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MBA-MIS dual degree admit and program experience at Eller | Madhuri’s story!

 

Verbatim

 

Experts’ Global: Hi Madhuri, thanks for making the time to speak with us! Could you share your story in your words?

Madhuri: I come from an undergrad background in Electronics and Communications Engineering, and began my career as a Software Engineer at Cognizant Technology Solutions. My initial profile allowed me some exposure to the interactions between the business and software departments, and this fed my interest in understanding the managerial aspects of client interaction and product creation. I come from a business family, and my background as well as my growing professional passion inspired me to pursue an MBA.

Prepping for the GMAT while working full-time was challenging, but when I got a good score, I only had the advice of a few seniors who had completed their own MBA to rely on. My first round of applications did not go so well, and even though I got some interview calls, I felt intimidated by the same and felt that I was not ready to take the MBA leap.

The following year, with the help of MBA admissions consultants Experts’ Global, I revised my application approach and focused on introspecting about my profile’s unique points, while also shortlisting my targeted schools based on my fit for their culture. I applied to five business schools and was able to secure admits from four, all of which were scholarship-friendly programs.

I would recommend that other MBA applicants also try and get into dual Masters’ programs since they come with the STEM designation that allows for an extended stay in the US post-MBA. Nevertheless, no matter the flavor of MBA you choose, it is going to transform you both personally and professionally. My own MBA experience at Eller allowed me to build lasting peer relationships and gain widespread perspectives through case competitions as well.

 

Experts’ Global: What area of the application process presented the most difficulties and how did you overcome the same?

Madhuri: Putting together an authentic and engaging story through my profile was a challenge. Particularly for Indian applicants, it is difficult to stand out as most of us come from engineering backgrounds and hold good GMAT and undergrad scores. Thinking about how best to express my uniqueness and make my profile USPs more apparent was the key here.

Figuring out what domain I wished to specialize in was also difficult. Once I figured out where my career interests lay, I was able to figure out what schools to apply to, and ended up doing my MBA + MIS from Eller, a top-ranked school for both programs.

 

Experts’ Global: What lessons did you learn from managing the application timelines?

Madhuri: The first time I applied to MBA programs, I had help from a local consultancy that did not follow up on my progress much. I learned then that I needed to be proactive and set timelines and milestones to keep myself motivated, and this outlook worked well when I later availed of Experts’ Global’s aid.

 

Experts’ Global: In hindsight, what mistakes did you make along the way?

Madhuri: I should have started my application work much earlier. I began working on my applications in November, not realizing the time it takes to craft compelling essays. The delays in coming up with useful essays meant that I missed the Round one application deadlines for several of my targeted schools. This lowered my chances of bagging a scholarship from these schools, something that was especially important for me as an international MBA candidate.

 

Experts’ Global: What common mistakes should all GMAT and MBA aspirants avoid?

Madhuri: When you begin your GMAT prep, always study with your target score in mind. If you already have some idea of the schools you wish to apply to, do your research to find out the median score for Indians in those MBAs, and target that score for yourself. Take a free GMAT practice test when you begin preparing to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Work on your weaknesses as there is greater room for improvement therein.

When you begin taking GMAT mocks at a weekly pace near the end of your prep, track your scores on the same. Once these scores start hovering around what you are looking to get on the actual GMAT, it is time to take the exam for real.

 

Experts’ Global: How was your MBA interview experience?

Madhuri: My MBA interview experience was quite interesting because on my first go at applying to MBAs, when I did get through to the interview stage, I was quite unsure of myself. The questions I was asked were based on the kind of internships I wished to pursue and the roles I wanted to target through my MBA, and I had no convincing answers to the same. In my undergrad years, I focused more on academics than on planning out my post-program trajectory. An attitude shift was needed for me to undertake an MBA journey.

With these lessons in mind, as well as with Experts’ Global’s MBA interview prep at my back, I did much more confidently in my MBA interviews the second time around, and had a clearer perspective on what I wanted my path to be after the MBA!

 

Experts’ Global: How was the post-MBA job search and do you have any advice for other MBA aspirants about the same?

Madhuri: The post-MBA job search is not easy for international students. In my case, I completed my MBA in December 2020, right before the pandemic arrived on the scene. Even during the MBA, getting internships had proved quite arduous. A lot of top companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon ended their internship applications by September, and the final selection of interns dragged on until December or even January. Thus, it is best to be prepared to apply to internships from day one of the MBA. Have your resume ready, have your elevator pitch ready, and brush up on your technical skills too. Reviewing your interview skills is also necessary at this stage.

For MBA students, the variety of employment options open to them can be overwhelming. Try and figure out as early as you can where your managerial interests lie, and work towards building relationships in that domain. Your school’s career management team is also a good resource to rely on. They will help you optimize your resume and your LinkedIn profile, and train you in how to write a good cover letter and present your best case to a potential employer. Many career management teams also hold mock job interviews, and practicing in the same can be the key to landing a dream job.

For international students, finding a job becomes tough because not many companies are willing to sponsor our visas. Reach out to your seniors in the MBA community to figure out which companies are likelier to hire international students, and then hone your focus accordingly.

 

Experts’ Global: What is your final message to the MBA aspirants out there?

Madhuri: The MBA pathway is quite transformative, so try and enjoy every moment of it. Frustration can creep in, especially if you feel you have a subpar GMAT score, go through a bad MBA interview, or even face an admissions rejection. Your missteps will only teach you to do better on the next go!

For working professionals, handling the stress of the application journey alongside work demands can be overwhelming. Relying on a good GMAT online course can ease some of the difficulties involved in the test prep stage, at the least.

 

Experts’ Global: Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey with us today, Madhuri!

Madhuri: I hope this conversation gives others hope!

 

Experts Global

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