MBA applicants from India with a Marketing job in a startup based in the healthcare industry aren’t many. In fact, considerably lesser than the techies who dominate the competition – in numbers, if not in any other way.
That’s a good thing for marketing applicants, as it can help them in the differentiation department. This advantage gets set off with other challenges. A Marketing or sales job can mean very different things when it comes to teamwork, management skills and leadership exposure. This makes it tough for such candidates to answer the typical MBA essay questions.
Rohit Hora tackled these hurdles well and got into the enviable situation where he could choose between the best MBA programs in Canada & India.
How I reached the Rotman vs ISB (Canada vs India) decision stage
by Rohit Hora
I was bitten by the international MBA bug during my college days. I took my first attempt at GMAT then (not doing so well though).
A few of my friends went for an MBA immediately post B.Tech, however, I didn’t know why I needed an MBA then. Moreover, international B Schools required a work ex of at least 2 years.
Why I chose to work in Startup Marketing job
I have been working with a Healthcare startup for close to 4 years now in a business development role. Choosing a healthcare startup to work with allowed me to have a diverse experience of different verticals of the business ranging from direct sales to marketing to finance.
I also got an opportunity to start the operations of the company in Mumbai and launch a product. I had always liked connecting to more people and learning from their experiences. A Sales role allowed me to meet new people, expand my network and yes to travel India and abroad.
Though working in an ambiguous environment taught me a lot however, what I realized over time that my approach and thought process would develop if I choose to do an MBA.
I wanted to improve on the way I make decisions, my understanding of finances and have an innovative problem-solving approach. Gaining these skills would help me be more efficient at a marketing role in a Healthcare company.
I have been procrastinating on retaking my GMAT and one fine day, I just started with my preparation. Doing ‘just fine’ on the GMAT, I was out to search for someone who could evaluate my chances of getting into a good B-School.
Selecting MBA Consultants who weren’t just grammar checkers
I contacted close to 13 MBA admissions counsellors. Most of them responded, a few did not. By this time I had a brief idea and a hope that I can make it big.
Initially, MBA Crystal Ball was busy to accommodate me. This gave me some idea that these guys really work on their candidates and asked me to follow up in two weeks. Knowing the importance of ‘follow up’ and I was fortunate to be finally getting space in their schedule.
After the MAP session was done with Sameer Bhai I didn’t know what I had gained out of it but as I proceeded I realized how important MAP was, It had built up the base for the entire application process, not only helping me write better essays but also made the B-School shortlisting much easier. I got a very realistic picture of my profile.
As they rightly mention on their website that the first draft of essay could be completely taken down by Manish Gupta (MG), that’s what happened. MG was as honest and blunt as possible.
Don’t resist, let it happen. It gave me a kick to do better on my essays. The telephonic conversation with MG have been very motivating and always gave me hope that ‘yes, I can do it’.
Moreover, I haven’t seen a more responsive person than MG. MG’s approach towards your essays not only gave me a clear strategy towards your applications but I could also orient my thought process in many other things. He’s clear, he’s direct and he’s punctual.
I had some idea why I wanted to do an MBA right now but discussions with Sameer Bhai and MG gave it a clear perspective. I could now clearly answer those tough questions ‘Why MBA? And Why NOW?’.
A lot of people I spoke to before starting the application process didn’t give me a very positive picture about MBA admission counsellors and named them as ‘grammar checkers’, my experience with MCB has been very satisfying and total ‘paisa vasool’.
MG also helped me gaze into the picture about job markets in US and Canada and how things could be in long term if I choose our desi-favourite ISB. Best thing what I like about MG is he doesn’t spoon-feed you; he’ll help you evolve during the process.
You’ll eventually start asking the right questions to alumni and Admission committee officers. The entire process and research gave me an idea where I might land up post my MBA. I am marketer and would like to continue to be one with a healthcare company post my MBA.
Due to a lack of formal management knowledge my approach at work has been ‘hit and try’, acquiring various new skills at a B School would help me become more efficacious at work place.
Out of the 3 schools I chose to apply in R1 I had interview calls from 2 – ISB and Rotman.
The interview preparation with MG got me to a stage where I was almost prepared for all the questions the interviewer asked. I got an admit from my dream school – Rotman School of Management – with a surprise of $5,000 scholarship (not too significant, but scholarships always make you happy).
I ended this journey of applications here with Canada being my preferred place. My work and life goals are totally in sync with what I have achieved with the help of MCB.
MBA Application Tips
Now, for all the brave souls out there preparing for MBA applications, my advice would be:
1. GMAT is not the ‘only’ deciding factor in your applications. Your essays, recos and interview matter equally and for the later 3 you have MCB.
2. Give your applications the time it demands. Equal efforts will be required from your side, an admission councellor will guide you and make things more presentable but eventually it has to be your research and hard work.
3. It’s ok not to have all the answers when you are starting the process. Believe in yourself and your admissions guide and you two can make it happen.
4. Network with as many people as possible, based on all the information make your own decisions.
I am extremely thankful to MCB for being a great support system during this tough journey. For any one willing to have a discussion regarding the process and my experience, please feel free to reach out to me.