The NUS Singapore 1 year MBA program gets a lot of applications from Indian IT Male Engineers, just like all the other top bschools. Being closer to India and being more affordable than the US programs means that it gets more than its fair share of such profiles.
Rohit Jaggi was one of the hopeful applicants to NUS Singapore and several other top bschools. He got admits from 5 of the 8 schools he applied to – one offered a mouth-watering MBA scholarship. Quite an accomplishment!
In this guest post, he displays his flair for story telling, probably one of the reasons he stood out among the competition.
Greetings everyone! What a fine morning. Let’s have MBA, CAT, GMAT for breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great taste for food. But these abbreviations are hyped so much, they were my first thought in the morning when I was preparing.
About myself, I graduated as an engineer, worked with an IT consultancy firm and am now joining a business school. Sounds familiar?
I followed my parents’ advice and studied engineering. Observing my seniors’ fat packages I appeared for CAT. I didn’t read anything about any institutes, I just followed what Chintu Uncle’s son and Swami the topper were doing. Gave CAT a shot, didn’t make the cut. I thank my stars for that.
So now I, a very astute thinker, decided to take the GMAT, because international universities are better ranked globally. And what’s the top B school in my list? ISB, right? Wrong! Nothing against ISB but I realized that I was just following the crowd.
Finally, this furry little my mind of mine started thinking. I started asking myself questions. Why exactly was I banging on the MBA door? What did I want from it?
So I thought about my journey so far. I could be a “typical” MBA candidate from India, but I beg to differ. I did mechanical engineering from Delhi College of Engineering, but I am more than a guy who just got his degree. I represented my college in a competition organized by NASA and God I worked hard for it. I carried on doing what I loved, sports, and won the best sportsmen award in my institute. Later I fared well after joining Deloitte Consulting and moved up the ranks. This made me realize that I don’t need an MBA to prove anything to anyone. MBA is not at all an end, sometimes not even the means to an end.
But did I need an MBA for something else? Well, I did. I started connecting the dots. I had nothing against my current job but I would have preferred something more. I realized that I could do more in the field of consulting. I could manage teams, handle projects, win clients, and bring business. Also, further experience, more skills and a broader mindset would help if I am aiming to be a manager. To do business with companies belonging to different countries, I need international exposure, better presentation and negotiation skills. Well the list can go on, one can never stop learning.
MBA did seem the best course to meet these needs. So I was back in the crowd, only this time leading it. Now I had to decide where I would like to do my MBA from. Although Indian business schools have their advantages, an international course seemed a better fit for me as it would offer me diversity in thoughts and an internationally experienced classroom. But trust me, the application process is no easy ride.
An international MBA course requires as much research as the cost involved. Since I had stopped considering MBA as a magic wand, I thought of the returns I could achieve from my MBA: A great student experience consisting of a lot of team work and projects, a steep learning curve and hopefully a decent job at the end.
So the research began, and it did not just involve gaining insights about the university, it involved learning about the country’s socio-economic condition, industry background and living costs. The deeper one digs at this stage, the easier it would be in the subsequent ones. I kept a tab on my budget and chose universities in Asia. Although I now know that US universities offer scholarship to reduce their exorbitant costs. This confirms that I should have spent more time in the first stage. However, I stuck to my guns. After shortlisting, I came up with a long list, HKUST, HKU, ISB, NUS Singapore, NTU, Melbourne, MBS, SP Jain. This list seemed to be intimidating, but a good plan and following it is all one needs.
Before jumping on to the essays, some advice and tips are always helpful. I sought it from MBA Crystal Ball and truly it helped. The good thing about it is that it is not pushing candidates to do an MBA, rather to self-introspect and decide whether they want to do an MBA. I got several useful tips for my application. I would rather not divulge the secrets :-).
The applications involved tremendous self-introspection. As I journeyed further, my goals become clearer, my applications stronger and my feedback more positive. Thanks to my family and my friends who I bugged day and night. Two important things I maintained in my applications were straight forwardness and crispness. I highlighted my differentiating points and showed my weaknesses in positive light. In the interviews, I maintained composure and displayed clarity of thought.
I experienced rejections, however I managed to convert 5 of the 8 universities I applied to. It proved to be a hell of a ride. I am just glad that when I finally got selected for an MBA course, I had my priorities and goals set. I hope it pays dividends and proves to be an unforgettable experience. I will be joining NUS Singapore for my MBA. Wishing everyone good luck! Remember, a good decision is about knowing your potential and priorities – not losing yourself in the crowd.