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Ask Admit World/My MBA Admit

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MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 05 Jan 2010
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Schools: University of Chicago, Columbia, Wharton, Stanford, Harvard, Cornell, NYU, Duke, Indiana
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 08:28
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We will be collecting all our profile evaluations and application review responses posted at GMATClub and other forums under the MyMBAAdmit thread to provide a single resource for our readers.

Experienced applicant with strong academic and professional credentials assesses chances for an European MBA.

feel wrote:
Hello, this is my profile:

Male - almost 32 years - Italian
Bocconi University - Milan : "italian GPA" (i have no idea if it means something like 3,9 real GPA) : 108 / 110

GMAT - 720 (Q 49; V 40 ; awa 5)
i need to retake in coming weeks my toefl as i had 95
I'm also good - proficiency in French (diplome superieur de francais des affaires, but 10 years ago)

Work experience - 7 years (ongoing) in finance. In the last 4 years I worked as a portfolio manager (part of a team) in a small asset management italian company : so expertize in equity and bonds. In addition, I've been involved in the creation of a new ethical fund which invest in renewable energies. We also give consultancy to a Luxembourg company.
Before, i worked 3 years as a junior consultant in a small company managing 2 hedge funds.


Other:

- Studied abroad in San Diego California for 3 months 5 years ago.
- I love to travel and organize travels for friends: I've been to Cuba, California, Utah, Spain, Tanzania, Sweden, and almost all european countriesduring my vacations.
- I did volunteer for people with problems and i also served in "time banks" (it's a structure where you give a service in exchange of another service, such as tax consultant in exchange of english lessons). But i stopped some years ago so i do not have a lot of extracurricular activities.
-I am in the first stage of preparing an innovative business plan for a small private project in photovoltaic sector, but i still have to work on it.

I want to have an international experience, full time MBa as i want to focus on myself and my interaction with others and i feel my experience in my present company is over (i do not want to continue working there). My goal is to have a job more company related than the actual (we focus on technical analysis in order to buy or sell stocks), such as financial consultancy for a sector (i am interested in renewable energies) or private equity. Despite my age and contrarely to the other guys here, unfortunately I do not have an exact clear idea of my future career and i think an MBA could help me to better understand it.

First question: 1) Do you think it would be possible to apply for the last round at Esade in May? Otherwise, I'd start one year later, when I will be 33.

If i will apply in Fall for next year, I will apply there:

ESADE
IE
IESE

2)What are my chances at those schools and are there any other European schools that you would recommend applying to ?

3) For personal reasons, there is also a possibility to move to Canada. In that case, which MBa would you suggest?

Thank you in advance


Hi feel,
It's been some time since we received this request from you and I am not sure if you are still looking for answers. If you are, I am including our perspective on your questions below.

Overall, I think you have strong academic credentials, extensive and diverse work experience, and interesting and potentially high-impact (time banks and business plan) extracurricular activities. I would recommend taking the TOEFL again to improve your score and mitigate any concerns on your communication abilities. Also, I would suggest that you do incorporate your wide travels in your application - they help corroborate your desire for an International MBA.

My biggest concern in your application is the potential weakness of not having well-defined career goals. Although many applicants do change their mind after entering MBA programs and becoming aware of other opportunities through interactions with career services, employers and classmates, having at least one well-defined career option offers many benefits. One, it helps you in identifying programs that are the best fit both in the short-term (internships and first job after MBA) and long-term. Two, it helps to make you a stronger applicant for the AdCom when you are able to demonstrate the fit between your career goals and school's offerings. Three, it helps you hit the ground running in the relatively short duration of an MBA, since internship recruiting does start fairly quickly after you start your program.

I don't see any harm in applying for ESADE this year. However, you will make yourself a much stronger candidate, especially for the extra-competitive third round, if you are able to communicate a well-defined career plan that is consistently demonstrated through all the components of your application package.

If you are able to demonstrate "Why MBA?" convincingly, I think you have a good chance at the schools you mentioned. This is more so since European schools are more open to older candidates. Other popular European schools are INSEAD, IMD and LBS (although note that a lot of younger applicants apply to LBS and INSEAD).

Well-known programs in Canada include Ivey, Queens, HEC Montreal and York. However, you will be able to better define which schools to apply to once you have at least one career plan in place.

Career counseling is a service we offer at My MBA Admit to meet the needs of our clients who are facing situations like yours. As I often tell my clients, "MBA is not the destination, but a way to get there." We offer career counseling both separately and as part of our application consulting sessions. We help clients define their goals, assess their profile, and categorize their past experiences and future interests in order to create a career plan that is demonstrated through all components of the application. We recently helped a client define one career plan out of three conflicting options, and mentored another client to the realization that she wasn't looking for career advancement within her company but a career switch to entrepreneurship. If this is something we can help you with, do let us know.

Another service I would recommend is our 10-page report for Candidate Profiling and School Selection. This comprehensive report offers the opportunity to go through a mini application process that will help to evaluate your profile and recommend a set of schools that is best suited to your needs.

Feel free to drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com. Check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.
_________________

My MBA Admit
Khyati Soparkar, Lead Consultant
MBA Admissions Consultants
New York, NY

Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation

Just starting the MBA application process? Our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report is currently offered for $100 only! This 10-page report conducts a multidimensional profile evaluation, and provides you with a comprehensive list of business schools that match. Click to Find Out More!

MBAConsult@MyMBAAdmit.com

Read the My MBA Admit Blog

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Last edited by MyMBAAdmit on 11 May 2010, 12:45, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 09:32
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kcw984 wrote:
Hi MyMBAAdmit,

I was hoping you could evaluate my profile. Thanks in advance!

Profile:

25 year old male, international background (grew up in US and Japan), US Citizen
GMAT: 730 (96th percentile) - V45 (98th percentile), Q45 (74th percentile)
GPA: 3.4 overall from a top 20 Liberal Arts College - Double major in East Asian Studies (Mandarin Chinese, 3.7 GPA) and Economics (3.0 GPA)
Work Experience: 2.5 years in Compliance at two top asset management firms

Target Schools:
-Chicago Booth
-Kellogg
-CBS
-Stern
-HBS

I am concerned about my chances because of two potential weaknesses. The first is my Economics GPA; although my overall GPA is seemingly average (or slightly below average) for top programs, my economics GPA is low at 3.0, and my performance in the two quantitative courses I took (Statistics and Calculus) was not strong (I got a C+ in Statistics and took Calculus Pass/Fail). How much of a problem will this be? I have a strong GMAT score, but my quantitative percentile is not stellar. I am currently enrolled in NYU’s continuing education Statistics course (one of their “pre-MBA courses”). I am also considering taking Calculus.

My second concern is that I have very little in the way of ECs and no volunteer work/community involvement. The only EC I have from my undergrad was during my senior year, when I joined a program that essentially was a “mini business school experience”; I led a team that evaluated and presented a HBS case-study and performed an equity analysis, leading to a buy/hold/sell recommendation. I have no prior volunteer experience; although I realize it may come off as contrived, I have signed up for a few volunteer events over the next several months (and have already completed a few). I am hoping that having something is better than nothing.

In terms of WE, I was unable to find a job until March of 2008 as a Compliance Specialist at a large Asset Management Firm (~$300 billion AUM). In my first position, I conducted forensic reviews on a wide range of topics such as marketing materials, RFPs and trade allocation. I was also responsible for employee Compliance training. I was laid off in February, 2009 and began my current position in March in Compliance at another large Asset Management Firm (~$ 600+ billion AUM), this time focusing on personal trade surveillance/reconciliation and code of ethics administration (disclosures, political contributions, private investments, etc). I am also responsible for employee training at my current position. My current position is more focused than my previous job and is much more high-pressure, fast-paced and full of short-deadline projects.

I am interested in getting my MBA in order to transition from Compliance to Investment Banking; although I enjoy what I currently do, I would like the opportunity to work on the business side in deals and interact with clients. What I enjoy the most about my current job is meeting new employees through Compliance training as well as acting as a resource for employees throughout the firm by handling Compliance-related questions and requests. I am a strong communicator and I feel that I could be more valuable to an employer and more fulfilled on a personal level by working on deals and (eventually) winning over clients.

Any input on my chances at the schools I listed would be greatly appreciated.


Hi kcw,

Thanks for your post. Happy to help with a profile evaluation. Please find my thoughts below.

Academically, I think your profile is strong. Although the GPA is just a shade below average, the high GMAT score takes away any concerns on your academic abilities. I do like that you are taking extra courses in subjects that you feel you are weak in - this demonstrates to the AdCom that you are aware of any potential weaknesses, and are willing to take responsibility by proactively working on them before entering the program. Hence, don't be too concerned about it - you are already taking steps to mitigate any concerns and if we work together, we can also help you figure out if this is a topic you need to cover in your optional essay as an extra precaution.

Your extracurricular activities are a bigger concern. Especially in this era, when there is a lot of emphasis on ethics and responsibility in MBA programs, an "involved" candidate is very appealing to the AdCom. That being said, a lot of candidates face this issue, and are helped by our experience. We help them evaluate their experiences without bias to identify any potential experiences they could have initially missed, and then help them present those opportunities to demonstrate an optimal fit with the program. Let me demonstrate with an example.

One of our recent clients came to us with the same issue. We always start by a holistic discussion on the candidate's overall profile instead of going straight to the application. This helps identify a client's strongest experiences that are most suited for that program before we start the application, and thus makes it more time-and cost-effective for him. We did this with that client too. Over the course of our discussion it emerged that although a project manager, our client had become the go-to guy for computer repairs all through the company. He did this free of charge, often staying after hours or on weekends to help coworkers and even offering documentations to those who needed it. His impact could be measured by the increase in productivity and minimizing the time wasted, and he had been recognized for his efforts. He had never thought of including this, but it was community service in the best sense - completely voluntary, high impact and measurable. As we start working together, I am confident we can help you better evaluate your profile and identify potential opportunities too.

For your work experience, you mentioned that you weren't able to find a job till March 2008. Since you haven't put in a graduation date, I wasn't able to tell if you had a significant gap between graduation and starting your job. If this is the case, that is another aspect I would like to focus on and explain to prevent any unanswered questions.

I have gone through your list of schools, and although you are competitive, there are a couple of opportunities in your application (like there are for everyone). For this reason, I would err on the side of caution and add a safety school or two that still fit your profile and offer you the best chances for admission.

Feel free to drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to discuss your application further. Check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.
_________________

My MBA Admit
Khyati Soparkar, Lead Consultant
MBA Admissions Consultants
New York, NY

Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation

Just starting the MBA application process? Our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report is currently offered for $100 only! This 10-page report conducts a multidimensional profile evaluation, and provides you with a comprehensive list of business schools that match. Click to Find Out More!

MBAConsult@MyMBAAdmit.com

Read the My MBA Admit Blog

Follow My MBA Admit on Twitter and Facebook!

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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 12:28
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We will be collecting all our profile evaluations and application review responses posted at GMATClub and other forums under the MyMBAAdmit thread to provide a single resource for our readers.

Do any MBA programs require only TOEFL as an admission requirement?

Applicant:
I have very little information about the admission of MBA program in Australia or US.
Right now, I'm preparing for TOEFL test on June, 2010.
Can anyone show me if there is some colleges or universities just require TOEFL or IELTS for MBA program? I would like to get a scholarship from these.
Thank you so much for the helps!

My MBA Admit:
There are plenty of universities that don't require a GMAT score for admission, and just a TOEFL, or even without, would do. However, choosing to pursue your MBA at one of these program depends on your post-MBA career goals. If you are using an MBA degree only to increase your professional qualifications and are not too concerned with the brand name, a lower-ranked or unranked school that does not require GMAT would fit your needs. However, if you are using it to switch careers or make a more significant change in your career, a higher-ranked school which will require more than TOEFL would be a better fit.

Feel free to drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to discuss your application further. Check out our Volume Discounts and Application Packages tailored to your admission needs.
_________________

My MBA Admit
Khyati Soparkar, Lead Consultant
MBA Admissions Consultants
New York, NY

Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation

Just starting the MBA application process? Our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report is currently offered for $100 only! This 10-page report conducts a multidimensional profile evaluation, and provides you with a comprehensive list of business schools that match. Click to Find Out More!

MBAConsult@MyMBAAdmit.com

Read the My MBA Admit Blog

Follow My MBA Admit on Twitter and Facebook!

MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 194
Location: New York
Schools: University of Chicago, Columbia, Wharton, Stanford, Harvard, Cornell, NYU, Duke, Indiana
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 94 [0], given: 0

Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 11 May 2010, 07:12
We will be collecting all our profile evaluations and application review responses posted at GMATClub and other forums under the MyMBAAdmit thread to provide a single resource for our readers.

Diverse candidate with unique profile, impressive extra-curricular activities and expected GMAT of ~700 assesses MBA chances.

vannbj wrote:
I’ve been on gmatclub for a decent amount of time now and this coming fall I plan on applying to some schools. I want to know realistically what schools I would be competitive at currently and what schools I would be competitive at if I reached my GMAT goal (I’m about half way through the mgmat books so I haven’t covered every topic).

Nationality: US- Negro (That’s what the census categorized me as so that’s what I’m putting)- neither one of my parents are west Indian or African. I’m straight up African American. Love fried chicken and everything.

Ugrad major: Economics/ Business from a big state school (biggest in my state actually)
Ugrad GPA: 3.5
-every human being says this part so let me join in on the fun: I had a steady upward trend. My gpa was a 2.75 my first semester and because I was a lazy bum and hung out with a bunch of lazy bums (out of the five of us I was the only one to graduate) I thought aiming for B’s was overachieving. Smh… I know. It’s a shame. My grades really started to climb when I joined student government and got around other people with dreams and realized that I was dreaming much too small for my abilities. Then I started busted my hump and did very very well especially in my major (I think I had 1 B and the rest were A’s in my major).

WE: IMO this is my weakest/strongest point depending on how you look at it. I’m not sure how an adcom would look at it. I’ve been working for an insurance company since I graduated (Jan 2008 – present) by the time I matriculate (if I matriculate) I’ll have 3.5 years. My work is great and the people are great but the pay is far below competitive. Still I liked the work and the company is kicking the rest of the industry’s butt & I get to play an important part in it & have a good understanding of the culture. Hopefully, I can spin this to bring a unique perspective to b-school (keeping my fingers crossed). I’m an analyst and I do all sorts of crazy stuff in Excel to make sense of the data. I created several sales, attrition, growth, forecasts and models to plot out and plan all sorts of scenarios to help us grow profitably. Luckily I got to do this in teams and present findings and ideas to big wigs. They liked our ideas but it was hard to come up with takeaways.

GMAT: I took this earlier this week and got a 650 (V37 Q42). Since I’m not done studying I’m fairly confident that I can break 700, hopefully I’ll get higher than that. I’ve just got to get used to the endurance the test requires and how wide my eye has to focus for the CR questions (these are normally where I’m strongest but because I had to span 12 inches rather than 3 or 4 to view the whole argument it threw my brain off a bit). I have until June 26th to take the real test and I’m trying to blow it out the water.

Extra curriculars:
In college, as stated above I was very involved in student government, particularly the student senate. I broke a school record for the most votes for any student senator in my school’s history (though it was broken the next year by someone else when I ran for student body president). I was also the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee (we decided how to allocate $640,000 to 120 student organizations which were requesting $1.2 million it was pretty cool for a 19 yo but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to what some have done here so I def won’t boast). After we would decide I had to present the decisions to the Senate and defend our reasonings. I think a lot of people who didn’t agree with me politically still supported me because they respected my character. I don’t show partiality to anyone or any group and I made it a point to look at every issue from as may perspectives I could think of.

Also, in college I was very involved in my church, particularly in two ministries: 1) Praise and worship (music) and 2) community outreach. No joke. My college years were terribly rough on my spirit and probably the roughest point came as a result of community outreach. A friend of mine, named Eric, stayed with me and my roommate for about 2 or 3 weeks one semester and he also assisted with the community outreach to housing projects north of my campus. It was basically to just be there for the kids of the hood because a lot of them have it really rough and never get exposed to much outside of the projects. And it’s not like folks are fighting to go into the projects to broaden horizons. Most people are very fixated on their lives and careers. Anyway, we would have basketball programs and what not on Friday nights. One night I had a sinking feeling and I was determined not to go but couldn’t for the life of me explain why. Sure enough, Eric had to escort two teens out of the community center. One of the kids didn’t like it and shot him in the abdomen. He bled to death. He was 23 and about to be a father and he was nobody’s gangbanger. It was just sad. Who dies at 23 doing the right thing? That and a bunch of other things really messed with my head and heart to cause me to question whether or not I wanted to continue in any sort of real ministry to God or my community.

I guess some kind of way my heart got over those rough days and now I’m back involved in my current church & the community. I sing on the praise team and am a member of the finance ministry. I love it. I’m probably too involved. I guess I came to the conclusion that I’m gonna die anyway. Since I have no idea when I might as well live to help out other people and be the change that I want to see.

Anyway, I’ve typed your head off pouring my heart out to you lol. Do you think I could be competitive anywhere if I cross that 700 barier? My gf’s going to Wharton this fall I can’t let her hog all the education!! Let me know what you think.


Hi vannbj,

I started reading your profile and just had to keep going. This, in spite of your profile being one of the longer ones. I guess that tells you that you do have quite a compelling one!

From our admissions and client experience, we know that every candidate is evaluated on three aspects: his academic, professional and personal credentials. I am including a brief profile evaluation below.

Your undergrad GPA is good and being from a well-known state school supplements the credibility of those grades. I also like that your major GPA was strong, and of course, as every other human being seems to say (!), the story of your upward trend through college would make a great story for one of the essays! Your test GMAT score of 650 is good, and if you get it up to 700 or above, even better. You haven't said but if you are aiming for a top school, it would be great to see a higher score.

Your professional experience seems good to me, with plenty of potential examples to demonstrate hard skills such as analysis and modeling and soft skills including teamwork and communication. I am curious to know why you think it could be a weakness. Could you elaborate? I would like to mention that the value of your experience is not determined by your lower pay, but by the quantitative impact of your efforts and the personal/professional development that happened alongside. When presenting your experiences, that is what we would focus on, as well as what the AdCom would be most interested in.

Your personal profile is amply demonstrated by your involvement with student government in college and with church activities thereafter. The value of extra-curricular activities lies in their ability to demonstrate that the applicant was able to apply his skills and have an impact on activities outside the routine work/study activities that he was required to do. And, just from the description here, I am excited at the potential of getting those stories on paper and standing out from your competition by the sheer diversity of your profile.

Of course, an MBA application is as much about what you have done in the past, as what you plan to do with your degree in the future. What are your post-MBA goals and ambitions? What kind of schools do you want to focus on? It would be great to know more about your profile so I can guide you better.

Feel free to drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to set up a Free Initial Consultation to discuss your application further. Check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.
_________________

My MBA Admit
Khyati Soparkar, Lead Consultant
MBA Admissions Consultants
New York, NY

Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation

Just starting the MBA application process? Our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report is currently offered for $100 only! This 10-page report conducts a multidimensional profile evaluation, and provides you with a comprehensive list of business schools that match. Click to Find Out More!

MBAConsult@MyMBAAdmit.com

Read the My MBA Admit Blog

Follow My MBA Admit on Twitter and Facebook!


Last edited by MyMBAAdmit on 11 May 2010, 07:16, edited 1 time in total.
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 11 May 2010, 07:14
vannbj wrote:
Thank you so much for your feedback, My MBA Admit. It’s a real encouragement to me to read what you replied and especially that it was an interesting read. I’ll try to answer your questions.

1) I thought my work experience could be considered a weakness because I thought adcoms tend to gauge the value you provide to your company by how much your company pays you. Since property and casualty insurance in general tends to pay less than most other industries and my employer pays very conservatively even among other insurers (part of its competitive advantage IMO), I am not sure if the adcom would or wouldn’t view this a weakness. However, I am not complaining because when I graduated undergrad, this was exactly the industry, job, company and even starting position that I wanted to work in and learn about. Thanks for giving me a better view of what the adcom would look for.

2) “What do I want to do with an MBA?” and “Where would I like to go?” are the two hardest questions to answer. I’ll try to answer them with a story. I started a business last year which would design and print poster-sized athletic calendars for high schools. They were really professional and polished athletic schedules designed to get students to post them on the walls of their rooms and spark school spirit. I planned to donate these to schools for free and give the schools large monetary donations (at least $500 per sports season). What provided the funding for these donations was ad space at the bottom of these athletic schedules/posters. I’d sell the ad space to local businesses and provide them with cheaper advertising for months than they would get anywhere else. Unfortunately, the business failed and not even from the parties providing the funding but from the schools. Perhaps I am just horrible salesman but I would like to think that it was more a matter of rapport and networking that caused what seemed like a viable and profitable business to fail. Because schools didn’t know me and were weary of others who were in this line of business I couldn’t get any of them on board (correction one came on board but then reneged). The most important thing I learned from that is that the more “exotic” your product or service is to a particular market, the more important it is for you to know someone who can help you connect with that market- preferably a mutual friend who can speak to your character. I want an MBA program with classmates who have a diverse exposure to industries, cultures, and passions so that when I see another viable profit opportunity in the future I will have a point of contact to increase the success of my enterprise. I want to go to a school that emphasizes entrepreneurship and makes me look at issues through paradigms I never would have considered. I visited HBS last year and was blown away by how the case method forces students to verbalize and kick the tires of their own positions and those of others to come to a decision. I also visited on International Day when everyone wore attire from their native country. It looked like a mini-UN in the classroom. My mouth salivated at the insight of venture opportunities in that room. Since I have only visited one potential school, it’s like seeing the first pretty girl and acting like you want to marry her. However, I have researched several others extensively. I’m also interested in Kellogg because of their one year program and Stanford because of their PMP. Honestly, Stanford might be a better fit than anywhere because of their focus on entrepreneurship but I’ll have to visit to tell. The two schools that aren’t “reach’s” like the others are Tuck and Darden. Much of where I’m competitive at will depend on how I do on the GMAT. That’s why my minimum goal is to crack a 700. I’m really aiming a couple points higher.


Glad we could help! Kudos (the little +1 box on the left) are always welcome! :)

I do understand your concerns regarding the work experience. Although there is a school of thought that believes AdComs assess a candidate's value to their company based on how much the company paid them, that is less so for younger applicants, and can be well-mitigated by demonstrating the depth, breadth and value of your experience (this is where we help).

Also, I think you provided another good example (the first was your community service), and am excited by how many more examples we can work on together to position them well for a robust and compelling application tailored to the school. I think your goals make sense, in broad terms. The next level of defining them would be provide a well-thought out career plan and how the degree, as well as offerings and resources of that particular program help you achieve those goals.

If you are just starting the MBA application process, I would recommend our 10-page report for Candidate Profiling and School Selection. This comprehensive report offers you the opportunity to go through a mini application process that will help to evaluate your profile and recommend a set of schools that is best suited to your needs.

If you would like to discuss this further, drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to set up a Free Initial Consultation. Also check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.

Btw, I liked your comparison of an MBA program to a pretty girl. Funny!
_________________

My MBA Admit
Khyati Soparkar, Lead Consultant
MBA Admissions Consultants
New York, NY

Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation

Just starting the MBA application process? Our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report is currently offered for $100 only! This 10-page report conducts a multidimensional profile evaluation, and provides you with a comprehensive list of business schools that match. Click to Find Out More!

MBAConsult@MyMBAAdmit.com

Read the My MBA Admit Blog

Follow My MBA Admit on Twitter and Facebook!

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Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 57
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Concentration: Finance, Accounting
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 11 May 2010, 17:51
Hi MyMBAAdmit,

Thanks so much for your response; I really appreciate the insight. I was sort of hoping for one of those bold text summaries though.. :-D

Just a few questions in regards to your comments:

Quote:
Your extracurricular activities are a bigger concern. Especially in this era, when there is a lot of emphasis on ethics and responsibility in MBA programs, an "involved" candidate is very appealing to the AdCom. That being said, a lot of candidates face this issue, and are helped by our experience. We help them evaluate their experiences without bias to identify any potential experiences they could have initially missed, and then help them present those opportunities to demonstrate an optimal fit with the program. Let me demonstrate with an example.


Given that I have ~6 months until applications start becoming due, is there anything I can realistically do to mitigate this? I have done some volunteer work over the past few weeks, and am planning to do more over the coming months. I am worried however, that this will appear contrived to adcoms and may not help me.

Quote:
For your work experience, you mentioned that you weren't able to find a job till March 2008. Since you haven't put in a graduation date, I wasn't able to tell if you had a significant gap between graduation and starting your job. If this is the case, that is another aspect I would like to focus on and explain to prevent any unanswered questions.


I graduated right at the end of May, 2007, so it was about 9 months until I began working. Part of the reason is that I went back home for about four months to visit and spend time with my family. I grew up in Tokyo, Japan and attended college in the midwest, so I was not able to spend much time with my family (especially my grandparents, who live in a different part of Japan) during the 4 years of school. At the time of my graduation, my grandmother had just been diagnosed with severe cancer, so I was especially eager to spend time back home. After returning to the US, I spent another four months searching for a job in Chicago but ultimately was unable to find anything. I then moved to New York and found a job within a month. When I was laid off from my first job, I found my next job in about three weeks. I've been wondering whether this will be a significant issue that I need to address. Will this be viewed as a strong negative by an adcom?

In terms of other aspects of my profile, how much does having a unique-ish background help? I speak three languages (English and Japanese growing up, and Mandarin Chinese from college). I was born in Japan, moved the the US when I was two, and moved back to Japan when I was 9 (and spent my remaining pre-college years there). My father's parents are Chinese who immigrated to Japan shortly before World War Two and raised my father in Japan, and my mother is an American who met my father while studying abroad in Japan. I've traveled extensively (visited 30+ countries) and grew up in an extremely international setting (went to international school since I was 10 with diplomats' and other expat kids). I guess I'm sort of hoping to identify areas to strength to make up for my weaknesses.

Thanks again for your assistance.
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 12 May 2010, 12:52
We will be collecting all our profile evaluations and application review responses posted at GMATClub and other forums under the MyMBAAdmit thread to provide a single resource for our readers.

Candidate seeks to understand how to define total work experience.

Applicant:
I have worked since I was in 9th grade.
1999-2005 Plywood Company – Part-Time
2006 Record Label
2006-2007 Independent Contractor
2007-2010 Plywood Company

On the application, it asks for how many years of adult work experience do I have. I have worked since I was 16. Do I put the total amount of years combined, the total amount of years since I became 18, or the number of years of work experience since I graduated?

One more question. In my resume under career profile, how many years should I put? I have11 years of work experience and 9 years at the same company, but these 9 years really are not the same as someone working 9 years at a company since graduation. Should I put the amount of experience since graduation, or my total years of experience at the Plywood Company?

I apologize, I know that is confusing.

My MBA Admit:

Impressive work experience! I would be very interested in your stories for your essays - having done so much, I am sure they must be fascinating to read.

Regarding work experience, the conventional way to approach full-time work experience for the purpose of an MBA - whether that is in the application, in the context of summer internship/post-degree employment, or in casual conversations with classmates - is the experience after obtaining an undergraduate degree. Any other employment, such as part-time during college, internships or co-ops is not listed in the main section of "number of months of full-time employment" but listed in the supplemental information section. In your case, this is something I would strongly recommend since it not only shows extra experience, but a host of attributes such as perseverance, ambition, hard work, etc.

On the resume, begin with your post-undergraduate work experience. List any internships and co-ops in the additional information section. List your part-time experience while college was in session as one of the points under the academic section. This approach ensures that you take full advantage of all the experience you have, while still following convention on how to list it.

Do note that my advice above assumes that you have sufficient work experience after completing your undergraduate degree, i.e. 3 years or more. If I missed something, I apologize. Feel free to post any follow-up questions in this thread, Ask My MBA Admit.

From our experience with admissions as well as My MBA Admit clients, we believe that both the resume and data forms are extremely important sections of the application, but often don't receive as much emphasis as they should. An MBA application resume is very different from a vocational/job resume, and needs to be tailored accordingly. Also, the more effort you spend on it now, the greater your ability to hit the ground running when you start developing one for MBA internships. Secondly, the data forms offer tremendous opportunity to mention achievements, with a judicious amount of detail, that may not have received sufficient emphasis elsewhere in the application. It is to your advantage to fully leverage them, versus just providing a list of all that you have done.

This is where we can help. We work with you to develop an entire application package that has a coherent story running throughout all the components that include not just the essays, but all other parts such as resume, data forms and recommendation letters. The singular aim is, of course, to help you be a successful admit.

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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 12 May 2010, 12:59
We will be collecting all our profile evaluations and application review responses posted at GMATClub and other forums under the MyMBAAdmit thread to provide a single resource for our readers.

Follow-up questions on work experience.

Applicant:

Thanks for the great reply MyMBAAdmit! I hadn't really thought about this question before, even though it will pertain to me in my apps!

Can you please clarify a few things in your post?

1) What is the difference between "internships" and "part-time experience"? (You say "internships" go in the "Additional Info" section, while "part-time" experience goes in the "Academic" section, but I always thought "internships"="part-time experience").

2) Would I still list the work experience during college separately from the post-undergrad experience if it was in the same field that I am currently in? One of the part-time positions during college was at a competitor company, and the other part-time position was in the company I am currently at. (Assume all part-time positions together total 20 hours per week for 2 years while in college)

3) If I will only have 2 years at the time of application, should I do something different in my resume/application?

Thanks for your help!

My MBA Admit:

Glad you enjoyed it! Kudos (the little +1 box on the left) are always welcome! :)

As a note to all our readers, we always prefer follow up questions in this thread, Ask My MBA Admit.

1) What is the difference between "internships" and "part-time experience"? (You say "internships" go in the "Additional Info" section, while "part-time" experience goes in the "Academic" section, but I always thought "internships"="part-time experience").

Internships are traditionally understood as full-time work experience undertaken during the course of a degree program, mostly when classes are not in session, such as summer internships. In this context, part-time experience is when a student is attending classes, and working somewhere for a few hours (around the part-time load of 20) at the same time.

2) Would I still list the work experience during college separately from the post-undergrad experience if it was in the same field that I am currently in? One of the part-time positions during college was at a competitor company, and the other part-time position was in the company I am currently at. (Assume all part-time positions together total 20 hours per week for 2 years while in college)

Yes. You are welcome to show the similarities by making a brief indication in the full-time experience section, saying "continued experience in X" but to make your resume more understandable, this is the best course.

3) If I will only have 2 years at the time of application, should I do something different in my resume/application?

Potentially. Although applicants are getting younger at full-time business school programs, it still strengthens your application to show strong work experience, not just for the AdCom but for the potential employer as well. Although 2 years at the time of application is not uncommon (one of our consultants at My MBA Admit was in the same boat, and she got into all the top schools), it still helps to demonstrate that the applicant's work experience can compare against the class. In this case, depending on the situation, the resume might be tailored to show internships in the experience section instead of the additional info section, after expressly marking it as such.

If you would like to discuss this further, go ahead and post a question in this thread Ask My MBA Admit or drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to set up a Free Initial Consultation. Also check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 07:11
kcw984 wrote:
Hi MyMBAAdmit,

Thanks so much for your response; I really appreciate the insight. I was sort of hoping for one of those bold text summaries though.. :-D

Glad we could help. Bold text summaries below ;)

Just a few questions in regards to your comments:

Given that I have ~6 months until applications start becoming due, is there anything I can realistically do to mitigate this? I have done some volunteer work over the past few weeks, and am planning to do more over the coming months. I am worried however, that this will appear contrived to adcoms and may not help me.

What kind of volunteer work are you doing? As I mentioned in another post today, extracurricular activities serve two basic purposes - one, demonstrate personal attributes and soft skills with quantifiable results outside routine activities and two, show diversity in your activities to add a Wow factor. Although you can't go back in time to change what has already been done, clients often miss out activities in their own profile that can qualify as strong extracurricular activities and add a notable dimension to their profiles. This is something we have helped multiple clients with, so let me know if you would like to discuss. As for the activities you are currently undertaking, the best thing to make them count is to demonstrate your impact - depth of involvement and measurable results both in terms of money raised and people helped, are good ways of showing that you didn't sign up to be a member just to put something on your applications.

Quote:
For your work experience, you mentioned that you weren't able to find a job till March 2008. Since you haven't put in a graduation date, I wasn't able to tell if you had a significant gap between graduation and starting your job. If this is the case, that is another aspect I would like to focus on and explain to prevent any unanswered questions.


I graduated right at the end of May, 2007, so it was about 9 months until I began working. Part of the reason is that I went back home for about four months to visit and spend time with my family. I grew up in Tokyo, Japan and attended college in the midwest, so I was not able to spend much time with my family (especially my grandparents, who live in a different part of Japan) during the 4 years of school. At the time of my graduation, my grandmother had just been diagnosed with severe cancer, so I was especially eager to spend time back home. After returning to the US, I spent another four months searching for a job in Chicago but ultimately was unable to find anything. I then moved to New York and found a job within a month. When I was laid off from my first job, I found my next job in about three weeks. I've been wondering whether this will be a significant issue that I need to address. Will this be viewed as a strong negative by an adcom?

I think any gaps in your resume benefit by a proactive explanation. Your desire to be with your family is genuine and touching, and should be included in your optional essay as part of the reason for your absence. In the 4 months that you were looking for a job in Chicago, did you get involved in anything else - community service, extracurricular activities, even hobbies? If so, I would put that in. I personally believe that you have something to learn from every experience, and AdComs appreciate candidates with similar insights rather than those who try to excuse themselves - hence, it's important to always keep a positive spin.

In terms of other aspects of my profile, how much does having a unique-ish background help? I speak three languages (English and Japanese growing up, and Mandarin Chinese from college). I was born in Japan, moved the the US when I was two, and moved back to Japan when I was 9 (and spent my remaining pre-college years there). My father's parents are Chinese who immigrated to Japan shortly before World War Two and raised my father in Japan, and my mother is an American who met my father while studying abroad in Japan. I've traveled extensively (visited 30+ countries) and grew up in an extremely international setting (went to international school since I was 10 with diplomats' and other expat kids). I guess I'm sort of hoping to identify areas to strength to make up for my weaknesses.

I do think your diversity makes for an interesting angle, and should definitely be included in your application package, preferably in one of the essays. One of our recent clients was admitted to multiple programs, including USC with scholarship, in spite of having an unconventional background. His secret? He had tremendously diverse experiences, including extensive travels like yours, and we fully leveraged that in his essays to make his application pop.

Drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to set up a Free Initial Consultation. Also check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.

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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 18:39
I've been reading quite a bit from people on the forum as well as from your thread hear, and have a question about how my work experience might be considered against my GPA.

My undergraduate GPA from a small state school was 3.26 and I graduated December of 2008.

Graduated high school 2004 and moved to Germany and enrolled in a Gymnasium(German honors high school). After receiving an apointment to the US Air Force Academy I moved back home and enrolled in a small state university(January 2005) to take science and math classes I'd need at USAFA. I was on dean's list this semester.(December 2005)

After one semester at USAFA I decided to leave for personal reasons. I was on dean's list for the semester I was there.

Due to my late decision to leave USAFA the only place I could get accepted was the same small state school I went to before. Immediately after getting back in January 2006 I started working part-time at the Salvation Army. Realized this wasn't enough money and got a part-time job at a pizza restaurant. In May I was promoted to Assistant Manager and quit my job at the Salvation Army. I had this job working 40-60 hours a week taking 18 credits each semester and 4 classes each summer.

I worked like this until the following May(2007) when I had a really bad semester and realized I was letting work get in the way of my studies, left this job and got another part-time management position at the mall for the summer because I then studied abroad in Japan for a semester.(December 2007)

After coming back from Japan I got a full-time job again working in the payroll department of a multi-billion dollar company,(January 2008) and started taking classes part-time to finish my degree. Within two months of being with the company I received my first promotion, and then another month later my second promotion.

In July 2008 I left this company for my current job as a software consultant for a small niche German software company. Continued taking part-time classes(online) while training in Germany through November. Presented my senior thesis and graduated in December 2008.

I have since received a promotion at my current job and relocated where I now have more responsibilities with two of our largest customers. In the meantime I have completed a paralegal certificate with a 4.0 GPA.
How much will my work experience during college matter since it isn’t your typical part-time or summer employment and definitely the amount of time I spent working effected my grades. I know I’m capable of better grades(hence my two semesters on dean’s list when I wasn’t working full time), but obviously it’s too late to really do anything about that at this point, I just don’t know if my work experience will make up for it.
I took an initial GMAT practice test and scored 610, I imagine with studying I might be able to get to the low 700’s but would feel comfortable saying that I’ll get in the mid to high 600’s
Plan on applying in about two or three more years. I have some extracurricular and volunteer work, but nothing noteworthy since high school.
My ideal school would be Wharton(close to home) but what are your thoughts or advice overall with regards to my profile?
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 17 May 2010, 08:56
nosferatudracon wrote:
I've been reading quite a bit from people on the forum as well as from your thread hear, and have a question about how my work experience might be considered against my GPA.

My undergraduate GPA from a small state school was 3.26 and I graduated December of 2008.

Graduated high school 2004 and moved to Germany and enrolled in a Gymnasium(German honors high school). After receiving an apointment to the US Air Force Academy I moved back home and enrolled in a small state university(January 2005) to take science and math classes I'd need at USAFA. I was on dean's list this semester.(December 2005)

After one semester at USAFA I decided to leave for personal reasons. I was on dean's list for the semester I was there.

Due to my late decision to leave USAFA the only place I could get accepted was the same small state school I went to before. Immediately after getting back in January 2006 I started working part-time at the Salvation Army. Realized this wasn't enough money and got a part-time job at a pizza restaurant. In May I was promoted to Assistant Manager and quit my job at the Salvation Army. I had this job working 40-60 hours a week taking 18 credits each semester and 4 classes each summer.

I worked like this until the following May(2007) when I had a really bad semester and realized I was letting work get in the way of my studies, left this job and got another part-time management position at the mall for the summer because I then studied abroad in Japan for a semester.(December 2007)

After coming back from Japan I got a full-time job again working in the payroll department of a multi-billion dollar company,(January 2008) and started taking classes part-time to finish my degree. Within two months of being with the company I received my first promotion, and then another month later my second promotion.

In July 2008 I left this company for my current job as a software consultant for a small niche German software company. Continued taking part-time classes(online) while training in Germany through November. Presented my senior thesis and graduated in December 2008.

I have since received a promotion at my current job and relocated where I now have more responsibilities with two of our largest customers. In the meantime I have completed a paralegal certificate with a 4.0 GPA.
How much will my work experience during college matter since it isn’t your typical part-time or summer employment and definitely the amount of time I spent working effected my grades. I know I’m capable of better grades(hence my two semesters on dean’s list when I wasn’t working full time), but obviously it’s too late to really do anything about that at this point, I just don’t know if my work experience will make up for it.
I took an initial GMAT practice test and scored 610, I imagine with studying I might be able to get to the low 700’s but would feel comfortable saying that I’ll get in the mid to high 600’s
Plan on applying in about two or three more years. I have some extracurricular and volunteer work, but nothing noteworthy since high school.
My ideal school would be Wharton(close to home) but what are your thoughts or advice overall with regards to my profile?


Hi Nosfer,

Impressive work experience! I think your profile is quite interesting overall, with a lot more work experience than the average college graduate. I am sure your early professional exposure and the resulting personal maturity has contributed significantly to your rapid promotions.

As I am sure you know from our thread, we evaluate applications from three perspectives - professional, academic and personal.

From a professional perspective, your full-time and part-time work experiences are tremendously diverse and offer a lot of scope for demonstrating both personal attributes (leadership, teamwork, initiative, etc. ) as well as quantifiable achievements. As a result of your long experience, I am going to categorize your professional experience as a strong part of your profile.

Although you haven't listed your GPA, I am assuming that you regard this as a concern since you have mentioned that you could have done better. Without numbers, it is difficult to tell for sure if this is a potential opportunity in your application. However, if it is, you could try to mitigate it through a number of options such as remedial classes, relevant work experience and utilizing the optional essay. A strong GMAT score will help to further alleviate AdCom concerns. I am not sure if you are targeting only top schools such as Wharton but if you are, particularly in light of perhaps a lower undergraduate GPA, I would recommend a focus on scoring around the high 600s/early 700s.

Fewer extracurricular activities/volunteering experience is a common concern among clients. However, as I was explaining to a candidate today, we frequently find that our clients do have good examples of extracurricular activities but as a result of being so familiar with their own experiences, they haven't identified them thus far. Recent examples have been an engineer undertaking all computer repairs in a company, and a team leader coaching her international colleagues in English. Based on our past experiences, we are confident that we will be able to help you identify relevant experiences as well.

In summary, if you are planning to apply after 2-3 years, focus on strengthening your professional profile through leadership experiences and quantifiable achievements. Get more involved in activities outside the workplace, especially wherein you can demonstrate significant impact. Depending on your undergraduate GPA, take one or more of the remedial steps suggested above to mitigate any concerns on your academic abilities.

Also consider our Application Strategy and Professional Goals Identification service - we lead you through a detailed review of your profile from the professional, personal and academic perspectives to help you develop an action plan to strengthen your profile from each aforementioned angle. Further, we help you define your post-MBA professional goals and help you identify how to best position yourself to achieve these both before and during MBA.

Finally, we also recommend our 10-page Candidate Profiling and School Selection report - this simulates a mini-application by building a comprehensive profile and recommends schools where you have the best chances of being accepted.

Email us at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to set up a Free Initial Consultation. Check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to meet your admission needs.
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 17 May 2010, 10:30
MyMBAAdmit wrote:
nosferatudracon wrote:
My undergraduate GPA from a small state school was 3.26 and I graduated December of 2008.



Although you haven't listed your GPA, I am assuming that you regard this as a concern since you have mentioned that you could have done better. Without numbers, it is difficult to tell for sure if this is a potential opportunity in your application.


Thanks so much for your review. I honestly didn't think my work experience was all that great, just maybe a bit different than the traditional B-School applicant.

I highlighted the section from my initial post where I disclosed my Undergraduate GPA, I'm also completing a paralegal certificate(contemplating law school as well) right now and have a 4.0 in that.

Not sure if this will provide you with any more detail about my academic record to provide further assistance on.

Again thank you very much for the detailed review of my profile I do greatly appreciate it and will look more at the other services that you offer and mentioned.

Nos
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 17 May 2010, 10:37
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nosferatudracon wrote:
MyMBAAdmit wrote:
nosferatudracon wrote:
My undergraduate GPA from a small state school was 3.26 and I graduated December of 2008.



Although you haven't listed your GPA, I am assuming that you regard this as a concern since you have mentioned that you could have done better. Without numbers, it is difficult to tell for sure if this is a potential opportunity in your application.


Thanks so much for your review. I honestly didn't think my work experience was all that great, just maybe a bit different than the traditional B-School applicant.

I highlighted the section from my initial post where I disclosed my Undergraduate GPA, I'm also completing a paralegal certificate(contemplating law school as well) right now and have a 4.0 in that.

Not sure if this will provide you with any more detail about my academic record to provide further assistance on.

Again thank you very much for the detailed review of my profile I do greatly appreciate it and will look more at the other services that you offer and mentioned.

Nos


Happy we could help, Nos! Kudos (the +1 box on the left) are always appreciated :)

Thanks for the GPA information. My earlier advice on GMAT and remedial classes for the subjects that you didn't do well in (assuming also that these are relevant for MBA coursework) still stands. As a My MBA Admit client, a Transcript Evaluation for weaker subjects and recommendations to strengthen your profile are a part of our process and immensely helpful in cases such as yours.

Also, the paralegal certification is great for diversity, but more of a nice to have in terms of MBA applications since it is not directly relevant for business school coursework.

Hope that provides more clarity. We look forward to hearing from you!
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 18 May 2010, 07:22
Indian Software Professional with 4+ years experience seeks evaluation

Hi
first up thanks guys for the service ur providing! kudos to u...
Could u please evaluate my profile:


My Profile is :
Indian/Male/IT Engineer
Work-Ex- 4 yrs currenlt, will be 5 by the time of joining in next year
Grades: Pune University Eng - 62.5% (First Class) Top 10 in college, Topper in one sem
GMAT: 770 (V51,Q42)
ECs: I have won a college programming contest, been actively involved with an NGO for the past 2 yrs

Work-Ex Detailed
1: 3 yrs with An Indian Software company with 1000 employees - Worked as a developer, but also had a lot of client interaction, and was soon working as more of a consultant
2: and one of the Top 3 security firm (1 yr curently): Working as a developer

Career Goal:
I want to pursue consulting (MC/IT)

Targets:
Wat are my chances at the top 10 schools? or shud I target anything lower?

Thanks
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Re: Ask MyMBAAdmit [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 07:15
Indian Software Professional with 4+ years experience seeks evaluation

futureconsultant wrote:

Hi
first up thanks guys for the service ur providing! kudos to u...
Could u please evaluate my profile:

My Profile is :
Indian/Male/IT Engineer
Work-Ex- 4 yrs currenlt, will be 5 by the time of joining in next year
Grades: Pune University Eng - 62.5% (First Class) Top 10 in college, Topper in one sem
GMAT: 770 (V51,Q42)
ECs: I have won a college programming contest, been actively involved with an NGO for the past 2 yrs

Work-Ex Detailed
1: 3 yrs with An Indian Software company with 1000 employees - Worked as a developer, but also had a lot of client interaction, and was soon working as more of a consultant
2: and one of the Top 3 security firm (1 yr curently): Working as a developer

Career Goal:
I want to pursue consulting (MC/IT)

Targets:
Wat are my chances at the top 10 schools? or shud I target anything lower?

Thanks


Great to hear our posts have been useful! Happy to help with a profile evaluation.

Although you belong in a group that is heavily represented at most MBA programs, that of Indian Male IT engineer, I liked that even in the brief description above, you highlighted your soft skills (instead of your technical abilities). This mindset will help you look at essays from the perspective of a business school AdCom, which is looking for a combination of quantifiable achievements and personal attributes.

From an academic perspective, if taken out of context, your undergraduate GPA may be perceived as a potential weakness in light of the US GPA system. Avoid this by ensuring that wherever you insert your GPA, such as your resume, data forms, etc. you couch it with your relative standing in your class - first class, topper, etc. being examples. To make it even stronger, give it numbers, e.g. Top 10 in batch of 200 for 4 consecutive years. If possible, you can try converting to an US GPA as well, but that can sometimes be difficult. AdComs understand that grading works differently in other countries, but you can help ease their understanding by proactively providing contextual data. Of course, your GMAT score is out of the ball park, and is a significant strength of your application. Presenting your undergraduate GPA as I recommended above will show a consistent story of superior academic achievement.

For your work experience, focus on demonstrating the soft skills and personal attributes that are most relevant to business school. Picking your transferable skills from IT to business will be good practice for your post-MBA career goals in management consulting as well. For example, high client interaction and acting in a consultant capacity is directly relevant to being a management consultant. In your essays, focus on showing how you can take those experiences and skills to first a business school team room and then a management consulting interview to show that your skills are not confined to the IT field alone. A well-informed candidate with a realistic career plan is always a stronger applicant than one who has all the skills but not a clear plan of how to best use them.

For your extracurricular activities, your recent experience with an NGO bodes well for your application by helping to demonstrate the multiple facets of your candidacy. Ensure that you supplement this with quantifiable metrics such as length of involvement, people impacted, dollars involved, etc. Focus on how you can use this to tailor your application for the attributes and skills that a particular program is looking for.

That's where we help. The strength of an application package isn't reliant on how well an admissions reader can relate to, but how easy you make for her to see you in the incoming class. Hence, tailoring your experiences to the school, and in some cases repositioning the same experience in multiple ways, is extremely important for your success.

Feel free to drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to discuss your application further. Check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.
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New York, NY

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Re: Ask Admit World/My MBA Admit [#permalink] New post 20 May 2010, 05:58
We will be collecting all our profile evaluations and application review responses posted at GMATClub and other forums under the MyMBAAdmit thread to provide a single resource for our readers.

Extracurricular activities - what counts?

Applicant:
Other than being a volunteer, what else can be counted as extracurricular.

Does running a part time business in the same field count as one ? Does running a fitness website or being a Certified Personal Trainer count as one ?

My MBA Admit:

The point of AdComs asking for extracurricular activities is to have an additional gauge to evaluate applicants besides just their professional experiences or academic qualifications.

Any activity outside your normal routine can be classified as an extracurricular activity. However, the best extracurricular activities are those that demonstrate the personal attributes that the program you are applying to is looking for.

In response to your question, running a part time business, running a website or even being a personal trainer can show a multitude of attributes depending on how you view your experiences. The important thing is to ensure that you are tailoring your takeaways to the program, and if you have to choose, perhaps due to space constraints, picking the volunteer experience that is most relevant to the MBA program at hand.

Email us at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to learn more about how we help our clients tailor each component of their MBA application to the business school program, or check out our affordable Application Packages and Volume Discounts.
_________________

My MBA Admit
Khyati Soparkar, Lead Consultant
MBA Admissions Consultants
New York, NY

Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation

Just starting the MBA application process? Our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report is currently offered for $100 only! This 10-page report conducts a multidimensional profile evaluation, and provides you with a comprehensive list of business schools that match. Click to Find Out More!

MBAConsult@MyMBAAdmit.com

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Last edited by MyMBAAdmit on 20 May 2010, 06:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Admit World/My MBA Admit [#permalink] New post 20 May 2010, 06:02
We will be collecting all our profile evaluations and application review responses posted at GMATClub and other forums under the MyMBAAdmit thread to provide a single resource for our readers.

More discussion on Extracurricular Activities

Applicant:
I am an amateur astronomer since last 16 years, I also fly RC planes as my hobby.

My MBA Admit:

Both of these make interesting "talking points" in your profile and help to show your diversity. However, hobbies make better extracurricular activities from the AdCom's perspective when they are an additional source of demonstrating some of the soft skills and attributes that the program is looking for. For example, keeping at a hobby for 16 years shows perseverance. Can you demonstrate any measurable impact from this hobby - writing a paper, obtaining a certification, leading a team of fellow enthusiasts, teaching it to juniors? Similarly, for flying RC planes, can you think of examples of participating and winning a competition, or obtaining any advanced levels of expertise?

Any activity that helps to set you apart is useful. However, to best leverage it, it has to be appropriately positioned. This is where we help. During our consulting sessions, we actively pursue additional information and encourage clients to come up with supplemental details on their activities. With the full picture in hand, we help the client to understand the best place in the application to include it, and the aspects to focus on to be appropriate for the program at hand.

Feel free to drop us a line at mbaconsult@mymbaadmit.com to discuss your application further. Check out our Application Packages and Volume Discounts tailored to help with your admission needs.
_________________

My MBA Admit
Khyati Soparkar, Lead Consultant
MBA Admissions Consultants
New York, NY

Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation

Just starting the MBA application process? Our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report is currently offered for $100 only! This 10-page report conducts a multidimensional profile evaluation, and provides you with a comprehensive list of business schools that match. Click to Find Out More!

MBAConsult@MyMBAAdmit.com

Read the My MBA Admit Blog

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Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 25
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WE 1: IT project management - major publishing company (2.5 years)
WE 2: IT consulting - top IT consulting firm (2.5 years)
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Re: Ask Admit World/My MBA Admit [#permalink] New post 24 May 2010, 06:55
Hi AdmitWorld,

Thanks for providing and compiling these profile reviews. I got crushed with my apps this past year, essentially going 0 for 5 (still on waitlist at one school, but not holding my breath). This time around I want to start the process much earlier and set myself more realistic targets.

Target Schools for Fall 2011:
Dartmouth
Duke
Emory
UNC - Chapel Hill
Vanderbilt

MBA Concentration: Finance / Investment Management

Demographic: American, 28 (at Fall '11 matriculation), white male
Location: NYC, looking to stay in eastern US during and after MBA

GMAT = 750 (48 quant, 45 verbal), 6.0 AWA - only took exam once
UGPA = 3.15, bachelors in industrial engineering, minor in music performance
UGrad school = tier-3 state school in southeastern US, attended on a full scholarship and chose school for the ability to pursue both engineering and music interests

Work experience:
2.5 years - IT systems integration consultant for major consulting firm
2.5 years (at fall '11 matriculation) - project manager, sales and marketing systems integration and support for a major publisher

ECs:
during UGrad - started a new chapter of a national fraternity (served as first president), lots of volunteering with an animal rescue group, extensive involvement with university and local professional music ensembles
after UGrad - continued moderate volunteering with animal rescue group

Career goal:
Private wealth management - I really enjoy finding great stocks and a great price and sharing those findings with others. Over the last year I have been using a custom stock screener that I coded from scratch to manage a small, personal portfolio. I couldn't find a stock screener that had all of the figures I wanted, so I taught myself how to code so that I could develop this screener. I built the screener 2 years ago and have been making investments based on its output for 1 year. Long term career goal is to manage an endowment fund for non-profit animal rescue groups.

Other:
I think the definite weak spot in my profile is my UG school/GPA. I have tried to combat that with my GMAT score. I am currently studying for FINRA series 63 and 65 licensing as well as starting studying for CFA level 1 later this summer to help improve my preparation and attractiveness for job recruiting. I should have series 63 and 65 officially completed and able to use in applications. I am looking at taking CFA level 1 in June 2011, so that won't be done in time for apps, but will be done in time for Fall '11 internship recruiting.



Please let me know if any of my target schools are out of my league or if there are any other schools I should add to the list.

Thanks for your advice.
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Re: Ask Admit World/My MBA Admit [#permalink] New post 26 May 2010, 06:48
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Candidate with high GMAT, varied work experience and ECs but lower GPA assesses chances for an MBA in Finance

greytmba wrote:
Hi AdmitWorld,

Thanks for providing and compiling these profile reviews. I got crushed with my apps this past year, essentially going 0 for 5 (still on waitlist at one school, but not holding my breath). This time around I want to start the process much earlier and set myself more realistic targets.

Target Schools for Fall 2011:
Dartmouth
Duke
Emory
UNC - Chapel Hill
Vanderbilt

MBA Concentration: Finance / Investment Management

Demographic: American, 28 (at Fall '11 matriculation), white male
Location: NYC, looking to stay in eastern US during and after MBA

GMAT = 750 (48 quant, 45 verbal), 6.0 AWA - only took exam once
UGPA = 3.15, bachelors in industrial engineering, minor in music performance
UGrad school = tier-3 state school in southeastern US, attended on a full scholarship and chose school for the ability to pursue both engineering and music interests

Work experience:
2.5 years - IT systems integration consultant for major consulting firm
2.5 years (at fall '11 matriculation) - project manager, sales and marketing systems integration and support for a major publisher

ECs:
during UGrad - started a new chapter of a national fraternity (served as first president), lots of volunteering with an animal rescue group, extensive involvement with university and local professional music ensembles
after UGrad - continued moderate volunteering with animal rescue group

Career goal:
Private wealth management - I really enjoy finding great stocks and a great price and sharing those findings with others. Over the last year I have been using a custom stock screener that I coded from scratch to manage a small, personal portfolio. I couldn't find a stock screener that had all of the figures I wanted, so I taught myself how to code so that I could develop this screener. I built the screener 2 years ago and have been making investments based on its output for 1 year. Long term career goal is to manage an endowment fund for non-profit animal rescue groups.

Other:
I think the definite weak spot in my profile is my UG school/GPA. I have tried to combat that with my GMAT score. I am currently studying for FINRA series 63 and 65 licensing as well as starting studying for CFA level 1 later this summer to help improve my preparation and attractiveness for job recruiting. I should have series 63 and 65 officially completed and able to use in applications. I am looking at taking CFA level 1 in June 2011, so that won't be done in time for apps, but will be done in time for Fall '11 internship recruiting.

Please let me know if any of my target schools are out of my league or if there are any other schools I should add to the list.

Thanks for your advice.


Hi Grey,
Thanks for reaching out to us. It's always encouraging for me to see an applicant who is ready to attack the application process with everything he has! It's a long process, and the attitude makes a bigger difference than anything else.

Since you have been reading the thread, you already know that we evaluate profiles from three perspectives of academic, professional and personal.

Academically, you hit the GMAT out of the ball park. However, being a relatively younger candidate when you last applied (with about 3 years of work experience if I am understanding this correctly), a lower GPA, especially that is not fully explained, can weigh down your application. In the words of an admissions officer at Chicago Booth, "if a candidate doesn't explain it upfront, we have no choice but to assume the worst." For this reason, we always include a Transcript Evaluation, where applicable, when we start an Admissions Consulting package. This would apply in your case too. Knowing what we have to mitigate upfront helps us develop a strategy both for appropriately positioning your undergrad performance across the various components of an application package, as well as identify any remedial steps such as community college classes or relevant work projects that you could be taking to demonstrate that your grad performance will be different. The undergrad GPA is not insurmountable, and the more senior you get at work with the associated accomplishments, the less importance will be attached to it. However, explaining it as I described above will always remain important to make sure there are no unanswered questions surrounding your application.

From a professional perspective, I have relatively few details to go on but I do like that you have experience across multiple functions with the common thread of systems integration running through them. The commonality will help to make your experience meatier while the work across different functions and two relatively different employers will add to your diversity. As above, the pivotal point for the success of your application will be which experiences/accomplishments you identify, how you tailor them for each school and the positioning you adopt (which can differ even for the same example) across different essay questions. For example, we would identify a particular accomplishment that both of us agree would make a great story for one of your essays for Program X. It is perfectly possible to use the same story for an essay for Program Y. However, what will make the difference is how you tailor it to the program and the attributes you choose to focus on for X vs. Y. The same story can show for example, leadership or innovation, but it needs to be appropriately to show these equally well to match two potentially different essays. That's one of the places where we add value.

Your extracurricular activities sound fine, but I would love to know more to make a more adequate judgment. What I do like is that you have continued your involvement after undergrad. Length of involvement is one of the important factors to judge the quality of your extracurricular activities, as are quantifiable metrics, your personal impact, etc. From the brief description above, It sounds like you would be able to provide both metrics that supplement your involvement as well as stories that demonstrate desirable personal attributes from your experiences.

Your post-MBA career goals receive a huge boost of credibility from both your self-built program as well as your prior involvement with animal rescue groups. Career switchers are very common at business schools, but it's important to pick relevant experiences and transferable skills that help demonstrate the potential for success in a new career. The screener and prior non-profit involvement will help substantiate your long- and short-term goals, as will the extra certifications you plan to pick up before business school.

In summary, you have a good profile but would be well-served by proactively addressing your weaknesses, and showing how you would mitigate them to be a non-issue in the future. Further, researching the programs through multiple avenues and tailoring your stories to match the program's expectations would further help in your success.

Let us know if you would like to talk further in our Free Initial Consultation. Two of our services that may be helpful to you at this point is our Ding Analysis (offered in two versions at $225 and $125) and our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report (currently offered at a discount for $75) which simulates a mini-application process to develop a detailed profile and offers 100+ schools with your chances of being accepted at each of them.

New prices coming soon! In the meantime, check us out at My MBA Admit.
_________________

My MBA Admit
Khyati Soparkar, Lead Consultant
MBA Admissions Consultants
New York, NY

Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation

Just starting the MBA application process? Our Candidate Profiling and School Selection report is currently offered for $100 only! This 10-page report conducts a multidimensional profile evaluation, and provides you with a comprehensive list of business schools that match. Click to Find Out More!

MBAConsult@MyMBAAdmit.com

Read the My MBA Admit Blog

Follow My MBA Admit on Twitter and Facebook!

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Please Evaluate My Profile [#permalink] New post 31 May 2010, 06:46
23-year-old female
GPA: 4.0 from an Ivy League school (Class of 2008)
GMAT: 770+5.5
Work experience: 2 years in a securities firm, and now working on writing a book and selling it. The book will be published in the coming months

EC in college:
on the board of a college honor society
math and physics tutor for 3 years

Languages: fluent in 4 different languages

Target schools:
Harvard, Sloan, Yale

Thank you very much!
Please Evaluate My Profile   [#permalink] 31 May 2010, 06:46
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