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Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates

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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2010, 05:14
Hey Sameer!
Thanks for a great conversation. The best thing I've liked about all of MBA Crystal interactions (despite a name that signifies mumbo-jumbo, than anything else) and posts are that even tho you are in the business of giving advice, you do it so freely and openly unlike some other consultants who will make some generic blog posts about getting in (like "make sure your essays fit with the college"..duhh!) and then want to charge you for everything.
You did put things in perspective for me and as of now if I do, I would like to use MBAcrystal for my essay services.
Look forward to more conversations.

Keep up the good work!

Best, Tanvi
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2010, 10:29
Dear Sameer,

I was wondering if you had a chance to go through my profile. Your advise is urgently needed since many of my decisions are dependent on your sound advise.

thanks - prj
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PLEASE EVALUATE MY PROFILE... [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2010, 15:48
Hello Sameer,

Please evaluate my profile and provide me guidance on which B-schools should I select.

My MBA interest: Strategy & Business mgt, (essentially Brand Management), Marketing.

GMAT - targeting between 710-740 (Will give the test in September)

Total Work Exp: 6 yrs (1.5 yrs event management + 1.5 yrs Publishing industry + design consulting mainly in Corporate Identity design 3 yrs)

Education:
BA (Hons) in Philosophy (1st division, stood 3rd in class)
Post-grad Diploma at NIFT (National Instt of fashion technology) in Fashion communication (Gold-medalist)
Foundation degree Award in Graphic Communication from University of the arts, London (scored 78%)

Sex – Female
Age – 30 yrs
Nationality - Indian

Responsibilities:
Event Management -
Handled 27 events, out of which 9 were handled independently. Integral part of the creative and the marketing team while also supervising the overall production process. Created design themes and promotional material for the events. Formulated comprehensive sales presentations and innovative marketing strategies and campaigns.

Publishing - Conceived and executed creative solutions for their illustrative books from concept to completion. Collaborated with editors to design covers and jackets for their fiction and non-fiction titles. Created computer-generated artwork for marketing and promotional materials. Supervised the entire production process.
Supervised and trained junior designers and artists. Liaised between the editors and the authors.

Design Consultant (corporate identity Specialist)-
Visualized and developed the corporate identity for the brand. Created the vision and the graphic image of the brand. Styled photo shoots for the ad campaign & product catalogue.
Target market research and devising the advertising strategy.
Worked very closely with the marketing director and trained and supervised junior designers and artists.


Achievements:
1. Won the prestigious ISTD (International Society of Typographic designers) competition and currently a member of the society.
2. Awards at NIFT (a) All-round Excellence (b) Best Diploma Project
3. Received several awards in academics, debating and elocution at school and college level.
4. Promoted twice: once from events assistant to events executive and the next time from graphic designer to Sr. Art Designer.

Leadership Roles:
1. Organised cultural events at College level
2. While in event management - handled 9 events independently as the Team Lead- handled the creatives, client-servicing and the production of the events.
3. Organised CMYK- the end-of-course graduate exhibition (University of the Arts, London) and co-ordinated with industry recruiters.
4. Joined The RN Group as the Corporate Identity Specialist, leading a team of junior designers, desktop publishers and production artists.


ECs:
1. I have worked very closely with the Art of Living Foundation in their rural projects in India- literacy and vocational training projects.
2. Organised medical camps.
3. Participated in the World Youth Peace Summit organised by International association of human values.
4. Raised Rs. 25 lacs through a youth musical concert “mantra” to help in rural development.
5. Organised a campaign for the ban of plastic bags.
6. Organised an exhibition of the pottery, metal art, embroidery, canework , etc. created by people in rural areas. The proceeds of which went towards the development of schools in those areas.)


Sort term Goal - creative director or Brand/Account Manager in a big advertising firm.
Long-term Goal - I want to start my own advertising company.

I would like to know:
1. How my profile looks for an MBA from the top 10-20 B-schools?
2. What, in your opinion, are my strengths and weakness?
3.Do my community service activities have to be very recent or could they also be 3-4 yrs old?
4. Please mention what should I do to make my case stronger for final call.
5. Please list the best schools for Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Business mgt, Marketing.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2010, 22:28
crackfire2003 wrote:
Hi Sameer, I have been following your thread both here and on BW forums for quite some time and have heard some great things about the crystal ball report.

Suni-sunai baaton par vishwas karna isn't good, sir.

Just to ensure that the guys who are saying great things about the MCB report aren't my khufiya brand ambassadors executing a sophisticated guerilla marketing strategy, I'd recommend that you try it out for yourself or suggest it to trusted lieutenants within your coterie.

Hopefully you and your friends will get converted into a khufiya agents as well.
(Evil grin on my thobda while I rub my hands in glee)


crackfire2003 wrote:
Age 25
Sex Male
Nationality Indian
Work ex 4+ years by the time I join
Educational Background B Tech Electrical Engineering from IIT Roorkee with a CGPA of 8.1/10
GMAT 720

Appreciate your valuable insights
Thanks so much
Dev

Dev-sahab (something about that name indicates that you'll be an ever-green star in the world of business...but only if you stop hilna-dulna like the original one)

We are already interacting offline and our discussions have been elevated to the next level (essays et al).

So if I have your permission, I'll move on to the next one.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2010, 23:16
sirjee,
hamare profile ko bhi evaluate kar dijiye... urgent hai. plzzzzzz
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2010, 02:15
Ladies and unke bhaiyon,

This is gonna be a tough one. So please hamari bhavnaon ko samajhkar padhna.

First things first. To each and every candidate - who's posted on this thread, interacted offline with me or just read my posts and thought these threads were worth sticking around on - accept my heartfelt gratitude. From the emails, phone calls, posts and PMs (that range from gushing thanks to 'urgent' reminder requests that border dangerously close to emotional blackmail), I realise that you guys think our interactions have been (and can be) beneficial and you value our advice. That's a fantastic feeling. It spurs us on to continue spending time on these forums despite the increasing volume of paying candidates.

Many bigger firms employ an army of consultants to cater to the sudden influx of additional work. MCB doesn't believe in a factory mentality, well, at least not when it comes to a subject like this. Our priority is clear - if you've been considerate enough to come to us, we need to give you the attention you deserve whether it's paid or free. Our posts on these threads reflect that belief.

[Skip this para if you don't like medical thrillers]
Round 1 deadlines are giving a lot of candidates heartburn, anxiety and a strange medical condition affecting the lower half of the digestive system. Though MCB doesn't have medical experts on the team, we are trying our best to help you address these issues. But you've also gotta appreciate the fact that we have to achieve a balance between the pro bono jan seva that we do and the work that actually pays our bills.

Just like most of you guys, we don't work well under pressure and like to keep our workload manageable. During peak season it becomes a little difficult, though. Agar aapki queries urgent ho, toh you always have the option of signing up with us, like many of you've already done. The other option is (and I might be commiting professional hara kiri by saying this) to consider posting your queries on the other consultant threads. It would be unfair to our existing clients if the turnaround time and the attention they are getting is compromised. Wouldn't you agree?

For the other obstinate ones who insist on getting a response from us (gotta love this species), please give us some time and we'll take up each query in the order of posting. Your patience is appreciated.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2010, 03:51
Silvers wrote:
Hi Sameer,
Request you to go through this an offer a profile evaluation and comments on my choice of schools and the chances of making it to them.

The protocol is as follows:
Step 1. You compliment me on the fantastic job I've been doing
(Note: if you type this without fully believing it, the intelligent text processing system strips off the compliment)
Step 2. You request me to evaluate your profile.

Silvers wrote:
Age : 28
GMAT Score - First Attempt -September 2007 - 690 (Q48,V36, 5.5)
Second Attempt - July,2010 - 730(Q50,V38 , 6.0)
Undergrad: Engineering Graduate in Information Technology Delhi, India.
Top 10% in my class
Work Experience:
6.5 years with TCS

6.0 for AWA. Not bad, sir. On behalf of all Indian applicants who've struggled with the AWA, I would like to honour you by not gifting you a copy of the Rapidex English speaking course.

Silvers wrote:
PS: I do not have a direct managerial experience, as the project structure is that of a flat organization.
:
:
This provides an excellent opportunity to practice indirect management.

Just one random exclamation before we move on. Flat organisation structure in a company the size of TCS!!!

I'm glad you mention about 'indirect management'. Most applicants who do not operate in a formal hierarchy tend to assume that their management skills are nil. Unless you are working in a highly niche area where there's little interaction with colleagues, customers, vendors from the bigger business, chances are you have managed people to get your work done and demonstrated leadership. If you genuinely feel your professional role hasn't given you the opportunity, then it's time to look back at your academic and personal history books. If you are finding it difficult to extract those gems from your yesteryears, tell me your stories and I'll extract them out for you. Ok, except for the opening line, the rest was a general gyan session for others reading this post.

Let's get back to your profile.

Silvers wrote:
A major part of the responsibility is to address gaps in the software, map it to client needs and offer solutions to address the gaps

From your description, it seems that you've spent a large part of your 6.5 years in technical roles and by that I'm not just hinting at coding (you've moved on from that after 2.5 yrs). I'm sure you've been able to pick up more than just quality and software related knowledge. How much do you know about the wealth management industry? If you've been in a role that acts as the interface between business and technology, has it been a one-way street (i.e. instructions being passed down from the biz to the tech guys)? Have you had the opportunity to influence or just suggest process changes back to the business?

You'll have plenty to write about in the non-professional spheres. You've been busy in many areas. I'm not too concerned about that.

Silvers wrote:
Target schools - Ross,UM(ReApp - applied last year) Dinged with No IV call
Fuqua,Duke( Reapp - applied last year) - Dinged with No IV call
Tuck,Kellog, Hass, NYU

Spellings, sir, spellings. It's Haas and Kellogg. Be extra careful when you are typing out Tuck and Fuqua.

Do you have a theory of what went wrong in your last attempt? Are you planning to use the same story and approach this year or are you planning to do anything differently?

Silvers wrote:
Short term Goal - I want to target a Strategy consulting profile, but I am open to get back to the IT industry in Sales and Business Development.

Long Term Goal - Go back to India and lead a consulting initiative there in the areas of Technology, business system consulting. A lot of this would depend on my post MBA profile, but I do want to go back to India and use my US experience to transfer best practices to India.

Mehmood to Kishore Kumar (in a heavy south Indian accent): 'yeh ghoda chatur ghoda chatur kya re? Tum ghoda bolo, ya chatur bolo...'

Have a strong and clear post-MBA goal. Very important. The long term goal you've listed here could mean anything. You've left the whole field open. Flexibility: 100 marks, Focus: hmmmm. I'm now curious to know what you mentioned in your last apps for these 2 areas.

Tighten up the screws a little more, my friend.
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Re: MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Mom profile evaluation, advice nee [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 04:21
prj wrote:
Thank you very much for taking the time read this post and give your expert advise. I am planning to apply to business school fall of 2011. Below, is a brief description of my background.

Gender - Female
Ethnicity - Indian

Education:
- Engineering in Computer Science, India. Honors student
- MS from USA in Information Science, GPA 3.7/4.0
- GRE score - 1310/1600
- Final GMAT Score - 620 (V- 58%, scaled score- 31 and Q - 75%, scaled score - 45)

Experience:
-Total 5 years in IT industry. Below is breakdown of the 5 years -
a. 2 years as an IT Analyst
b. 1 year worked as a onsite coordinator (Coordinated a team in India while posted in US. Had direct client interaction)
c. 1 year worked as a business analyst (Worked in US)
d. 1 year worked as a module leader (Worked in US and looked after a team of 10 members)

Community involvement:
-Volunteered as a teacher in SOS children’s village where I taught maths and science to middle school students.
-Several Leadership roles for female students - I took classes on female sexual harassment on work places
-Worked in AID (Association for India’s Development)

The low GMAT score is because I have a 2 month old baby. I could not give my best shot, but I do Not intend to appear again in GMAT.

I'm interested to apply:-
1. Berkeley
2. USC Marshall
3. UCLA
4. UC Davis
5. Kelley School of Business

Please advise me that what ranked colleges should I be looking for. Please let me know my chances of getting into the colleges are. I will be grateful if you can suggest me some other colleges too.

Thank you very much for your kind help!


Hi Prj,

So we finally get to your post. And to make your wait worthwhile, I'll have to ensure my response is very (VERY) specific to your query. If I make any generic statements ('your profile is good, but your GMAT could be better'), I know I risk being on the receiving side of your wrath and that wouldn't be a very pleasant encounter.

Awright, so let's see what we can do for you.

From your choice of schools, I see that you've made up your mind to stick to California. The good part about it is California allows you to choose from a pretty wide pallette. The bad part is that these schools range from the very good to the let's-not-even-get-there category.

All the schools you've listed fall in the former category. But they'd all be a long shot. Why? The median GMAT for each of these schools is much higher than what we are working with here. Even if we consider 80 percentiles, it'll be an outlier. If you insist on choosing one from this list, I'd go with Marshall or Davis.

If you are willing to climb down a few notches, then you'd have a better chance of getting in. Three schools that come to mind are Irvine, Pepperdine and UC-San Diego. Not as awe-inspiring as the ones from your list, but more gettable.

If you want to get a little more conservative, there are schools where you'd actually be a strong candidate - San Diego State Univ, Long Beach and San Bernardino. But I would NOT suggest that you keep them in your list. With your post-grad score, your work-ex, your potential...you deserve better.

I understand that the number of applications that you can put in this year are limited. So do a little more research on the schools that I've mentioned here, consider what's important to you (ranking or practicality) and choose your school accordingly.

I've made the sweeping assumption here that you are a California girl and you want to stay there, come what may. The Pacific Coast highway, muscle beach, the 405 jams have their own charm for you. West coast rulez!
My entire response revolves around that belief. If you were open to relocation, the list would've been a little more appealing.
_________________

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Last edited by MBACrystalBall on 30 Jul 2010, 07:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 06:54
sirjee,

hum aapki bhavnaon ki kadar karte hain. aap sahi bol rahe hain. jab time mile hamara profile evaluate kijiyega...

[this is in all sincereity...]
I am an avid reader of your posts and I must say you have a way with words. :) which I think is very commenable.
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Re: MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Mom profile evaluation, advice nee [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 15:29
Thanks a lot Sameer!!! I think UC Davis is a long shot but its worth it else I will be stick being a soccer mom ;-)



MBACrystalBall wrote:
prj wrote:
Thank you very much for taking the time read this post and give your expert advise. I am planning to apply to business school fall of 2011. Below, is a brief description of my background.

Gender - Female
Ethnicity - Indian

Education:
- Engineering in Computer Science, India. Honors student
- MS from USA in Information Science, GPA 3.7/4.0
- GRE score - 1310/1600
- Final GMAT Score - 620 (V- 58%, scaled score- 31 and Q - 75%, scaled score - 45)

Experience:
-Total 5 years in IT industry. Below is breakdown of the 5 years -
a. 2 years as an IT Analyst
b. 1 year worked as a onsite coordinator (Coordinated a team in India while posted in US. Had direct client interaction)
c. 1 year worked as a business analyst (Worked in US)
d. 1 year worked as a module leader (Worked in US and looked after a team of 10 members)

Community involvement:
-Volunteered as a teacher in SOS children’s village where I taught maths and science to middle school students.
-Several Leadership roles for female students - I took classes on female sexual harassment on work places
-Worked in AID (Association for India’s Development)

The low GMAT score is because I have a 2 month old baby. I could not give my best shot, but I do Not intend to appear again in GMAT.

I'm interested to apply:-
1. Berkeley
2. USC Marshall
3. UCLA
4. UC Davis
5. Kelley School of Business

Please advise me that what ranked colleges should I be looking for. Please let me know my chances of getting into the colleges are. I will be grateful if you can suggest me some other colleges too.

Thank you very much for your kind help!


Hi Prj,

So we finally get to your post. And to make your wait worthwhile, I'll have to ensure my response is very (VERY) specific to your query. If I make any generic statements ('your profile is good, but your GMAT could be better'), I know I risk being on the receiving side of your wrath and that wouldn't be a very pleasant encounter.

Awright, so let's see what we can do for you.

From your choice of schools, I see that you've made up your mind to stick to California. The good part about it is California allows you to choose from a pretty wide pallette. The bad part is that these schools range from the very good to the let's-not-even-get-there category.

All the schools you've listed fall in the former category. But they'd all be a long shot. Why? The median GMAT for each of these schools is much higher than what we are working with here. Even if we consider 80 percentiles, it'll be an outlier. If you insist on choosing one from this list, I'd go with Marshall or Davis.

If you are willing to climb down a few notches, then you'd have a better chance of getting in. Three schools that come to mind are Irvine, Pepperdine and UC-San Diego. Not as awe-inspiring as the ones from your list, but more gettable.

If you want to get a little more conservative, there are schools where you'd actually be a strong candidate - San Diego State Univ, Long Beach and San Bernardino. But I would NOT suggest that you keep them in your list. With your post-grad score, your work-ex, your potential...you deserve better.

I understand that the number of applications that you can put in this year are limited. So do a little more research on the schools that I've mentioned here, consider what's important to you (ranking or practicality) and choose your school accordingly.

I've made the sweeping assumption here that you are a California girl and you want to stay there, come what may. The Pacific Coast highway, muscle beach, the 405 jams have their own charm for you. West coast rulez!
My entire response revolves around that belief. If you were open to relocation, the list would've been a little more appealing.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2010, 05:16
such wrote:
Hello Sameer,
Please evaluate my profile and provide me guidance on which B-schools should I select.

Sex – Female, Age – 30 yrs, Nationality - Indian
My MBA interest: Strategy & Business mgt, (essentially Brand Management), Marketing.
GMAT - targeting between 710-740 (Will give the test in September)
Total Work Exp: 6 yrs (1.5 yrs event management + 1.5 yrs Publishing industry + design consulting mainly in Corporate Identity design 3 yrs)
:
:
Sort term Goal - creative director or Brand/Account Manager in a big advertising firm.
Long-term Goal - I want to start my own advertising company.

I would like to know:

Happy to see so many female applicants on this thread. Way to go!

such wrote:
GMAT - targeting between 710-740 (Will give the test in September)

September! Thought you were in a tearing rush to get this post answered by me. Kathor-dil!
But wouldn't Sept be too late? When you do start working on the essays? Do you already have a list of schools in your mind that you can start working on in parallel?

Will take up your queries in random order (logical from my perspective though)

such wrote:
5. Please list the best schools for Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Business mgt, Marketing.

Focus dear focus! You've got half the MBA curriculum listed out here. Most top schools will provide with you a huge list of electives to choose from. You could pick up topics from each of the areas you've listed above. But you can't possibly be a 'specialist' in all.

In terms of the best schools query, a quick Google search should give you this list. So moving on to others that Google won't be able to answer.

such wrote:
3.Do my community service activities have to be very recent or could they also be 3-4 yrs old?

When it comes to this domain, two things can make a favourable impact - continuity and long-term association. Anything that abruptly appears on (or disappers from) the profile will warrant a justification. You've been involved in a lot of things earlier. Was there a reason why you had to stop them in the last 3-4 years?

such wrote:
2. What, in your opinion, are my strengths and weakness?

The professional background works. They don't get too many of those from India. You come across as an intelligent, creative, academically strong, capable and ambitious candidate. Chalo, chaney ke jhaad se utar lo, coz we move to the other side.
You've got a lot of drive, but the energy needs to be channelised. There's too much variety for my comfort. I'm not sure how I should label you. Are you a design consultant who's also dabbled in event management and publishing? Or is it the other way? Is your creative potential so difficult to contain within a single profession? Will your experimentation continue beyond the MBA?

such wrote:
4. Please mention what should I do to make my case stronger for final call.

Not much, considering there are few factors that you can influence at this stage (GMAT, recos, essays, interview). I hope you interview well. Apart from that try not to deviate too much from your profession, gender and GMAT range.

such wrote:
1. How my profile looks for an MBA from the top 10-20 B-schools?

Pretty good, actually. I like what I see. Your profile doesn't blow my mind away, but it's refreshingly different. As a (hypothetical) Adcom member of a top school, I'd look for reasons to include you in my class (not the other way around). So when you start working on your essays/recos, ensure you don't do something that makes them go...woaa...why did she have to do that. 'Such' ka saamna, jaldi hi hoga

I haven't said it on this thread so far, but if you have the inclination (and the budget), I'd like to work with you.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2010, 07:11
Thanks Sameer. You and Jon have been a great help.
--------------
For everyone else who is looking for some help on the apps process, I would highly recommend Sameer and Precision Essay. I am just waiting for my gmat to get over to engage with them formally.
In the last one 6 months I have spoken to various admission consultants but really did not find what i was looking for. I have been following Sameer's post on various forums for some time so one day i decided to connect with him. During my various conversations I found him to be very genuine and also very polite (unlike some adm consultants who think they are god's gift to mba aspirants).

I would highly recommend him if you are looking for help in your app process.
---

MBACrystalBall wrote:
vibarora wrote:
thanks sameer..here u go..!!

Overall

31/Male/10 yrs exp across 2 industries, Hospitality+ITES/5yrs avrg tenure in a job/in my second job right now/8.5 yrs of managerial exp out of 10 yrs

(most recent job) Senior Manager – Operations (Nov’05 to present)

1) I am working with a fortune 500 client in an emerging field/practice within Supply Chain.
2) Currently managing team of 120 people across 4 countries. (Czech, Mexico, China, India)
3) 17 million to 100 million 5 yrs account plan. Being part of operations, how I have contributed to sales function. – set up first ever account management team
4) Lowest attrition in year 2008
5) My 2010 ESAT score (filled by my direct repartees) higher than company average
6) Launched innovative practices in people management. – set up Appreciation council, Cabin contest, be a TL contest etc.
7) Experience of hiring people from different nationalities (Chinese, Czech, Russian, French, Japanese, Mexican)
8) Avrg age range of my team members – 23 to 58
9) Key business plans/solutions made which won the company business
10) Employee satisfaction higher than company avrg in Gallup. During recession times also. Managed to keep my team happy.
11) I always wanted to apply earlier for an MBA but I kept on getting leadership roles and that was the experience I did not want to miss

1st Job - Hospitality

1) My varied experience will strongly contribute to the class dynamics.
2) Joined as Mgt Trainee in 2000 and progressed to Head of Dept in 2004 after moving thru various levels.
3) 5 promotions in 5 years.
4) Youngest head of dept. in the history of the Group
5) Worked with people of all ages/seniority levels, worked in a unionized environment
6) Repositioned the hotel from being a luxury hotel to a business hotel in the Delhi mkt
7) Heading a dept at the age of 24 with revenues of 22 crores.
8) Broke the strike in hotel.- Unique experience
9) Dealt with actors, actresses, models, politicians, gangsters – unique experience. - - … face of celebs in public vs. private
10) Handled several situations where guests would not pay/not have any money and hotel had to extract payments.
11) Handled confidential visits of Ricky martin, Pamela Anderson
12) First to sell a room online for $500 in the history of the hotel in 2003
13) Increased the Average room rate from Rs. 2000/- to 7,000/- per night in 2004
14) Always contributed progressively to my organizations and teams I have lead.

Others

15) Avid sportsperson. Above average player in Tennis, Table Tennis, Squash.
16) Being from an Army background, played almost all sports - hot air ballooning, horse riding, golf, tennis, tt, basket ball, squash, snow scooter.
17) Crossed world’s highest road 8 times (khardungla top)
18) A photo clicked by me featured on the FUJI home page
19) brilliant student awardee in 1997 in my school.


and my previos post pasted below:
---------------------------------
hi folks,

i am planning to apply for the class of 2011. while i am preparing for my gmat i am looking for some help on chosing the schools.

31/Indian male/10 yrs exp (8.5 yrs in team management)/hospitality+ITES/progressive career/lead a team of 120 people across 4 countries/snr mgr-operations. plenty of examples with which i can differentiate my candidature (for eg - handled a strike in my hotel, celeb visits etc)

honestly speaking the only reason i want to do an mba now is to put a structure to my learnings over the last 10 yrs. and also experience a cross cultural environment.

why i didnt do it earlier is because i kept on getting promoted and was given key responsibilities at a fairly young age. didnt want to miss that experience. but now i feel that my learning has slowed down so i feel its the right time to push the peddle.

though my core area is operations, i have done fairly well in a solutions/sales kind of role. also my background in operations gives me that added insight into designing a solution for my client.

currently i am looking at

1) moving to Operations/Strategy consulting
or
2) sticking to operations post my mba

the above is also after doing research that one should have long term/short term goals ready. to be honest, i have a clue or a basic idea of where i want to be. but i have never been a sort of a person who has planned my future. though most schools require this clarity i find it a bit absurd.

if you ask my long term goal, i want to be an amaterur golfer. but i dont think its a good answer from an employability perspective.

so at this moment i dont have any pref between US/Europe, 1yr/2yr. aim is to get into a top 20 school, rest will follow.

so if anyone can suggest the target schools (or a priority list) for my kind of a background it will help. cos honestly to me all top schools seem the same specially when i see their website. i would like to join all of them.

thanks for reading and thanks for your responses.


Hi Vibhore,

We've already started discussing about your profile offline. And from the additional data (including some of the surprising stories) that you've shared over email, you've had a pretty interesting career so far.

After that last phone call, you've got a whole lot of personalised inputs from me (and my international partners) that would've been difficult to provide in a discussion forum.

The best part - you have an action-plan in place now. So I'll take the liberty of skipping this post.

Of course, our offline interactions can go on.

I look forward to start working together on the essays soon.

Good luck on the GMAT.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2010, 01:26
We thought Harvard/Stanford/Wharton were competitive...and then ISB released its selectivity figures!

This one goes out to all ye smart ones out there targetting Round 1 for ISB and struggling just a little in packaging all your wonderful life stories into compelling essays.

My partner (ISB 'Dean's List' alum + McKinsey consultant + IIT topper) manages ISB apps and has already been working with some of your future classmates.

If you think you could do with some help with any or all of the application components (essays, recos, CV, mock-interview), drop us a note --> info at mbacrystalball dot com

Happy to work together with a select few serious and high-potential folks out here.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2010, 12:12
Sameer, thanks for your input. I appreciate your response. I agree that differentiation is a key factor here due to applicant pool that my profile belongs too.

I have a quick question about Extra-curriculars. do they sound Ok to you. I have not been into a executive position with any professional body but has been active member of many forums including social ones. Not sure how to put this across or balance this portion with other strong areas in resume. I am more worried about this part as after your suggestion I think packaging the strong part (acads+work ex) the right way will not be an issue for me.

At some point I think I will be reaching you offline too. Given my age this can be my one and only attempt and I will not be taking any chances with it.
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Help with the profile evaluation please !!! [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2010, 16:41
Sameer,

I have been following your posts for the past few days on this forum and, as much cliched it may sound, going by your reponse to people's profile evaluation and their feedback, it would be hard not to ask for your view after my profile evaluation. The specifics and the details on your post not just for the questioner but for all the other readers are really impressive.

(Aiming for the R1 ISB).

Here is my profile with all the familiar worries.

Age: 28 years

GMAT: 720 (50 Quant, 38 Verbal, 4 :( AWA))

Qualifications:
--------------

XII - 86% (ISC)

Bachelor of Information Sciences (4 year programme) - Delhi Univeristy - 71%

Masters in Computer Science (Coventry University, UK) - 67% (Merit)

Career Highlights
-----------------

Since my post grad I have been working in UK for the past 5 years.

* Soon after my Masters worked as a Graduate Software Engineer for an engineering company in UK for 1.5 years.

- Wore different hats in this role including - IT support for internal and external

products, a software engineer and a software tester.

- Was the intermediary between the operations department and the engineering department within the company as I worked for both departments at the same time.

* Moved on to working as a Software Engineer in cash logistics sector in UK for 3.5 year. Other than designing and writing code:

- Came up with and assisted in generating new ideas for new products and ways to improve the company's revenue generation.

- Helped resolve various critical product issues with clients.

- Mentored new employees in the company on the product and on the cash processing know how within the cash logistics sector.

- Because of the small size of the company, there had not been many leadership
opportunities within the company. I did take up the few opportunities to manage small
projects in a team of 2-3 developers as a lead developer.

- Developed a very good understanding of cash processing in cash centres in Europe and South Africa.

- Working in an SME has allowed to don the business analyst role on and off.

Extracurricular Activities and Achievements
--------------------------------------------
- Microsoft Certified Professional Developer and Technology Specialist in a number of
technologies.

- A keen table tennis, squash and badminton player and won events at school and college in table tennis.

- Have been training in kick boxing for the last two years and have rapidly (being the first one in my batch) progressed to blue belt.

- Was a student representative at Coventry University.

- Assisted prospective students at student help desk in resolving their queries with regard to admissions and courses at Delhi University.

- Secured 4th rank in the all India entrance exam for the Bachelor of Information Sciences held by the University of Delhi.

- Was awarded the best student prize for all round performance at school in class XII

(distant but sweet memory).


Goals Of MBA:
-------------
Recently many engineers at our company had to face redundancy, which I believe was down to a flaw in the business development strategy. This has inspired me to learn more about the business development area. I believe my technical know how combined with my acquired business development skill/knowledge will not only further my career progression within the IT industry but will also help me to start my own business venture in the long run.


Target Schools:
---------------

LBS
Judge Business School (Cambridge) - (Another reason that brings me to you :)).
Said Business School (Oxford)
INSEAD
ISB

Profile Weaknesses/Concerns:
----------------------------

Many and that's why am here.
- Not many leadership activities.
- From the most competitive pool (IT).
- Profile sounds similar to any other IT guy.
- Not a lot on the EC.


Should you think that I stand a fair chance at the above listed schools, I would be very much inclined to use your consultancy services. Kindly let me know the process.

Thanks

Regards

Pahari
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Re: Help with the profile evaluation please !!! [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2010, 04:09
anantpahari wrote:
I would be very much inclined to use your consultancy services. Kindly let me know the process.

Pahari

Hello Anant,

As requested, here's the way it works with us. It's a little complicated, so please read carefully.

- Drop me a mail on: mbacrystalball at gmail dot com

- I'll ask you 3 questions related to: 17th century history, the mating habits of the dung beetle and finally, a technical analysis of Kangana Ranaut's career graph.

- If you answer all 3 incorrectly, but display a genuine desire (or a passionately articulated desperation) to work with us, we'll get you signed up.
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Re: Help with the profile evaluation please !!! [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2010, 04:24
For long time readers of this thread, the previous response will (hopefully) not raise eyebrows. For those who just joined us, we like to have some fun on these forums. Applying to B-schools can be a very stressful process. So this is our (probably not so perfect) way to let off some steam. Pleejh bura na maniye.

For all ISB candidates, here's how my partner (known to many of you as 'MG') describes a 'typical' day at ISB:

- Get up to open your room for the housekeeping guy; after last night's partying in one of the student village laws / mirror pools.
- Go to lectures, trying to stay awake as well as doing CP (class participation).
- Hog some besi-beli bath in between lectures while planning a club event in the evening.
- Go to the Rec center in the evening for a swim/basketball/snooker/squash/whatever comes to your mind.
- Come back, prepare to go for a club event or an industry event or meet your group to complete an assignment
- Prepare for the night's party
- Maybe go back to your group for some more assignments
- Doze off....

Do you see yourself going through this drill next year?
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Re: Help with the profile evaluation please !!! [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2010, 04:39
Here's my post from another forum, but thought the topic might be relevant to the folks out here as well.

rish90 wrote:
Hi,

I intend to apply to Bschools in US/UK but what worries me is the job scenario. I've been trying since a long time to get to know how are people who are applying getting clear idea about it.

Can anyone tell me how does one get a job, the chances of getting one and how do people solve this problem there?

Would be really helpful if someone can give me a proper reply to this.

Thanks in advance,
rish

Hey Rish,

I'm not sure if this response falls does justice to your request for a 'proper reply', but I'll take a shot.

Leaving a stable job in pursuit of better opportunities has its risks. Job hunting overseas can be a truly humbling experience. Most guys who think they are studs back home get the shock of their lives when they learn that career planning in the UK/US schools doesn't work in the same way as in Indian b-schools.

So start working on it early, preferably before you leave the safe shores of your matrubhoomi. It's an ocean out there (roles, fields, industries, companies) and without a direction, it can become pretty confusing. So when you are working on your essays, don't just create a story that sounds impressive to the Adcoms. Use it to achieve a better idea of what you can and cannot do once you are in phoren-land.

The same basic principles of independent research, networking, enthusiasm, tenacity, focus, people skills (more than technical skills) apply.

No one has a crystal clear roadmap in place, but you can improve your odds of success by planning well. Learn to interview well. Be aware of how b-school and post-MBA interviews go. Get in touch with those who've been there, done that. Get tips on what worked for them even if their situation/background wasn't similar to yours.

The best swimmers can get swallowed by the fury of a turbulent sea, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't learn to swim before you take the plunge.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2010, 22:52
Hi Sameer,
Its crowded on BW forums, and this forum provides me a greater range of smileys. So I thought will post my query here. :-D :) :o :shock: :? 8-) :lol: :x :cry: :evil: :| :arrow: :?: :!: :!: :wink: :roll:
I have been closely following your posts and advise on both BW and gmatclub. I think your advice has been super.

Its always better to stand on the shoulder of giant people to see farther than your average Munna goes a saying. I would like to stand on you. :)

I have my profile here. I would like to see where I fit.
M/26
Acads
10th 91%
12th 88%
Engg: First class, Mechanical Engg, REC Nagpur (It got rechristened to NIT after I joined).

GMAT: (this one is a dampener)
1st attempt : 620 (V29, Q47) Nov 2008 AWA 5.5
2nd attempt: 700 (V37/80% , Q 48/82%ile) AWA , Last week

Workex: Total (5 years as on Aug 2! Not counting the time I learnt hotwiring Autorickshaws)

- Started off as a Operations Management trainee with Cummins Diesel. Worked for 6 months
- Joined a very large fortune 500 company dealing in container shipping/logistics/Ports and terminals as a candidate in their very special (!!) program. Was recruited as one of 300 candidates from 84 countries (from a pool of 100,000 applicants).As the program wanted us to be trained in many facets of the business, we had many job roles in a span of over 2 years
- Worked in equipment operations, handling vessel releases of some of the largest container vessels calling India. Shipping Line division (11 months)
- Moved to Cochin and worked in their logistics wing, Sales and co-ordination, (8.5 months)
- Moved to Tuticorin, Key client Management (Clients handled included biggies like Walmart, Ikea, GAP etc.) (9 months)
- Moved to Bangalore, to ramp up the customer service desk, as I had some prior knowledge in systems and procedures. Successfully completed the program. Promoted and Managed a small team of 5 for a couple of months. (about 7 months)

- After program was over, was free to choose some postings. Decided to work for the ports biz. Quit the Shipping line, moved to another group entity which handled ports and terminals, Worked as Assistant Manager Projects for a few months in a 2 member team. Oversaw various projects (120 Million $ overall value) like delivery and commissioning of various cranes , container yard development, fuel pumps etc. Vey short time, very steep learning curve as we had some issues with delivery and were fighting battles with insurance. Exposure to contract negotiations (3 months)
- CEO of the older terminal shifted to a new terminal . Role was extremely challenging, He invited me to join, I moved over. Got a salary and job grade hike in the midst of a glaring recession. Moved to marketing and sales. Steep learning curve. Role was that of a wheeler dealer. From making new tariffs, to fixing contracts, to preparing budgets, to contract negotiation. Still doing it and liking it.

International experience:
- As a part of the program mentioned earlier, was trained in Copenhagen by CBS(Copenhagen Biz school) faculty and other professionals in 2 week modules carried out every 6 months. Therotical classroom training in Economics, Operations, Terminal operations, Logistics and other practical classes in negotiation skills, project management etc.
- Have had a vessel tour on board a container ship for a week, (Some middle east ports)

This is again a weak point as I skipped some overseas opportunities for better local action by joining ports and terminals. No real work experience abroad, only training modules etcetera.

ECs:

School:
State level:
Science quiz , ranked 1, ranked within top 5 in other quizzes conducted by KQA
Best nature exhibit award in state level philately exhibition.
Secretary of various clubs like science club, nature club etc.

Interschool:
Many awards in cultural events

UG:

National Level:
- Winner of an an event called brainstorm (puzzle solving) thrice conducted at our college tech fest
- Numerous quizzes and other events
- Unreal tournament was suddenly the best thing since butter naan and I ended up winning some gaming contests as well.

Others
- Student council leader as Cultural Secretary. Appointment defied convention wherein student council members were final year students, I was in my third year when I was appointed.
- President of Karnataka association
- Represented college upto university level in ball badminton
- Won some awards for best article in the college magazine (AWA scores do not reflect my talents! Or maybe they do...)

Others
- Worked with a NGO at Tuticorin, organising donations for an orphanage
- I have purchased an ancient Yezdi Roadking and restoring it part by part. Does it count?
- Photography is another hobby.

To sum it all up, I have identified my weaknesses
- Modest GMAT score
- Do not have conventional international workex

I am targeting the following,
- Tepper
- Cornell, Johnson
- INSEAD
- Sloan (Chulla... thats all .. I have been told not to apply but will try!)
- RSM
- Cambridge, Judge
- Oxford, Said

What I want to be once I graduate:
- I will take an entrepreneurial path. All my biz plans includes tapping into the container biz market and providing value added services. (very broadly). To give fundae, it includes live container tracking services, analytics on intermodal movement etc. There is a good market in India and other developing countries. Another concept which is still in ideation is ‘virtual container yards’ etc.
- I gave sustainability a serious thought and even worked on calculating carbon advantage of our port over others, but I realised my hypocrisy when I realised Yezdi’s and sustainability do not go well together!
Await your feedback on my profile. Schools with SCM as a core will work. I am seriously looking at MLOG program and Broad college(MSU) as well.

Guruji, need your margadarshan

Thanks.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2010, 04:35
Ciao,
SO I gave the GMAT today and scored 690. The first thing I did after that was reach out to Sameer. I've been on this forum a bunch of times, but didn't register. This is my first post and the reason is because of the conversation I had with Sameer. I dropped him an email and within 10 minutes we were talking on the phone. That was a pleasant surprise!

As someone else also stated, he's candid. He has had enough conversations with students to quickly be able to assess who is at what level. Even though my score is average for a top B-School, I am hopeful that with his able assistance, I might be able to get into one of them...

Obviously people here already realize how valuable his insights might prove out to be. All of us are within a hypothetical range of 18-20. There aren't too many basic facts that change from applicant to applicant. Kind of similar to the fact that different B-School applications share about 70% of their content. Any help that makes us improve our applications with a viewpoint that an adcom member might have, is priceless.

I hope to be able to use your services soon.

-Raj
Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates   [#permalink] 10 Aug 2010, 04:35
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