The world around us is changing rapidly – making academic and Career Planning a challenging process

If you are planning to pursue your Undergraduate or Post Graduate studies abroad – you just added a few extra elements of complexity to the process.

We have put together an end to end solution – that will assuredly address all your concerns.

Whether you choose an individual service or the complete bouquet – you can rely on us for excellence.

Speak to our advisers today and find out more.


Our Blog

Read our blogs to get relevant career advice and information

Using Google as your counsellor – seriously!

Do you remember a day when you did not google for information? If you did that, it must have been an unusual day for you. All information you could ask for is at your fingertips, the world is at your doorstep including an ice cream at 3am in the morning. That is the world we live in.

Hence coming back to researching for college admission information, undoubtedly you will find abundance of information. And possibly too much information that is difficult to peruse and process. Now information can be of two kinds – opinions and facts. When a college website states that the lowest GMAT score of a successful candidate for the last session was 710, that is a fact. But when someone states that that college is ranked 45th, that is not exactly a fact but an opinion of some organization based on many facts and figures compiled by them. Ideally one should know the reputation of the organization doing the ranking, what objective criteria have been used to arrive at the ranking and do they also match your criteria of what defines for you a good college.

Second, when we are reading about a college, its academic excellence, great community life and placement prospects, beware that outside of the official college website, most of these are opinions of the author. Does that mean the creator of the content is an authority on the subject? Is the site hosting such information unbiased? What is the objective of the host site?

As someone eloquently said, “Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but everyone is not entitled to their own facts”. The world had its first massive encounter with “Fake News” in the 2016 presidential election in the USA. Unfortunately for the users, the net is full of information which is sometimes partly true, sometimes false, put up with the intention to influence the audience to align to the interest of the host or the content creator. And neither the worldwide web organization or Google or any other search engine is responsible for checking the authenticity of the information.  

It is quite natural that you as a student will look for college admission related information on the net using google or other search engines. But since it is not the best Mexican restaurant in your neighbourhood that you are searching for, but a matter of far greater import, you will need to exercise caution. For example, if you are feeling unwell and concerned, ever typed a symptom of sickness in one of those medical websites. If you did, sometimes you will find the information educative and sometimes scary. So of course, we do not jump to conclusions based on that information and instead go consult a doctor. Why - because you are not shopping for Burritos and Tacos!

Now just like the doctor, college admission too can be a specialist job, especially if we are talking about applying to study abroad. Perusing and analysing terabytes of information from and regarding 100s of colleges itself can be daunting. Making a shortlist of where to apply, writing your SOPs, preparing your LORs, interviews, networking with the college and alumni, requires a lot of attention and skill.  Not to mention, you must do it all in time to meet the application deadlines. Be sure that you are confident of managing it all by yourself. Otherwise find a counsellor who has your best interest in his/her heart, has had enough experience of successfully guiding students in the past and gives you the time and attention you deserve.

 Hope you found the information useful. You can speak to us for more details.


Santanu Choudhury, Founder Director of Lesli India Education (P) Ltd., and an alum of IIT Kharagpur and IIM Ahmedabad.

View Details

Is It Always Better to Apply in Round 1 for Your MBA/MiM?

It is that time of the year again, when aspiring management students will be burning the midnight oil to prepare the best application to enter their dream school. But how relevant is the question of which round of application you should apply to? Applying in Round 1 seems to have some definite advantages.

Diversity counts

Let us take a step back and understand how the Admission Committee decides on selecting a student. It is not running an algorithm to select the one with high GMAT score, GPA and great work experience. They are also looking at achieving a diverse class that caters to rich interaction among the class and to the school's broad recruiting portfolio. Hence, the admission committee reasonably speaking would have an ideal diversity mix and some approximate number within each cohort group that makes up the class.

Whichever cohort group you belong to, in Round 1 all the probable slots are empty and if you meet the minimum benchmark for the other admission criteria, your chances of an admission in Round 1 is higher than in Round 2 considering some or many of the slots for your cohort group may have filled up. Hence, if you belong to an overrepresented cohort group of say, Indian male with IT background, your chances in Round 1 would be better than that of Round 2.

Scholarship opportunities

Every school will have funds to be given out as scholarships for each season. So, if you are valued as a ‘good’ or ‘ideal fit’ for the school’s program there are higher chances of the admissions committee making the best scholarship offer in Round 1. If therefore, you have an admission with scholarship in mid-December, when Round 1 admittances are usually expected, you have further time to negotiate for a higher amount of scholarship. The only word of caution is to know how much to negotiate and when to stop such efforts.

Be judicious about choosing to apply for Early Decision (ED)

In many schools, the Round 1 application may also have an additional ED deadline. Agreeing for ED can enhance your chances of admission as the b-school can be sure of you joining. However, ED means you will have to withdraw your application from all other schools or other schools will not consider your candidacy. Hence, apply for ED only to the school which is your number one choice, and you will not regret being admitted to any other school.

These are good reasons to believe that Round 1 holds better prospects of admission for the same candidate vis-à-vis the later rounds. This, however, should not make you rush through your application preparation just to make it to Round 1. One must put in the best application with the best GMAT score. If you do not belong to an overrepresented group of cohorts and there is some uniqueness to your profile, you may do as well in any round of application.

On the other hand, if you do not have enough time to cover your ground adequately, you should consider applying during Round 2 or beyond. In that scenario, consider how you can improve your application with better work credentials such as job promotion or improving your GMAT score.

Why Are Round 1 MBA Applications Usually Preferred?

To understand this, you must first understand how the MBA admissions process works. Business schools are not just crunching the numbers and selecting the students with the best GMAT scores, GPA and highest current compensation.  Among other problems, this could bring in a group of students who would all compete for the same very narrow set of jobs, and lead to group thinking in classroom discussions.

Instead, MBA admissions committees are building a mix of students from diverse backgrounds because that produces the most exciting classroom environment and balances the students across the different career paths represented in the school’s recruiting portfolio.

This means that an MBA program will admit only a certain number of applicants from each cohort.  Although an admissions office may not define cohorts and quotas formally, they will always balance the class to include a mix of men and women, different regional backgrounds, different industries and roles, and more.

Thus, an admissions officer is really considering two questions when they evaluate your application:

  1. Are you qualified to attend the school?
  2. Have they already admitted enough candidates with profiles that are similar to yours?

If so, they may need to admit other profiles to balance the class.

When you apply in Round 1, they haven’t admitted anyone yet, so there’s zero risk of being rejected because they’ve already admitted other applicants from your cohort. Furthermore, 100% of the year’s scholarship budget is still available, which means that the chances of winning a scholarship are also higher.

If you are well-prepared to submit in Round 1, you should do so. Besides the reasons discussed here, business schools also have more flexibility to admit students with lower GMAT scores (because there’s still an opportunity in later rounds to admit students with higher GMAT scores to balance things out).

If you are from an over-represented category, one where business schools will see many well-qualified individuals in the applicant pool – e.g., Indian men in the tech industry – it is especially important to submit your applications in Round 1 of the year you apply.

Can’t business schools correct for this because they “know” who is going to apply in each round?

Sort of.  Business schools have a lot of historical data about the quantity and quality of applications they can expect to receive in each round.  But, as they say in the finance industry, past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Many things can happen that might impact the volume or quality of applications to a school, and the likelihood of admitted students enrolling.  For example:

  •  - Riots and demonstrations in Charlottesville caused big disruptions to the volume and quality of applications at UVA Darden.
  •  - MBA rankings are often released in the spring, and a lower ranking could hurt a school’s ability to convert admits into enrolments.  Better to lock down those enrolments and deposits early.


Thus, MBA programs would usually prefer to accept a great applicant in Round 1 rather than waiting and hoping that an incrementally better applicant might show up in Round 2, even if historical data shows that it’s possible.


Santanu Choudhury, Founder Director of Lesli India Education (P) Ltd., and an alum of IIT Kharagpur and IIM Ahmedabad.

This article was originally published for GMAC on

View Details

If you want to do an MBA – is online a good option?

The educational landscape over the past few years have transformed dramatically with availability of myriad online courses on virtually every conceivable subject. While they have been hosted most notably on the MOOC platforms of Udemy and Coursera, the contents for most courses  have been created by highly acclaimed professors from reputed universities around the world. These courses have been very popular with students and professionals alike owing to their excellent quality and high affordability. But possibly the most important feature of this online mode of learning has been the convenience it offers to a student to learn a subject of his choice at his suitable time and pace. The social distancing norm forced upon the world by Covid pandemic, naturally fired up demand for this method of learning. But it also did much more. As universities and schools shut their physical classrooms and conducted classes online, there came about a significant shift in perception of online education. From clearly being supplementary form of learning, possibility of it being the primary learning mode became real. Technology companies too contributed by making available better and more robust platforms closing the gap between physical and virtual learning environment. A debate that began since last 5-7 years about sustainability of high tuition fees charged by the top US universities, and a fall in the number of applications being a harbinger of change surely for the US education system, suddenly found new steam. 

Naturally most of the universities and business schools have embraced this change and began introducing many more programs in the online mode including their coveted MBA program. To be sure therefore, an online MBA or Masters’ program is not necessarily a reduced version of the usual offline program offered by the same university. It will be the same quality and rigor of the content offered by the same professors teaching in those respective universities. Many universities also indicate just MBA degree in their certificate without mentioning that it was undertaken on online mode. Yet an online Masters’ degree is far cheaper than its offline version offered by the same university. 

An online program offers a student huge flexibility in viewing the lectures at their suitable time, network and undertake projects with their peers online as per their convenience. Hence a working professional can undertake such a program and manage to accommodate the required time for the coursework within his daily or weekly schedule without having to compromise on the job responsibilities. No challenges of relocating to another country or city, upsetting your personal life, and inconveniencing your family. 

Now-a-days, many universities also offer synchronous (fixed academic schedule) and asynchronous (flexible timeline for semesters, tests, assignments, submissions etc) schedules. To add to that, given the advantage of online mode, the university can select a class from diverse nationalities and culture thereby allowing the students to experience multicultural immersive experience from the comfort of their home.

Since, the education is delivered directly to the student’s computer, the online programs are equipped with cutting edge business technology. Hence these programs offer a hidden benefit to a student by way of getting one familiarized and even expert in use of technology in business environment. This can prove to be boon to those shy of adopting technology! 

With so many advantages ascribable to it, are there also some limitations to an online MBA program. A big part of the masters’ program such as an MBA is the peer-to-peer learning that takes place through discussions and debates both inside and outside the classroom and many collaborative project activities that pools the diverse ideas and views of a different groups of students. These activities enable distillation and dissection of a given theory or principle from multiple angles. So, a class comprising of highly passionate and intelligent students coming with their unique experience and expertise elevates and enriches the learning process far beyond the lecture delivered by a professor. This becomes a limitation with an online program.

To compensate, many universities offer short (4-8 weeks) campus-based residency capsule embedded in the program which gives the class at least to some extent peer-to-peer learning opportunities and networking. 

A critical question that arises is how one’s current or future prospective employees would view an online MBA degree. The views of students and employers alike, are mixed on this. 

Therefore, barring the limitation of peer-to-peer interactions in a campus setting, the quality of an online MBA program would pretty much be like that of its offline version. It would then be left to an individual student to extract the best out of a program. One can be a part of online peer groups, share ideas and views and create opportunities for undertaking relevant project work to consolidate those learning. Outcome of these additional efforts can potentially make substantial difference in the level of learning. How therefore an employer (current or prospective) value this degree would depend on to what extent one has been able to imbibe this education through one’s own initiative and efforts beyond just the university completion criteria.


Santanu Choudhury, Founder Director of Lesli India Education (P) Ltd., and an alum of IIT Kharagpur and IIM Ahmedabad.

View Details