Experts’ Global: Hi Madhusudan, thank you for your time today! Could you share your journey with our readers?
Madhusudan: My name is Madhusudan, and I hail from Bangladesh. With a seven-year career at Bosch in project management, I decided to do an MBA to change my career growth pace and shift tracks. Following my WHU MBA, I joined a technology start-up in Germany.
Experts’ Global: In your opinion, what actions of yours enabled your success?
Madhusudan: First off, after seven years at Bosch, I wanted to try a different domain to work in. Staying in the same industry for a long time limits what one’s skill set can potentially become. Changing industries is quite difficult without an MBA as a pivot, and the degree also acts as a great means to upskill oneself.
Experts’ Global: With the benefit of hindsight, what mistakes did you make in the process?
Madhusudan: When I started my MBA journey, business education was only a means for me to get a career boost. Thereafter, I only started looking at what schools to attend based on their rankings, instead of understanding what school’s culture fit me best.
Experts’ Global: During your GMAT prep, what was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
Madhusudan: The old adage is that practice makes perfect. This was the case for me as well, as the GMAT’s different sections were each challenging to me in their own way. Practicing questions regularly and with great focus, alongside taking GMAT mocks regularly, enabled me to overcome this challenge!
Experts’ Global: What were the main resources you used for your GMAT prep and what advice do you have for other candidates about the same?
Madhusudan: I used open resources for my GMAT prep, and I would recommend that applicants also pick one set of resources or a single GMAT online course for their GMAT studies and stick to them. Using multiple resource sets can confuse you about which problem-solving approach to follow. Even beyond just having one resource base to learn from, applicants should try and arrive at a single test-taking strategy as well so that their focus is well-defined.
Experts’ Global: How was your business school application experience and what things did you do right to secure admission?
Madhusudan: I think that introspection is a truly vital part of the application phase as the admissions teams at business schools can quickly distinguish sincere applications from insincere ones. Introspection will enable you to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are and how an MBA will augment the same. The earlier you introspect in the application process, the more fruitful it will turn out to be!
Experts’ Global: With what area of the application did you struggle the most and how did you overcome the difficulty therein?
Madhusudan: The initial phase of the applications, where one has to introspect and ask the right questions of oneself, was where I struggled. MBA admissions consultants Experts’ Global proved quite helpful at this stage, as they helped me understand the kind of questions that would elicit answers and thoughts most useful in the application process.
Experts’ Global: What would you like to say about your lessons from managing the MBA application timeline?
Madhusudan: I learned to be realistic about the schools I was targeting based on my GMAT score, my profile, and my career ambitions. I also learned to think deeply about the costs involved in an MBA degree.
Most renowned MBA schools worldwide are favorite targets for several Indian applicants, which means that we often require GMAT scores well above the average for a particular school’s MBA class. Therefore, if you do not score all that well on the GMAT, researching what schools offer the best ROI for your post-MBA goals becomes very important. Targeting three to five schools is optimal, in my opinion, as this larger shortlist boosts your admission chances while also leaving you with enough time to tailor your profile as per each school.
Experts’ Global: How was your MBA interview experience?
Madhusudan: My MBA interviews were mostly quite friendly as all of the interviewers I met tried to make our conversations informal. Having taken multiple mock interviews beforehand, I had strong MBA interview prep fundamentals in place. I also realized early on in my interviews that being true to myself in my answers was the best approach, and the response I got from my interviews confirmed this for me.
Experts’ Global: What was your MBA experience like?
Madhusudan: My MBA was quite hectic, and it exposed me to a different market, a new ecosystem, and an unfamiliar set of processes. The MBA also allowed me to redefine my understanding of what business leadership looks like, especially in a cross-cultural work environment. I was able to alter my perspective on my own professional duties and the professional community as a whole.
Experts’ Global: What was the post-MBA job search like, and what advice about the same do you have for other applicants?
Madhusudan: During my job search, I followed the same process I did for school selection. I identified my goals, and during the MBA I began building a skill set that would make it easier for me to achieve the said goals. Thereafter, I researched companies that would likely hire candidates without much experience in the domain and realized that an internship was the easiest entry point into these companies. Applying to these firms, I was able to land an internship with room for growth!
Experts’ Global: How have the entire pre-application process and the MBA journey added to your growth post-MBA?
Madhusudan: The whole pre-application process and the MBA itself taught me to be structured and analytical in one’s approach, and be motivated enough to see one’s undertakings through, fully. Overall, I was able to develop an out-of-the-box perspective on problem-solving.
Experts’ Global: What common mistakes should all MBA and GMAT applicants avoid?
Madhusudan: When starting your GMAT prep, be sure to take a free GMAT practice test to see your level of conceptual understanding and get a head start on identifying your problem areas. A common mistake is to decide before the MBA starts, what kind of role you want to pursue. An MBA exposes you to a lot of new paradigms that can alter your thinking and ambitions, and being open to such change is important.
Further, do not pick a post-MBA job based solely on remuneration. Picking a job profile that truly interests you is much more important because if you do well therein, increased remuneration and faster career advancement will automatically manifest for you!
Experts’ Global: What is your final advice to our readers today?
Madhusudan: Be honest with yourself, be fluid in your thinking, and be willing to try different career paths to truly figure out where your aptitude lies. Being as hands-on as possible during the MBA with respect to dabbling in various domains will give you endless lessons to propel you for the rest of your career!
Experts’ Global: Thank you for sharing your story with us today, Madhusudan!
Madhusudan: This was quite a pleasant conversation!