I connected with Siddharth Mehrotra at an event earlier this year where we were part of a panel discussion on MBA admissions. I liked his friendly nature and candid insights. When I reached out to him a few weeks back about writing a blog article on his Schulich MBA journey, he was kind to agree.
In this article, Siddharth talks about his decision to pursue an MBA after a 9-year career in India, why he chose the Schulich MBA, how he approached his application journey towards Schulich, tips for MBA applicants, and insights on Canada as a geography for international students.
Siddharth now works in Coursera as their B2C Category Head based out of India. Prior to this stint, he worked at the Coursera team in Canada.
Over to Siddharth.
Introduction & The Decision to Pursue an MBA
After working for 9 years in sales and marketing roles with leading companies (Asian Paints and Godrej) in India, I was ready for a new challenge.
I wanted to gain exposure to international markets and build a global perspective, and I was also interested in pivoting into the tech industry. I realized that an MBA from a reputed global brand would help me achieve both of these goals.
A global MBA program would further allow me to interact with a diverse cohort of students and learn about different cultures and business practices. It also would give me the opportunity to network with potential employers in the tech industry.
Finally, I was drawn to the research conducted by the professors of the top business schools. This research is a great medium to gain access to the latest insights and global best practices in business, which are invaluable in today’s competitive global economy.
Why I chose the Schulich MBA
I applied to the MBA programs at IMD in Switzerland, HEC Paris, and Schulich School of Business. As I was interested in continuing in marketing and working in international markets, Schulich seemed like the best fit for me.
Schulich is ranked as the number #1 b-school in Canada and among the top 25 b-schools globally for marketing. It has one of the top Consumer Marketing departments in the world, which was an important criteria for me because I wanted to specialize in marketing.
I also liked that the Schulich MBA program was very flexible. Students can choose to change the duration of the program, switch from part-time to full-time, and select from a wide variety of cutting-edge courses from different specializations. This flexibility was important to me because I wanted to be able to tailor the program to my specific needs and goals.
Another striking aspect of the Schulich MBA program was the experiential learning opportunities. The program offers a two-term strategic consulting project, which gives students the chance to work with clients to solve real-world business problems. This format of experiential learning is essential for getting hands-on experience i.e. implementing the skills learnt during the MBA program.
Finally, Canada’s immigrant-friendly policies also were an important factor for me considering Schulich. After graduating from the program, students can work in Canada for up to three years with a post-graduate work permit. This gives the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and make connections in the Canadian business community.
Application Journey towards Schulich
I took a structured approach to applying to Schulich, which helped me prepare for all the stages of the process and build my application profile in an impactful way.
Here are the key steps I followed:
School Research: I did a lot of research on the Schulich MBA program to make sure it was a good fit for me. I looked at the courses offered, the industry partnerships, and the faculty expertise. I also wanted to make sure that the program would help me achieve my career goals.
Alumni Networking: I connected with Schulich alumni on LinkedIn to get their insights on the program. This was helpful in understanding the program from a student’s perspective and learning about the minor details that I might not have found on the website.
Connecting with the admissions team: I also reached out to the admissions team to get a better understanding of the application process and ask any questions I had. This was helpful in making sure that I was submitting a complete and thoughtful application.
The most important thing I learned throughout the application process is that doing your research is essential. The more you know about the program, the better you can articulate why you are a good fit. This will make your application stand out to the admissions team.
Here are some tips for Schulich applicants:
- Do your research and make sure the program is a good fit for you.
- Network with Schulich alumni to get their insights on the program.
- Connect with the admissions team to get a better understanding of the application process.
- Be clear about your career goals and how the Schulich MBA program can help you achieve them.
- Write thoughtful and engaging essays that showcase your personality and why you would be a good addition to the Schulich community.
Canada as a Target Geography for International Candidates
Canada is a great option for international students who are looking for an immigrant-friendly country with a lower cost of living than the US or Europe.
After completing an MBA in Canada, students are eligible to apply for a post-graduate work permit, which allows them to stay and work in Canada for up to three years. This can be a great way to gain valuable international work experience.
The cost of MBA programs in Canada is also lower than in the US or Europe. Schulich’s program cost is about $120K (Canadian Dollars) for internationals. This can make it a more affordable option for students who are looking to get their MBA without taking on a lot of debt.
Another advantage of studying in Canada is that many of the same organizations operate in both the Canadian and US markets. This means, after working a couple of years in Canada, one can also explore the opportunity to relocate to the US.
Finally, Canada is a multicultural country with a diverse population. This can be a great experience for students who are looking to learn about different cultures and meet people from all over the world.
Here are some other factors to consider when applying to an MBA program in Canada:
- The specific MBA program you are interested in. There are many different MBA programs offered in Canada, so it is important to do your research and choose the program that is the best fit for you.
- The location of the MBA program. Canada is a large country with a variety of different cities and cultures. Consider where you would like to live and work after graduation when choosing an MBA program.
- The cost of living. The cost of living in Canada varies depending on the city. Be sure to factor in the cost of living when budgeting for your MBA education. For reference, per-term (1 term = 4-months) living expenses in Toronto is ~$9K (Canadian Dollars).
- The immigration process. The immigration process can be complex, so it is important to start the process early.
I’d be happy to connect with applicants if there is anything I can help with. Feel free to approach me through admitStreet.
This article is part of bridgeStreet, an initiative by admitStreet to connect with the global B-school community.