About

My name is Vandana. I am from Bangalore, India and I’m applying to business schools this year to be a part of the Class of 2017.

I am passionate about technology and after graduating with a degree in Computer Science, I have been a part of a Fortune 500 company, started my own venture (and failed) and am now a Product Manager in an internet start up. I have 5+ years of work experience.  I love to travel and my wanderlust has taken me to 15 countries so far across Europe and SE Asia. I am also passionate about dance – I’ve trained in Indian classical dance for over 12 years, and have learnt various other dance forms such as Salsa, Contemporary and Jazz.

After scoring a 760 on the GMAT on my first try, I’ve been getting a lot of questions on how I did it – so I thought I’d start a blog with some detailed advice on how to tackle the GMAT head-on. I’ll also be posting my thoughts and experiences with the applications process and school selection. Being an MBA applicant is tough – GMAT, school research, applications, information sessions and interviews tend to take over your life and through my blog and shared experiences, I hope to help people through their MBA journey.

My Journey:

GMAT – 760 (Q50, V41), IR 5, AWA 5.5

TOEFL – 114/120

Applications Submitted: Kellogg School of Management (MMM Program), Tepper School of Business, UCLA Anderson

I was interviewed at, and admitted to, all the schools I applied to. I applied to Kellogg, Tepper and UCLA Anderson in Round-1, and ISB in Round-2. I was offered sizable scholarships at UCLA and Tepper, but chose to join Kellogg School of Management. This blog documents my journey to business school and life at and beyond b-school.

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30 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi there!

    I am a fellow applicant from India, stumbled upon your blog, after you followed me on twitter! So glad to have found you! I am applying to around 6 schools in R2, so it’s safe to say I am in for a chaotic 3 months. All the best, hope good news starts rolling in from your R1 schools! 🙂

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  2. Hey that’s an awesome score. BTW, Congrats for the Tepper Invite. How many years of experience you have? and in what field?

    And All the best for the Kellogg :).

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  3. 760?! 😮 Wow, that’s phenomenal! Would you mind sharing your Verbal strategies? I scored a 50 in Quant but the score bombed with a miserable 28 in Verbal 😦 I’m an Indian applicant too, hoping to apply in R2 to UCLA, Booth and some more.. 🙂
    all the best for your applications!

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    • Hey! Great to hear from you. 🙂 For Verbal prep, I used the MGMAT SC guide to build my foundation (yes, whatever you’ve heard about this book is true!) – it helped me improve my accuracy from a measly 30% to 85-90%. I must have done at least 3 full iterations of the book, and a few more revisions of the areas I was weak in.

      I know a lot of people who practise Verbal questions from unofficial sources. The best advice I can give you is – stick to the official questions! Study from whatever source you want (if not MGMAT), but solve only official questions. Do Verbal questions from OG 11,12,13 and the Official Verbal Guide. Buy the Question pack and do all the verbal questions from there, and take the GMAT Prep tests multiple times so that you can make the most of all the questions available in those tests.

      Go through the official answer explanations given (even for your right answers). After reading so many official explanations, over time, you begin to see patterns in the Verbal questions and you start approaching them differently. It really helps! If you have any further specific questions, please feel free to ask! 🙂

      Also, did you score better in Verbal on your mock tests? What score were you expecting/targeting?

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      • I have the Man hatting guides, VeritasPrep guides, OG and Magoosh! Unfortunately, I got them all very close to the gmat date. I didn’t really review answers. I took MGMAT 6 tests in a span of 3-4 days… All around 600-650 only. I know I didn’t plan well last time. I wanna give one attempt before the deadlines (sometime by Dec 28). I thought I would do it really well this time. Problem is, I’ve lost confidence in my abilities to learn Verbal. I went through MGMAT SC guide once and could do all questions…

        Also, what do you mean by “only official questions”? Just OG & OG review books?

        also, just curious- how long did you prepare for the test? I’m embarrassed to have done just a week of preps. I spoke to a consultant who told me it was impossible to increase my Verbal to the 40s in just 1-2 months..

        Thanks so much for your help! I know you’re busy what with interviews, applications et Al. Really appreciate your help!

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  4. Overall I spent 2 months on prepping for the GMAT. I’m one of the weird ones I suppose, because I booked my GMAT date after prep and when I felt like I really couldn’t study anymore instead of booking the date first and then preparing for it. Well, it worked for me – so, yay! 🙂

    Ugh, personally, I think the MGMAT tests are horrible. I never scored 700+ on any of those tests. I took about 4 tests (640,680,620,670) and rather than those scores motivating me, it’d take me a day or two to bounce back from the test and get into the groove of studying again. I would advise against taking those tests.

    I think 1-2 months would be enough time for you to improve in Verbal as long as you commit to working 2hours a day on your Verbal prep. And yes, I did mean do only questions from OG/OG Review/Question Pack/GMATPrep as these are the only “real” GMAT-style verbal questions you will find.

    Why don’t you email me at vandana.sathpathy@gmail.com if you have more questions? We can talk further there. 🙂

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  5. Hello! Just found your blog and read some wonderful tips related to Verbal Prep. These are really helpful and I think I am dong the same way you did. Study first and dates second. 😛
    I hope I will get a decent score very soon. All the best for interviews. 🙂

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    • Hey! Thank you. And the date approach really worked for me, especially since I started prep way back in February and I was in no particular hurry to give my exam, hope it works for you too! I’ve seen from your blogs that you’re really working on pulling up that Verbal score – all the best to you too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Vandana, I recently stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed reading it…I am an R1 applicant to a couple of programs as well ( including Tepper) , would you mind sharing your interview experience with Tepper ?

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    • Hey there! Sure, I was planning on doing a post about my Tepper interview experience. It should be up by tomorrow. If you’re in a hurry, do get in touch with me via email and we can talk.

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  7. Hey Vandana,
    I dropped a mail to you. Even I have 760(49/44) and I have similar goals as you have. In fact my B schools list is same as yours. It will be great if we can connect. I am based out of Bangalore.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Vandana,

    I hope all is well. I am writing on behalf of Stacy Blackman Consulting in regards to the SBC B-School Buzz.

    With the B-School Buzz, we include bloggers regularly in our posts. These articles will be on our blog, which receives tens of thousands of unique visitors every month, and will be broadcasted to our Facebook Page (6000+ fans) and our Twitter account (2500+ followers). We will also link to you from our website.

    If you may be interested, can you please write me at conrad@stacyblackman.com.

    Thank you.

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  9. Hi,

    We would like to feature you on our social media channels and blog.

    AdmitHour connects aspiring MBA applicants with current MBAs and alumni from top B-schools around the world, for personal, flexible, low cost admissions counseling, tailored to individual backgrounds and future goals. 

    We would like to interview you for our blog. 

    If you are interested please contact me at maria@admithour.com

    Thanks!

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  10. Hello there! I just came across your blog and we are incredibly alike! Also in a Fortune 500 and I’m starting to look over to MBAs. I came across the MMM program at Kellogg (thats how i found your blog, tho). I want to get into the program for 2017 and would like to stay in touch with you (Im an industrial engineer and a designer from Colombia). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi, I just came across your blog. Can you tell me what all practice tests you have taken? I mean Manhattan/Veritas/Kaplan/Gmat Club Tests/Mangoosh ??

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    • I took the Manhattan tests (just to practise timing) and the GMATClub tests. Aside from this, I just focused on solving all the questions from the last 2 versions of GMAT official guides multiple times. Hope this helps!

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