Kaplan Giveaway Finalists!

Thanks to everyone that submitted for the Kaplan GMAT course giveaway! We have three finalists in the running and the winner will be announced and contacted at the end of the day. But first, help us in congratulating these finalists! Read their individual stories below and write to them in the comments section.

  • Russell Singh
  • Victor Saad
  • Gelyn Watkins
Finalist: Russell Singh
Firstly I would like to thank you for giving this wonderful opportunity. Thank you!!
My name is Russell Singh and I am 25. I am a telecom consultant from India, helping the world’s leading telcom service providers and consulting cost-effective solutions for their Business support systems(BSS). I have close to 4 years of progressive work experience in the telecom industry, having collaborated with customers in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific region.
Well, it has been more than 1.5 years since I seriously started my endeavour to get into top MBA program. Though you might argue I have already spent good amount of time, I believe that my destination(admission into top global b-school) is getting closer and closer. Since I am targetting for September 2011 intake, I am planning to schedule my GMAT test date in late July or early August 2010. I have short-listed few b-schools of my choice on the basis of smaller class size, shorter program length and access to top global MBA recruiters. Location is not a constraint at all.
My interest in business and commercial aspects of the telecom sector has continued to develop as my career progressed as an engineer to a consultant in the telecom industry. I think that technical expertise from professional experience before MBA, combined with business insights that I will attain through an MBA program, will lay a powerful foundation to shape my future career. Because I want to broaden my consulting and negotiating skills, build wider professional network, improve my business acumen, obtain business knowledge, skills and a framework that I can apply directly, I must go to a business school.
With a strong academic background in engineering studies, I am well equipped to be fit for business management studies. Most of the MBA programs have core concentrations in quantitative subjects such as Finance, Economics, Calculus, Statistics and Accounting and b-schools would be delighted to have strong engineering students like me apply to their MBA program. Moreover, I can certainly add value and diversity to a global business school classroom, considering the profile that beong to. I will continue to add value during my study period and thereafter in my consulting job post-MBA. My academic qualification in engineerring and progressive experience that I have gained in the industry have helped me to understand the potential problems and issues at the ground level, while MBA education will complement me in understanding the same problems and issues with a different angle highlighting the impact at a larger level in terms of revenues(profits/losses) to my organization.
Needless to say, there are myriad opportunities in technology and management consulting that are opening up in organizations for management graduates. For example, a telecom operator or a communication service provider will always require consultants who can identify future hot trends in the telecom sector, understand its business needs and identify areas of profits. Customer satisfaction is the key. The more the customer is satisfied, the better the relationship and better the profits for either party giving a win-win situation. I believe that an MBA program will guide me to drive things better than the best, thus leveraging increased customer satisfaction. Of course, these skills can be gained without going to a business school, but that is likely to be the case at the expense of more time and more years of work experience. Time waits for no man! I want to learn all those skills in my MBA program itself so that I can jump back into the industry with better productivity and efficiency.I would love to continue working in telecom industry and will be taking business consulting position to start with, post-MBA.
My first GMAT attempt was in Jan 2009 and that was an horrrible attempt. I had not enrolled into any kind of prep course. I had just self studied for one month and still hoped to achieve my dream score of 7XX. I ended up scoring just 600(Q-47;V-25;AWA-4.5). Though once bitten and twice shy, I don’t think I am beaten by GMAT. I have retrospected my dismal performance in the first attempt and have come to conclusion that I am already a strong test taker but need an edge to do even better. I am confident that Kaplan’s Advanced level prep course is an ideal course for me as it will help me focus on the most difficult GMAT content. Moreover, I haven’t noticed any prep company other than Kaplan providing the most coveted and highly structured Advanced level prep course to an international candidate. Have you? ….Kaplan’s Advanced (Live Online) GMAT prep course is an obvious choice for me.
I have attended couple of the Kaplan’s GMAT Preview classes (Live online session) that were presented by Petros Minasi. I am fully convinced about faculty’s unmatched expertise that provides excellent guessing strategies, excellent short-cut methods (which are very very necessary for an 800 test taker) along with insightful advice and motivation. Kaplan is the industry leaer in GAMT prep. No where else I can get more caring, dynamic instructors who are overwhelmingly dedicated to make sure its students succeed. Along with a top-scoring instructor and high-scoring peers, I will be certainly pushed to achieve the best.
It has been now almost two months that I restarted my GMAT prep. Self study and self review has certainly helped me to identify my strenths and weaknesses but I am unable to fix my weaknesses in an efficient manner. I strongly beleive Kaplan’s prep course will help me to take control over my weak areas and further bolster my strong areas, thus filling in all the gaps required to break the 700 barrier. Kaplan’s course will help me build up the content compentency, test taking strategies and the stamina, that are very much required to beat the GMAT.
Thank you MBA Podcaster!!
Finalist: Victor Saad
I’m a dreamer. Cartoons and video games probably had some influence early on. Then it was good people who were far more influential than they may ever know. My parents were both born and raised in Cairo, which set me up for an interesting, cultural upbringing in the States. I graduated from a High School in Southwest Missouri, moved to the campus of Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago and pursued a degree to work with middle school and high school students. During my time in the city I worked at more jobs than I can list, put Fabien Barthez to shame on our soccer field, dabbled in class presidency, catalyzed several volunteer service projects, and caused trouble–lots of trouble.
Now, you’ll find me serving on the student team of Christ Community Church in the West Suburbs of Chicago. My role is to aid with the direction of weekly programs and annual events for a group of 700+ students and equip people in our community to become fantastic mentors. I also serve as an Assistant Creative Director (event planning, print design, marketing, managing social media, etc) and aid with the management & utilization of a 40,000 sq foot student building.
Also, this past March, I led a group of friends and young business professionals to begin our first non-profit venture entitled The Prop. The Prop takes the posture of seeing the good in and around our world. It then seeks to propagate the impact of those people and organizations by facilitating connection for greater good. Currently we’re working to connect artists and art-lovers with humanitarian organizations to raise awareness, resources, and increased engagement to solve significant problems. We are building our team, and preparing for our first events at the end of this summer while also pursuing a grant through Pepsi’s Refresh Everything campaign. Feel free to visit www.vimeo.com/theprop to see the picture of what we are trying to accomplish.
Why an MBA?
1.)Tools. Everything I currently know about business, I have learned through trial and error (lots of error). Though jumping in the deep end is a great way to learn how to swim, there are a few things that I believe a classroom setting would contribute that I am unable to efficiently learn on my own.
2.)Networks. I learn best in community. Asking questions, building relationships, and working alongside like-minded people would contribute greatly in my current pursuits and future endeavors.
3.)Becoming a valuable asset within the Non-profit world. It’s true, I want to change the world—not jut talk about it. There are amazing ideas, people, and organizations that are involved with changing the world for the better. A degree like this would give me the tools, networks, and credibility to work alongside senior leadership of such organizations and/or have the ability to start sustainable, scalable movements of change.
4.)The girls. Duh.
Possible Concentrations: Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Social Enterprise. Human Resources. International Business.
Application Process & Need for Kaplan?
I’ve been in contact with men and women whom I’d like to work with or work for and have taken their advice on next steps, which schools to attend, etc. More specifically, I have visited and attended a lecture at the University of Chicago and have met with alumni from Kellogg to discuss possible majors. I am now collecting references, revamping my resume, and pursuing best ways to study for the GMAT.
Since my time is split between a full time job and an exciting social entrepreneurship venture, a GMAT course like Kaplan would give me the focus and the skill sets needed to achieve a sufficient score on the GMAT. This would, in turn, pave the way to attend the caliber of school I’m pursuing.
As for the financial need, let’s just say that my Yacht payment is killing me. But seriously, the application process for business school is expensive, and since I work for a non-profit, I will already be exploring how to live life with the minimum amount of organs. This kind of generous offer would help me immensely during this phase of preparation.
Finalist: Gelyn Watkins
Almost two years ago, it occurred to me that I had been waiting for my life to begin. After spending over six
years working in the financial services industry and dedicating over six years of volunteer work with local nonprofits,
I realized that I wanted there to be little distance between my passions and my career. In June of 2008,
in the midst of a burgeoning recession, I decided to confront my fears and my ambitions, and I resigned from
my position as an Investment Analyst in order to pursue a career in community and economic development.
I expected the transition to economic development to be simple since I was a business professional with
extensive volunteer work and a quantitative background; however, I was wrong. I did not fully assess the
magnitude of the economic downtown. With many non-profits struggling to remain in operation due to
funding cuts, would be positions remained unfilled. Additionally, many non-profits focusing on economic
development were looking for candidates with either extensive experience or an MBA.
Inspired by the idea that people, once given needed resources and skills, can transform their lives and affect
positive change in the communities in which they live, I aim to use my background and skills to create a model
as to how we may build economically viable communities using economic and educational initiatives. The next
logical question: What might this look like? Should this be another non-profit model?
With various ways to address economic and community development, from venture philanthropy funds,
education, public policy to local economic initiatives (job skills training, micro-lending, affordable housing etc.),
I need to explore some of these ideas and look to current research in the private and social sector that may
support or provide direction in answering either of the above questions.
The best place to grapple with some of these questions and ideas is within a business school context. In
business school, I can leverage the school’s resources, professors, research centers and schools within the
university, coursework, real world projects, and peers, in trying to form the best strategy or model (idea, or
non-profit etc.) for building sustainable communities.
In the fall of 2008, I began my research on business schools while volunteering with two different community
development organizations. I have spent the past two years, attending business school fairs, interviewing
current MBA candidates and recent graduates, I have also identified my preferred schools and have begun
writing some of the essays. At this point, the only obstacle left is the GMAT.
In order for me to successfully conquer the GMAT and be eligible for any of the top MBA programs with a
concentration in non-profit management and social enterprise, I cannot rely on a self-directed study plan. The
chance to experience the Kaplan GMAT course would afford me a better opportunity to perform well on the
GMAT. Moreover, Kaplan is one of the premier test preparation companies with proven test strategies and a
long history of helping students achieve the results needed to gain entry into a business school of his or her

Speak Your Mind


Store | Follow us!
© 2018 MBA Podcaster. All Rights Reserved • Terms of ServiceContact