Sreejith Ramachandran | GMAT 760 | Indian School Of Business
What is your motivation behind an MBA?
My professional experience is over 11 years now by the time I started my MBA. I have been working in the software industry for a long time having various of roles. I have worked in various regions like US, UK and a lot more. I have also performed senior roles like ‘Project Manager” or “Senior Project Manager”. So at the last 2-3 years I been experiencing stagnation in my growth. Where I couldn’t learn much in the role that I played. As in when years passed by, my satisfaction began to reduce. So I felt that going further will be difficult for me to achieve growth in the organization I being part of., as well as my work satisfaction reduces furth. I will become a manager who is not happy with his role. So I felt that I required an overall understanding of the business that is going on in the organization and also the understanding of each department, what the section of the organization can contribute. So I was concentrating only on my specific role and my team but not on the organization. So, that was the first part of motivation and the second was the “Growth” factor. Which I was not happy with. In my organization, i have grown fast. In ten years I became the senior project manager and all that but looking at the growth in the future and role that I get to play in the future, I was really not happy. So I wanted to try out more opportunities outside. Either getting into other companies or the second best option for me was pursuing an MBA where I can have a career shift from whatever I been doing.
What is the basic background that you have? Considering you were a software engineer?
I did my engineering in electronics and communication. I passed out in 2003 from NIT Calicut. After that, i got into Infosys technologies and I became a software engineer. so that’s my background. I worked for 11 years before joining an MBA.
So why did you not plan on going for an MS instead once you have completed? because NIT Calicut. is a well reputable college. so why not an MS and why an MBA?
In the early age of my career, I tried a couple of options, one was writing GRE and pursue MS or M.Tech and the second was to write CAT and pursue an MBA, so that also did not work out well. that’s when my organization posted me to an on-site role in the US. then I went abroad and just went with a career. The job was much more challenging and a lot of work opportunities to lead people in the early years of my career. in that way I was happy, so I continued with it until a point came around 3-4 years, which was 6 years of my experience, that I had to come back. it was my personal decision to come back and then I started working as an offshore in the Infosys as a project leader. initially, at some point of life, i was okay, I was happy to do whatever work given to me and then it continued for 7 years like that in my career. Then later I shifted to Bangalore and got into different areas of work, different opportunities within Infosys. sooner or later, I started feeling like I needed some boost to my career. I started my MBA preparation at that time. I started my preparation in the 7-8th year of my experience. Once i came back to India ,i went searching for opportunities for a better career.
How did you go about your GMAT preparations?
So basically I tried to understand what GMAT is at that time. with my understanding and googling across the forums, I started my preparation. My preparations was altered in between because of multiple reasons in my work. I got into project management, I had to go to the UK for 6 months and then it was challenging for me for another year. so I had to alter my GMAT. I had to stabilize in my project management role first. so once that was done, I took the GMAT in 2012. I thought of taking it without any help. so I bought the official guides and started preparations diligently. it was a self-preparation. so self-preparation had its own loopholes. I did not have strategy or such, especially to the verbal section. I just went through doing questions from 1-41 without any strategy. The Quant section was quite okay for me, it was the same case for my first attempt in GMAT in 2013 as well as the second GMAT attempt in 2014. it was quite okay for, I scored 50 in both attempts and I did not have to put more effort on improving my Quant better.
What was your score in the first and second attempt?
In my first GMAT attempt, i scored a 610 and Quant was 50 and Verbal was 22. remaining and all were 7/8. expect verbal everything was good. So in my second attempt, I scored 760. My verbal score from 22 became 41. In my first reaction, Verbal section was my weakest. Because I didn’t have a strategy, I had to go through the Official guides and other materials. Then accidentally I came to know about CrackVerbal. I was just googling and I read the reviews. so I gave a call and attended the trial class. The first class was a critical reading class taken by Arun. I liked the way he taught and most importantly the strategies he used was impressive. So I joined CrackVerbal. So basically I followed the plan which was given by CrackVerbal. it helped me a lot. So with the help of CrackVerbal, I took 6-10 mock tests from the CrackVerbal center which was the exact scenario I would encounter in my GMAT stage. I was able to jack-up my scores during the mock tests. that made me very confident.
How did you go about your application process? Why ISB? Did you only apply for ISB? Where are you aiming just at IIM’S and ISB?
I applied for ISB and Insead. that’s the first two b-schools I started with. because I completed my GMAT in August, I didn’t have any time to apply to apply to IIM’s. The application deadlines were over so I had applied for ISB and Insead. I choose Insead because I had international experience and also the fact that Insead is one of the best school in Europe. even though I knew my chances to get into Insead maybe be slim because they had other criteria like, you need to have a language proficiency and other factors that I lack. My extra-curricular activities were also not much. It was only my GMAT, professional experience, and my international experiences. so I thought I can make a strike but I couldn’t get through. So in the application process, Insead essays were the most toughest and again i took a help from CrackVerbal. So the essays that I wrote for Insead and the help that I got from CrackVerbal, I could literally translate those essays to what ISB wanted. so my ISB application was also at the same time. so I could easily write the essays for ISB. it was similar and identical to 3-4 essays I wrote for Insead.
How your ISB process like? once you have sent your applications and they have called you for the interviews.
I was sure that I would get into ISB. one was the fact that my GMAT score was good, second is my experience level good. ISB gives more weightage to experiences. so I stood out a better chance. I applied on Round 2 because I was busy with Insead during round 1.
How is your life at ISB this moment?
It’s actually good. I am in the Mohali campus. it’s much better to place because of the lesser number of people. The student body is only 2-3.
Do you have few words of wisdom for the people who are planning to take the GMAT?
Whoever is going to apply for GMAT have to be clear on what their current position is. I wasn’t clear at the start when I did my first GMAT attempt and that was what I wanted to improve on. but whereas in my second attempt I was very clear on what to do and where I need to improve. so that is the first step then understand who can help assist you. Is self-preparation enough or you can go ask in forums whoever had taken GMAT and succeed. Try to understand what other help you can get. Also, give a proper time frame. at least 3-4 months and not lesser or more to take a GMAT. you cannot make delays, so be diligent and be focused. You need to practice more and understand where your weakness is and concentrate there. So basically don’t just focus on self-preparation only, if you can get help from outside, like valuable help, what CrackVerbal provided me, that will really help you understand the strategies from the perspective of the tutor than by the person trying himself
Do you feel there is a USP to CrackVerbal?
The short duration which the CrackVerbal course provides was very impactful and also is comfortable for the ones with 2-3 years experience and also to the people like me with 11-12 experience. It’s suited to each and every set of students who are wanting to write GMAT.
What was your experience on the day of your exam?
I was confident and very relaxed.I had proper breakfast and went without any tensions. I was completely relaxed. so I started the exam and the first part was the AWA essay that I had to write. so that didn’t go very smoothly to me. because I took some time. that was the only tense moment in the exam. after that IR section was smooth and I was able to finish in time. After the IR section, I took a 5min break, which was the first allowed break. I came out and drank some water. I spent 5 mins of my time outside GMAT. it was really required to bring the focus back. I then went back and wrote Quant after Quant section again I took a break. that is the most important break because the verbal section is the toughest one for me and the one that I took more time to complete. but the mock tests and whatever coaching that CrackVerbal gave me actually made me confident and also gave me a real strategy to attempt GMAT verbal section (timing wise). so in the CrackVerbal workshop, that i attended, two weeks before the test, the Verbal workshop, so that also helped me. it helped me time the test into 5-10 min intervals and also understand the interval I am in, whether I am lagging behind or beyond the target. so those strategies also helped me complete the verbal section and I was able to complete GMAT Verbal section 1 min before. Finally, I scored a 750.
Would you say Crackverbal played an important role?
Off course. Yes. It really played a part in my preparation. What I really wanted CrackVerbal to help me with, I got the help.