Many higher education aspirants start off with the assumption an MBA degree is the only worthwhile option to pursue, if they have a few years of work experience. A few realise that there are other excellent masters degrees that are better suited, considering their career interests.
Rahul Patil (name changed, till he puts in his resignation!) had a similar start, and fortunately didn’t jump into MBA applications like most do. Here’s what he did that helped him get admits from two of the most reputed names in supply chain management education – The Supply Chain Managment Residential (SCMr) Program at MIT and Ross Master in Supply Chain Management (MSCM).
I have always been a studious kid in school and college. But never a gold medalist or a state topper. I always felt, as a result, that my aspirations of studying in a Top B-school would never become a reality. But this story has a happy ending.
I am an introvert by nature and missed out a lot of opportunities in school as a result of this. When I went to Manipal, I went through a journey of self-realization and got an opportunity to grow out of this shell and become a confident person. The shy and timid kid in school went on to lead a team of 20 in college while participating in an SAE AeroDesign Competition.
This new-found confidence also helped me land an internship and an eventual job with one of the leading networking organizations in the world in its Supply Chain Division. I felt like I was back on track to realize my dream of studying in a Top B-school.
I realized after some time, that I didn’t want to follow suit and run towards getting an MBA immediately. I had given my GMAT and instead focused on building a good profile to study abroad.
My main goal was to cross the 700-score barrier. I knew that a concentrated effort from my end would help achieve that goal. When my friends were studying for GRE, I went the other way and ended up studying for GMAT during my holidays.
Coming from an engineering background, Math was never a pain-point for me. I just had to focus on English and learn the tips and tricks needed to tackle the English section.
All my efforts finally paid off and I was able to cross the 700 mark with ease. That was one checkpoint I had completed successfully.
1.5 years into my employment, I reached out to MBA admission counsellors Manish and Sameer to review my profile and evaluate my options.
I had done my analysis and really liked the transparency and frankness with which Manish and Sameer worked. They were very sweet and kind to me.
They asked me if I was sure before I was going to pay!!! No one does that in this day and age.
The Profile Builder experience, along with Sameer’s book truly opened my eyes!!! All this while, I never really thought why I need an MBA or the type of jobs I was planning to do after my MBA.
Sameer’s book “Beyond the MBA Hype” made me think about those things.
My discussion with Manish and his critical analysis of my profile helped me realize more about myself and spurred me to work even harder to build a more complete profile. I now had a sense of where I stand and where I needed to reach.
All this while, I was growing well within my organization.I was already working in a role that most people get after completing their MBAs. I was part of global projects, leading cross-functional teams and really enjoying the work I was doing and learning something fascinating every day. My interest in the field made me complete an online course in Supply Chain Fundamentals along with a capstone project in Rutgers University as well as a Six Sigma Green Belt certification.
Supply Chain is the back-bone for every organization, and there is a serious gap that needs to be filled immediately. A recent statistic had stated that by 2025 there will be over 9 million vacant supply chain jobs. I wanted to expand my knowledge in this field and gain global exposure. I believe that an MS in Supply Chain would help me achieve my goal which a standard MBA might not be able to provide.
Advantages of an MS in Supply Chain over an MBA:
These attributes made a Masters in Supply Chain a very attractive option. I realized that my work ex along with my extra-curricular activities in college and office made me a good overall candidate. As a result, I chose only 2 colleges in the U.S:
Both are great colleges that have been running the course for quite some time and have great diversity in its batch. This gave me an opportunity to interact with alumni of both colleges and get a feel of the culture of the college, the course and the impact it has had in their respective careers.
The one answer that resonated in all my interactions was the overall experience of learning. The ability to apply their learnings in real-world projects made them industry-ready and aware of the real problems companies face across the world.
I had made up mind finally in the month of August that I was ready to apply to these 2 programs. I had kept in touch with Manish during that course of time as I believed in his approach towards me and his guidance helped me plan out a lot of my activities that I managed to accomplish. I had also developed a level of comfort and understanding with Manish which, I believe, is crucial for anyone looking for guidance. I didn’t bother interacting with any other admissions consulting company.
After 3 months of thrashing essays and SOPs, I submitted my application in R1 for both the colleges. Now, it was time to wait for the results. I reached the interview round of Ross and started preparing for that. I was anxiously waiting for the results of MIT which was based on my application and video statement.
Day before the interview: I had a meeting with Manish. We had a mock video interview and an analysis session after that. That helped me immensely to figure out the final tweaks I needed to make before my interview.
My interview experience was very pleasant. The whole session went very smooth. I was well prepared to tackle any question and was able to engage in a fruitful conversation with the interviewer.
The 45-min interview went on for an hour. I was extremely happy with myself and thanked Manish for his help. Now it was time to simply wait.
After what seemed like an eternity, I got a response from the two colleges.
I got into both Ross and MIT!!!!!!
Ross gave me an admit for the 2018-2019 batch as well as a $5k scholarship. MIT gave me a deferred admit for 2019-2020.
I was on top of the world.
I am planning to join MIT. The coursework and the option to take additional electives at Sloan appealed to me and the 1 year deferred admit also gave me time to set my finances, add a couple more certifications and be ready to excel when I join class.
Here’s my review of the MIT and Ross SCM Programs.
|Criteria||MIT SCM||Ross MSCM|
|Duration||10 months||10 months|
|Class Profile||40 students from 18-19 countries. Greater diversity.||Almost half the class consists of Indians and Asians.|
|Fees (only tuition)||$71,000||$56,500|
|Offers||All major companies and sectors. List available on site. Greater variety of offers seen.||All major companies and sectors. List available on site. Predominantly consulting and tech.|
While the reports and sites might not be able to show any major difference, there are certain subtle differences that made me choose the MIT SCM Program over the Ross MSCM Program.
SCM grads are needed in every industry. The SCM grads are offered jobs in sectors ranging from tech and consulting to retail and manufacturing.
I believe that my overall profile, made me a good fit for these programs. I learned so much about myself while working on my SOPs and Essays. It gave me time to introspect every decision I had made in life to reach the point in life I am in today. We go through our lives at such a fast pace that we don’t cherish the moments where we were genuinely happy/proud.
If Supply Chain and Ops is a field that interests you, there isn’t a better course available than an MSCM degree. Build your profile, work hard and you will be able to fulfill your dreams.