Taj had a pretty disjointed career. As a reapplicant we already knew this probably didn’t make a lot of sense to an admissions committee.
From a graduate degree in environmental engineering in the US to a consulting job, returning to India to start a garbage business that failed, back to a technology company in the US and then back to consulting created a very serious question of where he would be able to land post MBA. Without a concrete pre MBA career path, articulating a clear post MBA plan would be equally difficult.
Taj was a reapplicant so we knew that we had a couple of possible strategies we could employ. We either needed stick to his original story, showing how his application improved but that he was on the same path OR we could rebrand him entirely. We would essentially argue that over the last year the world came into complete focus for Taj and he now understood his place in the world, and the role business school played in that path. We knew he had to maintain authentic so we were torn between the two options.
The Admissionado Approach
Ultimately we settled on a strategy that required a complete rebranding, where we would seek to make sense of complex and disjointed career path. We knew this was a big risk but we also knew that the ADCOM had already dinged him once without an interview. It was clear that they had a hard time making sense of his past and how business school could contribute to ill defined post MBA goals. We decided to focus less on explaining away his previous years application and focus this time on the skills and vision he developed in the past and the what and why of what he wanted to do in the future. We had to be very careful not to just attempt to reinvent Taj. Instead we wanted to “set the record straight”. We helped the ADCOM see his decision making process, why he took different roles, and what he learned along the way. Our focus became his growth rather than, what may have been perceived as indecision and wandering. We focused on letting the ADCOM see what Taj would be like post MBA with their MBA attached to his name. This was really important. It forced them away from his past and forced them to consider his future.
Taj is now at the Haas School of Business with a 60k scholarship. He spent his summer managing a project for Microsoft.
I’ve never never worked with a kid as humble and genuine and Taj. Watch out for this guy cuz he’s gonna be on the short list for best innovation that made the planet a much better place to live!