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A thread for applicants from over-represented pools

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Kellogg Thread Master
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2012, 23:41
rni wrote:
finmaster wrote:
rni wrote:
hmm..so now that you are only talking about the community service (presumably) seems that your plans of pursuing a hobby are already out of the window. Nevertheless, as long as you can show devotion and success to anything you are passionate about,it will always be counted.


Well, I guess the coming 50 days will give me a better idea of what the picture looks like. Fingers crossed.

yep..ur gmat score, L1 result. All the best for both!


Thanks a lot.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2012, 12:47
finmaster wrote:
calvin1984 wrote:
When you mention over represented in terms of Indians and Chinese, do you mean from the countries of origin as well? I'm a Chinese from South East Asia, am I put under this category?


I think it depends on your country of citizenship and where you have spent the majority of your life.


I was born in India but I have lived in US for almost 14 yrs and I'm US citizen but I've been told my many that the shear fact that I'm Indian puts me at a disadvantage. Not sure anyone knows exactly how adcom from each school really look at applicants like us...
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2012, 14:48
rsaraiya wrote:
finmaster wrote:
calvin1984 wrote:
When you mention over represented in terms of Indians and Chinese, do you mean from the countries of origin as well? I'm a Chinese from South East Asia, am I put under this category?


I think it depends on your country of citizenship and where you have spent the majority of your life.


I was born in India but I have lived in US for almost 14 yrs and I'm US citizen but I've been told my many that the shear fact that I'm Indian puts me at a disadvantage. Not sure anyone knows exactly how adcom from each school really look at applicants like us...


You are a US citizen so that's your pool. Are there a lot of Indian and Chinese American applicants? Yes. So that's why it's still competitive.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2012, 02:41
Hmm..I'm going to play the devil's advocate here since no one's done it already..

finmaster wrote:
I understand what the point of listing EC's is. The thing is, I will have to try and bring some change in the organisation that I work for. I will try to do it and if I succeed, I will then list it in my app, otherwise, I'll just let it go.

The keyword is 'change'.

Look at it this way; if I am able to bring even a small change in an organisation other than my job in the coming 5 months, it could also make some adcom say, "Well, okay it's five-six months and he has obviously done this to tick the box, but at least he has done something rather than nothing."

If I cannot bring any positive change; I'll simply not list that stuff in my app.


Not happening. The adcoms don't want to see you involved in some activity for the heck of it. They want to see demonstrated leadership in an activity that you have been involved in over the past several years. 5-6 month involvement is just not going to cut it. The adcoms have been around since the stone age (ok, not really) and they've seen this trick a million times. They are definitely not going to think of it as "ok, he's at least done something". They are just going to treat it as a "checkbox" activity at best or a load of BS at worst.

finmaster wrote:
As far as CFA is concerned, well, there were a few things which prompted me to take part in the CFA program:

1. I don't know how my Indian CGPA of 7.27/10 from my university will be taken by the adcoms. There's no rule of thumb for that. I wanted a quant-intensive course which has a strong reputation in the adcoms' country and which could give them a fair idea of my ability to handle the MBA workload. This of it as a way of telling the adcoms, "I have the ability to handle the tough coursework you guys will throw at me for two years."


You are giving lesser credit to the adcoms than they deserve. They literally see thousands of applications from Indian applicants each year and know quite well as to what are the Tier 1,2,3 institutes and what are the typical scores in these institutes.

finmaster wrote:
2. Related to '1' above, my performance in mathematics during engineering wasn't anything to write home about. I needed something to buttress that with.

3. Although I do not seek a career in finance, my participation in the CFA program (and the knowledge of finance that comes with it) along with my technical work-ex of five years and the MBA degree should make me a pretty strong candidate as far as finding job in a consulting/general management position is concerned. Put simply, it increases my employability.

After graduating from their B-school, I will be a manager from a great school having a core technical work-ex and equipped with a pretty decent knowledge of finance. That does increase my chances of becoming more 'employable' at the end of two years.

Think of it as a way of telling the adcoms, "You guys don't have to worry about finding me a job at the end of two years."


The CFA certification argument is pretty illogical since
a. You have not worked in banking/finance
b. You have no intention to pursue a career in finance post MBA
c. You're trying to impress upon the ad com to consider a CFA certification as your performance barometer over your undergrad math performance?

If you want to prove that you're good at Math and can handle the coursework, score a 50/51 on GMAT. That's what the GMAT is for. That is enough for the ad com.

The part about "core technical work exp + finance" increasing employability does not make any sense at all. Are you trying to get into the automotive sector post MBA? Are you planning to get into Corp Finance in that industry? Apparently not, since you suddenly threw consulting into the equation. Adcoms are just going to look at the CFA as a random certification. You will be in no position to convince the adcoms (first) let alone employers (later) about the link between your technical experience, CFA, MBA and how that increases employability.


finmaster wrote:
Coming to the point of applying to a large number of schools, well, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure about all of these schools straightaway. I might end up not applying to 2-3 of them. Right now, I'm only at the 'research' phase. In another 30-40 days, I shall have a fairly good idea of which schools to eliminate, if any. However, I can safely say that I will not eliminate more than 3 schools. Probability does count.


Perfect recipe for disaster. Read Cheetarah's post on Page 1. Read it again. And now read it again.

You cannot possibly apply to more than 6/7 schools in a year. Of those not more than 4 will be quality applications. You seriously need to cut down the no. of apps. In fact if you don't cut down, it will automatically happen since there's no way you can submit all these applications in time. Given the fact that you're not looking at a GMAT score until Aug end (which would hopefully be good), you can virtually be sure of not applying to more than 3 schools in R1. You could stretch to 5 in R2 and that will still be 8 at a stretch. And now read Cheet's post again. It's the best advice you could get at this stage.

Sorry to be blunt, but I really couldn't put it out any other way..I really hope you do a course correction soon!
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2012, 02:46
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rsaraiya wrote:
I was born in India but I have lived in US for almost 14 yrs and I'm US citizen but I've been told my many that the shear fact that I'm Indian puts me at a disadvantage. Not sure anyone knows exactly how adcom from each school really look at applicants like us...


You won't be at a disadvantage. You will be considered in the domestic pool, plain n simple..
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 16:57
scorpionz wrote:
Hmm..I'm going to play the devil's advocate here since no one's done it already..

finmaster wrote:
I understand what the point of listing EC's is. The thing is, I will have to try and bring some change in the organisation that I work for. I will try to do it and if I succeed, I will then list it in my app, otherwise, I'll just let it go.

The keyword is 'change'.

Look at it this way; if I am able to bring even a small change in an organisation other than my job in the coming 5 months, it could also make some adcom say, "Well, okay it's five-six months and he has obviously done this to tick the box, but at least he has done something rather than nothing."

If I cannot bring any positive change; I'll simply not list that stuff in my app.


Not happening. The adcoms don't want to see you involved in some activity for the heck of it. They want to see demonstrated leadership in an activity that you have been involved in over the past several years. 5-6 month involvement is just not going to cut it. The adcoms have been around since the stone age (ok, not really) and they've seen this trick a million times. They are definitely not going to think of it as "ok, he's at least done something". They are just going to treat it as a "checkbox" activity at best or a load of BS at worst.

finmaster wrote:
As far as CFA is concerned, well, there were a few things which prompted me to take part in the CFA program:

1. I don't know how my Indian CGPA of 7.27/10 from my university will be taken by the adcoms. There's no rule of thumb for that. I wanted a quant-intensive course which has a strong reputation in the adcoms' country and which could give them a fair idea of my ability to handle the MBA workload. This of it as a way of telling the adcoms, "I have the ability to handle the tough coursework you guys will throw at me for two years."


You are giving lesser credit to the adcoms than they deserve. They literally see thousands of applications from Indian applicants each year and know quite well as to what are the Tier 1,2,3 institutes and what are the typical scores in these institutes.

finmaster wrote:
2. Related to '1' above, my performance in mathematics during engineering wasn't anything to write home about. I needed something to buttress that with.

3. Although I do not seek a career in finance, my participation in the CFA program (and the knowledge of finance that comes with it) along with my technical work-ex of five years and the MBA degree should make me a pretty strong candidate as far as finding job in a consulting/general management position is concerned. Put simply, it increases my employability.

After graduating from their B-school, I will be a manager from a great school having a core technical work-ex and equipped with a pretty decent knowledge of finance. That does increase my chances of becoming more 'employable' at the end of two years.

Think of it as a way of telling the adcoms, "You guys don't have to worry about finding me a job at the end of two years."


The CFA certification argument is pretty illogical since
a. You have not worked in banking/finance
b. You have no intention to pursue a career in finance post MBA
c. You're trying to impress upon the ad com to consider a CFA certification as your performance barometer over your undergrad math performance?

If you want to prove that you're good at Math and can handle the coursework, score a 50/51 on GMAT. That's what the GMAT is for. That is enough for the ad com.

The part about "core technical work exp + finance" increasing employability does not make any sense at all. Are you trying to get into the automotive sector post MBA? Are you planning to get into Corp Finance in that industry? Apparently not, since you suddenly threw consulting into the equation. Adcoms are just going to look at the CFA as a random certification. You will be in no position to convince the adcoms (first) let alone employers (later) about the link between your technical experience, CFA, MBA and how that increases employability.


finmaster wrote:
Coming to the point of applying to a large number of schools, well, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure about all of these schools straightaway. I might end up not applying to 2-3 of them. Right now, I'm only at the 'research' phase. In another 30-40 days, I shall have a fairly good idea of which schools to eliminate, if any. However, I can safely say that I will not eliminate more than 3 schools. Probability does count.


Perfect recipe for disaster. Read Cheetarah's post on Page 1. Read it again. And now read it again.

You cannot possibly apply to more than 6/7 schools in a year. Of those not more than 4 will be quality applications. You seriously need to cut down the no. of apps. In fact if you don't cut down, it will automatically happen since there's no way you can submit all these applications in time. Given the fact that you're not looking at a GMAT score until Aug end (which would hopefully be good), you can virtually be sure of not applying to more than 3 schools in R1. You could stretch to 5 in R2 and that will still be 8 at a stretch. And now read Cheet's post again. It's the best advice you could get at this stage.

Sorry to be blunt, but I really couldn't put it out any other way..I really hope you do a course correction soon!


Thanks a lot for the advice and you have nothing to be sorry about. I really appreciate honest words. Truth is bitter. Isn't that the whole point of spending time on a website like this? We get to hear things from experienced people who have been there and done that.

Ok back to topic. Well, that post was a good 20 days ago and since then a lot has changed.

I've decided to apply to top half (7) of my target schools plus one par school in R1 (if I get the time). I want to get an admit by December-January and am reserving the R2 apps (lower half of the target schools) for the worst-case scenario.

I think I might build a pitch for a post-MBA career in corporate finance in consulting for automobile or engineering firms.

Do you think my technical background and participation in the CFA program will hold some value in that regard?

You see, my point of enrolling in the CFA program was simple; I had some free time up my sleeve and wanted to get prepared for B-School. 1.5 years back, I didn't even know how stockmarkets work. I just wanted some knowledge of finance before I entered B-School; that's all. CFA Level 1 was the cheapest option around.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 17:43
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finmaster wrote:
Thanks a lot for the advice and you have nothing to be sorry about. I really appreciate honest words. Truth is bitter. Isn't that the whole point of spending time on a website like this? We get to hear things from experienced people who have been there and done that.

Ok back to topic. Well, that post was a good 20 days ago and since then a lot has changed.

I've decided to apply to top half (7) of my target schools plus one par school in R1 (if I get the time). I want to get an admit by December-January and am reserving the R2 apps (lower half of the target schools) for the worst-case scenario.

I think I might build a pitch for a post-MBA career in corporate finance in consulting for automobile or engineering firms.

Do you think my technical background and participation in the CFA program will hold some value in that regard?

You see, my point of enrolling in the CFA program was simple; I had some free time up my sleeve and wanted to get prepared for B-School. 1.5 years back, I didn't even know how stockmarkets work. I just wanted some knowledge of finance before I entered B-School; that's all. CFA Level 1 was the cheapest option around.


Don't take this the wrong way but, based on your posts, you seem pretty clueless about post-MBA positions and this whole process in general. Why do you want an MBA? What value will it add to your career?
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 18:07
sid05 wrote:
Don't take this the wrong way but, based on your posts, you seem pretty clueless about post-MBA positions and this whole process in general. Why do you want an MBA? What value will it add to your career?


Well, to be honest, I've not zeroed in on that yet. I'm interested in both corporate finance and consulting. However, I'm still researching on how to combine the two in the best possible way.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 18:11
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finmaster wrote:
sid05 wrote:
Don't take this the wrong way but, based on your posts, you seem pretty clueless about post-MBA positions and this whole process in general. Why do you want an MBA? What value will it add to your career?


Well, to be honest, I've not zeroed in on that yet. I'm interested in both corporate finance and consulting. However, I'm still researching on how to combine the two in the best possible way.


To put it bluntly....

You are an Indian applicant with mediocre quantitative background, no outstanding extracurricular leadership, and no obvious post-MBA career path? With the schools you are applying to that sounds disastrous. You may need to adjust your own perception of your candidacy.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 19:43
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Another way to look at your odds is this way. While I don't have the source off-hand, my example will be pretty close to reality. The top schools all average right around 710 - 730 for the GMAT. The average GMAT of the applicant pool will usually be about 20-30 points lower. This means you're not competing with a bunch of 500 point GMAT scores, you're dealing with a bunch of people that scored right around the average, most of whom were denied admission. Of the people denied admission, many did not come from an over-represented applicant pool.

As an Indian applicant, you really need to score higher than the average. As you haven't taken the GMAT yet, just know it can take a considerable amount of time to prepare for. You may also need to retake if you don't score high enough. Also for EC's, you need to get some type of leadership experience. Just randomly choosing ECs to check the box won't help you. As for applying to 15 schools, throwing a bunch of spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks will not work for getting into a top-tier MBA program. You need to write quality essays, have a clear vision of why you want/need an MBA, and really explain why that particular school is the best school for you and your future goals.

Good luck! Just remember, it's a long process and there is always next year if necessary.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 20:57
sid05 wrote:
finmaster wrote:
sid05 wrote:
Don't take this the wrong way but, based on your posts, you seem pretty clueless about post-MBA positions and this whole process in general. Why do you want an MBA? What value will it add to your career?


Well, to be honest, I've not zeroed in on that yet. I'm interested in both corporate finance and consulting. However, I'm still researching on how to combine the two in the best possible way.


To put it bluntly....

You are an Indian applicant with mediocre quantitative background, no outstanding extracurricular leadership, and no obvious post-MBA career path? With the schools you are applying to that sounds disastrous. You may need to adjust your own perception of your candidacy.



Well, my quant past is what it is. I can't do anything about that now. I can only try and do well on the GMAT, as in really well. If I make past the CFA Level 1, I can use that to show my quant and analytical skills as well. I'm also trying to get my recommenders to touch upon these areas as my official work (mechanical design) does involve elements of quant as well.

It won't be wrong to say that I have no extracurricular leadership, let alone outstanding. However, as far as demonstrating leadership is concerned, assuming THAT IS THE purpose why adcoms ask for extra-co in the first place, I think I can safely demonstrate a few instances from my professional life in my office, instances because of which I was granted a fast-track promotion. As far as checking the extracurricular box is concerned, no I don't have that but that is something I'll just have to live with.

Obvious post-MBA career path? Well, it depends how micro you want to go on that, you know. I have figured out three keywords I'm interested in - Consulting, Corporate Finance, and Engineering. I'm researching extensively on this. I'm talking to my friends who are all MBAs and who'd be able to guide me better. There's still about 80-90 days to go before the R1s begin. I'm sure I'll have this ready by then.

I must thank you for your advice, though. Everytime I visit this website, I have a better idea of my app and how I should approach it.
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Last edited by finmaster on 04 Jul 2012, 21:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 21:04
GZR4DR wrote:
Another way to look at your odds is this way. While I don't have the source off-hand, my example will be pretty close to reality. The top schools all average right around 710 - 730 for the GMAT. The average GMAT of the applicant pool will usually be about 20-30 points lower. This means you're not competing with a bunch of 500 point GMAT scores, you're dealing with a bunch of people that scored right around the average, most of whom were denied admission. Of the people denied admission, many did not come from an over-represented applicant pool.

As an Indian applicant, you really need to score higher than the average. As you haven't taken the GMAT yet, just know it can take a considerable amount of time to prepare for. You may also need to retake if you don't score high enough. Also for EC's, you need to get some type of leadership experience. Just randomly choosing ECs to check the box won't help you. As for applying to 15 schools, throwing a bunch of spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks will not work for getting into a top-tier MBA program. You need to write quality essays, have a clear vision of why you want/need an MBA, and really explain why that particular school is the best school for you and your future goals.

Good luck! Just remember, it's a long process and there is always next year if necessary.


Well, you couldn't be more correct.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 21:47
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sid05 wrote:
finmaster wrote:
sid05 wrote:
Don't take this the wrong way but, based on your posts, you seem pretty clueless about post-MBA positions and this whole process in general. Why do you want an MBA? What value will it add to your career?


Well, to be honest, I've not zeroed in on that yet. I'm interested in both corporate finance and consulting. However, I'm still researching on how to combine the two in the best possible way.


To put it bluntly....

You are an Indian applicant with mediocre quantitative background, no outstanding extracurricular leadership, and no obvious post-MBA career path? With the schools you are applying to that sounds disastrous. You may need to adjust your own perception of your candidacy.


Agree. You don't seem to have a compelling case for top16 let alone M7. I think M7 is out of reach.. Just my opinion.

But hey you might be an outlier and succesfully apply to 16 schools and yieldm1 admit or more. That would be a success story and an interesting blog.

Anyway you can achieve similar outcomes from a non top16 where you will stand a better chance. Consider it.
I see a lot of successful Indian applicants with some of the following

1 international work experience ideally in the US
2. A prestigious undergrad like IIT (but there are others) or a masters in the US
3 really solid work experience. Think BB IB, consulting or others
4. Some really solid leadership displaying ECs. India provides some excellent opportunities to be involved in really impactful ECs.

You have been given some really good feedback from experienced members here and you have chosen to ignore it. I think people may begin to tire of you. I agree that starting ECS now will have very little bearing on your application, I'd like to think it wouldn't hurt but it may very well. I don't think the CFA will add anything to your candidacy. Level 1 is not viewed as particularly hard and even L3 does not seem to have much impact either. I do t agree with this as the CFA is a very tough program and will aid recruitment efforts IF you are applying to relevant areas, I.e not IB or consulting. Again just my opinion but I echo a lot if the previous posts.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 22:27
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Fin I feel I've been pretty harsh on you so I'll offer some encouragement.

People above have wisely suggested that you can't do 6-7 quality apps in a round but I say it's possible - pretty improbable but possible.
I did 5 apps in one round in about 5-6 weeks. Result waitlist at one stretch, dinged at another and interviewed/accepted at 3 competitive schools.
I hated my life in that time but I pulled it off. I think if I had 2.5-3 months I could've done 6-7. My apps were not 100% my best but solid all the same.
People say apply 1-2 reach schools but I wish I did more as I think I would've got one.

I would say schools like Duke, Dardenand Ross will be stretches for you. I would say forget H/S/W and consider them a pipe dream. Go for another M7 so you don't die wondering but hit your stretches hard. Consider applying to a few competitive and safeties say 1 or so. In the mean time hit the f@*%# GMAT and give yourself 3 months to write essays ideally. I feel you will need 720+ on the GMAT and forget your EC ambitions. If you fail the CFA forget about retaking in December. good luck!
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 23:15
afyl128 wrote:
Fin I feel I've been pretty harsh on you so I'll offer some encouragement.

People above have wisely suggested that you can't do 6-7 quality apps in a round but I say it's possible - pretty improbable but possible.
I did 5 apps in one round in about 5-6 weeks. Result waitlist at one stretch, dinged at another and interviewed/accepted at 3 competitive schools.
I hated my life in that time but I pulled it off. I think if I had 2.5-3 months I could've done 6-7. My apps were not 100% my best but solid all the same.
People say apply 1-2 reach schools but I wish I did more as I think I would've got one.

I would say schools like Duke, Dardenand Ross will be stretches for you. I would say forget H/S/W and consider them a pipe dream. Go for another M7 so you don't die wondering but hit your stretches hard. Consider applying to a few competitive and safeties say 1 or so. In the mean time hit the f@*%# GMAT and give yourself 3 months to write essays ideally. I feel you will need 720+ on the GMAT and forget your EC ambitions. If you fail the CFA forget about retaking in December. good luck!


Is it that difficult to write 6-7 quality apps in 13 weeks, in fact make it 15; considering that I've been at this since mid-June?
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 23:23
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finmaster wrote:
afyl128 wrote:
Fin I feel I've been pretty harsh on you so I'll offer some encouragement.

People above have wisely suggested that you can't do 6-7 quality apps in a round but I say it's possible - pretty improbable but possible.
I did 5 apps in one round in about 5-6 weeks. Result waitlist at one stretch, dinged at another and interviewed/accepted at 3 competitive schools.
I hated my life in that time but I pulled it off. I think if I had 2.5-3 months I could've done 6-7. My apps were not 100% my best but solid all the same.
People say apply 1-2 reach schools but I wish I did more as I think I would've got one.

I would say schools like Duke, Dardenand Ross will be stretches for you. I would say forget H/S/W and consider them a pipe dream. Go for another M7 so you don't die wondering but hit your stretches hard. Consider applying to a few competitive and safeties say 1 or so. In the mean time hit the f@*%# GMAT and give yourself 3 months to write essays ideally. I feel you will need 720+ on the GMAT and forget your EC ambitions. If you fail the CFA forget about retaking in December. good luck!


Is it that difficult to write 6-7 quality apps in 13 weeks?


Yes - especially for first timers. Plus as you mentioned, you are doing your research as of now. So subtract 2 weeks for that. Plus I dont know when you are taking your GMAT but writing essays before having a score is a BAD idea. you'll focus on one more than the other and the other will suffer. So you are looking at essentially 7-8 weeks. You also need to manage recommendations, plus you would be working so its not like you are writing the whole day. The mind is most active in the mornings, so you would have only 2 days per week to write with a 'fresh mind' Assuming you are a non native, you will travel home. You will spend some time on other activities etc.

The good way to approach this is by looking at schools within your overall plan, which have similar sounding essays. You cannot answer each school's career essays in the same manner. You'll do multiple edits.

You say you 'have to' get in this year? WHY? will the world end? If you dont get in will you be a failure in life? Don't let your desperation take control. be calm, things will work out.

The above may be a grim picture but its reality. target 3-5 apps in each round, more in first (eg: 4/5) and lesser (eg: 3/2) in round 2.

Hope this helps.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2012, 05:39
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I'll disagree here a bit and say that I think, personally, 6-7 apps in ~3 months is very doable. However, it does require you to have a good narrative for your career. If you have accomplished a lot then putting together examples for the essays will not be overly difficult.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2012, 06:16
I know someone who put together 6 applications for R2. She said it was hellish. However, she was very successful and gained admission to 4 out of 6. It is definitely possible to do 6 applications in 3 months, but just because something is possible doesn't mean that YOU should do it. It's like deciding to run a full marathon simply because it's possible for the human body to run 26.2 miles, but you've never even run a mile before. It's not gonna happen. And this is exactly what you're trying to do with your "bomb every school in the top 15 with an application" approach. I don't care if you split these schools between rounds, you are NOT ready to even begin working on your applications.
1. You have yet to take the GMAT
2. You have barely researched schools
3. You don't know your post MBA goals and have done minimal research to figure them out. You have a kitchen sink career goal (combine consulting, engineering, and corporate finance) that throws together unrelated parts of your background and probably doesn't even exist in the real world. You need to learn about different career options before you can even think about writing how you're going to get to them. This alone can take several weeks.
4. You haven't strengthened your candidacy for the caliber of schools to which you want to apply

I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer but you haven't put in the legwork necessary to be able to rattle off 6-7 applications in one round. You need to take a more realistic approach because while you firmly believe that if you apply to 12-15 schools at least one of them has to let you in, that is not the case at all. Submit 15 applications that are as haphazard as your current plan is and you will receive 15 rejections. Admissions are NOT a game of probability. Crappy applications do not have a higher chance of gaining an admit the more schools you apply to. The application has to be GOOD first to even have a chance to play the odds. I sincerely think you're overestimating 1) the ease of putting together a quality application and 2) your candidacy as it stands.

Also please do not assume that just because you write well that you can write good bschool essays. I have seen beautifully written essays that are absolutely terrible (str1der can tell you about the early drafts of my career goals essays). It can take weeks of writing and rewriting to get even ONE essay submission ready, let alone 3-4 essays each for 6-7 schools (and don't think you can just copy paste and be done with it).

As I said before you will probably only truly like 6-7 of the schools you are "targeting." Figure out which schools these are and thoroughly prepare R2 apps for only these schools. R2 deadlines are about 6 months from now. In that time you should be able to take (and possibly retake) the GMAT, research and solidify your career goals, coach your recommenders, and maybe even take on additional responsibility at work. Unless something drastically changes this instant, you will not be ready for R1.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2012, 08:54
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@finmaster My advice is to really figure out a coherent story and career path. A lot of people are cross-checking in here, which is what the forum is for, but some things can't really be changed. Focus on what can be shined up going forward, and really that is the story since it will be the crux of both the essays and most interviews.

Going off of the Ross job board, I don't think I've ever seen a GM/consulting posting that even mentions the CFA. So be careful about how you tie something like that in. CFA, from what I understand, is the domain of something like investment management. I'm in somewhat of a similar boat in that I'm capping the CPA and CMA with no intention of ever becoming an accountant. Thankfully, some broader positions do find that appealing, particularly corp dev, some strategy groups, and of course, F500 corp fin. But again, do your research before you start putting pen to paper, which it sounds like you're doing. You're also taking a lot of this firm advice with a good attitude, so I'm confident you're going to do well this cycle. Good luck! :)
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2012, 16:48
method wrote:
@finmaster My advice is to really figure out a coherent story and career path. A lot of people are cross-checking in here, which is what the forum is for, but some things can't really be changed. Focus on what can be shined up going forward, and really that is the story since it will be the crux of both the essays and most interviews.

Going off of the Ross job board, I don't think I've ever seen a GM/consulting posting that even mentions the CFA. So be careful about how you tie something like that in. CFA, from what I understand, is the domain of something like investment management. I'm in somewhat of a similar boat in that I'm capping the CPA and CMA with no intention of ever becoming an accountant. Thankfully, some broader positions do find that appealing, particularly corp dev, some strategy groups, and of course, F500 corp fin. But again, do your research before you start putting pen to paper, which it sounds like you're doing. You're also taking a lot of this firm advice with a good attitude, so I'm confident you're going to do well this cycle. Good luck! :)


Well, actually I've not started writing the career goals essays yet. I'm working on the other essays until the L1 result is out. Once, that result is out, I'll think about what to do with the career goals essays.

I was just checking if I could link the different aspects of my background and so far it seems that it won't be a very good idea since that won't make any sense. So ultimately it all boils down to my reporting the CFA L1. I will decide on that once the result is out.
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Re: A thread for applicants from over-represented pools   [#permalink] 05 Jul 2012, 16:48
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