MBA Applicant Blogger Interview: Amar’s Journey

Amar Naik

Amar Naik

Next up in our series of featured MBA bloggers is Amar Naik, an MBA applicant who writes at Journey of Low GMATer and posts beautiful photography at Outreach. Please enjoy reading about Amar’s experience as an Indian IT male. Thanks Amar!

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from, where did you go to school and when did you graduate; and what prior degrees do you hold?

Amar: I am a native of India and completed my schooling from Goa College of Engineering, Goa. I graduated with a B.E. (Computers) in 2003. After that I have been working with an Indian multinational company (second highest ranked globally in the Information Technology & Services company category)

Accepted: When and where do you plan on applying to b-school? 

Amar: I have always wanted to get my MBA from Indian schools. One of the reasons for this was the booming Indian economy and personal commitments. But in India the biggest challenge is the GMAT score. Some of the schools that I have applied to in the past are ISB (not shortlisted), IIMI – EPGP (rejected after interview), SP Jain-PGPM (rejected after interview), GLIM (rejected after interview), and XLRI-GMP (not shortlisted).

I never applied in the past to non-Indian b-schools despite having a competitive profile.

I have signed up for Knewton 50 points guarantee and hoping to make it to one of the top school. I am also shortlisting schools outside India to complete my Mission MBA 2014. Given the uncertainty in world markets, I still do not want to compromise on the school brand names and this is the biggest challenge I am facing.

I am putting the list of schools and websites that I have applied to for prospective applicants:

Accepted: How many times have you taken the GMAT? 

Amar: I have taken the GMAT more than one time. But my highest score has been 640. The GMAT score is the biggest hurdle in my mission MBA. Also since I come from an Indian IT male demography the competition is tough.

Accepted: What steps have you taken so far to improve your score?

Amar: This year, I have signed up for Knewton 50 points guarantee and hoping to increase my GMAT score despite my busy work schedule.

Accepted: What field/industry do you work in now? Do you plan on continuing with a similar career once you have your MBA?

Amar: I work in IT industry. Till now in my career I have worked on project management, end to end client management in the banking domain, design & development, Six Sigma Process improvement and quality assurance, auditing projects, pre-sales, etc. Apart from regular work I also do freelance writing for some clients.

Post MBA I would like to grow in an IT service organization (business relationship manager, program manager, etc.) or join IT management consulting. Consulting is my preferred choice.

Accepted: Do you have any advice for our readers (your fellow MBA applicants)?

Amar: I will categorize MBA aspirants into two categories

  1. One group is realistic with their score and adjust their expectation based on their profile. After waiting for such a long time, I have realized that this is a good strategy because ultimately an MBA is a degree which will equip you with a weapon. How you use that weapon depends on you. A brand can give you a good initial start but sustaining over a long term does not depend upon brand. It depends upon individual.
  2. People who have shortlisted schools and want to go into only those schools (I myself fall into this category). This is good only up to an extent because as you get older you have other personal commitments and you have more competition from fellow aspirants (mostly younger). Getting desired placement or changing tracks after a certain experience also gets tough and would need lot of adjustments on your part. So decide and move on or change your plans as an MBA is not the only way to grow.

Accepted: I see you have two different blogs. Who are your target audiences and what motivated you to start blogging for each one?

Amar: My MBA blog is majorly focused on my MBA aspirations and challenges that I face. To sum up, it is my journey to an MBA.

On my other blog I majorly write my views, participate in contests, put some good shots that I click, etc. To sum up, it shows my hobbies.

I plan to start a dedicated blog on technical (IT) related and finance (stock trading) once my MBA commitments are over. At present I am working on designing my website and marketing some of the free mobile apps that I have developed.

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