Pulkit (IITian), TOEFL winner
Updated on Mar 20, 2017 - 5:51 p.m. IST by Priyanka Jain
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Points to remember...
  • Make sure you get good grades in your undergraduate years.  
     
  • Spend a lot of time on the essays and don’t leave it for the last 2-3 days. 
     
  • If you get shortlisted, prepare for the interview as well.   


The Process...

Recipients
: Students pursuing undergraduate and post-secondary studies in UK, US, and Canada. You need a good academic record, good English language & communication skills, strong leadership skills, be well-rounded in extra-curricular activities, including community service and have innovative ideas.
 
Application process: Essay, two letters of recommendation, an official university score transcript, a copy of a valid TOEFL® score, and a phone interview (for finalists). Exact requirements and scholarship deadlines will be available in October.

Scholarship amount: $10,000 or $5,000 per student.
 
How to apply for 2011: All details will be posted on towww.ets.org/toefl/scholarships in the near future.

DELHI boy and an avid football fan, Pulkit Khanna, who won a TOEFL scholarship worth US$ 5000, is now pursuing a Master’s in Management programme at London Business School. Of 300 applicants, only 30 were shortlisted for the telephonic interview, and only seven won a scholarship. He talked to Priyanka Jain about the application and selection process.

 

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Q. From BTech to management, how did you get interested?
A. While pursuing mechanical engineering at IIT Delhi, I took part in Ace Manager, a six-week long finance consulting competition by BNP Paribas Bank. We finished with a worldwide rank of 18 out of 1,100 teams, a top rank for a team with no business background and no management institute. 

I have also completed an internship at Parthenon group, a consulting firm in Mumbai, which strengthened my belief in wanting to take up consulting after studies. So, I started researching on higher education and opted for a broad-based management degree from London Business School.

 

Q. Why study abroad? 
A. I have spent most of my life in India and want to have a global outlook, meet more people, understand different viewpoints, and see how businesses are conducted in different countries. Also, London School of Business is one of the most reputed schools across the world and was ranked No 2 by the Financial Times. It has a good mix of students, faculty and alumni network. Also, it is centrally located in Zone 1, which, in my opinion, is a great place to live and study as you have access to theatre, gardens, etc.

 

Q. How was the scholarship application process?
A. To apply you need to have taken the TOEFL test. My score was 180. Though there is no score eligibility criterion, the higher it is the better. They also look at your overall undergraduate performance.
The most challenging part was to write the essays. You may have great ideas but being able to express that in a limited number of words on paper is a different ballgame. I spent close to a week writing the answers and revising them.

 

Q. What was your essay topic? How did you prepare for it? 
A. It was 1500 words and the topic - How would you improve the education system in India. I had to write about things I feel should be included in the system, today . For instance, I feel that everything is so standardised in a large country like ours even though there are so many culturally distinct zones. I feel that it does not work to teach English or Hindi to children in tribes of Andra Pradesh or Karnataka. They need to appreciate their own local language, dialect and local occupation. A rural development Centre, also helped me in the essay. The short essay questions focus on things like leadership qualities, who influenced you the most etc.You can’t really prepare for that. If you have done all these things or experienced them, you will be able to write it. 

Q. Tell us about how your telephonic interview. 
A. I did mock interviews with my friends, and went over things that I wanted to say and the best way to say them. It was normal interview preparation stuff. In my case, there was one interviewer at the other end and we had a lot of discussions about my essay, which lasted about 25 minutes. Apart from that, she quizzed me on what I felt about education in general and about my short essay answers. 

 

Also Read:

What are the suitable scholarships to study abroad?

Scholarships for engineering students to study abroad

Major scholarships for management courses abroad

Major scholarships offered by top universities

State-funded scholarships

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