Applicant with low work experience cracked HEC Paris

With just three years of work experience, Pranav made it to one of the leading global business schools, HEC Paris.

Here’s his story.

Pranav’s goals story

Pranav’s initial goals story was hardly a story. He had talked about his short-term and long-term goals so briefly that they were hard to even identify at first. He was from an Economics background and wanted to move into product management. However, he did not really know the details of his employability as a product manager post-MBA.

Thus, the first thing we got her started on was research about his post-MBA goal, which included a detailed product management encyclopedia, and networking with the people currently working in the function and sector he wished to work in.

Pranav was advised to look for and reach out to alumni of his target schools, who were working in product management, and find out about the roles and responsibilities and the challenges of their job. This would facilitate his goals story by helping him identify the handicaps he would face in the role, without an MBA, and also the kind of career trajectory he would have.

Knowing the career trajectory of the people working in his desired job role also helped Pranav identify the links between his short-term and long-term goals. And helped him create a smooth transition between the same in his goals story.

Pranav’s essay analysis

It is common for an applicant to misinterpret a question; this is why we believe in writing essay frameworks before indulging in a week-long pursuit to write a good first draft by the applicant.

Pranav’s essay framework revealed this issue early on. Where the school had asked about the value addition that Pranav would make to the school, he had detailed the exact opposite. Our first instinct was to ask him to log onto Interviewninjas and go through the “contribution video” again. That would give him insight into the kinds of things an applicant can do to give back to a business school.

With that taken care of, we moved onto making Pranav’s application more authentic rather than a generic MBA application. We suggested he remain candid in his expression. Come up with facts about himself rather than formulating ideologies that he followed.

This helped turn his application from something he wished he was to something he currently is.

Applicants don’t realize how many great things they have to offer right now and tend to answer in a very idealistic way. The school wants to know the “I am” reality of your personality and not the “I wish to be” part of it.

Pranav’s application, post this feedback, was exactly as we had strived for it to be. He submitted an application that he was proud of.

The result was the acceptance letter from HEC Paris, a globally top-ranked business school.

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