Posted on September 12, 2019

Harvard MBA Experience- a First Year Student Shares Her Story- Part 2- Final


Mansi, a Delhi IIT civil engineer and an oil and gas professional, had worked with MER on her application for 5 top programs and was accepted by all of them - HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, and INSEAD. She went to Harvard, her dream school. In her first interview with MER (myEssayReview) last year, Mansi had shared her application experience, career objectives, why MBA, preference for HBS, and much more.

Mansi is here today to share her amazing first-year experiences at Harvard.  This interview is published in two parts.

In Part 1 of the interview, Mansi  talks about:

  • Her Background
  • GMAT prep/Application prep
  • Financing/Funding MBA
  • Her favorite things about Harvard (community, case study method, in- class and outside of class experiences)
  • What her classmates were surprised to know about her

In this second and final part of the Interview, Mansi discusses:

  • Clubs at the HBS
  • Global Immersion program
  • Recruitment at the HBS
  • Advice to incoming students about recruitment and other resources of HBS

Poonam: Have you become involved in any clubs on campus? Which club/clubs interest you the most?

Mansi: Yes. I have been actively involved in two clubs-Energy Club and the South Asian Business Association. I think being from the oil and gas industry, it makes sense to be involved in the Energy Club.  South Asian Business Association is more like a business club of the Indian community. My association with this club is closer to me not just because it is India associated but also because it organizes such fun functions such as trips within the community, and that kind of community overtime builds a strong support system around you. I enjoy my time with both these clubs.

Poonam: I remember you are passionate about dancing. Did you get an opportunity to pursue this passion at this club?

Mansi: Yes. The South Asian business association organized Ekta which is a cultural show from the Indian community and the South Asian Community. We had fun doing a Bhangra performance.

Poonam: You have mentioned it briefly. Can you tell us more about the global immersion program you participated in?

Mansi: I think it is one of the best things that a lot of business schools are doing these days, not just the HBS. A part of their course is to take a group of students in a different environment,  different country, and cultural context, and make them work on a business case so that they can enhance their global intelligence in terms of solving a problem outside of their home country- their comfort zone. I went to Argentina, and I really enjoyed the experience. We worked on an interesting case in the Food Industry which is something I could never imagine doing otherwise. To prepare us for the global immersion, we have to attend these prior classes wherein they teach us about the economy, the history, and the politics of the country which is important for us to know when we are trying to solve a business case in that country. As I said earlier, the Global Immersion program in Buenos Aires Argentina changed my perspective about travel and allowed me to look at the country from a different lens.

Poonam: Interesting. What does recruitment look like on your campus?

Mansi: The entire recruiting process is a highly structured process at the HBS. We have the CPD department which is more like the Career and Professional Development Center. They have career coaches, they have which helps us with all the timelines and gives us the support that we reach out for. In the first two months, nothing happens in terms of recruiting which I think is good because it gives us time to settle in a different environment in a different country. Then companies start coming to the campus; we have these career sessions, and we start learning about the different options we have and try to figure out what we want.  HBS organizes a couple of programs in which they help us introspect as to which career path we want to pursue. After that, another month or so, they prepare for recruitment, and in January, the formal recruiting process starts, for indulgent when you start applying to companies that had already visited  the campus

Poonam: OK. Do you have any advice for the incoming students about recruitment?

Mansi: Yes. I think my advice would be just to be open to your options. I know everybody wants xyz in the short term and abc in the long term but having an open mind and exploring all options is helpful. HBS is a great place to learn from everyone around you, be it your peers, your career coaches, or professors. The professors come from a professional background, and they have contacts that you cannot even imagine about. So just have an open mind about what you want to do. Summer is the time when you can experiment something with your life, which you otherwise cannot.

Poonam: Can you share some advice to incoming students, to help make their adjustment to B-schools easier?

Mansi: I think you have covered most part of it. A lot of people have reached out to me with questions about how to apply to business schools, which school to apply to, and how to prepare for GMAT. I will just say that before jumping into the process, just try to know yourself and try to figure out what you want from life at least life in the next few years. And even while pursuing an MBA, it is very easy to get dragged along into everything that is happening around. I still try to find it difficult sometimes to prioritize because it is easy to be carried away with everyday things. Just takes a step back again and think about what your priorities are. You need to know that these are the things you need to do, and probably these are the things you can say no to. My advice is to learn to say ‘no’ to things that are not on your priority list.

Poonam: Sure. Setting your priorities is very good advice to the incoming students. Mansi, a is there anything that you wish you had known earlier before you started your journey at Harvard?

Mansi: I wish I had known that these schools, HBS in particular, have an immense amount of resources- academic support, career support, alumni support, all these different channels help support both in terms of physician and mental health support. HBS has more resources than you can make use of. Even after one year, I am sure that I have not tapped into even 20% of those resources. I just wished that I knew that earlier so that I would have been more prepared and more aware of these resources. So just be aware of the resources that are available to you, so you can use them if need be.

Poonam: Wonderful. That is very useful advice. Thank you for sharing your application experience and your first-year experiences at Harvard. I am sure that your insights valuable advice will be a helpful resource for the HBS applicants as well as incoming students. I wish you good luck with your second year at HBS and continued success in your future career.

Mansi: Thank you. I hope so too. I hope that the students make use of it. It has been wonderful talking to you. I think we talked after a long time after my first interview. So it is really good catching up with you.

Poonam: Yes, we are talking after one year. It was wonderful chatting with you. I wish you good luck with your second year at the HBS and continued success in your career.

For more video interviews of successful MER students, click here.

Since 2011, Poonam, founder, and president of myEssayReview (MER) has helped applicants get accepted into the top 20 MBA programs. (Poonam is one of the top 5 most reviewed consultants on the GMAT Club.

Want to discuss this? Email Poonam at

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