Experts’ Global: Hi Apratim, thank you for agreeing to talk to us today! Could you kindly share your story with us?
Apratim: Sure! I am from the city of Guwahati, and I have a background in mechanical engineering. I went into my undergrad targeting a move to the public sector, but changed my mind and began looking for a business-side role. Getting a campus placement at Dabur, I got to oversee the setting up of a new factory, and I carried that experience to set up my own beverage manufacturing facility in northeast India. My MBA dreams became stronger than ever, and I prepared for both the CAT and the GMAT. With ISB admissions consultants Experts’ Global’s help, I eventually secured my ISB admit and a post-PGP placement at EY!
Experts’ Global: In your opinion, what factors made the difference in your success?
Apratim: In my case, introspection was a huge boost. It helped me get in sync with my professional priorities, and assess what steps I had yet taken and was yet to take to accomplish them. I also always felt a need to update my skills, and introspection allowed me to figure out exactly where I needed to improve. Taking regular GMAT mocks near the end of my prep also helped me build the necessary confidence for the actual test!
Experts’ Global: With the benefit of hindsight, what mistakes did you make along the way?
Apratim: One of my biggest mistakes was not allowing leeway for exigencies in my application timeline. While I was working on my application, the northeast was in the midst of anti-CAA protests, which led to my eventual admission interview being postponed. This delay led to my intensity of preparation dipping slightly.
Experts’ Global: Regarding your GMAT preparation, what resources did you use and what advice would you give to other applicants?
Apratim: I used the Experts’ Global GMAT online course, as well as the free resources on the official GMAT website. Since I had a three-month preparation timeline, I kept my study resources well-defined to keep myself from wandering and keep my concepts tight.
Experts’ Global: What would you like to say about your experience with managing the application timeline?
Apratim: My focus was on getting my business education domestically, which allowed me to have clarity about my goals and plan my timeline in an organized fashion. I used an Excel sheet to keep track of targeted schools’ admission deadlines as well as the status of the different application materials required for each. This kind of orderly thinking comes in handy in post-PGP life too.
Experts’ Global: How was your business school interview experience?
Apratim: My very first interview was with ISB, and it gave me the chance to visit the campus as well. My MBA interview prep was quite useful, as it allowed me to easily handle questions about my motivations and the challenges I had overcome. For future interviewees, make sure to have an overarching narrative about your life that ties into the different facets of professional work and personal achievement you are asked about in interviews!
Experts’ Global: What can you share with us about your PGP experience?
Apratim: My PGP experience was a hybrid one. The first three months of my PGP were online, which allowed me to focus on my program studies within the distraction-free environment of the home. When we did get to on-campus life, my interactions with the school community were amazing. I got to meet world-renowned faculty and peers with truly astonishing experiences to share. My PGP immersion even impacted my professional goals, and kickstarted my interest in marketing for my specialization!
Experts’ Global: Can you tell us about your job search experience during the PGP and what tips will you give to future candidates regarding the same?
Apratim: ISB has an on-campus placement process that really helps one secure gainful employment. Even so, the PGP journey will connect you to many different individuals from various domains and cultures, and they can help you understand your fit for any roles you target via placement. When you are certain of the kind of profile you want to select, you can reach out to ISB alumni with similar profiles to get their advice on the matter. I would say that applicants should not pick the first placement offer they get out of a need for security. Do your due diligence to find out how any role you get fits in with your long-term growth priorities before making a decision.
Experts’ Global: How has the entire pre-application experience and your PGP journey influenced your growth?
Apratim: The PGP required me to pick some electives that were new to me, and deal with tight assignment deadlines and a heavy workload, all of which prepared me to deal with uncertainty professionally. The PGP helped me understand that learning is a constant process and one should always be willing to update one’s skillset.
Experts’ Global: What common mistakes should all MBA and GMAT aspirants avoid?
Apratim: Above all else, be sure of your motivation for an MBA. Do not do it just to get a higher qualification. Have an entire story explaining your ambitions and learning goals, and how you can add to an academic community. Even for your own benefit, having a preformed idea of your MBA expectations can help you keep your mind clear and maximize the opportunities available to you during the program! For GMAT aspirants, do not pick your study resources carelessly. Most GMAT prep resource vendors offer a free GMAT practice test that you can take to assess the material’s quality for yourself.
Experts’ Global: What is your final message to our readers?
Apratim: My final message would be to try to enjoy the challenges of applying for the MBA itself. The whole process is made easier if you get help from an MBA admissions consultant. Overall, make the most of your MBA time, because, for most of us, it will be the last on-campus experience of camaraderie and learning we will ever have.
Experts’ Global: Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Apratim!
Apratim: I enjoyed this conversation immensely!