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Second MBA from UK without GMAT for Indian mom

Strathclyde Business SchoolMihika Acharya (name changed) is a freelancer with 9 years IT project management experience, mom to 2 kids and self-admittedly, not very good at standardised tests (MBA after BA: From SBI to IIM – an Indian mother’s inspiring journey).

She completed her distance MBA from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad. After putting in a lot of thought to whether a second MBA would be worth it, she decided to go ahead with it.

She wasn’t quite ready to spend hours on preparing for the GMAT knowing well that it wasn’t her strength. She explains how she got into a reputed MBA program in the UK which does not require a GMAT score.

Second MBA from UK without GMAT

by Mihika Acharya

I am a rebel at home. People may dislike me for being straightforward. I prefer to speak in front as opposed to backbiting. Since childhood till date, people described me as STRICT.

Be it setting goals for myself or mentoring my sister or setting food menu for a year-old daughter, I become organized. I think being organized and following rules and enforcing others to stick by the instructions comes naturally to me. For this reason, some may call me boring as well. But I call it effective time management.

I loved my college life at DIT Dehradun, where I learnt to break rules and enjoyed 😊. I worked mainly in telecom industry. I loved everything about my job as it gave me freedom and independence after years of financial hardships.

While studying Engineering, I sensed that I was inclined for higher studies but I knew I cannot afford it. Even though I got into Part time MBA from Institute of Management and Technology, Ghaziabad, I could not enroll for lack of funds. The prolonged desire of doing MBA led me to Distance Learning MBA from the same institute.

I realized – after completion of the program- that this type of education if imparted in classroom sessions would benefit more. In spite of having an MBA, I continued to excel in my technical work and it paid well. I was not able to find a pathway to be able to transition from tech to senior management roles for various reasons.

I am 34 years old and have around 9 years of experience in IT. I started freelancing since 2014 after I moved to South Korea. While working as an Independent consultant with founders and C-suite, I felt the need to gear up myself like a leader. It all started building up again. I was just waiting for the right time.

MBA Application experience

I chose to work with MBA application consultants due to the quality work they do.

No matter what others say, I knew I would not be able to showcase my potential and qualities properly as required by business schools without the help from MBA Crystal Ball.

There are a lot of consultants out there but there was a chain of procedures to be followed. Nothing turned up so fast as MCB. Manish’s straight forward responses made me more confident to choose MCB’s service.

There were a couple of other services, but I could not trust them with their approach itself. I signed up for Essay writing at MCB.

I worked with Vibhav Agarwal. Well, I liked the way he patiently allowed me to speak. He asked the right questions. I have a whole lot of information about me, agree, but which one do I showcase in my essays is something he explained.

I learnt to quantify my work and achievements. His ability to direct and organize any essay is commendable. Basically, brainstorming sessions are so so useful. Also, he was flexible with call timings.

Why I skipped the GMAT

My practice GMAT scores were low. If I were to take GMAT, it meant a lot of sincere effort. Also, they say GMAT is not everything.

Even if I got a good GMAT score there was no guarantee I will get a seat. Moreover, for personal reasons, I was convinced that it is difficult for me to prep for GMAT along with looking after 2 kids and work.

Strathclyde MBA interview experience

My Strathclyde MBA interview was for 40 minutes. My interviewer is a senior professor at department of management science. They took 3-4 days to inform me about the decision.

Questions asked in my Strathclyde MBA interview were:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Talk about the achievement in your career
  • Which area I would like to specialize in?
  • How can Strathclyde MBA help me?
  • How do I contribute to the class?
  • If I have any question for them
  • How do you think Strathclyde will help you meet your career goals?


Closing thoughts

I think everyone is unique. Vibhav, my consultant from MBA Crystal Ball, spent a good amount of time to understand how to put my strengths to build a strong application which in my opinion were just part of my work. It is my essays that made a difference.

I am too happy to describe it in words. Perseverance has been the key in my overall MBA journey. There are thousands of ways to achieve something so all I can say is to never ever give up !

Also read:
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Why a second European MBA after an Indian MBA and career in the entertainment industry
Second MBA success stories
Profile building for second MBA after IIM

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Manish Gupta
About 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

14 thoughts on “Second MBA from UK without GMAT for Indian mom”

  1. Hi MG,
    I have been working for 9 years in IT services industry (Cards and Payment domain) as Project Manager/Business analyst/Tech Lead, across various projects. I am currently in US and have H1B valid for couple of more years. I have secured offer from IIMC-PGPEX and ISB-PGP. Post MBA, I am willing to work in the same sector/industry (IT) may be in senior management or consulting roles. I understand international placement may be quite a challenge in these schools and my H1B may not be useful but considering that aspect too along with my experience and post mba goals, could you please advise which would be a better platform for me? Thanks.

  2. Hello Sir, I am planning to apply for the MiM degree at Trinity College Dublin.
    I made a lot of search over the scope of MiM graduates but no answer was efficient enough to answer the future scope of the degree.
    I belong to an IT domain and wish to pursue MBA Exec. after few years of my experience. Is it possible for me to do so? Are there good job opportunities for IT undergraduates who pursue MiM degree in the same domain? If yes, can you please highlight some?

  3. Hi MG,

    I did my MBA from FORE School of Management and have worked in Consulting/IT roles in Deloitte and EY. I have some international experience as well. However, I want to shift to Strategy Consulting and the only way to do that now seems like a second MBA. I am 28 years old (with about 4.5 years experience), so I don’t want to go for a 2-year MBA. Can you help me guide if I should go for a second MBA? If yes, then where?

  4. How does one respond to an optional question in a graduate school application form ,asking you to list the other schools you are applying to?
    I find this question in some applications this year, including ivy league applications.
    Would it be better to skip this optional question or should one respond to it?
    What would be the correct response , in case you are suggesting one?

  5. I am a Mechanical Engineer 2016 batch, for the last 6 months I am doing the job in the Production department and now I am planning to quit my Job as I am not satisfied with my job, I am not able to take a decision as I am very confused what to do next. Please suggest me something, I was good at my academics as I got distinction in my Bachelor’s but I am not able to think, what I am up to and what I want exactly. Sometimes I think to switch in IT, Sometimes in Mechanical And even Sometimes in Administration. I am really Confused.

  6. hello,
    i have completed MBBS from Sassoon general hospital, pune. my 5 and half year aggregate is 65% from maharashtra medical counsell. i am A MBA aspirant. i am completely blind about these things. after doing MBA i wish to work in healthcare sector only and that too in india. so should i go for indian management schools or abroad. and which school i should be applying for

  7. Hi Manish,

    I am aware that I am commenting on this blog after almost 2.5 years of its release but couldn’t refrain from asking you this question. Is it worth to opt for an executive MBA from Universities which are not in the list of top 100 B schools, just because GMAT is waived?

    To help you understand my concern behind the question, let me introduce myself. I am a Chartered Accountant from India with 4+ years of professional experience who is planning to do an MBA from a UK university. I am at the very early stage of my MBA journey and have just begun my GMAT prep 3 weeks back. Your word of advice will be very helpful for me to make effective plans to achieve my goals.

    • @Raj, the answer to your query is would be, it really depends. The quality for such programs is always tough to assess and we recommend candidates who are pursuing such programs to do a LOT of research. This is not just be reading the school website. You should connect with 5-10 current students/recent alums, to get a clear on-ground feel of it. There could be some programs which may be indeed good. But, don’t go blindly for such programs.


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