Posted on May 21, 2021

Indian Techie Got into NUS and HKUST with Substantial Scholarships


Mahesh, a mechanical engineer by degree, had an enriching experience in Valley Startup Boomerang Commerce before it was acquired by one of its clients, Lowe's. Working onsite at Lowe's, Mahesh played a pivotal role in the acquisition. He is the youngest Team Lead at Lowe's.

Mahesh collaborated with MER (myEssayReview) for his application for a few Asian and US MBA programs. He received admit offers from two Asian programs- NUS and HKUST with scholarships.

In this video interview with Poonam, Mahesh shares insights into the following:

  • His background 02:10
  • Why MBA 06:35
  • Career Goals 08:58
  • Planning for GMAT 12:10
  • Application strategy, planning, preparation 17:24
  • Insights on how techies can distinguish themselves 30:27
  • His preference for HKUST over NUS 36:44
  • His unique Volunteer Experiences 38:52
  • Thoughts on impact of Covid-19 on MBA experience 48:30

Now presenting  Mahesh in conversation with Poonam:

Poonam: Hello, Mahesh. How are you doing?

Mahesh: Hello ma'am, good morning. I am doing good, ma'am. Thank you. How are you?

Poonam: I am doing well, too. Thank you.

Mahesh: It is my pleasure, Ma'am. I am looking forward to having a great conversation with you. And today is our new year. I am from Kerala, and it is our new year. An excellent way to start the new year through a conversation with you. It will be fun.

Poonam: Thank you. Congratulations on getting admit offers from two good schools- NUS and HKUST. How does it feel?

Mahesh: First, thank you so much, Ma'am, for helping me through the entire application process. I feel thrilled. It is that feeling you get when you have tried and worked so hard for something, and then you see that email of acceptance.  Last time  I had that feeling when I was selected for the school athletics team in grade 12. I remember just running and hugging my mom. I had worked so hard for this. So, it was surreal. I'm excited about MBA because it is something that I wanted to do. I will remain in Asia because I feel that's where things are going to happen. And at the same time, I am closer to home. So that is not only comforting for me, it is comforting for my family as well. Overall, I am very excited, delighted, and pumped, if that is a word to use.

Poonam: Yeah, it is a great accomplishment. Can you tell our viewers something about yourself, your background, your academic and professional background?

Mahesh: I am actually from Kerala, India, but I was born and raised in the United Arab Emirates. I spent nearly 18 years of my life in Sharjah, one of the Emirates in the United Arab Emirates. I went to a CBSE school and studied in the same school throughout. I was there for 14 years and did my Grade XII from that school. Later, I moved to India for higher studies. I did my Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, primarily known as Anna University, Chennai. As part of my engineering, I was introduced to the world of Data Sciences and Business Analytics that was picking up back in 2013-14. I was glad that I could jump onto the wave and drive the wave while it was peeking. Now I am working as a full-time lead analyst in Lowe's, the Fortune 40 Home Improvement company. I have almost five to six years of experience in the data science and business analytics field.

Poonam: Having spent 18 years of your life in Sharjah,  you moved to a new country to pursue under graduation. What challenges did you face while settling in the new country?

Mahesh: This is a fascinating question because, unlike most changes for me, I moved to my home country. I was away from home, and I moved to home kind of a feeling.  I used to visit India once in two years to meet my grandparents and relatives. I had experienced life over here. And in all honesty, UAE- let us say Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi- is not far away from most Indian Metropolitan cities. It is not very different.

I moved to Chennai. The main trouble that I had faced was fitting in. I had to fit in to make friends because they were bound to their language, Tamil. I am a Malayali; it is not very hard to pick up Tamil, but  I still did not know Tamil fluently. So, I would have either had to speak in Malayalam or English, which is not very comforting for someone if you are trying to befriend.  So, to make friends, the first thing  I did was pick up Tamil, the regional language. Apart from that, another challenge was the complete change of the atmosphere. I lived alone for the first time, so I had to share rooms and share common necessities like a washroom,  hostel room, etc. The initial challenges were interesting in terms of picking up the language and sharing essentials. I am sure anywhere we move, we will face this at any point in life. For me, it was the first time. As an 18-year-old, I moved into a new place where my parents were not around me.  Thankfully, my parents have taught me to be adaptive to figure my way out.

Poonam: When did you start thinking about MBA, and why now?

Mahesh: That is again a very interesting question. I started seriously considering MBA as my option in early 2020. It had nothing to do with Covid. It is also the same time when many things in my career happened, and I could foresee what would happen, what my job would be if I were to continue in this job. I just started working in a firm that had acquired the firm I was working for, and then I  got promoted immediately to a role where I was leading an analytics team based out of India and the US. I was doing well in my job as an analyst. I was doing very well technically, gaining experience as a lead and leading members in different parts of the world, giving them ideas, trying to move the needle in terms of business.  I could first see that if I were to continue, I would be a manager in analytics. But I figured out that I needed to make a good change in life to get to where I want to be. If I want to be a global leader in Tech, analytics is one of the puzzles, and there are so many parts of the puzzle. One of the easier and fruitful ways to pick it up is to undergo an MBA where you learn about different things simultaneously and get as much knowledge as possible. In early 2020, I gained almost five years of experience in analytics, so there was a good sweet spot. After five years of work experience in a particular field, you have gained a good amount of knowledge to add value to your class. So it was the right time for me to do my MBA.

Poonam: Can you tell us about your career goals in detail?

Mahesh: My goal in life is to be a business owner. I want to own my business and a start-up of my own, and I believe the most extensive knowledge for that is Tech. Tech has been the solution to most problems, and I feel it is just the tip of the iceberg. It is going to be the solution for most problems moving forward. Amid the COVID 19 pandemic, the whole world remains connected even though it has shut down. Through Tech, the world got connected virtually. I want to be a global leader in Tech. I can own my firm, or if I am working for another firm, I want to be the Tech leader of that firm. My long-term goal is to handle Tech completely.

My short-term goal is to handle roles where I am getting as much coverage as possible in the tech field. I am currently well-versed in analytics and data sciences. Now that is one piece of the puzzle. There are multiple puzzles that I can fill up. One role that I envision for myself is the product management or product marketing manager role. I consider a product manager a mini-CEO because he or she handles multiple spectrums- analytics being one. You are designing things, and you manage Tech,  analytics teams or design teams, and scrum teams. So many of these things develop and then connect to the business leaders you are working for. Being a product manager would give me as much coverage as possible into Tech or the entire firm. So my short-term goal is to get into the product management field as a product manager in Tech or marketing. I am sure that either of these could give me the best step forward for my goal of being a business owner.

Poonam: I like how you define the project manager's role as a mini-CEO.

Mahesh: For most of the things that I consider doing, I always make an analogy. The first thing is to have the conviction that what I am doing is what I want to do. The one that has worked for me the most is building analogies and connecting to the most. It is a CEO because my long-term goal is to get there as soon as possible for being a business owner.

Poonam: Of course, you will get there. Mahesh, GMAT is a critical aspect of MBA application. Can you tell our viewers something about your GMAT prep? How did you go about your preparation?

Mahesh: You rightly mentioned that GMAT has a huge weightage in your entire application, so we have to put our best foot forward. The way to go about it is to maximize as much time as possible in GMAT and get a higher score. For that, the first thing I did was take a mock to figure out where I stand. I think that is something everybody should do. Take a mock and figure out which part of the spectrum do you lack so that you can figure out where you need to improve- verbal or quant? Once I took that,  I figured out that I needed help with both.

GMAT Club is one Bible that gave me information for everything and anything right from the source that I should start preparing from. Through the GMAT club, I got to know about e-GMAT. I took the e-GMAT services for my GMAT prep. It was helpful for me in terms of structuring my preparation for Verbal and quant separately. The first step was e-GMAT, and then the GMAT club has questions from years. There are a million questions out there; it is a universe where you will get as much information as possible. I practiced a lot of questions from that and then took mocks tests.

Mock tests give you a good simulation of what you need to do, and it is a good reality check. It tells you if you have prepared for a month or so, and then a mock test will tell you if you are progressing or if you are on your way to getting what you want. If whatever you are doing is not going anywhere, you can reset and restart? That is basically how the GMAT strategy works, and I believe that helped me. GMAT club is from where I got to know about you (MER) as well. I think finding the right source is very important. There is nothing wrong with taking help from someone or some source.

Poonam: How much time would you recommend for GMAT prep?

Mahesh: It takes two to three months to put your best foot forward. I am saying two to three months because I assume that most of us taking the GMAT will be preparing for it along with our work hours. It will help if you put a realistic timeline because you want to work simultaneously and prep for the GMAT. You would like to give 50:50. Initially, you would be putting an 80% on your work and 20% on the GMAT. When that picks up, and it gets to a 50:50, and then at a point, it becomes the other way around 20:80. To balance all that out, I think a three-month program will be good, and it will be optimal. It again comes down to your caliber when you take that mock test and figure out yourself. I thought that putting in three months would get me where I wanted because of the mock- test-taking and understanding of what I  lacked. But again, it is subjective to different people and their caliber and how they have placed themselves.

Poonam: So, taking mock tests is your top recommendation.

Mahesh: Yes, I think that is more like a step 0 because you want to find out where you are before you start doing anything. It is an excellent way to gauge your strengths and weaknesses in the beginning. It did work for me, so I feel taking mock is essential.

Poonam: After GMAT prep comes application prep Can you please share your application planning and preparation with other viewers?

Mahesh: I think for starters, I would not even say it as step zero. I would call this step minus one, which is to start as early as possible. For that, I was glad that I reached out to you with enough time in hand. Otherwise, I do not think it would have worked out the way it did. It could take two to three weeks for a good application for a single college, irrespective of rounds. So, it helps if you start early to give enough time for each of your applications. If you are applying to one college or maybe two colleges in a round, that is still OK. So, starting a month or month and a half is fine. But if you are applying to three or four colleges, you need to plan and need to give two months' prior preparation to kickstart so that you allot each college the time required. Each application, for all reasons, is unique, so you need to start early.

Secondly, there is a good amount of introspection that we need to go through, primarily to find where I want it to be and what I want to do. These are two essential things. Mam, the first few questions that I got from you were 'where are you going to apply?' and 'what do you want to do?' What are you planning to do after your MBA? Once you know where you want to be and what you want to do, you will figure out what colleges fit into each of these. Since  I wanted to get into Tech,  I applied to MBA programs focusing on Tech. I was very strategic about Asia and a few colleges in the USA because I have always dreamt about those colleges since childhood. Also, I tried not to take a hit on the quality because brand matters. At the same time, the quality of education matters. If it requires you to wait for eight months to get your best application out, you should do that.

For selecting schools, you need to sign up or create a profile in each of these colleges. By joining their virtual events, you can get actual custom information about those colleges. For example, HKUST was looking into transforming its MBA program through technology. When you visit their site, you could see that right in front of you as to how they have kept their dialogue for the MBA in the business meets technology terms. I would not have understood that if I had not attended one of the sessions. Attending events matters and helps you keep in the loop of what the college is expecting. If there is a change in the essay, they do call out in their admission event. You could also hear a few alums talk. It is an excellent way to figure out the vibe of that college or that program you are looking forward to attending.

And then, one crucial step is figuring out if you need help with your application. You could be a good writer, but here it is all about storytelling and calling out. This is where ma'am, you were the savior for me. I got to know about you from the GMAT Club, and I reached out to you. I was so glad that you picked me from a pool of people you received requests from.

So that is the first thing that made me happy that you picked working with me, and how we interacted and went about the process. First, we had an introductory call, we got to know each other, and then you got to know what I am aiming for. We had a good clarity of thought, and then we started working on applications. For each essay, we went back and forth multiple times. I would email you and would get a response immediately. I don't think I ever asked you, ma'am, that I'll be getting delayed because you were always ahead of me, and I had to play catch up with you. It kept me on my feet because I knew I was hitting timelines at the same time at work and for the application.

But given that your pushing me was vital for me also to keep my best foot forward. The biggest thing that I got from you, ma'am, was clarity in thought. So, for every question, I had three-four ideas in my head as to what I should be writing, but you helped me figure out which one or two stories matter and why the other two are not as important as the first two. It is about convincing, which is what makes you a great storyteller. I feel this because your application is the only way you get to give your best to the Ad Com. Then we get to the interview, which is the only avenue to put your best foot forward.  If you are not confident, it is better to reach out for help, and I got the best support that I could ask for.

And finally, as I called out earlier, you can read as much as possible about colleges. It's about doing good research to learn if the program you're picking will cater to your needs. I cannot stress enough how important it is. It is good to have conversations and take others' opinions and tweak accordingly. But in the end, it is you who will go through it, and it is you who will finally be the one making all the moves. We need to do that introspection to have a conviction that these are the reasons I want to go to this particular college.

Poonam:  I like that point. You have to go to the schools, so you should be sure as to why you want to go to that particular program. Looking back, Mahesh, what was the most challenging aspect of the application, and how did you meet that challenge?

Mahesh: The first thing that strikes me is the diversity or the part of the society I represent. I am an Indian techie who is the most over-represented part of the applicant pool. It is the overrepresented one because it is in demand. After all, that's what everybody needs out there. For all reasons,  Indian techies are required worldwide because there are problems that only these techies can solve. I think each of these techies that I represent undergoes a different sort of problem-solving in a unique way. So it is all about positioning what you are solving uniquely because each of us has different stories. Maybe I can sell the same work that my teammate and I have been doing for the past six months in another way than my teammate would sell it. It is about positioning how two different people are selling the same thing. Honestly, it is not that hard. You have to look within, and you can easily present yourself in a different way.

And given that it is an overrepresented society, it is about asking two main things: First, what is it that you solved, and second, what would have happened if you had not solved it? Now that covers almost everything possible. I'm saying this is because we techies solve problems immediately.

Also, I feel that if you want to be a leader, you want to do multiple things and show that you can drive a community or society forward. So I would also encourage everybody to be involved in different things that you like, but do it to be more than your job. It can't be just your job that defines you. Getting involved in different things adds value to your overall profile and showcases you as a different kind of leader.

 To answer your question, the most challenging part of the application process was managing work and application. I am sure everybody struggles with it. Yes, if we want to get something out, we need to keep pushing ourselves for that for a few months because what lies after that is great.  It is worth it, even if it takes two months with four hours of sleep.

Poonam: So what do you think? How can Indian techies distinguish themselves by getting involved in other activities that interest them? Are there different ways you think people from this overrepresented applicant pool can distinguish themselves from each other?

Mahesh: I think the first thing that I mentioned was finding that unique thing in the problem that you have solved. The same problem can be solved in different ways, and it matters as to what, why, and how you solved has created an impact. Also, it matters what would have been the scenario if you had not solved it? If you fill these three blanks, you can sell it in different ways. It matters as to how you position yourself in that organization you were servicing, and it needs a little bit of thinking and introspection. I believe each techie can sell themselves or express themselves in different ways.

The second thing about being diverse is that people can get involved in simple things as hiking every once in a while. Hiking is not just something that gives personal pleasure; it also gives you a good amount of leadership because you might end up going in a group. You do different things to stand out from the crowd. To distinguish yourself, you can do simple things as painting or playing football. I follow football a lot. I play the fantasy of football, and it gives me a good feeling. I work with numbers at the same time. I am enjoying the sport I like.

Poonam: Don't you think your personality plays a significant role in showcasing your uniqueness because each individual is unique in his or her way. You can distinguish yourself from other applicants through personal qualities. Every person has unique qualities that are different from others.

Mahesh: It is very true that personality also matters. I am just putting in a scenario where, as you mentioned about personality. I am just bringing in a work scenario where there is a team, and most of the members had quit and moved on, but you stayed on, and you took the responsibility to carry the team forward. You stayed on and onboarded new members. You chose leadership in you. To stand out at work, you can build a new team, take responsibility, handle crises, and take the team forward. These are small things that happen at work but, as you mentioned, these instances portray your personality in a very different form.

Coming back to do different things, it can be as simple as playing. You can play very often, or you can go for a run very often. It shows that you have a habit of keeping yourself engaged and gives the admission committee the idea of your well-rounded personality. In MBA and later,post-MBA, you have to do different things to keep a company or a unit moving. You pursue an MBA to be a leader in some position or the other, and a leader has to keep moving things that inspire people around and keep the needle moving.

Poonam: Yes, many schools also ask the question, what setback did you face in life, and how did you overcome that setback? They want to see your resilience, your perseverance in handling setbacks.

Mahesh: Yes, every experience is an experience, and you can easily use that to say that you ended up solving a problem. The biggest problem is that many of us underestimate our experiences, thinking everybody would have experienced them. Two people might have experienced the same thing, but what they took away from their experience could be very different from one another.

Poonam: Exactly. Your learnings from that experience will be very different from the learnings of others. Mahesh, You were accepted into two Asian programs, HKUST and NUS. You decided in favor of HKUST. How is HKUST the best school for you?

Mahesh: I cannot say how tough this decision was because I am talking about two colleges that are very similar in terms of positioning, area, ranking, education quality, and offerings. So I had to bring it down to one factor that matters-  the cost. I am glad and thankful that I got a good amount of scholarship from the HKUST program. That reduced the amount of investment I had to make for the program.  I picked HKUST over NUS because of the scholarship.

Hong Kong is an international hub for multiple things- finance and Tech, and it is closer to the Chinese market and good coverage for the entire Asian market. Hong Kong and Singapore both give us an excellent range for the whole Asian market, which is helpful. I have had a good experience in India and the US market. So it will be an eye-opener for me to work in a new environment that is another part of Asia.

Poonam: Makes sense. When working with you on your applications, I found your voluntary experience very interesting, pretty intriguing. Can you tell our viewers about your volunteering experiences?

Mahesh: Right from childhood, I love talking. I love expressing myself in terms of public speaking or dramatics, or anything of that sort. So when  I started working, I missed a lot of those parts because most of my conversations were work-related, and I burst inside to do something different. So one of my friends introduced me to this organization, 'Skills Sphere', wherein they tie up with other schools in different parts of India. I was in Bangalore, so I went to schools in Banglore to take soft skill sessions. I spend five to six hours every weekend on Saturdays or Sundays, taking soft skills sessions, elevator pitches, group discussions, debates, and model United Nations parliamentary debate, etc.

I teach 4th to 9th-grade kids to be confident about speaking and saying the right thing. I feel,  apart from studies, it also matters how you express what you have studied. I have been doing this for about four years now. Previously, I took classes only in Bangalore, but once COVID struck, I started taking classes online across India for a few schools in Assam and Amritsar. That is one thing that opened up. Each session has about 18 to 20 students or a maximum of 30 students. It is fun because I spend five days a week with people my age, and almost half a day of the week on a Saturday or Sunday with people from a different generation. It requires me to scale myself down every week to figure out how they are.

I am mostly surprised by the things that come out of their imaginations or talks because I would never say that when I was their age. The way these ten-year-old kids research for their model United Nations function,  the words they use were so different from the words I used as a 10-year-old. I remember this one time where a 9-year-old had to use the word 'proliferation.' I think I learned this word when I was in  10th, or 12th, or perhaps even later, but I was so glad that, as an 8-year-old, she had an opportunity to use that word. It just shows how exposed these kids are right now and how good they all are. It's a beautiful experience. I am slightly regretful because I don't know how I will take sessions after I go to B-school. That's one thing that I am feeling a little bad about. Maybe I will take a break of two years or a year and a half and then continue again later if they are OK with that. I  spend two hours preparing for my Saturday or Sunday session because this is something I love doing.

Poonam: If you love doing it, if you have a passion for something, you can do it after your MBA also. I agree with you that you are learning so much from the younger generation. I also feel the same way. I, too, work with the younger generation, and they amaze me with their wealth of knowledge, their drive, spirit, and ambitions; they don't stop amazing me.

Mahesh: Exactly. The spectrum is much wider for you. You have, maybe grandkids-  that's one spectrum. And then you have us, a different spectrum. And then, even in your client base, it could be all kinds of people. So yeah, your experience will be different.

Poonam: Yes, it's a fantastic experience, and I cannot explain it.  I keep working with new people all the time; I learn from all of them, and they don't stop surprising me and impressing me. Let's talk about your interests and hobbies. You have already mentioned your passion for football and hiking. Would you like to tell us about these hobbies in detail?

Mahesh: I love playing football. It's not a game constraint, but I love football and cricket a little more. I follow almost all sports, like tennis, Formula One, badminton, kabaddi, and basketball. I have never gotten to learn baseball, but I don't mind watching it. If there is anything new to sports, then I would like to be involved in it. That's why I play the Fantasy Premier League in football and cricket. I do that because it's applying what I do at work to something that I love doing, which is sports. I haven't been able to play football a lot for the last year or so. I try to convert that into running. I ensure that I keep moving around, so running every day is something I end up doing, at least four to five times a week. It helps refresh me.

And then I love music. Anything I do, I have a new song that is switched on in multiple languages. I  pick up the lyrics of songs and remember them so that when somebody else plays a song, I can relate to it and say that hey, that's that song. I listen to English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, a little bit of Arabic, a little bit of Spanish, a little bit of K-pop. Music drives me, and I ensure that I keep getting updated on that.

I love to dance. I have picked up random steps everywhere from other listings and Zumba. I feel it is an excellent workout since it is a good combination of dance and exercise.  During the lockdown, Zumba was something I did religiously. I always kept random YouTube Zumba videos and danced to them. Also, I love watching plays and movies. Though  I am not very up-to-date in different seasons at different TV shows, I ensure that I binge on other things because it is something that you wind down with.

I love meeting people. I end up meeting someone most of the time on weekends because I love catching up with people. So if it has been a while since I met someone, I will drop a text to that person and catch up with that person, at least on a phone call. I like maintaining relationships. If my mom hears this, she may not be happy with me saying that, but otherwise, I try my best to keep up the relationship. I consider that the hobby of catching up with people and being updated with what is happening with them matters to me.

Poonam: Connecting with people, making personal connections with the people you know is also a great personality trait. Mahesh, we have been living in the COVID era for the last year. How do you think Pandemic might impact your MBA experience?

Mahesh: One main thing that I figured out, and I am sure it will be the case for all schools, is that most programs are going to be hybrid. That is, it is not going to be 100% in-class sessions.  I can see that 70 to 75% may be in class, and around 25% may be virtual. It is because most good MBA programs have visiting professors. For example, HKUST has professors who come from Kellogg, Wharton, for taking a couple of classes and sessions. So given the current scenario, I don't see they would prefer traveling for these sessions. It will be a hybrid study and experience.

Secondly, many attribute MBA to networking and a huge chunk of networking happens when you meet people face to face (something that I love doing). But I   understand that networking is not going to be face to face generally; it needs a bit of tweaking now. I can meet people in a coffee shop for a coffee or something, but that will be four out of the ten people I reach out to. For the other six, I will have to figure out a way to network virtually and get on a call with them on Zoom.  I believe networking is one thing that all of us will need to pick up a newly evolved form of networking; we will pick it up on the go. But virtual networking is something that is here to stay. Also, I am not sure if I will be able to move to another place for four months for an exchange program. So that could also be virtual.

Poonam: Virtual conversations, virtual interactions, and virtual instruction. The virtual platform is here to stay.

Mahesh: At least a good chunk of it would be virtual, and maybe out of the six conversations you have had with someone, the final one could end up being face to face. The usual norm is that you could have your face to face at least in the second conversation itself, but now it will be more virtual. So I feel picking up virtual conversations and driving relationships through that is essential now.

Poonam: True. This is the need of the times.

Mahesh: It is, and it is here to stay.

Poonam: It appears it is the new normal. Mahesh, it was a wonderful conversation with you. Do you think there is anything that I should have asked, and you would like to tell our viewers.

Mahesh: I believe you have covered the entire spectrum of an MBA journey. I think the one last thread in the whole process is our interviews, and I would like to talk about that. I cannot begin to stress how important it is to have mock interviews. It can be with your mom, dad, or your best friends, but it matters to get a second opinion on how you are thinking about your answers. Also, you can have it with someone you are comfortable with to get the best opinion. It would be best to have an unbiased opinion from people, so the most critical step is to have mock or practice sessions.

Apart from that, you can go to different sources and figure out questions that could be asked. Most of these questions are pretty standard, like why MBA, why the particular College, why this specific area, etc. You would already have these answers in the introspection you had done during your application strategy. When you figure out what you want to do and where you want to go, you would already have these answers. Do your research and figure out what the college you are applying to is looking for in candidates. GMAT Club has interview debriefs of students for different schools. You can reach out to alums and ask them what a typical interview is.

 It is an excellent thing if you ask a question or two at the end of the interview because it shows your interest in the college. You should not ask anything random. If you are asking something very straightforward, then it is better not to ask. Do a little bit of effort or additional research and ask something different, and it will go a long way.

Poonam: I agree. Something different that is not already answered on the website. Alright, Mahesh, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It was a pleasure talking to you and assisting you with your application.  Good luck with your HKUST experience and continued success in your life and career.

Mahesh: Thank you so much, Ma'am. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all the help and for seeing me through this, for putting up with me for a lot of things, and for helping me structure thoughts for my best story and best foot forward. I don't think I would have gotten into the colleges that I wanted to with a scholarship without that one important piece of the puzzle, which is you. We finished the whole process on time. So thank you so much, ma'am. I hope we work again on something or the other; I want to keep in touch with you, ma'am. And I will maintain this relationship.

Poonam: I would love to stay in touch to know about your HKUST experience, and maybe we'll have another interview like this about your HKUST experience. It would be great.

Mahesh: Yes, sure, Ma'am.

Poonam: Thank you.

Mahesh: Thank you so much.

You can connect with Mahesh via LinkedIn.

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

You may email Poonam at with questions about your application for the 2021-22 admission cycle.

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