Vineet Bothra, Consultant at Ecorys, scored 730 in GMAT in his very first attempt and will soon be joining Ross School of Business- the University of Michigan in the USA. Vineet’s academic profile is as follows-:
Graduation (B.Tech)- 76.91% (Delhi Technological University) | Class XII- 94.8% (Birla Vidya Niketan) | Class X- 10 CGPA (Birla Vidya Niketan)
He has previously worked with Reliance Industries Ltd. For 9 months and later joined Ecorys as a consultant. He will be completing 30 months with Ecorys next month. We talked to Vineet about his preparation and interview and this is what he has to say-:
How did you prepare for GMAT? What resources did you use?
I used both the PDFs which are available online and GMAT official guide. I used Manhattan and Princeton material for preparation primarily. Veritas prep is also a good source to prepare for GMAT. I also took official GMAT papers as they give you an actual feel of the exam and where you stand.
I focused on working on the basics first. I started preparing for both CAT and GMAT and eventually focused only on GMAT giving CAT a pass.
What were your weak and strong sections? How did you overcome your weaknesses?
Being an engineer, quant was my strong section. Also, the questions are primarily till class 10th maths so I just needed to revise the basics and do time-based practice to maximize my no. of attempts. I found critical reasoning in verbal to be on the tough side and for that I relied on Manhattan material. It has good content and also a variety of questions for practice. So, that was my go-to source for verbal.
Could you tell us how you went about answering the essay prompts for the b-schools you applied to?
Almost all the questions are similar. The language might be different but the gist of the questions is same irrespective of the b-school. You need to give examples highlighting how you exhibited leadership skills, how you are a team player, what are your goals and achievements. Two of the most prominent questions are: Why do you want to go for an MBA? Why this b-school?
They can also ask about your extra-curricular and your role model- why is that person your role model and what have you learnt from that person?
I tried to give examples both from my personal and professional life. You need to use good vocabulary to answer the questions but it should not be too much. It should not show that you sat with a dictionary or thesaurus to write the essay. If you give honest examples and explain them in a lucid manner, your essay is good to go.
Did you use the services of an admission consultant? How did you go about drafting your application?
I did not opt for the services of an admission consultant. I took tips and guidance from my friends and relatives who had also applied for GMAT and went through the same process to do their MBA. They advised me on the structure of the essays and how they can be articulated better.
A consultant can only fine-tune your points but he cannot create new content for you. You will have to create the content yourself. Taking a 2nd opinion is good but I don’t think you need to take services of a consultant for that necessarily.
What made you choose the Ross School of Business? Did you apply to other b-schools?
I applied to the Ross School of Business for 3 main reasons- I found their emphasis on experience-based learning very attractive. I also liked their team culture and that the institute is majorly student-driven. There are good opportunities for technology consultant in Ann Arbor Michigan so there is an advantage of location factor also. They have a strong alumni network in the USA as well as in India. I also applied to Booth, Kellog and UCLA. I am waitlisted at UCLA.
Could you please tell us about your interview experience?
My interview was taken by a current student of Ross Business School. It was on skype and went on for about 35-40 minutes. The panel just has your resume and not your essays. They ask behavioural questions primarily to gauge your personality. The questions are majorly about your short term and long term goals. Why are you doing an MBA now and how will it contribute to your goals? They will also focus on conflict resolving and your leadership abilities. The interview can also be taken on Bluejeans application.
How do you think is an MBA abroad different from an MBA in India?
An MBA from abroad provides you international exposure and more diversity in terms of work experience and culture in batchmates. So, the peer learning is more enhanced in my opinion. You also have the freedom to choose courses across different streams in the university. Hence, you can have a more wholesome learning and study what interests you.
Do you think that the high cost charged by foreign institutes (as compared to Indian institutes) is justified?
It’s true that the fee is higher for international students. International students are a big source of revenue for these b-schools. But then you have better facilities there, both in terms of infrastructure and technology. They have more international business trips as compared to indian institutes and you get a wholesome university experience.
What advice would you like to give to future GMAT aspirants?
I would say that the exam is not difficult. You just need to work on basics and your reasoning skills. Do time-bound practice and you will get through it. You should also try to be honest in your answers in the essays as well as your interview and you will sail through!
All the best!
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