Interview with Mehul Bhandari - The Lisbon MBA International Student

F1GMAT: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your motivation to do an MBA?
Mehul (The Lisbon MBA International): With a Corporate Telecom experience of 4 years and a Master’s degree in Mobile Communications from King’s College London, I decided it was a right time for me to pursue a one year MBA Program that will help me accentuate my career in the Corporate world. Arming myself with an MBA will give me a good Business and International perspective along with a wide and rich networking opportunity.
F1GMAT: Did you set any selection criteria before short-listing your top Five B-Schools?
Mehul (The Lisbon MBA International): Yes, I was selective even while applying as I did not want to apply to more than 2-3 B-Schools that I already had in mind. As part of initial process, I had attended a World MBA Tour, meeting admissions committee members from Universities like Indiana, UCLA, Imperial (Tanaka Business School) etc. The criterion was to pursue an MBA program that had an International profile with one year duration. Lisbon MBA in collaboration with MIT Sloan and ISB, Hyderabad fitted the bill well for me to apply for both the Programs.
Since Lisbon MBA starts in January, I had to take the decision of attending the program in the month of November. Even though I had positive feedback from ISB, it was too late as I was already in Lisbon in the first week of January.

My first day was a rocking day - it started at 8am in the morning and continued till 12 in the mid night with back to campus again next day at 8 am. Now that was when I said “Welcome to MBA" :) 

On my first day itself, I was convinced that I had made a good decision.
F1GMAT: In what ways do you think 'The Lisbon MBA' is unique?
Mehul (The Lisbon MBA International): Lisbon MBA is unique in many different ways than other regular high ranking MBA programs. First and foremost, it is selective in choosing students and focus on a limited class of no more than 32 students. This means that there is more emphasis on students, better team work, better student to teacher interaction and more available sources.
Opportunity to attend three world class institutions – Catolica | Nova | MIT Sloan School of Management in both Portugal and US respectively. This also means one gets opportunity to live in two beautiful cities - Lisbon and Boston.
“Friday Forum” is one thing that really differentiates Lisbon MBA from other top MBA programs. It is a soft skill training component of the program which happens every Friday, pushing students to their respective limits. Without revealing much, all I can say is that “Friday Forum” imparts a more enriching value to the already holistic program. Anyone attending such a program will definitely be surprised by his/her own ability- in terms of what one can do.
F1GMAT: Did you opt for the MIT Immersion program in June?
Mehul (The Lisbon MBA International): Yes, I attended the MIT Sloan Immersion program in June and this was the highlight of my program. It was like any other regular MIT Sloan program with an intense work load, group and individual assignments, tests. Class participation was a must as students were assessed on the basis of their participation. We got exposure to around ten World Class Professors (experts in their own field) who taught subjects that are more relevant in today’s time such as Ethics, Law, Technology and  Innovation.

Last week, we were part of a challenging Deep Dive component of the program that required team work and a presentation on one of the key aspects of Corporate Business.  It was not only class room training but also visits to companies like Google, Microsoft and host of other start ups. This helped us learn from their experiences.
As such,
Innovation and Ethics can’t be taught in classrooms but the case studies in the MBA program, with real life examples, gave us a perspective on the repercussions if we do not address these issues.

During the weekend, I was happy to travel around the beautiful city of Boston on foot and bike, explored the new MIT Sloan building, MIT and Harvard Business School. On one weekend, I also made a trip to New York which was definitely worth the visit. It was not only work but fun too as I got the opportunity to see a Baseball match at Fenway Park, attended a barbeque party and networked with smart people.
F1GMAT: What are some of the biggest takeaways from your MBA Experience so far?
Mehul (The Lisbon MBA International): A strong International network with like minded people, better business acumen and definitely a more holistic and ethical approach towards problem solving.
F1GMAT: Would you encourage others to attend the Lisbon MBA International Program?
Mehul (The Lisbon MBA International): I would encourage and recommend to anyone who just does not want to do MBA just for the name of the degree but also for the quality of the content and a well structured program offering a great deal of exposure. The class comprises of students from different nationalities. My friends are from Europe, North America, South America and Asia.
For an International student, studying in Europe has its own charm. Portugal is a fantastic country, both people and climate wise. Lisbon and Boston have very good things to offer.
F1GMAT: Is MBA worth the investment?
Mehul (The Lisbon MBA International): I still have few months left, but I am pretty sure to make it a positive investment by a good margin
F1GMAT: Do you sense that the economic crisis in Europe will affect Post-MBA opportunities for 'The Lisbon MBA' graduates?
Mehul (The Lisbon MBA International): I do not think it would have a negative effect. Rather, students from such a program would be more highly sought after by companies especially the ones that have International presence or plans to increase their International footprint. One gets access to big markets such as Latin America, Africa, and Middle East and of course Asia as far as career and opportunities is concerned.

F1GMAT: Any advice for MBA aspirants?
Mehul (The Lisbon MBA International): If you are convinced about something and confident about your own ability even in the worst case scenario – dive into it, since just taking decision is an important key to success. Also, before doing things rightly, always aim for doing “right things”.

Mehul Bhandari

The Lisbon MBA International StudentsMehul Bhandari is an International MBA from The Lisbon MBA. He has 4 years of experience in corporate Telecom and a Master’s degree in Mobile Communications from King’s College London.

"Experience at Lisbon MBA has been one of the greatest experiences I've had and truly one of the most cherishable moments for me to treasure. Lisbon MBA has taken me to two of the most beautiful cities in  the world- Lisbon and Boston. It's one of the most holistic MBA programs one can find at present. It has got it all! Yes, I mean it-because I've experienced it ...in fact I am experiencing it! "

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