MBA Applicant Blogger Interview: Rolipolli’s Journey


Next up in our series of featured MBA applicant bloggers is Pardeep, author of the blog, “Rolipolli… a walk through life and path to B-school.” Please enjoy Pardeep’s thoughtful answers and use them to help you make your way through the MBA admissions process.

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?

Pardeep: My name is Pardeep, I’m 26 years old, and I’m from India. I graduated from NIT Jalandhar (India) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2007 and I have 4 years of full time work experience from one of the largest independent power producer company in Asia.

Accepted: Why do you want to go to business school? What are some of the factors motivating you?

Pardeep: To change my career path from engineering to social engineering. I want reforms in the education system and education industry of India! Another major reason to go to business school is that I want to start my own business.

What motivates me is the will-to-see-equality in society. I’ve been to Budapest (Hungary) to volunteer for one Roma organization and I do write for various local magazines on issues pertaining to society such as women’s empowerment, discrimination and child labor.  

Accepted: How many times did you take the GMAT? Are you happy with your score? Are you planning on retaking the exam? Are you preparing differently the second time around?

Pardeep: I’ve taken the GMAT once and I wasn’t happy with the score so I’m planning to take the GMAT again for the last time. On the first attempt, I had no strategy to handle Reading Comprehension passages; I would say this was the biggest mistake I ever made! GMAT knows well how and where to exploit test takers, so one needs to have strong strategies to handle all the sections. I’m taking Veritas GMAT classes and GMATPrepNow classes this time and I hope these classes will save me with guidance and strategies.    

Accepted: When do you plan on applying to business school? Which schools will you apply to? Do you think you’ll apply to a “safety school”?

Pardeep: I will apply next year; then I will have about 5 years of experience and nothing much new left at my present job to learn. I’ve decided to apply to Babson College because it’s been ranked no. 1 in entrepreneurship for the last 18 years or so, also keeping my interest of social entrepreneurship in mind. Other colleges of my choice are Carnegie Mellon (Tepper), HKUST, Michigan State University and a few others.

About “safety schools”, I’ve not still decided whether I should apply to these but I will think about these depending on my GMAT score.

Accepted: Have your parents’ success (or lack of success) influenced your desire to go into business? Please explain.

Pardeep: My parents are teachers (the first educated people in my family), who always inspired me to go for my dreams and do something for the betterment of the society. Yes, my parents’ struggle for life inspires me to do better than their expectations. Both my parents once upon a time used to work in fields and used to sell ‘grass’ but they never let anything come between their aim and studied. After that they gave me and my two brothers the best education they could provide despite facing many problems and I became a mechanical engineer and my two brothers became medical surgeons!      

Now, when I see kids working as child labor in farms, tea stalls, railway stations and almost everywhere I feel like crying, and all this inspires me to be fruitful for these kids. As my parents say,” Every child is special and deserves better education. Free education now or fill prisons later.”

Accepted: Do you follow current MBA admissions news? If so, which news sources do you read?

Pardeep: I follow MBA admissions news mostly on Twitter, GMATCLUB,, and   

Accepted: Why did you choose to blog about the MBA application experience?

Pardeep: I decided to blog about the MBA application experience because I wanted to document my journey so that I could look back at my posts while writing my essays and also get some help from fellow applicants. I wanted to keep things organized.

I also wanted to interact with other incredible applicants and wanted to help make sure that future applicants don’t make the same mistakes I made.

There is another personal reason behind blogging — I also want to be a writer one day! :-)  

Do you want to be featured in’s blog, Accepted Admissions Almanac? If you want to share your MBA admissions journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Accepted Tweeps…Thanks!


We want to thank all of our @Accepted followers for helping us reach our 3K goal! To show our appreciation, we’d like to offer all our Twitter followers a special discount, which we just announced on Twitter. The discount can be used one time per user through August 9, 2011. 

Visit to follow and learn about the discount.

Thanks for spreading the word, and enjoy your discount! ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Law School News Roundup


  • Northwestern University School of Law announced it has appointed a new dean, Daniel B. Rodriguez, effective January 1, 2012. Rodriguez was previously the Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law and former dean at the University of San Diego Law School.
  • Harvard Law School has launched the new Harvard Law School Mobile App.  The app is available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, and provides HLS students and the public with information about the school. There is even a  “News” tab with all the latest HLS news, as well as a list of “Tweets” from 30 different Harvard related Twitter feeds.
  • Have you ever wondered what to do about your criminal record when applying to law school? Blueprint Prep explains why one should always be open with the school about any misdemeanors.  One should be in control of the facts so that the school doesn’t find out about your record in the wrong way.
  • The National Law Journal reports that law school grads’ salaries have dropped tremendously, according to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). The average salary went from $93,454 to $84,111 for the class of 2010. However, NALP Executive Director James Leipold explains that it is not that large firm salaries are dropping, but that more recent grads are working at small firms that pay lower salaries.

law-school-personal-statements ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Win Fantastic Discounts By Following Us on Twitter!


When we hit the 2K mark last October we were thrilled. And now that we’re approaching 3000 Twitter followers…well…we’re even more thrilled!   

To celebrate this momentous occasion and to show our appreciation of our followers, we’ve decided to launch a special offer available for all @Accepted followers. The deal, which will be announced when we hit the big 3K, will be good for 3 days only, so check in often to make sure you don’t miss it.

In the meantime, until we reach our 3K goal, we’ve got another special offer for you. If you:

  1. follow on Twitter;
  2. tweet about your favorite resource, including the link to it; and
  3. include the hashtag #A3000 in your tweet,

then you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win one FREE hour of consulting or editing (valued at $260).

So what are you waiting for? Tell your applicant friends and fellow tweeps to follow @Accepted today and to answer the question: What do you like best about

MBA Admissions: UC Berkeley Haas and Technology


This post about Haas and technology is part of a series of interviews of top MBA programs called “MBA Career Goals and the B-Schools that Support Them.” Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you receive all the interviews exploring the elements at each school that support career goals in finance, consulting, general management, entrepreneurship, marketing and more.

1.  What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in a career in technology?

The Berkeley MBA Program is delivered from a general management perspective, and thus attracts applicants with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests.  We seek candidates who have solid professional experience and leadership potential, and who possess the Berkeley values of confidence without attitude and a willingness to look beyond the status quo.

Candidates who wish to pursue a post-MBA career in technology should demonstrate at least one of the following pursuits through their application: previous work experience in a technology function, related extracurricular involvement in technology with a leadership role, or comprehensive research into specific positions or organizations for post-MBA employment in technology.  Candidates who are making a career-switch into technology should also be able to clearly articulate how they intend to leverage their skill set and work experience to date to successfully make this transition

Learn more about general admissions criteria.

2.  What aspects of your curriculum do you feel are best suited to students who want to eventually pursue a career in technology?

Berkeley-Haas is one of the world’s leading graduate programs for the study of technology.  In recognition of the pervasive impact of technology on business, the Berkeley MBA program provides students with an overview of technology management as well as the opportunity for specialization.  Our proximity to Silicon Valley strengthens our connections to the high-tech community.

Students at Berkeley-Haas have access to Management of Technology (MOT) courses to supplement their general management curriculum.  MOT courses focus on the set of management activities associated with bringing high-tech products to market.  It is an interdisciplinary effort of the Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, the iSchool, the College of Environmental Design and the College of Chemistry.  Students benefit from the diverse knowledge and experiences of an interdisciplinary classroom.

MOT courses include:

Students interested in technology are increasingly exploring Berkeley-Haas’ strong energy and clean technology offerings.  The Energy Institute at Haas sponsors numerous courses and experiential learning opportunities.

Student-initiated courses, such as Topics in Technology, Managing Internet and Digital Media Products and Alternative Energy Speaker Series, bring real-life practitioners from top firms to the classroom and deliver first hand insights on critical issues in the technology field.  Students frequently will have an opportunity to meet with the speaker in a small group setting or over dinner.

In addition to technology-focused courses, Haas’ general management curriculum teaches students fundamental business concepts – from accounting and finance to marketing and strategy.  Through core and elective courses, experiential learning and a global focus, the Berkeley MBA Program helps students develop skills to become innovative leaders.

3.  Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in technology?

Providing students with hands-on exposure to real-world business situations is a key strength of the Berkeley MBA Program.  Experiential activities are required for graduation, and numerous out-of-the-classroom initiatives give students the opportunity to build on their technology skill set. 

  • Clubs: Most students take a leadership role in the industry club that aligns with their career interests, such as the Haas Technology Club.  Many also join an industry club in which they’d like to focus, such as the Digital Media & Entertainment Club or the Berkeley Nanotechnology Club.   The clubs aim to educate students on career paths in technology, connect them with alumni in the field and prepare them for job interviews.
  • Business Competitions: Case competitions challenge students to apply classroom learnings to real-life business problems.  In recent years, students have participated in case competitions with Apple, Facebook and Hewlett Packard.  In 2010 Berkeley-Haas students took first place in the 8th Annual Innovation Challenge, earning them the title of “America’s Most Innovative MBA Team” from over 100 competing teams.
  • >play Digital Media Conference: >play brings over 500 attendees to campus for a day-long dialogue on digital media in an immersive, interactive and entertaining environment. Keynote speakers in 2010 were Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine and Dr. Michael Johnson, Moving Pictures Group Lead at Pixar Animation Studios.
  • Industry Leaders at Haas: Each year, distinguished leaders are brought to campus to share their real-world experiences and insights.  Recent speakers with a technology bent include Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel, John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, George Lucas, Founder and Chairman of Lucasfilms and Biz Stone, Co-founder of Twitter.
  • Energy and Clean Technology:  Energy and clean technology is an increasingly popular area of emphasis for Berkeley-Haas students.  The Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC), the Energy Institute at Haas, and the UC Energy Institute facilitate numerous courses and experiential learning opportunities, including Cleantech to Market.
  • Haas@Work: This experiential learning course gives students an opportunity to develop innovative recommendations to address a competitive challenge posed by the sponsor company. The strongest recommendations are then added to the client’s business roadmap for implementation.  Haas@Work projects often have a technology component, and sponsor companies have included Cisco, SunPower, Hewlett Packard, Autodesk and Applied Micro.
  • Career Management: The Berkeley-Haas Career Management Group was ranked #4 nationwide by recruiters in a 2008 BusinessWeek survey.  Career Management plans workshops, panels, networking events, job fairs, company visits and receptions specific to all phases of the marketing job search.  They also work closely with the clubs on a Technology Firm Night, attracting dozens of companies for technology specific roles nationwide.

Hear more about technology directly from Haas students on the Berkeley MBA Student Blog, the MOT Blog or the Design Thinking Blog.

4.  Since “technology” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the some of the sub-categories in the field that Haas excels in?

  • High Tech: Through the Management of Technology (MOT) program, Berkeley-Haas students will have access to courses around design, new product development, open innovation and innovation strategy and entrepreneurship.  Students who pursue this path will frequently take post-MBA roles such as Product Marketing Manager, Product Manager, Business Development Manager, Product Planner, Corporate Development Manager and Strategy Manager, among others.
  • Energy and Clean Tech: Additionally, students with an interest in Energy and Clean Technology can take advantage of the Energy Institute at Haas, a joint venture with the UC Energy Institute.  Courses in energy and clean technology prepare students to lead businesses that address the market, policy and technological challenges of the energy industries.

5.  Which five technology firms recruit the most Haas graduates? What kinds of positions did they go into?

Berkeley-Haas remains one of the world’s leading centers for the study of technology.  Approximately 25-30% of students gain full-time employment in the technology sector after graduation.

In 2010, the top technology employers at Haas included Amazon, Apple, Autodesk, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, VMWare, Yahoo! and Zynga.  Graduates typically pursued the following roles: Product Marketing Manager, Product Manager, Business Development Manager, Product Planner, Corporate Development Manager, Senior Financial Analyst, Strategy Manager and Operations Manager.

In addition, Berkeley-Haas graduates are increasingly pursuing jobs in energy and clean technology.  Most recently, 11% of the graduating class landed in the energy field.  Top recruiters in 2010 included Bloom Energy, PG&E and SunPower.

Learn more about the technology career paths post-MBA from recent graduates:

Learn more about careers post-MBA, view an employment snapshot of recent graduates or see a list of firms that recently recruited on campus.

By Morgan Eckles, Assistant Director, Haas Full-Time MBA Admissions.

Download Accepted’s new special report, MBA Action Plan, for practical tips on what you can do now to increase your chances of getting in to a top business school next year. (P.S. It’s free!)