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Shruti Rao's Journey of Second MBA: From Sony Music to ISB PGP

Updated: Feb 25

Shruti Rao's story is unique and inspiring! Since she already had an MBA, it was a little difficult to 'present' her candidature to the admissions committee. However, Faith Career's Co-Founder made Shruti's journey to ISB MBA hurdle-free, finally earning her an offer letter. Her excellent 'Dos' and 'Don'ts' about ISB MBA application and interview are not to be missed!

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

Repertoire lead manager for signed artist releases at Sony Music India. Responsible for stakeholder management, product development and multimedia campaign launches directly

driving revenue growth.

#2) You already have an MBA degree from MICA. Why did you decide to pursue an ISB MBA?

3 aspects to this –

- I wanted an industry transition.

- I realised that with my previous degree and work experience, my knowledge was

vertically directed. To climb up the corporate ladder, I needed to refresh my

knowledge and acquire a more holistic viewpoint

- To plug in certain skill gaps.

#3) Why did you choose Faith Career to be your mentor for ISB MBA application?

I found Faith Career’s contact details via their blog and reached out to them on LinkedIn. What cinched my decision were 2 points – they asked to go through my CV and talk to me on the phone before accepting me as a mentee. That demonstrated a thoroughness and candour that I feel is important in a mentor.

#4) How was Faith Career’s mentorship important while working on the ISB MBA application?

My mentor at Faith Career is quite hands-on during the ISB MBA application process. I noticed he gauged every student’s needs and treated them accordingly. We went through a session before each phase of the application where he described the important points to be covered (in a group as well as individually). He gave multiple examples to illustrate each feedback and helped you understand the logic behind answering in a certain way.

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

- Did all the mock interviews with Faith Career and took their feedback extremely seriously.

- Practiced answering questions at home with the help of someone.

- Went through my application and essays thoroughly and prepared answers for cross


- Read through the news everyday for industry and relevant updates.

- This is something that worked for me and could vary for others – I didn’t overdo it. I didn’t do more than 2 mock interviews and didn’t obsess over multiple websites and the all the tips and jargon. I trusted my instincts and answered honestly.

#7) What questions were asked to you during the ISB MBA interview?

- About my job – what’s my exact role, how do I decide if a product / project is worth

investing in, campaigns that I’m proud of, how is my team structured, what is an

instance when things went wrong and how I handled it, how do I take decisions as a

repertoire lead, learning and challenges of leading a team

- Personal – why ISB, future plans, why the interest in a particular topic or industry

#8) How did you think you performed in the interview?

I was admittedly nervous, but tried to have a smile on throughout and adopted a seating posture that I knew from past experience would help me keep my nerves steady (for me it was keeping my hands folded on my lap. As I grew more confident during the course of my interview, it felt natural to gesture with my hands).

The interview was lengthy. The interviewers grilled me on every aspect of my work experience including my thought process to arrive at certain decisions. I tried to point out 3 main aspects – how well I’ve researched a particular topic before approaching the problem, the USP of the solution introduced, and my leadership or team work ability.

#9) What are your final ‘To-Dos’ and ‘Not-to-Dos’ for an ISB MBA aspirant?

For applications:

- If you have work experience then go through your appraisal submissions across the previous years, for important contributions and experience that can be made part of your ISB application.

- Be honest, because if you get shortlisted you will have to backup your application in the interview.

- Not necessary for you to start preparing for the application months in advance. But when you do decide to go for it, have a clear mind and focus towards the application. Don’t finish it in a rush.

For interviews:

- Be honest and don’t try to fake it. If you don’t understand a question, or do not have the answer, ask the interviewer for clarification and try to answer to the best of your knowledge. It’s ok to admit that your knowledge is limited – that’s why you’re applying to study further.

- Dress appropriately in well-fitted clothes. You want to give a good impression to the interview panel and feeling comfortable and confident about your look on the D-Day is an important aspect.

- Reach the ISB MBA interview venue at least 30 minutes in advance so you can find the designated area, compose yourself and most importantly, don’t keep the interviewer waiting.

Below are few more inspiring success stories from Faith Career

  1. Smriti Dhawan's journey from Ambedkar University to the London School of Economics (LSE)

  2. Nikhil Bhonsle's story of bagging MBA offers from 5 B-Schools in the UK with scholarship, without a GMAT score -

  3. Yashashwat Srivastava’s MIM journey from IP University to the Schulich School of Business -

  4. Mimansha Dublish's MIM journey to ESCP Europe (ranked 5th for MIM in the world) -

  5. Ambuj Tripathi's story of triumph: From SBI to Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) with Scholarship:

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