Before getting into INSEAD Singapore, Nihar Prasad tried for several years to get into good MBA colleges in India and abroad. He got a high percentile in the CAT exam, but the IIMs were still out of reach. Instead of settling for a lower ranked MBA in India, he changed his gameplan to target foreign MBA colleges.
He worked with us on for his MBA application strategy (i.e. MBA MAP), and we didn’t hear from him.
Two years later he reached out again to share the good news that he got admits from not one or two, but four top MBA programs in the world – INSEAD MBA in Singapore, HEC Paris, ISB Hyderabad and UCLA Anderson. But not before tackling some hiccups along the way.
Why I chose INSEAD Singapore over an MBA in India / USA / France
by Nihar Prasad
I am a telecom engineer from Mumbai University. Have worked for 3.5 years in L&T in their Corporate Risk Management department and then for a Spanish multinational – Abengoa for past 2.5 years in the Business Development team.
Masters was a must and I didn’t like engineering much – so, MBA was the only option :)
I was interested in business part of engineering right from engineering so, wanted to further that through MBA.
I sat for the CAT exam in 2008 and got a good percentile (99.7). I didn’t get IIMA, IIMB or IIMC. So, I decided to try for an international MBA. I took the GMAT exam in 2010 and scored a 740.
Having applied to Cornell MBA, Oxford (UK), MIT Sloan and Indian School of Business (ISB) earlier, I have had my fare share of rejections.
This year my focus was to get into a short program with a good brand value and exposure to the energy markets.
Things that worked for me
1. Good GMAT score.
2. Experience in a comparatively underrepresented field (energy and infrastructure).
3. Four promotions in 6 years (good performance).
4. Great international exposure. I traveled to almost 12 countries (4 continents) for work in the last 2 years.
5. Wrote some technical papers and was part of corporate cricket teams.
Things that are weak in my candidature
1. Less extra-curricular (not much to talk about) and no NGO exposure.
2. No great brand during studies (IIT etc).
3. Good student but not an excellent one.
Three things that I learnt from my MBA application experience
1. Get your story right with the sector, aspirations, likes/dislikes, strengths & weaknesses.
2. If possible, get a tick mark on some areas like international exposure, extra-curricular, studies, promotions.
3. Take the GMAT test preparation seriously.
4. Keep fighting!
MBA MAP figured in at the right moment. I would say that it is a good assessment of one’s abilities, strengths, weaknesses and chances. I would say take the feedback positively and work on your weaknesses (I did that for two years).
The good part is that talking with Sameer gives you the first hand feel of the whole process.
Finally, I am choosing INSEAD Singapore over other options – MBA in India, USA and France – because of these main reasons:
1. The brand value is big, with INSEAD figuring in top schools of the world.
2. Great placement opportunities and an active energy club.
3. Shorter time frame but with the same salaries as the 2 year MBA courses.
Whether it’s the INSEAD Singapore or Paris MBA, or any other top MBA college in India, USA, UK, Canada, the basics don’t change.
Start early, carry out your research, design a good application strategy and adapt the execution plan as you go along.
Good luck with your applications. We hope to see your story published here soon.
Read these related posts:
– All about INSEAD (including fees in Indian Rupees)
– INSEAD admit with scholarship for Indian applicant
– I got into INSEAD, twice
– INSEAD MBA admissions interview and GMAT experience
– INSEAD MBA grad’s tips on getting management consulting jobs