My MBA journey began four years ago, back in college when I prepared for CAT to get admission into IIMs. However, when a 99 percentile score couldn’t help me get an interview in A,B,C, I decided to give GMAT and scored 740. However, a good GMAT score could only help me so far when I looked at the profiles of applicants in top B-schools around the world. I realized that I was highly under-prepared and needed guidance from advisors better equipped to understand the nuances of a successful MBA application.
After two years of work experience under my belt, I decided to find an expert who could understand my profile and help me seek my target B-schools. While many consultants agreed to work with my case, Jatin looked at my resume and bluntly asked me to come next year with more work experience. I was disappointed but it was this straight-forward and blunt nature of his feedback which made me trust him. He didn’t give me false hopes and would not lead me into wasting my time and resources. Looking back, I guess trusting Jatin and waiting an extra year was one of the best decisions I took throughout this nerve-wracking journey.
Next year when I approached him, we immediately set up my B-school choices – Duke, Ross, Tuck, and Cornell. Jatin also insisted that I apply to a few safety schools in case I was turned down by my target schools and so I decided to apply to Emory, Kenan-Flagler, and UT Austin as well. I decided to apply in Round-1 (Early Application Round) to maximize my chances.
Then came the part of networking. Honestly, I had no idea how important this aspect of the application would be, but Jatin made sure that I had my elevator pitch ready and that my questions be relevant to extract the most value for my application. Connecting with at least 5 students and alumni from every school, attending every networking event in town, slowly yet surely, I was getting better at asking the right questions and setting up the right impression among target school Adcoms.
However, this was nothing compared to the essays. To me, this was the single most daunting task in my application. To introspect my life journey and how it had my impacted my values and beliefs and how it made me decide to choose MBA was way more difficult to put into words than I believed. Jatin asked me to approach this step-by-step and go through the Interview Ninjas portal to create an approach. The detailed feedback he gave me on the first essay drafts of each school made me re-think my strategy, write drafts multiple times before we were both convinced. I finally submitted the essays and my applications and waited with bated breath.
Soon, I received my first interview call from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. I immediately informed Jatin and we went through multiple practice sessions until I had covered standard questions and situational context-based questions. When the final day for the interview rolled around, I was prepared yet nervous. However, once it started, the preparation done with Jatin really paid off and I could feel myself breezing through most questions with ease. At the end of the interview, the interviewer asked me to keep my fingers crossed.
I am still reeling from the buzz from the unexpected phone call from the Admission Committee member, informing of my selection .
My journey is still ongoing, I have given interviews for Ross, Emory and still awaiting decisions from other schools, but as I write these words, I cannot stress enough on the importance of finding good mentors and advisors when you go through this challenging journey. Fortunately for me, I had Jatin at every step of the journey to guide me and bring out the best in me. To all future applicants, if you’re still thinking of how to proceed on this journey, don’t think twice before contacting Jatin Bhandari and the PythaGURUS team, and if he says wait a year, then take heart and wait a year!