Low GMAT Success Story – Journey To LBS
We’ve all discussed and heard from numerous individuals in the MBA community that the GMAT is the most crucial element of an MBA application, often seen as the “deal-breaker.” MBA and Beyond has always been perplexed by this notion. How can a three-hour score define your years of successes and failures? Here’s an unfiltered interview with one of our candidates who scored a 690 on the GMAT. However, this didn’t deter her from applying to LBS, one of the best business schools globally, where she was admitted with a 100% scholarship! This article will also serve as a guide on how you can craft a unique application despite a low GMAT score.
WHAT WAS YOUR MOTIVATION TO APPLY AT INSEAD AFTER YOU GOT YOUR FINAL GMAT SCORE?
“To believe is to do and to do is to believe”- Words to live by!
I was uncertain about applying to top business schools given my perceived low GMAT score. Then, I met Shantanu who certainly aspired me in taking a quantum leap and even consider LBS “A dream college” to send my application to. While confident in my ability to write compelling anecdotes and essays, I realized there were “pain points” in my application, such as a low GMAT score and the challenge of applying to LBS as an Indian. These factors limited my ability to convey the right message and create a meaningful “impact.”
My journey with MBA and Beyond Admission Consulting can be a case in point for those who stay in their narrow shell of self-doubt with their GMAT score and overall experiences and yet are willing to break free to redefine their worth by taking the help at a stage when it is really necessary.
HOW WAS YOUR JOURNEY WHILE CRAFTING YOUR UNIQUE STORY?
My engagement with Shantanu resembled lyrical jazz, guiding me through the journey of “self-discovery” to “self-expression” with seamless interpretation of my individual experiences. The process involved perfecting each point with precision, following an “open-ended” to “funnel down” approach. This allowed me to explore a multitude of ideas and brainstorm with Shantanu to define the elements that should be included in my essays, shaping my unique “Story”—a key differentiator that sets my application apart with its tailored approach.
Approach: A personality test, a series of questions aligned with your personality and aspirations, coupled with a thorough exploration of the underlying reasons (“WHYs”). Engaging with inspirational podcasts and insightful reads, and, ultimately, studying “samples” of essays all contribute to creating a clearer vision. This process helps chisel your path, guiding you to find the answers you are seeking.
THERE IS A LOT OF BUZZ AROUND BUSINESS SCHOOL APPLICATIONS TO HIGHLIGHT ‘IMPACT’ IN YOUR STORY. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS AND HOW MBA AND BEYOND HAS HELPED YOU IN THIS ASPECT?
The logic behind incorporating “impact” in your essays is to highlight not only what you have accomplished but also the consequences, extending beyond yourself to include “others.” This becomes the secret sauce to emphasize your potential as a “leader” and a purpose-driven individual whose influence extends beyond self-focus. This meaningful exercise allows you to address the entire spectrum of “strengths,” “weaknesses,” “achievements,” “pitfalls,” and the roadmap of “personal development” you have undertaken.
Approach: Adopt the “STAR” approach, emphasizing Actions + Result = Impact, supported by data-backed outcomes to quantify the impact of your work. Integrate personal anecdotes that demonstrate your ability to handle crises or conflicts, all presented in a manner that resonates with the best aspects of your personality, ensuring the readers remain captivated by your storytelling.
FINALLY, HOW MBA AND BEYOND WAS A SUCCESS PARTNER IN YOUR JOURNEY TO LBS?
1. Time: It would be an understatement to merely echo the cliché of “time is money” and yet not fully grasp its significance when considering an external collaboration, such as with MBA and Beyond. If you think you want fantabulous results and you are willing to working incessantly single-handedly with “time caps” and “day caps” for the week during the length of an engagement, sorry that is not the case here!
This is the MAJOR USP of Shantanu, he keeps the discussion sessions super frequent, super proactive, super approachable, and super fun! You’ll never feel lost as your “goals” are clearly set for the next call, keeping you busy and prepared until the next session. As a result, you never get lost in transition!
My power-packed 25-day engagement on LBS application was extended over 45 hours (yes I noted every call duration time) and that is all you really need to make a difference! Worth every hard-earned penny!
2. Perspective and experience: As an INSEAD alum himself, Shantanu comprehends the expectations of these top-tier colleges. He acts as an “expert craftsman,” sculpting your life journey into a personalized pitch that aligns seamlessly with the college’s “fit” criterion. This beautiful outcome has the potential to elevate you to the “top of the charts” in the competitive applicants’ pool. Shantanu encourages you to express your creativity, articulate your thoughts, and guides you through the process effectively!
Shantanu stands out from other “cookie-cutter” consultants; he doesn’t believe in cutting corners for results. Emphasizing creative brainstorming, he engages in a thorough process. Throughout this elaborate journey, Shantanu’s years of expertise and professional demeanor create an experience akin to working with a mentor. This level of appreciation instills self-confidence, making the entire engagement undoubtedly worthwhile!