Is an MBA after MBBS + MD + DNB (Neurology) worth it? What if you have an MD in a highly specialized area such as neurology? How does one tackle the usual issue of low GMAT score, and the unusual issue of higher age?
Dr Sweta Adatia pondered over all these questions. Apart from her expertise in traditional and cutting edge medicine, she has also dabbled in the exotic sciences – such as aura photography, pranic healing and past life regression.
She didn’t have any prior experience gazing into a crystal ball. But after we shared some inputs with her, she surprised us with the magic she did using her newly gained knowledge.
I started to feel the need to pursue MBA in the year 2015 where I felt adding a formal training in management would lead my dreams to convert to reality. I started browsing various international MBA programs.
Being an Indian but living in various continents, made me think of a global program. I was always clear to join 1 year MBA program considering the vast experience in real life which I already had under my sleeve. Doing a 2-year program would not fit my ecology frame as well.
My aim was to get into the top 20 MBA . I researched and made a list from various rankings, read a lot about each program and school.
I highlighted points that I thought were relevant in terms of consideration of the program. I studied their pros and cons in great depth.
Considering my science background and entrepreneurship flair, I was considering the right choice of school and country for doing my MBA.
And yes, I started to wonder how I would clear my GMAT, considering the long gap in mathematics that I had from the school days – being always a student of biology majors and medicine.
The biggest concern to get into the first top 20 MBA in the world was my age and my low GMAT score. My age was also on the higher end of the spectrum of the MBA candidates (37 years).
Also I had a long time dilemma between doing EMBA vs MBA full time. Already earning a decent salary, and taking out 1 year of life also meant the income loss to be added to the tuition fees.
I worked on GMAT preparation at the last hour which was not so good a decision. I think it should be done in advance, without stress and deadlines for submissions of the application. I have to confess that I studied less hours for GMAT due to my long duty hours and also night calls and emergencies.
After 6 months of not-so-regular preparation, taking local classes in Dubai and using E-MBA portal, I could get a score of 620. Though I felt petrified if this was enough to compete for the world’s top 20 MBA programs.
I also had long lost the exposure to concepts of mathematics. I had difficulty also in adjusting dates for the exams in Dubai due to my hectic work schedule.
I had long chat with Manish Gupta from MBA Crystal Ball, who helped me to identify the right schools. He gave a very practical picture of the schools with the low GMAT scores.
However I was keen to give a shot at all schools considering my slightly off-beat background which may offset the low GMAT scores.
I gave a lot of thought to EMBA vs MBA and finally chose to do MBA on campus so that focused networking option is available plus a fruitful sabbatical ensues.
Judge Business School (Cambridge University) was never on my list. However due to Manish, I considered it also as an option.
I read about its healthcare scholarship and was intending to give it a try based on my extensive work in the healthcare. I also considered MIT Sloan fellows program as it was one year senior fellows MBA.
I did apply to INSEAD, HEC, IE. I visited IE personally and it’s a phenomenal school. So is Judge. Both the experiences were superb. I also had a chance to visit Boston (MIT campus). The campus again is marvelous.
Now after receiving positive replies from Cambridge, IE, HEC, I was completely confused about which program to opt for.
Having a decision of getting healthcare scholarship worth 25000 pounds in Cambridge made my choice easier.
INSEAD was keen on my profile but asked me to opt for EMBA program instead.
MIT Sloan put me on their waiting list with a positive note. However I could not wait long to wait for their reply in view of the earlier start date of the program and my current job and its requirement to give a notice period of 3 months.
I hence decided not to wait for their response and mean time accept the best available offer which was Judge Business school and I think this is the best decision that I have ever made.
I can’t thank Manish enough to be a part of my decision process. Although I had done a lot of online research about each program and exactly knew what was ideal for me in regards to my age.
However some schools which were beyond my radar were indicated by Manish and then later I read about them in great details. He was constantly in touch with me during this process and was super prompt in replying my emails.
I wrote my essays at the last hour. It was not easy to do everything at the last hour as deadlines were too close.
But I learnt that one should be well prepared a year in advance for the same. That saves a lot of time and ensures less stressful experience.
I did all at once, the retake of the GMAT, writing of essays, submission of the application and also preparing for the personal interview.
The interview at all the places was pretty easy going. The professors made me very comfortable and it was centered largely on my experience.
The interview for MIT Sloan conducted at Dubai, UAE was slightly too detailed lasting about an hour with quite a detailed review about my existing projects and job.
However, all the other interviews were fairly straight forward directed towards my vision and what I intend to achieve out of the MBA program. How the MBA would be instrumental in achieving my goal and how I would contribute to the class where the two main questions asked in the interview
I visited Cambridge for the interview in person to meet the co students and get the real feel of the place. Cambridge city was just cool, beyond words.
Immediately its beauty captivated my heart and I was pretty sure, this is the place that I would do my MBA.
The people there are amazing, the experience of staying there for 2 days was just beyond compare and would remain as one pleasant memory of my life.
Well it was also disheartening to say no to IE, HEC and let go the decision at MIT Sloan. However in the end, I feel I think I am in for the right program at the Judge Business School (Cambridge MBA).
I cant wait to start my program in September 2019.
– Dr Sweta Adatia | www.drswetaadatia.com