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Application Experience - for Indian students with GMAT 500 - 600

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Application Experience - for Indian students with GMAT 500 - 600 [#permalink]

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As an average Indian applicant, here's my experience.

My background:
- Humanities Under Grad (B.A) and Grad (M.A)
- Female
- 9+ years experience in PR and Marketing
- 540 GMAT (let's just say Quant isn't something I can do under pressure)

Lessons learned in different phases of my journey:

Before
1. Start early - I'm in my mid 30's and I just realized that this is a 4 year mission for people with average intellect. If I had started earlier I could have spent more time studying (and practicing) for GMAT. If you are aiming for a top 10 b-school start in high school or even first year of undergrad. This will give you enough time to take up a few extracurriculars in Public Private Partnership space (which is where you can make maximum impact. Of course this piece of advice is for people like me who aren't into sports or have no specific talent to speak of).
A special note here to single Indian Women - if you are between 28 - 35 years of age and applying, most often than not, you'll have to hear the symphony of "Get married first" "you can't study at this age" etc. True story. This is an extra stressor - be prepared.
2. Nice to be ambitious but for godsakes do write a few mock CATS so that you can pick the right schools in the GMAT exam. Since I didn't have time, I went from studying for the exam to writing just one Mock CAT before attempting the exam.
3. Save money to be able to afford a good admissions consulting company as well GMAT lessons esp. if you suck at quant. If you aren't from a good school (think IIT) and don't have a great GMAT score (think anything less than 650) then the sad truth is you do need a consulting company to get into a great school
4. if you are working, participate in your company's CSR program. That's the easiest way to rack up some extracurriculars. Also, many Indians (including me), were stuck in specific routines during our childhood - go to school, come back, do your homework/study and start all over again next day. If you are one of them, and are now a working professional, remember, this is your chance to take time to polish your application. If you are a techie, join hackathons, NGO's that work on Urban issues, Google developer events, etc. We have our own insecurities about not spending enough time at working and losing our jobs (most of us are at some point), but you can make time at around 3+ years in your career.
5. If you are Indian, the expectations are higher, since we are an over represented country. So ensure your GMAT scores are good (650+).

During your application
6. If you do decide to apply on your own then buy books like MBA Reality Check. Since I was planning to write my own essays, this book came in handy.
7. Plan, plan, plan. I cannot emphasize this enough esp. if you're applying without the help of a consulting company. Also start applying early; it looks easy but it isn't. In all my applications, one of my recommenders who agreed to write a recommendation was unreachable from Dec to Jan (I was applying for round 2, he's still unresponsive).
8. First step after writing your GMAT should be to create and fill in your application and triggering the recommendations. Trust me, at the last minute, when you're following up with a recommender who is not responsive, you do not have time to remember the starting and ending salaries of your first job or to upload your scores.
9. Download the MBA rankings - they should be available in these forums. Filter the average as per your GMAT score upto a maximum of 30 points above your GMAT score (I know, I know, the GMAT score is supposed to be just one part of your applications. But unless you've designed the next Mars Mission or saved a life, let's keep be real)
10. Finally, if you don't have a great support system during this time, then use an experience diary. This is one of the most stressful experience and pouring your heart out will make you feel better. You're bound to experience these emotions: Frustration, anger and sadness.

Here's an extra - Some schools require your transcript to be evaluated by WES to GPA, especially if you aren't from a top university. When you are creating your budget for the cost of applications include the cost of transcript evaluation which runs $160 and above.

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Application Experience - for Indian students with GMAT 500 - 600   [#permalink] 29 Jan 2017, 08:28
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Application Experience - for Indian students with GMAT 500 - 600

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