Rashmi Rao's voyage from the University of Delhi to the University of Cambridge is nothing short of phenomenal! She worked hard to obtain a respectable GMAT score and diligently took care of all parts of her application. Her clarity of goals, rich work experience spanning 5 years, and well-researched essay responses among other factors helped her bag a seat in the prestigious Judge MBA program. Faith Career's Co-founder and Study Abroad Coach, Tanmay Singh, recently talked to her. Make sure to read till the end where Rashmi has shared useful tips for study abroad aspirants.
#1) Rashmi, can you please briefly describe your profile?
I completed my undergraduate studies from the University of Delhi in the field of Economics and have approximately 5 years of total work experience. Currently, I am working as a Valuation Consultant in the field of real estate. My current role encompasses a variety of applications such as appraisals, purchase price allocation, merger & acquisition, and financial reporting for a variety of clients across the globe. Previously, I worked as a Credit Analyst for a structured credit hedge fund.
#2) Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I want to progress within the field of real estate from a niche appraisal space to a more holistic, buy-side role in real estate investment management (REIM). My current experiences have provided me well-rounded knowledge in real estate advisory; however, I currently lack exposure to other aspects of investment management such as strategy, mergers and acquisitions, sustainability and corporate governance. An MBA will provide an exposure to these concepts, and help me develop my theoretical and practical knowledge. Further, I also want to gain a multi-functional exposure to broaden my business acumen which would also aid me in progressing towards my goal in REIM.
#3) What were your top 3 reasons for selecting Tanmay Singh to be your mentor for your Cambridge MBA application?
I was introduced to Tanmay through a mutual friend, and from our very first interaction, I was impressed by his enthusiasm, positive energy, and work ethic. I chose Tanmay as my mentor due to the following reasons:
A) Personalized approach: Tanmay's commitment to tailoring his guidance to my specific needs and goals.
B) Promotes authenticity: His emphasis on fostering authenticity throughout the application process, which resonated with me deeply.
C) End-to-end support: Tanmay's firm dedication to providing comprehensive support throughout the entire application journey, from initial brainstorming to interview preparation.
#4) What 3 tips would you like to share with an aspirant working on their study abroad application?
Have crystal clear goals
Introspection is key
Highlight your unique story - Be genuine, share personal anecdotes, and demonstrate how your background and aspirations align with the program's goals.
#5) How did you prepare for the interview after submitting the Judge MBA application? What all steps did you take to prepare for the interview?
After receiving Tanmay's extensive list of interview questions, I began preparing draft responses. To ensure a seamless flow of information during the interview, I strategically aligned my answers with the content of my application essays. Once I felt confident in my preparation, Tanmay conducted a series of mock interviews, providing valuable feedback to my approach.
#6) What questions did Prof. Matthew Jones ask you during the Cambridge MBA interview?
During the Judge MBA interview, I was asked the following questions by Dr. Matthew Jones.
1. Why MBA? Why Cambridge?
2. Why not MPhil in real estate?
3. What has been your greatest experience with a leader/manager?
4. Follow up on an essay: What kind of a manager/leader was Aivanaa? What kind of challenges did you face while working with him?
5. How will you convince REIM firms to hire you?
6. How will the Cambridge MBA help you in becoming a better leader?
7. Do you have any questions for me?
Overall, he was nice and ensured that I felt comfortable.
#7) How do you think you performed in the interview with Prof. Jones?
Since the interview was scheduled for 30 minutes, there wasn’t enough time for it to be conversational. However, it was a smooth, one-way interview. I felt like Dr. Jones often tried to test the authenticity of my essays during the process.
#8) How was Tanmay’s mentorship important while working on the Judge MBA application?
Tanmay's mentorship was instrumental throughout my journey to secure admission to the Judge MBA programme. His guidance began with a comprehensive Discovery Call, followed by multiple workshops on networking, essay writing and personal branding. His extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the admissions process ensured that I was well-prepared with all the necessary components for my application. His understanding of what the admissions committee seeks in applicants made a significant difference.
Tanmay's mentorship not only helped me with the technical aspects of the application but also instilled the confidence needed to pursue my MBA aspirations.
#9) What are your final ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ for a study abroad aspirant?
Begin your application process early.
Create an account on the University’s website early to get a better sense of the entire application. There are some short-answer questions which are not published on the website and are only found in the online application form.
Right after Tanmay conducts his LinkedIn Networking Workshop, start connecting with current students and alumni. They may sometimes take a few days/weeks to respond.
Don’t leave short-format questions for the last day; the admissions committee considers every response.
Don’t use technical jargon in your essays.
Don't lose faith in the process; trust in your preparation, resources, and the guidance provided.