GMAT 720 | Rotman admit with hefty scholarship and MBA experience | Pearl’s story!




Experts’ Global: Hi Pearl, thank you for agreeing to this interview! Could you share your journey with our readers?

Pearl: Absolutely! I originally hail from Mumbai, but am currently living in Toronto. With an undergrad background in chemical engineering, I worked in India’s largest oil and gas company for four years, growing into a more strategic profile in time. However, I wanted to magnify my impact beyond a single company alone, and so began to think of pursuing an MBA. With the help of MBA admissions consultants Experts’ Global, I secured my Rotman MBA admit, and was able to effect a career shift to my present domain of consulting.


Experts’ Global: In your opinion, what actions of yours made the difference in your success?

Pearl: In the GMAT preparation aspect, being consistent with my studies and eventually using a good GMAT online course was a difference maker. I made sure to review the mistakes I was making in depth. In the application process, making the effort to research each of my schools thoroughly, through conversations with alumni and current students, helped me find programs where my profile fit with the culture.


Experts’ Global: With the benefit of hindsight, what mistakes did you make in the process?

Pearl: Looking back, I would say that my mistakes taught me that it pays big to start early. Regarding the GMAT, I could have taken the exam in the final year of undergrad as I knew I wanted to do an MBA soon thereafter, and I had plenty of time to spare then as I had already been placed. Further, begin work on applications as soon as your GMAT is done as that will help you craft a more fully fleshed out story.


Experts’ Global: What resources did you use for your GMAT prep and what advice do you have for fellow applicants about the same?

Pearl: I prepared for the GMAT on and off over three years, but I truly focused on my studies for the exam over the final three months. Early into my first job, I would study the theory from Manhattan Prep and the official material on the GMAT website. I also referred to GMAT Club often to get more questions to practice on. I took a free GMAT practice test or two early on and was disappointed by my results, as I could not get even a 700.

I knew I had to step up my study game and began researching to find an exhaustive GMAT prep program that could aid me. Experts’ Global’s GMAT prep offering was what I landed on, and it proved to be a great decision!


Experts’ Global: What were your lessons from managing the application timelines?

Pearl: Once the GMAT is done with, managing your application timelines is the next hurdle to cross. Many of your schools will have different deadlines, and managing them all can be difficult. I applied to schools across India and North America, and started my application work by contacting alumni and current students from these schools.

I also began computing the costs involved for each program, and began working on drafts for my essays, a process that took the longest time to complete. For my recommendations, I made sure to inform my managers well in advance that I needed their help and was able to get their input in time. Even so, I was unable to complete my applications for the first rounds of admission and got my admit in the second round.


Experts’ Global: Would you like to share your interview experience with the business school?

Pearl: Sure! My Rotman interview was held in two parts. The first bit was asynchronous, and I had to respond to three questions within a minute. Once these were done, I had an interview call with the admissions director. He made sure to put me at my ease with a ten-minute chat when the interview officially began. The questions he put to me generally had to do with why I chose Rotman, my post-MBA goals, and the lessons my life’s failures and triumphs had taught me. My MBA interview prep empowered me to respond to these questions with great confidence.


Experts’ Global: How has your MBA experience been?

Pearl: I have spent eight months now in the MBA, and if you think that the application process is a quick one, the MBA will shock you. I enjoy its fast-paced nature and the challenge that its rigorous curriculum presents. The Rotman MBA has allowed me to study subjects such as strategy and macroeconomics, and I am looking forward to next term’s Creative Destruction module. The MBA community is truly diverse, and I have learned so much about the world from my peers, who are also excellent company while exploring Toronto after class ends!


Experts’ Global: How has the job search been and do you have any advice for applicants about the same?

Pearl: Getting back to a job search after four years in the professional domain was a bit intimidating initially. However, the school provides us with great support regarding polishing our resumes and interviewing skills. Networking, however, is the key to success in the job search. I knew early on that I wanted to enter consulting, and so I channeled my energies into attending consulting-focused events on campus and building relationships therein.

Coffee chats are a big thing in Canadian work culture, and learning to ask the right questions and present an affable outlook during these informal conversations was good for me. The actual job interviews for consulting roles, in my experience, are case-based as they are geared towards testing your problem-solving skills. My MBA exposure helped me excel therein, and I have landed a consulting role for the summer!


Experts’ Global: According to you, what common mistakes should all GMAT aspirants and MBA applicants avoid?

Pearl: Your mindset can be an obstacle. The GMAT prep and application journeys can be frustrating if you begin feeling a lack of progress. Talk about these demotivators, when they crop up, with a close one. Do not put too much pressure on yourself to score extremely well on the GMAT. Just stick to taking GMAT mocks regularly, learn from your mistakes, and things will be fine.

Make sure to not apply to too few schools, as your chances of admission increase when you apply to a greater number of schools, and if you land several admits, you are in a better position to bargain for scholarships.


Experts’ Global: What is your final advice to the applicants out there?

Pearl: As an MBA aspirant myself, I would also go on YouTube and try and learn from others who had been successful in getting an admit. In the end, though, you need to know yourself. The entire journey to an MBA is a self-reflective one, and will allow you to learn how to deal with adversity well. Do not treat mistakes along the way as failures; rather, look at them as opportunities to learn!


Experts’ Global: This has been a very motivating discussion, and thank you, Pearl!

Pearl: Sure, and I am happy to help other MBA aspirants in any way I can!


Experts Global

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