efforts and your worthiness for an MBA admit. It is essential to come to terms with the reality of your profile and to view your chances in an objective light to begin improving yourself. Do not fall into despair at the challenges along the way, and remember that the rewards far outweigh the obstacles!
Experts’ Global: Thank you for interviewing with us today, Meenali, and sharing your insights! We are sure they shall prove useful for our readers!
Meenali: Thank you as well!