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$30,000 Scholarship in Round 3: Atanu's Stellar Journey to the Ivey MBA program

Updated: Oct 14, 2023


Atanu Prasad Sahoo received $30,000 scholarship to pursue the Ivey MBA program. This happened as a result of his merit & Study Abroad Coach Tanmay Singh's help, support, and guidance.

Atanu's story of receiving $30,000 scholarship is inspiring because it tells every study abroad aspirant to not give up and to not self reject one's candidature. Read on to find out more about his journey.


#1) Atanu, can you please briefly describe your profile?


I am a Metallurgical and Materials Engineer by background. Having completed my B.Tech. in 2018, I worked in ExxonMobil Services and Technology Private Limited. I worked as an Integrity Engineer there for 3 years and 3 months. My primary role was to support ExxonMobil’s upstream oil and gas unit in Canada with asset integrity and risk assessment related projects. The role was purely technical. While working there, I got an opportunity to lead a team of 8 contractors to complete a risk assessment for an entire unit of around 500 equipment.

Currently I have am working at Accenture as a Management Consulting Analyst. In my role, I work with a team to evaluate and assess asset integrity risks for downstream oil and gas clients. My primary responsibilities include performing data analysis, developing dashboards, and providing technical inputs during risk assessment.






#2) Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?


I want to increase the rate of growth in my career and move into the field of Strategy Consulting. I believe an MBA will help me do so. I see the MBA as a transformative experience that will equip me with a comprehensive understanding of business principles and practices. While my previous academic and professional experiences have provided me with a solid foundation, I believe that the MBA program will provide me with the necessary depth and breadth of knowledge to excel in the business world. It will improve my strategic thinking and help me get into a job related to Strategy Consulting.


In addition, the MBA program will open doors to a vast network of accomplished professionals and alumni, which I consider invaluable for long-term career growth and development. The opportunity to engage with a diverse group of talented individuals, including fellow students, faculty, and industry leaders, will not only expand my knowledge but also foster lifelong relationships and create opportunities for mentorship and professional collaboration.

Currently, my role is very focused on project delivery. While interacting with various colleagues who joined Accenture after completing MBA, I realized that I needed to develop my skills in business too.






#3) Why did you choose Tanmay Singh to be your mentor for your MBA application process?


I had asked a question on Quora about the colleges that I can get with a low GMAT score and Anshul had replied to it. Anshul called me and introduced you to me. The next day I had the Discovery Call with you, which was very insightful because you explained the bird's eye view of the application strategy.


The main reason I decided to go with you was the detailed breakdown of each step of the application process. Also, through our call I could understand that you gave great personal attention to the students whom you work with. That was another strong reason for working with you.






#4) What 2 tips you would like to share with an aspirant who is working on their Ivey MBA application?


  • Prepare well for the GMAT and IELTS and take those exams as soon as you can.

  • Be genuine in your applications and apply as early as you can to increase the likelihood of your success.





#5) How did you prepare for the interview after submitting the Ivey MBA application? What all steps did you take to prepare yourself for the interview?

The Google Doc that you shared which consisted of probable questions helped me a lot. I wrote my answers down in that doc and had two mock interviews with you. The mocks were very helpful as you pointed out various small things that are essential.


As you recommended, I drank water from a crystal glass at regular intervals during the interview to keep my brain functioning well. It also allowed me to calm my nerves and that's important during any interview. Those mocks helped me a lot and the questions that were asked in the interview were very much related to the ones that we practiced during our mock interviews and the Google Doc.






#6) What questions were asked to you during the Ivey MBA interview?


The interview consisted of a mix of standard interview and behavioural questions. Some of the questions that I can recall were:


  • Can you introduce yourself?

  • Why do you wish to pursue the Ivey MBA program?

  • Why do you want to study at Ivey Business School?


Some of the behavioral questions that were asked were:


  • Describe a situation where you faced a lot of challenges and were unable to meet expectations. How did you react and what did you learn?

  • Can you describe a time when you achieved something in a tough situation?


The behavioural questions at Ivey mainly tested my leadership and communication skills.






#7) How do you think you performed in the Ivey MBA interview?


The interview was smooth. The interviewer was someone from the career services team and made me feel comfortable right from the beginning. I felt that I had given my best in the interview and was confident that I will get an offer. The questions mainly wanted to test how genuine my reason was to pursue an MBA and how serious I was about it. Through the various behavioural questions, they wanted to test leadership skills, courage to convince others, and my communication skills.



#8) You received $30,000 in scholarship from Ivey Business School despite having an average GMAT score. Congratulations! What did you do to get this scholarship?


The scholarship essay was crucial I believe. You helped a lot while writing that essay. You highlighted the key components in my profile that I could highlight in the essay which helped me in framing a convincing essay. The long calls that we had on a daily basis to brainstorm for my Ivey scholarship essay were key. The various pointers that you highlighted while reviewing my essay helped make it perfect. I thank you for your patience in rectifying even the smallest of errors.







#9) How was Tanmay’s mentorship important while working on the application?


Your mentorship was very important throughout the journey. Each time I felt demotivated, you checked on me, called me, and highlighted the positive parts of my resume and experience. Whenever I was lagging behind in any of the tasks, you used to schedule calls and discuss in detail. There is a strong need for coaches like you in the market who can provide emotional support during this journey.


Right from essay preparation to interview preparation, you helped me at every step. The tips you gave when we prepared for IELTS were very vital. The Google Doc that you shared containing interview questions was a gem as most of the questions asked in my Ivey MBA interview were related to those. Your attention to detail at every step was crucial.


#10) What are your final ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ for a study abroad aspirant?


Do:

  • Take sufficient time and put effort in developing a well-rounded application.

  • Start early and try to apply in R1.

  • Be genuine and not fake anything in the interview. The interviewers are very experienced and will catch it easily if you are lying.


Don’t:

  • Get demotivated by a low GMAT score. It accounts for less than 20% of the whole application.

  • Follow random websites to get tips on MBA application.


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