Preparation makes for progress, from IIT to HBS

As a child fascinated with my family’s companies, I always knew I wanted to be involved in the “business” side. When I was 14, one of my cousins graduated from Harvard Business School (HBS), inspiring me to learn more about business education.

Years later when preparing for college, I chose to study engineering at IIT Bombay, because I knew from my research, that a solid foundation in mathematics and analytics could propel my career and prepare me for a rigorous international business education.

At IIT, I balanced my focus on academics with diverse internships in sectors such as consulting, banking, and technology. Knowing that leadership is a key component of business success, I pushed myself, joining different types of campus organizations and successively taking on greater responsibility.

Since real-world work experience is required for a global MBA, I knew consulting would maximize my exposure to the greatest number of companies and business scenarios. Joining A.T. Kearney allowed me to gain foundational business knowledge and develop analytical skills, while transitioning to Abbott gave me the chance to act in an operational role with direct bottom-line impact. At both organizations, I had the opportunity to interact with alumni from various business schools and get a sense of diverse MBA programs.

Between my work and internship experiences, I have realized that what the company does is less important to me than my role and the impact I can make within it. My goal is to join a high growth company in India and eventually move into a CXO level position. To jump-start this process, I knew this was the right time to pursue an MBA.

I decided to apply in the first round and took a proactive approach to completing my applications. Initially, I conducted extensive research, trying to understand the ethos and personality of each school, and gauging fit. I think that was the most valuable time spent in the whole process, as it gave me a strong perspective of each school for essay development and interview preparation.

Looking back, my early exposure to and interest in business school motivated me to lay the groundwork for my applications years later and helped me gain admission to top-tier business schools. As I look forward to joining the HBS Class of 2019, I know my hard work and the support of family and friends have paid off.

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?