Many international applicants who are aware that the chances of getting into good bschools is very low, know the value that a good MBA admissions consulting team can add. The challenge is to find out how to choose the right MBA consultant.
All that glitters isn’t gold, discovered Vijay. He found an MBA consulting team based on their omnipresent paid advertisements, signed up for a 10(!) school package but ended up with nothing in hand.
How I got into the Oxford MBA at Said Business School
by Vijay Pamu
I am a person who never dwells on his past successes. I always strive to keep learning new things and achieve consistent results. I believe efficiency comes along with consistency. I was enjoying a great work-life balance while working at Franklin Templeton, an Asset Management Company.
I worked as Project Manager and Business Technology consultant, acting as an interface between Business and Technology teams. With my professional experience I developed leadership, teamwork and analytical skills. I had led teams and demonstrated success in doing so. I had pursued challenging problems and shown measurable results.
However, I wanted to pursue an MBA because it develops new perspectives on approaching business problems and improves my general teamwork/leadership skills, as an MBA class has people from diverse backgrounds and countries. Working and leading them during my tenure at the B-school would improve my general thinking and the way I see things.
To submit a strong application to a B-school, I had to cross the GMAT beast. I got a consistent 690+ scores in the practices tests but struggled to get 700 in the real test. I joined e-GMAT, founded by Rajat Sadana. Till date, joining e-GMAT is one of the best decisions of my life. With their preparation course, I have reached 710. I strongly recommend e-GMAT to any non-native English speaker.
Next, I opted to work with an admissions consultant rather than apply independently. As I strongly believe that to have a stand out B-school application among the highly competitive students pool, an admissions consultant with his valuable experience will provide me the best chance of getting shortlisted for an interview. After wasting money and valuable time with a famous admissions consultant company (found them via ads / promotional emails, as opposed to any extensive research or word-of-mouth), I didn’t get shortlisted for any of my preferred B-schools.
In my re-application attempt in the next year, I worked on my approach to shortlist the right consultant rather than just going with a brand name that’s promoted via paid ads.
I wanted to shortlist my B-schools with a detailed approach that includes my experience, qualifications, GMAT score, interests and Post MBA goals. Mostly importantly, I wanted to work with a consultant who provides end-to-end support: short-listing B-schools to interview prep. This is where MBA Crystal Ball (MCB) stood out among the B-school admissions consultants. I signed up for the MBA MAP (which provided a personalized report of my chances to almost 100 B-schools in the world), MBA essays and MBA interviews.
My journey with MBA Crystal Ball started with an initial conversation with Manish Gupta. We had discussed about the Application strategy, MBA essays editing and Interview prep. By doing this end-to-end strategy, I felt I was in the safe hands of securing a B-school admission.
I had several ‘aha’ moments when we discussed the initial content for the essays and the structure to draw the attention of the admissions committee. Once I received my personalized MBA MAP report, MCB helped me short list 4 schools. 1 b-school in UK, 1 in India, 2 in USA, of which 2 are my dream schools based on my chances from the report.
The unique feature, suggested by MCB, that made difference to the quality of my essays was the interaction with the current students of all those schools and the structured research I have done on those schools. I got shortlisted for 2 interviews and got admitted to Said Business School (SBS), University of Oxford: one of my dream b-schools!
Because of the practice, I had done with Manish Gupta, the interviews went smooth as I was well prepared to face them. The interviews were mainly focused on how can I differentiate myself, my motivation to do MBA, plans post MBA, how Oxford can help me achieve my goals and more about the value I can add to the class. When I received the admit letter from Oxford, I was ecstatic because I got admitted to one of the world’s prestigious universities. I had felt a huge sense of relief as the entire B-school application process took a lot of effort, time and money.
At Said Business School, I had experienced interacting with students coming from 56 different countries. There were so many different perspectives, approaches and ways students see things coming from various backgrounds. There were Olympic players, social entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, consultants, investment bankers, actors and many other prolific students. The case study based lectures, group assignments, guest lectures and speakers gave me unparalleled experience when compared to the engineering experience in India.
My high point at the B-school came when I led Oxford to First place in Cricket at MBAT (MBA Olympics). MBAT was the favourite for all the European B-schools where students play sports during day and party hard during nights for 3 complete days.
After my MBA from Oxford, the job hunt was tough as the main hindrance to get a job is Visa sponsorship. Through rigorous networking and intense case interview preparation with the careers team at SBS, I got 3 interview calls and was able to secure a job in an IT consulting company. The SBS brand and my previous work experience helped me to convince them to issue a work permit. Currently, I work at ERP Tech Solutions, a company which provides end to end software solutions, strategy through implementation. Most of my classmates are very happy with Oxford experience and each of us secured lifelong cherishing memories. Most of them were able to secure a job either in their home countries or Europe.
Finally, MBA Crystal Ball helped me develop a stand out MBA application in such an intense competitive pool. I am really grateful to them for helping me achieve my dream of getting MBA degree from world’s prestigious university. If any student has strong inclination towards getting a diverse exposure to variety of backgrounds and interactions, then nothing can beat the Oxford MBA experience.
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– Student life at Oxford Said MBA after 8 years work experience
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