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3 MBA admits with a 720 on the GMAT

Posted on April 26, 2016

We caught up with Rituparna, an engineer who recently bagged an admit to ISB with a 720 on the GMAT.


Tell us a bit about your background.

I spent almost all my life in Mumbai. While searching for courses after high school, Industrial engineering looked quite appealing to me because of the manoeuvrability it offered. I decided to join RV College of Engineering and as placement head, I was responsible for 95% of the batch getting placed during my tenure there. I got offers from both GE and Schneider in 2011. I decided to go for Schneider because it offered me a profile in solar energy.
I was immediately catapulted to the centre of action amidst solar power plants in India. I spent a year in Gujarat and Rajasthan where I experienced different aspects of project execution and technical aspects that went into solar power plan. Post that, I wanted to move into frontend- pre sales and gradually moved to Delhi and played a tendering role for 2.5 years.

Was an MBA always on your mind?

I always knew business school would be on my cards from a very long time because I wanted to get centralised education in the field of general management and eclectic skill set from a b-school where I would meet people from diverse backgrounds.

How was your GMAT exam?

RC was the hardest for the me. I was mentally fatigued by the time I reached the last section. So, understanding the passage and writing analytical questions was quite a task. But I managed to score a 720 on the GMAT and I’m quite happy with that.

I think 720 is a great score! Why ISB?

Well, I actually applied to 5 B-schools and got interview calls from all 5 of them. I managed to convert 3 admits from ISB, Olin Business School and Owen Graduate School of Management.
I chose ISB because of the profile and opportunity it offered me. I start my journey soon and look forward to it.

That’s amazing! I’m sure you must be excited 🙂


What do you think made you stand out in your essay from your peers?

While I was working with Schneider, I was part of a 4.2 $ million solar power project which had a core team of 4 people which resulted in a 20% profit margin. This was a really huge selling point in my essay.
Also, I worked with large group of people during my initial years at Schneider. Lot of people reported to me at such a fresh stage of my career. I think that’s something that made me stand out from my peers.

Could you tell us how your whole ISB interview experience was? What were the questions they asked?

The ISB panel had 3 members- a senior alumnus, a professor and an Adcom member.
It was not a blind interview because they had my whole profile in front of them. They poked holes in my essay where I had mentioned figures that my actions had helped produced- “How did you arrive at these numbers? What calculations and assumptions have you made?”
Next, they noticed that I had mentioned in my essay that I wanted to pursue a career in Operations Consulting post MBA. They asked me why and whether I understood it thoroughly. “Did you speak to someone else before taking the decision?” I had spoken to a few consultants and built up a credible reason as to why it would be a good fit for me.
The last few minutes of the interview, they questioned me more on a personal level. “What do you do when you’re not working?” Since I was a big fan of mountain biking and had mentioned that in my essay, the questions that followed were how far I had gone and the different technical aspects which they found intriguing.

How was your experience working with CrackVerbal?

I had an association of 2 years with CrackVerbal. I had continuous help from them right from the brainstorming session where they figured out what the different strengths were that I could highlight to the weaknesses I could improve on. They always had a very good schedule about how my essays and resumes could be presented better. Their proactivity really impressed me.
I feel in terms of interview calls, I needed a little more help. Some snippets of advice could go a long way. In short- Thumbs up for the things CrackVerbal does! 🙂

Thank you. That made our day! 🙂

Do you have any words of wisdom for other MBA aspirants?

I think it’s very important to keep your profile as genuine as possible. The Adcom is used to seeing bluff masters. Be credible for the information you give out on your essays and interviews.
There is no one way to do anything. Suppose you want to add a social dimension to your profile, being part of a children’s shelter or a waste management programme aren’t the only two ways to showcase it. It’s what one values and how proactive he is to make difference in that area of interest. Find out what you care about and contribute to it.

That’s great! Thanks for your valuable time, Rituparna and all the best with your ISB journey ahead! 🙂

Inspired by Rituparna’s story? Want to know if you can get into ISB too? Let us help you!
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