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How I got into Babson College with scholarship with low GMAT score of 620

There are multiple reasons that make Babson College a top choice among international students.

  • The Babson MBA offered by the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business is ranked number 1 for entrepreneurship by multiple publications (US News, Entrepreneur, Princeton Review).
  • The average salary for Babson College MBA grads is $154,546 (last 3 years average according to the Financial Times).
  • It offers the MBA in two formats – 1 year MBA and 2 year MBA. There are 7 STEM designated concentrations.
  • For the 2-year MBA, the total tuition fee is $114,572. The one year MBA costs under $89,550. This relatively lower fee, compared to other top schools, in conjunction with the high salaries makes the RoI look better.

Along with the popularity, comes competition. So, how difficult is it to get into Babson College for an MBA?

Well, that depends on your profile. With a high GMAT score, strong differentiated (and under-represented) profile, and a strong application – you may sail through. But most are not in that situation.

If you are an Indian IT engineer competing with other MBA applicants from this brutally competitive applicant pool, it’s quite hard to get in.

Considering the graduate school acceptance rates of top schools, a high GMAT score is virtually a non-negotiable expectation. When you stumble there, it just gets more difficult.

We’ve published many stories of male IT engineers who have overcome low GMAT scores, but not enough from a female IT applicant’s perspective.

Raksha Adhikari (name changed) offered to describe her MBA admissions experience applying with a 620 GMAT score. The multi-faceted budding entrepreneur had a long list of criteria while selecting business schools – based on her post MBA goals of continuing with entrepreneurship. Unsurprisingly, Babson College came up as her top choice.

How I got into Babson College with scholarship

by Raksha Adhikari

Babson college with scholarship

I come from a small town called Srirangam in Tamil Nadu. Like most people who took science in their high school, I too did my engineering and started working in IT.

I have always been a person of multiple interests. I am a vocalist, dancer, instrumentalist, dramatist, writer, gardener, yoga instructor, health and sustainability enthusiast and a feminist.

Because of all the activities that I have been doing with my interests and their relevance with my work (I work as an energy and sustainability analyst building IT and other solutions for my customers), I was able to build an excellent resume.

I grew up eating organic food and as a yoga instructor, I have seen people getting healed of physical and mental problems eating organic food along with simple yoga practices.

Because of the scarcity of affordable organic food, I wanted to become an organic food entrepreneur.

I started doing my research in this field and did some small scale organic coffee selling and experimenting with growing my own food during my research phase.

To scale up, I decided to pursue an MBA to gain the necessary business and management skills.

Like most people with multiple interests, I am enthusiastic about everything that I do and I have time management issues. Thus began my attempts to slay the GMAT.

Even though I did my engineering, and my quants and verbal skills are decent, my score in GMAT in the multiple attempts that I made always ranged between 550 and 620.

Here is an advice to all people with multiple interests. I did not follow this advice.

Some of my other friends with multiple interests tried this and it worked for them in improving their score above 690.

It may or may not work for others. So, please take it with a pinch of salt.

I had exhausted my attempts by the time I got to know about this. If you are planning to take the GMAT, just because there are multiple attempts allowed, do not take them all.

Pause all the other activities that you are involved in (except work) and give all your energy to GMAT and get it done with (hopefully with an excellent score).

Considering the salary IT pays in India and the application and other costs, money saved on multiple GMAT attempts can be utilised to apply to more colleges.

Thus, stuck with a 620 GMAT score, I decided to go ahead and apply to the colleges that I had been checking out.

Even though I have friends who went to good universities abroad, all of them went for an MS and they only had an SOP in their application. The MBA application is a bit more complicated.

So, I enquired offline and researched online to find a consultant who would help me land a good college to pursue an MBA in entrepreneurship, considering my low GMAT score, my unconventional goals and the competitive applicant pool that I am from (Indian, Engineer, IT).

I decided to go with MBA crystal Ball. After an initial interaction with Manish, when he cautiously warned me about the huddles that my GMAT score may cause to the application, MCB assigned Shantanu Joshi to help me with the application process.

Then began the marathon of writing and editing the essays, LORs, and Resume for the different colleges, as the deadlines always seemed to be around the corner. During my regular interactions with Shantanu, we had become good friends.

Shantanu helped highlight some of the points from my resume in the different essays and LORs, according to their contexts, which gave the story in my application a coherent flow.

He also helped me research more about the school (other than the school’s website, online forums and QA tours) through connections in linked in and asking them the right questions to know more about the programs that I am applying to.

I applied to four schools. My selection criteria was based on the following criteria:

  • The school’s entrepreneurship program.
  • The alumni of the schools who had become successful entrepreneurs.
  • Financial aid the school may give.
  • Placement opportunities that the school gives for my chosen field – to get experienced before I venture out on my own.
  • Brand value of the school, that the VC’s may consider to fund my future start up.
  • Incubation centres that the school provides for entrepreneurs.

After a few weeks of completing the application process, I got a call from Babson’s admissions office, to schedule an interview.

Shantanu, my mentor at MCB, again helped me to prepare for the possible questions that the interviewer may ask. The Skype interview lasted for 20 minutes.

They asked me about my past consulting, team leading experiences and my future plans. And after a few weeks of that, I got a call from the admissions office, offering me a place at Babson, with two scholarships for both the years.

I am very happy that I am going to start college in September at Babson.

Babson College has made the MBA admissions process test optional for the current year. So you can apply to the Babson Olin MBA without a GMAT or GRE score.

While that’s good news for many, it also means the application volumes will swell in this and the coming years. Without a GMAT score to help you out, you’ll have to focus on the subjective components of the application – essays, resume, recommendations, interviews.

If you need professional help with your applications, get in touch with us: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

Also read:
Babson MBA – Why #1 in Entrepreneurship, but low overall ranking?
Low GMAT success stories

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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

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