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MBA in Germany for Indian Chartered Accountant after 30

Is your glass half full or half empty? Why not fill it up and eliminate all confusion?

That’s exactly what chartered accountant, Jayendra Ruparel, decided to do. With a decade of work experience under his belt, he was happy with his role. But he was also aware that time was running out, if he wanted to pursue an advanced, globally recognised degree.

He had worked for 7 years in Germany, and was well-aware of the professional opportunities the country provided. So when he started thinking about upgrading his qualifications, Germany was at the top of his list.

We’ll also take the opportunity to give a thumbs up to the Mannheim MBA admissions team for designing a rigorous selection process and being extremely efficient in taking candidates through the stressful process in the shortest possible time.

MBA in Germany after 30 for Chartered Accountant

by Jayendra Ruparel

The first time I thought of doing an MBA was in the 10th grade in school. I had a clear inclination towards the commerce stream since I would deal with numbers/finance which I had a natural interest for and would have nothing to do with physics and chemistry.

And if you were in the commerce stream, at least during my college times, the most obvious options would be to either pursue Chartered Accountancy after the 12th grade or pursue an MBA post-graduation. I quite liked the idea of having 5 “good” years in college and then pursuing an MBA.

However, after 2 years of easy college life plus playing multiple frames of billiards/pool, boredom set in and I decided to enroll myself for the Chartered Accountancy course. For anyone who has done this course, knows what a life altering decision this can be.

By the time I completed the course, I was left a bit disoriented. It gave me a solid foundation on several financial concepts, but I figured I didn’t want to be an accountant or an auditor.

Financial constraints meant that spending an additional 2 years studying an MBA was not an option and I had to start working.

Post the course, I joined Siemens in the field of competitive intelligence. In the 10 years since, the last 7 of which I have spent in Germany, I’ve had the opportunity to work in 4 very diverse profiles.

Living in Germany not only helped me professionally, but also in my personal life.

I got myself involved in a global expat community, interacted with people from all over the world, founded a couple of groups which today have more than 500 members.

During this time, the thought of pursuing an MBA crossed my mind several times. However,I was very happy in my work life and the progress I was making in my career.

In the summer of 2018, I decided it was finally the right time to pursue an MBA. I was satisfied with my work life but being in my mid-30s, I realized I was running out of time.

While by now I was convinced that an MBA would be of great help to my career (I elaborate this in the end), I still had some questions, viz. full time or executive, tangible impact, etc.

This is when I got in touch with Sameer Kamat whom I knew from my time working in Siemens in India.

I had read that he had started MBA Crystal Ball and was getting rave reviews online.

Interacting with Sameer and reading the book Beyond the MBA Hype gave me great clarity on topics that I wasn’t completely sure on.

I decided that I wanted to do a one-year full time MBA from Europe with the intention of continuing to work in Germany post MBA.

I shortlisted 5 programs, 2 of which were German, 2 French and 1 Swiss. My preference was to get an admit from one of the German programs failing which I would look at the Swiss and French ones.

The Swiss and the French programs were ranked higher, but the German ones were better suited to give me a strong network within Germany and were also more affordable.

Having this shortlist in mind helped me work out a target GMAT score of 680-700.

A quick check of the admission deadlines meant I had 3 months to study and take the GMAT and then a further 1.5 months to prepare and submit my application for one of the German programs.

By now I had acquainted myself with the format of GMAT.

There were a lot of resources available online, but it wasn’t easy to figure out which one would be the best for my study goals.

Besides I had read stories of how some students were stuck in a loop of studying and appearing for GMAT and still not being able to get their desired score.

Again, an article on MCB written by Sameer listing the best resources for studying GMAT was of great help.

Verbal was my strength and though I had always been good with numbers, Geometry had been a nightmare for me during school.

I knew I had to first gain clarity on concepts which I might have learnt (or skipped) during school before I could go about learning to solve problems in a time restricted format.

My plan was to primarily focus on understanding the concepts from the Manhattan Prep Strategy guides and supplement it with practicing problems from the Official Guide.

I also enrolled for the 4 practice tests offered by the GMAT official practice. Another resource that I used for certain Quant topics was “Exampal”.

To summarize, I progressed from a 650 score in my first practice test to 710 in the last one.

In the actual GMAT test, I scored a 690, below my expectations but still within my target range, and with a V37/Q48, AWA of 5.5 and IR of 7, I figured I had a very balanced score.

During my GMAT preparation phase, I attended the open house for my two preferred German programs. Prior to this, I had put the two German programs on par, however, my experience at the two Open Houses was very different.

While I was left a bit underwhelmed in my interactions with one of the schools, my interaction with the current students, alumni and the admission manager of the Mannheim Business School (MBS) FT program combined with the course format, faculty and pedigree of the school convinced me that this was the right program for me.

This also worked well from a timeline perspective since the other schools on my shortlist had a deadline later than MBS. Thus I could focus all my efforts on trying to secure an admit for MBS.

Given my GMAT score, international experience and academic background, I felt I had a very good chance of securing an admit.

However I had little idea about what were the aspects that were of importance to be highlighted in such an application.

I decided to rely on the support of Sameer and his team in the application process.

My initial discussion with MG convinced me that I had made the right decision. He highlighted aspects which were super important for the application but which I had overlooked.

For example MG was convinced that my extra-curricular activities gave me an edge in my application, while I had mentioned them only as a passing reference.

Besides, by asking constant questions and details, he helped me structure my thoughts in the best possible way.

I submitted my application end of November and was promptly invited for the first interview round which was scheduled with the admission manager. Her questions focused around my work experience and motivation to do an MBA, why Mannheim Business School.

A day later, I was informed that I had been shortlisted for the last interview round with the Career cell team. Part of the last interview round was discussing a case study which had been sent to me a week prior to the interview day.

In the interview, besides the case study I was also asked about what I would bring to the class and what were my post MBA plans.

So around 3 weeks after submitting my application, and going through two interview rounds, I got the news that I had been selected to the program.

As outlined earlier, my experiences at the Open day and research on MBS convinced me that this would be the best school to further my career in Germany.

Therefore, I decided to not apply to any other schools.

For me, the entire journey from deciding to do an MBA to receiving the admit took about 6 months. Retrospectively would I change something or what would my advice be to a future applicant?

If you belong to the same demography as me, i.e. male, Indian, my advice would be start early. I believe I was amongst the last (if not the last) students to be selected from that demography.

Germany is becoming very popular amongst Indian students as a destination for MBA studies and with MBS having a class size of 55-60, diversity needs ensure that there are only so many places available for each demography.

I put in my application 10 months prior to the program start and this almost proved to be too late.

Final bits that I could share –

  • Be clear about your MBA goals. For me, my professional degree from India was one which involved a lot of self-study. After 10 years of working, I was convinced that I needed to take a year educating / upskilling myself learning with a diverse group of high caliber students in a classroom environment
  • Spend time shortlisting your preferred colleges and work out your GMAT target
  • If possible, attend the Open Days of your target schools. For me this was the turning point in prioritising Mannheim over the other schools and I believe I did leave a positive impression on the admission team in my interactions, which helped me during my application
  • Finally, reach out for advice when in doubt. Based on my own positive experience, I can highly recommend Sameer, MG and MBA Crystal Ball. Remember, they can only point you in the right direction and help you highlight and present your achievements in the right way, but they cannot make up for shortcomings/weaknesses in your profile. Start early towards building a strong profile, good luck!

Also read:
MBA after CA from IIM, ISB vs abroad
Benefits of MBA abroad after CA
Life as an international student in Germany and job after MBA
Master of Finance in Germany (FSFM) vs Switzerland (St. Gallen)
How this chartered accountant got into ISB with a low GMAT score of 600

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

8 thoughts on “MBA in Germany for Indian Chartered Accountant after 30”

  1. Hi,

    Its good to know that someone is rendering quality advice for mariners. Well I have 2 years of work experience as 3MATE. I have graduated from Indian maritime university. I realised that financial tools and management knowledge is where I am striving for. I am planning to do MBA in finance from India preferably ISB. Also planning to self prep for GMAT. Is my work experience sufficient and can you help me with essay and recommendation part.

  2. Hi!
    I have done B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering and am working with the Adanis in a city gas distribution project. I have chosen to go for Master of Engg. Management from RMIT University, Melbourne. Is it a right decision to do so and is it worth spending lacs of money on the same?
    Valuable insights please!

  3. I am having bad academics and having 9 months of experience in client servicing and 6 month of internship in digital marketing, also I am thinking to add a certificate of NGO though I haven’t joined the same but just want to get into a good college. So is it relevant to put NGO certificate so as to enhance my profile.

  4. I am a digital marketing professional (Exp: 10yrs). I wish to make a switch to another career option however, related to this field only. Due to lack of guidance, I am unable to explore opportunities of this field to the fullest. Please leave a message at below email ID. If possible, kindly drop a message so, I can get back to you asap!!

  5. @Inderjit: The work experience is around half of what your rivals will have. Better to work for a few years more before applying.

    @Neehar: Tough to say since we don’t know the parameters you’ve used to select that university, or your career goals. If you’ve done your research on the program, you shouldn’t have any confusion after getting an admit.

    @Vasu: Keep in mind that adding a certificate doesn’t clear up history. Read what else you can do to deal with low academic grades:

    @Shraddha: Our email ID is mentioned on every page of our site. Send us an email with more details about yourself and we’ll be able to evaluate if we can help.

  6. Hi,

    I am Chartered Accountant, cleared my CA in Nov’2011. Since April’ 2012 i am working in Surat Based Textile Manufacturing Company.
    Now I want to do job in Germany, Whether any further studies required to do job in Germany and please guide me How to shortlist the employer’s.

  7. I am Chartered Accountant cleared by CA in Nov’ 2011 and working in Surat based Textile manufacturing Company since 2012.
    Now I wanted to do job in Germany, whether any further study required and from where to short list employer’s

  8. Hi i wanna know what are the requirements to enrolled for the mba course and where the intuition is located in Germany.


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