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Starting out at business school: QS MBA Scholarship winner

Karan RaoKaran Rau, NUS Business School’s MBA class of 2013
For QS MBA Scholarship winner Karan Rau, international experience was a big draw in applying for his MBA at NUS Business School in Singapore.

However, hailing from India meant the financial investment for the program was inflated in real-terms due to disadvantageous variations between the two economies.

“Going to study abroad to certain countries such as Singapore and the US, the currency is very high value, so it becomes a major difficulty,” Rau explains. “Financial relief, such as MBA scholarships play a very important role, particularly for Indian students.”

Part-funding business school through MBA scholarships

In the end, Rau met the financial requirements of his program through a mix of funding – the QS MBA Scholarship, a further one from NUS Business School, his own savings, financial help from his family, and a loan.
Rau places his success while applying for MBA scholarships down to a great deal of hard work during his application. For the GMAT in particular, the result of three months of study paid off in an enviable score of 740.

However, Rau’s essays proved more troublesome.

“I think this was probably the most difficult part of the application process,” he says, “even more than the GMAT.

“At good business schools abroad, I think writing good essays is of paramount importance. It’s very important to dig down deep and get to know what your achievements are, what your strong points are, what your weak points are, before going and writing the first draft of an essay, then going through 10-20 edits of that particular essay.

“So, it’s pretty hard work!”

An MBA as a catalyst for career change

But it was hard work that paid off, as Rau is now several months into his MBA at NUS. He aims to use his time at business school to build upon his previous consultancy experience, perhaps entering a different field of expertise.

“Before business school, I was mainly in consulting,” he explains. “I worked briefly with a pharmaceutical logistics company, which was involved with sending pharmaceutical chemicals for brands in Europe and Latin America from India and China.

“After that, I focused on consulting. I primarily worked with an Indian company, Tata Consultancy Services.

“I was involved whenever a client needed some technical expertise and solutions for their problems, that’s where I came into the picture and really worked on the technical solutions that the clients needed.”
Looking to the future, Rau aims to return to work at his former employer Tata Consultancy Services.

“I’d be delighted if I eventually become a CEO of a company, but that probably would be a very distant prospect. In the short-term I’d be very happy if I could reach the management level of the company I’m working for, especially in a strategy roll.”

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