McGill MBA Admissions
Up until 2011, Debajyoti Tripathi was an experienced technology professional, having worked to implement complex IT systems at JPMorgan Chase and provide technology consulting at Fidessa. Correction, he was a very experienced professional, having spent 13+ years in the financial technology industry. At this stage of his career, he felt he needed an MBA to move from technology to IT enabled business services. The key problem we faced as admission consultants were selecting the right schools and helping him make a strong case for an MBA so late in his career. How we helped him leverage his experience as an asset to gain a McGill MBA Admission is his story.
My McGill MBA Admissions success story: believe in yourself!
I will keep this story fairly short and cover parts of my application journey from the time I first thought of an MBA to finally getting admission. Here is a brief overview of my profile to begin with.
In 1998, around the time that the IT boom was first hitting India, I first joined the IT industry after completing a Masters in Computer Application.
For the first few years I worked with Indian IT giants, but then got a break to develop applications for the equities trading desk at Goldman Sachs in Tokyo.
From Goldman I moved to JPMorgan Chase as a Project Manager, and then finally to Fidessa, a financial technology provider, as Implementation Consultant.
By the time I first thought of an MBA, I had more than 12 years of experience under my belt. I realized that further roles I would take on would be more business-centric, and an MBA therefore became very important for me.
My key problem was that with so much experience, which school would consider me? I thought that I was just too late in the MBA game, and with so much technology experience I would not get more than a look-in at a top school like McGill.
I also thought that as IT professional, most top schools will not even look at me. GyanOne’s help proved really crucial here. They helped me overcome the hitch of being from the IT sector and being ‘over-experienced’ and explained to me how what I did on the essays would really shape or break my application.
I understood that selection to a top MBA program is not based just on one’s resume, otherwise why would they ask for essays or SOPs?
Choosing a program is one thing, but getting in is quite another. Over time, as I worked on the application with GyanOne, I understood that essays and SOPs on MBA applications are meant to shape impressions, not reinforce them.
I understood that my technology experience was not the only thing I had. I had also worked with the biggest names in the capital markets industry, and my work on trading applications was very impactful.
Importantly, GyanOne helped me to treat my weakness (too much experience) as my strength. By the time I finally applied to McGill, I knew I was in with a strong chance and my feeling was validated later when I finally got in.
What can others learn from my experience? I’m not an expert at that, but I will tell you some things that I learnt. I learnt that instead of focusing on the weaknesses in one’s profile, it is important to focus on your strengths.
If I had kept on looking at the years of work experience I had and writing my own self off as an applicant, I might not even have applied. I also learnt that strengths and weaknesses are relative.
What you consider your weakness can in face be a strength, just like what you consider your strength can also be possibly a weakness. It is important to get a sense of validation for what MBA courses want, and its important to have a professional consultant from that sense.
I would also like to mention that while a lot of my friends and colleagues felt that being from the IT sector I would be on the back-foot to apply to an MBA, I found this was not really true.
Even among my classmates at McGill, I find many who are Indians and from the IT sector. Some of them are the smartest people I have in my class.
To end, I will say it is always best to give things your best shot. Don’t let your own limitations and your own misconceptions stop you from trying to get into a course you want to be in.
I would never have made it if I had continued to think that way. My message: Go for it!
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