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MBA Admissions Consulting
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Affiliations: Harvard Club Lecturer
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Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 14 May 2013, 10:23
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GMAT Club Members,

After many years of helping clients navigate the MBA admissions process, I am motivated by the superior results achieved through tireless work, proactive strategy, and creative collaboration. My clients refer their classmates, siblings and peers based, of course, on their school acceptances—but also because of the personal feel they always mention in their testimonials.

My goal has never been to build a large referral type firm. Scale is not always a business virtue.

Due to my success in helping clients get accepted into the top programs, a significant portion of my practice focuses on the very toughest schools to get into. But I don’t just help high probability applicants to the top schools and turn down “mean” or borderline candidates. I like hard workers, underdogs, and aspirants.

Having worked overseas as a marketing executive for close to 4 years, I also love working with clients from all over the globe, and a significant portion of my client base is from outside of the U.S.

I do get a handful of clients each year that started working with a large admissions consulting firm, left disappointed after Round One, and can’t believe the difference working with a consultancy where your phone calls get answered promptly, drafts come back within 24-48 hours, and your consultant is as vested as you are in your MBA candidacy.

Please contact me for a complimentary discussion about your MBA objectives and my services.
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Alex Leventhal HBS '98
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office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com




Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials
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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 21 May 2013, 08:41
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Dear GMAT Club Members, please join me in welcoming PrepMBA to GMAT Club!

Alex, it is a pleasure and honor to to see you on the forums.
I hope everyone can take advantage of Alex's experience, knowledge, and rigor. I'd like to point out PrepMBA's track record with 90% of applicants getting into their top 3 schools (not just any school) and welcome you to ask him truly challenging questions. I think you will find his answers refreshing and very honest (that's how appeared on the phone call we had). Alex is a Harvard MBA, industry veteran, and actually listens to his clients - it was them who suggested that he join the GMAT Club forums.

If there is anything I can answer or clarify, please do not hesitate to PM me. Meanwhile, please extend a warm welcome to Alex and his brand new thread here on GMAT Club!

Best Regards,
BB.
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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2013, 23:27
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What if someone at the age of 25years with no relevant work ex wants to make it into the ivy league. He is an Artist and has done theater shows(Stage/Street acting) from past 4 years. MBA with this profile looks impossible and stupid. So he started preparing for GMAT and got 720+ in mocks, he wants to take GMAT but still thinking to pay around 15k INR for the exam is it worth to take a shot?

He also dosent have good grades in graduation(44% out of 100) and has done it through distance learning, moreover he belongs to a below middle class family where people need good and extra ordinary reasons to study . Reason for MBA- Has learned to work hard in those 4 years and wants to get a good job and settle down.Now what should he do? Has anyone converted any top US bschool with this kind of background??

10th= 50%
12th= 66%
Graduation= 44% Bachelor in commerce Pass( Two reasons for doing grad. through distance learning one poor score so unable to make a cut in good government colleges, had no money to study in Private universities).

From school days he acted on number of street shows,so even after graduation he persuaded the same profession.But day by day its becoming difficult to survive as the per month income is too low.

Any suggestion/guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Re: Profile Eval EWMBA - Male/Indian/32/GMAT 660/GPA 3.8/Exp 7yr [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2013, 18:02
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Saint,

Thanks for your patience. To be quite frank, this time of year I am so dedicated to servicing my R2 clients that I can't step away to the forums as much as I would like.

I work with the Haas Part Time Program every year and they are quite friendly to Indian engineers. Your gmat is going to be low for that segment so retake if you have the time and perhaps alter your strategy--consider a private tutor or class if you have been going at it alone. And be careful with your career goals. Given your background I would not be talking too much about i banking and vc firms. Stick to a corporate finance story within a sector you have previously worked in. Product management/technical product management may be an easier sell:)
_________________


Alex Leventhal HBS '98
Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.prepmba.com/


office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com






Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials


Last edited by PrepMBA on 17 Feb 2014, 10:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2014, 20:20
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JSW2014 wrote:
Background
• Rich experience in Design, Innovation and Competitive Product Development.
• Due to keen interest in Design in general and Transportation Design in particular, pursued Engineering education to earn Masters in Design (Product Design &Engg.) from I.I.Sc. Bangalore (Indian Institute of Science) and also pursued professional career in Vehicle Design with two Top Automotive Companies in the World and India respectively.
• Experience evolved working through corporate design gates/processes & interaction with various stakeholders and vendors; close participation through cross functional teams in business processes like product definition, product planning, market positioning & innovation activities.
• In-depth understanding of design tools & methodologies; System/Process Design & IPR landscaping.
• Undertook initiatives in multidisciplinary/multicultural environments & in navigating uncertainty/handling ambiguity, championing customer focus & multidimensional problem solving with full confidence.
• Worked as a design lead and design jury member on various professional assignments.
• Wish to integrate formal knowledge in design with a penchant for enterprise creation to start an organization devoted to creating next generation mobility solutions. An MBA education in this regard would go a long way in helping me realize this objective.

Academics
• BE (Mechanical Engineering) 2003: 70%
• Masters in Design (IISc, Bangalore) 2008: 6.9/8.0 (10 students accepted into the prestigious design program every year from a pool of 10,000+ applicants)
• GMAT: 730

Professional Experience
• Years: 6 years (as on August 2014) in the Design Studio and R&D Centre and prior 2 years (2004-2006) at General Motors.
• Designation: Manager (ADVANCED DESIGN)
• Profile: Responsible for Exterior Design of Next-Generation Passenger Vehicles. Several projects are in production and have been displayed in International Auto Shows.

Achievements
• Responsible for exterior design of next gen vehicles (3); responsible for design of concept vehicles (2) showcasing the future vision of the company.
• Lead the future vision activities of the department through the design function.
• Exposed to vision/pre-concept research/positioning/branding/conceptual development/production design/systems development/integration and marketing aspects of full scale product (vehicle) development.
• I have completed one full ‘level 6’ (new platform) production vehicle program with exterior and interior design.
• Lead team in simulated enterprise creation & management workshops with spectacular results.
• I also mentor junior members of the team.

Extra-Curricular
• One of the top 50 innovators selected in India Innovation Growth Program in 2014 (Partners: Department of Science and Technology Govt of India; Lockheed Martin Corporation USA; Stanford Business School; University of Austin Texas)
• I am also an active member of the design team working on CSR activities of my organization in rural school development and modernization.
• Design Jury for one of the most prestigious design competitions in India for the year 2013.

Certification:
Several relevant to Product Development and Business Development through Design, several in core competencies and allied fields.
For example:
Interpretation by Design (BMW Germany); Customer Centric Workshop by RoadsAhead Consulting India; Trend & Design by Style-Vision Asia (France); Design Thinking Action Lab (Stanfordx); Innovation & Commercialization (MITx); several core design domain courses from MITx including the X-Series Certification in Air Vehicle Design; Courses from Harvardx; etc..

Target Program:
Harvard or any one of the top 5 B Schools in the world

Planned Entry
R1 October 2014

Post MBA Goal
Vision is to start a mobility solutions company.


I wish to understand my chances to be accepted in an HBS type of program (Ivy League) and look forward to your most realistic assessment of my profile.
Sincere thanks in advance for your time and effort! And many thanks for offering such a platform for aspirants like us!
Warm Regards
JSW



JSW,

You clearly have a lot of passion for and subject matter expertise in automotive design and design technology. That kind of focus could make you an attractive “elder statesman” type at a great MBA program. The problem is that I am guessing your age will also put you in a diminished pool at some of the top schools that tend to take younger candidates (HBS and Stanford). Of course there are always exceptions but this age issue may have you look more broadly in your targeting--MIT can be age friendly for example and they might love your technical background and firepower. Be careful to develop career plans that are specific--I am not sure I follow the one you have listed.

Your demographic of male Indian (I may be wrong) is also a challenge, as there seem to be so many talented applicants and of course limited spots, but that cannot deter you!

Look broadly at schools and perhaps an eMBA might even be a possibility now or down the road. Not certain of your age.

Alex
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Alex Leventhal HBS '98
Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.prepmba.com/


office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com






Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials

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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 03 Sep 2014, 20:24
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Kathmandu2013 wrote:
Hi Alex, I was hoping for for a profile evaluation. I've identified the following schools in the following buckets, could you provide any color into if i'm on the right track or way off base?

Stretch: Harvard, Stanford
Goal: Chicago, MIT, Columbia


-Went to a Top 5 public university - Majored in Business Administration with a Major GPA of 3.6
-Minored in Mandarin Chinese, which pulled my overall GPA down to 3.3.
-Did I-Banking as an analyst in NYC at one off the usual suspects
-Recruited from the bank to a small Chinese technology company to lead their U.S. operations - building the business from pre-revenue into to $10mm+ (SAAS business)
-700GMAT
-Co-founded a 501c3 charity in 2009; has had major impact on the community it serves
-Big Brother Big Sisters - Big Brother
-Will have a total of 6R WE
-White male
-Application 'story' surrounds entrepreneurship, the 'internet of things' trend, wearable tech, expertise in technology manufacturing, and my time spend working for a Chinese small business


Well, you certainly have a well-rounded and attractive profile. And your move outside of banking paid off and now you have a second level of WE, with some achievements to highlight. I guess everybody wants to know if they have a shot at HBS and GSB. Though the process is not purely numbers driven (gmat and gpa) and does leave room for the subjective impression you leave in the essays and interviews, your key inputs are below average for the very top schools and this can be a deal breaker in today's absurdly competitive environment. If you work hard on your essays, I would say you have a great chance of winding up at a top 10/12 school and likely a top 7 school. And your SAAS experience could be very attractive to schools with core strength in tech like Haas and maybe Ross (perhaps a safety school). You will certainly have a diversity of experiences to choose from in Booth's open ended format and MIT's focus on more current behavioral examples. Your Mandarin is also a great touch even if it had a lowering effect on your gpa. A 3.3 is in striking range even if below the mean at many of your targets. Go forward unafraid and avoid cliché essays that will not capture the passion you have brought to work and your outside endeavors.

Best of Luck!


Alex
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Alex Leventhal HBS '98
Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.prepmba.com/


office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com






Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials

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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 29 May 2013, 08:25
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BB

Thanks for the welcome!

Over the last few years, more and more of my clients have indicated that they've been using GMAT Club. Based on their recommendation, I am happy to get more involved in this community.

MBA Admissions Consulting is not an old industry, but I am in a small group of those who have been around since the early stages advising applicants. I am thrilled to take questions and work intensely with a select group of GMAT Club members on their applications.

From me you will always get encouraging but pragmatic advice. I am not in the business of giving folks unrealistic expectations, but I will also help you reach for what is possible in this very competitive and yes, subjective process. Getting an interview invitation from a top school is not algorithmic. It's not just a question of inputting scores and grades. It is a personal reflection on what you have done, what has formed you and what you aspire to do. The GMAT, GPA...are like the ante to the poker game—you need them to play. However, you eventually win the game on personal energy and evidence of leadership, broad thinking, analytical acumen and emotional intelligence. These are achieved in your essays, resume, letters of reference and interviews.

I welcome questions and direct communications to alex@prepmba.com

Alex
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Alex Leventhal HBS '98
Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.prepmba.com/


office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com






Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials

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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2013, 16:22
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For those targeting HBS, I thought I would post this recent article from Business Week on the application changes and whether or not you should write the essay. I was quoted on some aspects, but I'm happy to send any GMAT Club members my full written comments on HBS' new question. Email me for the full piece.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/20 ... onal-essay

Alex
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Alex Leventhal HBS '98
Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.prepmba.com/


office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com






Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials

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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2013, 12:50
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Planet Earth,

Though having MBA ambitions is admirable, I would suggest that you put your energies towards finding a great job and getting some business experience. To attract an ad com and also in order to get the most out of your studies, I think that working first will help you clarify your path and introduce you to the concepts you will see in the classroom. Almost nobody gets in with no formal business experience. Getting 720 would be a great help, particularly given your undergraduate record (which is an issue), but that alone will likely not get you real consideration. Taking your acting experiences and using them to work at a talent agency, the screen actors’ guild, or a theatre company on the business side would be good examples of moving more towards relevant experience. These are meant as examples, and perhaps you want to change directions completely.

You are still only 25 and can apply in 2-3 years after you cut your teeth. Much lower ranked schools may give you a look but I expect the "Ivy League" will need more than your acting experience. Of course you may not have included on here your entire resume, but I think my advice is directionally sound.

Good Luck!
_________________


Alex Leventhal HBS '98
Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.prepmba.com/


office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com






Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials

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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2013, 22:10
PrepMBA wrote:
Planet Earth,

Though having MBA ambitions is admirable, I would suggest that you put your energies towards finding a great job and getting some business experience. To attract an ad com and also in order to get the most out of your studies, I think that working first will help you clarify your path and introduce you to the concepts you will see in the classroom. Almost nobody gets in with no formal business experience. Getting 720 would be a great help, particularly given your undergraduate record (which is an issue), but that alone will likely not get you real consideration. Taking your acting experiences and using them to work at a talent agency, the screen actors’ guild, or a theatre company on the business side would be good examples of moving more towards relevant experience. These are meant as examples, and perhaps you want to change directions completely.

You are still only 25 and can apply in 2-3 years after you cut your teeth. Much lower ranked schools may give you a look but I expect the "Ivy League" will need more than your acting experience. Of course you may not have included on here your entire resume, but I think my advice is directionally sound.

Good Luck!



Thank you for your responce.

I would like to start a production company and a Theater group basically who can work for Social cause(NGO), it will be more of taking government projects.

MBA will add a value in my resume moreover it will give me an exposure to the international market to get connected with right network.

Secondly as far as the diversity in the class is concern i will be the right candidate almost all the students will learn from me.For example i am very extrovert, expressive , how to attract people who are walking on road etc. Most importantly i have worked for many social causes just to make people more aware and attentive without any money.

Finally yes i want to do mba to earn money because a project wont just work on willingness it would need money.\\

And yes i understand ivey would be difficult, i am open to quality programs and not just ivey.

Also if i start working for 2-3 years now adcom wont consider what i did in last 4 years as i did theater but its not there on paper.

Thank you would love to hear your response.
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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2013, 01:56
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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2013, 21:12
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debayan222 wrote:
Hi Prep MBA,
Can you provide info on European MBA?

Look forward to hear from you.


Hi Alex,
I thought it'd be helpful for you if I come up with some specific questions on European MBA...

So, my questions are :
1.Most of them are 1 year program as you know...so,should one consider these for career change (re: Industry change not job function change)?

2.Could you please let me know like INSEAD & IE whether LBS,Said & Judge also have rolling admissions and two intakes (for example, one in September 2014 and other in January 2015 for INSEAD)...?

3. LBS,INSEAD are top ones but in global b-school rankings (FT) b-schools like IE,Said & Judge are placed ahead of many top 20 US schools like Ross,Darden,Anderson (for IE only),McCombs...How do you see that for an International applicant & career changer?

4..For these European schools, is it always better to apply in R1 (if some of them don't have rolling admissions and/or two intakes) rather than in R2 like US schools...?

Would really appreciate some deep insights from you on these.

Looking forward to hear from you.
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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2013, 10:57
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Debayan

Hello again. I think you contacted me off line for some other information.

What is most critical for you is to decide what you want. It's hard to decide between programs without ranking what matters most to you. I work with Euro schools every year and they can be great options for those with a bit more work experience (given some of the age parameters in the American process) and for those who want to get back to their careers quickly. I just had a highly qualified US applicant get into INSEAD, and she could have gotten into a Wharton or Kellogg but she has an idea for a business and just wants to get to it after some entrepreneurial training.

If you are a career changer, then the one year program will give you less time and opportunity to network, get summer work and marinate over your plan of attack. And it also matters where you ultimately want to work---Europe or the US? Or Asia? It's hard to compare a Darden to a Judge for that reason.

So make those critical decisions about 2 year vs 1, and geographical career interest and then all else will be much easier.

Good Luck!
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Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.prepmba.com/


office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com






Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials

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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2013, 23:49
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PrepMBA wrote:
Debayan

Hello again. I think you contacted me off line for some other information.

What is most critical for you is to decide what you want. It's hard to decide between programs without ranking what matters most to you. I work with Euro schools every year and they can be great options for those with a bit more work experience (given some of the age parameters in the American process) and for those who want to get back to their careers quickly. I just had a highly qualified US applicant get into INSEAD, and she could have gotten into a Wharton or Kellogg but she has an idea for a business and just wants to get to it after some entrepreneurial training.

If you are a career changer, then the one year program will give you less time and opportunity to network, get summer work and marinate over your plan of attack. And it also matters where you ultimately want to work---Europe or the US? Or Asia? It's hard to compare a Darden to a Judge for that reason.

So make those critical decisions about 2 year vs 1, and geographical career interest and then all else will be much easier.

Good Luck!


Hi Alex,
I'm more keen on European MBA but skeptical how career changers would suit the 1 yr European MBA...so what's your opinion whether INSEAD/LBS/IE/Said/Judge can offer that opportunity in their 1 yr program if it's both industry and job function change...?

P.S: You're absolutely right..I'd get back to you by the end of this week hopefully for the reason I contacted you off-line... Actually work has been very crazy back in office and keeping me down for this month...but things have improved quite a bit now...at least again for next few days :)
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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2013, 11:13
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Debayan,

Sure no worries. We all have to balance busy work and personal lives.

In terms of the Euro schools, why are you keen on them versus the US programs? Do you want to build your career there?

Since you are making inquiries about both sets of programs, apply to a slate of schools with some from each. Once you put hard work into 4-5 schools, the effort per incremental school does go down given the thematic and strategic overlaps. So maybe you will apply to 7-8 schools over the course of the app season:)

Alex
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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2013, 11:28
Expert's post
PrepMBA wrote:
Debayan,

Sure no worries. We all have to balance busy work and personal lives.

In terms of the Euro schools, why are you keen on them versus the US programs? Do you want to build your career there?

Since you are making inquiries about both sets of programs, apply to a slate of schools with some from each. Once you put hard work into 4-5 schools, the effort per incremental school does go down given the thematic and strategic overlaps. So maybe you will apply to 7-8 schools over the course of the app season:)

Alex


Hey Alex,
I'm inclined over 1 yr UK/European program as simply I'd be spending less as compared to US 2-yr MBA programs.So,this the primary reason or one of the most important considerations for this preference-less expensive/quicker ROI than US MBA but skeptical how career changers would suit the 1 yr European MBA as mentioned in my post...!

Any thoughts?
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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 09:45
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Hi GMAT Club,

For those of you writing your resumes, here is an article meant to help you critically evaluate your second draft:

sell-yourself-with-your-resume-156170.html

Good Luck!
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Alex Leventhal HBS '98
Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.prepmba.com/


office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com






Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials

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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2013, 14:31
Hi Alex, was wondering if you could give me a bit of an evaluation

My profile:

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, cum laude
University of California Irvine
Overall GPA: 3.56
Engineering GPA: 3.74
Spend 1 semester studying engineering at Hong Kong University as part of a global exchange program

GRE Exam: 167/170 Quantitative (95%ile) and 163/170 Verbal (93%ile)
GMAT: --- currently in prep period, ETS compares my GRE score to a 740 on the GMAT ---

Work Experience - 2 years

I work at a boutique, global management consulting firm focused in major engineering industries such as Automotive, Aviation, and Telecom. We offer services ranging from engineering solutions (system validation, product development etc.) to program management, supplier management, and classical strategy consulting.

I started at this company straight out of college at the lowest rung of the organization: Test Engineer. I wrote and executed test cases, fairly mindless and boring tasks; I knew from the start that I wanted more. I began to push my boundaries by getting involved with the product innovation group within the organization, and it was there that I pioneered automated test software applications within the company, leading to increased business at key clients. Within 1.5 years I transitioned from Test Engineer > Program Management Support > Product Manager > Project Lead for two projects back to back, one of which was in the 6 figure revenue range.

Extra Curricular:

Co-founded an online food-delivery startup targeted towards college students. I was in charge of sourcing and managing developers, building requirements, UX and wireframes. I'll be candid in saying that it failed in less than a year, with 0 revenue. Still, there were a lot of valuable lessons from that project.

My Goals:

Ideally, I'd like to start my MBA Fall 2014, at Stanford. Stanford is my dream school for a few reasons: they offer a joint MS in Computer Science and MBA program that would be perfect for my long term goals (founder, CXO or other leadership at a technology startup), the program has great global experience opportunities, and they are located in the heart of the silicon valley, where the majority of the technology innovation happens. I'm also looking at Berkeley.

I'm open to other top 20 MBA programs worldwide, but I'd like to stay with schools that have a pedigree of being technology oriented as opposed to banking, finance or marketing.

Are my goals reasonable? What are some schools that I should look at? Any advice or tips on ways to strengthen my application would be appreciated. Do I need to get involved with community service or non-profit? Is my work experience compelling enough to justify the short length?

Again, thanks for reading and I appreciate any feedback you might have.
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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2013, 15:02
Expert's post
tgarg wrote:
Hi Alex, was wondering if you could give me a bit of an evaluation

My profile:

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, cum laude
University of California Irvine
Overall GPA: 3.56
Engineering GPA: 3.74
Spend 1 semester studying engineering at Hong Kong University as part of a global exchange program

GRE Exam: 167/170 Quantitative (95%ile) and 163/170 Verbal (93%ile)
GMAT: --- currently in prep period, ETS compares my GRE score to a 740 on the GMAT ---

Work Experience - 2 years

I work at a boutique, global management consulting firm focused in major engineering industries such as Automotive, Aviation, and Telecom. We offer services ranging from engineering solutions (system validation, product development etc.) to program management, supplier management, and classical strategy consulting.

I started at this company straight out of college at the lowest rung of the organization: Test Engineer. I wrote and executed test cases, fairly mindless and boring tasks; I knew from the start that I wanted more. I began to push my boundaries by getting involved with the product innovation group within the organization, and it was there that I pioneered automated test software applications within the company, leading to increased business at key clients. Within 1.5 years I transitioned from Test Engineer > Program Management Support > Product Manager > Project Lead for two projects back to back, one of which was in the 6 figure revenue range.

Extra Curricular:

Co-founded an online food-delivery startup targeted towards college students. I was in charge of sourcing and managing developers, building requirements, UX and wireframes. I'll be candid in saying that it failed in less than a year, with 0 revenue. Still, there were a lot of valuable lessons from that project.

My Goals:

Ideally, I'd like to start my MBA Fall 2014, at Stanford. Stanford is my dream school for a few reasons: they offer a joint MS in Computer Science and MBA program that would be perfect for my long term goals (founder, CXO or other leadership at a technology startup), the program has great global experience opportunities, and they are located in the heart of the silicon valley, where the majority of the technology innovation happens. I'm also looking at Berkeley.

I'm open to other top 20 MBA programs worldwide, but I'd like to stay with schools that have a pedigree of being technology oriented as opposed to banking, finance or marketing.

Are my goals reasonable? What are some schools that I should look at? Any advice or tips on ways to strengthen my application would be appreciated. Do I need to get involved with community service or non-profit? Is my work experience compelling enough to justify the short length?

Again, thanks for reading and I appreciate any feedback you might have.



Tgarg,


Thanks for being patient. You have a very solid background---a competitive gpa in a tough major, a strong GRE, and clear progression at an industry-aligned consulting services firm.

If things are going so well at your company, what else can unfold there over the next year? Could you be promoted again, could you be assigned to more of strategy vs testing/software project to round out your profile..? These are key questions as you decide whether to apply this year or next. Reapplication is not always an easy thing to do one year after, so you want to make a sound decision. And from your research you probably know that though some folks do get into the top schools with 2 years at application, it is less frequent than other "segments".

The start up, though it failed, certainly shows off your risk taking. And yes if you apply next season, getting involved with a charity/volunteer/hobby ASAP is a good idea. You don't want to start something too close to the application season.

In terms of your career goals, they are not well defined yet. Many people can say they want to be a tech founder, but is there an area of tech that most interests you, is there a particular business problem you want to solve, is there a tech company you admire for post mba employment....??? You will need to present some specifics.

Sure, Stanford is most everybody's dream school these days:) Haas is hard to get into as well but aligned to your interests. Ross also has an established tech focus so you may want to look there. Many of the top schools are embracing tech (like Wharton having folks spend time on their West Coast campus) so don't rule out some great schools because they are not synoymous with tech just yet. You want to look at schools also in terms of where they will be in 5-10 years and not just now. Tech is where the whole economy is headed.

For you the critical issue is MBA now or later, and what you can make happen at your job (and the impact on your LORs) in the next 1-1.5 years is probably the most important factor.

Hope that helps move the conversation forward.


Alex
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Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.prepmba.com/


office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com






Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials

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Re: Ask Prep MBA [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2013, 18:00
Expert's post
GMAT Club,

Here is a recent article on MBA Interviewing for Internationals from US News & World Report, for which I was interviewed. Interviews are not here yet, but they are coming soon!

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-gr ... -candidate
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Alex Leventhal HBS '98
Founder, Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
http://www.prepmba.com/


office:323.424.3178 | mobile:917.514.1023
alex@prepmba.com






Prep MBA is a boutique admissions consultancy started in 2005. Work one on one with a Harvard MBA.
No junior consultants or referrals to a consultant to be named later. Put a Harvard MBA on your case.
Testimonials: http://prepmba.com/testimonials

Re: Ask Prep MBA   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2013, 18:00
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