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Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates

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Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 13 May 2010, 21:53
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The MBA journey - from concept to execution - can be extremely frustrating if you don't have the right information and approach. If you feel we could help out in making your experience a little more structured and a little less painful, do get in touch.

With a less-than-stellar profile (Indian/IT/Male, GMAT below 700, age not on my side), I knew the MBA application process was going to be an uphill battle. I could not change my past (acads, experience, average extra-currics). My application strategy and the implementation plan had to be really strong. I guess I played my cards right as I got into all 3 schools that I applied to. I chose Cambridge, got a double-scholarship and changed careers completely from IT to Mergers & Acquisitions/Strategy. Since then, I've been sharing my strategies and techniques with others.

Our discussion threads on other forums have got a great response. Feel free to browse through these forums to check out our responses to build an opinion before you post on this thread.

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Our innovative MBA Mock Application Process (MBA MAP), which simulates an application process and helps candidates identify strengths/weaknesses their applications, has also rapidly grown in popularity. Do check it out.
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Last edited by MBACrystalBall on 06 Jul 2011, 01:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2010, 20:37
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Raghavender wrote:
Hey Dude,

Thanks for the time in evaluating each profile.
We appreciate it.

My focus is primarily on ISB. Need to move to India immediately post MBA. My fiancee is a doctor in India and would like to continue on her PG, post my MBA. So ISB would make my life lot simpler, in chances of career pportunities in India. Else, with a US degree, I would have to fight the tide in trying to move to India and secure a job there, coupled with the huge loan on my back.

Here is my profile again.

26 yrs, Male, Indian, working in US for the last 2.5 years.

Manufacturing Background
MS Industrial Engineering, University of Arkansas (3.3 GPA)
BS Mechanical Engineering, in India (3 GPA)

Professional Experience
2.5 years work experience as Manufacturing & Projects Engineer in a private firm with 135 employees. (3.5 yrs work exp at matriculation)
Selected this company, as I wanted to learn all the aspects of running an industry. I am a big fish in a small pond here.
Directly report to the CEO and advise him on new product development technologies and continuous improvement.
Our company runs thin on resources, so I wear several hats including those of developing new product ideas, product design, continuous improvement, process improvement, product strategy, pricing, etc.

Proposed changes in our operation and convinced supervisors, with 20 years of experience in the same company, to change.
Lots of people management skills.

Made a significant impact on the company's culture for the better. Had a vision when very few believed me and now we are half way there. Hit many brick walls on the way. Everyone is glad we started the journey.
Made a difference to the bottom line to the tune of $350,000 per annum.

Term Goals:
Passionate about the mfg industry. Get a management role in top multinational mfg companies like Ford, Nokia, Caterpillar, Procter & Gamble, GE, etc.
Set up my own industry in the long term.


GMAT: 720

Extracurricular:
Play racquetball tournaments
Into Thai Kickboxing, may have my first fight this year.
Designed and fabricated a washing machine that runs on pedal power, during my undergrad. Won the second prize at the national level.
Like acting and have directed and acted in number of stage plays during my Masters and job.

*******************************************************************************

My school list:

1. ISB
2. Ross - Tauber
3. MIT-LGO
4. Tuck
5. Darden
6. Duke
7. Cornell
8. Kellogg
9. Kelley


How would you rate my chances in these schools?
I would have to shortlist the list to 5 schools.


I appreciate your valuable time.
Thanks,
Raghu


Hi Raghavender,

All going well, sir?

Justified reasons about wanting to move back to India.

In India, with a strong Indian MBA like ISB, you'd no doubt get corporates to take you seriously. Here's a counter thought. Your post-grad and your entire experience has been outside India. A few years later if you both decide to experiment a bit and move to another country or continent, it helps if you have a strong label to bank upon. It's a one time investment for life. So be open to options.

I moved back to India immediately after my MBA (from the UK) as well. The advantage I feel with that approach is - you have an internationally recognisable brand on your CV that has a global recognition.

Having said that - ISB is a great school and my partner at MBA Crystal Ball who mentors ISB applicants (he's an ISB alum, McKinsey consultant and IIT topper) would be happy to help you out with your efforts, if you are inclined.

Ok, now moving on to your profile.

Your experience is a little on the lower side. Due to your post-grad years, you've hit the corporate world a little later than the other guys you'd be competing with at ISB or the other international b-schools. But your manufacturing experience can help you stand in a different queue, away from IT rockstars. Also from whatever little you've shared here, I get the feeling that the quality of your experience is far richer than many others with more years of work-ex.

Why? When you are interacting with the CEO, you can't but pick up though processes, priorities and concerns at an organisational level. Your multi-hat roles would've squeezed in a whole lot more into those 2.5 yrs than is obvious from your post.

But those are not the parts that I'm impressed about. What makes me take you seriously is the fact that you've been involved in people and culture change within your firm. That takes a hell lot of effort, my friend. If you can substantiate those claims (with anecdotes, LoRs etc), it makes you a pretty strong candidate.

The discipline needed for Muay Thai (I was into Tae-kwon-do, so I know the amount of discipline it takes to pursue something like that), the creativity needed for acting, the innovation required to come up with pedal-powered inventions. I think you have a lot going for you.

>> How would you rate my chances in these schools?

1. ISB - Stretch
2. Ross - Stretch for the regular MBA (Tauber could be a Practical with your Manufacturing background)
3. MIT-LGO - Ambitious for the regular MBA (LGO can be Practical to Stretch again coz of your manuf bg)
4. Tuck - Ambitious
5. Darden - Practical
6. Duke - Practical
7. Cornell - Stretch
8. Kellogg - Stretch
9. Kelley - Practical

Let me know if you need help with your applications (ISB and International). It'll be exciting to work with you.

Have a great career and a fantastic future!
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2010, 20:51
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contactdineshmehta wrote:
HI Sameer,

Yes , i am looking ouside India as well. Here's my profile. Please have a look at my profile and suggest :


-Male/29/Indian/IT(Embedded Domain)

GMAT: not yet. But targeting 740-750

Education:
1. PG diploma in Embedded systems
2. BTech in Electronics and Communcations(College Topper)
3. UG 3 & 1/2 Yrs Diploma in Electronics and Communcations(College Topper)

UG is 3 and half year regular full time course with last half year as full time practical training/work at company.
Btech is 4 year full time course with 10 weeks of regular training/work at company

WorkEx:
6 yrs as of today.

Highlight:
1. Patent Holder.
2. Six Sigma Green Belt Holder for Quality.
3. Project Management and Lead 2 yrs experience
4. Award for another Six Sigma Project.
5. Quality Continued Education within Company( Level 1 and Level 2 Certified)
6. International Work experience
7. Direct Client interaction and good reputation with client.
8. Among Top performers in company ( Awarded certificate for Best performance)
9. Worked in different MNC culture (US/S.Korean/Spanish)
10. Member of Business council in Company.


Low points:
Social work

MBA Plans:
Outside india: US


Anything I need to work on?? What should be the score target???


Thanks


Dinesh-bhai,

With your kind of a profile, you should definitely explore international options as well, in addition to ISB which you already have on your list.

Your acads appear pretty solid. If you can combine that with the GMAT score that you are expecting, you'll put to rest any concerns Adcom might have about your intellectual capabilities.

With your experience of 6 years, you'd be able to talk about project management skills, team leading, international exposure etc etc that your competition will be highlighting.

The awards and the recognition under your belt can be used as an icing on the cake. By itself this will not give you an advantage in your application. You'd need to pull out something more from your hat.

Fortunately, there's one trump card you have that you could use to make your profile stand out in the pile. Unlike regular IT (which forms the broader pool that you fall in), you could use the embedded systems focus to make yourself unique.

As opposed to the mainstream IT applications domain (custom built or off-the-shelf) the challenges involved in your field can be substantially different. There are many ways in which you could leverage this advantage in your essays and bring out elements that the other IT guys can't talk about. More on that later, when we get into the specifics after getting your GMAT score.

When do you get your final GMAT score? A few points below or above what you are expecting will not dramatically alter what we've just discussed. Come back when you have a confirmed score and we can take the discussion forward in terms of schools that you can target and more about your application strategy.

Chak de phatte, buddy!
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2010, 05:15
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Hi Sameer,

Thanks for starting this wonderful thread ! Please evaluate my profile as well !

Details:

Male /29 Years/ India

Educational Background:
I was average in my school days with 77 % and 74% marks in 10th and 12th respectively.
I completed my engineering in Computer Science in the year 2003 with an overall of 74 %. I have also completed the 6months Young Professional Program ( Executive Education) from IIM Calcutta in the year 2005.

Even though I am a computer science graduate, I joined my family business in the year 2003. I have a total work experience of 7 years in my family business as a director. We are a FMCG company in Central India with a turn over of 70 crores and specialize in Flour Milling Operations. We presently operate two flour processing units with a total processing capacity of 30000 Quintals per day. We also run two bread manufacturing units under the franchise of Hindustan Unilever Limited. We produce and retail over 50000 breads and bakery products per day.

Extra Curricular:
I have represented my college and school in Cricket .
I am an expert at playing the keyboard.

GMAT : 710 ( Quant 50. Verbal 37)

I would like to hear your views upon the fruitfulness of an MBA for a profile like me.
Its easy for people to calculate their ROIs if they are from a service background. But for people like me, who arent very likely to sit for campus interviews because we are surely going to jump back into our businesses, calculation of ROI becomes a little tricky.

I want to do an MBA because I want to explore greater growth avenues, possible in my business or out of my current field of business . I wish to attend the college to widen my knowledge horizon which has a very limited window in my present business.

How fruitful can such courses be, for a Small/Medium Enterprise entrepreneur like me ?


Thanks and Regards,

Manish
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2010, 23:13
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varunj wrote:
Hi Sameer,

Greetings of the day !

Please evaluate my profile as well and give me an honest advice on the B-schools that I intend to target.
I want to bulid a career in Marketing and Brand Management.

GMAT : Yet to give (Actually I wish to persue MBA next year i.e. 2011)

Total Work Exp: 3 years

Work Domain :1) I have worked for 3 years in a Taiwan based MNC(IT Hardware Industry) in a Marketing/Brand Mgmt profile
2) Currently I am working as Marketing Manger in an Indian MNC (IT Hardware Industry).

Gender - Male
Age - 25 years
Nationality - Indian

Current Job Profile :

Handling a pool of IT Hardware Brands and Product management
Be the face of the brand at trade and Media facing events and managing the PR/Marcomm
ATL and BTL activities for the brands and participating in various trade/Road Shows
Managing the LFR(Large Format Retail) accouts for various Brands
Supporting the commercial team to activate growth drivers
Training internal team on category and brand, as well as generating market for upcoming technology


Education Details :
B.E. in Electronics & Telecom from Mumbai University, 2007 Passout with 72%
XII-71%
X-82.3%


ECs:
Appeared on TV news Channel for giving Product Reviews
Memeber of IEEE in College and event coordinator for the IEEE festival in College
Did active work for raising Funds for the under privillaged children
Won awards for academic excellence
Won prizes for Debates/GD at College Level
Certificate of appreciation from previous employer

Arranged alot of Media meets and press conferences
I have managed a gamut of Road shows/below the line marketing activities



AIM: I wish to target the Indian B schools Like ISB and Great Lakes. I want to build a career in Brand Management/Product Marketing and Consulting. I want to get into a strategy/policy making role.

My queries:
• Looking at my profile, how much I need to get in GMAT to secure a call from ISB and Great Lakes
• What kind of profiles would I get after graduating from these schools
• On which aspect I need to work, so as to ensure a call from the above mentioned schools
• Is it good to target only Indian B schools as I do not have much awareness of International B school
• Can you suggest good B- schools outside India, for Marketing and Brand Mgmt
• How much Scholarship/financial aid can I get from the International B schools
• Any other valuable tip

Anxiously looking forward to your reply!

Thanks a Bunch !!

Regards,
Varun


Varun sir,

Sab kushal mangal, I hope.

If you are targeting programs starting in 2011, the countdown has already begun. Considering that you are still at a very early point in the thinking process, you've got a lot of catching up to do. I'm working with people who started on their essays almost 2 months back. Many of them have been hit hard by last year's woes - recession, uncertain economy, extremely competitive application process.

Don't assume you have a lot of time on hand. It would've been good to get done with the GMAT early on, so you could've started thinking about a whole lot of other questions that follow. Roll up your sleeves my friend and get cracking.

Will move on to your profile now:

Though are also an IT/Indian/Male, you have a slight advantage over the others from the same pool because of your Hardware and Marketing combo background.

Also, why restrict yourself to one country? When you are targeting a global degree, why not consider global schools? The process and requirements for most top schools are similar and you can always take the incremental effort required to apply to these schools.

• Looking at my profile, how much I need to get in GMAT to secure a call from ISB and Great Lakes

Considering the lower age & experience, I'd say a 730+ would be good. Combined with your BE performance, a strong GMAT score will nip any intellectual capability concerns in the bud.

• What kind of profiles would I get after graduating from these schools
You are already strong in the Marketing/PR domain. So you could target roles where you can use this experience.


If you intend to stick to the technology industry, it'll be easier for you to convince potential employers about the value you'd bring to their organisation right from day one. Your learning curve will be rapid. However, if you plan to move into another industry (manufacturing or service industry, for instance), your efforts will go up.

• On which aspect I need to work, so as to ensure a call from the above mentioned schools

Your post (the job profile section) covers what someone in your role is expected to do, not what you actually did. If you can confidently say that you were able to go beyond what the job description entailed, and provide concrete examples (e.g. what did all those trade shows and PR events translate into isn't clear). In your essays, Adcoms will want to know what you, as an individual, did to help make a sustainable impact on your organisation. Choose your examples well and display the excellent quality of work you've done in those 3 years.

• Is it good to target only Indian B schools as I do not have much awareness of International B school

Answered this earlier. Unless you have personal issues that stop you from exploring options abroad, do go ahead and spread your net wider.

• Can you suggest good B- schools outside India, for Marketing and Brand Mgmt

There are many that specialise in Marketing in its broad sense and several that offer you to the option of specialising in 'Product Management'. I'd need to know what your GMAT score is to recommend schools that fit your profile. Come back here when you have a firm score and we'll take this up again.

• How much Scholarship/financial aid can I get from the International B schools

If you are targeting the top schools, free funding is hard to come by. Lower ranked schools can offer you financial aid, schols or other options (GA, TA, RA work on-campus) to bring your overall cost down

• Any other valuable tip

Yes. The Ambani brothers have patched up. Shares prices expected to go up. Buy and hold.

Hope to hear from you again, buddy, when you have your impressive GMAT score. You might want to start the essay work in parallel.

Good luck for the test.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2010, 03:59
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speeddeamon wrote:
Hi Sameer,

I request you to kindly go over my brief profile and give feedback on the same. It would be great if you could suggest some schools where I have good chance of getting admitted.

My profile:

Age : 30
Nationality : Indian
Experience : 8+ (specifics below)
GMAT : first attempt - 680 (49Q, 34 V)
second attempt - 760 (48Q, 46V) [this is 3 months after the first attempt]
Undergrad : Engineering (Mechanical) with 78% from a not so famous university in India, ranked 3rd in class
Areas of Interest : Entrepreneurship (in Healthcare IT sector), marketing & strategy

Experience details:
5 years in IT services (software engineer, senior software engineer for a mid-size US based Indian software company). Good leadership experience here.
3 years in Healthcare IT (for a large multinational, in their healthcare equipment business unit. Not on software implementation side, but on the innovation side where I work with marketing and other teams to study market opportunities, mainly value-added-services and come up with solutions which will later be implemented by some other team/vendor). Not much official leadership experience here because most of the time I was in teams where the average experience of team members were 15+.

Extracurricular :

@college: student representative in career management cell, played key role in bringing companies to campus for recruitment.
played important role in college politics, organized campaigns for college union elections, and unsuccessfully ran for chairmanship
twice in organizing committee of a national level symposium competition organized by our department
@work: Started a alumni project sponsorship program at my college. Enlisted 7 other classmates to co-sponsor the project.
Started and ran a chapter of toastmasters at our office campus for more than 2 years.
One of the coordinators in my company's community involvement initiative.
Organized multiple outdoor activities (treks, leisure activities) for my team which is about 50 member strong

My main worries are my age, the undergrad university not being famous, and the chance of being put in the Indian/IT/male category though I have a slightly different background than the typical IT guy.

Extra background info: Along with my normal projects at work, I am parallely working on a small scale corporate venture that grew out from a concept I created early last year. Its an equipment for training medical students to do minimally invasive cardiac surgery. After presenting the concept to many members of the senior management and receiving good feedback, we (a team of 3, a cardiologist, a software architect, and me) received funding for prototyping which is being done by an intern we recruited for the same. Along with guiding the intern, I am also looking at analyzing the market potential, the competitive landscape, and the possible positioning of the equipement. Should I mark this activity as a separate venture experience or include this project under my normal project description section?

Thank you very much for your time!


Ola Speedy-bandhu,

Let's start with your concerns first and lay them to rest before we move on to the main (and I think more important) queries.

>> My main worries are my age, the undergrad university not being famous, and the chance of being put in the Indian/IT/male category though I have a slightly different background than the typical IT guy.

- Age: I was older than you when I started my application process. Read the first post to see how that story panned out. We can't take 100% responsibility for the cruel jokes nature plays on us (no wonder aloe vera has a lot of fans). But beyond that focus on stuff that you can control. Make your profile attractive enough and people will look at you and go - 'inki twacha se inki profile ke strength ka pata bilkul nahi lagta'. We'll do some of that in this post.

- Undergrad University: Everyone isn't fortunate enough to get into an IIT. But with due respects, at the end of the day it's a technical institution (I'm ignoring their forays into management education). There's no guarantee that an extremely gifted technical guy who cracked the IIT-JEE would do equally well in the business world.

As a corollary, there's also nothing that says that guys who attended other institutions don't have what it takes to succeed in the business world. There's more to judging managerial potential than this. Adcoms know that and look for other elements from your profile before making a decision.

So all ye non-IIT junta out there...stop stressing out.

- 'being put in the Indian/IT/male category'

Be proud of your roots, man. Check out the guy from the HCL ad (who else finds the ad ridiculous, pls raise your hands). He's got the whole world at his feet. He makes I-bankers look like nincompoops. And he doesn't even use Axe Deos.

But on a serious note, again I feel this should actually work in your favour. Imagine being clubbed into a pool where you'd naturally stand out coz your profile isn't like the rest of the guys you are getting compared with.

Any more concerns that you want me to crush...do let me know. Happy to be of assistance.

With that we move on to your primary queries.

I had to read your Healthcare IT role 3 times for me to comprehend what you actually do. It is quite an unconventional role, my friend. And a pretty interesting one.

One quick tip. When you are writing your essays try to simplify the concept and use examples to make it easy for someone who's not from your industry to appreciate and understand. If you see heavy buzzwords and cliches, see if you can replace them with something that's more visual and common sense.

On the leadership topic, if you've already demonstrated this in your earlier role, that's good enough. Your current role definition is substantially different that the first one. It doesn't have the same team structure and the same mandates. If you've successfully been a leader, a technical guy, a team member, a salesman...but in different roles, I'd say that's damn good. You've shown potential and you've show flexibility. If I'm running an organisation, I'd rather have someone like you who can don many hats...rather than a self-proclaimed 'leader' who knows nothing more than throwing his weight around.

The 'Extra background info' section is really very interesting. If this is a self-driven initiative, find a way to project it properly. This is not part of your regular job-description. In my first job, I got the opportunity to be part of a similar experiment. The loosely applicable technical tag for what you are doing there is 'Corporate Venturing'. It's your idea, being funded and incubated by your current company, as opposed to an external VC team.

How you project this experience will be critical in showcasing your entrepreneurial abilities (see? another feather in the hat right there).

You've got many things to talk about (given your rich experience and your diverse exposure). Your challenge will be to pick and choose the gems from there and use them appropriately in your application. I hope you are already working on your apps.

Good luck.
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Re: Please evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2010, 19:47
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smartmundu wrote:
Please evaluate my profile

Age : 25
Nationality : Indian
Experience : 4+ (specifics below)
GMAT : planning in August

Undergrad : Engineering (Mechanical) with 68.11% from Delhi College of Engineering (Considered best Mechanical Engineering in Asia)

Areas of Interest : Consulting

Experience details:

Overall experience of more than four year. Recruited by Maruti Suzuki through campus (considered as best job for Mechanical Engineer, Recruited on very first day of core companies). Worked with Maruti Suzuki for about 2.5 years. Handled a small team of three. Represented company at National Management Games (NMG), India.
Having interest toward IT Consulting did SAP Certification in Materials Management Module, the interest shifted because want to utilise the functional knowledge gained at Maruti Suzuki and want to grow in the field of interest.
After that joined Pricewaterhouse coppers and presently also working as ERP Consultant, Logistics subject matter expert. Worked with big clients, added value to their business. Worked as project manager for one project, Independently handled projects and also done three months Business Consulting International project at one of the big steel companies.

Extracurricular :
@college: student representative in placement cell, played key role in bringing companies to campus for recruitment. Interest in computer gaming and represented college at various Inter college competition.

@work: member of the AutoExpo’08 core team: Involved in the content preparation activity, overall responsibility of Executive Zone at Maruti Pavilion, Winner of companywide Mechnatellect Quiz competition

I have following questions:

1. still have to appear for GMAT but can i still get into top 10 MBA college with the profile i have ?

2. how much score will seal admission to a good MBA college?

Thanks in advance

Regards


Mundu saar, namaskaar!

Will start off with your last question first to eliminate the suspense.

>> 2. how much score will seal admission to a good MBA college?

No score will guarantee (or 'seal') an admission for you. If you score a perfect 800 on the test and fill up your essays with gobbledygook - disconnected, vague and ambiguous statements, that's a sure-shot recipe for rejection.

>> 1. still have to appear for GMAT but can i still get into top 10 MBA college with the profile i have ?

Will take a little more time to address this one.

On the face of it, (and also from the way your described it here) your professional experience so far has been more or less in the same league as the rest of the guys from the industry. Though you've mentioned that you are working as an ERP consultant (MM module etc), I'm not sure if you are a technical expert or a functional expert. Is your knowledge about Logistics processes transferrable to other industries or is it strongly tied to the automobile industry?

Also not to sure of what you want to do after jumping in the air during graduation ceremony of a top-school and tossing the graduation hat high in the air for your proud family to capture the Kodak moment. Do you want to continue in the ERP consultants role or move on to something else?

Ok. Flashback mode now. I worked for PwC as well (one point on basic hygiene before we move on. PricewaterhouseCoopers is a long name no doubt but you gotta get the name of your employer right, my friend). The good thing about the firm, irrespective of your role there (and the scandals for which it has been in the news lately), is the fact that it's known worldwide as a 'business' consulting firm - with Audit, Tax, Advisory services. I positioned myself in a way that I wasn't competing head-on with the IT heavyweights.

Your uniqueness can come from several areas - your qualification, the companies that you've worked for (manufacturing, professional services), your functional expertise (Logistics) and your current role (ERP is more about business than about technology).

Now the fun begins. You have all the basic ingredients. Take all the points above and create a recipe that's mouthwatering for the Adcoms.

Don't put off working on your essays till August. Work on your GMAT. But also start working on the basic essay topics. After you get a solid GMAT score, you can hit the ground running.

Chak de phatte, bro. Come back if you need inputs while you are working on that dhinchak application.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2010, 02:14
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If you've wondered why our free evaluations on this thread have been a little slow, it's because we've been working hard behind the scenes to get testimonials like the one below. This one's from the MCB Facebook page:

"I would like to comment on my experience with Sameer & MBA Crystal Ball:

After reading the business week forum, I decided to use the MBA Crystal Ball report for evaluating my profile. At the moment, I was in the middle of my application, having applied to a few stretch schools and getting rejects. The report was extremely useful in terms of understanding my profile & giving me feedback about my stretch, reach & safe schools. One thing to note was that the advice was biased towards getting the candidate to the best school possible as opposed to the usual advice from consultants who try to play safe and never ask candidates to go for the stars.

After getting an interview call from one of my stretch schools, I contacted Sameer for a mock interview. Again, Sameer took the time to read all my essays & customized the interview to make very realistic. This was a good experience and a major confidence booster. I ended up getting an admit from that stretch school and am going to matriculate this fall!

A big thanks to Sameer & MBA Crystal Ball!"


Always good to get positive feedback from those who've battled against the odds to get into the top schools of their choice. Hope we have many more stories like this over the coming months.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 21:30
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rnemani wrote:
Hi,
Nice post ( I tried going to your web site it seems to be down). Could you please advice me on the executive MBS program. Here is my profile:

1) Over 17 years of IT industry experience
2) Over 7 years as an entrepreneur
3) GMAT score - 670
4) I have a decent career progression as an entrepreneur and want to do Executive MBA to help me successfully take one idea all the way through. I am launching ideas which do not seem to go anywhere, the reason being is that I do not know how to take an idea all the way through. I wish to learn that from MBA.
5) I am interested in applying to Columbia-Haas executive MBA program and Wharton executive MBA program.

What I am looking for is that how would you evaluate my profile and secondly, I took my GMAT in Decemeber 2008. Would you recommend I take GMAT again and shoot for 700+ score

Thanks for your analysis of my profile


rnemani-ji namaste,

rnemani wrote:
Nice post ( I tried going to your web site it seems to be down).

We had been having trouble with our hosting servers for quite a while. I read your comment and got our website moved on to a new server. We lost the annual hosting charges that we had paid the earlier company. Talk about taking feedback seriously :-)

Pls allow me 30 seconds to to vent my spleen and also attempt to package it in the form of advice. For anyone planning to host their new websites on a dependable, reliable server, my recommendation - stay away from Godaddy.com. For domain registrations, they are ok. For hosting, there are far better ones.
Aah! Frustration released. I feel light now. Let's get back to the main topic of this post.

rnemani wrote:
1) Over 17 years of IT industry experience
2) Over 7 years as an entrepreneur
3) GMAT score - 670

Successful entrepreneurs are cool! But failed entrepreneurs who don't give up, rock big time. So hats off to you for hanging in there.

rnemani wrote:
Would you recommend I take GMAT again and shoot for 700+ score

Haanji. If you think the current score doesn't reflect your potential, then I'd give it another try. Been a while since you spent time in a class, you could use your score to emphasise your kick-a$$ mental processing capabilities.

rnemani wrote:
5) I am interested in applying to Columbia-Haas executive MBA program and Wharton executive MBA program.

Ok. So here comes our story. Last season, we helped a candidate with his essays (point to be noted, as we'll come back to this) for the same two schools for the same Exec MBA programs. He didn't get into either one (honest transparent disclosure at the risk of adversely impacting our business). He got feedback from both and that's why I bring this up.

Berkeley gave him the feedback, basically pointing a finger at two things - one point highlighted in his recos and another parameter relating to his personal data. For confidentiality reasons, I can't get into the details. As we only had access to his essays, we had no clue what would go in the rest of the application till he gave us a post-facto update.

Wharton actually recommended that he re-apply and he'd have a very strong chance of getting an offer. The competition within his pool last year was intense.

These situations are always tricky as we're not sure if we should be happy that the essays were good or sad because the candidate didn't get into the program of his choice.

rnemani wrote:
I am launching ideas which do not seem to go anywhere

Interesting. I'd like to know more about this. If you don't want to share your stories here, we can continue the interaction offline. Maybe we can jointly do some analysis of the possible reasons (no charge for non-MBA related brainstorming, sir, just doing this out of personal interest). For all you know, it might be something that an expensive Exec MBA degree may or may not not help you fix.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2010, 09:48
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hirendhanak wrote:
Hi... Thans in advance for evaluating my profile

1) Male , Indian , 30 , Non IT background
:
:
I understand a few aspects of my questions are very relative , but would be obliged it you can just give your individual comments on the basis of your experience till date

Thanks very much

Hiren

Kem chho, Hiren bhai.

hirendhanak wrote:
5) Executive programme in Business Management ( a part time certificate programme of one year ) from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta ( IIM C) , honestly speaking didn't get any value addition from this programme.

That's a common trap many applicants fall into. Going purely by the brand without doing an indepth research on whether the degree or diploma or certificate is going to add any value to their professional life. We aren't just talking about Indian institutions. This also applies to international business schools that offer easier alternatives for those who can't get into their flagship programs. It's targetted at people who don't mind paying a small fortune to get the established brands on the CV. But recruiters in the corporate world are aware of the difference.

So for everyone else reading this post, please do talk to people who've taken up the course before you do. See what they have to say and then sign up only when you are convinced.

hirendhanak wrote:
6)I was awarded scholarship of 50% waiver in tuition fees by one of the top 10 business schools on the basis of my scores for their entrance exams ( quiet similar on the lines of GMAT ) in the year 2000, because i was among top 50 students of the country.

I'm curious now, sirji. Which program was this? Send me a PM if you don't want to reveal it here. If it was a heavyweight, then you'd be able to use this to your advantage in your essays.

hirendhanak wrote:
Now ,here comes the weakness too
1) No international work exposure because my job doesn't demand it all , in IT companies you get to work across globe because the industry demands it wherein my job profile doesn't demand it.. so how would adcom view it ?

I don't think that's a weakness. And you've cited the right reason for it.

hirendhanak wrote:
2) Nothing to speak as far as EC are concerned... can i develop somehting by the time i apply ? vague question but one of my ex tutors told me if you dont have one... develop one..

Developing one isn't a bad idea as it'll be a good way to add a new dimension to your daily or weekly routine. Select something that you are genuinely interested in. But don't do it just for the sake of your business school application. Don't think you can outwit the Adcoms. Woh log Alibaug se nahi aaye hain (as you are from Mumbai I assume you know what that phrase means).

Just a few months before submitting your MBA apps, it will look strange if you suddenly cultivated an immense interest in saving the world by joining an NGO or learning a new language or playing the Veena...we are talking about the stringed variety, not the Big Boss artist who goes 'Jee Salman-ji' with a seductive pout every Friday.

hirendhanak wrote:
1) which b-schools do you think are good as per my profile..US as well as non US..

As a very broad answer, I'd say non-US. But the GMAT range we are talking about right now starts at 640 and goes all the way beyond 700. So let's continue with this once you have a concrete score in hand. Then maybe the MCB report will be a good option to think about.

hirendhanak wrote:
2) I heard US b-schools dont give much importance to international work experience the way europian and other b-schools do, so my chances are better in US b-schools? how true is this.. because i am more interested in one year MBA rather then going for regular two years MBA

Don't make generalised assumptions about schools. The results will catch you unawares. Whether you are aiming for European or American schools, you will be competing with apni public from India (with dhansoo experience anyway). So see how you can build an application that is strong enough to tackle competition from apne deshvaasi as well as pardesi junta.

If you want to go for 1-year program, do so. Decide on the end objective first and then take a call.

Here's a dhinchak analogy to highlight the futility of the logic you are currently proposing. If you are interested in going from Mumbai to Delhi, you won't buy a ticket to Thiruvananthapuram just because the air-tickets on that sector are easier to obtain, right?

hirendhanak wrote:
3) Can you give name of bschools having great focus on marketing.

Most of the good schools that are strong in marketing would require a competitive GMAT score. So, can we please club this one along with query 1?

hirendhanak wrote:
4) I am sure that i appear for gmat right now i would score around 650 , so should i appear for gmat or should i make it sure that i reach to a level of 700 , what should be an ideal score for such profile with higher work experience.

Based on the level of preparation and the mock-test scores, you should get an idea of where your true score lies. After enough prep if you think you can crack the 700 barrier, I'd suggest waiting rather than rushing in an application with a considerably lower score.

hirendhanak wrote:
5) How would a business school view my plan to shift from industry to consulting after giving such a long time to industry.

Some industries and companies are particular about age. And business schools might be concerned if they view your transition strategy as being impractical. So use your essays to convince them that your plan is well-thought out and you are fully aware of what you are getting into.

I've known people who've shattered these general conceptions to move into very competitive industries when they were on the wrong side of 30. So it's all in the execution sirji. The non-IT background gives you a head-start, but what will you do after triggering the initial interest from Adcom is more important.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2010, 06:03
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Hi Sameer!!
Please evaluate my profile & give guidance on how I should put my profile across o get an admission in my desired B-Schools....
Eagerly awaiting for your positive response!!!
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 May 2011, 04:50
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muditc wrote:
Indian, Male, 36 years
:
I want to do a PhD in Management from a Top-20 B-school, with emphasis on Strategic Management - and post that I want to go towards academics/research (both usually go together in India). But I am not sure where my profile would place me, or rather which schools/PhD-courses I should aim for.

Can you please guide me some on this?

Regards,

Hey Mudit,

When it comes to PhD degrees, my knowledge isn't as diverse or indepth as it is for MBA programs. But let me share my thoughts based on my interactions with others who've been pursuing this.

At the PhD level, Strategic Management as an area of specialisation is a pretty competitive domain to get into. Despite the strong academic angle to the course, it still has a lot of market value beyond academic roles. Top-tier management consulting firms pick up Strat mgmt grads from the best schools.

If your long terms plans are to break into the top tier Indian academia, you could check out the IIMs or ISB for their doctoral programs. But even there, the competition for Strategy Mgmt is tough.

With international PhD programs, I know people who've taken a 2-step approach to PhD, by taking up a Masters degree (including MBA) in the university of their choice and then moving on to the PhD once they have a better understanding of the opportunities that the university has to offer.

If you can get into a top PhD program directly, nothing like it.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2011, 01:58
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Searching for a free download of Beyond The MBA Hype?

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The best things in life are free (if not freely downloadable)! Air, happiness, peace of mind. Even before Beyond The MBA Hype got released, guys have been searching on Google for a free pdf download of the book. Maybe a primary indication of the level of interest in the book... read more
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 02:04
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DG sir, I haven't forgotten your queries :-) Just been a little busy.

dutchgerman17 wrote:
I will be taking GMAT in November-2011. I will be applying to LBA in January-2012 (Round 2), IMD in February-2012 (Round 1) and INSEAD in April 2012 (Round 1). It will give me enough time to write my essays.

More than enough time in that case.

Quote:
What are my chances at LBS, IMD and INSEAD? Do you have any suggestions for improving my admission chances at LBS, IMD and INSEAD?

Can I answer this one in a slightly convoluted mannner, by sharing the thoughts of someone from another discussion forum? Check out the next post.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 05 Sep 2012, 04:06
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tosriramv wrote:
Hi Sameer

I am relatively new to this discussion and the decision to write GMAT and go to the US for an MBA. Actually, its a decision that both my husband and I are thinking over. Only one of us will be giving it a shot. Wanted to share both our profiles so that you could give us an idea.

We just got a sign-up from a (soon-to-be) husband-wife pair. And I was asking them if it would be a better idea to stagger the MBA plans, so the financing and risk aspects can be better managed. But for personal reasons, they've decided to apply together.

I think your approach is a less risky one in comparsion.

tosriramv wrote:
Giving you a very brief snapshot of my profile...

I like your profile and your husband's as well. Reminds me of someone we helped 2 years back. He had a finance background (with similar responsibilities and experience level), plus an MBA from India.

He got admits to multiple schools (in the Us and outside) and took up one which offered him a scholarship. He now works in an international (non-US) private equity fund.

tosriramv wrote:
GMAT : Yet to take.

When are you both taking the test? Or is that also open for now?

Do you want to reach out offline [info at mbacrystalball dot com], so we can get dig a little more. There's time for R2 apps, but I'd like to highlight some risks that you are taking with your current strategy.

It's peak time for Round 1 apps. But if needed we could get into a quick call. You and hubby dear can join in together if you have a speaker phone at home (that's what the other couple used to do).
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2012, 00:13
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Been away for a while from these forums as it's peak season right now.

amnesty17 wrote:
GMAT: 670 (Quantitative: 49, Verbal: 33)

As I already took GMAT four times, I have decided not to take GMAT again.

Yup, good decision. Your 6.5 yrs have plenty to talk about. So ok to pull the final nail in the test prep coffin and move on.

Quote:
Reason for doing an MBA: Career Progress
After MBA, I like to work as Senior Consultant for an IT company such as Oracle or IBM located in Europe/Asia.

How would this be different from what you are already doing?

Quote:
My partner got into INSEAD and will be beginning his MBA in January-2013.

Excellent. Wish him luck from the MBA Crystal Ball team. Ask him if he'd like to share his application story on our blog. A little limelight won't hurt.

Quote:
I request you to evaluate my profile and let me know the schools I have good chances at.

If your aim is to study in Europe, then you've covered all the good schools. Stop worrying about chances and just try to make your apps as strong as possible. Your partner should be able to review your apps and help out in making it super-strong.

Good luck.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2012, 22:38
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MBA entrepreneurs: Why many bschool grads may never launch a startup

Here’s an intriguing phenomenon. We have seen the same trend in applicants who work with us on the MBA Mock Application Process (MBA MAP). A significant number of MBA applicants explicitly list entrepreneurship as a post MBA goal in their admission essays.

They do a fantastic job in explaining the brilliant entrepreneurial idea they have in mind, the skills & resources need to execute that plan and how an MBA will provide them with the perfect platform to launch their startup in technology, healthcare, education or any of the other ‘sunrise’ sectors. So far, so good.

But something changes the minute they step into the bschool campus and the mindset change continues as they move into the job hunting phase...Read More
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2012, 22:52
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devarshi9283 wrote:
Have started preparing for GMAT...will be taking it in early 2013.
Just took GMAT prep practice test 1....score came out to be 710.
I will be targeting 750.

Just wanted to ask u Guys...considering my avg Acads and gaps during study...and a low GPA at Grad level, which international MBA prgms i can look forward to....also...shall a higher GMAT score compensate for an avrge Acadmc performance....whether there are any good MBA progms that overlook avg GPA if i fare well in my essays nd interviews....Any suggestion will be highly regarded..

Devarshi,

A high GMAT will help. You've got a First class which would be fine for most schools and may not be the primary cause of a ding (if at all that's the result). You'd still be competing with others who have stronger GPAs and GMATs and work experience.

So aim for that high GMAT, by all means. But do focus on the real world accomplishments that are better indicators of your managerial and leadership potential.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2014, 19:52
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JusTLucK04 wrote:

I can't think of any another goals/career that would suit my profile and hobbies while making my application standout..If you could suggest any other domain where it might fit in...
btw any marketing/consulting profile would suit me...this is just to cross the first hurdle(entry into a good b-school)



If you cant think of anything else, that could be a good thing because that means this is what you really want to do. While consulting in a generic sense (and not media consulting) accepts people (including international candidates) with open arms, same cannot be said about marketing. Market research experience can have a good dovetailing into consulting - so go for it.

Cheers,
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 17:17
Interesting. Hope this idea works out for your venture.
Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates   [#permalink] 14 May 2010, 17:17
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