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Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720

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Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Status: Senior Consultant, Aringo
Joined: 19 Jul 2011
Posts: 117
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 0
GMAT 1: 700 Q V
GPA: 3.92
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 0

Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2011, 20:22
Expert's post
Quote:
1) Work experience: 3.5 years at Accenture, India as a Software Engineer. Have got Accenture Celebrates Excellence Award. Have also recieved extremely good ratings.

2) 700 GMAT

3) X- 82.4%
XII - 80%
Undergrad: 3.4 CGPA from Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, India.

4) Extracurricular: Have been actively involved in several sports and extra curricular activities since school days.

School days - Badminton tea captain
Literary Club Head

College - Part of the College Badminton team, represented the college on several competitions and won several accolades for this.

Drama - Actively involved in the drama club, performed stage plays, and several short plays. Won several awards for this as well.

Dance - Part of the bhangra dance group in college.

Won the Miss CEO Award at the college fest.

5) Career Goals:

Entrepreneurship. To start something on my own. Currently, looking for a change in career though.

6)Personal: 24 yrs female, Indian.

7) I've started my own venture, which is not linked in any way to my current profession.

Please suggest which schools should I apply to?
I've only looked at ISB for now.

Please let me know whether my profile is suitable for ISB and for any other colleges?
and what else could I do to improve my application.

Thank you!


avaniupta,

Thank you for submitting your profile. On the basis of the information as presented in your profile, and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 700, our experience shows that you will be a stretch at Booth and Kellogg, between competitive and stretch at Tuck, competitive at Fuqua, and strong at IESE. The evaluation of your chances at ISB, however, is slightly more challenging to evaluate - not because of you personally or your profile, but because of the improving shift in the school's profile as a younger MBA program that just passed its 10 year mark. A few years ago, it is likely that you would have been considered a strong candidate, but ranking improvements and our own interactions with applicants suggests you would now be in the 'competitive' to 'stretch' window.

In terms of your profile:

- Keep in mind my assumption is that the 3.4 GPA was calculated or translated from the 10 point scale used often in India on a class graduation percentile, rather than straight linear translation, methodology. This 3.4/4.0 level would place you below the top 1/3 of your classmates. If your GPA was instead 85% (which is 3.4 divided by 4.0), your profile is improved. Bottom line: Please do not assume a linear translation from the 10 point scale to the 4 point scale. In any event, this 3.4 GPA, plus a GMAT of 700, places you slightly below most top business schools' average scores of matriculating students.
- Since you were not in a client-facing role at Accenture (my assumption based on your description of responsibilities), it will be important to present evidence of your communication, presentation, and persuasion abilities in your essays.
- You will also need to elaborate further in the application about the competition levels for some of the awards you received, so as to provide context for the admission committees.
- Regarding selection and prioritization of schools, based on our experience with applicants, I would actually advise you to consider first thinking further about your career goals. To look for a change is ok, and is something many MBA applicants are aspiring for, yet I don't see (yet) in your description the outline of a specific, exciting, realistic career goal. Entrepreneurship is perhaps too broad - which industry? Where geographically? Why? The assumption of strong essays I mentioned initially about your candidacy is based, in part, on coherent and reasonable arguments about these types of issues.
- Similarly, it would help your candidacy to talk about the business venture you started and its relative success.

Generally speaking, these are things you can do to improve your candidacy prior to applications:
- To get promoted at work (preferably more than once); to accumulate impressive achievements at work (especially leadership-oriented); to try to get to a situation where you manage people - preferably regular direct reports (and if that's not possible, then on a project or in a matrix); to boost your community contribution (preferably in a leadership-oriented context); to consider initiating/co-founding/setting up a project/department/organization (either at work, or outside of work) and making it successful; to mark a few potential recommenders and deepen/strengthen your relationship with them; to consider whether it's possible for you to get an MS (or other degree) with distinction/excellence in order to counter your undergrad GPA (the contribution of such effort to your admission chances will be small to medium - consider if it's worth the investment of time and money); and to get in touch with Aringo or a similar company in order to start developing your strategy (this may help you make effective decisions, admission-chances-wise, from now on).

Best of luck,

_________________

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Last edited by AringoConsultant on 06 Apr 2012, 18:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2011, 21:03
Hello,

Please help evaluate my profile. Appreciate your help, thanks!!!

Indian, 29, Male
Education: Bachelors in Engg(Computer Science)-2004
Grad - 78% (Hons)

Work Ex: Seven years.
2004-Till date: Work for a large global IT Service company
- 3 promotions so far.
- 3 years work ex in india and last 4 in US
- Have consistently received awards(both team and indiv) in the last 7 yrs - total of 8-9 awards
- Have contributed to employer's Intellectual Property pool and submitted many innovative ideas

Extra curricular:
1. Filed a patent for an idea and worked on a prototype to start my own business - an IT startup(the chances on this were promising last year but I seem to have been lost on the way am more leaning towards my idea being outdated, so may give it up by the end of this year)

2. Actively involved in Sports - College and School
- represented college badminton team
- runner up in high school table-tennis competition

3. Somewhat involved in college fests - dramatics, organizing events etc

4. During college - won a few prizes in technical paper presentation contests

5. Amateur photographer
- covered charity events
- pre-wedding events, passport photos, portfolios etc

GMAT: 710 (V35 M50) - v74 percentile and q93 percentile.

Post MBA-aspirations: To work for a few years before starting my own business
MBA stream - entrepreneurship/general management that would help me with my goal of starting a business
Target schools -
Sloan
Tuck
Haas
Stanford

In general, your comments on my profile and target schools would be really helpful. All suggestions welcome and thanks again!
_________________

Good Luck!!!

***Help and be helped!!!****

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Status: Senior Consultant, Aringo
Joined: 19 Jul 2011
Posts: 117
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 0
GMAT 1: 700 Q V
GPA: 3.92
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
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Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 0

Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2011, 14:53
Expert's post
Quote:
Hello,

Please help evaluate my profile. Appreciate your help, thanks!!!

Indian, 29, Male
Education: Bachelors in Engg(Computer Science)-2004
Grad - 78% (Hons)

Work Ex: Seven years.
2004-Till date: Work for a large global IT Service company
- 3 promotions so far.
- 3 years work ex in india and last 4 in US
- Have consistently received awards(both team and indiv) in the last 7 yrs - total of 8-9 awards
- Have contributed to employer's Intellectual Property pool and submitted many innovative ideas

Extra curricular:
1. Filed a patent for an idea and worked on a prototype to start my own business - an IT startup(the chances on this were promising last year but I seem to have been lost on the way am more leaning towards my idea being outdated, so may give it up by the end of this year)

2. Actively involved in Sports - College and School
- represented college badminton team
- runner up in high school table-tennis competition

3. Somewhat involved in college fests - dramatics, organizing events etc

4. During college - won a few prizes in technical paper presentation contests

5. Amateur photographer
- covered charity events
- pre-wedding events, passport photos, portfolios etc

GMAT: 710 (V35 M50) - v74 percentile and q93 percentile.

Post MBA-aspirations: To work for a few years before starting my own business
MBA stream - entrepreneurship/general management that would help me with my goal of starting a business
Target schools -
Sloan
Tuck
Haas
Stanford

In general, your comments on my profile and target schools would be really helpful. All suggestions welcome and thanks again!



ravsg,

Thank you for submitting your profile. On the basis of the information above, and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 710, our experience shows that you will be a stretch candidate at MIT Sloan and Stanford, and between competitive and stretch (closer to stretch) at Tuck and Haas. You would be competitive at Darden and Cornell, and strong at UNC Kenan-Flagler and USC Marshall.

In terms of your profile, I am assuming that you do not currently manage any colleagues and that your undergraduate university was not an internationally well-known, prestigious school. If either of these is not the case, it would help your profile. In fact, after seven years of full-time work experience, MBA programs will have somewhat higher expectations for your leadership experience and managerial responsibilities. It sounds like you have been a high performer, though, based on the number of awards and distinctions that your firm has provided to you.

In discussing your career history and future career goals, it is great to be interested in entrepreneurship going forward. However, in our experience, the fact that you have not (yet) initiated your current idea beyond the patent stage will help your candidacy only a very slight amount. Additionally, I'm not sure what industry, function, or geography your entrepreneurship interests are specific to, which makes the goal too vague for the admission committees. Having the interest in entrepreneurship will help, in part, to differentiate you from the relatively large Indian male IT applicant demographic; however, to the extent that you can improve your GMAT score, it will help your candidacy. Additionally, I would encourage you to do more research and put more thought into your immediate post-MBA career plans beyond what you currently describe. Right now, it sounds as if you may just want to do 'something else,' relative to something else specific.

Regarding your extracurricular activities, in our experience with applicants, it does not help much to highlight events in which you participated or were, as you describe, "somewhat involved." Instead, you want to highlight the key 1-2 activities in which you had significant leadership experience and were able to implement significant initiatives with a large impact.

Overall, especially relative to your extensive work experience, it will be important to convince the admission committees of your leadership experience and potential.

Best of luck,

_________________

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Last edited by AringoConsultant on 06 Apr 2012, 18:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2011, 20:15
Thanks Brian, appreciate your help!

Just some additional information -
- I have been managing a team of 8 people for the last two years.
- For the IP, I went ahead with the prototype and tried to secure seed funding from a VC in Silicon valley but it didn't work out.
I am more interested in Tech. initiatives so was looking mainly at the 4 schools I mentioned.
Two questions -
1) How much do you think would be a safe score if I have to retake the GMAT?
2) Would it be risky to apply to these 4 schools this year with a 710 and if I don't make it, reapply next year with an ideal(740-750) GMAT score? considering that I can highlight leadership qualities even better next year.
_________________

Good Luck!!!

***Help and be helped!!!****

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Status: Senior Consultant, Aringo
Joined: 19 Jul 2011
Posts: 117
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 0
GMAT 1: 700 Q V
GPA: 3.92
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 0

Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2011, 03:56
Expert's post
Quote:
Thanks Brian, appreciate your help! Just some additional information - - I have been managing a team of 8 people for the last two years. - For the IP, I went ahead with the prototype and tried to secure seed funding from a VC in Silicon valley but it didn't work out. I am more interested in Tech. initiatives so was looking mainly at the 4 schools I mentioned. Two questions - 1) How much do you think would be a safe score if I have to retake the GMAT? 2) Would it be risky to apply to these 4 schools this year with a 710 and if I don't make it, reapply next year with an ideal(740-750) GMAT score? considering that I can highlight leadership qualities even better next year.



ravsg,

Thank you for the follow-up questions. In our experience, there is really no such thing as a “safe” GMAT score, because the GMAT is but one of many important factors taken into account during the admission process. Additionally, applicants in the Indian male demographic in the IT sector face particularly tough competition. Clearly, though, a better GMAT score certainly helps your candidacy, all things equal. Specifically, on the basis of an assumed GMAT of 750 and the additional information in your second post, and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations, our experience shows that you would be between competitive and stretch (closer to stretch) at Stanford, competitive at Sloan, between competitive and strong (closer to competitive) at Haas, and between competitive and strong (closer to strong) at Tuck.

Regarding leadership, you mentioned in the second post that you have been leading a team of eight for the past two years. Typically, this would be enough time in this kind of position to be able to highlight significant leadership capabilities, improvements, and/or accomplishments in your application. It might be easier for you to discuss your leadership experience from your professional endeavors relative to extracurricular activities, given that you are managing these people today.

With respect to applying this year with your current GMAT and consideration about retaking the test for next year if you are not successful, keep in mind another variable that will become relevant is your age. In particular, in our experience, after applicants reach age 30 and beyond, it becomes more difficult to gain admission with each successive year. One option to consider would be to retake the GMAT now, and then apply in Round 2 of this year. Typically, we observe a slight reduction in chances in Round 2 vs. Round 1, but it varies year to year. Retaking the GMAT to apply in Round 2, of course, assumes that improving your GMAT score by 40 points is realistically achievable. For instance, if you scored in the 750 range in various practice tests before and/or know of your common mistakes at the ~700 level to eliminate going forward, it would make sense to consider retaking the test.

Best of luck,

_________________

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Last edited by AringoConsultant on 06 Apr 2012, 18:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 00:14
Dear Brian,

I plan to submit about 4-5 applications for 2012. What is the recommended balance between Top 5 programs and all the others?

Thanks!
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 07:04
Thank you!
BrianW wrote:




ravsg,

Thank you for the follow-up questions......

_________________

Good Luck!!!

***Help and be helped!!!****

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Status: Senior Consultant, Aringo
Joined: 19 Jul 2011
Posts: 117
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 0
GMAT 1: 700 Q V
GPA: 3.92
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 0

Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2011, 11:58
Expert's post
Quote:
Dear Brian,
I plan to submit about 4-5 applications for 2012. What is the recommended balance between Top 5 programs and all the others?
Thanks!



Steve2014,

Thank you for the question. What is the level of risk you wish to assume? To what extent do you wish to guarantee admission? How important are the prospects for a significant scholarship? Different candidates have different answers to these questions. We would advise the “average candidate” to apply to 5-7 programs (in the first two rounds) and include 1-2 schools where they are strong candidates with potential for a significant scholarship, 1-3 schools where they are competitive candidates, and 1-2 schools where their candidacy is a stretch.

Best of luck,

_________________

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Last edited by AringoConsultant on 06 Apr 2012, 18:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2011, 11:45
Hello Brian,

Could you evaluate my profile and let me know my chances for Admission at Stanford, Kellogg and NYU if I apply during R1 this year (for Fall 2012)?

--------------------
Overall Profile

1. GMAT Score: Yet to give, but have scheduled a test-date. (expected 680-700 based on current GMAT Prep scores)
2. Graduated in Dubai – BE (Hons) in Electronics & Instrumentation (GPA: 3.28/4)
3. I have 3 years of Entrepreneurship Experience running an IT company (4 yrs by Fall 2012).
4. Nationality: Indian; Age: 24 yrs old (25yrs by Fall 2012)
5. Currently held position: COO
6. Started first company right out of college in 2008 with 2 partners; grown successfully to 3 companies across Dubai, Hong Kong and India, managing a total of 12 employees.
7. Biggest success is an Online network currently ranked among the top 150 websites in the world.
7. Languages known - English (Expert), Hindi (Expert), Telugu (Expert), French (Basic Proficiency), Arabic (Basic Proficiency)


Work Ex Highlights

• Interned at 2 very large Oil & Gas companies in the Gulf during college (for a total of 8 months (2+6)).
• Worked for 2 years (lasts for only 2 months each - so a total of 4 months spread across 2007 and 2008) with Dubai International Film Festival, directly managing about 500 or so Volunteers each year. Gained significant leadership experience here, due to the various groups of people I had to manage at once (people from various parts of the globe, varying from 15yrs to even 60yrs in age).
• Started my first company with right out of college, turned it into a successful venture and am now managing 3 companies across Dubai, Hong Kong and India, with a total of 12 employees.
• Company's annual turnover is currently over 1 MM$ - would say it's a pretty successful venture, having started off without any external funding from family or VC's.


Extra-Curricular Activities

- Volunteered at Dubai International Film Festival for 2 years.
- Was promoted to Captain at Dubai Film Fest, wherein I trained and managed about 500-700 volunteers through the event.
- Was an integral part of the Events Organizing Committee at college.
- Helped in organizing several Inter-College Competitions and Events during college.
- Was a Professor's TA (Teaching-Assistant) at various Engineering Lab's during final 2 years of College.
- Won 3'rd place in a Software Development Trade Show held at University of Wollongong, sponsored by Microsoft Gulf.


Hobbies:
Karting, Archery (taking professional classes), Football, Volleyball

Target Schools:
2 Year Full Time MBA at Stanford (Entrepreneurship), Kellogg (Marketing/Entrep), NYU: Stern or McCombs.
Safety Schools: Babson, UCLA, ESADE & IESE (Spain)

Why MBA?
To network with people from my Industry, to network with VC's for my projects currently in development, to learn how to efficiently form & execute business plans on a much larger scale and to hone my leadership skills.
--------------------

From my perspective, my strong points are: Entrepreneurship, EC's, Perfect age-group for Stanford.
Potential weak points could be: GMAT Score (not yet given, but with my profile would 680-700 be low?), Undergrad-GPA (is 3.28 low?), Nationality (Indian male, from Engg background in IT).

Please let me know your thoughts on this. Thanks a lot for your help!
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2011, 20:11
Hi Brian,

Could you please evaluate my profile? Thank you!

------------------------------

Demographic
Indian - Born in India, raised in India, Africa, Canada and the US. Currently a Canadian / US dual-citizen.
Male
Age:27
GMAT: 710 (Q48,V40, AWA:TBD)

Education
Undergrad at Wayne State University (Detroit) - Graduated with Honors (first engineer in the history of the University)
Graduation 2005
Major: Electrical Engineering
GPA: 3.74
Masters at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
Applying for Fall 2012

Work Experience
Currently working as a design and consulting engineer in the Power Generation field (3.5 years).
Worked for a little over a year at a start-up company after completing MSEE (left due to funding issues).
Will have 5.5 years at beginning of Fall 2012 programs.

Extra-curricular
Active member of a local non-profit organization. Have served on the Board of Directors, served as a CFO for the same non-profit and volunteer there as well. Worked closely with the staff accountant and even participated in hiring process for the organization. Won a lifetime achievement award for contribution to the organization's finance committee (6th person in the history of the 70+ year old organization).
Licensed as a Professional Engineer (fairly lengthy and rigorous process).
Licensed as a LEED AP by Green Building Certification Institute.
Have presented at conferences related to my field.

Post MBA Goals
Would like to work in project development for large scale infrastructure projects. Would like to attend an MBA program with a strong emphasis on Management and Finance as it will complement my engineering background well to reach my career goals.

Top choices for schools: Wharton, Tuck, Kellog, Booth, Ross and Sloan

Also, any schools I should consider that I've missed?
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2011, 09:33
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Last edited by dutchgerman17 on 28 Jun 2012, 22:55, edited 1 time in total.
Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Status: Senior Consultant, Aringo
Joined: 19 Jul 2011
Posts: 117
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 0
GMAT 1: 700 Q V
GPA: 3.92
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2011, 18:41
Expert's post
Quote:
Hello Brian,

Could you evaluate my profile and let me know my chances for Admission at Stanford, Kellogg and NYU if I apply during R1 this year (for Fall 2012)?

--------------------
Overall Profile

1. GMAT Score: Yet to give, but have scheduled a test-date. (expected 680-700 based on current GMAT Prep scores)
2. Graduated in Dubai – BE (Hons) in Electronics & Instrumentation (GPA: 3.28/4)
3. I have 3 years of Entrepreneurship Experience running an IT company (4 yrs by Fall 2012).
4. Nationality: Indian; Age: 24 yrs old (25yrs by Fall 2012)
5. Currently held position: COO
6. Started first company right out of college in 2008 with 2 partners; grown successfully to 3 companies across Dubai, Hong Kong and India, managing a total of 12 employees.
7. Biggest success is an Online network currently ranked among the top 150 websites in the world.
7. Languages known - English (Expert), Hindi (Expert), Telugu (Expert), French (Basic Proficiency), Arabic (Basic Proficiency)


Work Ex Highlights

• Interned at 2 very large Oil & Gas companies in the Gulf during college (for a total of 8 months (2+6)).
• Worked for 2 years (lasts for only 2 months each - so a total of 4 months spread across 2007 and 2008) with Dubai International Film Festival, directly managing about 500 or so Volunteers each year. Gained significant leadership experience here, due to the various groups of people I had to manage at once (people from various parts of the globe, varying from 15yrs to even 60yrs in age).
• Started my first company with right out of college, turned it into a successful venture and am now managing 3 companies across Dubai, Hong Kong and India, with a total of 12 employees.
• Company's annual turnover is currently over 1 MM$ - would say it's a pretty successful venture, having started off without any external funding from family or VC's.


Extra-Curricular Activities

- Volunteered at Dubai International Film Festival for 2 years.
- Was promoted to Captain at Dubai Film Fest, wherein I trained and managed about 500-700 volunteers through the event.
- Was an integral part of the Events Organizing Committee at college.
- Helped in organizing several Inter-College Competitions and Events during college.
- Was a Professor's TA (Teaching-Assistant) at various Engineering Lab's during final 2 years of College.
- Won 3'rd place in a Software Development Trade Show held at University of Wollongong, sponsored by Microsoft Gulf.


Hobbies:
Karting, Archery (taking professional classes), Football, Volleyball

Target Schools:
2 Year Full Time MBA at Stanford (Entrepreneurship), Kellogg (Marketing/Entrep), NYU: Stern or McCombs.
Safety Schools: Babson, UCLA, ESADE & IESE (Spain)

Why MBA?
To network with people from my Industry, to network with VC's for my projects currently in development, to learn how to efficiently form & execute business plans on a much larger scale and to hone my leadership skills.
--------------------

From my perspective, my strong points are: Entrepreneurship, EC's, Perfect age-group for Stanford.
Potential weak points could be: GMAT Score (not yet given, but with my profile would 680-700 be low?), Undergrad-GPA (is 3.28 low?), Nationality (Indian male, from Engg background in IT).

Please let me know your thoughts on this. Thanks a lot for your help!


Prabhakar,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information above, and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 690, our experience shows that you will be a stretch candidate at Stanford and Kellogg, between competitive and stretch (closer to stretch) at NYU Stern and UCLA Anderson, between competitive and stretch (closer to competitive) at IESE, and competitive at Texas McCombs, Babson, and ESADE.

In terms of your assumptions regarding your profile strengths and opportunities, I agree with the opportunities you will face. Although a below-average GMAT or GPA is not impossible to overcome, in our experience having both of them together mades it an additional challenge. You show that you received honors in your undergraduate institution, but most programs I'm familiar with would not give honors to graduates with 3.3 on the 4.0 scale. If your percentile rank in your class is stronger than a 3.3 would otherwise imply, definitely mention this in your CV.

I would agree with you that your extracurriculars are impressive (shows leadership, which is key) and that your age/work experience is appropriate for top programs. At the same time, while I give you tremendous credit for your career success thus far within the entrepreneurship realm, keep in mind that entrepreneurship has a unique double-edged sword status with business schools. On the one hand, they love to have alumni go into entrepreneurship post-MBA, as those alums who are successful can be promoted by the schools to help its brand ("We have the founder and CEO of Firm X as an alum.") Additionally, these alums are coveted by schools to give back to their programs with financial gifts. On the other hand, from our experience, in evaluating entrepreneurs (especially people who have only worked as entrepreneurs), MBA programs face a challenge: it's harder for them to gauge the candidate's potential and relative 'rank.' Why? A person's first several jobs out of undergrad and one's ascension (or lack thereof) through the ranks in a bigger firm is indicative of relative merit. If you were accepted into a "big name" firm, MBA admission committees know you made it through a challenging and competitive recruiting process. A related challenge for entrepreneur candidates applying to business school is that you may have challenges finding appropriate recommenders. If you are the founder or co-founder of your company, it's hard to find a senior person who has supervised your work to speak to your strengths and weaknesses. This is not to say that these issues are impossible to work through - it's just the situation you will deal with and need to think about.

One potential idea for you to consider with regard to my comments above is to discuss (if true, naturally) in your essays that you received full-time offers from big-name firm(s) which you eventually declined due to your interest in starting up your firm(s). Unfortunately, in our experience, internships are really not considered much in the MBA application process, unless you are someone applying to the HBS 2+2 program and haven't had any full-time work experience yet. Although a full-time offer does not equate fully to several years of work experience and a promotion, it is indicative that you made it through a competitive interview process. Another item to talk about in your application, if relevant, is if you have big name customers who use your service.

Additionally, specific to your profile, I would say you should explain the nature / difference between the 3 firms. Are they in the same industry? Are they the same company but just operating in different geographies? To some extent, the further "apart" the companies are (in scope), the less focused you potentially appear to the admission committees. Why? Ad coms believe 50 year old serial entrepreneurs can get away with running three firms of different scope, but less experienced professionals would have a harder time doing this. You mention there are 12 employees and that you're COO - you will need to be clear on whether you have direct supervision of these employees or not (if you do, it's better). Finally, always provide context and quantify your firm's results, which you've done in your profile well.

Your 'why MBA' reasons are logical and reasonable given your career path. When you write your essays, research each MBA programs' unique entrepreneurial ventures that tie in with your goals and name them.

Best of luck,

_________________

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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2011, 01:01
Hi Brian,

Thanks a lot for your insightful feedback! It's the most detailed and best one I've received so far, so I really appreciate it.

Let's go over each of the points 1 by 1:

1. GMAT Score: Okay, so clearly any score below 700 would make both Stanford & Kellogg a stretch for me. Though 800 is the upper limit, could you give me a realistic target-score that I should try and achieve, to make the GMAT score fit in well with the rest of my profile? (710..720?...more? :cry: )

2. Undergrad GPA: Not sure now it works in my college, but I do have a Honors degree in Engg. and have graduated in the top 15% of my class (11/70 in my class) and my GPA was actually out of 10, wherein I got an 8.3 GPA. If this is indeed a -ive point, I guess there's nothing much I can do to counter it than balance it with a higher GMAT score.

Note note note: Just googled this up and looks like an 8.3/10 is not really = a 3.3/4. Various sources are providing diff ways of calculating a GPA and many even suggest contacting each college to find out about their conversion method. Brian, what's your take on the GPA of 8.3/10?

3. Final Year In-Campus Interviews: Yes, I did attend many of the in-campus Hiring sessions held at my college (had to go through several rounds of them for each company infact) and received multiple job offers, with relatively attractive salary packages for a fresh-grad in Dubai. However, by the time I had to take a decision on which direction to follow (give a confirmation on either of these job offers), I chose the path I have taken up now, despite being severely forced from all directions (family, friends, relatives..) to take the traditional job-route; I had made up my mind to not get into the rat-race like everyone else (I was also heavily influenced by the book 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' which I so coincidentally read while in this dilemma).

4. Recommendations: You're spot on about this! I'm totally handicapped when it comes to Recommendations. After rocking my brains out, I was able to come up with the following options:
(1). My supervisor while I worked with Dubai Film Fest (worked under her for first 2yrs while Volunteering, and then again after I was hired too).
(2). My supervisor/Manager, at the company where I first interned during college (though it was only for 2 months, I had the opportunity to extensively work with and learn from him during this Internship. However, this was over 5 years ago and I would like to know whether Stanford/Kellogg/NYU would consider such an LOR as a valuable insight to effectively evaluate my profile?
(3). Should I consider requesting a Reference Letter from my undergrad college professor instead (have been taught by this professor for 2 years, and have worked with her on organizing several events at college as a part of the Events Organizing Committee) or are Academic LOR's generally frowned upon?

If not, what other alternative approaches would you suggest? Please share your thoughts on this aspect.

5. My 3 companies: The Dubai branch is the HQ and the other 2 are just branches doing the same work, spread across the Globe for efficiency and ease. I'm in no situation to manage 3 diff companies doing 3 completely diff things at present (hopefully after an MBA, that shouldn't be an issue if the need arises 8-) ). And yes, I directly supervise all the current employees and its a part of my job as the COO.

6. Big name clients/partners: Thanks for this tip! However, where should I possibly consider listing our company's partners, clients, etc without appearing to boast about it? (Could only possibly think of listing them in the CV perhaps?..anywhere else? I'm unable to place such information anywhere in my Stanford Essays for example..)

Once again, thanks a lot for taking so much time to help me assess my profile and fit into these top colleges!

Prabhakar

BrianW wrote:
Quote:
Hello Brian,

Could you evaluate my profile and let me know my chances for Admission at Stanford, Kellogg and NYU if I apply during R1 this year (for Fall 2012)?

--------------------
Overall Profile

1. GMAT Score: Yet to give, but have scheduled a test-date. (expected 680-700 based on current GMAT Prep scores)
2. Graduated in Dubai – BE (Hons) in Electronics & Instrumentation (GPA: 3.28/4)
3. I have 3 years of Entrepreneurship Experience running an IT company (4 yrs by Fall 2012).
4. Nationality: Indian; Age: 24 yrs old (25yrs by Fall 2012)
5. Currently held position: COO
6. Started first company right out of college in 2008 with 2 partners; grown successfully to 3 companies across Dubai, Hong Kong and India, managing a total of 12 employees.
7. Biggest success is an Online network currently ranked among the top 150 websites in the world.
7. Languages known - English (Expert), Hindi (Expert), Telugu (Expert), French (Basic Proficiency), Arabic (Basic Proficiency)


Work Ex Highlights

• Interned at 2 very large Oil & Gas companies in the Gulf during college (for a total of 8 months (2+6)).
• Worked for 2 years (lasts for only 2 months each - so a total of 4 months spread across 2007 and 2008) with Dubai International Film Festival, directly managing about 500 or so Volunteers each year. Gained significant leadership experience here, due to the various groups of people I had to manage at once (people from various parts of the globe, varying from 15yrs to even 60yrs in age).
• Started my first company with right out of college, turned it into a successful venture and am now managing 3 companies across Dubai, Hong Kong and India, with a total of 12 employees.
• Company's annual turnover is currently over 1 MM$ - would say it's a pretty successful venture, having started off without any external funding from family or VC's.


Extra-Curricular Activities

- Volunteered at Dubai International Film Festival for 2 years.
- Was promoted to Captain at Dubai Film Fest, wherein I trained and managed about 500-700 volunteers through the event.
- Was an integral part of the Events Organizing Committee at college.
- Helped in organizing several Inter-College Competitions and Events during college.
- Was a Professor's TA (Teaching-Assistant) at various Engineering Lab's during final 2 years of College.
- Won 3'rd place in a Software Development Trade Show held at University of Wollongong, sponsored by Microsoft Gulf.


Hobbies:
Karting, Archery (taking professional classes), Football, Volleyball

Target Schools:
2 Year Full Time MBA at Stanford (Entrepreneurship), Kellogg (Marketing/Entrep), NYU: Stern or McCombs.
Safety Schools: Babson, UCLA, ESADE & IESE (Spain)

Why MBA?
To network with people from my Industry, to network with VC's for my projects currently in development, to learn how to efficiently form & execute business plans on a much larger scale and to hone my leadership skills.
--------------------

From my perspective, my strong points are: Entrepreneurship, EC's, Perfect age-group for Stanford.
Potential weak points could be: GMAT Score (not yet given, but with my profile would 680-700 be low?), Undergrad-GPA (is 3.28 low?), Nationality (Indian male, from Engg background in IT).

Please let me know your thoughts on this. Thanks a lot for your help!


Prabhakar,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information above, and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 690, our experience shows that you will be a stretch candidate at Stanford and Kellogg, between competitive and stretch (closer to stretch) at NYU Stern and UCLA Anderson, between competitive and stretch (closer to competitive) at IESE, and competitive at Texas McCombs, Babson, and ESADE.

In terms of your assumptions regarding your profile strengths and opportunities, I agree with the opportunities you will face. Although a below-average GMAT or GPA is not impossible to overcome, in our experience having both of them together mades it an additional challenge. You show that you received honors in your undergraduate institution, but most programs I'm familiar with would not give honors to graduates with 3.3 on the 4.0 scale. If your percentile rank in your class is stronger than a 3.3 would otherwise imply, definitely mention this in your CV.

I would agree with you that your extracurriculars are impressive (shows leadership, which is key) and that your age/work experience is appropriate for top programs. At the same time, while I give you tremendous credit for your career success thus far within the entrepreneurship realm, keep in mind that entrepreneurship has a unique double-edged sword status with business schools. On the one hand, they love to have alumni go into entrepreneurship post-MBA, as those alums who are successful can be promoted by the schools to help its brand ("We have the founder and CEO of Firm X as an alum.") Additionally, these alums are coveted by schools to give back to their programs with financial gifts. On the other hand, from our experience, in evaluating entrepreneurs (especially people who have only worked as entrepreneurs), MBA programs face a challenge: it's harder for them to gauge the candidate's potential and relative 'rank.' Why? A person's first several jobs out of undergrad and one's ascension (or lack thereof) through the ranks in a bigger firm is indicative of relative merit. If you were accepted into a "big name" firm, MBA admission committees know you made it through a challenging and competitive recruiting process. A related challenge for entrepreneur candidates applying to business school is that you may have challenges finding appropriate recommenders. If you are the founder or co-founder of your company, it's hard to find a senior person who has supervised your work to speak to your strengths and weaknesses. This is not to say that these issues are impossible to work through - it's just the situation you will deal with and need to think about.

One potential idea for you to consider with regard to my comments above is to discuss (if true, naturally) in your essays that you received full-time offers from big-name firm(s) which you eventually declined due to your interest in starting up your firm(s). Unfortunately, in our experience, internships are really not considered much in the MBA application process, unless you are someone applying to the HBS 2+2 program and haven't had any full-time work experience yet. Although a full-time offer does not equate fully to several years of work experience and a promotion, it is indicative that you made it through a competitive interview process. Another item to talk about in your application, if relevant, is if you have big name customers who use your service.

Additionally, specific to your profile, I would say you should explain the nature / difference between the 3 firms. Are they in the same industry? Are they the same company but just operating in different geographies? To some extent, the further "apart" the companies are (in scope), the less focused you potentially appear to the admission committees. Why? Ad coms believe 50 year old serial entrepreneurs can get away with running three firms of different scope, but less experienced professionals would have a harder time doing this. You mention there are 12 employees and that you're COO - you will need to be clear on whether you have direct supervision of these employees or not (if you do, it's better). Finally, always provide context and quantify your firm's results, which you've done in your profile well.

Your 'why MBA' reasons are logical and reasonable given your career path. When you write your essays, research each MBA programs' unique entrepreneurial ventures that tie in with your goals and name them.

Best of luck,

Brian
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Last edited by Prabhakar on 30 Aug 2011, 11:21, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2011, 09:09
Expert's post
Quote:
Hi Brian,

Could you please evaluate my profile? Thank you!

------------------------------

Demographic
Indian - Born in India, raised in India, Africa, Canada and the US. Currently a Canadian / US dual-citizen.
Male
Age:27
GMAT: 710 (Q48,V40, AWA:TBD)

Education
Undergrad at Wayne State University (Detroit) - Graduated with Honors (first engineer in the history of the University)
Graduation 2005
Major: Electrical Engineering
GPA: 3.74
Masters at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
Applying for Fall 2012

Work Experience
Currently working as a design and consulting engineer in the Power Generation field (3.5 years).
Worked for a little over a year at a start-up company after completing MSEE (left due to funding issues).
Will have 5.5 years at beginning of Fall 2012 programs.

Extra-curricular
Active member of a local non-profit organization. Have served on the Board of Directors, served as a CFO for the same non-profit and volunteer there as well. Worked closely with the staff accountant and even participated in hiring process for the organization. Won a lifetime achievement award for contribution to the organization's finance committee (6th person in the history of the 70+ year old organization).
Licensed as a Professional Engineer (fairly lengthy and rigorous process).
Licensed as a LEED AP by Green Building Certification Institute.
Have presented at conferences related to my field.

Post MBA Goals
Would like to work in project development for large scale infrastructure projects. Would like to attend an MBA program with a strong emphasis on Management and Finance as it will complement my engineering background well to reach my career goals.

Top choices for schools: Wharton, Tuck, Kellog, Booth, Ross and Sloan

Also, any schools I should consider that I've missed?


Jassiinpublic,

Thank you for submitting your profile. On the basis of the information above, and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 710, our experience shows that you will be between competitive and stretch (closer to stretch) at Kellogg, between competitive and stretch at Wharton and Booth, between competitive and stretch (closer to competitive) at Sloan, competitive at Tuck, and between competitive and strong (closer to competitive) at Ross.

Full disclosure on my part for this post - my undergrad and master's in mechanical engineering were from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, so I am quite familiar with the programs you went through. At the same time, my response will be from the point of view of the admission committees and how they might react to your profile.

Overall, you have a good profile, with GPA and GMAT right in the middle or near the middle of matriculating students at top programs. Your extracurricular involvement shows a lot of leadership and initiative, and the lifetime achievement award is a great validation of your work and the amount of time you've spent with the organization. The certifications and professional distinctions add credibility to your academic training. Definitely talk about your presentations at conferences in your essays or on your CV, including the context (how many people did you present to, was it your work that you presented, etc.).

A few items you will want to consider to help your chances:

- How did you fare in terms of graduation rank in the master's program at Michigan? This is potentially a hard question for you to answer, because in my experience there UM did not give out graduate honors. The reason I bring this up is because the Michigan name in engineering, particuarly at the graduate level, is quite strong. Since you were among the first graduating class in engineering at Wayne State, the ad coms have less of a data point about how to rate the difficulty/rigor of that program. Additionally, outside of Ross (since Wayne State is in Detroit), the other schools you're applying to will be much less familiar with Wayne State than with Michigan. Finally, if you received a scholarship from Wayne State, talk about that as a reason for attending there.

- You have a unique career path post-MBA, which is good. At the same time, it's also a non-traditional post-MBA job, so you will want to spend a bit extra space elaborating on why you would need an MBA for this profession and what skills it would bring in. In particular, you may want to talk to people in that field and get anecdotal input (which you could quote in essays) about why MBA for infrastructure projects. To me, it sounds like you'd want to play up the notion that you also are interested in public policy / public economics issues, based on the nature of your career goals.

In terms of schools to recommend, given that you have an interest in finance and (general) management, you have hit upon the majority of the top programs that would make sense for you. Others to include might be Haas or Fuqua (good combination of general management primarily with reputable finance programs), or a school that has a higher mix of engineers in its class (and who thus value your work experience and professional accomplishments), such as Tepper.

Best of luck,

_________________

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Last edited by AringoConsultant on 06 Apr 2012, 18:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2011, 07:48
Expert's post
Quote:
Hi Brian,

Thanks a lot for your insightful feedback! It's the most detailed and best one I've received so far, so I really appreciate it.

Let's go over each of the points 1 by 1:

1. GMAT Score: Okay, so clearly any score below 700 would make both Stanford & Kellogg a stretch for me. Though 800 is the upper limit, could you give me a realistic target-score that I should try and achieve, to make the GMAT score fit in well with the rest of my profile? (710..720?...more? )

2. Undergrad GPA: Not sure now it works in my college, but I do have a Honors degree in Engg. and have graduated in the top 15% of my class (11/70 in my class) and my GPA was actually out of 10, wherein I got an 8.3 GPA. If this is indeed a -ive point, I guess there's nothing much I can do to counter it than balance it with a higher GMAT score.

Note note note: Just googled this up and looks like an 8.3/10 is not really = a 3.3/4. Various sources are providing diff ways of calculating a GPA and many even suggest contacting each college to find out about their conversion method. Brian, what's your take on the GPA of 8.3/10?

3. Final Year In-Campus Interviews: Yes, I did attend many of the in-campus Hiring sessions held at my college (had to go through several rounds of them for each company infact) and received multiple job offers, with relatively attractive salary packages for a fresh-grad in Dubai. However, by the time I had to take a decision on which direction to follow (give a confirmation on either of these job offers), I chose the path I have taken up now, despite being severely forced from all directions (family, friends, relatives..) to take the traditional job-route; I had made up my mind to not get into the rat-race like everyone else (I was also heavily influenced by the book 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' which I so coincidentally read while in this dilemma).

4. Recommendations: You're spot on about this! I'm totally handicapped when it comes to Recommendations. After rocking my brains out, I was able to come up with the following options:
(1). My supervisor while I worked with Dubai Film Fest (worked under her for first 2yrs while Volunteering, and then again after I was hired too).
(2). My supervisor/Manager, at the company where I first interned during college (though it was only for 2 months, I had the opportunity to extensively work with and learn from him during this Internship. However, this was over 5 years ago and I would like to know whether Stanford/Kellogg/NYU would consider such an LOR as a valuable insight to effectively evaluate my profile?
(3). Should I consider requesting a Reference Letter from my undergrad college professor instead (have been taught by this professor for 2 years, and have worked with her on organizing several events at college as a part of the Events Organizing Committee) or are Academic LOR's generally frowned upon?

If not, what other alternative approaches would you suggest? Please share your thoughts on this aspect.

5. My 3 companies: The Dubai branch is the HQ and the other 2 are just branches doing the same work, spread across the Globe for efficiency and ease. I'm in no situation to manage 3 diff companies doing 3 completely diff things at present (hopefully after an MBA, that shouldn't be an issue if the need arises ). And yes, I directly supervise all the current employees and its a part of my job as the COO.

6. Big name clients/partners: Thanks for this tip! However, where should I possibly consider listing our company's partners, clients, etc without appearing to boast about it? (Could only possibly think of listing them in the CV perhaps?..anywhere else? I'm unable to place such information anywhere in my Stanford Essays for example..)

Once again, thanks a lot for taking so much time to help me assess my profile and fit into these top colleges!

Prabhakar


Prahbakar,

Thank you for the follow-up questions. I'm glad my comments were helpful.

Regarding your inquiries:

1) You can see the relative sensitivity that an improved GMAT score would have on your chances by looking at the Aringo Chances Evaluation tool: Chances As I have stated previously in this thread, there is really no such thing as a "safe" GMAT score, so I would not be able to say at what level you would need to get to, per se.

2) Being in the top 15% of your class is not a negative, but having a 3.3 / 4.0 GPA would be if that were truly on an American university scale (because it would certainly not be in the top 15%). Don't worry about trying to convert your 8.3 into a 4.0 score GPA. Instead, just list it as you received it from your university on your CV, but definitely include the honors and top 15% items in your CV. Top MBA programs know how grading in India works - trying to translate to the 4.0 just confuses things.

3) It's perfectly fine to have made the decision you did - no MBA program is going to hold it against you. What you should do, as originally mentioned, was to comment on these offers in your essays to point out to the ad coms that it was an option. The area that makes the most sense is the career essay, in which you could say how you considered those jobs at Firm X or Y (name them, especially if it's a big name firm) but ultimately chose entrepreneurship because it was your passion.

4) Regarding recommendations, here are some general thoughts on the matter: Recommendations Of the three you list, the film fest supervisor is realistically the only one of the those I would consider using. Why? It's a relationship that has existed for a few years, the person would know you well, and it's relatively recent. Professors are not really able to value your professional potential as much, and a professional manager from five years ago will not be able to speak to who you are today. You may also consider important clients with whom you have a close relationship and whose relationship would not sour if you told him/her you're considering business school. If you have relied upon insights from a board of directors or senior executives in your field for advice and have established a good rapport, that could also be an option. In general, in our experience, you're going to need at least one of your recommenders be able to speak, in detail, about your entrepreneurship experiences in the past 2-3 years.

5) That's fine then. In your essays and/or CV, just explain you went through a geographic expansion, perhaps elaborating on how and why you chose the first location and then locations two and three.

6) Yes, key clients listed in the CV would make sense. It would also be logical to include them as part of essays if the essay story involves that client, for instance. If it was a big breakthrough that you got big name client X at some point in time, which helped your firm's credibility to get the next clients down the line, that's an example of how to use it. Don't be too overly concerned about sounding like you are bragging. If all you do in essays is drop names and list accomplishments, then yes, that's too much. But in our experience you need to provide the ad coms with enough context and supporting evidence, like listing a big name client or quantifying the financial impact of a project, to come off as a credible applicant.

Best of luck,

_________________

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Last edited by AringoConsultant on 06 Apr 2012, 18:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2011, 17:34
You're epic! Thanks a lot Brian! :)

Prabhakar

BrianW wrote:
Quote:
Hi Brian,

Thanks a lot for your insightful feedback! It's the most detailed and best one I've received so far, so I really appreciate it.

Let's go over each of the points 1 by 1:

1. GMAT Score: Okay, so clearly any score below 700 would make both Stanford & Kellogg a stretch for me. Though 800 is the upper limit, could you give me a realistic target-score that I should try and achieve, to make the GMAT score fit in well with the rest of my profile? (710..720?...more? )

2. Undergrad GPA: Not sure now it works in my college, but I do have a Honors degree in Engg. and have graduated in the top 15% of my class (11/70 in my class) and my GPA was actually out of 10, wherein I got an 8.3 GPA. If this is indeed a -ive point, I guess there's nothing much I can do to counter it than balance it with a higher GMAT score.

Note note note: Just googled this up and looks like an 8.3/10 is not really = a 3.3/4. Various sources are providing diff ways of calculating a GPA and many even suggest contacting each college to find out about their conversion method. Brian, what's your take on the GPA of 8.3/10?

3. Final Year In-Campus Interviews: Yes, I did attend many of the in-campus Hiring sessions held at my college (had to go through several rounds of them for each company infact) and received multiple job offers, with relatively attractive salary packages for a fresh-grad in Dubai. However, by the time I had to take a decision on which direction to follow (give a confirmation on either of these job offers), I chose the path I have taken up now, despite being severely forced from all directions (family, friends, relatives..) to take the traditional job-route; I had made up my mind to not get into the rat-race like everyone else (I was also heavily influenced by the book 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' which I so coincidentally read while in this dilemma).

4. Recommendations: You're spot on about this! I'm totally handicapped when it comes to Recommendations. After rocking my brains out, I was able to come up with the following options:
(1). My supervisor while I worked with Dubai Film Fest (worked under her for first 2yrs while Volunteering, and then again after I was hired too).
(2). My supervisor/Manager, at the company where I first interned during college (though it was only for 2 months, I had the opportunity to extensively work with and learn from him during this Internship. However, this was over 5 years ago and I would like to know whether Stanford/Kellogg/NYU would consider such an LOR as a valuable insight to effectively evaluate my profile?
(3). Should I consider requesting a Reference Letter from my undergrad college professor instead (have been taught by this professor for 2 years, and have worked with her on organizing several events at college as a part of the Events Organizing Committee) or are Academic LOR's generally frowned upon?

If not, what other alternative approaches would you suggest? Please share your thoughts on this aspect.

5. My 3 companies: The Dubai branch is the HQ and the other 2 are just branches doing the same work, spread across the Globe for efficiency and ease. I'm in no situation to manage 3 diff companies doing 3 completely diff things at present (hopefully after an MBA, that shouldn't be an issue if the need arises ). And yes, I directly supervise all the current employees and its a part of my job as the COO.

6. Big name clients/partners: Thanks for this tip! However, where should I possibly consider listing our company's partners, clients, etc without appearing to boast about it? (Could only possibly think of listing them in the CV perhaps?..anywhere else? I'm unable to place such information anywhere in my Stanford Essays for example..)

Once again, thanks a lot for taking so much time to help me assess my profile and fit into these top colleges!

Prabhakar


Prahbakar,

Thank you for the follow-up questions. I'm glad my comments were helpful.

Regarding your inquiries:

1) You can see the relative sensitivity that an improved GMAT score would have on your chances by looking at the Aringo Chances Evaluation tool: Chances As I have stated previously in this thread, there is really no such thing as a "safe" GMAT score, so I would not be able to say at what level you would need to get to, per se.

2) Being in the top 15% of your class is not a negative, but having a 3.3 / 4.0 GPA would be if that were truly on an American university scale (because it would certainly not be in the top 15%). Don't worry about trying to convert your 8.3 into a 4.0 score GPA. Instead, just list it as you received it from your university on your CV, but definitely include the honors and top 15% items in your CV. Top MBA programs know how grading in India works - trying to translate to the 4.0 just confuses things.

3) It's perfectly fine to have made the decision you did - no MBA program is going to hold it against you. What you should do, as originally mentioned, was to comment on these offers in your essays to point out to the ad coms that it was an option. The area that makes the most sense is the career essay, in which you could say how you considered those jobs at Firm X or Y (name them, especially if it's a big name firm) but ultimately chose entrepreneurship because it was your passion.

4) Regarding recommendations, here are some general thoughts on the matter: Recommendations Of the three you list, the film fest supervisor is realistically the only one of the those I would consider using. Why? It's a relationship that has existed for a few years, the person would know you well, and it's relatively recent. Professors are not really able to value your professional potential as much, and a professional manager from five years ago will not be able to speak to who you are today. You may also consider important clients with whom you have a close relationship and whose relationship would not sour if you told him/her you're considering business school. If you have relied upon insights from a board of directors or senior executives in your field for advice and have established a good rapport, that could also be an option. In general, in our experience, you're going to need at least one of your recommenders be able to speak, in detail, about your entrepreneurship experiences in the past 2-3 years.

5) That's fine then. In your essays and/or CV, just explain you went through a geographic expansion, perhaps elaborating on how and why you chose the first location and then locations two and three.

6) Yes, key clients listed in the CV would make sense. It would also be logical to include them as part of essays if the essay story involves that client, for instance. If it was a big breakthrough that you got big name client X at some point in time, which helped your firm's credibility to get the next clients down the line, that's an example of how to use it. Don't be too overly concerned about sounding like you are bragging. If all you do in essays is drop names and list accomplishments, then yes, that's too much. But in our experience you need to provide the ad coms with enough context and supporting evidence, like listing a big name client or quantifying the financial impact of a project, to come off as a credible applicant.

Best of luck,

Brian
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2011, 07:44
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2011, 16:47
Brian, I'd love to know what you think about my chances at the schools I am looking at. Thanks. Also, a question I have... I am managing/captaining a recreational soccer team. Is that worth mentioning in a resume application? Should I include my internship as experience (while in school, I was told some companies would consider an internship as a "year of full time experience" so I am wondering if it is the same for B-school.) Thanks for the help!

Personal Information:
White/Male
Age: 22
GMAT: 710 (92%) (Q48, V39)

Undergraduate:
Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University, GPA 3.1

Work Experience:
-1 year with Fraenkische USA as an Application Engineer. I head up new product evalutations for the corrugated plastic tubing company Fraenkische Industrial Pipes' USA division in Anderson, SC. I also run the logistics and efficiency studies of our newly implimented assembly process for fuel tank lines for use in BMW's engines. I am also leading a project to decomission one of our older corregation lines while desing replacement parts for all customers who currently receive parts from this machine. Finally, I am in charge of all of the environmental impacts from our plant as well as handling supplier quality issues.
-1 summer internship (don't know if this counts or I should include it, but will tell you all I have to offer) with Controls Southeast, Inc in Pineville, NC. I worked as a junior project manager for the steam solutions company, abbreviated CSI, assisting the PMAs with bill of material analyses, energy consumption studies for clients, and research into insulation solutions.

Extra Curricular/Honors:
- Calhoun Honors College at Clemson University
- Receipient of two scholarships at Clemson (Women's Trustees Board Scholarship and another I do not recall the name of, but it was an out-of-state waiver since I am originally from Atlanta, GA)
- 4 year member in Alpha Lambda Delta honors fraternity
- 3 year member of Clemson TigerBand (marching band - Mellophone)
- 2 year member of Clemson Pep Band
- 3 year member of Clemson Symphony Orchestra (French Horn)
- Team leader for senior design project dealing with the design and implimentation of a fat rendering plant turning low grade tallow (animal fats) into a profitable good (Polyolesters, a form of high temperature industrial lubricants). As team leader, I conducted all of the project planning, supervision, and management while still pulling (more than, to be honest) my equal share in the project.


Target Schools:
University of Connecticut School of Business
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
Columbia University
Clemson University (Night MBA) - if I want to go the part time route, but I think full time would present better/more opportunities for me
University of South Carolina
Duke University (Fuqua)

Post MBA:
I want to work in upper-management at a manfucaturing company either as a plant manager or as a regional manager. I enjoy thinking of logistics and feasibility of things and would love to see that maximized in my future career.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2011, 17:26
Expert's post
Quote:
Brian, I'd love to know what you think about my chances at the schools I am looking at. Thanks. Also, a question I have... I am managing/captaining a recreational soccer team. Is that worth mentioning in a resume application? Should I include my internship as experience (while in school, I was told some companies would consider an internship as a "year of full time experience" so I am wondering if it is the same for B-school.) Thanks for the help!

Personal Information:
White/Male
Age: 22
GMAT: 710 (92%) (Q48, V39)

Undergraduate:
Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University, GPA 3.1

Work Experience:
-1 year with Fraenkische USA as an Application Engineer. I head up new product evalutations for the corrugated plastic tubing company Fraenkische Industrial Pipes' USA division in Anderson, SC. I also run the logistics and efficiency studies of our newly implimented assembly process for fuel tank lines for use in BMW's engines. I am also leading a project to decomission one of our older corregation lines while desing replacement parts for all customers who currently receive parts from this machine. Finally, I am in charge of all of the environmental impacts from our plant as well as handling supplier quality issues.
-1 summer internship (don't know if this counts or I should include it, but will tell you all I have to offer) with Controls Southeast, Inc in Pineville, NC. I worked as a junior project manager for the steam solutions company, abbreviated CSI, assisting the PMAs with bill of material analyses, energy consumption studies for clients, and research into insulation solutions.

Extra Curricular/Honors:
- Calhoun Honors College at Clemson University
- Receipient of two scholarships at Clemson (Women's Trustees Board Scholarship and another I do not recall the name of, but it was an out-of-state waiver since I am originally from Atlanta, GA)
- 4 year member in Alpha Lambda Delta honors fraternity
- 3 year member of Clemson TigerBand (marching band - Mellophone)
- 2 year member of Clemson Pep Band
- 3 year member of Clemson Symphony Orchestra (French Horn)
- Team leader for senior design project dealing with the design and implimentation of a fat rendering plant turning low grade tallow (animal fats) into a profitable good (Polyolesters, a form of high temperature industrial lubricants). As team leader, I conducted all of the project planning, supervision, and management while still pulling (more than, to be honest) my equal share in the project.


Target Schools:
University of Connecticut School of Business
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
Columbia University
Clemson University (Night MBA) - if I want to go the part time route, but I think full time would present better/more opportunities for me
University of South Carolina
Duke University (Fuqua)

Post MBA:
I want to work in upper-management at a manfucaturing company either as a plant manager or as a regional manager. I enjoy thinking of logistics and feasibility of things and would love to see that maximized in my future career.


Pitpit,

Thank you for submitting your profile. On the basis of the information above, and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 710, our experience shows that you will be a stretch candidate at Wharton, Columbia, and Fuqua. Please keep in mind that Aringo provides client service and expertise to applicants who are interested in the top 30 business schools globally, so I would not be able to advise you on chances for part-time/night programs or school such as Connecticut, Clemson, or South Carolina.

In terms of your profile for a top program, the following would be items to keep in mind:

- Career goals:

I'm not sure if you meant working as a plant manager was your short term (immediately post-MBA) job or more of a long term goal. If you meant the former, keep in mind the vast majority of mid-sized to large manufacturing plants would generally not hire someone with two years of work experience and an MBA. I have seen this accomplished with extensive operations experience and engineering leadership exhibited during the pre-MBA experience for a few colleagues who have graduated from top business schools. As such, I would encourage you to put a more feasible first job post MBA in your essays. Otherwise, you risk losing some credibility. Additionally, it sounds as if you are interested in a career in operations. However, I would encourage you to research this field, as most MBA programs would not necessarily recognize "logistics" as much as they would "operations."

- Work experience: You discuss mostly responsibilities in your daily job, which is fine to introduce yourself. At the same time, make sure your resume lists accomplishments that are quantified.

- School selection: You seem to have listed quite a wide range of programs from a competitiveness standpoint relative to most other applicants, going from Wharton to a part-time program. I would encourage you to further consider your career goals and understand what kind of MBA and work experience would be required to attain those goals. If you are interested in remaining in the southeast United States, you might consider schools such as North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) and Emory (Goziueta) after you have a few more years of work experience under your belt. Both have strong reputations and are more of a middle ground in terms of where you might have reasonable chances.

- Scholarships: If you mention the proportion of your tuition that was supported (if it was a significant proportion), that can sometimes be more impressive than listing the scholarship name.

- Community service: Regarding your question about managing a soccer team, it sounds as if the people on the team are adults. Based on our experience with clients, this would generally not be considered extracurricular activity or community service in the sense that it's more of a hobby. If you were coaching a children's team, for example, then it's a bit of a different story.

- Internships: Generally, most firms and MBA programs would not seriously consider internships, based on our experience with top global MBA programs. Typically, you remove your internship experience from a resume after starting to work full-time.

Best of luck,

Brian

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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710 [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2011, 12:49
Dear Brian,

I am 31 years old. Is age a problem in gaining admission to Top 10 schools?
Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 710   [#permalink] 19 Sep 2011, 12:49
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