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How I got through to INSEAD, IMD, Kellogg, Cambridge and Oxford MBA pr

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Joined: 11 Jan 2017
Posts: 27

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 0

Location: Australia
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 4
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
How I got through to INSEAD, IMD, Kellogg, Cambridge and Oxford MBA pr [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2017, 03:38
Four years back I started nurturing the dream to do a world class MBA as I was feeling saturated in my work and wasn’t really liking it at all. I was working as Program Manager with more than 10 years of experience in Technology and Management Consulting. I wanted to do an MBA which not only would help me build foundations of global education but also help develop my standing in international market as a leader. I did all my research to understand what it entails to be where I want.

The first hurdle was GMAT for which I started preparing but after 3 months of prep could only manage 650 with uneven quant and verbal score. I was exhausted due to travel, work and other personal circumstances and really did not want to do the GMAT again. So, I thought of going ahead and apply to business schools in phases but did a mistake of applying to two colleges at the same time and wasn’t able to focus on either application. I applied to IMD and London Business School, IMD called for interview but LBS rejected me straightaway.

This made me rethink my approach towards the other applications, so at this stage I consulted Laura Freedman from Access Education (www.accesseducation.com) about whom I had heard good reviews. My initial consultation with her opened my eyes to how much work I still needed to do if I were to get admission to any of schools in my list. INSEAD was my dream business school because of its global diversity and variety of student backgrounds which really intensifies the whole education experience.

Laura recommended 3 things to me straight up:

• Retaking my GMAT to at least balance my scores;
• Re-work my CV to reflect my achievements;
• Introspect into my own story, and understand better all I have done, why I want to do MBA, and how all my experiences relate to what I want to do next.

We worked hard on my CV for an initial fortnight and the result was amazing. I couldn’t believe how my CV shaped up. Then we worked on my story for a week to bring all the highlights forward, using the bits in my application essays wherever relevant so everything made sense.

What I really liked about this experience is that nowhere was I trying to pretend who I was and why I wanted to do MBA from INSEAD. My essays shaped up really well, and Laura pushed me to make further modifications to refine them further. When I finished my application everything really tied together well.

However, my attempt to retake the GMAT failed, as I managed only to get a 660. I decided to go on and apply to INSEAD for the June deadline. I was shocked to be rejected within 15 days of my application. I really understood the importance of GMAT, at least to get to a level of average score of colleges I wanted to get in to. So, the first phase was disappointing, as I got rejected by all 3 colleges – INSEAD, IMD, and LBS. IMD interviewed me, but I think because of my GMAT, I was eventually declined.

Laura helped me in understanding the feedback I received from my rejections and advised on leveraging the good bits back to my revamped application strategy. She is such a professional that even during her travels, she would take time out to help reset my mind through email or Skype. She criticizes you positively, makes you cut crap and be straight to the point to express the real you. During that hard time of rejection, she guided me at every step to not to get discouraged and to refine my application strategy.

With this encouragement, I started preparing for GMAT. I prepared for just over 3 weeks and got a 740, which was really stand out score for me. I knew then that I just need to present a good application package and I would at least get an interview. So, I added Kellogg to my list as well and applied in sequence below:

• Oxford – Applied with improved score
• Judge – Applied with improved score
• Kellogg one year MBA – Applied with improved score
• London Business School – Reapplied with new score
• IMD – Reapplied with new score
• INSEAD – Finally improved my application and reapplied with improved score

Oxford and Judge interviewed me, and I had offers from them within 2 months. Kellogg’s application was different from the others, as US B school application expect different things. I used Laura for an essay review, and she helped me create specific, targeted and relevant essays. I was stunned at the quality of my application, and it goes without saying it would not have been possible without Laura.

Anyway, Kellogg called for an interview, which they do for everyone, and it went very well. I was astonished to get an interview invite from INSEAD for my reapplication. The interviews went well and I was finally selected in February this year. I want to make it clear that even though my GMAT improved, Laura’s comments on improving my reapplication and addressing previous mistakes to present a refreshed package helped immensely. Kellogg called as well and I was in.

Finally, I got interview invites for both IMD and LBS. I withdrew my application from LBS, as I wasn’t that excited about it. IMD started to become my dream program at this point. When I attended the assessment day on campus, I was convinced that this is where I wanted to be. The interview invitation again gave me an opportunity to visit the campus, speak to faculty and participants and confirm my impression. Once I got the acceptance from IMD, I declined all other offers.

This is the gist of how my journey was. Four years of research, 3 GMAT attempts and after around 7 applications, I am going to IMD. My journey had enough twists and turns to turn me off during the process. Without Laura’s help, it would not have been possible. She is so resourceful and proves to be the mentor you’ve always wanted in your life. Even after the MBA application story is over, the things she worked with me on during the process continue to make an impact in my everyday life, both professionally and personally. I recently managed to land a dream job of the kind I was originally hoping to receive after my MBA. I believe this was possible because I kept in mind the things she taught me: come across as genuine person and present your story well.

I thank you Laura - I do not think I can ever thank you enough!

My final results:

• INSEAD – Reapplication and got in
• IMD – Reapplication and got in
• LBS – Reapplied, invited for interview but withdrew
• Oxford – Got in
• Judge – Got in
• Kellogg one year MBA – got in

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 0

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Re: How I got through to INSEAD, IMD, Kellogg, Cambridge and Oxford MBA pr [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2017, 09:48
Congrats on admits and thank you for sharing your story. I was wondering if you could elaborate on your post MBA aspirations - you want to remain in consulting after MBA or looking to switch to different field?
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Kudos [?]: 3845 [0], given: 2462

1 KUDOS received
Current Student
avatar
B
Joined: 11 Jan 2017
Posts: 27

Kudos [?]: 7 [1], given: 0

Location: Australia
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 4
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
Re: How I got through to INSEAD, IMD, Kellogg, Cambridge and Oxford MBA pr [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2017, 03:12
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I am pretty open minded at the moment. I intend to be in a global general management role, which I may achieve directly through industry of my intrest or through strategic consulting via MBB or an in house consulting role. But at the moment I just want to explore various possibilities on offer.

Sent from my SM-N950F using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

Kudos [?]: 7 [1], given: 0

Re: How I got through to INSEAD, IMD, Kellogg, Cambridge and Oxford MBA pr   [#permalink] 03 Nov 2017, 03:12
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