How I Obtained In: A Harvard, Stanford & Wharton Admit Tells All

Ipshita Agarwal applied to just 3 company faculties: Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford. She obtained acknowledged to all three. She tells Poets&Quants how she did it. Courtesy image

It is the most rarefied air in the MBA universe: admission to Harvard Small business University, the Wharton University at the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford Graduate School of Small business.

We never know how lots of applicants realize the H/S/W triple crown each yr, for the reason that the colleges do not converse with each other about admissions overlap, and they really do not report individual names of admits, leaving any publicity to the admits on their own. But the reality is that it simply cannot be quite many. Wharton’s acceptance amount for the Course of 2022 was a miserly 23%. Harvard’s was even reduced: 9.2%, down from current intakes. And even with opening its doors just a little bit wider, Stanford previous calendar year ongoing its streak of currently being the toughest B-college in the planet to get into, with an estimated confess price of just 8.9%.

Ipshita Agarwal does not have to think about how challenging it is to gain admission to even one of these systems, permit by itself all a few. She managed the feat, signing up for the very decide on club last yr before selecting to defer for a 12 months simply because of coronavirus. This drop Ipshita, a previous investment analyst who at the moment is effective for a San Francisco-based mostly credit history reporting startup, will be part of Stanford’s Class of 2023.

Applying TO ALL 3 IN Round 1

How did she do it? And why did she pick Stanford around the other two world-class systems? Ipshita talked with Poets&Quants from her house in New Delhi, India, as she ready to return to the U.S. to start her MBA journey in August.

“I took my GMAT a little later than I’m positive most applicants do,” she says. “I put in about a thirty day period on all my apps set collectively — a thirty day period to 40 days. And then I would say pretty much 80% of that time was expended on Stanford. And then I just reworked a great deal of my Stanford software material for Harvard, to be extremely truthful, simply because Stanford is super-overarching. They literally talk to you for almost everything in the world. And then Harvard and Wharton ended up like parallel with that, so I was capable to reuse and repurpose a good deal of the materials that I utilized for Stanford.

“I applied to all a few in round one particular in the 2019-2020 cycle, so I applied in 2019. But with Stanford, I was busy until the last working day. I was seeking to edit my essays. I was actually doubtful if it would cut it, simply because I read a lots of unique kinds of essays. And there was no actual formula with Stanford.”

Placing HER Greatest FOOT Ahead FOR STANFORD

Stanford was her aspiration college, and the place she usually intended to go if approved. “I realized that I would not want to go to any other university,” she states.

So why did she utilize to the other two colleges?

“Stanford was often my dream school, but which is the university I was the very least assured about, since they choose really number of learners from India each individual yr,” she claims. She is aware many colleagues from Shri Ram University of Commerce, where by she gained her undergraduate degree in commerce in 2015, fall short to get admission. “So I was super not-assured about Stanford, but that’s also the application that I expended the most time on, since I knew if I received in I would undoubtedly want to go there. With Harvard and Wharton, I was however much more confident than significantly less, because I’ve found persons from my undergrad go there.

“In Stanford, there was virtually no one who experienced long gone from my undergrad, besides for a person who just went in my past batch. So I consider with Harvard and Wharton I was extra anxious with placing my finest foot ahead, whereas with Stanford, I was like, ‘Even my very best foot ahead might not lower it, and I don’t genuinely know what they are looking for, but I hope this is what they’re on the lookout for.’”

What was the essential to unlocking Stanford? Talking to recent and former students, Ipshita claims.

“What seriously served with Stanford was basically inquiring present-day or ex-Stanford pupils to overview my essays, mainly because they truly understand what Stanford’s seeking for, and the good stability amongst authenticity and also becoming equipped to craft a story that’s powerful,” she states. Having a guide served also — to a stage. “Less to assistance you craft your story, and much more to just retain the ball rolling, and retain the earth spinning, and make confident that you’re not putting off every little thing until the final moment.”

DESTINED FOR Larger Instruction

Born into a middle-course Indian relatives, Ipshita realized from a very younger age that she would pursue bigger education, in India as properly as the United States. But there was not plenty of funds for her and her brother to review in the U.S. right until just after they’d completed their undergrad levels. She received her bachelor’s degree in India, then went to work: directing a nonprofit, functioning in ed-tech, functioning for foundations, and also doing work for an investment lender. “I left my banking position since I was really contemplating about how to generate a meaningful affect in line with my values and using my education and learning and ability established,” she suggests. “And took a pretty sizeable pay out lower to go after influence investing afterwards simply because that felt like the appropriate way to make huge-scale significant impact, leveraging the training, opportunities and skills that I experienced.”

For small business educational institutions, hers was an irresistible profile. Rajdeep Chimni, founder of Admissions Gateway, states Ipshita, with whom he worked on interview capabilities for the HBS job interview, has “an remarkable tutorial history she stood 1st at just one of the major colleges in the state and also has a excellent GMAT rating. In addition, persons doing work at NGOs or in progress consulting or impact investing have accomplished great do the job that has impacted men and women/communities. These ordeals make for private and compelling tales, and anyone needs to guidance men and women who are humane and determined to do fantastic.”

An MBA was usually aspect of the program, Ipshita suggests. But it wasn’t till she remaining the environment of investment banking, the place she put in two years as an analyst for Deutsche Bank, that the wish for an MBA crystallized.

“I come from a incredibly typical Indian middle-course loved ones, where by carrying out an MBA or accomplishing some sort of graduate training is the way we go upwards,” Ipshita suggests. “Mobility is reached by way of training. So it is practically established in stone for me, if you know what I imply. And it was constantly my parents’ dream for their little ones to go to the U.S., and to go to great educational facilities in the U.S., for their graduate schooling.

“If we experienced more dollars, we would have possibly absent to the U.S. for undergrad. But we didn’t. My brother and I resolved to do our undergrad in India and then help you save up and apply to graduate faculty in the U.S. So it is been a extensive time coming. But it is actually odd that I wanted to go when I give up my expenditure banking position, mainly because that is when I actually believed about what I want to do in existence — and that is when I genuinely started off imagining about company school a lot more critically, as opposed to it getting an summary strategy, someday in the foreseeable future.”

See the next page for a Q&A with Ipshita Agarwal, edited for length and clarity.

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