My secret to successful scholarship admits in the best business schools
Karnam Kashyap Sahariya has received calls from best of the best MBA in USA: Ross School of Business, along with confirmations from Johnson Cornell And Tepper School of Business with a scholarship of 40K and 20K respectively. What’s more, he has also been accepted into UNC Kenan Flager Business School with a 100% scholarship! Well, if you have read the above lines a second time, you are not the only one to do the same. This is no mean feat!
Karnam has achieved what few people can only dream of doing and it is not easy to achieve the kind of success he has without some serious work. You can very easily be intimidated by previous achievers – stellar undergraduate performances; extensive work experience; involvement with communities and of course the extensive work experience. So, how does one beat that?
How about focusing on your personal journey and being yourself! If that is what contributed to Karnam’s success, I am sure you will want to know more! This is in his own words a story of how he managed his journey of a top MBA in USA!
Congrats Karnam! You must be thrilled!
As I got the all-important ‘phone calls’ from multiple schools, I was thrilled beyond words. While I had always hoped and prayed for at least a single acceptance call, I was ecstatic with the final results as all my hard work was paying off.
My years in engineering school was nothing short of stimulating coupled with ‘healthy’ doses of fun (we never missed a movie or a chance to travel with friends). However, I must say that the chemical engineering program from Malaviya Institute of Technology, Jaipur helped me achieve a healthy balance of intellectual and practical expertise.
There were a number of experiences that influenced me to think above and beyond the immediate purview of the course itself. Here, the first thing that comes to my mind is the stint as a placement coordinator for the department of placement and training.
You were a lucky guy! You were one of the few who got picked first during placements!
It was a combination of hard work and good luck (with emphasis on hard work)! I was hoping to leave the college on a good note and being accepted as a Senior Project Engineer with Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd was the icing on the cake. Once I joined the global pharmaceutical and life sciences company, it was the regular grind of learning the ropes and making sure you met your targets. Soon, it was meetings with multiple teams, documentation, deadlines, and targets. To a large extent, it was satisfying and exciting.
There were parties for the appreciations, awards, and successes. Why did you quit Jubilant then?
Despite all the success, I knew something was missing. I realized that in my three years at Jubilant, I mostly worked in the background. While I gained immensely from the experience, I loved being in the thick of things. It was around this time that I completed a Project Management course in the year 2013. That piqued my interest and I figured if I wanted to move ahead, I would have to make a decision. So, I quit!
I looked for the right opportunity and it came in the form of QuizWorks where I began working as a Client Engagement Manager. I enjoyed conducting quizzes and organizing events in Malaviya Institute of Technology. Therefore, this opportunity was familiar yet challenging. I felt like I was back in the game as I was responsible for improving the brand presence of our customers. I had to do this through innovative quizzing, digital contests, and interactive entertainment. Creating and hosting quizzes for numerous employment engagement initiatives for the clients gave me the right assurances that I could lead and succeed in doing so.
Karnam, what was your next move!
I had to create a perfect resume with the right work experience to improve my chances when I would apply to my favorite business schools!
An opportunity to work with ‘Field Assist’ came at the right time. As a Key Account Manager, I was exposed to the rush of bringing in key clients contributing directly to the productivity of the organization.
I was recognized repeatedly for my work ethics and the ability to balance client expectations with business capabilities. While I was gaining the necessary experience at work, the groundwork for becoming an effective leader and a great team player was laid during my engineering days. My experiences of organizing events for ‘BLITZSCHLAG- MNIT annual fest’ gave me immense confidence to accomplish everything that was set out for me.
So, no time for movies, dinners and socializing?
Well, I missed quite a few get-togethers, parties, and other socializing events but this was necessary to head to the next stage.
By this time, I was thoroughly fascinated by the opportunities in the field of project management. Channelplay Limited offered the perfect opportunity to hone my skills. I was responsible for creating new product ideas and seeing it through to implementation. This was one of the many responsibilities as the head of product implementation in this marketing and advertising firm. I learned that having a great sense of humor helps when you are working with cross-functional teams. I also developed a strong entrepreneurial mindset with having to drive things completely on my own.
All the while, I was constantly working to get admission into one of the best business schools and further my career goals.
You make it sound like it was smooth sailing for you!
Not really! I had the biggest challenges ahead of me now! I had to sail through GMAT and crack the admission process.
I definitely feel that I started the process too late. I was still working so I had hardly anytime at all. I started the process of working on the applications just 15 days before the deadlines and that was beyond tough! Plus, I was seriously confused about the right schools for me! If the tuition fees were attractive in one, the course seemed better in another. I needed help sorting through this avalanche of information. However, the experts (read GyanOne) helped me understand that there is a method to the madness!
To begin with, UNC Kenan Flager Business School appealed to me on many levels. The school offers a specialization in consulting which seemed just right for me. On the other hand, Operations Management as a core subject was available as an option. Also, the school allows students to pursue a dual-concentration and this would be extremely rewarding and attractive. Looking beyond, Michigan Ross was also an attractive option. Their full-time MBA is ranked # 7 (Economist, 2018) and 57% of their graduates have found placements in Tech/Consulting. Further, when it came to comparing schools on ROI, Ross seemed to perform above par. All this information made a lot more sense thanks to the experts I was consulting with.
SC Johnson College of Business is an Ivy-League college and while this was a factor in picking this school, the fact they have a wonderful track record in placements influenced me. 94% of students found jobs within 3 months of graduation (2018) and 25% of these jobs were in the consulting sector. Further, the school offers a wonderful opportunity to curate your own specialized course (with the approval of the Dean). The fact that the school enhances the experience of learning through numerous customized classes and collaborative opportunities with the best in the industry strongly motivated me in adding this school to my preferred list.
The Tepper School of Business in Carnegie Melon, Pittsburg was a strong contender for applications as well. The thing that interested me most about the school is the focus on combining leadership skills and analytical decision-making. The ‘management of innovation and product implementation track’ offered as part of the program was also quite attractive. Product development and the challenges associated with it have always fascinated me and this course seemed to satisfy that interest. The course is structured to equip you with the knowledge and skill needed to succeed in projects and help you make such innovations ongoing and replicable.
So, What’s your ‘secret mantra’?
What would I do without the guys from GyanOne! I must confess they were truly my partner in crime during those long and tedious months of prep work. I could not have imagined getting through the process of MBA in USA with a sane mind without them standing firmly behind me. Their constant appreciation, support, and advice were critical in getting everything right.
Which MBA in USA to apply for?
It all began with the selection of the right MBA in USA. While there are schools you may prefer, it is all about applying to the school that is the right ‘fit’ for you. With a perfect understanding of my profile, strengths, and weaknesses, their advice on the same was bang on. So, they were right there advising me on the best schools for my specialization and how I would have a better chance in some more than others. Despite the fact that I had a late start to the application process, they ensured that everything was accomplished without the slightest delay.
Immense help on essays
With just about a two-week window for applications, GyanOne worked tirelessly with me. I am a night bird and I wondered how we could work together. However, they were accommodating enough to do late-night calls to ensure we met the deadlines. For the essays, they conducted brainstorming sessions and combined it with a comprehensive editing process. The numerous reviews and edits were worth it as we worked until it was perfect.
Critical help for interviews
Through the multiple interactions that I have had with them, I realized that the consultants have an in-depth understanding of the interview process and the questions typically posed during such interviews. We went through extensive one-on-one sessions which I must confess were far tougher than the actual interviews. In hindsight, the interactions with the consultants helped me prepare for the worst and that I am grateful for!
Joyous moments on hearing the news!
The journey up until you receive the calls is nerve-wracking as you put in so much hard work. Yet, I was more than happy to replace the butterflies in my stomach with a sense of elation and relief. When the call from Ross School of Business came in, I was cautiously happy. While I was hoping for more, I was happy I had at least one admit. The wait was traumatizing as it was a few weeks before the next good news came along. I was over the moon to hear from both Johnson and Tepper schools. The offer of scholarships was the icing on the cake. However, what left me grinning like a Cheshire Cat was the 100% scholarship from UNC Kenan Flager. I am finally going to UCLA Anderson for my MBA in USA (Yes, i made it through that too)!
Your two cents on the journey!
Not every journey is alike yet what is important is to make the right choices with the opportunities you are given. In my case, there are a couple of things I believe contributed to my success. The first and foremost was my journey until the moment I started applying for MBA in USA. My professional experience played a huge role in understanding the path I wanted to take to pursue my career goals. Secondly and probably most important was the decision to employ the right people when it was time to apply to the right MBA in USA. In my case, it was GyanOne without whom my efforts would have lacked the punch! The importance of timely and right guidance cannot be understated and that is what worked in my favor!