‘How I Received In’: A Harvard/Stanford/Wharton Admit Tells All

Ipshita Agarwal applied to just a few business enterprise educational institutions: Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford. She received accepted to all 3. She tells Poets&Quants how she did it. Courtesy picture

It’s the most rarefied air in the MBA universe: admission to Harvard Small business School, the Wharton Faculty at the College of Pennsylvania, and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

We do not know how many candidates obtain the H/S/W triple crown each individual calendar year, due to the fact the universities really do not communicate with just about every other about admissions overlap, and they do not report unique names of admits, leaving any publicity to the admits by themselves. But the reality is that it can not be quite lots of. Wharton’s acceptance level for the Class of 2022 was a miserly 23%. Harvard’s was even reduce: 9.2%, down from current intakes. And even with opening its doors just a little bit broader, Stanford previous 12 months ongoing its streak of currently being the hardest B-college in the environment to get into, with an believed admit amount of just 8.9%.

Ipshita Agarwal doesn’t have to consider how difficult it is to acquire admission to even 1 of these packages, let by itself all three. She managed the feat, joining the very decide on club past year in advance of selecting to defer for a year since of coronavirus. This drop Agarwal, a former financial commitment analyst who at this time operates for a San Francisco-based credit score reporting startup, will join Stanford’s Class of 2023.

Implementing TO ALL Three IN Spherical 1

How did she do it? And why did she decide on Stanford in excess of the other two planet-class plans? Agarwal talked with Poets&Quants from her property in New Delhi, India, as she organized to return to the U.S. to start out her MBA journey in August.

“I took my GMAT a very little afterwards than I’m certain most candidates do,” she says. “I invested about a month on all my apps set with each other — a month to 40 days. And then I would say almost 80% of that time was invested on Stanford. And then I just reworked a great deal of my Stanford application content for Harvard, to be very honest, simply because Stanford is super-overarching. They pretty much ask you for every thing in the entire world. And then Harvard and Wharton were like parallel with that, so I was equipped to reuse and repurpose a ton of the product that I utilized for Stanford.

“I applied to all a few in spherical a single in the 2019-2020 cycle, so I utilized in 2019. But with Stanford, I was fast paced till the last day. I was making an attempt to edit my essays. I was really uncertain if it would lower it, due to the fact I study a loads of distinctive kinds of essays. And there was no true method with Stanford.”

Putting HER Most effective FOOT Forward FOR STANFORD

Stanford was her dream university, and where she usually supposed to go if recognized. “I understood that I would not want to go to any other faculty,” she states.

So why did she use to the other two schools?

“Stanford was always my aspiration faculty, but which is the college I was the very least assured about, mainly because they get actually number of learners from India every year,” she claims. She appreciates a number of colleagues from Shri Ram Faculty of Commerce, where by she acquired her undergraduate degree in commerce in 2015, are unsuccessful to achieve admission. “So I was tremendous not-assured about Stanford, but that’s also the application that I expended the most time on, for the reason that I realized if I got in I would unquestionably want to go there. With Harvard and Wharton, I was nevertheless much more assured than much less, mainly because I have observed men and women from my undergrad go there.

“In Stanford, there was virtually nobody who had long gone from my undergrad, apart from for a person who just went in my previous batch. So I consider with Harvard and Wharton I was a lot more worried with placing my very best foot ahead, whilst with Stanford, I was like, ‘Even my ideal foot forward could not reduce it, and I really don’t genuinely know what they are seeking for, but I hope this is what they are seeking for.’”

What was the essential to unlocking Stanford? Speaking to recent and previous learners, Agarwal states.

“What definitely assisted with Stanford was truly asking present-day or ex-Stanford students to evaluation my essays, because they actually understand what Stanford’s seeking for, and the high-quality harmony concerning authenticity and also currently being equipped to craft a tale which is persuasive,” she says. Getting a expert aided as well — to a level. “Less to help you craft your story, and more to just continue to keep the ball rolling, and preserve the world spinning, and make positive that you’re not putting off every thing till the past minute.”

DESTINED FOR Increased Training

Born into a middle-course Indian spouse and children, Agarwal understood from a extremely youthful age that she would pursue bigger education and learning, in India as perfectly as the United States. But there was not sufficient income for her and her brother to study in the U.S. right until following they’d finished their undergrad diploma. So she received her bachelor’s diploma in India, then commenced assembling function encounters that would stand out in an MBA application: directing a nonprofit, doing work in ed-tech, performing for foundations, but also working for an investment decision bank.

It all added up to an irresistible profile. Rajdeep Chimni, founder of Admissions Gateway, claims Agarwal, with whom he labored on interview competencies for the HBS interview, has “an excellent educational history she stood to start with at 1 of the prime colleges in the region and also has a good GMAT score. What’s more, individuals doing the job at NGOs or in enhancement consulting or impact investing have carried out great get the job done that has impacted persons/communities. These kinds of experiences make for personalized and persuasive stories, and every person needs to help people today who are humane and determined to do very good.”

An MBA was often part of the prepare, Agarwal claims. But it wasn’tt right until she remaining the environment of financial commitment banking, the place she put in two years as an analyst for Deutsche Lender, that the drive for an MBA crystallized.

“I come from a incredibly normal Indian center-class relatives, in which accomplishing an MBA or executing some sort of graduate training is the way we go upwards,” Agarwal claims. “Mobility is realized by means of education. So it’s just about set in stone for me, if you know what I necessarily mean. And it was constantly my parents’ dream for their young ones to go to the U.S., and to go to great educational institutions in the U.S., for their graduate education.

“If we had extra funds, we would have possibly absent to the U.S. for undergrad. But we did not. My brother and I made a decision to do our undergrad in India and then conserve up and implement to graduate faculty in the U.S. So it is been a prolonged time coming. But it is really odd that I wished to go when I quit my investment banking position, because which is when I definitely believed about what I want to do in everyday living — and which is when I truly begun pondering about organization school much more critically, as opposed to it becoming an summary strategy, sometime in the foreseeable future.”

See the upcoming web site for a Q&A with Ipshita Agarwal, edited for length and clarity.

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