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Ask Paul Lanzillotti

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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2010, 22:13
Expert's post
Thanks, I do feel better. Just drinking plenty of fluids.
Trust me, I will be able to fully explain my comments on the phone as well as any new questions that will invariably come up.
-PL

Square wrote:
Paul, that's exactly the kind of feedback I needed. I may take you up on your offer of a phone call, but I need to chew on what you've written first.

I hope you're feeling better, Square

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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2010, 23:09
Hi Paul,

I was wondering I could get your take on my profile. Any advice you could give me on how to improve myself as an applicant would be greatly appreciated. I want to go into Round 1 as a strong applicant, but I'm not sure how I compare with others...

Me:
Undergrad in English, minors in Linguistics/Education from UC Davis. GPA 3.8
MA in Teaching ESL, certificate in Teaching Reading to Adults. CSU. GPA 3.7
GMAT (March 2009): 720, 41V, 47Q, 6AWA (Will retake in July, can improve, didn't study first time)
Quantitative classes: 2009 - Accounting 1, Accounting 2, - "A"s; 2002 - Calculus 1a, 1b, 1c, Micro/Macroeconomics, Statistics - "A"s (All from community colleges in San Jose and Sacramento)
Work experience: 4 years teaching ESL (and a bit of ABE) to Sacramento area adults, part-time; 2 years (at matriculation) working as a contract analyst for the state of CA, full-time (language/law heavy)
Etc.: real estate license, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, bilingual, in the process of buying my first "investment" property for the family of one of my ESL students to live in.

I hope to focus on a combination of real estate and finance/marketing, and either start my own housing company or work with housing redevelopment agencies, non-profits, or other community-based organizations. I have solid, personal reasons for switching from education to business/housing and I think I can make my case in the essays. (Long story short: education/school is worthless without a stable place to live; something I've learned from teaching.)

Thus far, I know I have to work on writing strong essays and improve my quantitative score, but should I also try to broaden my extra-curriculars? If so, how? Also, would you recommend that I retake statistics or my older quant. classes to show that I am a serious applicant, considering my quantitative GMAT score?

Schools I'm interested in:
1. Haas, 2. Yale, 3. Tuck, 4. Ross, 5. Tepper, 6. Darden

Two additional questions:
1. How can I be in the running for tuition reduction/scholarships? I plan on going into non-profit, and a 100k debt isn't something I want to graduate with.
2. How do you feel about the "Consortium" method of applying to MBA programs? Is it viable? (I like the idea of quantity, but will I be sacrificing quality?)


Thanks!
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2010, 21:48
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Hi dobib0:
Thanks reaching for out to me. I really appreciate the nature for questions. I can tell that you have done your homework. This makes my analysis a lot more relevant and robust.

I would like to start as I often do with the MBA acceptance equation:

Your GMAT/GPA + Current and Past Work Experiences + Personal Passion and Philanthropic Pursuits + Why MBA? + Why this MBA program? + Why Now? = Consistent and Realistic Short and Long Term Goals.

The above is the paradigm in which I will evaluate the consistency of your candidacy. the good news is that your short and long-term goals make sense for the most part. There really is not that much of a leap of faith as you might think. I will give you an example, Berkeley's MBA program will allow you to concentrate within a specialization that has a heavy public-policy focus. So you may be able to use your contract work experiences with the state government to show that you already have experience and a commitment to furthering your longer-term goals if they lay within business, government and your commitment to providing the environment that is necessary for students to learn effectively. This is what I like in particular about your background, your goals and your fit with Berkeley.

If I had to make one specific recommendation around your short and long-term goals, I would suggest that you tweak them so they are less real estate and finance oriented. I say this because you want to make darn sure that the admissions committee members feel that you have a realistic chance of getting a job in this field upon graduation. For example, I would talk more about how you plan on joining a charter school organization upon graduation. I would detail you plan on learning how these types of organizations work and how they seek to improve the performance failing school districts. I would then expand on this rolling into a longer-term goal that does include founding your own nonprofit organization. Again, as an example, I would then go into detail about how you plan on evolving the current models of the starter school organizations to involve a boarding element. So you would be taking students out of a negative home environment, perhaps, and placing them in an environment that is more conducive to learning. This would include, of course, safe and clean house. It would almost be like a pre-college dormitory experience but at the high school level and targeted toward students who come from homes that may not be the best environment for academic success.

At this point, in order to build towards your goals, you will definitely need to bolster your extracurricular activities. However, it may not be as drastic a move as you may believe. The purpose of extracurricular leadership activities is to of course gain additional leadership experience, but it is also to demonstrate to the admissions committee that you have a personal vested interest and passion in your longer-term goals. With respect to you, I believe it is as simple as upping your engagement with habitat for humanity. So while you did not detail in full your involvement I would encourage you, if you've not done so already, to step up and assume a leadership position in your local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. This would really make your case, for a personal level of commitment to a cause, airtight.

Getting back to your current work experiences, I believe they are sufficient and relevant. There is really nothing more to do here or for that matter more that you really can do except make sure you are in a leadership type role. The most recent experiences with the state really adds a dimension and if spun correctly, will bolster your positioning as someone who has seen differing but related elements and you need to roll this up into a strategic view - the MBA. Be careful about stressing the law aspect as a primary reason (not that you were planning on doing this), you don't want the admissions committee to think that you would be better off in a law school or school or public policy.

I am confused about your concern regarding the lower quant aspect of your GMAT score. It is lower but it is acceptable. If you feel you have left money on the table, then take the GMAT again, you have time before you need to start writing the essays for R1. Another point - I would not try and retake stats or any older classes. There are marginal returns to scale with this. Don't boil the ocean, pick and chose where you can maximize your efforts.

Bottom line: you are a very competitive applicant, even moreso, when you get the GMAT up.

There are several scholarships (AKA fellowships) available to you. The nuance is that they are very school specific. GSB has a plethora of non-profit scholarships. They have a serious push for scholarships and loan forgivement if you follow the .org path. Something you should look into is the Toigo fellowship. This can be applied to a number of schools.

The Consortium is a double edged sword of sorts. You get to kill many birds with one stone. However, you fill out an abbreviated application that may not be the best conduit for detailing your switch or career goals. This is something that you really need to weigh. Place both apps side by side for each program and see what are the gaps in telling your story. Then decide what to do.

With respect to your school selection, I would consider applying to GSB over Darden if you are keeping it at 5 schools. I do think you are that competitive.

If you would like to get on the phone for a pro grata consultation, I am more than willing to speak with you this week. Please let me know if this is something that you would be interested in.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 15:41
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Last edited by mikesss on 06 Oct 2010, 19:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2010, 20:39
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Hi Mikesss:
thanks for providing the necessary detail in your profile post. This really helps me in crafting my analysis. However, I may have a few more questions around your personal passions, and in particular,your passion for firefighting.

To answer your first question very directly, your age is not a negative differentiator at HBS. Schools are trending younger, and in particular, HBS has done their part to signal this trend. However 28 is not out of the range with respect to age. Not only that, it is really not something that you were going to have to explain or justify on your application. I think in your case with taking one or two years out of your professional track to engage a graduate program, it makes perfect sense that you would be 28 and not 26 or 27. Remember, what are we dealing here with age? Basically basically a candidate's age is a reality check for the question "why now?" If you are 32 years old it really makes it hard for you to dictate why now is the right year for you to go to b-school. the opposite is also true. If you are22 or 23 years old you have to make the case that your lack of work experience is justified by a very robust "why now?" I would rather be in your position at each 20 then in the shoes of a 22-year-old. The bottom line is this is not something you have to worry about.

I like your short-term goal. I especially like your short-term goal if a large number and the MBA leadership programs members are from any one of the schools that you listed as making your short list of schools. If so this is something that you are probably going to want to mention. However, at face value I would tweak your longer-term goal. I'll say that your longer-term goal needs to be more closely aligned with your personal passions. While it is very logical and consistent that you would continue down the senior leadership path at an energy company, this is not the point of asking specifically about your longer-term goal. They can assume, by not asking the question, that you will continue down the path and into a senior leadership role. so what is my point? My point is that you need to think more critically about what is wanted you approximately 5 years after graduation from the MBA program in question. Again, meaningful longer-term goals are usually philanthropic nature and this means that they align with your personal passion. So if you say this firefighting at face value this does not immediately click with what a realistic and actionable longer-term goal would be. So I would encourage you to dig a little deeper. In facilitating this process I would ask yourself what is it specifically that you are doing as a firefighter that really fires you up. No pun intended. Is it being able to help save lives? is it being able to help promote some type of awareness or educational program? there must be something beneath the surface, other than putting out a fire, that resonates with you on a very meaningful level.when I say very meaningful level, I mean that it hits on something that was instilled in you from an early age. So for example, maybe your father or mother was involved in some type of public service, community organization or philanthropic activity that demonstrated a commitment to something greater than themselves. If you participated in something like this as a young child or teenager, then you have the case for having these values, norms and beliefs instilled in you from an early age.the trick here is going to be to draw a stronger connection between your prior activities with your current activities is a firefighter. Remember, you want to show continuity. You do not want anything that seems out of place or worse, fabricated.

So, at this point, I have a lot of questions around or extracurricular activities. I need to know about the nature of your rehabilitation nonprofit experience, the types of leadership accomplishments in graduate school and also, how and why you became involved with firefighting. A specific question I also have is if you have ever dealt with any type of natural disaster or calamity. These types of stories are excellent examples for demonstrate your commitment under extreme duress.

Shifting gears I wanted to talk about your academic performance. A 3.5 in engineering and a 3.6 in computer science is not the same as a 3.5 in underwater basket weaving. These programs are tough and GPAs will fall in line accordingly. So I would not worry about these grades. my only open questions would be around any type of business related classes you may or may not have had. Remember, there only so many hours in a day at this point. So, I would recommend that you spend your time in crafting a good message as dictated by good essays. You want to place your bets on the horse that you can ride the longest. That means that an hour spent on crafting good essays moves the needle much more than an hour spent on doing statistics homework because you are worried about a low GPA.

On a somewhat related note your GMAT score is excellent. There is no more work to be done there. Remember, as an Indian applicant you are going to need to show differentiation. I interned at a large German chemical company and I am familiar with chemical processing equipment and the environment that some of these facilities find themselves in. I think you could have the basis for forming a very "in the weeds" and "roll up the sleeves" type leadership story and possibly a very hostile, foreign or downright nasty working environment. Let's face it, if BP is taught us anything, it is that oil production is a dangerous and dirty business. There could be some good stories around this if framed correctly.

So with respect to your school choice, you listed some of the usual suspects. It is not necessarily about how good you are on paper. What I mean is that it is about demonstrating that along with having the right work experience, grades, GMAT, etc. On paper there is nothing that is automatically excluding you from these top schools. If you follow my suggestions for articulating more relevant longer-term goals you should be closer to getting into these top schools. Remember, that you have to make each school feel like they are the only school that will get you towards your goals and they are the only school that you have ever wanted to go to. In order to show them this you would need to demonstrate fit by demonstrating "parallelism." Parallelism is the ability to line up your prior experiences, methods of operating leadership styles with what the program can offer. what I see every year is something called the laundry list approach. applicants simply list the clubs, and learning experiences that get them closer to their short-term and long-term goals however, these very same applicants never detail what they plan on contributing to get towards those goals. Don't be a net taker, be a net giver.

So right now I do believe that you are a competitive applicant at the schools that you listed. Of course, as discussed above, this depends on your ability to articulate better goals and demonstrate hand in glove fit. This is something that I can help you with. If you would be interested in speaking with me for approximately one hour this week, I am open to the idea. Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in by private message me.

Respectfully,

Paul Lanzillotti
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2010, 05:43
Thanks Paul for your quick response! I will get with you if I need more assistance.
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2010, 20:02
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I believe Paul is back!
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2010, 17:17
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Yes I am back and my health issues have been taken care of. I am alive!
Thanks,
Paul
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2010, 21:24
Hi Paul,

Great to hear that you are back. Just sent you a PM.
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2010, 21:53
Hello Paul,

I appreciate your advise regarding my chances of getting accepted in TOP MBA programs.
You can find my profile on:
http://gmatclub.com/forum/family-evaluation-request-98140.html

Thanks in advance.


regards,
Jack
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2010, 14:22
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Thank you for the props on my health. I feel like a new man. Not that I was not a man before but I digress ..... :)
I will respond to you PM.

Finance11 wrote:
Hi Paul,

Great to hear that you are back. Just sent you a PM.

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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2010, 07:32
Hi Paul,
Can you evaluate my profile please

GMAT : 770 (Q 51, V 42) -
GPA : First Class (62.5%) in Eng from a reputed university in India. Top 10 % of class
Work Experience :
Currently - Total 4 yrs - IT
1] 3 Yrs at a BPM and imaging company
A mid sized Indian IT company with offices in US and Europe.
A lot of client exposure and interaction with business users.Was promoted after 2 years (instead of the normal 3 years for peers)*
Most of the work was as a consultant for clients, with understanding the business requirements and turning them into technical specifications.
Helped design various BPM solutions for Clients which resulted in 30-50% cost-savings on the process
Worked mostly in financial domain, mostly with Citigroup Private Banking (New York)
Managed work of a small team of 3 developers

2] Currently - Since last 1 year at one of the world's largest IT Security company (Antivirus and data backup)
Exposure to the Information security domain
Actively involved in the design and decision making process


Leadership Experience
During my graduation I was involved with 2 businesses which provided me with significant exposure to the management side of things
1] Managed Family Business of Travel Agency and Car Rentals
Developed business plan, budgets, marketing feasibility study, and demand forecast for
various decision making processes like increase in manpower, increase in car-base,
expanding operations.
Expanded company's primary asset base (read cars) from 2 to 7 resulting in a 200% increase in profit and 300% increase in revenue.
Directed company’s entry into newer travel sector services like Air & Rail ticketing, Holiday packaging
by leveraging the company's existing manpower and office resources thereby increasing operational efficiency of resources by 60%.


2] Started Security Services business
Providing security staffing to various corporations

Other ECs
1] Since last 1 year actively involved in the Society Committee of our Housing society of 400 people. As part of it responsible for co-ordinating with residents of the society and other entities involved like government bodies, security vendors, society builder.
As recognition of the hard-work, recently elected the Vice-President of the newly formed committee.
2] Since last 2 years Actively involved in an NGO that helps people get access to various government documents, that makes them eligible for gov subsidies
3] Winner of a programming contest in college and was involved in various music and sports teams in college
4] In the first organization was actively involved in the company group intended to help out in education of the security and clerical staff.

My post MBA interest is mainly towards Management Consulting
Questions:
1] What according to you are the strongest points in my profile that i should focus on in my apps?
2] Do I have any realistic chance at H/S/W, considering the ultra-competitive demographic pool I belong to?
3] And how about the following schools
MIT,Booth,Kellog,NYU,Tuck,Ross,Duke,Fuqua
4] And could you suggest a couple of safety schools, considering my profile

Thanks :)
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2010, 23:24
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futureconsultant:
wow, thanks for all the great detail. I hope to do it justice.

Let me start by first entering your primary question very directly. You do have a realistic chance at Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. Yes you do belong to a very competitive applicant pool but you do have the start of meaningful differentiation. I know exactly what you do right now with respect to your professional role. I used to do something very similar, except that I was more on the business side. When you read about this recent work experience, you need to write about the leadership that you gained from it. Talk about the collaborative nature of the decision in design process. Talk about how you were able to collaborate with other coworkers who represented different backgrounds to execute on project work. While your current professional experience may not be the biggest differentiator in your profile, it definitely is better than most from your demographic.

Where I think you need to differentiate yourself is in describing your extra curricular leadership activities and with your future goals. I do have several questions around these activities. Have all of these activities that you list in your "Leadership Experience" section ended? Or are they still in progress? If so, are you still involved? For example, what happened to the security services business? I'm assuming it is in India. Who were your clients? Did you sell the business? What was the out?

With respect to showing differentiation through your short and long-term career goals -- why is it that you want to get into management consulting? This is a very traditional, tried and true goal. What I see in your background is a very significant entrepreneurial passion and strength. This would form the basis for meaningful differentiation in terms of goals. I would focus on this show differentiation and show a personal connection to your goals. All I know is that you want to move into the management consulting industry. At face value, given the limited information about what it is that you want to do within management consulting, it seems a little drab. Also, with respect to a longer-term career goal, you do not want to say that you are going to remain in management consulting and move up the food chain. They can guess this already. So encourage you to really explore your entrepreneurial strengths as part of your long-term goal. not ignore it, you will not be doing yourself a favor.

With respect to all of your leadership experiences I do have one suggestion. Make sure that you can put a wrapper around all of these disparate experiences. This may require some work and is necessary so that you look focused to the admissions committee.

Once you define what it is that you really want to do and expand upon it, then I can really tell you about the other schools you list. Goal still remains management consulting, all of those schools are certainly competitive that. But even within management consulting, what specific industry or domain do you want to focus on? Look to see if those industries are located by the program in question. Or if the program has a very strong alumni base in that industry. Make sure you check the career center placement stats. It will probably be a PDF document that you can download from each school's career center. Downloaded look at it -- see where the graduates are going, to what industries and what geographic locations.

If you want to come with safety schools I suggest UT Austin, Carnegie Mellon and UCLA Anderson.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Respectfully,

Paul Lanzillotti
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 08:06
Hi Paul,
thanks a ton for the detailed reply...


PaulLanzillotti wrote:
futureconsultant:
wow, thanks for all the great detail. I hope to do it justice.

Let me start by first entering your primary question very directly. You do have a realistic chance at Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. Yes you do belong to a very competitive applicant pool but you do have the start of meaningful differentiation. I know exactly what you do right now with respect to your professional role. I used to do something very similar, except that I was more on the business side. When you read about this recent work experience, you need to write about the leadership that you gained from it. Talk about the collaborative nature of the decision in design process. Talk about how you were able to collaborate with other coworkers who represented different backgrounds to execute on project work. While your current professional experience may not be the biggest differentiator in your profile, it definitely is better than most from your demographic.

Where I think you need to differentiate yourself is in describing your extra curricular leadership activities and with your future goals. I do have several questions around these activities. Have all of these activities that you list in your "Leadership Experience" section ended? Or are they still in progress? If so, are you still involved? For example, what happened to the security services business? I'm assuming it is in India. Who were your clients? Did you sell the business? What was the out?

Yes the business is still going on, but it has reduced in the number of clients I service. I still have a few clients from who are Small to Mid sized manufacturing firms.

With respect to showing differentiation through your short and long-term career goals -- why is it that you want to get into management consulting? This is a very traditional, tried and true goal. What I see in your background is a very significant entrepreneurial passion and strength. This would form the basis for meaningful differentiation in terms of goals. I would focus on this show differentiation and show a personal connection to your goals. All I know is that you want to move into the management consulting industry. At face value, given the limited information about what it is that you want to do within management consulting, it seems a little drab. Also, with respect to a longer-term career goal, you do not want to say that you are going to remain in management consulting and move up the food chain. They can guess this already. So encourage you to really explore your entrepreneurial strengths as part of your long-term goal. not ignore it, you will not be doing yourself a favor.

I definitely have a long-term entrepreneurial goal to start an IT- product firm of my own, but I want to work in Strategy consulting firm so that it provides me exposure to other verticals (which would be future client industries for my firm) and also I get a feel of the best Strategy and decision making practices that could later prove really helpful in my own venture.

I see 4 pieces to the fulfilling the jigsaw of my entrepreneurial venture
1] Business and Operations handling knowledge/exp - Gained through the Businesses I've started and managed so far
2] Knowledge in developing core IT product solutions - Earned through my career path
2] Core Business Fundamentals - Ill learn at the B-school
3] Strategy and Decision making expertise - Wish to gain this experience at a Management consulting firm



With respect to all of your leadership experiences I do have one suggestion. Make sure that you can put a wrapper around all of these disparate experiences. This may require some work and is necessary so that you look focused to the admissions committee.

Once you define what it is that you really want to do and expand upon it, then I can really tell you about the other schools you list. Goal still remains management consulting, all of those schools are certainly competitive that. But even within management consulting, what specific industry or domain do you want to focus on? Look to see if those industries are located by the program in question. Or if the program has a very strong alumni base in that industry. Make sure you check the career center placement stats. It will probably be a PDF document that you can download from each school's career center. Downloaded look at it -- see where the graduates are going, to what industries and what geographic locations.

Since I wish to have an IT startup, I'd like to pursue technology consulting, but I don't want to be restricted to just that as I want exposure to other verticals as well especially Finance (although a lot of my IT work has been in Financial vertical), Pharma , Energy as these will be the sectors that I'd like to develop products for in the future.

If you want to come with safety schools I suggest UT Austin, Carnegie Mellon and UCLA Anderson.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

With this extra information can you please evaluate my chances at the top schools like

H/S/W

Sloan
Tuck
CBS
Kellog
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Respectfully,

Paul Lanzillotti
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 10:39
Dear Paul

I will much appreciate if you could give an feedback on my highlighted background. I just started to think about MBA, but few conceptual questions are still unanswered. Before starting GMAT preparation, I would like at least to hear a professional opinion regarding to following questions:

- Do I need MBA, taking into account my current professional position?
- Is it too late for me to go with 2 year programs?
- Are my profile fit top MBA requirements (except GMAT for the time being)?


Background
Common:
- Russian (originally Armenian)
- 26 years old (Male)
Professional:
- 2008 till now M&A Senior Manager in transnational industrial company (> 90 000 employees) :
o Lead/manage international M&A deals >100m usd.
o 3 persons above me in org structure: head of global M&A (25 years M&A experience); head of corporate development (former McKenzie partner); CEO (owner of the business in the same time)


- 2005- 2008 PricewaterhousCoopers
o audit and advisory specialist
- 2003-2004 – Russian Academy of Science
o Doing science researches for the local government

Education:
- Mathematical methods in Economy (2001 -2005) – GPA 3,4 (its low as you should take into consideration other factors of Russian reality, e.g. some of us were forced to work after classes till the midnight to get money. Anyway, this score I am able to justify with other achivments in the same period )
- ACCA – accountants association (London) 2006-2008
Other activities:
- former active member of Rotary club
- winner of different scientific conferences for the high school scientists (even in Astronomy)


So if you can see, I reached a good position in my current company. Why good? Because, people with whom I am working, are more experienced (including MPs and VP’s of the investment banks; partners of the consulting firms; CEO’s and CFO’s of the divisions and target companies) and because of I am managing people, keeping a wide responsibilities, travelling a lot, etc . Therefore, being among these guys is very challenging and exciting. In other side, if you take a look where I am placed in the organizational structure – you will see that there is no more vertical growth. That’s why I am thinking that MBA can “refresh” me and give a new direction.

In the meanwhile, people around me are saying that MBA is not the case for me as I will lose 2 years of working practice; and in order to not lose "value adding" process only TOP 10 schools should be considered by me.
If we keep away GMAT score, what do you think about my background from Top 10 schools prospective?

Taking into mind, that my only weakness and bottleneck in all life aspects was and is….English language, I am assuming that GMAT preparation will consume a lot of my time, more than average applicant is needed.
In spite of the fact that I am doing international deals and spending a lot of time in the US, Europe discussing all M&A matters with top tier banks, my English is still a very poor grammatically and it mainly applicable in the financial world.

If TOP 10 MBA is reachable for me, if the GMAT score is the crucial for my application to the top tier school and if TOP MBA is an excellent opportunity for me to find out another ways of growth, then I can make an outstanding effort to beat the verbal part of the GMAT. It shouldn’t be more difficult than exact sciences, isn’t?

I will much appreciate your feedback.

Last edited by artakmik on 15 Aug 2010, 21:03, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 10:54
Paul,
I have one another question. Are you working as personal consultant for the MBA candidates? If I decide to start MBA preparation, I will prefer to work with professional coacher as well.
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2010, 13:50
Expert's post
artakmik wrote:
Paul,
I have one another question. Are you working as personal consultant for the MBA candidates? If I decide to start MBA preparation, I will prefer to work with professional coacher as well.


Yes, I am a professional admissions consultant. For clarity, this is my full-time profession. All my clients work directly with me, on a one-on-one basis and we meet on a regular schedule (usually weekly) to discuss drafts as I guided the process for each client.

Please private message me and we can set up a complementary one-hour consultation.
I look forward to hearing from you and possibly working with you in the coming months.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2010, 00:12
Expert's post
artakmik wrote:
Dear Paul

I will much appreciate if you could give an feedback on my highlighted background. I just started to think about MBA, but few conceptual questions are still unanswered. Before starting GMAT preparation, I would like at least to hear a professional opinion regarding to following questions:

- Do I need MBA, taking into account my current professional position?
- Is it too late for me to go with 2 year programs?
- Are my profile fit top MBA requirements (except GMAT for the time being)?

.........

I will much appreciate your feedback.


Artakmik:

thanks for the detail in your post, it makes my job a lot easier. Boring into your specific questions and need you to understand what I believe to be the purpose of an MBA. The MBA is the bridge taking you from where you are today to where you want to be in the future. The future consists of short and long-term goals. In reading through all of your great information, I did not get a really good idea of what you want to do with your MBA in the future. I am going to assume that relies heavily on what you do currently as a financial services professional. this is why it is hard for me to determine if an MBA is worth your while. You are basically asking me to produce an expected outcome calculation. However, I am not sure what the probability of your future goal is, as I do not know what your future goals are.

So what are your future goals? What do you want to do immediately upon graduation? What do you see yourself doing 5 to 10 years after graduation? How does this relate to your personal passions? How does this relate to the activities that you've been engaging in currently, that attest to your personal passions? These are only some of the questions admissions committees will be asking about your background. however, these are the questions you need to be asking yourself. When you have good answers to these questions, you will be able to know if an MBA will get you towards which you want to do and if there is indeed an ROI that is compelling.

I get the feeling that you are somewhat of a risk adverse person, or perhaps, someone who is very meticulous in making decisions. I do understand your dilemma and taking two years out. So, let's say an MBA is in your future. Who says it has to be a two-year program. Lots of schools, especially in Europe, offer one year programs. Even more schools offer accelerated programs -- programs that allow you to start in January and skip your summer internship. This is more common in the United States; US-based schools tend to not offer one year programs.

So assuming you get a GMAT score that is within 20 points of the schools average, you have a compelling case for a top 10 business school. There are a few reasons -- your work experience seems to be excellent and is a known quantity. When I say "known quantity", I mean that they know they are getting a candidate who can do the work and will get a job that utilizes an MBA. Another reason would be your intellect; you clearly have done well at the University level. I would not be afraid of detailing the circumstances under which you earn your GPA. A lot of schools in the former Soviet republics are known for their rigorous standards. I know that some of the technical disciplines, within these schools, our extremely competitive. At one point, for example, the former Soviet Union had more engineers and scientists than any other country in the world. That tells me that your undergraduate career may have been extremely rigorous. What I also like about your background is a fact that you are ethnically Armenian. I believe this is the case. Armenia, is one of the poorest countries in the world, and the fact that you were able to achieve all these things, makes them even more remarkable. While I am not an expert in the everyday life of an Armenian, I know a little bit about the culture and country. As an aside, I live in an Armenian neighborhood in Los Angeles. Getting back to the point, you would want to stress these differentiating aspects.

With respect to your remaining question on the GMAT, the verbal section is not going to be a problem, for someone of your intellect. Wow you have to understand English and grammar, the concepts that are tested on the GMAT verbal section, are limited in nature. So once you know what they will test with respect to verbal skills, you learn the skills, you master those skills and you beat the GMAT. I probably should've framed that last statement better, given that this is GMAT club.

at this point, it is not too late to apply this year. However you need to get started this week; pending on how many schools you plan to apply to. Since you've not taken the GMAT, you should apply round two. You do not want to get into a situation where you are studying for the GMAT and trying to write your essays. So Round1 is not a realistic possibility. .You are going to burn the candle at both ends and sacrifice maximizing your effort on one initiative at a time.

I hope my insight helps. I believe that you can, will and should get into a top MBA program. If you would like to speak on the phone for an hour, in the coming week, please private message me and let me know. I look forward to the possibility of speaking with you.

Respectfully,

Paul Lanzillotti
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Re: Ask Paul Lanzillotti [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2010, 17:28
Hi Paul,

I would love to hear your take on my problem. I am a 29 year old Indian (male) Software Engineer (non-IT) in the US since 2003. My biggest concern is not what school (which I guess I will have to deal with later), but what kind of MBA.

I have for a couple of years contemplated the MBA and last week finally went and did the GMAT (got a 710-47Q-40V).

I am in the medical devices/life sciences industry and have 5 years of work experience in the field. I started as a Signal Processing Engr after my MS (from the Univ of Hartford in 2005) at a start up and then moved to a more established device manufacturer in 2008. While there, I was promoted to a Sr. S/W Engr from a S/W Engr after a year and have taken up more responsibility in the product development process. Currently my job profile includes S/W development for medical devices (embedded and non-embedded) and the product development process (project mgmt activities, product life cycle activities within the medical device regulatory framework etc...). I love the industry and as of now want to stick in it (Business school might change that!)

I eventually want to get into product development for emerging technologies and bringing them to market etc... So it would be fair to say that my interests are in entrepreneurship, initially with established companies (as a learning process) and then onto smaller ventures or my own venture.

Some more of my background:
Undergrad – Visveswaraya Technological University- B.E. Electronics and Communication – CGPA 7.5/10
Grad – University of Hartford – M.S. Electrical Engineering - GPA 3.8/4
Extra Curricular: Hardly any! :(

Based on all this, I am not sure if I should do a full time or a part time MBA. Whichever it is, I want to do it from a really good school, else I feel it’s not worth the investment. I am leaning towards a part time, only because I could use the income while I go to school :), as I don’t think scholarships come by easy! Like I said I am all confused!

I am in the Boston area, so a part time would be around that area(Babson, BC, WPI, UMass Amherst are my current choices for a part time, any recommendations???)….

Thanks for taking the time to review this post.
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2nd MBA [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 23:08
Hi Paul,

I have a specific question to ask you: I already have a MBA degree which I got 10 years ago. This MBA was helpful in understanding business fundamentals and acquiring managerial skills. I have had a 10-year successful and enriching work experience because of this MBA.

But at this time, my needs for growth are different. I work in a global organization where growing up to my area of preference (Product Strategy) needs additional qualifications from well-reputed institutions. Moreover, I want to start my own venture in rural & heritage tourism for which I will need a different kid of skill set and contacts. These reasons prompted me to look at a 2nd MBA. Recently, I got to know that Berkeley Haas does not encourage 2nd MBA applicants for its full time courses (I also hear that they can make exceptions, if the candidature is compelling). Now, I'm suspecting that this might be the case with most of the other top schools as well.

The other option seems to be a EMBA. However, that requires a job in the country where the school is located (I currently work in India). And my wife is in almost the same situation, except that she has about 5 years of experience. So, she might not qualify for a EMBA too.

In totality, it looks like having done a MBA before seems to be a mistake that is irreparable. What would be your suggestion to such applicants (pls. consider my wife's case as well, thank you)?

I have given my profile below, if you need to know a bit more about me:

GMAT Score: 720/ 6 (Q: 49; V:40)

Nationality: Indian; Gender: Male; Age: 33

Education:
UnderGrad: Electronics & Communications Engineering
PostGrad: MBA Systems and Marketing
[Both from Indian universities]

Have ranked among top 3 in my class in both my UG and PG.

Work Experience:
10 years in software product management, consulting and implementation.

Current (Since 2005): Global Product Manager for a Talent Management product in an Enterprise Business Software market leader; Global Product Manager also for a Sustainability-related product.
Earlier (2000 - 2005): Product Manager for HR software product in an India-based Enterprise Business Software company.

Global Experience:
Managed development teams in India and Germany, sales and consulting teams across the globe.
Nurtured and worked with partners across the globe.
Led the implementation of HR systems in several customer sites in the South East Asia, the Middle East and in India.
Currently have the responsibility of developing product strategies for the Indian market.

Extra-Curricular:
- Have published a book in my area of expertise
- Have started a mobile app company.
- Have successfully coached a team of 5 kids from 6th-7th grade from a very poor economic background for the - First Lego League competition; the team ranked all India no. 4 and were selected to participate in the Taiwan International competition.
- Regular guest speaker at IBS business school in Bangalore in my area of expertise
- Consistent and consecutive prize winner for the best written stories in my company's internal magazine


I would like to pursue a MBA course from one of these schools: Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg, Wharton, Sloan, Booth, Ross, Columbia, Yale.
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