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 ( myEssayReview) 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

Click here for Part 1 of this interview.

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

Mansi's Involvement in Clubs at HBS

Poonam: Are you 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 South Asian Business Association. Being from the oil and gas industry, I think 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 only because it is India associated but also because it organizes fun functions such as trips within the community. That kind of community over time, builds a robust support system around you. I enjoy my time with both of 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.

Insights into the Global Immersion Program

Poonam: Can you tell us more about the global immersion program you participated in?

Mansi: I think it is one of the best things that many 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, country, and cultural context and make them work on a business case to 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 I could never imagine doing otherwise. To prepare ourselves for the global immersion, we have to attend these introductory classes wherein they teach us about the economy, the history, and the country's politics, 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 on travel and allowed me to look at the country from a different lens.

Recruitment at the HBS

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

Mansi: The entire recruiting process is highly structured at the HBS. The CPD department is more like the Career and Professional Development Center. They have career coaches and a support system that helps us with all the timelines and gives us the support 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 into a different environment in a foreign country. Then companies start coming to the campus; we have these career sessions, and we start learning about our other options and trying to figure out what we want. HBS organizes a couple of programs that help us introspect which career path we want to pursue. Then, after another month or so, they prepare for recruitment, and in January, the formal recruiting process starts when we start applying to companies that have already visited the campus.

Advice for Incoming Students

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. 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 your professors. The professors come from a professional backgrounds and have contacts you cannot even imagine. So have an open mind about what you want to do. Summer is when you can experiment with something in your life that you otherwise cannot.

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

Mansi: I think you have covered most of it. Many 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, 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 happening around you. I still try to find it difficult sometimes to prioritize because it is easy to be carried away with everyday things. So take 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 the things you can say no to. I advise learning to say 'no' to things that are not on your priority list.

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

What She Wished She Had Known Before Joining the HBS

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

Poonam: Wonderful. That is highly valuable advice. Thank you for sharing your application experience and your first-year experiences at Harvard. I am sure that your insights 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 today 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.

Click here for Mansi’s testimonial of MER services

Click here for Mansi’s GMAT Club Review.

Related Posts:

Indian Engineer-Harvard and Stanford Admission: Mansi’s Journey to 5 Top MBA Programs- Part 4

Kellogg MBA Experience – A Current student Shares Experience and Advice 

Michigan Ross MBA experience -A Current Student Shares his Experience and Advice

Oxford MBA Experience- Indian Engineer Shares experience and Advice

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.

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