Start your introspection for the MBA 6-8 months before applying
Here’s a talk with Kartik Mishra, a first-year MBA student at MIT Sloan. Kartik shares his past application and current b-school experiences, and offers some timely advice about starting those b-school application essays early! Thank you Kartik for your insights!
This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.
Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where did you study as an undergrad? What was your most recent job before heading to b-school?
Kartik: I was born and brought up in India. I graduated with a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras in 2009 and was with Caterpillar Inc. (shuttling between Chennai and Peoria, Illinois) before coming to Sloan. At CAT I was in their product development division working on reducing emissions for diesel engines.
Accepted: What is your favorite thing about MIT Sloan? Least favorite?
Kartik: The list of things I like about MIT is never ending – be it collaboration or the culture or the smart students or the opportunities. But if there was one thing that I would say has really touched me has been the level of communication between the MBAs and the rest of MIT. Unlike in some other schools where the MBAs are (inherently) a distinct breed, at MIT we are all one. There are a huge number of opportunities to mingle with the grad students, collaborate with them over business ventures, take common classes and seek advice. The culture of MIT overlaps with Sloan and that has been a big factor bridging the gap between the grad students and the MBA students.
Can't really think of something that I don't like about MIT Sloan but if I were pressed really hard I would probably say that some of the 'star' courses have limited number of seats (which come to think of it makes sense because you want the proper faculty to student ratio).
Accepted: Do you plan on returning to the same job/industry after you receive your MBA? Or will you enter a new field and do something new?
Kartik: One of the primary reasons that I decided to pursue b-school was because I realized that I was stagnating. R&D in the industry has reached a saturation point and one usually tends to get a good grasp of the job function over a period of 3-5 years. So my motivation was to make the transition from R&D to front end manufacturing/operations and b-school would serve as the bridge to connect those two links.
Accepted: Do you have internship plans for the summer lined up yet? What role did MIT play in helping you secure that position?
Kartik: This summer I am pursuing my internship in BCG - Chicago. The midwest is the heart of US manufacturing and BCG - Chicago does a lot of consulting to these firms on operational aspects. As someone who wanted to make that jump to front end operations and manufacturing, my role at the operations practice of the world's leading consulting firm seems exciting.
I got recruited through MIT's on-campus recruiting system. BCG recruited in the 2nd week of campus recruitments and our Career Development Office (CDO) was also actively involved with the consulting firms’ events. The CDO also organized resume review sessions, mock interviews and seminars on job hunt, networking and salary negotiation. The student clubs also played a key role in preparing for case interviews by organizing mock sessions, mentoring by 2nd years as well as publishing the bible for consulting – the Sloan Case Book, which features cases asked in previous interviews.
Accepted: Now that you're nearly done with your first year of b-school, can you offer some advice to incoming students?
Kartik: The single biggest advice that I would give to incoming students is to not treat the 2 years at b-school just a stepping stone to your next job. The b-school experience is powerful in itself; ensure that you are part of the b-school story. Don't turn these two years into a blank chapter in your life's story by fretting over the job and the loan. Make mistakes, attend classes which you never thought you would, organize events, make friends, give back something to the school. You'll remember these 2 years more than your debt and your first job after school.
Accepted: Do you have admissions or application advice for our blog readers?
Kartik: There is no substitute for practice. The GMAT isn't actually as tough an exam as one thinks. Keep calm and practice and you should make it through.
Also, most candidates start working on their essays very late. B-school essays are very personal and require a lot of introspection and usually take more than a couple of months. The process of introspection should start much earlier – I would say 6-8 months before the actual drafting of the essays. And trust me, even if you do not make it into the school, the self introspection is something that you would carry all your life – to your next job, your work-life balance and your personal life.
For one-on-one guidance on the MIT application, please see our 2013 MIT Sloan School of Business Package. For specific advice on how to create the best application for MIT, see MIT Sloan 2013 MBA Application Questions, Deadlines, Tips.
Kartik advises applicants to start your introspection for the MBA 6-8 months before applying. Reader, you’re in luck. We have a webinar scheduled for next week on how to do just that. Sign up now!
This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of Accepted.com.
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