Telecommunication engineering graduate from the German University in Cairo, Egypt, Hatem Ahmed thought that applying for the analytical skills in IT sector would be enough. However, he then got involved into politics, which helped him in refining teamwork skills.
Ahmed then decided to boost his career by taking up the MBA course from any of the elite business school.
INSEAD, offering 10-month program based in Fontainebleau, France, had its campuses in Singapore and Abu Dhabi. However, the major hurdle he had to overcome is clearing Graduate Management Admission Test.
An important question here arise is, does GMAT score still matters? Well, the answer is yes, especially in elite business schools.
However, the pandemic this year changed this situation. At INSEAD, Europe’s top business school has the highest GMAT average in 2019 with 706 average. In INSEAD’S new class majority of aspirants submitted GMAT scored between 710 and 750.
However, with the pandemic effecting the global education scenario, the standardized test score of GMAT was brought down- admitting applicants even with the low score as 600 and under.
Virgine Fougea, global director of admissions and financial aid for degree programs at INSEAD said, “We had to make conditional offers before some took the test and gave it to us. Some people were surprised by their results.
The GMAT online solution was not as easy as they thought it would be or for what they had prepped for. We saw results that were lower than expected, so we had to ask some people to retake the exam.
We saw lower scores, so we went down below 600, which is rare for us because we saw that for people it was difficult for them.”
Power of setting Goals
Ahmed, after completing graduation from Cairo’s German University in 2012, worked for two years in an IT company, which taught him both technology and business. Throughout the work, he enjoyed the business side and started looking for the job that allowed him to present his business skills.
He joined Uber as a business analyst in Cairo. Later, he transitioned himself into the business planning team at Uber’s Netherlands headquarter.
He worked with a team in Amsterdam for six months, before the layoff due to the pandemic.
Throughout this time, he kept writing his goals, and the top of the list was getting an MBA done from a reputed business school.
A Positive Start
INSEAD did not reveal its acceptance rate for the intake of MBAs, but admission consultant believe that the institute has brought down it is admit rate to 20% from 30%.
INSEAD showed empathy towards student’s scores due to pandemic and pushed its GMAT deadline back by the month.
Many people said Ahmed that he will at least need 6 months to study. Since, he was not working full-time; he was determined to complete his preparation within a month.
He said, ““I worked with an admissions team, because I didn’t have any time to waste. They were sceptical at first that I would be accepted, but I wanted to take my chances and see if I could make it happen. They worked really hard with me multiple times each week on how to showcase my best stories, preparing me for the interviews, and more.”
Ahmed when received his GMAT score, he was quite discouraged. He scored less, then that was accepted in INSEAD. He then applied again, banking on his essays and work experience.
He was thrilled to get positive words from INSEAD, which accepted his application. He stressed that, in this unprecedented times, staying positive is what matters. Being optimistic is the way to reach your goal.
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