Anand Dugad will be joining Georgia institute of technology for his masters in Electronics and Electrical Engineering.
DoJMA: How did you opt for pursuing an MS, in the face of the multitude of options available such as MBA, the GATE or any other choice? At what stage of your undergraduate study did you decide on doing an MS?
AD: I was always interested in Electronics as I had taken the vocational subject of Electronics during junior college. The CDCs from second year onwards acted like catalysts in making me love Electronics even more. Hence I was sure that I wanted to pursue a career in core Electronics and so MBA was out of the equation. The decision that I had to make was whether I wanted to pursue my masters immediately after college or take some industrial experience first. I decided on the former cause I don’t think I’d be able to return to education after a two-year long break. I wanted to get it all done in one go. Hence I never applied for placements as I was sure I wanted to pursue Masters
DoJMA: Which branch will you be graduating in from this University?
AD: I will be doing my Masters in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
DoJMA: Which universities did you apply to and from which universities did you receive admits?
AD: I got admits from Georgia institute of technology, University of Michigan, University of California, San Diego and University of Southern California. I also applied to Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles and University of Texas, Austin
DoJMA: What was the thought process while shortlisting universities for the purpose of sending your application?
AD: For shortlisting universities, I first spoke to various seniors and got their suggestions about various universities. I compared my profile with profiles of previous admits and rejects and thus classified universities into Ambitious, Moderate and Safe. After that I visited the website of each University and compared the courses, the ongoing research, the available facilities, the overall department ranking, the faculty and thus reduced my list to 8 universities. I had the following distribution while applying: 4 ambitious, 2 moderate and 2 safe
DoJMA: Which factors did you consider while choosing Georgia institute of technology from universities that you got admits from?
AD: I had already decided my preference list before getting the admits. It depended on overall department ranking, the cost of attending the University, the available research in the field where I’m applying to, the offered courses, the atmosphere etc.
DoJMA: How did you build your profile to suit the requirements of the university? What were the strong points of your SOP, in your opinion, and what was your CGPA before applying?
AD: My CGPA while applying was 9.13. The strong points on my SOP according to me were:
- PS1 and PS2 in top notch Electronics institutions
- Leadership experiences, Social Service, Teaching Assistant
- The water display which ERC (Electronics and Robotics club) displayed during Quark 2017
And overall the flow of my SOP was good as I had taken professional help. More or less there is not much difference in the required profiles for the US universities. All of them consider your CGPA, research experience, industrial experience, LOR, SOP, GRE and TOEFL scores, social services etc.
DoJMA: How will you rank each of these, in increasing order of importance, for an admit to a coveted university: a) CGPA, b) GRE score, c) TOEFL score, d) LOR, e) SOP, f) projects and research work, g) extracurricular involvement such as a POR, h) good fortune
AD: The actual ranking is not known to anyone. We can just make a guess and hence everyone’s answer might differ.
CGPA = good fortune > LOR > projects and research work > SOP > extracurricular > GRE > TOEFL
DoJMA: How did you receive the required guidance for GRE and TOEFL? When did you write each of these exams? Which sources did you use for the preparation of these exams?
AD: For GRE Preparation I had joined a local coaching class (in Pune) after my 3-1. I used the material provided by them. I wrote my GRE on 13th June and repeated it on 6th July. I gave TOEFL on 25th June. For GRE apart from my class notes I used the ETS mocks, Ready4GRE and Magoosh. For TOEFL I watched videos from Notefull on YouTube
DoJMA: How did you get the necessary recommendations from the professors involved in your LORs?
AD: I spoke to my recommenders from college in 3-2 itself. And I spoke to my mentor in TI in October.
DoJMA: Did you factor in funding while applying to universities?
AD: No I didn’t look for funding while applying. However, that is an important factor to consider while choosing from admits.
DoJMA: How did you arrange for accommodation near your university?
AD: I spoke to people at Georgia Tech. The BITS alumni network is awesome. It is one huge family which helps each other out. Finding an accommodation would not be a problem at all
DoJMA: Any message that you would like to pass on to the readers?
AD: I know that the process is tedious, but the results are amazing. Try to be as organized as possible while sending the applications. If possible form a group of 2-3 people who help each other out with the process. It worked wonders for us. Consider them as your friends and not competitors. All the best