Stanford MBA (full scholarship) vs Harvard Business School: Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship Winner

Stanford Business SchoolWhile the battle of the giants in the MBA world – Harvard Business School (HBS) and Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) – has raged on for a long time, very few Indians have been in the envious position to have got admits from both.

That number shrinks further if you consider Indians who’ve got a 100% free ride (i.e. full scholarship) from either of them.

IIT Madras graduate and former McKinsey consultant, Ankur Gigras, falls in that super-elite pool. Though his down-to-earth and simplistic style of narration reflects none of the arrogance or eliteness you might expect from someone with such credentials.


How I got into Stanford GSB MBA (full scholarship) & Harvard Business School

Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship Winner | Scholarship for MBA

by Ankur Gigras

It was midnight and I was clicking refresh on my browser screen again and again to see if Harvard Business School (HBS) results were out. Finally, I got to see the results. It was an admit!

The next day morning around 2PM IST, I received a call from Derrick Bolton, Assistant Dean for admissions at GSB, Stanford that I have been admitted. When I asked about the MBA scholarship (Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship), he replied, “yes, you have that too. It covers your tuition and living. Do you have any questions/concerns you want to talk about?” By that time, I was speechless. I just thanked Derrick and put the phone down. It was really one of the best days of my life!

By background, I am from a small city and have done my Chemical Engineering at IIT Madras. From IIT, I was lucky enough to be placed at McKinsey & Co. and then left that after 2 years of analyst program to join Abbott Labs in Mumbai to work on implementing their growth strategy. I wanted to do an MBA because I wanted to complete the arsenal of my business knowledge.

I wanted to take courses that build my fundamentals of finance, marketing and consolidate whatever I had learnt over 3 years to allow me to pursue my passion in the future. I discussed my aspirations with my mentors and my bosses and decided to apply to business schools after 3 years of experience. Based on my discussions I decided to take chances in Round 1 and Round 2. Round 1, I decided to apply to HBS and Stan and keep Wharton for Round 2, in case something seriously bad happens in Round 1.

GMAT prep for Harvard / Stanford Business School admissions

The next step was cracking the GMAT. I prepped for a couple of months, read through the standard GMAT guides and took a lot of practice exams.

Finally, when I gave the exam, my score was above the average score for both HBS and GSB. I think the key to scoring well in GMAT is to practice and to keep a cool head during the exam.

Given that the exam is tiringly long, it’s good to practice as much as possible using the online test prep software.

Writing the Harvard & Stanford Business School MBA Essays

The next step was to write good and complete essays for the application. From where I saw the application process, I wanted to make my application as personal, consistent and real as possible. I wanted to bring life to those essays and make the admission office want to talk to me once they read my story, and most importantly, it had to be “my story”.

As a result, I brainstormed a few ideas of how to structure my essays with a few very good friends from McKinsey and figured out what I wanted to write about. I then wrote the first draft and sent my applications to two of my friend at Kellogg and HBS.

My friend at Kellogg responded within a day with just two words – “call me”. I called him asap and his feedback was very simple. While the essays were “OK”, it would be better if I rewrote them and restructure most of my points! I agreed and took the next couple of weeks to rewrite the entire essay set for HBS and Stan.

After two iterations and one complete idea change (My friends convinced me that my idea was stupid!) the essays were good to go! I also made my recommenders go through my essays so that they can realize how I am positioning myself and provide recommendations in sync with what I had written (remember consistency is exceptionally important!).

My Harvard & Stanford Business School MBA Interview experience

Thankfully, I got interview calls from both Harvard and Stanford Business Schools and I prepared by going through tons of questions on websites, talking to people who had gone through this process before and by reciting my answers in front of people who knew me so that I know what to say and what to avoid!

The interviews were an interesting experience. While one of my interviews was very warm and polite, the other one was a stress test! (Don’t ask me which one was which!)

Thankfully, my preparation kicked in and I did not blurt anything random either in the stress test or during the warm and polite discussion session.

Advice for those targeting Harvard & Stanford MBA

If I were to synthesize my learning from the point of view of Indian applicants, here would be my takeaways

Strategize how to apply
Keep some of your first choice schools in Round 1, while keep a few for Round 2. You never know what can go wrong in these processes!

Practice for GMAT
Sitting for 3+ hours in an AC room in front of a computer screen is much more difficult than you think!

Look for MBA scholarships
Most schools would have the names of scholarships on their web pages. I found one and hence my 2 years of Stanford education were free while many of my friends simply did not get it because they had no idea that it existed.

Personalize your essays
It sounds simple, but the admission committee officer sitting in a room reading your essays should feel a connection to you. The essay is your only way to reach out to them and tell them that you are interesting enough to warrant a call.

Keep things consistent
Bad things can happen if your recommenders write your strengths and you have indicated them as your weaknesses in your essays! Make sure every single one of your recommender knows what your essay thesis is.

Be prepared for anything in an interview
Most likely, you will get a surprise question during an interview. Don’t picture an ideal interview in your mind, just go with the flow and answer them!

– Ankur

It’s easy for someone reading this story to get carried away by the simplicity of the story and undermine how difficult it can get to crack the code. However, while formulating your admissions strategy, keep in mind that the acceptance rates at Harvard (hovering around 12-13%) and Stanford MBA (under 7% selectivity) are the toughest in the world.

If you are really serious about getting into any of the elite MBA programs and looking for MBA application guidance from Ankur, drop us an email with your profile details on: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com.


Ankur’s MBA Consulting success stories

Ankur has helped many MBA applicants (including those with low GMAT scores / low GPA and reapplicants) get into several prestigious business schools across the world. Here’s a small sampling of his MBA success stories:

Working with Stanford MBA grad Ankur on the MBA essays was an extremely satisfying experience. His feedback inputs were quite thought provoking and they made my essays more wholesome and coherent.

Read more: On-the-spot MBA admit after 3 minute interview

Ankur guided me through MBA MAP and gave me invaluable inputs which led me to choose the right mix of schools and also helped me refine my career goals. During the research post MAP, I re-adjusted my post-MBA goals. But yet, my application results were surprisingly mirrored by the MAP report.

Read more: Top MBA in USA as a reapplicant

Ankur had a unique perspective and some great suggestions. He helped me to refine my answers and advised me to elaborate not on ‘What I did’ but rather ‘Why I did’ something. He was very polite and soft-spoken throughout all our interactions. He was just the kind of mentor I needed for my application process.

Read more: Top MBA in UK as a reapplicant

I really liked the structure that Ankur brought to my application approach. He made mental notes of my personality, my aspirations and my preferences and through the course of our association constantly redirected me whenever necessary.

Read more: Top Indian MBA with GRE

Read these related posts:
How to get into Harvard Business School
How to plan your MBA Application Timeline
What is most important in MBA applications?
What Admissions Officers of top business schools look for in MBA applicants

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MBA Crystal Ball provides professional Admissions Consulting services. Hire us to improve your chances of getting into the top international universities. Email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

// MG (Manish Gupta)
MG (Manish Gupta)
Chief Consulting Officer at MBA Crystal Ball, ex-McKinsey, IIT & ISB topper. MG can help you get into the top B-schools. Read more about this top MBA admissions consultant. Connect with MG on Linkedin, Facebook or Email: mcb [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com


  1. Ezhil Kumaran Kesavaraj says:

    Wow !!! Many congrats Ankur ! You are in the most wonderful and enviable position. Good luck and do good…

  2. karthik says:

    First of all a BIG congrats!!!, Ankur. I have planned to write a GMAT and would like to know your preparation strategy that you have followed in your daily routine. Moreover how you ‘ve balanced work and prepararion?

  3. Ankur Gigras says:

    Thanks.. Karthik, the simple way to crack GMAT is to practice a ton (it gets boring after a while but thats the point). Also, people tend to ignore a few sections as they are good at it, but my tip would be to read on them as well.. it improves speed and would make you more confident.

    Also, regarding timing.. depends on what job you are in! But a normal strategy is to use the first month to go through just one GMAT book (pick your choice) and read it through. I dont think reading one book in a month is that tough.. we all read novels :D

    Then in the next month, take 1-2 tests a week for practice and utilize weekends to do the same. Hopefully you should be confident by the end of the month and all set to crack the GMAT.. Best of luck!

  4. Kshitij says:

    You have carefully hid most of the information in this article, and so i am going to ask you just one question: Which scholarship did you get at Stanford?

  5. Ankur Gigras says:

    Thanks Kshitij – Appreciate the different angle of looking at the article. I wasn’t definitely looking at it the same way and was just trying to keep it as general as possible and share my story as it was

    Actually, if you Google my name or go to my LinkedIn page, you should be able to get most of the facts. I just dont want to put my resume in my story on the blog. Also, there is only one scholarship (to my knowledge) that offeres full funding to Indians. The link below might help

    Happy to take other questions if you feel anything is “shrouded” in mystery here :D

  6. Nisha says:

    Hey Congrats Ankur……it indeed seems life gave u tough choices !!! All the best & yes your story in indeed truly inspiring :)

  7. Martin says:

    Congrats Ankur! I got accepted to GSB deferred program so I will be doing my mba in 2y. Could you elaborate about the scholarship? Where did you apply? Was it a fellowship?

  8. Sayantan says:

    Well Done Ankur!!! Really a tough choice for you…. although its like rose bed on both sides. I would like to know whether I’ve any chance of getting into SBS. I’m a NIT Durgapur (2013) pass out and currently working in L&T ECC (Design Engineer, although had an offer from ZS Associates as BAA, which I left for some reasons.) I’m getting around 760 on GMAT mock CATs (MGMAT). So, assuming I’m getting such GMAT score & with (pretty) strong extra curricular, what are my odds for SBS.
    Thanks, in advance, for your reply

    • Yash says:

      No chance. His GMAT was probably the least important thing. His IIT + McK tag got him in, and his GPA (McK rarely takes non-nine pointers.)

      Prepare for CAT, buddy.

      – an IITKGP grad who also missed the MBB train. :(

  9. Ankur Gigras says:

    Martin.. congrats on being accepted to the GSB! Its a great school!! I dont know if the 2+2 program would allow you to get this schol. Actually, the 2+2 program didn’t exist at GSB 4 years back when I had applied!!

    This link might help –

    Please do let me know if I can clarify any further questions.

  10. Ankur Gigras says:

    Thanks Sayantan.. While its very hard to judge from what you have written here, GSB students are from a very wide spectrum of experiences… engineering, consulting, finance, etc. As a result, I would not discourage you from applying to any good B-School.. It all depends on what you write in your essays, how you did on your jobs, what you want to achieve from doing this MBA, etc.

    Let me know if I can be of any help here

  11. Srishti Goyal says:

    Hey Ankur…congrats on such a rare achievement.
    I am a CA student hoping to complete my CA in 2015. Till then I would have completed my Bcom fromm Mumbai University (correspondence). I wish to get an MBA from HBS but I am not pretty sure that which program is best for me. However I think 2+2 program is right way to i dont have experience in business or profession. As I am from a small town in Rajasthan…having a little knowledge about HBS, I really need your advice in this regard.
    Also, how could I get a full scholarship in HBS.?? And plus they need recommendation letter…but since I am doing a correspondence in Bcom….I could not get it from any college professors…and also i have no contacts in HBS… Help please..

  12. Deepesh says:

    Hey Ankur…
    Congrats for being an alumni of GSB
    I need to know about the eligibility and the criteria they consider for the scholarship as frankly saying I dont have very academic background so are there any chances .

  13. Gaurav Kapil says:

    congrats sir,i wish to follow your footsteps.i am currently doing bachelors in commerce.please guide me what steps should i follow further.i will be very thankful to you.

  14. Debashish Saha says:

    Congratulations on getting admitted in probably the most prestigious mba institute in the world and that too with a scholarship. My question is based on the chances of admission for engineering undergraduate fresher students wih no job exp. I am currently pursuing instrumentation and electronics engineering from Jadavpur University Kolkata. Please be patient to reply to the query.

  15. Nayantara MB says:

    Hi Ankur. Is there perhaps a personal forum where I can email you?
    Warm Regards,

  16. Sameer Kamat says:


    For general queries, the blog or our MBA forum works best.

    If you are looking for professional support from Ankur for your MBA applications, drop us a note on: info at mbacrystalball dot com.

  17. gursimran says:

    Hello Ankur,
    My heartfelt congratulations to you for getting into “Stanford”.I graduated from Delhi University and currently placed with Mogae Media(airtel’s media partner).I was really looking forward to pursue an MBA from Harvard but lately i have realised that Stanford has a wider practical approach to MBA and it would certainly be worth it if i pursue an MBA from this school as i believe that this approach can make a hell lot of difference.I was in dire need of the details of the scholarship that you received.It would be really helpful if you could provide me with the information.

  18. sadhana says:

    gud mrng ankur sir

    whith whom we have to get recommendations ? which people we have to contact ? how can we reach to them

  19. ajayraj says:

    hi ankur,

    i will be applying for business schools this fall..there were a few questions bothering me.

    1) I don’t have work experience, how important is it?
    2) Is there any eligibility criteria for scholarships?
    3) Are my grad school grades something i should be worried about?

  20. Asmit Basu says:

    Hello Ankur,
    I took a peak in the hsb website and from what i could make out, the entire cost would come around to $160, 000 and that would come to approximately 100,00,000 INR for two years (the cost including the tuition fees, the student residential fees and all). Does hsb provide a 100% scholarship?

  21. Daksh Jaiswal says:

    Hello Ankur.
    Firstly, Congratulations on making the cut and getting a Reliance India Fellowship at Stanford GSB.
    I’m a final year student of B.Com(Hons) at Delhi University. I have just given my second year exams, and will be applying for the fellowship.
    I wanted to ask you a couple of things as enumerated below :
    1. How exactly should I go about the essay? In the sense that how do you think would be ideal as a structure for the essay? I just want a basic outline.
    2. Also, since majority of the students applying for the fellowship have a good 2 or more years’ work experience, how are my chances of making the cut? My academic accomplishments have been good and apart from that I’m very regular at participating in extra curricular activities, debates to be specific.
    3. Apart from these, I have also passed exams till CA-Inter (recognized by ICAI). Will this be given credence as a part of the application?

    Hope to hear from you soon so that I can start with my application which is due in a week or so.



  22. Arjun says:

    Hi Ankur,

    It seems you are part of the best institutions and companies that exist. It would be really helpful if you could advice me regarding masters in HBS and Stan related to real estate. Working as an Architect in Dubai for the past 2.5 years, I would like to pursue my MBA in the related field.What are the chances of getting into these colleges with 3 years of experience, good GPA and a graduation from NIT, India?

  23. Ankur says:

    Hi Daksh,

    The question is pretty straightforward, write about your vision for India, as you see it. However, its really hard to advise you on the exact structure of your essay without knowing what you want to write about. If you need further guidance, please contact Sameer @ mbacrystalball and he can guide you on the process for this.

    Also, regarding your second point, its hard to get into any US MBA school without experience. That said, I have seen that happen as well. It all depends on how you build your story around what you have done and demonstrated potential to fit into these schools!

    Please do let me know if I can be of any further help,

  24. Ankur says:

    Hi Asmit,

    HBS provides scholarships based on financial need and merit.
    For further information on the type of scholarships available currently, HBS website should be of good help.


  25. Ankur says:

    Hi Arjun,

    I don’t know your exact background, but your education and experience indicate that you might have a fair shot at these MBA schools.


  26. Arjun says:

    Thanks Ankur, Also I would like to ask regarding how important it is to be a part of Social clubs or NGO’s. Also until now I haven’t had any exposure to business related activities. So are these one of the main criteria they look into while admitting a candidate?

  27. Ambica says:

    Hi Ankur

    Congrats on getting into the best 2 schools!

    I wanted to know if it is better to get a recommendation from a professor or a manager?

    Also, does the designation of the person recommending matter(means will it make a difference if my application is from an Associate Manager or a manager)?

    Does the kind of work done by me matter more, or the kind of firm I have worked in(like the Big Four)?

    Thanks in advance!


  28. Ankur says:

    Dear Arjun,

    The US business schools admit all kinds of profiles.

    That said, you will need to demonstrate leadership skills and/or things that the business school (depends on where you are applying) is looking for. So, it all depends on what your story is, where you are planning on applying, and what your other credentials are.


  29. Ankur says:

    Dear Ambica,

    I will respond to your questions one by one

    1) Mangers are preferable, but it depends on what you are planning to write about. If your essay is about what you did in college, you would want to have a professor’s reco. I think consistency between essay and reco is more important than who you are getting the reco from
    2) Point 1 should answer your question on designation
    3) Both things matter. Business schools look at your profile in whole, not in isolation. what you want to focus on more is definitely something you can work on with your essays.


  30. MAYANK says:

    Hi Ankur,

    Your story seems really exciting, or rather is more inspiration.
    I have a few questions for you:-
    How do B schools calculate GPA SCORES..
    Reason i ask this is because in my Graduation I scored approx 70% in my B.Com Exams from Calcutta University , (This was among top 5-10% scores).

    I am apprehensive of the fact that some colleges/ universities assign higher marks thus raising GPA’S, where as even being in the first decile , your scores might get affected because of the grading methodology of your respective College/University.

    What is the remedy ?

    2. I am a CA, CS, CFA LEVEL 2,
    Did from Calcutta University, and studied from of the premier school of India .
    Presently working with Reliance, within their Corporate Treasury, from last 2.5 YEARS.
    Earlier worked for 2 years approx with ICIC / PwC.

    I really want to pursue a MBA, and shall appear for GMAT, but the question which come to my mind is what are my chances of getting dinged at my application stage based on my qualifications/experience.
    Because at some of other profiles, (Like your’s too !!!), i get a bit awed and envious too, and apprehensive at my long shot chances.??

    Request your feedback on my profile.
    GMAT I shall crack…lols!!
    What about post that….!!!

  31. Ankur says:

    Dear Mayank

    1) Your GPA score would be calculated as 7/10. However, the universities definitely take into account your rank. So, if you were amongst top 5-10%, it would help the cause. Also, doing well in GMAT would help too.

    2) Your chances will be dependent on which school you would want to go to.. If its a finance heavy school, your profile has some great points.. If its an entrepreneurship heavy school, you will need to present your story differently. I have not seen many people not being able to do an MBA (but many haven’t got their top few choices)

    Hope this is helpful,

  32. mayank says:

    Hi Bro,

    Many thanks on your feedback and inputs.
    Acctually what i meant was do i stand a chance in H/W/S , or top 10 like LBS / INSEAD etc.

  33. Sangeeta says:

    Hi Ankur,

    Your story is really very inspiring.
    I am planning to apply to Stanford, Wharton and HBS during round 1 this year.
    I have taken some of the Mock tests for GMAT, and have scored around 685-710. I plan to sit for the GMAT in the last week of July, to give me ample time to prepare my essays and other necessities.

    I have done my Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and am working for the past 3 years in a software company. Due to some medical issues, my graduation results were not as expected.
    I am very inclined to do my MBA from either of these three institutes. I am confident of getting a good score in GMAT. Could you please how I need to prepare for the essays, as well as other areas to possibly get an interview call, and then crack it.

    Thanks in advance,

  34. Ankur says:

    Dear Mayank,

    Tough, but not impossible.


  35. Ankur says:

    Dear Sangeeta,

    The purpose of sharing my story was exactly to give you a general idea of how to crack it.

    Basically, you will need to start writing your essays at least a couple of months in advance and then get it reviewed multiple times to get it in perfect shape. Try to make it personal, so that it is your story that makes the admission officer consider you interesting enough to warrant a call.

    For more specific guidance, I will need to look at your resume/essays, etc.


  36. gagan says:

    I am preparing for gmat can you please suggest me from where i have to start so that i can get full scholarship.

  37. Ankur says:

    Dear Gagan,

    The best way to get a good GMAT score is to practice a lot. Pick up one GMAT book, read it through and through and then practice for a month or so.

    A good score will help in getting to a good school, but scholarships are dependent on a lot of other factors like financial need, your CV, etc.

    Hope this helps,

  38. gaurav pathak says:

    Is it possible to qualifyy for such scholarships and institutes even if one doesnt have such dazzling academic record?

  39. Ankur says:

    Dear Gaurav

    It’s possible. These institutes look at the overall profile, of which academic records are just a part


  40. Rajshekhar says:

    Hello Ankur,

    I am a Stanford Reliance Fellowship finalist, and an applicant to HBS 2+2 program. Should I mention the fact that I am a Stanford fellowship finalist in my HBS application?

    Your help will be appreciated.


  41. Ankur says:

    Dear Raj,

    Firstly, congrats. There is no need to do so. Given that both these schools have different philosophies, mentioning one in another app might dilute your application


  42. Adith George says:

    Ankur.Congrats and I have the same ambitions as you.Well i am currently in class 11 and i am preparing for iit and i am planing to take a MBA from one of the top colleges in the world. Can you give me some advice so that i can succeed. Can you mention your iit-jee rank to me as it would help me to know the cutoff and the required rank needed to take a good engineering branch?

  43. varunperla says:

    Hello sir ,

    Hearty congratulations sir for your fabulous achievement. Sir I’m varun perla completed my 2nd year B.E(Hons) ,mechanical engineering at Bits pilani. Its my dream to get an MBA from Stanford or Harvard sir . I am very glad that i found this site on internet sir and very kind of you mentoring MBA aspirants. Sir i request you to please guide me and what I can do from now itself to get to those dreamlands by cracking the scholarship from reliance industries. I know that I can’t get into it without proper guidance from experienced people like sir.

    Awaiting for your reply sir,
    Varun perla

  44. Ankur says:

    Dear Adith,

    Firstly, I am glad to see that you have great aspirations from as early as class 11th. The JEE rank in itself is not a major criteria. your admission in MBA takes into account your education, work experience, and other extracurricular things that you may have done.

    My rank in JEE was good enough to get me chemical engineering at IIT Madras :).

    So, I would just say that work hard to get a good rank in JEE, But dont get satisfied then, keep working hard till you reach your goal, which in your case I understand is an MBA from a good institute.

    Best of luck,

  45. Ankur says:

    Dear Varun,

    The first step is to focus on acads (given you are in 2nd year) and then get a good job where you can sharpen your leadership abilities.

    Once you have done that, give GMAT, develop your essays and you will be all set!

    Best of luck,

  46. varunperla says:

    thank you very much for such a fast reply. My CGPA is currently around 7 . Do i have a old chance if I keep my CGPA at 7 if not plz tell me what must my minimum CGPA.

    regards ,
    varun perla

  47. Rohini says:


    I have done my MBA HR in India.With a strong 4 year of experience in a start up. Now, planning to do graduate certificate program in HRM from Oklahama State University. I am in dual mind whether to go with graduate certificate program or masters in HRM.
    With regards to job prospects.
    Please can you help me with this


  48. Ishvarya says:

    Hello Ankur,

    Congratulations on your great achievement! I am sure your family must be so proud of you :)

    Please find my questions below:
    1. Is experience in community service very important for the application? What if it is not from some globally recognized organization like Teach for India etc., but rather from the CSR wing of the work organization itself?

    2. How do you identify a institute as finance heavy institute, entrepreneurship heavy institute etc.? Are there some links/blogs discussing about these details.

    3. The schools are looking for unique profiles. Will they value an application with 1.5 year management experience in the (Very common) software industry in India?

    Thanks a tonne for your valuable inputs!

    Thanks and regards,

  49. Ankur says:

    Dear Varun,

    As I had indicated, acads is only one part of the application. However, its always helpful to remain in the top decile.


  50. Ankur says:

    Dear Rohini,

    I would prefer a masters over a degree certificate program as it will be more helpful from a job perspective.


  51. Ankur says:

    Dear Ishvarya,

    1) CSR is relevant only if its a part of your story. I wouldn’t sweat too much about whether it was at an NGO or community service.
    2) Finding what a school is looking for is possible through the following – 1) Go through the website of the school in detail 2) Talk to the alums/people who know about these institutes 3) Look at the other institutes the university is strong in (e.g. Stanford Engineering, Harvard Medical, etc.)
    3) The schools have all kinds of profiles, but 1.5 years is definitely on the lower side. The average workex is typically 3-4 years

    Hope this is helpful,

  52. Shivani Bahl says:

    Hello sir,
    I’m really inspired by your story and to be precised by you.
    I’m a student of class 11th from commerce stream. Seeing that you are an IIT grauate and majority of the people who’ve left their comments here are engineers I am quite disappointed. I want to pursue my graduation from any of the top 5 colleges of DU and then want to get into one of the best business schools to do my mba.
    Please help me as im very disappointed.
    Let me know if i have any chance to get through GSB or HBS if i work really hard.
    Awaiting your reply.
    Please help me with this.
    Thanks in advane.

  53. Ankur says:

    Dear Shivani,

    There is no need to be disappointed. While its true that many MBA aspirants are engineers, there is no shortage of people from other backgrounds at business schools. Even the top tier consulting firms hire from all the top colleges in India.

    Hence, if you work really hard and keep your focus clear, there should not be any reason why you cant achieve your goals and reach a top tier Business School.

    Best of luck,

  54. Prateek says:

    Dear Sir

    If it’s not much to ask, can I have your email id??


  55. Koodzi says:

    Hi Manesh,

    This is long overdue but I remember reading this post last year when I was applying to Stanford. You words really helped me and pushed me along and I GOT in! Still super excited – I start this fall. Thank you very much, I just wanted to express my gratitude.

    You inspired me even further to share my journey and help other applicants so I started a video blog.

    Keep doing your great work!

  56. @Koodzi, Great news buddy – congrats, glad that Ankur’s story inspired you enough. All thanks to Ankur here for sharing his story – we are merely the means to get this story to you.

  57. Kushal says:

    I’m an Indian undergrad in my senior year from a top level state university(not iit) 75.6%-Top 5% of the class.
    -3 Internships. One at Honeywell , one at state power generation corporation, one in a large construction firm in India.
    – Worked as an internal consultant for an IT startup(held many key responsibilities including funding for modernization and re-architecture process, served as a change agent by introducing techniques like prototyping and risk assessment and management also handled a few client projects)
    – 2 international publications(not ieee, one of them pure computer science related and another is based on risk assessment and an alternative solution to FMEA)
    – State 3rd rank in high school examination (98.8 percent, was given special recognition at an educational fair by the then Home Minister of the State) and 93% in 10th standard.

    Led several teams in many competitions like :

    1)” Manthan”- A nationwide political competition to address 14 critical challenges that India faced in 2013(18,000 students participated in it). Led the team to 2nd place in popular category of our theme and was invited to Grand Culmination Convention which was graced by the presence of dignitaries like the Current Prime Minister of India, Finance Minister of India, Chiefs of staff of many departments and other business and thought leaders.
    2)Honeywell Young Innovator Challenge, led the team to finals (competition had several phases which lasted 8 months long including show and tell session on the final day where we engaged with a crowd of more than 2000 marketing and proposing our idea. Youngest team there competed with grad school students and senior year students while we were in sophomore.was awarded an internship later)

    Was elected as a member of the organizing committee of the annually held national level technical symposium. Was responsible for managing the entire finance and budget, monitoring cash flows, supervising event coordinators, leveraged this opportunity to create funds to the IT startup in an innovative way making them conduct workshops for students to learn new technologies with hands-on experience.

    I’m applying to HBS 2+2 in R1 can you shed some light on my chances and also Yale Silver Scholars and Stanford GSB deferred admission (applying through the Reliance Fellowship, confident enough of being a finalist).

    (Yet to give gmat expecting a good score)
    P.S I also have a strong network of Influential people and I mean really influential.
    ( Sorry for the Lengthy info. :p)

  58. Ankur says:

    Dear Kushal,

    You have a good profile and you should have a fair chance of getting into a top tier business school. A few things that you should consider

    1) If you have worked with the alumnus of the school (i think that’s what you mean by influential people) and they are willing to give you recos, please do that. Its always helpful
    2) While you have a fair chance, please note that the people who apply to these schools usually have pretty strong resumes. So remain prepared for any surprises.
    3) Other than your resume, your essays will play a very important role in your admission app. So, start working on them so that you have sufficient time for editsl!

    Hope this is helpful,

  59. Rahul says:

    Hi Ankur,

    Feels good to read about your achievements.
    I am 32 yrs old with B.Tech and MS from US, US work Ex – 4 years, now an entrepreneur in India from last 5 years. I am applying to Top 8 US schools however when i talked to some wharton and booth alums, they had concerns about age. Can you throw some light on this for GSB and Harvard?


  60. Lavit says:

    Hello Ankur,

    I have just finished with my B.E in civil stream with 76.5% over all average.
    I would like to study further in the field of management since i do not want to do MS in my field.
    In fact i do not wish to do any technical course at all.
    I want to persue Management course in US.
    MIB or MEM.; I seek guidance from your goodself to help me decide between the two.

  61. Kunal Arora says:

    hello Ankur!
    Its always a treat to see people like you reach great heights, congratulations for your splendid achievements!
    i see all the comments here and feel a little amateur as i am a psychology graduate from delhi, I’m 19 right now with no work experience yet, as i see like most of the commenters here and yourself had a lot of work experience before applying to the b-schools, is it a big thing to be considered before applying to any of the good b schools?

    apart from the work experience, i am doing quite well with my gmat scores.

    thanks in advance for your helpful reply :D

  62. Ankur says:

    Hi Rahul,

    While the avg workex at these schools is ~4 years, the max age at both these schools is usually above 32. So, while workEx will need to be explained (basically, you will have to explain why an MBA now and why not an executive MBA), you can get in if your essays and other parameters are solid!


  63. Ankur says:

    Hello Lavish,

    I am assuming you mean Masters in International Business and Masters in Engineering Management. Given your comment, an MEM seems more apt. I can’t see a reason (from your comment) as to why you would want to do a MIB? MEM seems in line with your civil engineering degree and your chances of entry in that seem higher too


  64. Ankur says:

    Thanks Kunal,

    As I had responded in my earlier comments too, the business schools take all kinds of profile; including freshers. Though, the % of people without experience is much lesser.

    In case you want to apply now, please consider the 2+2 programs as well.


  65. Mayank says:

    Hi Ankur

    Congrats on securing admissions to the top B-Schools. I am a Chemical Engineer and have a score of 710 on GMAT. I have 7 years of work experience in Project Management Consultancy in Oil & Gas Sector. Do I stand a chance of getting to the top 10 b-schools with scholarship?

  66. Ankur says:

    Dear Mayank,

    This information is not enough for me to comment on that.. while GMAT and Company you have worked with are part of the application package, the schools also look at Job Profile, your educational qualification, your other activities, etc.


  67. Katta says:

    Hello Ankur,

    I have masters in Computer Application from Andhra University with 80%.

    Captain for Andhra University Volley ball team consecutively for 3 years.

    I have 4 years(and working) work experience as an SAP consultant with a company.

    I’m planning to give GMAT this year .
    What would be the score, I need to acquire to better the chances while applying for the HBS and GBS.

    My brother works as a consultant in ISB, so I’m less concentrating on essays and recommendations.

    Does my profile fit?


  68. Ankur says:

    Dear Katta,

    Whichever school you are targeting, my advise will be to try for a score that is above their avg GMAT score.
    Regarding your profile, looks like GSB/HBS would be a good aspiration. But that is from the limited information I could get from your comment.


  69. prerak says:

    Hey,congratulations! I am doing my from IGNOU and CA.IGNOU is an open university, having done from there affects my chances of getting into top MBA schools like harvard , Stanford in a negative way?please,do reply!

  70. Dhanashree says:

    Hello Ankur,
    Congratulations on getting into Stanford :)
    I am a second year engineering student…I wish to start my career in the management side so i am considering applying for mba from a top b school right after undergraduation…but will not having prior work experience put me at a disadvantage?I would like to know how i can boost my profile for acceptance as a fresher and also about all the other criteria they look for in such applicants…
    Thanks in advance :)

  71. Nitin says:

    Hi Ankur,

    Congrats for all your achievements. Its is a great story.

    I’m a software engineer from very average college with 75%. From last two years I’ve been working in IT industry as a software engineer and have done pretty well.
    In GMAT preps, I’ve been scoring around 680 (in Maths I’m getting full marks but in English I’m trying to improve). I’m planning to apply to top ten universities once I reach the level of 760(I’ve started my preparation just 15 days back).
    Extra curricular: Unfortunately, I don’t have must to show on that front right now. May be I’ll join some social organisation to make up for that.
    I’m planning to go for MBA in 2016.

    Can you please guide me what should be the realistic target for me? Also, how can I improve the resume as currently its the most average CV they can come across?

  72. aman jindal says:

    Hello Ankur
    Congrats for this big achievement. Even it my dream so study in one of the top business schools in the world. I am
    Planning to take admissions in Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in BBA cource. After my undergraduation it my dream to get into world’s best business school for MBA. Please guide me that how should I prepare myself so that I can become a strong candidate for Stanford Reliance scholarship.
    Are there any scholarships for Indian students in Harvard and Wharton business schools. Please tell me that what these business schools look in a candidates so that they can award scholarships to them.

  73. RIFAT says:

    How much CGPA +GMAT +IELTS Score need for full funding hbs?

    RIFAT from Bangladesh

  74. Swetha says:

    Hello Ankur,
    Congratulations! I’m a 3rd year electronics and communication student at Anna university, Chennai. I want to pursue MBA for higher studies. I’ve always liked owning and starting my own businesses. When do I take my GMAT? And how many years of work experience do I need to get into top universities?

  75. Advita says:

    Hello Ankur Sir,
    Congratulations..! Indeed your story is very inspiring..!
    I have a commerce background graduated from Mumbai University. As of now I am a CA (ICAI) final student. It is my dream to get into Harvard or Stanford. I would be fortunate if you act as my mentor and guide me how to proceed with further and help me accomplish my dream.

    Looking forward for your reply.

  76. Ankur says:

    @ Dhanashree/Swetha – All schools take freshers, however the numbers are very very small. I would recommend gaining some (3-4 years) experience before applying. Not just to get in, but also to get much more out of business school

    @ Rifat/Aman – There is no “safe” score, as the schools look at much more that just these scores. The mean score is on all the School’s websites

    @ Prerak – Buddy, depends a lot on what you do after this… a degree is just a small part of the application process that includes essays, work ex, etc.

    @ Advita – Happy to guide you through the process, please post your questions on the blog or email to Sameer [ info at mbacrystalball dot com]

  77. Anjali says:

    I am a B. Tech passout 2010. Since then I prepared for civil services. Since I believe it’s high time for me to pursue a career I zeroed on MBA. Because I have no work experience now and it’s already been four years out of college, will I be able to get into MBA program’s in USA. I definitely would want to take up in uni’s like Stanford but which uni’s could possibly admit me?
    My other options being Haas College, Fuqua College, Uni’s in California.

    Thank you in advance.

  78. Ankur says:

    Dear Anjali,

    You will need to explain the gap between education completion and time of application (for any school), and in fact for any job interview. I dont have your complete profile, so cant guess on which schools should be good option/fit for you. Please reach out to Sameer [ info at mbacrystalball dot com] for more information on MAP, which can let you know your best bet in terms of schools,

    Hope this is helpful,

  79. Samiya Nasim says:

    Hi Ankur,
    I am a student of SSN college of engineering, currently pursuing my 3rd year of Computer Science and Engineering with a cgpa of 8.5. My aim has always been to study management at top B-school. I would ideally like to secure my admission into a B-school immediately post my Undergraduate degree. The HBS 2+2 program and the Yale Silver Scholars Program are those that seem to be ideal at the moment. Stanford GSB would also be a wonderful opportunity as it grants deferred admission to undergraduate students from what I could gather. I am planning to write my GMAT and TOEFL in the upcoming year and begin the application process following that.
    I have volunteered in various events and won several accolades in the field of sports and public speaking. I have already sent a mail to the ID mentioned in the blog post and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    I strongly believe that at this stage, bit of mentoring would give me a better direction. It would be wonderful to have a chance to interact with you personally. Kindly do let me know if you have any tips or advice for me.
    Thanking you in advance,
    Yours sincerely,

  80. Ankur says:

    Dear Samiya, all I can say is keep working hard and build a good profile. Get experience that reflects your leadership skills and allows you to pursue your interest. Then write good essays and keep your fingers crossed

  81. harry says:

    Is it necessary to take the CAT for the Stanford dhirubhai ambani fellowship?

  82. Surabhi says:

    Hello Ankur
    I think i am bit late to congratulate you but after finding many pages on MBA and related scholarships i found your page i find somewhat helpful actually its my brother who wants to do MBA to be very truthful can you please elaborate more about scholarship that will be helpful for me. which scholaarship you got and how you applied for it?

  83. miriam wambui says:

    Am an orphan in Kenya ..really want a scholarship so as to accomplish My dream..

  84. Ankur says:

    Dear harry, CAT is not needed for the fellowship

  85. Ankur says:

    Surabhi/Miriam – here is the link to the scholarship page

    Best of luck,

  86. Ajay says:

    Dear Sir,


    I have completed my BCOM this year with 40%, I had started working as i was 18 years old and currently with 4+ years of experience in HR field now I am planning to do MBA in HR.

    I had targetted some Institutes ( MILS, TISS, XLRI), But while surfing got to read your story and inspired from it thought to do what you have done and do my MBA through scholarship, I belong to a reserved category.

    Kindly guide would I be elegible for it and if yes plaese help me / guide me on study material to pass out the exam and also let me know as i have to do the MBA this year itself so are the dates still available for participating.

    Hope for your helpful revert ASAP.


  87. Ankur says:

    Dear Ajay, I am not the best person to guide you if your query is regarding MILS,TISS or XLRI.
    Regarding US B-Schools, given your profile, Tier 1 schools would be a stretch. For others, browse through their websites to see if they have any scholarships available and the dates of applying

    Hope this helps
    best of luck

  88. sandaruwan says:

    dear ankur sir

    i’m from srilanka. 1st of all i would like to wish you all the best for your great achievement so far.
    i just finished my BA (HONS) in business management degree from university of wolverhampton. and also i have two years working experience in a executive level.

    now i’m planning to do a MBA, but i dont know how to choose the best MBA program that suit to me. and also i came from a small family in srilanka, please help me to find a best and cost effective mba program.
    your reply will ne highly appreciate.

    • Ankur says:

      Dear Sandaruwan,

      The best MBA program for you depends on a lot of details. I would recommend reaching out to Sameer at for guidance on that front.
      Most schools provide loans and scholarships. So cost should not be a big concern

      Hope this is helpful,

  89. Omkar says:

    Hi Ankur,

    Congrats on your great success…!!!
    I am a Chartered Accountant and from Pune University. I passed all the levels of CA course in the very first attempt. Further I got First class with distinction in B.Com and
    Presently I am practicing on my own in Pune since last 8 months.
    My questions are-
    1. Whether practicing as a chartered accountant would be considered as experience for getting into B.School?
    2. Which study centres should I join to crack GMAT and to get proper guidance?

    Thanking you,

    • Ankur says:

      Dear Omkar,

      My comments

      1) Yes, it can be positioned that way
      2) Cant provide guidance here. I had found books like the official GMAT prep guide and Princeton quite helpful

      Hope this helps,

      • Omkar Chandak says:

        Thanks for your reply.

        As per your opinion, when should I apply for MBA? Is it practicing after two years or immidiately?
        And how can we represent my CA practice as an experience.

        Thanking you,



  90. Shibbir says:

    Hi Ankur
    I am from Bangladesh. Can I pursue MBA with full scholarship in Stanford?
    How much cost i must bear processing all admission formalities ?

  91. fairoze says:

    may i know, what is their both HBS and Stanford least required CGPA for applying MBA with a full free scholarship? i am a undergraduate student in BBA programme.

    • Ankur says:

      Dear Shibbir/Fairoze,

      I would recommend that you go to the school’s website for answers. However, I dont know of a CGPA cut off. It depends a lot on what you do after your undergrad as well.


  92. Praveen says:

    Hi Ankur,

    Thank you for sharing your story, it will be a great piece of inspiration for many aspirants like me. Before I came across this blog I was drawing a plan as to how will I Crack the test and how I would fund my education at one of the top 10s. The plan was to save for the next 3 years and in the same duration prepare well for the test and the essays and everything that will follow.

    Now, that you have put the idea of a scholarship in my mind I have few questions I think you can help me find an answers to.

    1. Does my previous academic marks matter?? ( I don’t have a fancy history there), but, I have realised that there is a leader in me who needs to be groomed and it’s time I do something about it.

    2. What do you think.. What is the ideal duration of preparations I should go through and what will be the best method. should I really go to these so called top preparation Institutes or just a self preparation be enough? Could you please list down the books that helped you.

    3. How does one get the scholarship??? Would you be able to elaborate the process if there is one.

    I have more questions, but, may be for next time.

    Looking forward to your reply.



    • Ankur says:

      Dear Praveen,

      Here you go

      1) Yes they do, but only to a limited extent
      2) GMAT – good to prepare for a couple of months.. Essays – A couple of months should again be good
      3) Please look at school websites for details. There are multiple scholarships and the process is different for each one

      Hope this helps,

  93. nikita says:

    congratulations sir fr such a great achievement…. i am persuing my economics honors and aiming for stanford. could you please provide me with the some info for how can i get into it.

    scored in matric with 90% and class 12th with 89% . first year of grad with 80% . Could you please provide with the details. hoping for the positive revert soon.


    • Ankur says:

      Dear Nikita,

      Please go for a good job that allows you to demonstrate your leadership skills and then apply after a couple of years.
      With good recos and good essays, you should be able to get into a good school

      Best of luck,

  94. Abhishek Srivastav says:

    First of all congrats sir,
    I am pursuing my final years from delhi all my semester I have scored somewhere around 55 to 60% cause I never gave practical which consists of 25% marks.
    I did my 10th from birla school, pilani 9.6 cgpa
    And my 12th from dps rkpuram , with 92 %
    I have also cracked ca cpt and ipcc in first attempt.
    I am a national level swimmer and also won tonnes of award in music and acting.
    I am a second dan black belt.
    and I can get my letter of recommendation perfectly written by prime minister of india(including personal details) as I know him personally.
    I have also contributed in old age homes during weekend.
    I am working hard for gmat and am expecting somewhere between 760 -790.
    My question is what are my chances for hbs or stanford gsb.
    as ,
    I have no formal work experience and my college gpa is below average(thought I can get a work intern certificate from reliance ) if required.
    Please assist me if u can.
    anyway congrats for your achievement

    • Ankur says:

      Dear Abhishek,

      While noone can guarantee an admission at HBS or Stanford, with that kind of reco and scores, you should be able to get into a good school.
      Also, applying after 2-3 years after getting work experience might make more sense as it allows you to look at business education with the right perspective.

      Hope this helps,

  95. Rohith prakash says:

    Congrats Ankur Sir ,

    I am interested in doing an MBA
    I got Placed in Larsen and Toubro ECC ,
    but now i am considering of starting a business of my own.
    I would like to know if ” corporate work exp ” is required or not , or else just
    we can show as ” self employment ” as work experience ???

    Because expand the business in 2-3 years than work in an company

    • Ankur says:

      Dear Rohit,

      Yes, working in your own startup and expanding it to a decent scale does count as experience


  96. Khusi says:

    Hello Ankur Sir
    First of all my heartiest congratulation to you for your achievement.
    I’m a first year student in NIFT, pursuing my Bachelor in fashion technology degree. I scored 10 CGPA in 10th and 90.8% in 12th CBSE. I know its too early to to think about GMAT or getting admission in Harvard. But I was concerned about what efforts I can put now to improve my chances of getting into desired university. I don’t have any good record in extra curricular activities, will it hinder my dream?
    But I assure you, I’m a very hard working person, I would try my best to get good and consistent GPA.
    Please tell me what should I do at this stage of my life, so that I don’t miss any chance and regret later.
    And can you please give me your email ID for further questions.
    Thank You Sir

    • Ankur says:

      Dear Khusi,

      Please go for a good job that allows you to demonstrate your leadership skills and then apply after a couple of years.
      With good recos and good essays, you should be able to get into a good school

      Best of luck,

  97. Tharindra says:

    Hi Ankur,

    I’m Tharindra and I am currently working in Sri Lanka. Before I continue, thanks for taking your time to help out others who also aspire to get accepted to a prestigious university for their MBA. I’ve been running through your posts and its great to see the amazing advice you’ve given everyone who posted on this site!

    Quick background to myself – I’m 23 years old, with a BSc from the University of Wales. I have 4 years of work experience in Finance and Strategic Planning.

    I’ve always wanted to join Harvard/Stanford for my MBA, but have been deterred by the cost involved (currently approx. USD 190,000 for 2 years inclusive of accomodation, other expenses etc.) I am currently saving as much money as possible to fund my MBA, which I was initially planning to start in 2017. However, I feel that it may be difficult for me to save USD 230,000 or so (accounting for inflation) by then.

    As such, I was wondering if I should target to apply in 2016 (an year earlier than my earlier target), and try my best to obtain a scholarship (if I do get accepted in the first place. :) ). Do you think this is a risk worth taking? Or do you think it’s better to save more and then aim for the 2017 intake?

    Would really appreciate your opinion on this matter.

    Thanks in advance Ankur!



    • Ankur says:

      Dear Tharindra,

      Finance should not be a constraint for you to apply as there are several loans/scholarships available

      The bigger question you should ask is if your resume is ready for applying to these schools? If you think you need till 2017 to build it, then wait.. else apply in 2016

      Hope this helps,

  98. Hrmant says:

    Hi Ankur,

    Your story is really inspiring..
    I am BE EnTC graduate & completed my MBA in Operations from Pune University with good grades in both degrees.
    Having total 4 years of experience in supply chain domain.Am currently working with Infosys as sourcing & Procurement Specialist looking for MBA from Harvard/Stanford .

    Can you please suggest is I am applicable for the same? and which are the courses that can relate my qualification & experience to excel in same field.



    Looking for your suggestion…

    • Ankur says:

      Dear Hemant,

      I dont have the complete details, but with your profile, you should be able to get into a good business school.
      Regarding courses etc, its hard to determine exactly without looking at your profile completely. However, there are Supply Chain courses at nearly all the top MBA schools.

      Hope this is helpful,

  99. Hoang says:

    Hi Mr.Ankur
    Congratulation on your achievements. You are my idol.I am currently finished CFA/FRM/CAIA program and working at fund management company for 2 year and my gmat is 750, Gpa 3.6 in finance major. I intend to apply top tier MBA but dont know about my chance to get in. Can you give me advices . And iam 23 years old .Thank you so much.

    • Ankur says:

      Hi Hoang,

      It depends on what your resume / application / essays looks like. Based on the limited knowledge of your GMAT score of 750 and your experience at a fund management company (assuming a good one), it seems like you have a shot at good business schools.

      Best of luck,

  100. Vignesh says:

    Hi, Congrats Ankur!!!!! (I would like you to give priority to this comment and Kindly reply for this.)

    “We never get what we wish, we get what we work for” True example of this Quote and great Inspiration for young engineers especially for Chemical Engineers. There are 2 categories, people who plan for there higher studies or who switch jobs to get higher pay and the other category (the majority) who still search jobs or still in dilemma. Unfortunately I fall in the second category. I completed my M.Tech Chemical Engineering in Anna University. I worked in CSIR-CLRI institute for one year and now resigned the job. Now I am in great dilemma, where and how to start my career or MBA will be a best option? I guess most graduates (Chem Engg) in my age face this problem. Your comment on this will really help people like me.

  101. Ankur says:

    Dear Vignesh,

    Think about the following –
    1) Do you actually want to do chemical engineering?
    2) What kind of roles/jobs/work do you want to do in future?
    3) Is the current degree enough or will you need to do an MBA to reach your aspirations?

    I hope the answers to these questions will help bring clarity to your thoughts

    Best of luck,

  102. Shivangi says:

    Hii Ankur,

    I found my previous question quite confusing and digressing. May be that’s why you didn’t answer! Haha. Jokes apart, I’ll be extremely thankful to know your experienced opinion about the following-

    My interest is mainly to work in international dev organizations with Economic Policy and to some extent Finance as a base. I might switch to Corporates later which is why I’m considering to apply for MBA/MPA-ID joint or either one. As I wrote before about my work ex, maybe it isn’t too bad(1.5 years??) for I had to clear several rounds to get into the UN n Ministry yet I feel my academic background is weak to be put into a CV for I’m not from the premier Indian colleges with a BA n MA degree if I want to go for something like MBA/MPA-ID from a top grad school with a max “scholarship’. So at the moment I have 3 choices.

    Please tell me the one that you think improves my prospects to get into those progs(not relying on you but will still help a lot so please try to answer)-

    1) Accept TFI’s fellowship for 2 precious years wben I’ve no specific bent towards Educatio sector im future

    2) Do a job with a corporate CEB, Aon, etc for another 1.5 years

    3) Go for a regular masters from Delhi School of Economics to enhance my academic profile for I’d need scholarships.

    Thanks a lot. :) :) Hope my questions made some sense. :/ N best wishes for your future endeavors too! :)

    • Ankur says:

      Dear Shivangi,

      From what I can understand, you have done work in the development sector and want to remain in that space. If thats the case, think about why MBA? Better programs might be masters in public policy etc. from reputed institutes. Given your experience you might have a good shot at these.

      Hope this makes sense,

  103. Ajay Kumar says:

    Hi Ankur,
    First of all Congrats for the success, and secondly a big thank you for providing the information and guiding others.
    I have done in 2012, then after a year in May 2013 I start doing job. Then in 2014, qualified a government exam for job and is doing the same, but I always wanted to pursue MBA, so I wanted to know that whether Is it the right time to go for GMAT ?
    I’m an average student 70% in all 10th, 12th and in graduation and no much of extra curricular activities. I have also taken CAT but always getting around 85%tile (not qualified), but always want to do MBA from HBS or GSB. So please tell the score that I should achieve in order to get admitted in HBS or Standford with maximum scholarship (since I’m not financially good so it is the deciding factor for me). Please guide me…
    Please reply.

    • Ankur says:

      Hi Ajay,

      The average work experience for business schools is 3-4 years but it is very dependent on the type of experience you have had.
      Once you decide on MBA, give 2-3 months to prepare for GMAT (at least) and then go for the exam. Also, would recommend keeping some time in hand so that you can give GMAT again, if the score is not at par.

      Best of luck,

  104. Vishesh says:

    Hi Ankur,
    Could you please recommend the course of action for me. I am in the final year of the B.Tech + M.Tech Dual degree program in Biochemical Engineering from IIT BHU Varanasi and have secured 740 in my GMAT. I have been the chairperson for my college fest two years in a row and have also presided over an International Model United Nations Conference among some other things as well. I have done summer internships in my core field in Beijing and in a ‘Big Four’ consulting firm at Mumbai. I’m wondering about how much work experience should I gather to hope for a call from Harvard/Stanford/Booth/Wharton. Do i stand a chance after working for a year? Would really appreciate the guidance.

    • Ankur says:

      Hi Vishesh,

      Looks like you have a pretty strong profile. However, the average work experience in HBS and other such colleges is 3-4 years. That said, there are freshers too, but very few. Hence, I would recommend applying after 2-3 years of workex, both from a point of view of acceptance, as well as your learning, as you would have gained some experience in business by then.

      Hope this is helpful,

  105. Sameer Kamat says:

    Dear Peepals, considering the size of this page, we will not be accepting new comments on this post.

    Post on this article instead – ‘How to get into Harvard Business School


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