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Interview with Sam

Interview with Sam

MBA and Career coach

Why did you write the GMAT?

After about 6 years of work experience, I was kind of restless. I wanted to broaden and deepen my experience and so was considering a number of options. I did my GMAT for two reasons.

1) Being a qualified accountant, I was getting only accounting related job offers when I tried to switch into the management and operations side of a business. Getting an MBA was an easy way to switch careers.

2) I was also looking for international exposure. It was easier to study in the US for a non-citizen than find work (especially back in 2003 as compared to 2007!).

These two reasons prompted me to do my GMAT.

What materials did you use to prepare?

I used a variety of materials including Kaplan, The Princeton Review, Arco and a few local publishers.

What was your strategy for the Verbal section?

Verbal was a challenge for me. I am not strong in English and practice was all I did! In hindsight, I realized that there are companies like testclassroom.com that have developed techniques to improve your scores in a standardized test. Back then, I was not aware of this. I was also probably too confident in my ability to consider a GMAT test preparation service. Although I did reasonably well in my GMAT (I got a 690 on the GMAT), I may have been able to bump up my score by about 50-60 points if I had learned and applied these techniques. I have heard of friends improving their scores from 550 to 680 using these techniques but the improvement in my score may not have been as dramatic since it was already in the higher range.

What was your strategy for the Math section?

I was strong in math and so did not spend much time in preparing for the math session.

Did you have a target score in mind when you started preparing?

No, I did not have a target score in mind when I started preparing. I just wanted to get the highest possible score!

How much time did you allocate for the verbal vs. the math section?

I spent about 75 to 85% of time for the verbal section.

Were you satisfied with your GMAT score of 690?

Reasonably so! I may have been happier at 700 !

Why did you decide to attend graduate school?

I decided to attend graduate school to switch careers and gain international experience. See the answer to the first question above.

Why did you choose your university?

I was keen to get a scholarship. I chose the university that offered me the maximum scholarship and required the lowest outflow from my pocket.

What kind of degree did you pursue?

I pursued an MBA.

Why were you so keen on a scholarship?

A good MBA program can cost you upwards of $100,000. It can take many years to pay this off if you do not have a scholarship or personal funds. I was not sure what my plans were after an MBA and was considering returning to India where it was nearly impossible to make that kind of money on a salary (remember the days back in 2003 were different from today).

Most MBA students do not seek scholarships and pay for their MBA from personal funds or loans. What makes you different?

I guess the appetite for risk is what makes me different! I also had ideas to start a company on my own after my MBA. If I had loans this would be difficult!

How did you go about finding and securing your scholarship when so many others were not even considering scholarships for their MBAs?

It is a long process. Briefly, what is important is research. You have to be willing to put in the time required to conduct research. You must also have a profile that schools will want to have on their student list. And you have to negotiate with the admissions teams regarding your scholarship terms.

More next weekend.

Email Sam any questions you have to
care "@" testclassroom.com.

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