Ishan Saxena – 710 on GMAT – Indian School of Business
In Conversation with Ishan Saxena who bagged an admit to ISB with 710 on his GMAT.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
After my graduation in 2013, I’ve been working with EMC for the past 2 years. I played a functional role as a Technological Consultant for big data units.
What motivated you to pursue an MBA?
MBA was always on my mind, even while I was pursuing my graduation. Even though, I got the required technological knowledge during graduation, I could visualize myself as a person who not only does the job of a coder. I saw myself involved in various other aspects of business like marketing or business analysis. Even though I didn’t have much exposure, when I entered the corporate world, I was able to see other people doing these job roles and that was what motivated me. I decided to give my GMAT in 2014.
How was your whole GMAT experience?
Verbal was the most difficult for me. Quant was easy as I came from an engineering background. I got a 710 on the GMAT. The day of the exam was really good because I prepared well and gave mock tests prior to the exam. That matters a lot. If you prepare yourself well, you know what you’re up against. I reached the exam hall quite early just to familiarize myself with the whole place. The process was pretty smooth since I had a good place to concentrate and I ended up with a 710 on the GMAT.
What were the B-Schools you applied to?
I had applied to Oxford SAID Business School, University of Illinois, ISB and Tepper Business School. I got interview calls from the first 3 schools and bagged admits from University of Illinois and ISB. The whole experience was great because of the exposure I had while applying to all these different schools. It’s always better to apply to schools that are a good fit for you. And the school in turn should feel that too. The mutual fit ultimately helps.
What made you stand out in you essays?
There’s a big mental block attached to MBA applications when you think you’re an average Indian IT professional and it would be difficult to get into Top B-schools. When I went through the application process, I got interview calls from 3 colleges. Getting an interview call means you’re above average. Being from a good college, having enough work experience, and marketing yourself appropriately will surely help you stand out, even if you’re an IT guy/girl. It worked for me.
How was the whole ISB Interview experience?
I’ve heard that ISB interviews are usually stressful, but I felt quite the opposite. I don’t know if it was the way in which I answered the interview questions or the way I maneuvered easily through technological questions. Either ways, it helped me tackle the interview. I think it becomes stressful when the interviewer is not able to connect the dots between your whole story or they’re not able to understand your career goal. But if you’re sure that this is your vision, you can convince the Adcom better. If you’ve been honest and presented all the right information in your application, there’s nothing to worry about.
How did CrackVerbal’s role in your whole journey?
As soon as the application process started, things spanned out very well and I had better clarity towards my goals for my application. I knew I was going in the right direction. The brainstorming sessions with CrackVerbal were critical in the whole application process.
Do you have any words of wisdom to give to MBA Aspirants?
Don’t get bogged down by the fact that you’re an IT male or female. Just believe in yourself and make sure you’re doing an MBA for the right purposes. Don’t do it just for the sake of doing it. Your MBA should get you to a particular place. Your goal should be aligned to the goal of the B-school. If you’re looking for a career in Technology consulting, ISB is a good school to apply to. Believe in everything you do, convince the school about your vision and you will meet your aspirations in time.