This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with MBA applicant bloggers, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at the MBA application process. And now…introducing our anonymous blogger, “MBA On My Mind”…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any other degrees? What is your current job?
MBA On My Mind: I am a 24 year old female from India. I was born in a quaint little town in Kerala and moved around a lot for most of my childhood (Delhi, Goa, Bangalore, some nondescript town in Karnataka, etc.). I’ve had an unconventional childhood but an immensely fun one. I went to a reputed, 100 year old school in Chennai and graduated with a B.A in Economics. I also have a Post Graduate diploma in Marketing Management, that I pursued part time to feed my burgeoning passion for marketing.
After school, I had a two year stint as Marketing Manager at a start-up that marketed teas (it was at this point that my fascination with tea blossomed and I enrolled to become a professional tea taster). Tea tasting to this day remains an elixir guaranteed to bust stress! In 2013, I co-founded a social enterprise business, in the Skill Development arena and have been absorbed in it ever since!
Accepted: What stage of the application process are you?
MBA On My Mind: I am wedged somewhere in between insanity and a frenzied need to get stuff done… It’s been a harried 6 months, but I am loving every moment. At this point, I am prepping for my GMAT exam, while working on second drafts of essays for round 2. My days are full!
Accepted: Where are you applying to b-school? Do you have a top choice? Safety school?
(I will be adding 2 or 3 schools to this mix provided they fit into my tally board.) Kellogg is my top school! I really really want to go there. The school just sings to me. I don’t have any safe schools so to speak, I understand that ‘safety schools’ are categorized based on higher acceptance levels (ergo, these schools are more open to candidates whose GMAT scores that aren’t particularly in the 99th percentile, <4.0 GPAs and folks who aren’t ridiculous overachievers), so although it makes sense to cover all your bases, for me the paramount deciding factor is fit and whether the school can offer what I want. There is not a single school on my tally board that I would not love to go to. I love all of them equally….okay, I lie. I love Kellogg a smidgen more than the rest. 🙂
Accepted: Can you tell us about your Business School Tally Board?
MBA On My Mind: I am someone who likes to do things in a systematic and cogent fashion. So, when the application season rolled around and the time came for me to stop being vague about the schools I wanted to go to. I sat down and listed out my short term and long term goals.
A word of advice for anyone who is on the brink of plunging into the MBA applicant pool, you will be doing yourself a HUGE favor if you introspect and freeze in on your long term and short term goals. Your school selection will be so much easier, you just have to figure out which school will provide the best and most enriching route to achieving your goals.
The Business School Tally Board is more of a qualitative take on the entire school selection process, and it is inspired by this blog post I read and fell in love with, on the Kellogg MBA Students Blog. It still isn’t complete, though. I am still researching schools, there are 2 more schools I want to add to the tally!
Accepted: What has been the most challenging aspect of the admissions process so far? What steps have you taken to overcome that challenge? How would you advise others in a similar situation?
MBA On My Mind: Start early! Stay positive! Get the GMAT out of the way!
THE biggest challenge is time, initially I wanted to get two apps in by round 1, but I was unable to because I was not satisfied with my GMAT score. So I will be working overtime to get 6-7 applications ready for round 2. Luckily for me, I produce my best work under pressure.
Accepted: Do you plan on staying in your current industry post-MBA, or changing to a new field/career?
MBA On My Mind: My immediate post MBA goal is to work with a for-profit social enterprise, particularly in marketing, while my mid-long term goal is to come back to India and expand my social enterprise’s operations.
Expansion requires aggressive/out of the box marketing, market research, liaising with government officials and seamless dissemination of our vision to the end customer. I hope to pick up these skills up at my immediate post-MBA job. So, to answer your question, yes I intend to stay in my current industry.
Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience? What have you gained from the experience? What do you hope others will learn?
MBA On My Mind: I remember stumbling upon a few MBA applicant bloggers in 2013, and reading their posts, more importantly the comment sections, there seemed to be a genuine camaraderie between fellow MBA applicant bloggers and the support that went around was amazing.
I knew I had to start a blog of my own to be a part of that world, besides I do love to write. Today, I can say with absolute certainty that I’ve forged close friendships with some wonderful people, through my blogging. (You know who you are!)
I can only hope that my readers find my posts helpful.
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You can read more about MBA On My Mind’s b-school journey by checking out her blog, MBA On My Mind. Thank you for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!