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From Saudi Arabia to the Netherlands: Jai’s Journey to the MSM MBA with Scholarship





Faith Career's Study Abroad Coach, Tanmay Singh, enjoyed working with Jaikrishnan Konkoth (Jai) because he was willing to learn & open to feedback to improve himself. This bore him results - he received an offer letter & a EUR 10,000 scholarship to pursue his MBA at the Maastricht School of Management (MSM), the Netherlands. Read on to find out more about his journey.


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


I pursued my bachelor's degree in Dairy Engineering from Kerala Veterinary University and graduated in 2018. Over the last five years, I have accumulated diverse professional experiences, primarily as an Operations Analyst, both in India and Saudi Arabia. My international tenure was with one of the world's largest dairy companies, where I led a multicultural team that analyzed intricate production data and formulated strategic initiatives to enhance operational efficiency and mitigate financial challenges. This role allowed me to gain invaluable insights into the intricacies of global dairy production and management, further honing my skills in problem-solving and cross-cultural collaboration.






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


After gaining significant industry experience and progressing to a senior team manager role, I recognized that pursuing a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) is essential to propel my career further. I believe that obtaining a global MBA will not only augment my expertise in operations management and sustainable development but also deepen my understanding of best industrial practices. This broader skill set is vital for realizing my long-term objectives within the FMCG sector. Thus, I view the MBA program as a crucial bridge that will seamlessly connect my current professional standing with the future trajectory I aspire to achieve.






#3) What were your top 3 reasons for selecting Tanmay Singh to be your mentor for your MSM MBA application?


I was introduced to Tanmay by Anshul, and from the Discovery Call I had with Tanmay, I realized his expertise and holistic approach to the entire process. Opting to work with him was based on several reasons, and below are a few of them: 


A) Expertise: Tanmay possesses an unparalleled depth of knowledge regarding the MBA application process, coupled with a proven track record of guiding students towards their desired B-schools. His innate understanding of what distinguishes an ideal candidate for the program enables him to provide tailored guidance, particularly in crafting compelling application essays and mastering interview techniques.


B) Attentive Listener: What sets Tanmay apart is his genuine attentiveness to my concerns and aspirations. He actively listens during our interactions, adeptly assessing my strengths and areas for improvement. Based on these insights, he devises personalized strategies to refine my skills and enhance my candidacy.


C) Meticulous Approach: Tanmay's meticulous attention to detail sets him apart. He consistently scrutinizes even the minute aspects, recognizing their potential to make a significant impact. This keenness provides invaluable insights that enable applicants to truly distinguish themselves amidst the competition, ultimately enhancing their prospects of success.






#4) What 3 tips would you like to share with an aspirant working on their study abroad application?


A)  Emphasize your strengths. It's crucial to showcase your strengths effectively throughout your MBA application. By highlighting your skills thoughtfully and addressing any weaknesses proactively, you can build a robust profile that stands out to admissions committees.


B)  Define your goals clearly. Take the time to articulate your long-term aspirations with precision. Having a well-defined vision not only aids in selecting the right country and program but also demonstrates your commitment and clarity of purpose to the admissions team.


C) Avoid procrastination and seek guidance. Don't hesitate to seek professional assistance when needed. Procrastination can be detrimental to your application process, so it's essential to stay proactive and committed to your study abroad goals. Whether it's guidance on application strategies or refining your essays, seeking help can save you valuable time and enhance your chances of success.






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



After submitting my application, I began preparing for the interview the next day. I crafted detailed responses to a comprehensive list of interview questions shared by Tanmay and practiced them regularly. He further facilitated my preparation by conducting two mock interviews initially. Recognizing my lingering apprehension, he generously offered an additional mock session. Utilizing his feedback constructively, I diligently worked on refining every aspect of my responses to ensure they resonated effectively. 


During the third mock interview, Tanmay introduced additional questions, such as inquiries about my leadership style and its relevance to the industry, as well as my passion for travel. Surprisingly, those questions were closely mirrored in the actual interview, underscoring the efficacy of our preparation process. Feeling confident from the extensive preparation, I adopted a conversational tone during the interview, which helped me engage effectively with the interviewers.

 

 





#6) What questions did Inka Diddens & Karen Tromp ask you during the Maastricht MBA interview?


Karen and Inka interviewed me for about 40 minutes.


They asked me the following questions:


1) Who is Jai? Can you take us through your professional and personal lives? 


2) As a traveler, would you like to stay in the Netherlands or would you like to go back to Saudi Arabia after your MBA? 


3) What makes MSM special to you? Why are you so specific about doing an MBA in the Netherlands?


4) What value addition can you bring to the MSM MBA class? 


5) What type of leader are you? 


6) Being a democratic leader, Did you have any moments in your career where you had a conflict with your manager, and what did you learn from it? 


7) What will your friends say about you? Any two qualities? 


8) Do you have any friends in the Netherlands? 


9) What's your dream job? 


10) Having such multi-cultural experience in your field, why do you need an MBA? 


11) Who is sponsoring your studies?






#7) How do you think you performed in the MSM MBA interview with Inka Diddens & Karen Tromp?


I approached the interview feeling highly confident, thanks to extensive preparation with Tanmay. Maintaining a conversational tone allowed me to effectively lead the conversation, contributing to my comfort during the interview. I encountered no unexpected questions, as all topics had been covered in our mock interviews. Since I had booked a post-lunch interview slot, both the interviewers were ready to listen to me at length, which was anticipated by Tanmay, and I was prepared for the same.






#8) How was Tanmay’s mentorship important while working on the MSM MBA application?


Tanmay's mentorship was instrumental throughout the MSM MBA application process for several reasons. Firstly, he encouraged us to do self-introspection, helping us to identify our strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness proved invaluable in crafting compelling essays and answering interview questions effectively, guiding us on our MBA journey.


Secondly, Tanmay emphasized the importance of networking and researching the school. By connecting with current students, alumni, and admissions committee members, I gained insight into MSM's values and alignment with my career goals—information that is not readily available in official materials and on the website. This exercise not only enhanced my essays but also aided in developing a vivid image of the institution. 


Lastly, Tanmay's meticulous attention to detail ensured that I presented myself as a true professional. His mantra, 'Leave no stone unturned when the stakes are high,' underscored his commitment to my success, making his mentorship truly exceptional.






#9) Congratulations for receiving a scholarship of EUR 10,000! How did that happen? What did you do to bag that scholarship? 


The scholarship selection process depends on an evaluation of the overall profile, emphasizing the necessity to optimize every aspect of the application. Following Tanmay's feedback meticulously was instrumental in refining each aspect of the application. Under his guidance and strategic direction, crafting a compelling essay and CV emerged as pivotal factors, and equally essential was the rigorous preparation for the interview through mock sessions, which honed my ability to articulate thoughts effectively. This comprehensive approach ultimately contributed significantly to securing the scholarship from Maastricht.






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


Do:


A) Maintain perseverance throughout the journey; keep yourself motivated and consistent practice is the key to honing skills.


B) Prioritize networking and seek insights from individuals living, studying, or working at your desired school. However, it is very important to take advice judiciously.


C) Remember that setbacks do not define your capabilities; numerous opportunities exist beyond challenging moments - explore options. 

 

Don’t:


A)  Avoid procrastination once the decision to study abroad is made; timely action is crucial.


B)  Be authentic in your essays and interviews; dishonesty can have adverse consequences.


C) While stress is normal, ensure it doesn't impede performance. Stay physically and mentally active to maintain focus and achieve desired outcomes.





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