Aniket Agrawal shares his journey, his experiences and struggles and how he received an admit to one of his dream schools, the HEC Paris MBA.
Can you give us a brief background about yourself?
Since graduating from IIT-(BHU) Varanasi in 2014, I’ve always been working in the analytics-consulting domain. I believe myself to be fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for different industries, functions and companies – including a startup. This provided me with a glimpse of a persisting challenge common to all industries, that is lacking skilled personnel. With this realization, I re-focused my aim towards creating a company aimed towards upskilling people.
To realize this aim, I realized that I needed to gain further understanding of the business fundamentals, broaden the problem-solving approach, and deepen my overall experience. Essentially, I needed an exponential growth that allowed and aided me in achieving my ambitious goals. This led to the idea of pursuing an MBA, as the program seemed to match perfectly with my requirements.
How did you start preparing for your MBA?
I reached out to my friends and colleagues who had pursued MBA to understand their perspective with one of them being Piyush, chief consultant at Management Masters. He helped me recognize my needs and suggested me to take GMAT. Thus, I started preparing for GMAT, and MBA, from June 2019. Meanwhile, I worked with Piyush to analyze my profile and work on my stories simultaneously.
What worked best for you while working with Piyush?
The eight-step process of Management Masters played a significant role in deriving, understanding and aligning key points from my profile. It enabled me to introspect and better understand my own progress, both personal and professional, and carve out a path that was best suited to me. We had setup weekly targets and discussed every aspect that will eventually help me with my application.
How did you choose your target schools?
I wanted to opt for a course that provided enough flexibility where I can pick and choose my own topics. With 6 years of work experience already in my bag, I didn’t want to increase the opportunity cost that is associated with a standard two-year MBA course. Furthermore, based on my experience and future goals, we looked for schools with best fit to my profile. Therefore, we shortlisted five schools: Harvard, INSEAD, HEC Paris, ISB and Cornell.
I took my GMAT on August 3rd and scored 700 on the test. This was far from what is said to be minimum score required for applying into the shortlisted b-schools. Nevertheless, we decided to move ahead with three schools for the first round: HEC Paris, ISB and Cornell, and planned to re-take GMAT before applying to the remaining two in second or third round of submissions.
The plan and timelines laid out by Piyush proved to be extremely helpful in reducing the amount of stress and work that needed to be done during the last month before submitting the application. We were able to carry out multiple revisions of each essay and question asked by the b-schools. Additionally, we also refined the entire application so that every piece of the story fit perfectly to create one single story. The result is testament to the detailed and rigorous process followed by Management Masters.
What were your results?
I got an interview call from HEC Paris and ISB, while got shortlisted from Cornell. Furthermore, Piyush had also setup few mock with alumni to provide me with a feel of MBA interviews, and the aim of these interviews. The profiling carried out earlier along with mock interviews helped me easily respond to any question that I faced during the interview. As a result, I got a successful admission offer from HEC Paris, one of my dream schools.
How did you finalize going to HEC Paris?
Since, I had already received an admission offer from HEC, I dropped the plan of re-taking GMAT and applying to my remaining two schools. HEC Paris provides me with everything that I required. It offers a 16-month course, with the flexibility of designing my own curriculum as per my needs, and costs significantly less than other schools of its stature. It also boasts maximum class diversity with deep industry ties and exemplary global network. And, I’m ecstatic to mention that HEC Paris is ranked #9 under the latest FT Global MBA Rankings. This shows the ever-increasing brand value and post MBA growth of HEC students, and I’m looking forward to being part of this community.
I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to Management Masters for supporting me throughout this journey.
If you need personalized help for applying to the top MBA and MIM programs, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Piyush Ranjan is the chief consultant for Management Masters. He did his undergrad from IIT-BHU, and then studied at the SIM program of the University of St. Gallen. He has helped his candidates get invites and admit calls from Wharton, HEC Paris, ISB, Tuck School of Business, Darden School of Business, and other top Business schools worldwide.