Every student aspires to get into either a top-notch college or land a great job. But not everyone is well connected or knows exactly how to achieve this goal. In such cases, you need someone who hears you out and helps to decide what’s best for you.
Having spotted this opportunity, Chicago-based Nakul Gupta started MyMBACircle.com. “Our vision is to create the largest and most accessible career and education mentorship platform – one that provides applicants looking for jobs and higher studies affordable mentorship support on demand,” says Nakul.
The platform connects curated mentors from the top of their field with applicants who wish to seek guidance about higher education and their career but lack the network or finances to get the support they need to get started. Mentors also include current students and alumni of top MBA programmes from across the world.
Founded in 2018, this Chicago-based startup offers valuable free content, and affordable and instant one-on-one coaching. MyMBACircle.com provides guidance for premier universities and companies across the world, including India.
In India, MyMBACircle.com help people get into institutions like Indian School of Business (ISB), consulting jobs at MBB (McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company), and tech jobs. The team claims to have counselled around 300 Indian customers till now.
Nakul started the company along with his friends from business school - Juan Pablo Easton, and Katie Orovecz – who had previously worked in consulting firms like Boston Consulting Group and Deloitte, and handled product management at firms Google, VMock, and Shipbob. Prior to starting MyMBACircle.com, they have coached a total of 250 candidates from different countries, with 15 successful admissions into top companies and B-schools.
At present, MyMBACircle.com has expanded to a team of 10 members.
How does it work?
MyMBACircle.com has two groups of customers: mentors and mentees.
The platform operates on a freemium model. Customers get one 15-minute call with a mentor, a set of resources on signing up with their basic info, resumé and email ID.
Mentors can assist their mentees at any step in the lifecycle of a job application or college application, including choice of target companies and colleges. Mentors can also help applicants with background on key considerations when selecting a programme or explain why the current programme is suitable.
They understand a candidate’s background to identify key themes that will prove compelling to an interviewer or an admissions committee.
After reviewing resumés, mentors identify key experiences to highlight and then provide tactical feedback on the format, word choice, etc.
Mentors then run thorough mock interviews with mentees, asking the kind of questions that interviewers would for a particular role and then give feedback on how the candidate responded and what they said.
This mentorship help the mentees prepare for their interviews or tests to apply for higher studies or jobs as well as get advice and guidance based on their interests and focus areas.
“We strategically started in the higher education market because it allows us to build our base of high-quality mentors for MBA and gain credibility in the market. We will then selectively expand to high-potential career mentorship markets (consulting, banking, product management, etc.) using the same base of mentors,” says Nakul.
Personalised guidance costs $59 for half hour of coaching, of which a majority percentage goes to the mentor.
MyMBACircle.com competes with similar services from GMAT Club, ApplicantLab, Case Interview, and PrepLounge.
“We offer something different than our competitors because we are focussed on appealing to international applicants through a diverse group of mentors and have already experimented with the viability of moving into career-path mentoring,” adds Nakul.
He is also clear about the value they offer when he says,
“We define value as a combination of cost, level, and quality of information provided. We define convenience as the ability to instantly book time for help on an application, the ease of the booking process, and the amount of effort needed to book, complete, and rebook appointments.”
The numbers game
MyMBACircle.com is a part of the New Venture Challenge (NVC) at Chicago Booth, one of the top-ranked accelerator programmes in the US.
The Indian edtech market is pegged to touch $1.96 billion by 2021, says a report by KPMG and Google.
“We are seeking an investment of $750,000-$1 million to hit our initial milestones,” shares Nakul.
Since it was launched, MyMBACircle.com claims to have helped hundreds of candidates and doubled its revenues in the last month (though it declined to share actual numbers).
“We have seen 25 admissions in top companies and B-schools (HBS, Wharton, Booth, INSEAD, LBS, etc). We have expanded our base by 3x in the last four months to 60 mentors, who are current students and alumni of top MBA programmes. We also have started to see network effects from mentor and mentee referrals.”
MyMBACircle.com aims to break even in 2022 and reach $10 million in operating profit by 2023.