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From Despair to Dream come true ! This is my story !! [#permalink]
04 May 2013, 08:57
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Premise: I always read and heard the stories of people getting into good MBA schools despite of low GMAT score. Today, I can proudly say that – “I am that story.”
GMAT Attempt 1: I began my new job in May 2010 and that is when I decided to give GMAT. I started my GMAT preparation in June and scheduled the exam for September. After few months of preparation I thought I need some more time to prepare and hence had to re-schedule my exam for October. There was personal chaos going in my life and I knew I was not in correct frame of mind to appear for the exam. Nevertheless, I went ahead with decent three months of preparation from MGMAT and Official Guide books. I screwed up badly and ended up scoring 590. My desire to be in an MBA school got crashed in matter of few hours. Next couple of months I spent searching for an answer to – “Why I failed?” I buckled up myself and decided to overcome this small failure of my life, and to convert this failure into a spectacular success.
GMAT Attempt 2: In Jan 2011, I scheduled my exam for April. This time I made sure that I have no personal distractions and no matter what it takes to succeed I am going to do that. I spent relentless number of hours going through books, practice problems and tests. I did well in most of the practice tests that I gave, scoring in range of 680-710. But life had different plans and I failed again. I scored 620, a meager improvement of 30 points from the previous attempt. Fear, anguish and hopelessness kept creeping my mind for another handful of 6-8 months before I decided to give one last shot at GMAT.
GMAT Attempt 3: I scheduled exam for April 2012. This time it was even more preparation, and better strategies, but again similar output. GMAT score 610. More self anguish, more frustrations, and more despair.
Meanwhile: During each attempt, I believe I might have watched at least hundreds of motivational videos and read at least 10-15 books to keep myself up. But one thing I realized that there is no bigger motivation than real success, no matter how small it is. Count of my whisky bottles in these two years shot up to 30.
Applications: I knew my GMAT score limitation, and I decided to apply to the schools no matter what. I made sure I write stellar essays. Since my end goals were extremely clear, it helped me a lot while crafting essays. I made 4-5 drafts of every essay before submitting it. One thing I realized about myself is that I am persistent. I am thick skin guy and I just can’t just give up in life. I applied to 4 schools - to UT McCombs, University of Wisconsin Madison, Rotman and Boston College.
By March 15th I was done applying to all four schools. I got interview calls from UW and Rotman. UT McCombs dinged me with no interview and Boston College has kept me wait listed. Later I got dinged by UW. On May 2nd, finally I received that coveted call from Rotman. I was speechless when I heard those beautiful words – “Congratulations Akhil! You been admitted to Rotman.
Lessons learnt :
1. During these last 2.5 years I met many naysayers. Don’t listen to anyone. Your heart knows what is right for you.
2. Don’t lose hope. “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – The Shawshank Redemption
3. You can only connect dots looking backwards – Steve Jobs.
4. Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles. You'll never find rainbows if you are looking down. Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up but a comedy when seen in long-shot. Keep changing, keep learning, and keep going. It is only when we stop that it becomes a failure. Go one mile more. Success is just round the corner. Success is one more try. Go get it.