In this article, we bring you Aditi Ranasaria, ISB PGP Class Of 2020. She did her B.Sc honours in Economics from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata and worked at McKinsey for 3 years, before joining ISB. Everything from Aditi’s journey, to GMAT prep, essay prompts at ISB, Interview experience and college life has been captured in this article. Read to know more!
(Above) Aditi Ranasaria, ISB Graduate (Class 2019-2020)
Please give us a brief introduction about yourself and your profile.
From the time I was in school, I had a firm dexterity for numbers and used to solve problems with numeric reasoning. This was part of the reason I did my undergrad in economics. Following through with a goal of analytics, I was recruited at McKinsey&Co. as an analyst and worked for 3 years with clients from multiple geographies and varied industries to improve their operational efficiencies. After that, I decided to pursue management at ISB.
How did you prepare for the GMAT/GRE? What resources did you use?
To start with, I studied from the official guide and later moved onto section specific books like PowerScore for Critical reasoning. I believe the verbal section was my weak point and I did multiple things to improve my performance in the area. A combination of understanding grammatical errors and practising any and every material that I could get my hands on really helped me. Moreover, I did not test well. As a solution to that, I started taking mocks every day and analysing them thoroughly.
Could you tell us how you went about answering the essay prompts at ISB?
The essays prompt at ISB application were thought-provoking and made me question my aspirations, where do I see myself in the 5-10 years and the need for an MBA to get to my goal. I reached out to several alumni of the Class of 2019 to understand the ISB experience better and whether it will be able to match what I want to achieve. I started penning down my thoughts and kept it authentic. Before submitting my application, I also got my essays vetted by some alums and colleagues to get a fresh perspective and ensure that I am able to translate my thoughts into words appropriately.
Did you use the services of an admissions consultant? If yes, how did they help and would you recommend consultants to ISB applicants? If not, how did you go about drafting your application?
I did not use an admissions consultant because I felt that writing the application on my own would make it "My Authentic Story" and help me understand my ideas and thoughts better.
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What made you choose ISB? Did you apply to other institutes?
ISB was the only school that I applied to. I had previously taken CAT in the last year of college, but I wanted to test the waters first.
How was your ISB interview experience? What questions/type of questions were you asked?
The interview questions were solely based on the application submitted to ISB. The interviewers wanted to make sure that all the information was true. It felt more like a conversation where I shared my latest work project and got to know more about the experience of the faculty in return. The questions were mostly related to my time working at McKinsey - different projects, learnings and complexities. I remember that I mentioned having learnt Vedic Maths during school and I was questioned to prove the veracity of the statement. A lot of emphases was also given to how I as a student would be able to contribute to the cohort.
What is your opinion makes up an ideal candidate for the PGP program at ISB? What kind of stand out qualities is ISB looking for in candidates? Why do you think you made it?
I don't think there is an ideal candidate for the program, but I think the admissions committee looks for -
- The need for an MBA
- How will an applicant use it to achieve his/her goals?
- how he/she contributes to the class?
I think I made it because I had a very clear goal and a well-defined path to achieve the same. Moreover, with the 3 years of experience, I knew that I could understand concepts and tie them back to real-life scenarios.
In retrospect, what do you think of your decision to join ISB? What were your learnings, and what will you take away from the one year spent at the institute? Is it worth joining one of India's most expensive business schools?
I think my decision to join ISB was the right one. It is worthy because of everything that the year has to offer. It sure is a roller-coaster ride, but I know that when I step out into the real word after these 52 weeks of transformation, I will be well-equipped to handle any situation at the workplace. ISB has taught me the art of striking a balance. Coming from a consulting background, I thought that I know how to prioritise and manage my time well. This one year provides a holistic experience and urges you to participate in everything - academics, athletics, art, theatre, comedy, competitions and research. Even though it feels that 24 hours is less to get everything done in the day, there is an amazing feeling of content from all that you achieve here.
Any suggestions to the aspirants who are vying for a seat at ISB?
My only message would be to have a well-defined big picture in your life and chase that. If you feel the ISB experience will help you get to that goal, express your true self in that application.
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