Student Speak 4 - Hemalatha’s Story from the Technical Domain to an MBA in the United States

Student Speak 4 - Hemalatha’s Story from the Technical Domain to an MBA in the United States

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This story tells How Hemalatha went from working in a government enterprise (HAL) to Rochester Institute of Technology - Saunders College of Business. The way she managed the whole application process and took smart financial decisions to get into one of the top business schools in the United States.


Yogender Panchal

Updated on: 05 Sep 2023

We invite all our customers to a short interview, and a few of them are kind enough to oblige. This is fourth in the series of such interviews. 

By the time, her story gets published, Hemalatha must be getting ready to attend the graduation ceremony with her parents. Here are edited excerpts from her journey's story of pursuing an MBA in the US.


1. What were you doing before you decided to study abroad?

Before making the decision of studying abroad I worked at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), my undergraduate degree was in Electronics and Communication Engineering, and I joined HAL as a Management Trainee and then worked in the Avionics related field. After a few years to enable further career growth, I decided to pursue a Master's program in the United States.


2. What motivated you to pursue your course abroad?

My brother did his MBA in the United States, and I had a couple of friends who did their Masters in the US, and I too have always wanted to study in the US. So, ample opportunities were the primary motivation..


3. How did you shortlist colleges for applying?

Since I had worked in the Government sector, I wasn't allowed to take up any exams while I was in the service. So, I had to resign from my job, and only then could I take up GMAT and TOEFL, due to these constraints I had just three months (Apr-Jun) which reduced the number of colleges I could apply, drastically. So, my primary criteria were Universities that were accepting applications from international students during this time period. However, I received much help from my brother and my friend who lives in the US; both of them have helped me in the selection process by getting in touch with the Universities and reached out to students and advisors to understand the courses offered, scholarships offered and international student population and the career paths after the MBA.


4. Is there anything you wish you knew when you were applying?

Since I knew people here and received a considerable amount of help with the background work required to select universities and programs, I did not face many difficulties during this process. However, in hindsight, I wish I had known that the loan from SBI would be a huge issue and the bank although initially agrees to the point that they will enhance the loan amount during the second year but in actuality, they didn’t do anything and that led to many issues.


5. Which services (online / education consultants/networks) did you use at different stages during your application process?

I got in touch with GyanDhan to help me process my loan application since my bank was taking a very long time for every activity. GyanDhan helped me reach out to the concerned officers and helped me with expediting the process. But, SBI had several process delays and involved much running around to so many different offices; the loan process takes a toll on you! This whole process went very bad for me, and I could not start my program on time and had to defer my program by a year.

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6. How was your experience at your university? Will you recommend this course to your juniors?

The experience has been incredible. My program at Rochester Institute of Technology has a robust presence of international students, and the diversity is celebrated. You get to meet students from all over the world and can learn so much from them. Getting to know the cultures of so many people helps you to improve your cultural intelligence, and your perspectives change for the better. The program is excellent and is one of the top-ranked. RIT is known for its immense technical expertise, and all programs are designed to help students be on top with the knowledge of the best. The MBA program has courses in technology and management information systems which are the required skills in business managers. I would recommend the course for anyone who is from a technical background and wants to do an MBA. Besides, the MBA in Finance and Accounting are also one of the most sought-after courses.


7. Have you finished your course? If so, what is your next pursuit?

My course will end in May 2019. I'm looking for opportunities to work here in the United States.


8. What advice can you offer to your juniors to improve their chances of finding the internship/job of their choice?

I'm still trying to find a job so at this point of time all I would say is keep trying and networking. The sponsorship has become a very prevalent issue, and most of the students are finding it very tough more so students in courses that do not come under STEM. However, all hope is not lost, so you must keep trying!


9. What do you miss most about India?

My Family and home cooked food!


10. Are you open to juniors reaching out to you for advice? Which areas can you help them out?

Yes, I'd be happy to help! I can help them in the application process to Universities and generic international student queries.


11. How was your overall experience at GyanDhan? Did you face any problem during the loan application, and if so, how GyanDhan assisted in redressing the issue?

My experience with Gyandhan has been very positive and will recommend students to be referred for loans through you; I faced many hurdles during the process, and midway heard about Gyandhan and reached out. Having your representatives reach out to the bank expedited the whole process.


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12. Would you recommend us to your juniors for education loans? If yes, then why?

Yes, I would recommend students to go through you to take loans especially students like me who depend completely on education loans for abroad studies.


13. Having experienced the whole process yourself, would you like to add anything else or give a piece of advice for future students?

Based on my personal experience, I would recommend that students should start the loan process very early so that the delays do not affect admissions. Besides, on a personal note, I would strongly recommend students to try for such financial institutions that pay heed to your urgent needs.

You can get in touch with Hemalatha through her LinkedIn Profile .

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