MIT and Stanford – Admit in 2 of the super-elite M7 Business schools
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MIT and Stanford – Admit in 2 of the super-elite M7 Business schools

Admission Counselling :
  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Admission Application
  • Published on 05 Mar 2018

He was a Chartered Accountant with about 4 years of work experience in the transaction advisory space. He was a slogger right from the start. Born and brought up in a small North India town, he scored in late nineties in his grade XII exams to get into the Hindu College (could not make it to SRCC or St Stephens). He got a job in one of the large transaction advisory practices in India and did the usual work there (like many hundred others). He did not have any significant ‘T’ shaped qualities to get into any top-notch college. Like many before him, he was confined to struggle and a life of mediocrity.

“Not me”, said he. And he got down to work!

He did not want to settle for less. Hence he signed up with us and started working right from January. And therefore we had a clear 8 -10 months to prepare and sharpen his narrative.

We followed the UAH Mentorship Model© and paired him with our top Stanford Graduate counselor. Together they built out a detailed landscape of his strengths and asks. Over the course of analysis, it appeared that he was keen on ‘entrepreneurship’ and wanted to start his own venture. A scientific knowledge mining led us to some very sharp insights about his strengths and the value of entrepreneurship in his life. We got to know that he came from a family of entrepreneurs – his father ran a small grocery store and over a period of time grew that into a chain of stores. He himself had spent time in the shop and have been an important part of this journey which grew the business from 100 sft of retail space to over 150,000 sft of retail space spread across 17 such shops. This helped us take a very sharp call – that we shall only apply to schools which are focused on entrepreneurship. We left out the likes of Harvard, Columbia and Wharton to only apply in MIT and Stanford (among the M7 schools). Plus there were other valley schools that we applied in – USC Marshall, Berkley Haas, among others.

The second most important step was to build out a strong narrative which is aligned to his ‘asks’, his strengths and the DNA of the school. Unlike many others, who artificially build out a narrative based on the requirements of the school, our focus is to build a story inside out – from the point of view of the student and not retrofit that into any school-specific requirements. This ensures authenticity and focus. Together, we applied design-thinking principles to zero in on the core of his narrative. It was obviously built around entrepreneurship, and his dad’s business. Further, it was supported by his experience of working with startups in his transaction-advisory tenure. The narrative also called out his perseverance and his ability to seek excellence in face of not so benign circumstances (the very fact that he is applying to a top-school even though he had sub-par profile, he cleared his Chartered Accountancy exam in 3 attempts, he got into the second or third best school at his undergrad level and therefore wants to try harder). The narrative was taking shape.

This narrative had many other data points – key ingredient of an ‘evidence based’ answer. For instance, it called out the operational variables of the grocery industry that he had closely worked in. It built out deep insights of facilitating a transaction with a startup and how many different ways it could fail and spell out a point-of-view (data based) on how could existing grocery startups do better. In fact, he postulated that PepperTap would close down and unique ecosystem based grocery startups will start making appearance which have some kind of soft-franchisee model. (Similar to Indomaret in Indonesia). His answers were not just ‘statement of intent’ kind of documents, but also were rich in industry insight – points that could only come after deep analysis and extensive work.

Powered by all these elements, he could make to all the top schools that he applied in. He eventually joined Stanford GSB!

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