The Knewton Blog

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Student Spotlight — Jaspal Saini: Engineer, Steve Jobs Fan, and 770 GMAT Scorer

Posted in Test Prep on April 5, 2011 by

In this week’s Student Spotlight, meet Jaspal Saini, another one of our rockstar GMAT students.


Jaspal Singh Saini


Native of New Delhi, currently living in Maryland

Current job:

Engineering Professional

Why do you want to get an MBA?

My career till now has been focused primarily on being a technical expert in the core engineering discipline; this experience has had its ups and downs as can be expected. However, one thing that has become clear to me is that keep doing what I have been will never lead me to a position where I will understand and possibly contribute to the global business aspects of the industry. My motivation behind pursuing an MBA is to develop a deeper understanding of the general management and leadership aspects of businesses so that I can apply the same in the energy sector. I believe my background in the engineering aspects of power and energy sector in conjunction with the MBA degree, which will inculcate leadership skills, will help me contribute towards alleviating the global energy crises – every little step is a step in the right direction.

What’s your dream job after b-school?

A dream job would most definitely be being in the shoes of Steve Jobs :). Realistically, I would like to apply the management and leadership principles learnt from the B-School in the growing energy sector in developing countries. However, it’s going to be a while before I start my dream job (whatever is in store), since I’m taking a break and would apply for next year admissions.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience prepping for the GMAT?

The GMAT prep for me was a stutter. Started preparing in end of May 2010 and took a date in end of June 2010, but I was on an out of state assignment and didn’t realize I had not carried my passport with me (the passport was needed since I’m not a permanent resident/citizen). So I had to cancel my exam one day before the actual test date. Got a bit frustrated and stopped preparations completely. Heard about Knewton and took the diagnostic in end of October. Thought it won’t be too bad, given the 50-point increase or money back guarantee :). Started the session in first week of November and took a test date of 4th December. Studied primarily at night on weekdays and on weekends – didn’t take any break from work. I knew I had to improve Verbal and working with Dave in the sessions gave me some confidence, although I did have my jitters couple of days before the exam. But, courtesy of Chris and Emma, I did take the test as planned and scored 770 (Q 51 V 42). I would note that on actual GMAT, Quant was far too easy and Verbal was way too hard – no regrets though.

Any Knewton teacher shout-outs?

Dave for his PEMDAS rap song and many more. Chris for dropping the “F-Bomb” live on camera. Emma for being a great and sincere TA. Great team.

Lightning Round: Favorite song right now?

“Higher” by Taio Cruz

Data Sufficiency or Sentence Correction?

Data Sufficiency (Sorry Dave 🙂 ). This was close though; if it was CR/RC, these would have been given a hands down battering by DS.

Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?

Steve Jobs

Harry Potter or Twilight?

Harry Potter (even True Blood is better than Twilight series).