Ankan received MBA admits with scholarships from IE Business School (Spain), ESMT Berlin (Germany), and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (Germany). He is going to start his MBA at ESMT Berlin in January 2020. Earlier, he completed MS in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Idaho with a 100% scholarship and stipend, USA. In this post, Ankan writes about his MBA admission journey (why an MBA, GRE/GMAT, MBA Essays, B-School Selection), and more importantly, why did he choose to do an MBA in Europe after MS in USA.
MBA in Europe with Scholarships
By Ankan Guria
Are you in your late twenties’ and you want to make a breakthrough in your career? Or, do you want to make a career switch? MBA comes as the first choice in your mind but then you have the following things in your mind –
- 2 years again!?!?
- Can I get a course aligned with my career?
- Can I transit my career to an international business mindset?
- Not again a 900-student class!
- But I need an international network!
- Europe or the USA?
- GMAT / GRE, studying again?
- Applications, essays, recommendations – how can I manage?
I was entangled in the same thoughts till August 2019 until I cracked admits with more than 20% scholarship in some of the prestigious B-schools of Europe. I would like to take you through a roller-coaster ride of my career and journey to my dream MBA program.
Like most other late-20’s youth, I too aspired to go for an MBA to have a major breakthrough in my career.
Pre-MBA Career Graph
Post my MS from the University of Idaho, USA, I joined steel giant ArcelorMittal as a research engineer. I left the job in search of opportunities around environmental sustainability in India. I joined Sandvik to take up an entrepreneurial responsibility for developing and promoting clean energy powered total-solutions in high-temperature industrial applications. I am currently a product management professional and I lead a small team.
Why an MBA?
Many of the readers of this blog may think – why I wanted to do an MBA even after my MS? Well, the answer is – I want to do more! I know many of you think the same. Well, I am passionate about innovation in environmental sustainability and leaving a healthy planet for my future generation.
I was already working in product and project management of clean energy projects and wished to become an energy consultant and help companies, non-profits, and governments reap the rewards of becoming truly sustainable, leaving an impact in the society. To achieve the targeted carbon economy by 2050, newer ideas in energy and sustainability have to come up and the same need to be commercialized in the next decade.
My long-term goal is to be a part of such large-scale concept-to-commercialization projects in the energy sector and an MBA from Europe is a route to such goals.
So, when I had decided to go for my MBA, I had to give the GRE or GMAT. Of course, I had doubts about which exam to give. I chose GRE as I had already appeared in 2013 before my MS and hence went on to prepare once again. GRE has changed in the last 5 years, so I had to prepare from scratch. Like many of you, I was confident that I can score well in the GRE but in the first attempt, I flunked. My second attempt also saw me scoring sub-320. I was sure my MBA dreams are far off!
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I usually never give up. Why should I opt out of the application process on my own? No! I must give a try – that was the attitude I carried in. I started composing my goal essay on my own as I knew that would be a common essay for all the schools. I was sure I have to make myself the hero of the story.
MBA essay writing should be an experience where you will not only pave your path for your career but also discover the real ‘you’ within yourself. You will reinvent the wheel of your career in a way where you and hence the admissions committee can understand the bigger picture of what you have done and what you wish to do. In the process, you will dwell more on your short and long-term goals and how your selected universities can play a role in your career.
The MBA admission committee (Adcom) tries to see your experience during your professional career. They don’t want to see your roles and responsibilities usually. A good experience coupled with some leadership qualities will attract your resume for the interview. The interviews usually hover around your application and essay contents.
Parallel to my essay writing, I kept searching for schools. Since this is my journey to my MBA, I would give my reasons for choosing schools. I chose my schools based on my short term and long-term goals. I love energy technology and want to pursue a career in that field. USA was not my choice for an MBA as I was wary of the post-MBA VISA process and I had already been to the US for my MS.
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Europe was the choice for me as some countries give you the freedom to stay there for up to 1 year and search for your dream job. So, Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany were the first choices. Moreover, I needed a 1-year MBA. I applied to 3 schools based on my goals – IE Business School, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management and ESMT Berlin. I got admit from all 3 with 20-30% scholarships. Getting a scholarship with a sub-320 GRE score or sub-650 GMAT score may be quite tough but you can get it by properly showcasing your career growth, leadership activities and your contribution to the community.
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