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Simon MBA Rochester admit with scholarship

MBA scholarships are tough to come by at the good business schools. Convert $20,000 into Indian Rupees (what would you do with the extra 10 lakhs that you save?) and the MBA success story sounds so much better.
For Ankit Chopra, all this came after he had put in more than the usual share of MBA application effort. Starting from his GMAT preparation to the time it took to write the best possible MBA essays.
The end result was that the helpful Associate Dean from the Simon MBA program was advising Ankit on the electives he should be taking in the course that would be aligned with his career interests.

My Simon MBA (University of Rochester) Application

Simon MBA Rochester scholarshipWhen I graduated from college in 2008 and joined my first job as a software engineer, I just had some vague views on doing an MBA. With time and some career advancements, it was clearly evident that I would need more knowledge and further educational qualification to pursue my career aspirations.

Entrepreneurship intrigued me and so I started experimenting with some business ideas and ventured into a part time start-up ( with two of my friends. Although, we were able to successfully take up some projects and deliver what was required, we failed to take it forward as a full time profession. I switched my company and entered the business and data analysis world to learn more about the strategic decision making process.

In my first attempt, I got a low GMAT score of 650 . Although I was expecting more maybe it was not my best attempt. I knew this score will not be helpful in securing an interview from a top b-school and gave it another shot to score 700 this time.

The next big hurdle is to shortlist the B-schools where you would like to go, based on the post MBA job profile, financial budget and long term career aspirations.

With around 3.5+ years of work experience most of the top UK B-schools were mostly out of reach as they have an average of 5 years of work experience in the incoming cohort. I engaged in discussions with the admission team, alumni and current students of various colleges through email or Skype to get insights about the program and employment statistics from an international student perspective.

Finally I drilled down to the following schools: ISB, National University of Singapore, University of Rochester – Simon and Nanyang Business School.

Coming to the most important aspect of the application – THE MBA ESSAYS – I had to go through a lot of research, introspection and contemplation to complete the first draft. An important learning while compiling my essays was to answer the three basic questions -where do you fit in the program, what specific contribution would your candidature bring to the incoming class and how would you benefit from the program.

If each essay answer can drill down and explain these questions, your application would make up a good case for at least an MBA interview call. To get an initial perception, I shared my MBA essays with a few friends to take an honest feedback on what they reveal about my aspirations, identity and suitability for the program. Finally after a lot of re-work, cut, copy and paste the essays were ready for submission.

The first school to break some news was University of Rochester – Simon School of business. I was invited for a face to face interview with one of their associate Deans. The interview was very comfortable, we discussed about the economic scenario, my current work profile and my career aspirations. He even suggested me some electives which would be provide me with some edge in the future job applications depending upon my career aspirations.

In 3 weeks time, I received an admit email from the school along with a scholarship of $20,000 per year! On the other hand, I have been waitlisted for an interview from ISB and still awaiting communication from NUS and Nanyang.

Please feel free to contact me, if you have any queries in this context.

– Ankit Chopra
Also read Top MBA programs in New York

Open invitation from Ankit for anyone who has queries.
Like many who write guest blog posts for our site, Ankit hasn’t worked with MBA Crystal Ball on his application. So if you know other Indians who’ve got into good schools, let us know. We’ll share their story as well.

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About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

17 thoughts on “Simon MBA Rochester admit with scholarship”

  1. Hi Ankit,
    I have a total work experience of 3.4 years in market research and consulting (1 year and 4 months) and product management (1 year and 9 months). I am looking for 1 year course, which can help me in leadership roles in the healthcare consulting. I am pharmacy post graduate from Kurukshetra University.
    Can you please guide with the B-schools and how can I make a thorough research on them and what should be the selection. Secondly, I have my GMAT exam scheduled on May 26, 2012, can you suggest me any method of crash course study pattern, which can help me score above 750.
    I have shortlisted a few schools-
    Since, time is currently a constraint can you please provide me quick solutions and shortcut methods for preparations.

  2. Hi Prachi

    I would suggest that you should brush up the basics and give a GMAT mock tests in a test stimulated environment as it would help you improvise upon the time required per question. Some of the online adaptive tests are available on websites of Veritas and Kaplan.

    Best of luck for the GMAT.


  3. Hi Ankit,

    I have my admission interview – rochester mba scheduled for the next week. It is for their jan intake of the accelerated 18 month program. I had certain queries regarding the same could you please provide your mail id so I can discuss them.


  4. Hi Ankit,

    I am admitted into the Winter 2013 MBA Program at Simon with a scholarship of $12500/ year. However i still haven’t made a decision about enrolling. I have a few concerns about the cost as i was hoping for a more substantial scholarship amount. I will need to go in for the ISLP (International Students Loan Program without a co-signer). I’m just confused since i have heard the placement numbers after completion are not as good as they should be especially since they charge you equivalent to Top 10 B-schools. Could you provide me some insights into the same.

    Could you provide me your details in terms of which university did you attend, placements etc.


  5. Hi Ankit,

    I had applied for University of Rochester in the second round.. Got an interview call within 5 days, but i was a little late to respond back and got a skype interview scheduled for almost 3 weeks later. I have my interview on 13 December and they had communicated their result on 19th November. Is that a negative??

    Please give me some tips on how should I prepare? The questions they ask. also how many questions shall I put across to them.

    Please reply soon.


  6. Vignesh,

    The Skype interview process at any school (not just Simon) is pretty much similar to a phone interview, with the main difference being – the Admission officer can see you, your body language and gestures.

    So you need to be a little more aware of how you ‘appear’ AND ‘sound’.

    Plus there’s the additional hassle of being dependent on good broadband connectivity. Otherwise the quality of video and audio can mess up the interview.

  7. Apart from the FT rankings, what kind of brand value does Simon have in US ? What are the job prospects for people with IT background. I have 6 years of work ex in IT and am applying to the 1 year MBA at Simon … What will be my job prospects post the same ?

  8. Akash: Your post-MBA goals will play a key role in answering that question. If you want to continue doing in USA what you’ve done in India, you might have more takers. If you are aiming for a career change, it’ll again depend on how radical that transition is.

    For instance, moving from pure IT to Investment Banking would be really challenging. But getting into a technology business analyst role in Ibanking may still be possible if you can show relevant skills.

  9. Dear Ankit,

    I am interested in the 18-month accelerated mba of Simon – spring 2015 intake.

    I had submitted my application with my gre and the application is under review. Some people say that 18month mba without an internship option would prove fatal for career employment chances. Considering the reputation and the good employment statistics Simon rochester university holds, can u suggest me about the credibility of this course? I intend to choose MBA finance.

    Have a lovely day ahead.
    Thank u

  10. Do we need job exprience compulsry?
    as i wil be passing my bachlrs in 2016 and i wil b applyng for MBA in rochstr ..

  11. I am currently in my 3rd year in electrical engineering. I have decent accomplishments like working as an assistant project manager for a big time ngo for a year and i currently head my own ngo(small scale). I am really serious about moving into the corporate world and my main concern is looking for a career change. How much will the fact that i have a degree in electrical engineering and not fields like it or cs hold me down when i apply for an mba later in my career.
    Thank You


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