Aditya Agarwal | NYU Stern School Of Business
What was your basic motivation for doing an MBA?
Well, currently I am working in JP Morgan in Investment Banking in Mumbai, I wanted to transition into an Investment Banking role in New York, which is why an MBA in the US was the most reasonable and the most direct route for me. Also, there is the fact that that I have never had any formal finance education being from an engineering background so I thought an MBA from one of the best finance schools would also help me get there.
So were you working in JP Morgan in a technical role?
No, I was working in a finance role itself.
How did you make it to a finance after being from an engineering background?
So, one of my friends referred me and I had done a couple of courses when I was in college which helped me get a junior analyst role in one one of the investment banking teams.
So, did you work in a technical role before joining JP Morgan?
I worked for Mu Sigma in Bangalore where for 6 months.
So how did your journey with the Crackverbal start?
I started my classes in Mumbai but then I moved to Bangalore. I wanted to continue my classes in Bangalore, however, I didn’t get a chance to attend classes there. By the time I went back to Mumbai, the Mumbai batch had shut down. That was when I enrolled for the online classes, that was in September 2015.
Did you apply only in colleges abroad or were looking at colleges in India as well?
I just applied to ISB in 2015 and in 2016 and I got through both times but I wanted to go to the US, which is why I applied for STERN. If hadn’t got anything else they would have gone to ISB this year.
So this was like the last shot to a foreign university?
Apart from Stern, what other colleges did you apply for?
I applied to Columbia, I also got an interview call from Columbia but then it didn’t convert into an admit. I applied to this college called UNC Kenan Flagler, I gotta admit from there but it was a 60% scholarship. So, in the end, it was “Stern” and “ISB”.
Any particular reason why you chose NYU Stern?
It is one of the best finance school in the world and the location of Stern is quite amazing. It’s located in New York, it is right close to all the investment banks in New York. So looking at my post-MBA goals. The stern location was a huge plus and its faculty, reputation, and everything was amazing.
How did your preparation go?
I had given GMAT way back in 2012 when I was applying for ISB Young Leaders Program. I was at college that time and I scored a 660 but nothing happened with ISB. then I kick-started my preparation at 2015, it took me around two months to do it. I have some tests initially when I was in quant and verbal. I also took some online courses and went through GMAT course materials. I took a couple sessions at Quant itself which took me from 49 to 51, which I what I scored in Quant. Initially, i took lightly being an engineer, I thought Quant is very simple and stuff but then those online modules kind of helped me form a 49 to a 51, it helped me get through. I know, CrackVerbal is known for helping me out in Verbal but Quant was also a huge help.
What was the most challenging part of the GMAT exam?
People concentrate a lot on sentence correction and neglect reading compression a lot. I think reading comprehension is also something which is challenging because it’s something we were doing from school days..etc. people think it’s pretty easy but they tend to make a lot of mistakes in RC.
How did your applications go?
Last year, I just applied to ISB which I got through but I didn’t want to take ISB now. Then I wanted to apply to US Schools, It all began when I started to speak to students and other people from J.P Morgan who went to b-schools, people who have worked with me, people who are in New York. I also attended seminars and other meet-ups that these schools usually have. I did a bit of research and went through presentation, then I decided which schools I want and applied to them in Round 1
How did the interviews go?
The different school had a different way of interview. I would like to talk about Stern in this case. In Stern, they emphasize in students coming to Stern for Interviewing, which is what I did. I went to New York for the interview. so before the interview, I attend a class at the stern, I took a campus tour, had lunch with other students, So I did all of those to know more about the school. Obviously, I prepared for the standards questions, for example, why MBA? Why Stern? and other questions they normally ask you in the b-school interview.
If you had to give a magic mantra for people who are preparing for colleges abroad. What would you should they do? where should they focus?
I think the magic mantra is not to neglect Quant at all. Especially for engineers. It’s something people neglect a lot. I would say you can give a week for Quant and rets of the time for verbal and you will be a pro.