Today I want to share with you, the story of an applicant who gets to live his dream of an Ivy League admit that too debt-free.
Ajay received an admit to Darden, a US Top 10 MBA Program, along with a 100% scholarship, roughly amounting to 1.6 Crores! All he had to do was pack his bags, reach his school and start focusing on his MBA journey.
Here is his entire application experience.
Started my GMAT prep in October to apply in January rounds. Got a 710, and started exploring MBA Consultants. Within a month I realized that the current score is too low and dropped the whole year. Took my GMAT again and got a 760- YES! After talking to numerous consultants, I started with PythaGURUS last year in May.
Spent almost one month in understanding my goal stories. Started talking to students in my target schools. I was looking for programs where I could get huge scholarships and zeroed in on schools such as Darden, Duke, Tuck, Tepper.
Was advised by Jatin from PythaGURUS to follow the networking activity. I really realized that I did not know what was it that I was looking for from an MBA. It takes a lot of time and patience as you got to wait for days before responses start coming in. Some people were quite helpful and some were not – I guess it is a mixed bag. Surprisingly people at Duke were very easy to speak with as more than 50% of them responded to emails in 1 to 2 days.
One thing I realized was that some of my initial calls were a waste of time as I was not very sure what to ask them other than their experiences. Find out real reasons for why you want to go to that MBA program and trust me you will be able to do this only if you take this on very seriously. First 5 conversations with existing students and I thought I am not going to make it. I had a typical Indian engineer profile and was told that creating a strong differentiation with essays and LORs was important.
When I started writing my essays, I got a feeling that I was writing everything I had learned after talking to so many people and was going way above the word limits. Rewrote a lot of drafts and thrashed them the next day. Jatin did not limit the drafts for each of the essays but he expected me to bring quality after the feedback he gave me. One thing I would like to point out about PythaGURUS - they will have expectations from you and will expect you to work very seriously.
This process became a little tiring as well at the end as I thought I was not able to create a draft that I can finally submit. I will suggest that do not try to create perfection till the last minute. Your mind will be blocked. Once you have done a couple of essays, start picking up the other pieces of the application and come back to those essays later with a free mind. Doing this helped me as I could bring a fresh perspective.
I had 5 schools on my list for R1 and applied to Tuck (Admit- No Scholarship), Darden (Admit – 100% Scholarship), Duke (Reject after interview), Tepper (Admit- No Scholarship). It was surprising to see Tepper not offering any scholarships as I thought a better program had given me full tuition and a school ranked lower than Darden will do the same. But I got a scholarship DENIAL letter from them Tepper.