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Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs

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Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2012, 20:58
Hey Guys,

My name is Deepak and at present I work as a developer who develops social media campaigns on platform such as facebook, twitter, youtube etc.

My GMAT score is 730
Q(50)
v(40)
AWA(5.5)

CGPA 3.37 Stream : Computer Sciences and Engineering

I have a cumulative experience of about 3.5 years now and I am aiming for fall 2013. My experience started with an international internship where I worked with a software company called Indra Sistemas in Panama city. Then I moved on to Infosys the second largest software firm based in India. Here I worked on developing artist sites for artists in Warner Music Group and I also developed a lot of tools that connect artists with their fans. I developed some tools with heavy integration in facebook and twitter. Then I moved on to my present company called Votigo Inc. which is among the top 5 social media promotions company in the world. Here I develop social media promotions and I have experience in developing hugely successful campaigns for brands such as Lenovo, AMD, Qatar Airways, Jeep etc.

Most of my 3 years in Infosys and Votigo I have been involved in some kind of social media promotion tools. I have been leveraging the power of social networks such as facebook, twitter, youtube etc. I have a lot of domain knowledge on how various brands are promoting themselves within in the product that our company offers. This interests me a lot and I plan to move on to someone who implements these campaigns to someone who plans these campaigns. MBA programs have awesome modules on stuff such as market research, social media marketing, marketing techniques etc.

I am also an active volunteer in an NGO called India Literacy Project where I am responsible to take mentoring sessions for students of 9th standard on every Saturday. My role is to educate them on the positives of education and also give them ideas as to what they can hope to be in the future and more importantly make sure that they don't drop out from schools after the 10th standard. as part of this I regularly give presentations on careers, teach basics of computers, teach English and basic math. I have been doing this for about 8 months now and even this summer when the schools are closed we are conducting a summer camp.

I am also an active volunteer for the cause fo sustainability and while I was working with Infosys I was part of the eco club and we planned out various initiatives such as recycling e-waste and paper, conducting eco fairs where a lot of products such as solar powered invertors, cookers, water heaters, power saving LED lamps and a lot of other eco friendly products were sold. There were so many initiatves that we undertook and in fact our company won the green corporate award last year.

I plan to select most of my electives based on my 2 core interests 1) Marketing 2) CSR and Sustainable business practices.

Based on my interests, I have shortlisted the following schools :

1. Harvard (Dream)
2. Chicago Booth (Dream)
3. MIT Sloan School of Management (Dream)
4. Schulich(reach)
5. Ross(reach)
6. IE(reach)
7. ISB(reach)

Now the question is am i aiming too high? Because the one who evaluated my profile gave me the following list :
1. Tepper (Dream)
2. Johnson (Dream)
3. Ross (Dream)
4. University of southern california (Reach)
5. Indiana university, Kelley (Reach)
6. UCLA (Dream)
7. Kenan Flagler (Reach)
8. University of washington seattle (Safe)
9. Washington university St. Louis (Reach)

While I agree that Johnson, UCLA, Tepper are world class the intake worries me as I am an international student and considering that only 1/3 is what we get a university with intake of around 350 isn't it too risky by sheer probability? Am I not better off applying to schools such as Harvard whose intake is about 900?

Please advise.
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 05:36
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Part of this is to help advise, and part of this is my own curiosity, but can you explain a little further what your job was in these social media campaigns? What did you develop, and how was it critical in the successes? I'd be very interested to know!

Even without the information, I think it sounds like a great marketing background and your transition makes a lot of sense to me. I think the original school list provided to you seems a bit pessimistic.

Your school list is really a function of how much time and money do you have, and what's your risk tolerance? If you have the resources, go ahead and apply to Harvard. But if you really need to stay with, say, 6 schools or less, I'm not sure that's one I'd apply to because, as you'll see in many threads, unless you're heading for some very hard to crack field like VC, your job prospects will stay fairly similar in the Top 10 or 15 schools. So I'm not sure that a ~10% chance of admission in a very deep and talented applicant pool backed by admissions consultants is a wise play.

One other thing to consider is your affinity for quantitative marketing. If you're really high on the research aspect, you might consider Tepper as well as Booth. If you're looking for the great marketing education plus a rep for social considerations, you might add Kellogg, Fuqua, or Yale in addition to Ross.

Strategically, there's a lot of options. You could consider the safest marketing school you'd be willing to attend, and try to lock them up as early as possible. Maybe a school like Indiana's Kelley School which places very well in brand management industries? Locking down a safety school will really open up the field for Round 2. You can be much more aggressive at that point, which is something cheetarah1980 was able to do very impressively this year as she changed her school list between R1 and R2.

I don't know if any of this helps, but there's not going to be one right answer!
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 07:00
@Method!

First of all hearty congratulations on getting into Ross! One of my target schools!

Yep I'll be more than glad to give out any information that helps people in knowing my profile a bit better.

I'll give the example of a hugely successful campaign that we did for Lenovo, USA. This was called the dream to do contest and you can access the url @ http://www.lenovodreamtodo.com . This campaign was targeted at primary,secondary and moiddle schools in the USA. The original intention was to market the notebook x130e which according to lenovo and because of its many features is the perfect fit for students' usage. Lenovo used our photo contests model to design a campaign called dream to do where the teachers in schools were supposed to submit the drawings done by their students. The drawings should depict what the students wants to be when he/she grows up. The winning school was decided based on the number of entries X10 + number of votes for entries belonging to that school. Just to give out some statistics there were more than 8000 entries and 56000 votes in a short span of 2.5 months. This was a very innovative campaign in that the company used our model of photo/video campaigns and also cleverly embedded CSR into it. We do similar stuff as facebook apps an example of that is the currently live contest http://www.facebook.com/qatarairways?sk ... 3602608947 . In this campaign the winner is decided based on votes and also based on the number of successful friend invites, shares on facebook walls, tweets etc. The campaign also incorporates # tagging in twitter that is so viral. I hope this gives you a decent idea on what I do.

Yep the list provided to me by the profile evaluator did sound overly pessimistic to me too! And yes I take your point about Harvard and its just that I want to take a shot at it as I feel that I am onto something that is very nascent and something that very few people have expertise at.

And yes coming from a computer science background I am really interested in the quantitative part of it for example we boast of the number of likes that a facebook brand page gets on course of our contests or sweepstakes but I want to know how much each like is worth. This is one of the reasons why I chose Booth.

I really appreciate your suggestion and now I am more clear on what to do. I didn't even in consider Indiana before but now I am thinking of having a go at it and just like you suggested I am hoping to prioritize well on R1 and R2.

Yes i most definitely have a social responsibility angle to it and that is why I am particularly proud of the Lenovo project and I think I made about 8000 children think about what they want to be and that is an awesome number considering that every Saturday I spend close to 4 hours with 11 children trying to make them think of potential careers.

Please do let me know if you have anymore inputs. Thank you once again for such an insighful reply!
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 08:42
Dare and the world always yields. lf it beats you sometimes, dare it again and again and it will succumb[img]http://www.cx-7.info/g.gif
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 10:24
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phanideepak wrote:
Yep I'll be more than glad to give out any information that helps people in knowing my profile a bit better.

I'll give the example of a hugely successful campaign that we did for Lenovo, USA. This was called the dream to do contest and you can access the url @ http://www.lenovodreamtodo.com . This campaign was targeted at primary,secondary and moiddle schools in the USA. The original intention was to market the notebook x130e which according to lenovo and because of its many features is the perfect fit for students' usage. Lenovo used our photo contests model to design a campaign called dream to do where the teachers in schools were supposed to submit the drawings done by their students. The drawings should depict what the students wants to be when he/she grows up. The winning school was decided based on the number of entries X10 + number of votes for entries belonging to that school. Just to give out some statistics there were more than 8000 entries and 56000 votes in a short span of 2.5 months. This was a very innovative campaign in that the company used our model of photo/video campaigns and also cleverly embedded CSR into it. We do similar stuff as facebook apps an example of that is the currently live contest http://www.facebook.com/qatarairways?sk ... 3602608947 . In this campaign the winner is decided based on votes and also based on the number of successful friend invites, shares on facebook walls, tweets etc. The campaign also incorporates # tagging in twitter that is so viral. I hope this gives you a decent idea on what I do.


This gives some good, high-level, insight into the projects your company works on, but it doesn't really say what YOU do. What did you do to support the Lenovo project?

If I could give you one piece of advice from what I learned when I was applying to schools last year it would be: "Get to the point, make sure that your evidence supports the point and make sure that everything actually answers the question you're being asked."

Your overall GMAT score is awesome, especially your Q & V splits. You have lots of good extra-curricular interests and experiences, and the sustainability part fits into your future career vision. I feel like your admission will hinge on your career vision and how you tie your past experiences into it. Did you articulate your vision clearly? Is it believable? Is there a link between who you are now (career/volunteer experiences), what what you want to become after business school and how X business school will help you get there?

I agree with method that whoever evaluated your profile was being overly pessimistic. As for schools currently on your list, I'll briefly talk about Booth because I was recently admitted into the Class of 2014. If I'm being brutally honest with myself, I didn't get in based off of my work experience (I've worked for some decently well known firms with some semi-interesting positions). I definitely think my essays are what set me apart from the other applicants. I was very specific about my goals, why Booth, who I am personally and professionally and what I would bring to campus.

If you tailor your vision to match who you are and you stay on message throughout the application that's all you can do and you let the chips fall where they may.
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 10:35
phanideepak wrote:
Please do let me know if you have anymore inputs. Thank you once again for such an insighful reply!


First, I think that campaign is awesome and congratulations on that! The nature of your work definitely lends massive credibility to reaching higher.

Locking down your school list takes a lot of time. You think you'll have it set, and then the next day you go back and mess with it again, or rearrange it. But keep doing your due diligence, I think you're in the right ballpark.

What might end up being a major lever for you is: would you rather go somewhere with a great technical education or somewhere with a socially-minded student body? And which schools truly offer both.

I think you should definitely find a way to add Kellogg to your list.
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 17:33
dsg wrote:
This gives some good, high-level, insight into the projects your company works on, but it doesn't really say what YOU do. What did you do to support the Lenovo project?

I agree with method that whoever evaluated your profile was being overly pessimistic. As for schools currently on your list, I'll briefly talk about Booth because I was recently admitted into the Class of 2014. If I'm being brutally honest with myself, I didn't get in based off of my work experience (I've worked for some decently well known firms with some semi-interesting positions). I definitely think my essays are what set me apart from the other applicants. I was very specific about my goals, why Booth, who I am personally and professionally and what I would bring to campus.

If you tailor your vision to match who you are and you stay on message throughout the application that's all you can do and you let the chips fall where they may.


Firstly congratulations on getting into booth its so awesome that I can talk to people who are already joining schools that I am aiming for!!!!

In the Lenovo project I was who developed the whole site as in all the web pages and everything. Basically I am a web developer with sound knowledge on social media integration.

Coming to my vision immediately after my MBA I plan on becoming a marketing consultant. In my current path I am sure to hit a plateau soon as all I do is suggest solutions and implement the campaigns technically. Also this field of marketing is just blooming and I don't want to miss the ship as I've been involved in this for about 3 years now. Its all the more exciting when I keep looking at the penetration that social networks have these days with the advent of smartphones more than 800 million users for eg and every smart phone boasts a facebook app as a feature so the target audience is HUGE and at that point I want to be something who makes use of all the resources at my disposal. That will be my main job but on weekends I plan to continue what I am doing now that is devote my time for the cause of education of the poor and sustainability. In the long term I plan to move on to sustainability and CSR.
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 18:02
method wrote:
What might end up being a major lever for you is: would you rather go somewhere with a great technical education or somewhere with a socially-minded student body? And which schools truly offer both.

I think you should definitely find a way to add Kellogg to your list.


Ideally I am looking for a mix of both. I am sure that I will utilize my spare time for the causes of childrens education and environmental sustainability so I need great clubs where I can meet like minded people.

Thanks a lot for the recommendation, Method! I'll definitely add kellog to my target schools.

Also one thing that I keep hearing from people is about managing people? As in in my first company I was just getting started and the head count was about 150,000 there is no way I could get into managerial level within 2 years and in the next company it is a start up and people are much more experienced than I am so again there is not much possibility of managing people. I think leadership can also be by the way of initiatives at work etc right? In spite of lesser experience I am consistently allocated critical projects and also assigned to do fire fighting in projects where the progress is less than satisfactory. I am also asked to train people on new stuff. So can't all this substitute for managerial responsibilities? The person who evaluated my profile kept telling me that there are managers with 7-8 yrs experience who find it tough to get into schools such as Ross or Booth. I am sure that B-Schools look for leadership qualities but surely there are other ways to gauge those qualities other than counting the number of people who work under a person right? I mean I can argue that I am showing my leadership abilities by taking initiatives at work and being responsible for those initiatives(I have a lot of examples that demonstrate these).
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 18:31
You should be able to do better than what was evaluated as your options but it all depends on how you tell your story... If you can stand out from the applicants from Infy, Wipro, CTS, etc you can definitely target schools in the top 10.
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 23:17
MBADreamzzz wrote:
You should be able to do better than what was evaluated as your options but it all depends on how you tell your story... If you can stand out from the applicants from Infy, Wipro, CTS, etc you can definitely target schools in the top 10.


Hello,

I completely agree with the opinion of MBADreamzzz.

There is a huge flow of IT and Engineering graduates from India to US schools, and believe me the number of students is really considerably high.

In this scenario, you have a chance of being put in run of the mill category if you do not present a compelling story in your essays and recommendations, your essays must scream what you have done as an individual and must not exhibit yourself to be a typical indian IT male candidate.

Your work area is impressive, but "Prove It" in your essays and recommendations, and believe me you have great story to articulate.

Good Luck
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 05:38
Okay guys you have been such a great help!! Now I am more sure footed and based on your valuable inputs I have shortlisted the following :

1. Chicago Booth
2. Kellog
3. Ross
4. Kelley
5. Schulich
6. ISB

I have room for one more school and I will research a bit more but yea I will take a shot at one more top 10 school.
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 05:40
OasisGC wrote:
MBADreamzzz wrote:
You should be able to do better than what was evaluated as your options but it all depends on how you tell your story... If you can stand out from the applicants from Infy, Wipro, CTS, etc you can definitely target schools in the top 10.


Hello,

I completely agree with the opinion of MBADreamzzz.

There is a huge flow of IT and Engineering graduates from India to US schools, and believe me the number of students is really considerably high.

In this scenario, you have a chance of being put in run of the mill category if you do not present a compelling story in your essays and recommendations, your essays must scream what you have done as an individual and must not exhibit yourself to be a typical indian IT male candidate.

Your work area is impressive, but "Prove It" in your essays and recommendations, and believe me you have great story to articulate.

Good Luck


Thanks a lot Oasis and Mbadreamzz! Yes I have the stories to tell about why I can stand out I clearly have a goal set and I have been moving towards it for more than 2 years now. One of the reasons why I chose to quit Infosys and join a small startup where the head count was about 30 when I joined it!
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 07:28
phanideepak wrote:
dsg wrote:
This gives some good, high-level, insight into the projects your company works on, but it doesn't really say what YOU do. What did you do to support the Lenovo project?

I agree with method that whoever evaluated your profile was being overly pessimistic. As for schools currently on your list, I'll briefly talk about Booth because I was recently admitted into the Class of 2014. If I'm being brutally honest with myself, I didn't get in based off of my work experience (I've worked for some decently well known firms with some semi-interesting positions). I definitely think my essays are what set me apart from the other applicants. I was very specific about my goals, why Booth, who I am personally and professionally and what I would bring to campus.

If you tailor your vision to match who you are and you stay on message throughout the application that's all you can do and you let the chips fall where they may.


Firstly congratulations on getting into booth its so awesome that I can talk to people who are already joining schools that I am aiming for!!!!

In the Lenovo project I was who developed the whole site as in all the web pages and everything. Basically I am a web developer with sound knowledge on social media integration.

Coming to my vision immediately after my MBA I plan on becoming a marketing consultant. In my current path I am sure to hit a plateau soon as all I do is suggest solutions and implement the campaigns technically. Also this field of marketing is just blooming and I don't want to miss the ship as I've been involved in this for about 3 years now. Its all the more exciting when I keep looking at the penetration that social networks have these days with the advent of smartphones more than 800 million users for eg and every smart phone boasts a facebook app as a feature so the target audience is HUGE and at that point I want to be something who makes use of all the resources at my disposal. That will be my main job but on weekends I plan to continue what I am doing now that is devote my time for the cause of education of the poor and sustainability. In the long term I plan to move on to sustainability and CSR.


This sounds like the makings of a good essay/application. You'll be in good shape for applying in Round 1 if you keep refining your message. If I can make one more suggestion it would be to start working on each school's application as soon as it's released. If you want to apply Round 1 for every school, or at least the more competitive ones, work your way from your "least" to "most" favorite school. The reason for this is that the more you write, the better you'll get at writing the next set of essays. You may even consider applying to your top school in Round 2 so that your essays will be in the best shape they could possibly be in.

Good luck!
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2012, 19:40
phanideepak wrote:
OasisGC wrote:
MBADreamzzz wrote:
You should be able to do better than what was evaluated as your options but it all depends on how you tell your story... If you can stand out from the applicants from Infy, Wipro, CTS, etc you can definitely target schools in the top 10.


Hello,

I completely agree with the opinion of MBADreamzzz.

There is a huge flow of IT and Engineering graduates from India to US schools, and believe me the number of students is really considerably high.

In this scenario, you have a chance of being put in run of the mill category if you do not present a compelling story in your essays and recommendations, your essays must scream what you have done as an individual and must not exhibit yourself to be a typical indian IT male candidate.

Your work area is impressive, but "Prove It" in your essays and recommendations, and believe me you have great story to articulate.

Good Luck


Thanks a lot Oasis and Mbadreamzz! Yes I have the stories to tell about why I can stand out I clearly have a goal set and I have been moving towards it for more than 2 years now. One of the reasons why I chose to quit Infosys and join a small startup where the head count was about 30 when I joined it!


You are most welcome.

You can surely articulate entire sequence of your career to a great story, and yes you have a good story. I have interacted with quiet a few indian IT male applicants and you have all chances to differentiate yourself.

Good luck, let me know if i could be of any help to you in crafting your essays !!
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Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2012, 07:46
OasisGC wrote:
phanideepak wrote:
OasisGC wrote:
Hello,

I completely agree with the opinion of MBADreamzzz.

There is a huge flow of IT and Engineering graduates from India to US schools, and believe me the number of students is really considerably high.

In this scenario, you have a chance of being put in run of the mill category if you do not present a compelling story in your essays and recommendations, your essays must scream what you have done as an individual and must not exhibit yourself to be a typical indian IT male candidate.

Your work area is impressive, but "Prove It" in your essays and recommendations, and believe me you have great story to articulate.

Good Luck


Thanks a lot Oasis and Mbadreamzz! Yes I have the stories to tell about why I can stand out I clearly have a goal set and I have been moving towards it for more than 2 years now. One of the reasons why I chose to quit Infosys and join a small startup where the head count was about 30 when I joined it!


You are most welcome.

You can surely articulate entire sequence of your career to a great story, and yes you have a good story. I have interacted with quiet a few indian IT male applicants and you have all chances to differentiate yourself.

Good luck, let me know if i could be of any help to you in crafting your essays !!


Thanks a lot Oasis and I'll be more than glad to take your help in articulating my stories.



Last bumped by phanideepak on 04 Jun 2012, 07:46.

Re: Am I aiming too High? 730 GMAT, work ex by fall 2013 4.5 yrs   [#permalink] 04 Jun 2012, 07:46
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