LOW GMAT SUCCESS STORIES: Journey to Rotman

In this article, we are speaking to a chemical engineer who supposedly has a regular profile of an Indian engineer with a “low GMAT score” of 670 and still cracked the admissions of one of the best business schools in Canada (Rotman) to embark on his journey for her second MBA. 

Through the journey of a successful candidate, we are here, addressing issues like how to bring uniqueness in your applications despite belonging to an over-represented MBA applicant pool, how important is GMAT for MBA, how to choose the right MBA programs and what Rotman looks for in a candidate. 

Q: AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR CAREER DID YOU DECIDE THAT YOU NEED A SECOND MBA ABROAD?

I have been thinking about a second MBA for a long time. But once when I got the opportunity to visit and work in my company’s London office, my interaction with many different personalities from varied cultures inspired me to start considering global options for my second MBA. 

Also, pursuing a second MBA can be a golden opportunity for me now because I belong to the Oil & Gas Industry and it’s very niche. Now, with the pandemic, the industry is going through a rough time and so from the career point of view, it made sense to do an MBA now and pivot my career to consulting. 

Q: BEING A 670 GMAT, WHICH IS SUPPOSEDLY A “LOW GMAT SCORE”, DID YOU FEEL UNDER-CONFIDENT AS REGARDS YOUR CHANCES TO THE TIER 1 BUSINESS SCHOOLS?

Q: AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR MBA APPLICATION PROCESS DID YOU FEEL THE NEED FOR A CONSULTANT?

Q: HOW WOULD YOU WANT TO DESCRIBE YOUR WHOLE MBA APPLICATION JOURNEY? HOW YOU STARTED, WHAT HURDLES YOU FACED AND WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE GAINED FROM THE WHOLE JOURNEY?

So, after the whole branding process ended and we got the theme and direction of my application, we started with essays. We used to have long sessions and work on at least 4-5 drafts for every single question before reaching the final answer. 

Two of my biggest hurdles were my goals essay and low GMAT. A lot was going on, I needed to think through every part of my goals and life and it required a lot of research. But the best part was, Shantanu was there to be patient with me, to set me in the right direction and walk with me side by side during this whole process. So, I think, the best decision I took is I knew I had a disadvantage of a low GMAT and over-representation and to get an edge over others, I started my MBA applications much earlier. 

Q: ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS FOR MBA ASPIRANTS IS TO CHOOSE THE “RIGHT” SCHOOLS. WHAT EXACTLY THIS “RIGHT” MEANT FOR YOU AND HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT MBA PROGRAMS FOR YOURSELF?

So, I think, this decision of the right schools should be very personal and it should first come from within. The first step that should go in choosing the right MBA programs is introspecting on your own goals, career and preferences. This can help you cancel a lot of noise around you.

For me, geography was one of the most important factors. I already have opted the USA out of my preferred locations because of the visa issues and I was definitely interested to look for options in the UK because I have had work-experience there and I was fascinated by the culture I experienced. So, after deciding the geographies, we started looking for schools, networking with alumni of different schools and evaluating each MBA program on various parameters like career opportunities, ease of living, the culture of the schools etc. and I still vividly remember it took us 21 odd days to just shortlist the schools. 

Q: SO, NOW THAT YOU ARE A ROTMAN ADMIT WITH A 20,000 CAD SCHOLARSHIP, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE KEY TO CRACK ROTMAN’S MBA ADMISSIONS?

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