Low GMAT scores for Indian male (or female) applicants usually mean a big red flag. So you muster up the courage to go through the GMAT preparation ordeal again. And the result…another low GMAT score to give the earlier one some company. Most candidates in Manju’s situation would’ve lowered their expectation and settled for a not-so-high-ranked school. But what if the lower-ranked universities also dinged you. Give up on your higher study plans and go back to the job that you were trying to get away from? ‘No way,’ said teacher-turned-IT-consultant Manju Suresh who’s X-Ray vision glasses (proudly on display in the pic) showed her a different option – MS programs.
I was always a happy-go-lucky girl since childhood. I started my career as a teacher and then became an IT professional. Life changed for me after I started working in US. I had to quit my job in Dec 2007 due to personal reasons and was ready to go back to work by 2010.But it was difficult to get a genuine H1b sponsor. Also I wanted to take up IT consulting and did not want to go back as a developer. So I decided to complete my MBA with a focus on business as well as IT.
I studied for GMAT from Apr 2010–Nov 2010. My academic record in my school and in my undergraduate Electrical Engg is excellent. But I am not a good test taker especially under timed tests such as GMAT. First time I took the test, I was not able to achieve a score above 600 in GMAT. I tried again with a private GMAT tutor. I participated in a study group. My private GMAT tutor told me that with the kind of questions I answered in the sessions with him I should at least score 650. Even the second and third time I was not able to score above 600. Somehow I’d screw up on the test day. I was really devastated and frustrated at this point.
The inspiring stories of people who got admitted to business schools even with a low GMAT score in Beat the GMAT motivated me to apply to bschools. So I applied to some business schools such as Babson, Northeastern, and BU and Simmons in Boston. As expected I did not get admission in any of the schools until Feb end. Somehow I wanted to join a Master’s (MS) program since I had put lots of efforts to study GMAT :-) One day I was just talking to my GMAT study partner. He recommended an MS in Information Technology at Bentley University for me. Now I wanted to decide between MBA and MS (IT).
I researched the program and I was really happy to have found this unique program which combines business with IT. And the special advantage is this is a one year program with internship opportunity too. And the cost of the program is half of what I would spend for an MBA. There are options in the program to choose several interesting courses such as Business Process Management, Intermediate Statistical Modeling for Business and Information Management which can help me to take up IT Consulting. I also loved the option to choose electives from different departments such as MBA (IT concentration), Human factors in information design and Information process management. The University campus has cutting–edge labs [Design and Usability Center, Center for Marketing Technology] and a world class trading room. Also the program is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 15 IT programs in the nation. The class size is small and Bentley University’s career services department is very active. Moreover, I was very pleased with my interactions with Bentley university staff, faculty and Alumni. So I decided to join Bentley University. Just few days back I did get a favorable admission decision from Simmons School of Management for their MBA program. But now my favorite program is MS (IT).
I understood that ‘Bhagwan ek darwaja close kiya tho bhi doosra acha darwaja kholte hai‘. So be happy and best of luck to everyone.
Gotta love that closing comment in Hindi. While we are on the opening-and-closing-doors’ analogy, (in the garb of philosophical value addition) let me extend it just a little – ‘While navigating the maze of life, be careful that you don’t get stuck in a revolving door and end up going around in circles. Watch out Aastha Channel!
If you want to know more about Manju’s X-ray vision glasses (lending rates, bulk discounts), drop your comments here. If you want to talk about important-but-not-as-interesting topics like MS programs, that’s fine too.