This is the first among the many interviews to come from successful B-School applicants. I was hoping if I can ask my friends to share their success stories and application strategies with us, it would be wonderful. I am fortunate to have a terrific network of people I personally know, who are in the best b-schools, living their MBA dream. I thought if I could give them the platform to share the knowledge, we all will benefit. So enjoy the post and leave a thanks for our guest speaker to show your appreciation
Today we have Siddharth with us, who got into MIT Sloan in 2010 Fall.
1) Hey Sid, tell us a little bit about your background.
I have a background in Engineering having completed a B. Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi. Following that, I pursued a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from USC. Then, I moved onto Management Consulting and worked at KPMG in Los Angeles followed by Booz & Company in Dubai. Currently, I’m a first year MBA student at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
2) What made you decide to get an MBA?
As a management consultant, getting an MBA at a top B School is probably the best way to progress in the firm. Not only does it lend credibility to your resume, which helps position you for project selling, but also it goes a long way in enhancing our network. More than anything else, it’s a good break from the hectic work life.
3) As a successful applicant, can you tell us a little bit about your strategy?
I applied to Stanford, Harvard, MIT Sloan and Chicago Booth. This was based on their brand name and the quality of the alums I had met and worked with. I was particularly interested in Stanford and MIT due to their focus on entrepreneurship and small class size.
I applied to MIT Sloan and Stanford in Round 1. Booth and HBS in Round 2.
I was struggling to meet application deadlines due to my busy work schedule. Needless to say I didn’t spend as much time thinking about my essays and reviewing them as I should’ve. In the end, for each essay, I would lock myself in a room for an hour and let my thoughts flow. Then, I’d read it the next day to see if it still made sense. If it did, I went ahead and submitted it. Else, scrap, delete, and restart.
Get recommendations from people who know you best. Don’t get recommendations from people who don’t know you too well just based on their title. A recommendation written from the heart is probably the biggest differentiator among top candidates.
I didn’t visit any schools while applying. I didn’t have the option as I was miles away from the US. For those who can visit schools, visit as many as you can.
4) What was the interview process like with MIT?
MIT Sloan’s interview process is undertaken by their admissions committee and not by alumni. I was interviewed by Rod Garcia, Director of Admissions, in Mumbai. Rod asks pretty standard questions which you can easily google and find. The key was to convert the interview to a conversation. So, finding those common grounds that would entire your interviewer into conversing with you is the key.
5) What was the most difficult step for you in the entire application process?
Essays are annoying, not difficult. Getting recommendation is frustrating, not difficult. Recalling the extracurricular activities you undertook at school is painful, not difficult. The most difficult part is short-listing schools, deciding which ones to apply to in round 1 and which ones in round 2, picking recommenders and then the wait for the decision. So, the beginning is tough, the end if tough, all else is a blur.
6) How did you prepare for your GMAT? (Great if you could mention your score)
Practice, practice, practice. I did atleast 10-12 practice tests. By the end I got so good at it that even when I guessed, I guessed correctly. Your brain gets trained to identify patterns in questions and therefore, you’re able to predict what the answer might look like even before you do any calculations or analysis. I scored a 770 (50 Q, 44 V)
7) What do you plan to do post MBA?
At this point, I plan to go back to consulting. But, I’m interning in Investment Banking this summer in New York. So, I’ll only be certain about what I’m doing post MBA after I experience banking this summer.
8 ) Do you have any advice for the readers?
Stop reading too many blogs and posts. Stop thinking too much. Get cracking on the application process. Oh! And Mukul’s blog rocks
——END OF CONVERSATION—–
If any of you are applying to or thinking of applying to MIT Sloan MBA Program, I will be happy to get you in touch with Sid, but sincere applicants only! Subscribe to GMATing for more success stories like these and to get the latest updates and news.
All the best!