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17 Apr 2011, 03:57
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12 May 2011, 13:20
I am happy to report that after a month off, Dr. Shelly Watts will be back to field questions on the GMAT Club forums.

Best Regards,
BB
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Joined: 21 Jun 2010
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24 May 2011, 09:38

Special Pricing through June 2, 2011: 50% Off Regular Pricing...HURRY, offer ends soon!

MBA Admit.com: Proudly, one of the most affordable top-quality MBA admissions consulting companies[/highlight]

Hi All,

I am happy to be back online! Feel free to post more messages!

Best wishes,
[highlight]Dr. Shelly L. Watts

MBA Admit.com with "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice.

50% lower editing pricing than many comparable competitors… that’s “Excellence at an Affordable Price” – contact us and our Harvard-trained founder, Dr. Shel Watts: http://www.mbaadmit.com, email: mbaadmit@aol.com
_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

Last edited by ShellyLWatts on 26 May 2011, 12:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, MIT, NYU, Yale, +
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24 May 2011, 09:41
Hi GMATISMYWITCH,

I have been away for a bit and I am now back online, happily. How did things turn out for you? In general, I would say that the combination of both the low GPA and the low GMAT will be difficult to work with. Any chance you can invest time in a prep course to try to get the GMAT up into the high 600s?

You have been working a long while, though, so that can aid your admissions chances, because it makes the GPA less relevant.

Best wishes,
Dr. Shelly L. Watts

MBA Admit.com with "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice.

50% lower editing pricing than many comparable competitors… that’s “Excellence at an Affordable Price” – contact us and our Harvard-trained founder, Dr. Shel Watts: http://www.mbaadmit.com, email: mbaadmit@aol.com
_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
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24 May 2011, 09:59
Hi,

You have a very interesting and unique profile. You seem very strong in the area of extracurricular activities, and indeed you are much more qualified in this arena than most candidates I come across. Still, if you are trying to access schools outside of India - in the U.S. and Europe - certain things may be very important to your chances. For example, your long-term goals. Was it clear to the committees why you might need an MBA from abroad rather than an MBA from a school in India? Be sure to weave into your essays something that addresses this. Also, do talk in your application about your work experience outside of India. What country was it in?

The fact that you have graduated from a less recognized school in India could potentially pose a challenge to address, as may the fact that your undergrad performance does not look on the surface like it is a "top" performance. If it is to your advantage, help the admissions committee understand your undergrad performance. Some candidates with a 67% may have been in the top-3 students, given how grades were distributed at the school. If your case is something like this, state this clearly in the application so the committee is better aware of how to interpret your performance. Happily, the fact that you received interviews at top schools last year is a good sign – it is a sign that the schools may indeed be familiar with your school and that they interpret the undergrad performance to be strong – an impression no doubt made more firm with your excellent GMAT performance.

I most definitely believe you should reapply to the schools at which you were interviewed last year, and make sure everything about your application is as strong as possible – from the recommendations to the resume to the essays to the app form itself! Apply to some of the other schools you have mentioned also, and if you really want to go next year, add in 1-2 safety schools. You will find that after completing the first couple of apps, the rest come much more easily in most cases, because you are leveraging existing essay content into the new applications.

Good luck in the admissions process, and be in touch if we can be of any assistance!

Best wishes,
Dr. Shelly L. Watts

MBA Admit.com with "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice.

50% lower editing pricing than many comparable competitors… that’s “Excellence at an Affordable Price” – contact us and our Harvard-trained founder, Dr. Shel Watts: http://www.mbaadmit.com, email: mbaadmit@aol.com

fedexunledded wrote:
Hi Dr. Shel,

My work experience, numbers, target schools, ECs and target schools for evaluation:

Work Experience: 5.5 years in the telecom industry in India in Pre-Sales Tech Consulting and Project Management. Leading a team of 10 consultants for a module for almost a year. Worked outside my home country for an assignment for two months to develop a netowrk infrastructure growth strategy for a consumer bank.

GMAT: 760 (99%tile)
(Q:49, 88%tile,V:44 97%tile)

Undergrad info: unknown engineering institute in India, Bachelor of Technology (Electrical Engineering), 2005
Aggregate score: 67/100 (no GPA/CGPA system followed)

ECs during college: President of a student body of 60; Co-founded basketball team to represent one branch of engineering students; co-founded English language study center

ECs after college: Squash player and coach, Co-Founded Squash club at my firm, Co-Chair of Organizing Committees of two tournaments held in my city to bring together amateurs and professionals; Finance Secretary of a non-profit centre which takes in HIV+ Children, Raised capital inflow by 18% by tapping new sources of funding (revenue brought in through ticket sales from stage shows and by raising funds from employees in corporate entities)

Target programs: I intend to apply to 5-6 schools in Round 1/ EA in 2011. I have come up with a preliminary list of schools I am targeting: Berkeley Haas, MIT Sloan, Tuck, Ross, Texas-Austin and IESE.

I applied in 2009 to a few schools and was interviewed by Tuck and Ross.So I will be a reapplicant at these schools. Since I applied, I have gained leadership experience at work and outside work.

Post MBA goals: I want to work in Strategy Consulting either as part of an internal consutling unit at a high-tech/telecom firm (Egs. Samsung Global Strategy Group, British Telecom, Siemens Management Consulting, etc..) or at an MC firm. I am interested in Oganizational Change Management, Process and Business Improvement practices and Market Entry/Diversification strategies since I have led and implemented small projects in these areas at work.

Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
fedexunledded

_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
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24 May 2011, 10:05

Special Pricing through June 2, 2011: 50% Off Regular Pricing...HURRY, offer ends soon!

MBA Admit.com: Proudly, one of the most affordable top-quality MBA admissions consulting companies[/highlight]

Hi,

I most definitely think you have the background to get into a great MBA program. The 3.9 helps a lot. The 710 will look a little low since you are an engineer, but you should be able to direct attention away from this if you provide outstanding recommendations and essays. Before commenting further, I would like more details about your work experience. That can help me gauge your chances more accurately. How long were you at each company and which is your current company? If you cannot provide that info here, send a private message. I can then respond further about your chances. But I think you have a lot of great credentials to work with!

Best wishes,
[highlight]Dr. Shelly L. Watts

MBA Admit.com with "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice.

50% lower editing pricing than many comparable competitors… that’s “Excellence at an Affordable Price” – contact us and our Harvard-trained founder, Dr. Shel Watts: http://www.mbaadmit.com, email: mbaadmit@aol.com

singhkh10 wrote:
Hello Dr Watts,

I need some advice from you regarding MBA schools. I am a 29 yr old Electrical Engineer. I am originally from india but a permanent resident in US now. I am thinking about MBA and needed some help in school selection. Due to family constraints I am looking for schools in the NE region. My profile is below:

BS in Electronics from an average school in India ( GPA 3.2)
MS from an average US university (GPA 3.9)
Work experience of 5 years at Intel, startup company, 3M and Philips. Been working in Manufacturing, Medical Devices, Semiconductor industry.
Extra curricular mostly in college with organizing different events, also started a non profit fund, voluntary services at work.
GMAT : 710

I am looking at full time programs at HBS, Sloan, Columbia, Stern, Tuck maybe Cornell/ Booth/ Kellogg( if i get into Booth/ kellogg i can move). Also looked at some part time or emba options at booth, kellogg.

I will be applying for 2012 fall...

Any suggestions?? I am not sure if I have the background or the score to get into a top tier school for a full time program..

_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

Last edited by ShellyLWatts on 26 May 2011, 12:05, edited 1 time in total.
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25 May 2011, 17:51
Hello Dr. Shel,

Below are my current credentials:

Work Experience: 3 years in consulting/investment banking. I interned at a bulge bracket firm between my junior and senior years of college and was unable to get into the analyst program during the crisis. I spent a year at a public finance advisory firm and then was hired away to be an analyst at a regional investment bank. I then spent another year there and was hired away to the associate level at a much larger investment bank. I will be applying for 2012 admission, so upon matriculation I will have 4 total years of work experience

GMAT: 730

Undergrad info: Top 50 liberal arts college in Midwest, 3.67 GPA, graduated magna cum laude. Psychology major.

Extracurriculars in college: Member of a fraternity, held a few minor positions. Staff writer for a political magazine on campus

ECs after college: Active in a charity for underprivileged children, serving on the young professionals board as head of fundraising. I've set up a few events for them to raise money.
Trustee on another non-profit that connects business professionals from two large Midwest cities. In charge of social media efforts for the non-profit.

Target programs: I intend to apply to 2-3 schools in Round 1/ EA in 2011 and possibly 1-2 in Round 2. I'm looking at Stanford, Wharton, Northwestern, U Chicago, and Duke in some order

Post MBA goals: I want to get into a private equity firm or possibly a different form of alternative asset management. The investment banking field I'm in now deals with the public sector and my skills don't really translate to moving to those areas like if I was in traditional corporate investment banking. I want to use an MBA to switch career trajectories.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and provide input,

Ryan
Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 659
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Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, MIT, NYU, Yale, +
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26 May 2011, 12:03

Special Pricing through June 2, 2011: 50% Off Regular Pricing...HURRY, offer ends soon!

MBA Admit.com: Proudly, one of the most affordable top-quality MBA admissions consulting companies[/highlight]

Hi,

Here is some feedback on how I view your candidacy. From what you have written, I believe your work experience can serve as an asset, since it focuses in part on public finance. While that may not be where you wish to focus your efforts in the longer-term, in the shorter-term it helps to distinguish you from the many other candidates who will be applying with banking backgrounds. Similarly, try to use your presence in a regional bank as a distinguishing feature of your application. You add diversity.

Your academic credentials look fabulous. The GPA is great and the Magna Cum Laude will put you in a great position. Your GMAT score reinforces this, so the admissions committees should see you as bringing excellent academic credentials and analytical abilities to the program. Your extracurricular activities seem solid also - you will need to make sure to write about the well, since it looks like you did not do much by way of leadership in the community at the undergrad level. You want to make sure you are still able to project the good extracurricular credentials you have after college in a way that allows the committee to also see you as bringing excellence in this area.

Of everything you have written, what would cause me the greatest concern is the job movement. Whenever a candidate only stays at a company for one year, it can raise questions. So you will need to make sure to address this well both in your essays and through the recommendations. If you do this, however, I believe you can address this issue effectively and the work experience can work in your favor.

If you write excellent essays and address the factors above, you can potentially be competitive at any school you like. Stanford is the hardest to access of the schools you mention below, simply because it has such a small MBA class. So, I would need to project your odds only after I had seen more of your record and spoken with you. But on the whole, the good news is I think you have a lot of great experiences and qualifications, and that if you craft the essays well and make sure your recommendations are sterling, you should get some good outcomes. I would advise you to try to get more applications in Round 1, though, as you may benefit from applying when the most number of seats are available.

Best wishes,
[highlight]Dr. Shelly L. Watts

dabash08 wrote:
Hello Dr. Shel,

Below are my current credentials:

Work Experience: 3 years in consulting/investment banking. I interned at a bulge bracket firm between my junior and senior years of college and was unable to get into the analyst program during the crisis. I spent a year at a public finance advisory firm and then was hired away to be an analyst at a regional investment bank. I then spent another year there and was hired away to the associate level at a much larger investment bank. I will be applying for 2012 admission, so upon matriculation I will have 4 total years of work experience

GMAT: 730

Undergrad info: Top 50 liberal arts college in Midwest, 3.67 GPA, graduated magna cum laude. Psychology major.

Extracurriculars in college: Member of a fraternity, held a few minor positions. Staff writer for a political magazine on campus

ECs after college: Active in a charity for underprivileged children, serving on the young professionals board as head of fundraising. I've set up a few events for them to raise money.
Trustee on another non-profit that connects business professionals from two large Midwest cities. In charge of social media efforts for the non-profit.

Target programs: I intend to apply to 2-3 schools in Round 1/ EA in 2011 and possibly 1-2 in Round 2. I'm looking at Stanford, Wharton, Northwestern, U Chicago, and Duke in some order

Post MBA goals: I want to get into a private equity firm or possibly a different form of alternative asset management. The investment banking field I'm in now deals with the public sector and my skills don't really translate to moving to those areas like if I was in traditional corporate investment banking. I want to use an MBA to switch career trajectories.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and provide input,

Ryan

_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

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27 May 2011, 16:51
Hi Dr. Shel.

You've given some very thoughtful and helpful advice on this thread so I was wondering if you could provide your perspective on an issue that I'm thinking about. To give you some background, please find by credentials below:

Dream Schools: HBS/Stanford
GMAT: 770 (50Q, 47V, 6.0 AWA)
Education: Summa Cum Laude (3.9+ GPA) with dual degrees (BA/BS) from top public university (Mich/Cal/UVa)
W/E: 2 years at top bulge bracket investment bank in Chi/SF, 2 years in large cap private equity
EC: Involved in arts/theater for 2 years in college, founded and ran own univ. course, leadership positions in several clubs but nothing overly "outstanding"
Community Service: some volunteer work overseas (3 weeks in Latin America during college), very limited after I started work

From what I understand, my biggest application weakness will be my lack of extracurriculars after college. Given the hours that I work in banking and PE, however, it is very hard for me to fit in routine extracurriculars or volunteer commitments. Given that I will have a lot fewer extracurricular experiences to write about in my application/essays, how do you think I can overcome this disadvantage? Will ad comms give me "credit" for pulling 100 hour weeks in banking and forgive the lack of ECs? Is there a way that I can spin my essays to address my lack of ECs... or should I just not mention it and hope that the ad comm understands?

In addition, given that I have a few months (or even a year... I might defer applying) before i apply... what types of ECs have you seen finance applicants be able to fit into their schedule? What would be some "check the box" activities to look into just to show that I'm not all about "work"?
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31 May 2011, 11:04
[highlight]
Special Pricing through June 2, 2011: 50% Off Regular Pricing...HURRY, offer ends soon!

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Hi hopefullygold,

First, let me say that your academic credentials are truly outstanding and that can allow you to have a solid shot at HBS and Stanford if you put together great applications. Believe it or not, the application is so important that even with those great credentials, you need to take care to present your credentials and candidacy in the best light. As someone coming from a banking background, you also need to make sure to differentiate yourself from the many other candidates coming from banking/finance.

Having said that, yes, your extracurricular activities can be particularly important at schools like HBS and Stanford. How important they are depends on your overall profile and what special traits, experiences and qualifications you have in other major areas such as professional experiences and academic experiences. Ideally, a candidate will be able to demonstrate excellence in the extracurricular realm either at the undergraduate level or during their full-time professional work years. Do you have things to write about at the undergraduate level? If so, you should be able to worry a little less about your lack of activities during your full-time work experience. The committees, more often than not, see candidates coming from banking/private equity who lack strong extracurricular activities during their professional work years given job demands. However, if you have voids during both the undergraduate and full-time work periods, this could pose a greater challenge—one you should try to address.

So, if you know this is an area that might be perceived as a weakness, try to get things in motion now to address it.

Best wishes,
[highlight]Shelly Watts
From Dr. Shel Watts

hopefullygold wrote:
Hi Dr. Shel.

You've given some very thoughtful and helpful advice on this thread so I was wondering if you could provide your perspective on an issue that I'm thinking about. To give you some background, please find by credentials below:

Dream Schools: HBS/Stanford
GMAT: 770 (50Q, 47V, 6.0 AWA)
Education: Summa Cum Laude (3.9+ GPA) with dual degrees (BA/BS) from top public university (Mich/Cal/UVa)
W/E: 2 years at top bulge bracket investment bank in Chi/SF, 2 years in large cap private equity
EC: Involved in arts/theater for 2 years in college, founded and ran own univ. course, leadership positions in several clubs but nothing overly "outstanding"
Community Service: some volunteer work overseas (3 weeks in Latin America during college), very limited after I started work

From what I understand, my biggest application weakness will be my lack of extracurriculars after college. Given the hours that I work in banking and PE, however, it is very hard for me to fit in routine extracurriculars or volunteer commitments. Given that I will have a lot fewer extracurricular experiences to write about in my application/essays, how do you think I can overcome this disadvantage? Will ad comms give me "credit" for pulling 100 hour weeks in banking and forgive the lack of ECs? Is there a way that I can spin my essays to address my lack of ECs... or should I just not mention it and hope that the ad comm understands?

In addition, given that I have a few months (or even a year... I might defer applying) before i apply... what types of ECs have you seen finance applicants be able to fit into their schedule? What would be some "check the box" activities to look into just to show that I'm not all about "work"?

_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

Manager
Status: Patience is the key!!
Joined: 22 Mar 2011
Posts: 85
Location: United States (MA)
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
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06 Jun 2011, 16:57
Hello Dr. Watts
I am interested in the MIT LGO program and will apply for the 2012 session. I read your posts in this forum and really appreciate all the insights provided by you. I have a brief description of my profile below, if you can please give me some advice. Does my profile fall in the line of the students who are usually accepted in this program or do I have a chance in a top 10 program.

Age: 29 yrs, male
Nationality: Indian, US Green Card
Education: MS in Electrical Engineering, GPA 3.9/4.0
GMAT:710 ( Q-47, V-41, Essay- 5.5)
Work Exp: 5-6 years
Background: I have Bachelors degree in Electronics and Communication from India with a GPA of approx 3.4/4.0. I did my Masters in Electrical Engineering ( avg school not ranked, GPA 3.9/4.0). I worked for a year at an Intel plant during my Masters and then joined a startup. I worked at the startup (about 10-15 people) for about 3 years in the semiconductor industry. At this company the first year and a half i was supporting the operation/manufacturing group and then when things went bad for the company I was the only person left supporting the company manufacturing equipments and running the location (including managing time for part timers working at the company) I was at. I had the opportunity to understand the different aspects of the business such as cost cutting, improving efficiency etc.. I think this really helped me grow as an Engineer.
Due to some personal events in my life, I decided to move from the semiconductor industry to the medical industry. I wanted to do something that would make a difference in the medical industry. I worked for 3M ( medical division) for a year in the Sustaining Engineering group and then joined Philips (medical industry) as a manufacturing engineering working with the operations group. I have been at Philips for about 6 months and had the opportunity to lead some small projects and currently semi- leading a big project. I have always handled overseas manufacturing groups, responsible for improving operations. I am really interested to grow in the Operations field and have the experience of working in a small company environment as well as a big company.
I have been involved with lot of different extra curricular activities as well throughout my career. I have organized 3 day camps during summer for over 70 kids between 12-17. The main role of the camp is to educate american- indian kids on india and its vast culture. Help kids relate to the country their parents are from. I have also started a fund at a hospital, currently funded from personal resources. I am trying to organize some charity events this year to raise money. I have also been involved with organizing sports activities in my college and was an active participant ( part of the college soccer team).

I am planning on applying to Tuck, Sloan- LGO, Kellogg(stretch) and McCombs. Would you suggest other schools to apply to?

Thanks for the help!!!
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07 Jun 2011, 05:43
Dear Dr Watts,

I have been reading some of your advice here, and find your feedback quite precise. Here is my profile, APOLOGIZE for the LONG email but wanted to get some story across for you-

From: India, Age 28

GPA: 3.28 Babson College, Massachusetts with a Finance major, Bachelors of Science, Business Management Degree in 2006
Started college with a 2.6 GPA freshman year & final semester was 3.9 GPA. Junior/Senior Year GPA was 3.5+and Finance Major GPA was about 3.7

Work Experience: (4 years in all PLUS entrepreneurial projects)
3 years in Financial Services at a small boutique firm in Boston - Financial Analyst, Investments (2006-2007 then 2008-2010)
1 year in Family Business - Manufacturing (India) from 2007-2008 ; then went back to Boston from 2008-2010
Returned to India in 2010 October as my father was diagnosed with cancer so i had to leave and return immediately.

Entrepreneurship Experience:
Started a Fashion Accessories business while working , designed a collection of scarves and sold to e-commerce websites and boutiques in USA (2007 onwards while in India)
Also started another fashion jewelry brand a month ago (May 2011 ) and selling in the USA again- again handled everything from designing right up to dealing with buyers

GMAT: 700

Passion, Personal Story And Career goals:

Major passion is Textile Design (woven textiles- I also learned to weave myself over these years) of the type achieved during the highest period of the Renaissance in Europe, in Turkey & Iran. Long term goal is to setup a luxury lifestyle brand that has the ability to revitalize those extravagant hand woven textiles by making the designs more contemporary and suitable for Haute Couture and the finest Home Decor. Setting up such a company would be patronizing the work of villages full of weavers and artists in India who have left the trade for other lucrative professions and/or are dying in poverty due to no demand of their work. I feel an obligation to these artisans as patronage of the arts in India stopped around 1950 when the british raj was abolished. I belong to an Indian Royal Family (not anymore though, my grand father was the last ruler---various Family members now are into National level politics- senator etc.) and would like to revitalize this industry but with an approach of running a luxury brand which is why i want to pursue a good MBA.

Keeping my long term goals in mind, I would like to work in the Luxury Industry immediately following the MBA program, on the management side which would eventually prepare me for my longer term goal !

Should i elaborate on family background and this story in my application essays? I dont know where i could stand a chance though im very keen on Columbia, Kellogg, Wharton or Dartmouth, even MIT.

What are your thoughts about my candidature for those schools? Also, any other schools you recommend which may be better for working in the Luxury Industry after graduation?

Your help is much appreciated-- Thank You!
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08 Jun 2011, 13:37

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Dear ak2782,

You have a very complex background that must be handled excellently for you to get great outcomes in the admissions process. The first thing I will address is your GPA. Your GPA will be seen as low both in its raw number and given that it is from a mid-tier college (a school with a solid reputation and program but not one considered as competitive as the Ivy League Schools or a top public school). You have done well to break out the GPA by year, as it appears there was a problem primarily in the first year. You will want to go out of your way to point out how strong your GPA was in the last 3 years, and to offer an explanation of why it was so low in the first year. I think that with great attention to detail, you can keep the GPA from being a big obstacle to your admissions.

With regard to your work experience, you run the risk of your work experience appearing scattered—like you were bouncing around and not directed in your choices. So try to come up with a strong theme that explains your moves.

If you mention being from a Royal Family, take care on the wording. You should likely mention that in conjunction with mentioning the contributions your family has made through national politics, etc.

With regard to the luxury goods industry, I would seek out schools with strong entrepreneurship programs rather than ones focused on such a specialized industry. Given that your candidacy is complex, if I were you, I would cast my net widely to maximize the chances of getting into a great MBA program. That might mean applying to about 8 schools, all in Round 1 if possible, and 4 of those should be programs that you feel will be surer shots for you.

Best wishes,
[highlight]Shelly Watts

ak2782 wrote:
Dear Dr Watts,

I have been reading some of your advice here, and find your feedback quite precise. Here is my profile, APOLOGIZE for the LONG email but wanted to get some story across for you-

From: India, Age 28

GPA: 3.28 Babson College, Massachusetts with a Finance major, Bachelors of Science, Business Management Degree in 2006
Started college with a 2.6 GPA freshman year & final semester was 3.9 GPA. Junior/Senior Year GPA was 3.5+and Finance Major GPA was about 3.7

Work Experience: (4 years in all PLUS entrepreneurial projects)
3 years in Financial Services at a small boutique firm in Boston - Financial Analyst, Investments (2006-2007 then 2008-2010)
1 year in Family Business - Manufacturing (India) from 2007-2008 ; then went back to Boston from 2008-2010
Returned to India in 2010 October as my father was diagnosed with cancer so i had to leave and return immediately.

Entrepreneurship Experience:
Started a Fashion Accessories business while working , designed a collection of scarves and sold to e-commerce websites and boutiques in USA (2007 onwards while in India)
Also started another fashion jewelry brand a month ago (May 2011 ) and selling in the USA again- again handled everything from designing right up to dealing with buyers

GMAT: 700

Passion, Personal Story And Career goals:

Major passion is Textile Design (woven textiles- I also learned to weave myself over these years) of the type achieved during the highest period of the Renaissance in Europe, in Turkey & Iran. Long term goal is to setup a luxury lifestyle brand that has the ability to revitalize those extravagant hand woven textiles by making the designs more contemporary and suitable for Haute Couture and the finest Home Decor. Setting up such a company would be patronizing the work of villages full of weavers and artists in India who have left the trade for other lucrative professions and/or are dying in poverty due to no demand of their work. I feel an obligation to these artisans as patronage of the arts in India stopped around 1950 when the british raj was abolished. I belong to an Indian Royal Family (not anymore though, my grand father was the last ruler---various Family members now are into National level politics- senator etc.) and would like to revitalize this industry but with an approach of running a luxury brand which is why i want to pursue a good MBA.

Keeping my long term goals in mind, I would like to work in the Luxury Industry immediately following the MBA program, on the management side which would eventually prepare me for my longer term goal !

Should i elaborate on family background and this story in my application essays? I dont know where i could stand a chance though im very keen on Columbia, Kellogg, Wharton or Dartmouth, even MIT.

What are your thoughts about my candidature for those schools? Also, any other schools you recommend which may be better for working in the Luxury Industry after graduation?

Your help is much appreciated-- Thank You!

_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

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08 Jun 2011, 13:53

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Hi Hemantuec,

You have some great credentials to work with in the admissions process. You have, of course, a fantastic MS grade point average – be sure to focus attention on that GPA as you write your essays and as your recommendation writers prep their letters for you. You have also worked for some outstanding companies, which should be a great asset for you in the admissions process. You were not clear, however, about how long you were at Phillips, so I am not sure how your work experience will be viewed overall. Were you there for a while, or only a short tenure? If it was a short tenure, it may look like you were moving around a lot and so you will need to explain that carefully in your essays.

Your GMAT score is a little on the low side for someone of your background, so make sure everything else is outstanding—the essays, recommendations, resume and application form itself.

As for additional schools, consider Cornell, Michigan Ross and Tepper, which are all usually attractive to candidates with engineering/technology backgrounds. Depending upon your preferences, you might also want to take a look at Oxford, Cambridge, Berkeley, UCLA and INSEAD in Asia.

Good luck in the admissions process!

Best wishes,
[highlight]Shelly Watts

Hemantuec wrote:
Hello Dr. Watts
I am interested in the MIT LGO program and will apply for the 2012 session. I read your posts in this forum and really appreciate all the insights provided by you. I have a brief description of my profile below, if you can please give me some advice. Does my profile fall in the line of the students who are usually accepted in this program or do I have a chance in a top 10 program.

Age: 29 yrs, male
Nationality: Indian, US Green Card
Education: MS in Electrical Engineering, GPA 3.9/4.0
GMAT:710 ( Q-47, V-41, Essay- 5.5)
Work Exp: 5-6 years
Background: I have Bachelors degree in Electronics and Communication from India with a GPA of approx 3.4/4.0. I did my Masters in Electrical Engineering ( avg school not ranked, GPA 3.9/4.0). I worked for a year at an Intel plant during my Masters and then joined a startup. I worked at the startup (about 10-15 people) for about 3 years in the semiconductor industry. At this company the first year and a half i was supporting the operation/manufacturing group and then when things went bad for the company I was the only person left supporting the company manufacturing equipments and running the location (including managing time for part timers working at the company) I was at. I had the opportunity to understand the different aspects of the business such as cost cutting, improving efficiency etc.. I think this really helped me grow as an Engineer.
Due to some personal events in my life, I decided to move from the semiconductor industry to the medical industry. I wanted to do something that would make a difference in the medical industry. I worked for 3M ( medical division) for a year in the Sustaining Engineering group and then joined Philips (medical industry) as a manufacturing engineering working with the operations group. I have been at Philips for about 6 months and had the opportunity to lead some small projects and currently semi- leading a big project. I have always handled overseas manufacturing groups, responsible for improving operations. I am really interested to grow in the Operations field and have the experience of working in a small company environment as well as a big company.
I have been involved with lot of different extra curricular activities as well throughout my career. I have organized 3 day camps during summer for over 70 kids between 12-17. The main role of the camp is to educate american- indian kids on india and its vast culture. Help kids relate to the country their parents are from. I have also started a fund at a hospital, currently funded from personal resources. I am trying to organize some charity events this year to raise money. I have also been involved with organizing sports activities in my college and was an active participant ( part of the college soccer team).

I am planning on applying to Tuck, Sloan- LGO, Kellogg(stretch) and McCombs. Would you suggest other schools to apply to?

Thanks for the help!!!

_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

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15 Jun 2011, 11:05
Hello! Thank you for taking our questions!

I took the GMAT recently and scored a 710, but my split is 75% in Quant, 92% in Verbal, or 46 and 41, respectively. Although my current work experience is highly quantitative (marketing analytics involving advanced statistical modeling), my undergrad transcript shows 4 C+s in my quant courses and my overall GPA is 3.21 (the grades that are picking up my GPA focus more on softer skill courses). I will fortunately have recommendations that will vouch for my practical quant skills.

I'm planning on retaking the GMAT but I'm having some doubts about retaking the test. My main concern is whether a lesser score (section level, or overall) would be perceived negatively by an admissions committee. Would a worse score hurt my chances? Or is taking the test again simply taking away time that I could otherwise devote to my applications?

I'm only targeting top schools, which makes this that much more of a potential problem. My current wishlist: Stern, Sloan, Tuck, INSEAD, LBS, HEC Paris, and possibly Cambridge or Oxford.

I appreciate any feedback you can provide.

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22 Jun 2011, 10:53
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Hi GMATISMYWITCH,

You wrote to me when I had taken a month off. What did you end up doing? Have you taken the GMAT again? It would be very useful if you could get your GMAT score up at least into the mid-600s. A score of 680 would be better, mininally. Consider taking a GMAT prep course if you have not done so already.

As for what I believe your options are with the 590, consider part-time programs and executive programs. Also, apply to some full-time schools that are not as picky as other schools about the GMAT score, like UC Irvine. Your odds of admission will depend in part on how well you tell your story in the essays. Make sure that your work with the recycling company and 2 internet start-ups make sense as a coherent part of your story. You don't want to look like you are all over the map and cannot focus. There are many ways to write about these experiences so that they serve as assets in your admissions process.

I would need more specifics to comment further about your odds - for example, what is your ethnicity (you said Asian, but that is very broad); is your most recent work with the radiology clinic or the health care staffing; and what was the broad distribution of your undergraduate grades (a 2.9 can represent many things - a few bum grades with a lot of strong grades, one bad year among several good years, or overall C-level performance). If you want to provide that info, either here or in a private message, I am happy to provide more feedback for you.

Best wishes,
Shelly Watts

GMATISMYWITCH wrote:
Hello Dr. Watts,

I would love to hear what you think of my profile. Thanks in advance!

I need your help! Please help evaluate my profile. I just took my GMAT today and received a 590 score, I'm frankly a little disappointed. I was hoping to get high enough score to apply to UCLA FEMBA, USC PM or any top 20 school, but unfortunately my score only allows for USC PM.

Thank you in advance for taking a look at my profile, if you have suggestions of other top tier schools that you think I would have a shot with or you have heard of admission success stories with low GPA please share. Any words of encouragement is greatly appreciated at this point.

Male
29 y/o
Asian
Southern California Local

10 years management experience in Health Care (7 years managing a Radiology Clinic/3 years in Health Care staffing/sales)

3 of those 10 years I owned a Import/export recycling company part-time.

I have 2 internet start ups in development this year. Projected launch date for both is summer of 2011.

I will definitely have a great letter or reference from the current President of my company, current clients and also a reference for a Physician at my previous company.

Extracurricular/Military/Volunteer work- active member of the State Military Reserve

California State University - BA in Management GPA 2.9

GMAT 590

MBA Goals: Entrepreneurship

_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

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22 Jun 2011, 11:04
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Hi swissmix,

In general, I caution candidates about taking the GMAT another time if they have a score like a 710. Usually, a 710 can put most candidates within shooting range of the top schools, even if the quant portion is lower than desired. If you were to score lower, even in the high 600s, you could hurt your admissions chances notably at some schools, depending upon your background. So, there is a large risk in re-taking the exam.

To comment further regarding your specific case, I need to know a bit more about your background. Are you male? Female? What is your citizenship? What industry are you working in? If you are female, most likely you need do nothing more with regard to your score (yes, in my experience, women do have a little more leeway with the GMAT scores, since fewer numbers of women apply to some of the top schools). If you are a male, then the specifics will impact more greatly what my advice is.

Best wishes,
Shelly Watts

swissmix wrote:
Hello! Thank you for taking our questions!

I took the GMAT recently and scored a 710, but my split is 75% in Quant, 92% in Verbal, or 46 and 41, respectively. Although my current work experience is highly quantitative (marketing analytics involving advanced statistical modeling), my undergrad transcript shows 4 C+s in my quant courses and my overall GPA is 3.21 (the grades that are picking up my GPA focus more on softer skill courses). I will fortunately have recommendations that will vouch for my practical quant skills.

I'm planning on retaking the GMAT but I'm having some doubts about retaking the test. My main concern is whether a lesser score (section level, or overall) would be perceived negatively by an admissions committee. Would a worse score hurt my chances? Or is taking the test again simply taking away time that I could otherwise devote to my applications?

I'm only targeting top schools, which makes this that much more of a potential problem. My current wishlist: Stern, Sloan, Tuck, INSEAD, LBS, HEC Paris, and possibly Cambridge or Oxford.

I appreciate any feedback you can provide.

_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

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22 Jun 2011, 11:21

I'm a dual national Swiss/American and I have worked in economic consulting for a year and a few months and have been working in strategic marketing analytics for close to two years. Both positions required quantitative skills, particularly my most recent position. I've signed up for the exam, but if if my practice exams don't show significant improvement I suppose I should probably cancel my sitting. Given that my undergraduate transcript shows some weaknesses in quantitative courses, it seemed that I should try my best to score at least an 80% on the quantitative section. I really appreciate your thoughts on this matter, as I'm STILL getting conflicting information on the effect that a lower retake GMAT score could have admissions committees. If you don't mind me asking, which schools do you think would most take into account a lower score on a retake?
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22 Jun 2011, 11:45

Hi,

The impact for you, in particular, if your GMAT score goes lower is that the lower GMAT score can be interpreted as providing "evidence" that the 3.21 GPA was an accurate indicator of your performance. You will then have two clear weak spots in your app - a GMAT in the 600s and a lower-than-desired GPA. You could likely establish otherwise that the GPA is not an accurate reflection of your future potential or of the quality of your current professional performance. You would do this by securing stellar recommendations and through your essay content. With strong recs and essays, the 710 could lend further weight to your contention that you can perform excellently. So, there is risk in scoring lower.

Of the schools you mentioned you are interested in, the most competitive of these - like INSEAD - are the ones where this will matter the most. I have helped many male candidates with 3.2 GPAs and 680s get into schools like Chicago, Columbia, Tuck, etc., so potentially at schools like that you might be okay if your score goes lower, as long as you are in the high 600s.

Yes, definitely take lots of practice exams and project your score, and if you are consistently scoring higher, then it might be good to re-take the exam. If you are not scoring consistently higher, then I think it is not worth the risk.

Best wishes,
Shelly Watts

swissmix wrote:

I'm a dual national Swiss/American and I have worked in economic consulting for a year and a few months and have been working in strategic marketing analytics for close to two years. Both positions required quantitative skills, particularly my most recent position. I've signed up for the exam, but if if my practice exams don't show significant improvement I suppose I should probably cancel my sitting. Given that my undergraduate transcript shows some weaknesses in quantitative courses, it seemed that I should try my best to score at least an 80% on the quantitative section. I really appreciate your thoughts on this matter, as I'm STILL getting conflicting information on the effect that a lower retake GMAT score could have admissions committees. If you don't mind me asking, which schools do you think would most take into account a lower score on a retake?

_________________

MBA Admit.com offers comprehensive service for approx. $1495-$1795 for the first application and approximately $700-975 for subsequent MBA applications. Basic editing available for$985 for 1 application. Restrictions apply. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder and CEO of MBA Admit,.com, is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

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25 Jun 2011, 17:56
I recently decided to obtain my MBA and having a difficult time determine where I might fit in... Here is my profile.

Age: 30
Gender: Male
Caucasian
GMAT: Taking in October

Undergrad: Bachelor of Science from University of Utah in Political Science
GPA: 3.1
Will finish my degree December 2011

School would broken up by my 2 year faith based mission and also my entrepreneurial experience.

Work experience:
- 5 years in Real Estate Development projects where I was either the principle or a partner. Still consult for one rather large one. (2005-2010)
- 1 year at Wells Fargo as a Banker, promoted 3 times (typical minimum promotion time is 1 year in each position), obtained my securities licensing (2010-2011)

One of the reasons for seeking out my MBA is the positions at Wells Fargo that interested me had the MBA requirement next to them. I had hit a wall at Wells Fargo in just a year, so I left my job to finish my unfinished undergrad degree and now I'm prepping for the GMAT so I can get into a good MBA program. I tried my hand at the entrepreneur and while that did not work out I have had more experiences than I could have possibly learned in school. But seeing as I don't anticipate the Real Estate market recovering I'm making a career move.

I also had to over come a learning disability while in school is this something I should talk about?

Extra-curricular - Served a 2 year faith based mission from ages 19-21

Schools I'm looking at: BYU (Marriott), Texas A&M (May), Texas (McCombs), and I would like to take a shot at the top 10 programs as well as I believe my work experience will play well and I have a lot in terms of insight I can offer

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