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Applying after Investment Banking & Public Policy in India

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Applying after Investment Banking & Public Policy in India [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2012, 01:44
Hello,


I am an M&A advisory analyst working for top-tier M&A focused bank (front-office) in India. I was recruited as the only undergraduate analyst in the India team from the M&A practice of a middle-market investment bank (front office).


I have also been involved as a founding member with India's first political consulting firm and have worked with elected MPs and potential contestants on both electoral and public policy mandates. Although its a part-time job, I have been instrumental in making initial strategy, recruiting the first batch of employees and business development. India is expected to remain the fastest growing major economy for the next 2 decades and the bigeest hurdle in its path is a populist and often short-sighted Indian politics. The startup which aims to create a more rational agenda based politics has already garnered some very high-profile mandates and hopes to become a full-fleged public policy and political consultancy.


Having completed 2 years in M&A and am planning to apply this fall for the 2013 MBA batch.


The general trend in the US is to do a 2 year analyst stint at a bank and then work at a PE/VC/HF fund for 2-3 years before applying to business school. However, in India getting into a front-office banking role at a top-10 firm is much more challenging than most of the major economies since MBAs from India join as 1st/2nd year analysts and hence virtually no top-tier bank has an analyst program.


Given the fact that I want to enter B School with 3-3.5 years of experience and that I have a banking+public policy background, I am worried if I would be seen in the same light as the US banking analysts who often do a 2-3 year PE/VC stint after 2 years in banking


Profile:
Working for a leading global investment bank in India. Was hired as the first undergraduate and am working at par with MBAs from Indian universities.

GMAT 720+ (indicative, only taken mocks); First Division from India's best business undergraduate college but with comparatively lower maths scores; Led the debate team, social service team and annual festival at the college, also advised Indian Social justice ministry as a pro-bono consultant on my last job

Will really appreciate if I can get some realistic feedback on the matter and any suggestions to improve my candidacy.
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Re: Applying after Investment Banking & Public Policy in India [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2012, 08:02
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Hi mumbai28,

You have a great candidacy. Regarding how your profile will be considered, what will be most important is how you address your work experience throughout your personal essays, recommendations, and resume. As an applicant, you will be looked at as someone with work experience at an investment bank, however you can use these other areas of your application to differentiate yourself.

We have a list of case studies here, which should also be of help: http://www.stacyblackman.com/case-studies/

What business schools you are considering?


Cheers,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Applying after Investment Banking & Public Policy in India [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2012, 08:45
Hey Conrad,

Really appreciate your response.

I am targeting:

HBS: For its focus on leadership which will be helpful since I want to work for in the political space soon after my MBA
Stanford: Focus on Entrepreneurship
Wharton: Since I come from a leading bank with very good record in US, this should be good fit
Chicago: Same as Wharton
LBS: Same as Wharton, plus shorter MBA saves time
INSEAD: Shorter program, good name and recruitment network in Asia. France is a big attraction

My differentiating factors:
-Less than 15 bankers at top 10 global banks will apply from India. I will need to differentiate front-office from middle/back office since atleast 300 from the latter apply each year
-A successful Political start-up in a country known to have one of the highest corruption rates and political inefficiency globally. I actually believe and so do various economists that good governance can add a couple of percentage points to India's GDP growth. We are talking India being probably the largest contributor to global growth in the next 2 decades here!
-Made a model for Ministry of Social Justice to seed 6-10 start-ups by disabled entrepreneurs while working pro-bono (after office hours). This show's my consistent focus on start-ups and public policy while being in banking which we all know is a brutal place post 2008
-College Debate Team head (managed India's largest undergraduate debate), College Festival Head and In-Charge of Sponsorship in 2008 which was a bad year (lead a team of 80), Secretary of Social Service Cell (helped students get jobs at NGOs)
-Business Undergrad from the best college in the country (not bragging, it has been topping the rankings for more than a decade here). Most of the elite applicants from India are engineers (typically IIT)

Problem areas:
-Since I was doing too many things (Debate Team Head, Students Union Chief Fund Raiser, Social Service Cell, etc etc) my score took a hit. I should still be in the top 35% of university but scores in quant subjects are a tad low

The issue is - How to make the top schools prefer me over someone who did GS TMT+KKR and went to an Ivy for undergrad.


Hope you can help. I went through your case studies but I a mix of 2-3 typical models and hence am a bit worried.
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