Ms. Assistant Manager, got into INSEAD and IESE with a 680 GMAT Score!

When I started my journey, I knew where I wanted to apply, but I had no idea how to go about it. My search for MBA Consultants started at a time when I was still preparing for the GMAT and had my target schools shortlisted.

MBA and Beyond – Key Differentiator

I spoke to many different companies, and a lot of them asked me questions that I felt were being plugged into a foolproof equation that was known to provide results. However, I finalized MBA and Beyond because

– I felt that my personal strengths and motivations were understood by the team, and they didn’t boil my experience and personal qualities down to a math
– I didn’t feel pressure to score exceptionally well on my GMAT or that the GMAT score was the make or break for my schools – the encouragement and tone through and through was always to give it my best shot
– Their success rate/ track record in helping secure INSEAD admits for applicants with low GMAT scores.

The Application Process

a) The Product

The process itself of starting work on my applications was life-changing. Putting down points in the product in the MBA and Beyond framework gives you so much clarity going into this process about who you are as a person. From start to end, the product covers content and instruction for each stage of your application process specific to the schools you are applying for. The content-gathering stage is the most pivotal step in this process, in my opinion, because it pushes you to think hard about your personal qualities. The team, especially Ayushi in my case, supports you through and through, even when you’re stuck, and helps you position your content in unique and powerful ways. I think what comes out of this process is a simplified and more focused thought process that prepares you not just for your applications but also for your interviews.

b) Working with your Consultant – Andy my Partner

The relationship working with Andy was like no other. For starters, he actually read all the material I had written with a fine-toothed comb – be it my content frameworks, notes, first drafts, and of course, my final drafts. He helped come up with my branding – who I was as a person, what were some defining qualities/ motivations in my life that got me to where I am, my professional strengths, and my contributions to a diverse classroom. I can’t emphasize how important this was for me because at each step of the way, I felt secure in knowing that Andy understood who I was and exactly that person was being presented in my applications. I was truly myself in the applications and not a summation of different variables in a tried and tested formula. Despite being in completely different time zones, Andy was always approachable, quick to respond, and a true partner in this journey.

Amidst this process, I would also like to share that I took the GMAT twice as I scored poorly the first time, and it pushed my plans to apply to INSEAD from R2 to R3. However, not once did Andy make me feel stressed or uneasy about my situation. He was a beacon of hope and positivity and encouraged me to take it again and not worry about the outcome. As I said – Andy just understood me and knew that I had a very, very, VERY bad day, and it wasn’t a reflection of me or who I was. He was confident that I would take it again and “smash it” and even if I didn’t get that 700+ score, I would still be just okay, and we’d give it our best shot. There was never an expectation from me to score a specific number or be within a certain threshold – I was only and only encouraged to do my best. So I juggled preparing for my second GMAT attempt and working on my applications side by side with Andy’s help.

I would also like to highlight that the applications for both schools I got accepted into – INSEAD and IESE were with submission dates on the same day. This was extremely challenging as the INSEAD application is quite extensive and detailed oriented, but with Andy’s help, I was able to help systematically work on all aspects well in time.

The Interview Process

With Andy’s help, I was able to prepare just the right amount for my interviews, and I think a key piece of advice that worked for me was to prepare but not over-prepare. Andy gave me the confidence boost and motivation I needed just to be myself during the interview, and we went over certain aspects of my interviews in different calls he had set up.

Finally, Shakshi from MBA and Beyond made sure to check in with me every step of the way and ensure I was comfortable and all set at each stage. She was always just a call away and proactively helped me with quick responses to any queries that I had, never needing any follow-ups or reminders. So I can vouch for the fact that it’s not just your Consultant but an entire team that is there to support you through this entire lifecycle, and the Teamwork truly makes the Dream work.

To sum up, I truly believe I made it here only thanks to Andy’s encouragement and support, and I would encourage you all to work with him in applying to your dream schools!

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