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

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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2012, 09:58
Hi,

I am planning to apply for 2013 entry and would like to get an honest evaluation before i engage in the whole application process. Let me give you a brief on my resume so that you can have a better understanding of the same:

a) Work Experience: Currently working for an Indian investment bank as a PE/M&A analyst. I am planning to apply for 2013 batch and hoping to work till early 2013. I would have gained 3.5 - 4.0 years of work experience (front end investment banking + micro Finance manager ) which I think should prepare me to apply to a business school. I have worked on various deals, some of them have been the biggest in their sectors in India and also been part of the bank's business development exercise. Was solely responsible for originating a see side mandate for an Indian sugar company ($20 mn)

b) International Exposure: Apart from my one year stint in the UK during my masters (A top British Uni), I don’t really have any international exposure. Having said that, I do work with a lot of mid-market and boutique investments banks in US and UK which might count as “international exposure”.

c) GMAT: I have a GMAT score of 710

d) Social Involvement: I have worked with C.O.R.P for one year teaching English in a municipal school in Mumbai and a six month internship with a microfinance firm as a principal manager for new initiatives and business develoment covering rural areas and villages in the state of Rajasthan, India. Helped setup special help groups and also led firms communications with international peers and VC funds

e) Investment banking background: Mid-market investment banks in India give a better profile and exposure to its analysts as compared to their peers in the US and Europe. I have worked on live deals and also been a part of the business development exercise of the bank which is rare in global banks or US banks where analysts have a limited role.

f) Education: BA (Economics) Top of the class and university topper at Mumbai University, one of the oldest and prestigious arts and science college in India. Masters in Finance and Economics from a top British b-school.

g)Internships: 2 internships with large global financial services firm with private banking and asset management divisions in India

h) Schools short listed: - Wharton Business School

- Yale SOM

- MIT Sloan

- Chicago Booth

- Kellogg

- Tepper School

- Columbia

- Duke

- Darden Virginia

I am still confused about schools in the UK/Europe and how much work experience they require since the average age in those schools is way higher than their American peers. I AM VERY KEEN ON APPLYING TO SAID, LBS AND INSEAD. DO I STAND A CHANCE AT THESE THREE??

Please do let me know if my choice of schools is apt for my resume. Your thoughts will be deeply appreciated. Thank you again for all your help and support.

Hoping to hear soon from you.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2012, 10:00
I am planning to apply for 2013 entry and would like to get an honest evaluation. Thank you for taking the time out to review my profile. Let me give you a brief on my resume so that you can have a better understanding of the same:

a) Work Experience: Currently working for an Indian investment bank as a PE/M&A analyst. I am planning to apply for 2013 batch and hoping to work till early 2013. I would have gained 3.5 - 4.0 years of work experience (front end investment banking + micro Finance manager ) which I think should prepare me to apply to a business school. I have worked on various deals, some of them have been the biggest in their sectors in India and also been part of the bank's business development exercise. Was solely responsible for originating a see side mandate for an Indian sugar company ($20 mn)

b) International Exposure: Apart from my one year stint in the UK during my masters (A top British Uni), I don’t really have any international exposure. Having said that, I do work with a lot of mid-market and boutique investments banks in US and UK which might count as “international exposure”.

c) GMAT: I have a GMAT score of 710

d) Social Involvement: I have worked with C.O.R.P for one year teaching English in a municipal school in Mumbai and a six month internship with a microfinance firm as a principal manager for new initiatives and business develoment covering rural areas and villages in the state of Rajasthan, India. Helped setup special help groups and also led firms communications with international peers and VC funds

e) Investment banking background: Mid-market investment banks in India give a better profile and exposure to its analysts as compared to their peers in the US and Europe. I have worked on live deals and also been a part of the business development exercise of the bank which is rare in global banks or US banks where analysts have a limited role.

f) Education: BA (Economics) Top of the class and university topper at Mumbai University, one of the oldest and prestigious arts and science college in India. Masters in Finance and Economics from a top British b-school.

g)Internships: 2 internships with large global financial services firm with private banking and asset management divisions in India

h) Schools short listed: - Wharton Business School

- Yale SOM

- MIT Sloan

- Chicago Booth

- Kellogg

- Tepper School

- Columbia

- Duke

- Darden Virginia

I am still confused about schools in the UK/Europe and how much work experience they require since the average age in those schools is way higher than their American peers. I AM VERY KEEN ON APPLYING TO SAID, LBS AND INSEAD. DO I STAND A CHANCE AT THESE THREE??

Please do let me know if my choice of schools is apt for my resume. Your thoughts will be deeply appreciated. Thank you again for all your help and support.

Hoping to hear soon from you.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2012, 16:13
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Dear Brian,

I have the following dilemma, wanted to ask if you know anything about it:

What happens if I apply to b-school in early decision round (for example, Columbia or Duke) and after I'm admitted I decide not to enroll? besides losing the money deposit, are there any other negative implications? any chance that the betrayed school will contact other schools I applied to and "trash" me? any possible negative implications on job recruiting later?


wayne26,

Thank you for your question. As you note, in the situation where you back out of a spot, you lose the deposit. However, for early decision rounds the deposit is typically a fair bit higher than that of the non-early decision rounds - often by several thousand dollars or more.

Beyond that, in our experience there is some (small) risk for, but by no means a guarantee of, any further implications. While we have observed and heard about situations where the ad coms at different schools do talk to each other about unique situations involving applicants, they typically are not "out to get you." Rather, since each program has a fairly small staff, they focus their effots on the students who are planning to attend. At the same time, please keep in mind that the admissions and/or human resources field at a broader level are relatively close-knit communities. I have seen recruiters at top firms move into admissions roles at top MBA programs, and vice versa. So, while backing out would not typically hurt you in recruiting in general, in isolated instances your situation may have further implications.

On a somewhat related note, most top programs are now doing background checks on all admitted students (at a minimum). So, please make sure that your resume is factual and that any representation of yourself on various social media outlets paints you in a professional light.

Best of luck,

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Last edited by AringoConsultant on 06 Apr 2012, 18:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2012, 16:45
Expert's post
Quote:
I am planning to apply for 2013 entry and would like to get an honest evaluation. Thank you for taking the time out to review my profile. Let me give you a brief on my resume so that you can have a better understanding of the same:

a) Work Experience: Currently working for an Indian investment bank as a PE/M&A analyst. I am planning to apply for 2013 batch and hoping to work till early 2013. I would have gained 3.5 - 4.0 years of work experience (front end investment banking + micro Finance manager ) which I think should prepare me to apply to a business school. I have worked on various deals, some of them have been the biggest in their sectors in India and also been part of the bank's business development exercise. Was solely responsible for originating a see side mandate for an Indian sugar company ($20 mn)

b) International Exposure: Apart from my one year stint in the UK during my masters (A top British Uni), I don’t really have any international exposure. Having said that, I do work with a lot of mid-market and boutique investments banks in US and UK which might count as “international exposure”.

c) GMAT: I have a GMAT score of 710

d) Social Involvement: I have worked with C.O.R.P for one year teaching English in a municipal school in Mumbai and a six month internship with a microfinance firm as a principal manager for new initiatives and business develoment covering rural areas and villages in the state of Rajasthan, India. Helped setup special help groups and also led firms communications with international peers and VC funds

e) Investment banking background: Mid-market investment banks in India give a better profile and exposure to its analysts as compared to their peers in the US and Europe. I have worked on live deals and also been a part of the business development exercise of the bank which is rare in global banks or US banks where analysts have a limited role.

f) Education: BA (Economics) Top of the class and university topper at Mumbai University, one of the oldest and prestigious arts and science college in India. Masters in Finance and Economics from a top British b-school.

g)Internships: 2 internships with large global financial services firm with private banking and asset management divisions in India

h) Schools short listed: - Wharton Business School

- Yale SOM

- MIT Sloan

- Chicago Booth

- Kellogg

- Tepper School

- Columbia

- Duke

- Darden Virginia

I am still confused about schools in the UK/Europe and how much work experience they require since the average age in those schools is way higher than their American peers. I AM VERY KEEN ON APPLYING TO SAID, LBS AND INSEAD. DO I STAND A CHANCE AT THESE THREE??

Please do let me know if my choice of schools is apt for my resume. Your thoughts will be deeply appreciated. Thank you again for all your help and support.

Hoping to hear soon from you.


sarveshmehta,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 710, our experience indicates you would be between competitive and stretch at Harvard, between competitive and stretch (closer to competitive) at Wharton, competitive at Booth, Kellogg, and Columbia, between competitive and strong (closer to competitive) at Sloan and INSEAD, and strong at Yale, Duke, Darden, Oxford, LBS, and Tepper.

Your strong finance background and experience in investment banking gives you a strongly differentiated profile relative to many of your Indian peers. However, one item that will be quite important in your profile is your master's degree in finance and economics. Because these are topics that are covered in an MBA program, and because you note that the degree was received from a top university with an MBA program, you will need to clearly articulate why you believe you need the MBA on top of your academic background to date. A large part of this will be describing your future career goals both in the short and long term.

In terms of your question about the required minimum work experience of European business schools, we typically do not see (US-based or European-based) schools note absolute minimum work experience requirements. I would say that with your 4 years of work experience at application that you would be fine for European programs. They do tend to index higher in age than programs in the United States, but I do not believe you would be penalized in any way with the work experience you do have.

Please keep in mind that business schools do not count internships as full-time work experience. I would encourage most MBA candidates to remove any internships from their resumes, or at most, to mention it only as a single line item in the event that there is an impressive connection you want to reference.

Overall, you have a very strong profile and have written a well-organized and coherent summary of your experiences. I think the next step is to narrow down the list of programs that may make the most sense for you and your future goals.

Best of luck,

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Last edited by AringoConsultant on 06 Apr 2012, 18:54, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2012, 01:21
Thank you, I will keep this in mind!
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2012, 19:24
Hi,

Thanks in advance!

Age: 23
Gender: Female

Education:
BA in Economics (Canada)
Minor - Business
Passed CFA Level 1 exam

GPA: 3.7
GMAT: 700 Q49, V34 (This is my second time writing the exam -I wrote the exam two years ago and got 650. However, I am planning to rewrite the exam in July this year to get a higher score)

Work Experience:
Securities operations analyst at a major Bank in Canada (2010 - Present);

Extracurricular Activities:
Leadership role in a student organization at university
Organized several big charity events
Tutored at university

Schools:
- NYU (Stern)
- UCLA (Anderson)
- Cornell (Johnson)
- Toronto (Rotman)
- Oxford (Said)
- Columbia
- Duke (Fuqua)


After my MBA:
I want to go into Business Consulting in Canada for a few years and eventually go back to Asia to start my own business.

I am planning to apply for Fall 2013. Please let me your opinions on my chances getting into my target schools.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2012, 20:48
Hi,

Thank you in advance for taking out the time to evaluate my profile. I am sharing below my background so you can
i) evaluate my profile,
ii) suggest target schools and backup schools (I have a few in mind)
iii) identify strong areas and improvement areas (and subsequently how to address them)

I saw the below format adopted by one of the fellow members on this forum and that it helped understand the profile better. Hence sticking to the same format.

a) Work Experience: I have 90 months of work experience in the IT and Consulting area. I currently work for one of the Big 3 IT and Consultancy companies and am based out of US. I am a Project/Program manager and lead the Portfolio management office (PMO) for a $40 MN account. My consulting experience revolves around Project/Program management and also setting up Operations/PMO offices from scratch. In the past, I have successfully delivered complex programs running into millions of $$ and have also managed the Program Office of the CSO of one of the most reputed IT consultancies.

b) International Exposure: I have been based in the US for the past 2 years handling multicultural clients. I have also traveled for projects in the UK and have spent 1 year meeting and handling (by way of conf calls) clients in UK. I have spent 3-4 months in France while I was an exchange student and have traveled across Europe during my leisure time.

c) GMAT: I had taken the GMAT once in 2004 and scored around 660-680 range. Since it was more than 5 years ago, I dont think it counts. I am taking the GMAT again in a month from now.

d) Education:
I have
-a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management and
-a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering.
In my PGDBM I scored around a 6.ish GPA and in my Engineering, I secured a 1st class (60%-70%) in Mumbai university, which is considered extremely strict in scoring.(I dont know how to compare/present this in the light of other universities that may not be as stringent in thier scoring)
I am also a
-certified Project Management Professional (PMP),
-LOMA FLMI (L1) certified and
-a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (though a non practising one).

e) Activities outside Profession:
-I have been the Governance lead and an active organizing volunteer for the CSR wing of my organization from 2008-2010 during which I have organized many field trips to over 5 different projects that our NGO works with. I had laid out the governance model of the CSR and streamlined reporting, financials etc in those 2 years.
(I hope the fact that the CSR was my organization's social work, will not make it count under my professional activities. There was no compulsion to join and it was purely a voluntary choice).
-I was the Finance-in-charge and Sponsorship lead for the College committee for 2 years in a row.
-I led the Jamming (music) group at my organization in the years 2009-2010 where I brought together as many as 20 people every week and we played/created music.
-I have won umpteen number of singing competitions (solo and duet) and a number of Instrumental competitions.
I am trained in Indian classical music and can play 5 different musical instruments (only 1 of which I have recd formal training on, rest are self-learnt). 2 of those instruments, I have played and can still play at professional levels.
-I have led my college's musical club for 2 years. I was also a part of a band that was formed when I was in college where we created fusion music.
-I have represented my college as its contingent leader at many inter collegiate events.

f) Programs considered: I am very keen on a 1 year course like that of INSEAD, Kellogg 1Y. I am looking to start the program asap (Eg. starting Jan 2013)

I am 30/M/married and with a kid, dont know if that matters at all. Kindly do share a frank evaluation of my profile focusing on which areas need to be strengthened. Again, thank you very much for your help, support and time. Hope to hear from you soon.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2012, 09:09
Dear Brian,

Thanks for the good work you are doing over here.

Request you to kindly analyze my profile and give me a few pointers on
1) Choice of schools for Fall 2013
2) Have I outgrown 2 yr MBA?
3) Given my age and experience on the higher side will it be a hard sell to tell the adcoms that I wish to change my job function.
4) What can I do now to improve my profile?

 GMAT score : 700 ( Q=48; V=38) , Nov-2009 (had given it 2 times previously - 630 and 650)
 Analytical Writing : 5.0
 Citizenship: Indian
 Currently working and residing in : Singapore (past 3.5 yrs)
 Age: 30
 Degree: B.E (Computer Engg.)
 Year of graduation: 2003
 Years of experience: 8.5 years
 Current Employment Oracle Financial Services Software - Since Feb-2005. Mumbai and SG.
 Current Designation : Software development Manager
 Experience: Banking Domain - Origination, Interfaces, Payments. Working on various technologies in used in Flexcube-Retail. Now working on Next generation product. All new domain , new tech.
 Extra Curricular activities:
• Participated various events at school and college level,
• Was the member of Organizing Committee for cultural activities for my company in Singapore and organized many events like bowling day, family day.

Have been doing Technical Management role since last 3.5 yrs and if I am here, will keep doing the same for a few more years. Only thing that might keep increasing is the quantum of responsibility - more functionalities, more deliverables. I feel the need to learn more, understand more for example
1) how do businesses work
2) how to setup your own company
3) how do you sell an IT product.

I keep thinking about these questions and I am sure might get some guidance from books but somewhere I feel MBA is necessary.

My ultimate goal is to move up gradually through the management path, and the MBA will help prepare me for future opportunities as they come along Preferably in the consulting for the banking domain. Understand the business side of IT. In short, my goal is to obtain an MBA degree, and then work in the technology consulting industry, either with a consulting firm or with a financial institution where my domain and technical knowledge will help.

Can I do this right now by just switching jobs? Probably not.

I am a re-applicant.

Schools I had thought were a good fit for me 3 years back when I applied in 2009 but ended up applying to only 2.

Long shot : 1) Cornell 2) Emory 3) CMU Tepper 4) UNC Kenan-Flagler
Good Chance 1) Kelley 2) Austin
Safe Bets : 1) NUS - applied and dinged 2) HKUST 3) Broad - MSU 4) NTU - applied and dinged

As you can see, my safe bets rejected me. But I think my profile has changed a lot since then and I am ripe now to do an MBA.

I am sorry this is a long query. Let me know your analysis and guidance for Aug 2013.
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2012, 10:38
Hi Gil,
I would love your advice on my profile...


I am female, 28, American.

Education Background:
BA in Political Science from Boston University (Unsure of GPA)
Masters of Science in Wine Marketing and Management from Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre (Average 16.4/20, Mention Très Bien)
- for this degree, traveled to 23 different wine consuming or producing countries in Asia, South America, North America and Europe

GMAT Score: 680 (Q41, V41). Quantitative is 57 percentile, Verbal 92. I was scoring 700 - 730 in practice tests, with my highest test from the GMATPrep Software a 730 (Q44, V44). I didn't finish 2 Quant questions, and I feel that nerves definitely got to me.
Writing: 6.0

Work Experience:
- Currently managing the marketing for a winery in the Languedoc-Roussillon in France, reporting directly to owner and managing all aspects of marketing; most likely being promoted to Brand Manager for the company in about a month (in negotiations). Came to this position to get experience in wine production as I now live on the wineryand help in the cellar and vineyards when possible.

Previous positions:
- Account Executive at the top marketing/PR agency for wine and spirits (2.5 years). Managed accounts for major wine regions in France, as well as assisted with major spirits brand campaigns. Experience in PR, marketing, advertising, social media, events
- Sales Representative for French wine distributor (6 month externship to complete my masters)
- English Teacher in primary schools in France (1 year)

Although my ultimate goal is to work in marketing, my work experience has been tailored to get experience in all sectors of the wine industry - I worked in high end restaurants in college, did sales for an importer/distributor, and now am learning production - because I believe that understanding all aspects of the wine business helps me to create more successful integrated marketing campaigns.

Extracurriculars:
- Hold Advanced Certificate from Wine and Spirits Education Trust

Goals:
I would like work in Brand Management for one of the top global Wine & Spirits companies, ideally eventually becoming a Marketing executive working on international branding strategy.

Schools: I'm looking to apply in 2012.
Before the GMATs, my top choice was INSEAD. I would also consider other programs in France but want them to be highly regarded in the US as well.
I've also considered Columbia and Stern but am not sure what else I should be looking at?

I also feel that I have to strongly consider retaking the GMATs. The issue is that I took them during a trip back to the US, I don't want to take them in France with a different keyboard, and I would have to travel 2-3 hours to the closest testing facility. It will be difficult before the format changes, especially as I have 3-4 weeks of travel for work in that time.


Thanks so much for any help!
Jess
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2012, 18:02
Expert's post
Quote:
Hi,

Thanks in advance!

Age: 23
Gender: Female

Education:
BA in Economics (Canada)
Minor - Business
Passed CFA Level 1 exam

GPA: 3.7
GMAT: 700 Q49, V34 (This is my second time writing the exam -I wrote the exam two years ago and got 650. However, I am planning to rewrite the exam in July this year to get a higher score)

Work Experience:
Securities operations analyst at a major Bank in Canada (2010 - Present);

Extracurricular Activities:
Leadership role in a student organization at university
Organized several big charity events
Tutored at university

Schools:
- NYU (Stern)
- UCLA (Anderson)
- Cornell (Johnson)
- Toronto (Rotman)
- Oxford (Said)
- Columbia
- Duke (Fuqua)


After my MBA:
I want to go into Business Consulting in Canada for a few years and eventually go back to Asia to start my own business.

I am planning to apply for Fall 2013. Please let me your opinions on my chances getting into my target schools.


cashmerecashmere,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 700, our experience indicates you would be between stretch and competitive (closer to stretch) at Columbia, competitive at Stern, between competitive and strong (closer to competitive) at Fuqua, and strong at Johnson, Rotman, Anderson, and Said.

You have a number of positives in your profile, including a competitive GPA/GMAT combination. I am assuming that you attended a fairly reputable undergraduate institution in Canada (you didn't specify this detail). The aspect that is a bit less clear to me, and which you'll want to make sure you address in your application, are the specific reasons you want an MBA and specifically what your career goals are. Saying you want to go into consulting and then go to Asia are somewhat less specific than you'll eventually need to explain - and for applicants like yourself with less work experience, ad coms want to see a lot of thought about this. It's fairly common for younger applicants to go less deep in this area and to show less reflection than is necessary.

It will also be important between now and the time of application in the fall if you can achieve a promotion in your organization. At minimum, since you have less work experience than most other applicants, it's going to be crucial for you to highlight the impact you've had on your organization. Focus on cross-functional or financial impacts, if possible.

Since you have less work experience, your extracurriculars become slightly more important to highlight your leadership potential and persona. As such, make sure your resume not only highlights the titles you've held in organizations, but also speaks to your specific accomplishments.

Best of luck,

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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2012, 18:45
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Hi,

Thank you in advance for taking out the time to evaluate my profile. I am sharing below my background so you can
i) evaluate my profile,
ii) suggest target schools and backup schools (I have a few in mind)
iii) identify strong areas and improvement areas (and subsequently how to address them)

I saw the below format adopted by one of the fellow members on this forum and that it helped understand the profile better. Hence sticking to the same format.

a) Work Experience: I have 90 months of work experience in the IT and Consulting area. I currently work for one of the Big 3 IT and Consultancy companies and am based out of US. I am a Project/Program manager and lead the Portfolio management office (PMO) for a $40 MN account. My consulting experience revolves around Project/Program management and also setting up Operations/PMO offices from scratch. In the past, I have successfully delivered complex programs running into millions of $$ and have also managed the Program Office of the CSO of one of the most reputed IT consultancies.

b) International Exposure: I have been based in the US for the past 2 years handling multicultural clients. I have also traveled for projects in the UK and have spent 1 year meeting and handling (by way of conf calls) clients in UK. I have spent 3-4 months in France while I was an exchange student and have traveled across Europe during my leisure time.

c) GMAT: I had taken the GMAT once in 2004 and scored around 660-680 range. Since it was more than 5 years ago, I dont think it counts. I am taking the GMAT again in a month from now.

d) Education:
I have
-a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management and
-a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering.
In my PGDBM I scored around a 6.ish GPA and in my Engineering, I secured a 1st class (60%-70%) in Mumbai university, which is considered extremely strict in scoring.(I dont know how to compare/present this in the light of other universities that may not be as stringent in thier scoring)
I am also a
-certified Project Management Professional (PMP),
-LOMA FLMI (L1) certified and
-a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (though a non practising one).

e) Activities outside Profession:
-I have been the Governance lead and an active organizing volunteer for the CSR wing of my organization from 2008-2010 during which I have organized many field trips to over 5 different projects that our NGO works with. I had laid out the governance model of the CSR and streamlined reporting, financials etc in those 2 years.
(I hope the fact that the CSR was my organization's social work, will not make it count under my professional activities. There was no compulsion to join and it was purely a voluntary choice).
-I was the Finance-in-charge and Sponsorship lead for the College committee for 2 years in a row.
-I led the Jamming (music) group at my organization in the years 2009-2010 where I brought together as many as 20 people every week and we played/created music.
-I have won umpteen number of singing competitions (solo and duet) and a number of Instrumental competitions.
I am trained in Indian classical music and can play 5 different musical instruments (only 1 of which I have recd formal training on, rest are self-learnt). 2 of those instruments, I have played and can still play at professional levels.
-I have led my college's musical club for 2 years. I was also a part of a band that was formed when I was in college where we created fusion music.
-I have represented my college as its contingent leader at many inter collegiate events.

f) Programs considered: I am very keen on a 1 year course like that of INSEAD, Kellogg 1Y. I am looking to start the program asap (Eg. starting Jan 2013)

I am 30/M/married and with a kid, dont know if that matters at all. Kindly do share a frank evaluation of my profile focusing on which areas need to be strengthened. Again, thank you very much for your help, support and time. Hope to hear from you soon.


sjaianand,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 680, our experience indicates you would be a competitive candidate at Tepper and Rotman, and between competitive and stretch (closer to competitive) at Darden, Johnson, and Anderson. We believe you would be a stretch candidate at both INSEAD and Kellogg. Please keep in mind that Kellogg's 1Y program starts each year in June (not January).

The template that you used to submit your information is fine, although it's also important (at least for how Aringo reviews candidates) to speak to: the number of people you manage, the number of promotions you've achieved, and a summary of why you want an MBA and what your career goals are. In particular, these are important for an Indian applicant like yourself, because this is such a competitive demographic. Male, Indian, engineering applicants need to look for differentiating aspects from a professional and personal standpoint as much as possible. Additionally, we typically reduce chances a bit for candidates who have career goals that are (vastly) different from a candidate's background and which are difficult to believe the candidate could achieve. The converse of course is true - it helps one's chances to have interesting career goals that are achievable and show a link to one's past.

The fact that you've worked in the US and appear to have been given increasing levels of responsibility in your organization are definitely positive. To be married and have a child is not a positive or a negative, in our experience. I would encourage you to reach out to the family clubs at each of the programs to which you apply, as they usually do a great job explaining the types of things they do and what daily life might be life for your child and spouse.

Your postgraduate degree in business is not a negative (no master's degree is), but you will have a higher burden of proof to meet in your 'why MBA' story relative to other applicants. Any master's degree that sounds remotely close to an MBA implies to the ad com that the MBA might be "repeat" for you. In some ways it does make sense for you to apply to 1 year programs because of the presence of this degree, and the fact that you might not need to take all of the traditional first-year courses in the standard topics.

A couple of items, which are applicable to many people:
- Regarding your academic background, one item that I consistently see people miss is the need to give a percentile rank in their undergraduate program. This is a (very) easy way to provide a normalized result and should be information that your university can provide to you. Top MBA programs know how to compare GPAs across schools from various countries, but make it easier for them - and perhaps for the student readers at some schools who are a little less versed in this detail.
- Many Indian applicants talk about the extracurricular activities they did involving organizing festivals. This is legitimate, and I have no problem with it - when I was at Kellogg one of the more amazing things was to learn about these events from my Indian friends. Just keep in mind many, many Indian applicants talk about it, so it is difficult to differentiate yourself on this aspect.
- Regarding extracurricular activities, what we recommend is to highlight the top 2-3 accomplishments and leadership positions and go 'deep' here on your resume to make it clear that you're prioritizing these for the reader. You want to make sure your audience is able to take away the key details. It's important to show breadth, of course, but just make this prioritization transparent.

Best of luck,

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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2012, 19:21
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Dear Brian,

Thanks for the good work you are doing over here.

Request you to kindly analyze my profile and give me a few pointers on
1) Choice of schools for Fall 2013
2) Have I outgrown 2 yr MBA?
3) Given my age and experience on the higher side will it be a hard sell to tell the adcoms that I wish to change my job function.
4) What can I do now to improve my profile?

 GMAT score : 700 ( Q=48; V=38) , Nov-2009 (had given it 2 times previously - 630 and 650)
 Analytical Writing : 5.0
 Citizenship: Indian
 Currently working and residing in : Singapore (past 3.5 yrs)
 Age: 30
 Degree: B.E (Computer Engg.)
 Year of graduation: 2003
 Years of experience: 8.5 years
 Current Employment Oracle Financial Services Software - Since Feb-2005. Mumbai and SG.
 Current Designation : Software development Manager
 Experience: Banking Domain - Origination, Interfaces, Payments. Working on various technologies in used in Flexcube-Retail. Now working on Next generation product. All new domain , new tech.
 Extra Curricular activities:
• Participated various events at school and college level,
• Was the member of Organizing Committee for cultural activities for my company in Singapore and organized many events like bowling day, family day.

Have been doing Technical Management role since last 3.5 yrs and if I am here, will keep doing the same for a few more years. Only thing that might keep increasing is the quantum of responsibility - more functionalities, more deliverables. I feel the need to learn more, understand more for example
1) how do businesses work
2) how to setup your own company
3) how do you sell an IT product.

I keep thinking about these questions and I am sure might get some guidance from books but somewhere I feel MBA is necessary.

My ultimate goal is to move up gradually through the management path, and the MBA will help prepare me for future opportunities as they come along Preferably in the consulting for the banking domain. Understand the business side of IT. In short, my goal is to obtain an MBA degree, and then work in the technology consulting industry, either with a consulting firm or with a financial institution where my domain and technical knowledge will help.

Can I do this right now by just switching jobs? Probably not.

I am a re-applicant.

Schools I had thought were a good fit for me 3 years back when I applied in 2009 but ended up applying to only 2.

Long shot : 1) Cornell 2) Emory 3) CMU Tepper 4) UNC Kenan-Flagler
Good Chance 1) Kelley 2) Austin
Safe Bets : 1) NUS - applied and dinged 2) HKUST 3) Broad - MSU 4) NTU - applied and dinged

As you can see, my safe bets rejected me. But I think my profile has changed a lot since then and I am ripe now to do an MBA.

I am sorry this is a long query. Let me know your analysis and guidance for Aug 2013.


neeravks,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 700, our experience indicates that you would be competitive at Texas, Emory, and Kenan-Flagler, between competitive and stretch (closer to competitive) at Tepper, and between competitive and stretch (closer to stretch) at Cornell. Please note that I assumed you graduated with a good GPA from a solidly reputable undergraduate institution, as this detail was not included in your profile.

In terms of your questions, I'm not sure that you have fully outgrown the full-time MBA yet, but you are reaching the point where it's close. You would be 31 at the time of matriculation, which would make you one of the oldest ~5% or so of students in any top full-time MBA program. It is not impossible to get in (we have had clients get in who are older than this), but it does impact your chances negatively in our experience at the age of 29 and up when you apply.

In my view, your higher level of work experience would not cause the admission committees to question your ability to change functions (vs. someone, say, with less work experience). Rather, it is all in how you write your essays and describe your career goals in the interview. If you can convince the adcoms that you have legitimate transferrable skills and capabilities that you can leverage to change careers in some way, you have achieved the goal. Your questions "How do businesses work, how to sell IT products" are not invalid, but I would recommend that you work with someone with experience on the business side to hone these further. I think you would want to speak to more specific, tangible things and specific business problems you've observed - what you've listed instead are somewhat vague, (very) high-level topics. A specific example might be, 'I am specifically interested in entrepreneurial finance and the nature of how to compute valuations of start-ups when they have few revenues (and profits) to speak of yet.'

Your career goals are aligned to your background and seem tangible to achieve, which is good. At the same time, think about a long-term goal (that would interest you) that will serve to sound interesting and aspirational, to complement your stated short-term goals. The risk of showing a short-term career goal that is fairly closely aligned to your current work background is that the adcoms may believe you don't need an MBA (despite the fact you believe you do).

Best of luck,

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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2012, 12:48
Hello Aringo!

I have a short question for you

Few days ago (after a serious amount of stress) I finally took the GMAT and with enough surprise I achieved a fairly good score:

700 (Q42 59th V44 97th)

First of all I am very happy I took the GMAT previously to get into a Msc (nearly 5y ago) and got a 580 that was cause of a bit of depression (thats why I did not retake it). On my first attempt verbal went really bad (29) and thats why, when I decided to retake it, I mostly focused in improving my verbal score.

I am quite happy now and planning to apply to a top tier school (HBS / STAN and even Columbia) however I am quite worried about my low quant (42 is like 59th percentile).
I have an Italian Bsc in Law and Economics with 3.9+ gpa and solid scores (A or A+) in math, microecon, macroecon, finance and accounting. I have a Msc in Stretegic Management between France and Germany (with some time spent in England and Argentina). I am a former semiprofessional rugby player and I speak professionally 3 languages + 2 on a casual conversation level.
I am currently working in a top tier consulting firm that yearly send at least 6 candidates each to HBS and Columbia (Not familiar with figures from other uni). I am planning to get recommendation from a client (CEO), Senior Partner and possibly my Math professor during my Bsc (Italian luminar that teaches in Ivy league UNIs as well)

At first I thought that my profile was solid enough to achieve my target schools however reading this forums I started to sadly realize that my supposed "excellent 700 GMAT" score is not that good as it is "Unbalanced" :shock: .

I see two option sin front of me:

1) Retake it - which I really dont want, as I have a clean 700 with my old 580 expired, preparing it was really stressing, the test is changing soon and I am honestly proud of my 97th percentile verbal as a non native english speaker

2) Back up my application with quantitative stuff, Bsc subjects records, highlight quantitative intensive project I took part in and the recommendation from the Bsc math prof

What do you think?

PS I admit that the Q score could be improved by a couple of points ( i kinda panicked during the quant part, however would really a 65 or 70 percentile change that much?)
s
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2012, 09:20
Hi Gil,

Thanks in advance for your advice. Here's my profile:
Female: 25
Nationality: Vietnamese
Majoring undergraduate: Accounting
GPA: 7.8 on a 10 scale
GMAT around 630 and I'm planning to take it in May. Hope the score will be improved
Experience:
- 1/2010- 7/2010: Grant Thornton Vietnam, Audit for project and manufacturing firms.
- 7/2010- present: Ernst & Young Vietnam, Audit for banking field and other financial institutions.

I'm planning to apply for fall 2013. Hope to receive advice from you. Thank you so much!
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2012, 21:44
Hi Brian / Gil,

Thanks for starting this thread. Your comments are very helpful. They gave me a perspective which I was possibly missing until now. Please let me know what you think about this profile:

Age: 34
Gender: Male
Nationality: Indian

Education:
- Under Grad: Bachelor of Engineering (from a top 20 university in India)
- GPA: 80% (the top ranker scored around 90%)
- GMAT: 700 (Q49, V35) AWA 5.5

Work Experience - 11 years
Sector - IT
Company - Largest IT firm in India
Highlights:
- Worked in US for 5 years for different clients
- Presented a software solution to the CFO of a client company
- Led the turnaround effort on two programs that were almost doomed to fail
- Received multiple awards from clients as well as employer on delivery excellence and leadership
- 5 years in leadership roles

Need for MBA (with focus on Consulting/Finance/Leadership & Strategy) - Until recently, I was happy with my career and busy with my family life; which is why I probably never though about spending tons on an MBA. However, as I am progressing to higher roles I am finding it difficult to grow due to a lack of formal education on certain topics such as the ones mentioned above. So, I need an MBA in order to pursue further career goals.

Future career goals -
Short term - move from an IT solution delivery role to an IT consulting role within the Finance domain.
- need to understand more about how the finance function in a company work
- need a better understanding on the various concepts within the finance domain
- need to discover new areas where IT can act as an enabler

Long term - move from an IT consulting role to an IT management role
- utilize the consulting experience to help build a strong IT organization in a company

Contemplating on following Schools (need to shortlist to 3):
1. Wharton
2. Kellog
3. Sloan
4. Ross
5. Darden
6. Tepper
7. Kelley
8. UNC

I will appreciate any general feedback that you provide on the profile. Apart from that I have a few specific questions -

1. Is my age going to be a real dampner on my prospects for a 2-yr full time MBA? I was thinking that my experience will help but it appears that it might not. Executive MBA in US is not an automatic choice for me due to job and immigration uncertainties. So, I though a 2-yr full time would have been more appropriate.
2. How important is the role of my GPA percentage after 11 years of experience? Getting a percentile rank from my university is a bit tricky for me. My normal rank would have been 88 percentile. However, my official rank is 26 percentile. This is because I fell ill during a semester. Per our university rules, students who miss exams are given a second chance during the following semester but marks scored in such exams are not credited to the percentile rank.
3. In my current role, my client manager and my client business users are closer to my daily work than my employer manager. Is it appropriate to consider the "immediate supervisor" recommendation as one from my client manager instead of one from my employer manager?
4. Currently I am in a IT functional leadership role, directing solution approaches. However, I do not have any direct reports and am not a manager. How does that weigh in during the MBA admission process?

Looking forward to your suggestions and opinions. Once again thank you for offering to help!

Regards,
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2012, 11:23
Hi,

I would like to have your inputs on some Best International B schools that would best fit my profile. Please note that I am targeting for only 1 year MBA programs or accelerated programs since I cannot afford to stay out of job for 2 years.

Name: Santosh Panda 29Y / Male
Citizenship: INDIA
Qualification: B.E in EEE - 74% (75% is the score for distinction in university)

Work Exp.: 7+ years in Telecom software development industry. I worked for Motorola Inc. and now the same division is acquired by Nokia Siemens Networks. Both are conglomerates in telecom domain with solid business foundations.
I am working as project lead supervising a small team and had been to US for technical discussion and project integration activities in the past. However most of my work is still R&D and developing software for telecom solutions.

As a team, ours was the only team which gave year on year profit of 500% in entire business of Motorola. Success was all due to the best practices put in place by our day to day learning from existing processes. And yes as an active member of the team I had my contributions in this achievement. Owning up critical issues, stretching into extended hours to mentor juniors and to ensure no slippage from any component were my contributions. Our team has the record of not missing a single deadline for deliverable. Can all these be projected as professional leadership qualities?

Have won recognition awards in 2 projects for effective deliverance.

Extracurricular Activity:
Member of YFS (voluntary organization focused towards encouraging more number of young professionals towards volunteering) since last 2 years. Working on generating awareness and raising funds for different activities undertaken.
Member of CSR group of my company since day 1 of my career. Working towards utilizing e-waste (old computers, printer etc) from office in small schools which lack such infrastructure.
Panelist in cafeteria committee of the organization to decide on vendor appointment. (Don't know whether this actually counts as extra-curricular or not)

Expectations from the MBA: I want to enter into the product and technology management domain where I will have support of my past experience and the vast learning about organization iniquities from the MBA program. I am interested more in peer learning from several industries so that I can apply the best of all in my recipe of success in the new role. Also I want to focus on internationalization of small businesses in this domain.

Long term goal is to capitalize more on the experiences I obtain from my MBA program and few years of job after that and go on to start a venture in my home state to aid more number of youth and work towards betterment of the society I am coming from.

GMAT 1 - 600(Q47,V27)/ 6.0 AWA
GMAT 2 - 710(Q49,V38)/ AWA (yet to obtain)

Please suggest some B schools which are best suited for my learning and career goals. I am targeting top 20 US B schools (If I manage to get some funding), IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Calcutta, and IIM-Lucknow. Please suggest any other alternatives as well. I heard some good comments about Emory, Babson, and GISMA Germany from acquaintances. Where according to you these school rank with respect to specializations.

Thanks in advance for your inputs,

-Santosh
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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2012, 09:23
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Hi Gil,
I would love your advice on my profile...

I am female, 28, American.

Education Background:
BA in Political Science from Boston University (Unsure of GPA)
Masters of Science in Wine Marketing and Management from Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre (Average 16.4/20, Mention Très Bien)
- for this degree, traveled to 23 different wine consuming or producing countries in Asia, South America, North America and Europe

GMAT Score: 680 (Q41, V41). Quantitative is 57 percentile, Verbal 92. I was scoring 700 - 730 in practice tests, with my highest test from the GMATPrep Software a 730 (Q44, V44). I didn't finish 2 Quant questions, and I feel that nerves definitely got to me.
Writing: 6.0

Work Experience:
- Currently managing the marketing for a winery in the Languedoc-Roussillon in France, reporting directly to owner and managing all aspects of marketing; most likely being promoted to Brand Manager for the company in about a month (in negotiations). Came to this position to get experience in wine production as I now live on the wineryand help in the cellar and vineyards when possible.

Previous positions:
- Account Executive at the top marketing/PR agency for wine and spirits (2.5 years). Managed accounts for major wine regions in France, as well as assisted with major spirits brand campaigns. Experience in PR, marketing, advertising, social media, events
- Sales Representative for French wine distributor (6 month externship to complete my masters)
- English Teacher in primary schools in France (1 year)

Although my ultimate goal is to work in marketing, my work experience has been tailored to get experience in all sectors of the wine industry - I worked in high end restaurants in college, did sales for an importer/distributor, and now am learning production - because I believe that understanding all aspects of the wine business helps me to create more successful integrated marketing campaigns.

Extracurriculars:
- Hold Advanced Certificate from Wine and Spirits Education Trust

Goals:
I would like work in Brand Management for one of the top global Wine & Spirits companies, ideally eventually becoming a Marketing executive working on international branding strategy.

Schools: I'm looking to apply in 2012.
Before the GMATs, my top choice was INSEAD. I would also consider other programs in France but want them to be highly regarded in the US as well.
I've also considered Columbia and Stern but am not sure what else I should be looking at?

I also feel that I have to strongly consider retaking the GMATs. The issue is that I took them during a trip back to the US, I don't want to take them in France with a different keyboard, and I would have to travel 2-3 hours to the closest testing facility. It will be difficult before the format changes, especially as I have 3-4 weeks of travel for work in that time.


Thanks so much for any help!
Jess


Jess,

Thank you for your profile submission. Without an undergraduate GPA, it' a bit difficult for us to provide you with a chances assessment.

I have two macro comments in response to your questions and profile -

1) The need to re-take the GMAT is going to be significantly dependent on your undergraduate GPA. If you had a 3.9 at Boston U., then the need to re-take the GMAT will be much lower. If you had a sub-3.3 GPA, the need to re-take the GMAT (relative to your choice set of programs) will be much higher. Although it appears you performed well in your master's program, keep in mind this is not a master's degree that most ad coms will be familiar with. While traveling to 23 countries as part of your program sounds very interesting, it may (unfairly) take away from the academic rigor/impression that the program gives to an uneducated assessor. To this end, it will be important to (briefly) elaborate somewhere in your application on the projects you completed and/or topics covered in this master's program - it would also not hurt to mention the competitiveness of entry into the program.

2) More important than 1), however, it appears to me as though you do not need an MBA relative to your career goals. Or, that is my immediate impression upon reading your profile and where you want to go in the future. For someone with direct work experience in a number of functions within the industry that you want to work in going forward, and with a master's degree that includes the term "marketing" from a school in France, in our experience most ad coms will seriously question why you need an MBA. Rather, it would appear that, given your current network, you might be able to call one of the companies that you wish to work for and receive an interview purely based on the merit of your existing resume. If you're truly interested in attaining an MBA, I would recommend that you receive input from employees at the firms you wish to work for to hear their input on the need for an MBA given your background. I'm not in any way trying to dissuade you from applying, but rather would want you to understand that for applicants who have a lot of professional and academic experience in a topic the ad coms need to really see a coherent argument for 'why MBA.'

Best of luck,

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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2012, 10:32
Expert's post
Quote:
Hello Aringo!

I have a short question for you

Few days ago (after a serious amount of stress) I finally took the GMAT and with enough surprise I achieved a fairly good score:

700 (Q42 59th V44 97th)

First of all I am very happy I took the GMAT previously to get into a Msc (nearly 5y ago) and got a 580 that was cause of a bit of depression (thats why I did not retake it). On my first attempt verbal went really bad (29) and thats why, when I decided to retake it, I mostly focused in improving my verbal score.

I am quite happy now and planning to apply to a top tier school (HBS / STAN and even Columbia) however I am quite worried about my low quant (42 is like 59th percentile).
I have an Italian Bsc in Law and Economics with 3.9+ gpa and solid scores (A or A+) in math, microecon, macroecon, finance and accounting. I have a Msc in Stretegic Management between France and Germany (with some time spent in England and Argentina). I am a former semiprofessional rugby player and I speak professionally 3 languages + 2 on a casual conversation level.
I am currently working in a top tier consulting firm that yearly send at least 6 candidates each to HBS and Columbia (Not familiar with figures from other uni). I am planning to get recommendation from a client (CEO), Senior Partner and possibly my Math professor during my Bsc (Italian luminar that teaches in Ivy league UNIs as well)

At first I thought that my profile was solid enough to achieve my target schools however reading this forums I started to sadly realize that my supposed "excellent 700 GMAT" score is not that good as it is "Unbalanced" .

I see two option sin front of me:

1) Retake it - which I really dont want, as I have a clean 700 with my old 580 expired, preparing it was really stressing, the test is changing soon and I am honestly proud of my 97th percentile verbal as a non native english speaker

2) Back up my application with quantitative stuff, Bsc subjects records, highlight quantitative intensive project I took part in and the recommendation from the Bsc math prof

What do you think?

PS I admit that the Q score could be improved by a couple of points ( i kinda panicked during the quant part, however would really a 65 or 70 percentile change that much?)


odiug,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 700, our experience indicates you would be between a stretch and competitive candidate for HBS and Stanford, and competitive at Columbia.

In terms of your main question around whether or not to re-take the GMAT because of the lower quant split, my perspective is that you should probably be ok with your current profile as-is. You have a number of items in your background that are strong indicators to the admissions committee that you have good quantitative abilities:
- Strong undergraduate GPA in economics
- Master's degree
- Work experience in a top consulting firm

Because of this, while it does make sense to talk in your essays somewhat about your quantitative abilities/strengths, you would not want to over-index in this area. In other words, do not focus so much in your application on proving your quant capability that you exclude other key areas like presentation, persuasion, management, and leadership skills. Keep in mind that half of students at top MBA programs have GMAT scores below 710 or so.

As you do explain your quant background, we typically advise applicants to not have professors write recommendations. Instead, I think it would make sense to have your third recommendation come from another partner in your firm (making two partners in total and one client). Additionally, you will need to explain a bit about why you need an MBA (more than you would otherwise), because the presence of an MSc in strategic management sounds on the surface to be similar to an MBA.

Keep in mind that most MBA programs in the US have fairly active rugby clubs, so you could mention in your application that you would be interested in participating in and/or leading this activity.

Finally, although you have a very competitive profile, I would recommend that you consider applying to more than just 2-3 programs - this is especially true if you are including HBS and Stanford in the mix. This is because of the competitive nature of the admission to these programs.

Best of luck,

_________________

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Expert Post
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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

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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720 [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2012, 10:43
Expert's post
Quote:
Hi Gil,

Thanks in advance for your advice. Here's my profile:
Female: 25
Nationality: Vietnamese
Majoring undergraduate: Accounting
GPA: 7.8 on a 10 scale
GMAT around 630 and I'm planning to take it in May. Hope the score will be improved
Experience:
- 1/2010- 7/2010: Grant Thornton Vietnam, Audit for project and manufacturing firms.
- 7/2010- present: Ernst & Young Vietnam, Audit for banking field and other financial institutions.

I'm planning to apply for fall 2013. Hope to receive advice from you. Thank you so much!


trangbui,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 630, our experience indicates you would be stretch candidate at top 20 US programs and between stretch and competitive at top 30 US programs (between 20-30).

Since you are a younger applicant, it will be important to highlight your work accomplishments and progression against your peer group in your application. You may also consider waiting another year or two to apply, depending on how much increase in responsibility and/or promotions you have received by the time you would apply. Additionally, as we have mentioned to a large number of applicants on this forum, it is always beneficial to provide your graduation percentile along with your GPA. Most ad coms will be generally less familiar with the grading systems in universities in Vietnam, relative to how familiar they are with those in India or China (where there are significantly more applicants).

In general, a few things for you to think about doing/achieving in the next couple of years:
- 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

Best of luck,

_________________

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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 720 [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2012, 11:03
Expert's post
Quote:
Hi Brian / Gil,

Thanks for starting this thread. Your comments are very helpful. They gave me a perspective which I was possibly missing until now. Please let me know what you think about this profile:

Age: 34
Gender: Male
Nationality: Indian

Education:
- Under Grad: Bachelor of Engineering (from a top 20 university in India)
- GPA: 80% (the top ranker scored around 90%)
- GMAT: 700 (Q49, V35) AWA 5.5

Work Experience - 11 years
Sector - IT
Company - Largest IT firm in India
Highlights:
- Worked in US for 5 years for different clients
- Presented a software solution to the CFO of a client company
- Led the turnaround effort on two programs that were almost doomed to fail
- Received multiple awards from clients as well as employer on delivery excellence and leadership
- 5 years in leadership roles

Need for MBA (with focus on Consulting/Finance/Leadership & Strategy) - Until recently, I was happy with my career and busy with my family life; which is why I probably never though about spending tons on an MBA. However, as I am progressing to higher roles I am finding it difficult to grow due to a lack of formal education on certain topics such as the ones mentioned above. So, I need an MBA in order to pursue further career goals.

Future career goals -
Short term - move from an IT solution delivery role to an IT consulting role within the Finance domain.
- need to understand more about how the finance function in a company work
- need a better understanding on the various concepts within the finance domain
- need to discover new areas where IT can act as an enabler

Long term - move from an IT consulting role to an IT management role
- utilize the consulting experience to help build a strong IT organization in a company

Contemplating on following Schools (need to shortlist to 3):
1. Wharton
2. Kellog
3. Sloan
4. Ross
5. Darden
6. Tepper
7. Kelley
8. UNC

I will appreciate any general feedback that you provide on the profile. Apart from that I have a few specific questions -

1. Is my age going to be a real dampner on my prospects for a 2-yr full time MBA? I was thinking that my experience will help but it appears that it might not. Executive MBA in US is not an automatic choice for me due to job and immigration uncertainties. So, I though a 2-yr full time would have been more appropriate.
2. How important is the role of my GPA percentage after 11 years of experience? Getting a percentile rank from my university is a bit tricky for me. My normal rank would have been 88 percentile. However, my official rank is 26 percentile. This is because I fell ill during a semester. Per our university rules, students who miss exams are given a second chance during the following semester but marks scored in such exams are not credited to the percentile rank.
3. In my current role, my client manager and my client business users are closer to my daily work than my employer manager. Is it appropriate to consider the "immediate supervisor" recommendation as one from my client manager instead of one from my employer manager?
4. Currently I am in a IT functional leadership role, directing solution approaches. However, I do not have any direct reports and am not a manager. How does that weigh in during the MBA admission process?

Looking forward to your suggestions and opinions. Once again thank you for offering to help!

Regards,


goforanmba,

Thank you for submitting your profile. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 700, our experience indicates you would be a stretch candidate at top 10 programs, between competitive and stretch (closer to stretch) at Darden, between competitive and stretch at Tepper, competitive at Kenan-Flagler, and strong at Indiana Kelley.

Regarding your questions, which hit upon the main points I would have otherwise mentioned in response to your profile:

1) Applying to a full-time MBA program at age 34 will have a significant negative impact on your chances. In our experience, after the age of about 29-30, with each succeeding year it becomes a bit more difficult to gain admission to a full-time program. For context, you would have been amongst the oldest 2-3 students in my 600+ person Kellogg graduating class. Based on our experience, with 10+ years of work I might recommend that you more seriously consider an executive MBA. I know you mentioned there are some issues that caused you to consider the full-time program, but you might consider other international programs with executive MBA programs to avoid these issues. Another reason to consider an executive (or even part-time) MBA is that it appears you're not interested in changing careers but rather in a partial career change or with more context about other aspects of business within your current field. You will find that this type of profile aligns much more with a part-time or EMBA student vs. a full-time MBA student.

2) and 4) (As they are related, in my view)
The importance of your undergraduate GPA is realistically lower for someone with as much work experience as you have. At the same time, with this much experience, the number of people that you directly manage and the scope of your responsibilities count that much more. So, the fact that you do not directly manage any colleagues currently would be a bit of a concern for programs. I would advise you to explain this in your essays somewhat, to at least highlight if you have previously managed colleagues in the past and perhaps now are in a different kind of role.

3) It is fine to have clients write your recommendations for you, instead of your functional/direct manager. All you would need to do is write a very brief 1-2 sentence overview in one of the optional essays to explain that the person(s) you chose to write your recommendations know you the best and have had long enough relationships with you to be able to judge your abilities against a peer group.

I do not want to discourage you from applying to full-time MBA programs, but your age at this point is going to be a fairly large factor (and one that you cannot do anything about). My view would be that you either focus on top 20-25 programs in the US, or look at executive MBA programs.

Best of luck,

_________________

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Re: Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is (or might be) below 720   [#permalink] 15 Apr 2012, 11:03
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