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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2011, 13:16
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Hi chaitanya,

Regarding the number of years of work experience, you should aim to have at least 2 years of work experience.

With strategic consulting firms, the first step you should take is to identify which consulting firms you would like to work for after graduation. After doing this, you can then speak with business school representatives regarding the companies that recruit from the respective program. This will give you an overview of the opportunities available after graduation.

There are a number of great entrepreneurial and finance programs in the US. For finance, NYU Stern, Columbia, and Wharton are very highly regarded. For entrepreneurship, Stanford, Babson, and Harvard are particularly strong.

I hope this was of help.

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2011, 13:42
StacyBlackman wrote:
Hi vannbj,

We always encourage candidates to apply to the MBA programs they most want to attend. You have a strong GMAT score, but unfortunately for the MBA programs you are applying to a 660 places you below the 25th percentile.

It is very important that you look for ways you can differentiate your work experience and responsibilities from a competitive applicant pool. If you have received any particular awards, or have served on any organizations outside of work, this would be important to mention. I know it can be challenging, but if you feel you can improve your GMAT score, this would help your application as well.

Best Regards,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team


Thanks for your honesty, Conrad. Maybe I'm crazy but I thought I stood a chance at least at the Consortium schools like Tuck and Darden since I'm on the upper end of GMAT score and GPA distribution for my demographic for my demographic. My source for this claim is the following link on page 11.

http://www.inmagazine.cgsm.org/public/A ... Report.pdf

But maybe I'm crazy.
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2011, 14:10
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Hi vannbj,

The GMAT score is an important part of your business school application and MBA programs do take into account demographic and background information. For example, a business school admissions member wouldn't expect a female raised in Portugal to score as well on the verbal section as a male who was born and raised in California and has spoken English his entire life.

In addition to the GMAT, there are a number of other factors that play a role. Unfortunately, there isn't an exact equation for business school fit just as there is no perfect way to measure how competitive your MBA application is relative to your competition. However, there are characteristics you can look for; I have written these below:

• Overall GPA (how do you compare against the average GPA at target MBA program?)

• GPA trends: (did your GPA increase/decrease from year to year?)

• Quality of undergraduate university (how competitive was your university?)

• Undergraduate major, courses chosen (did you invite challenge?)

• Pursuits as an undergrad (impact and leadership are most critical)

• Pursuits during summers

• Number of years of work experience (enough to be able to contribute to an MBA program)

• Career progression (did you continue to grow and face new challenges)

• Companies worked for (helps the admissions team understand your work experience)

• Management experience

• Extra-curricular involvements (impact and leadership more important than quantity)

• Interesting elements of family background (family adversity, education level of parents)

• International experiences (how have you adapted to different situations)

• Quality of recommendations

• Quality of interview

• Overall GMAT score (how do you compare against average GPA at target MBA program?)

• GMAT Quant percentile

• Demographics (are you from an under-represented group?)


I hope this was of help vannbj.

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 14:37
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Hi everyone,

There was an interesting article by Businessweek on a live chat event with Kurt Ahlm, senior director of admissions at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and we thought to share it with you. The live chat participants raised concerns that I see every day working with clients: Am I too old for b-school? Am I too young? Is it even worth applying in the third round? Here are some highlights from Ahlm’s responses that are worth keeping in mind whether you are applying to Chicago or elsewhere.

Know yourself.
Applying to business school is a long process of introspection, and Ahlm points to the importance of taking this hard work seriously, saying, “The best advice I can provide is to know yourself and have a strategy on how you want to convey that sense of self through the application.”

Apply at any age, but know why you’re applying now.
When a 36-year-old marketing professional asked if he “stood a chance” getting into Booth’s full-time program, Ahlm answered, “We recruit people of all different ages and experiences. What is more important for us is why now is the best time in your career to pursue an MBA.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Ahlm said that the number of students applying directly after completing their undergraduate degrees is on the rise. He encouraged these students to have “some familiarity with the professional world, be it through internships, starting your own business, etc.”

Don’t be afraid to apply in the third round.
Some applicants believe that waiting until the third round is a surefire path to rejection, but according to Ahlm, “The rule of thumb is to apply when you are most prepared. If you need to apply in the third round, that is fine.”

Be honest.
Applicants are often tempted to mold their career goals to what they think the admissions committee wants to hear, usually to the detriment of their application. For example, one live chat participant wanted to know if admitting he was interested in private equity in the current economic environment would put him at a disadvantage, as he thought this sounded less realistic than other career goals.

Ahlm’s answer: “No. We want you to be honest about what it is that you want to achieve…. The important thing for you in the application process is to help us understand why PE is your goal and what it is about Booth that can help you realize it.”

The discussion also tackled the unique attributes of the Booth community, the classroom experience, and lots of other great advice that is well worth checking out.


Please let us know if there are any questions we can answer.

Best Regards,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2011, 21:51
Hi Stacy,

I am a merchant navy officer in a large danish company ( not a fortune 500) and have ambitions of applying to HBS in a year or two. I am from a target undergrad from India with a great brand value.

Recently I have had an offer from a (fortune 10) oil major to join at a rank lower than the one I am currently serving as. Considering that its a huge brand name, but joining at a lower rank, will it improve my chances at HBS, on the ground of being a blue chip candidate???
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2011, 13:01
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Hi Anasthaesium,

Thanks for your posting. Can you talk more about the responsibilities you would be offered in your new position? An MBA program such as Harvard Business School will consider your employers, but they will also want to see that you have experience managing and leading others. Top business schools will also want to see that you have progressed in your career and taken on more responsibility over time.

I hope this was of help Anasthaesium. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

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Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2011, 13:18
Thanks for the response.

This change is the part I am most apprehensive about because it doesn't involve an improvement in function/industry/location. On the contrary, I have an offer to join at a rank slightly lower to the one I am serving in right now. The only consolation is the brand name which is undisputably huge.

In the role I am serving right now, I lead multinational teams of 15-20 overlooking assets of up to 25M$ and deal with client facing roles with Oil Majors. My company is a large well known publlic company in scandinavia and is a regualr feeder for Insead and IMD. But it is not a fortune 500. My new role offered is also similar , except that team size may be smaller and may take a year or more to get to a standing of where I am today.

If it would be of any use in assessing the situation, I could say, that I am expecting a promotion within a year, making it the fourth promotion in my 3 years with the organisation and have been ear marked for a diversified business role in a year after that. I am confused if all these "possiblities" are worth sacrificing for a FORTUNE 10 brand name on the resume and if it will at all affect the HSW admission chances in any ( +/-) way.
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2011, 15:13
Hi,

I am hoping to apply for part time MBA program (Saturday program) at Kellogg and Chicago. The plan is to apply for June 2012 quarter. Since I have about 10 months before I submit my application (1). I want to understand my chances of getting into these programs and (2)also want to know the weaknesses in my profile and how I could strengthen my application.


Short Term goals: Transition onto a technology sales and business development role

Long Term goals (5-8 years): Start my own technology consulting company with the emphasis on new product development and market deployment.

Why I need a MBA: I have worked for two successful technology start ups and from this experience I was able to gain great knowledge and experience on starting and running your own company. But I feel I need to improve my knowledge on Sales and Marketing since that’s one part I was not able to gain much knowledge through my work experience. A degree from Kellogg or Chicago would help me fill this gap.

Why part time: The knowledge on various technology I am gaining working for my current employer is important for me to be successful in my long and short term goal. So giving up that and attending a full time program will not make sense. Through a part time program I can gain the know ledge I need in sales and marketing while gaining experience in various technologies which would help me achieve my short term and long term goals.

My Profile:

1. Age 29 (at matriculation)
2. Ethnicity: Asian male (Sri Lankan)
2. Current position: Senior Consultant – Project manager on a project with fortune 500 client
3. Years of experience 5+ fulltime (6+ with internships) (at matriculation)
3. BS in Electrical Engineering (Tier 2 small engineering school). UG GPA: 3.97
4. MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering (Large Tier 1 Engineering school - program ranked Top 5 in the nation). Graduate GPA: 3.71 (co-authored two published papers)
5. GMAT: 690 (V:35, Q:48, AWA: 5.5)

Extra curricular activity:

(During Undergrad) - Program Chair IEEE, Cricket Intramurals, Badminton Intramurals
(Recent) - Program officer at a national mentoring organization, Project manager at a pro bono consulting organization, regular Swim instructor in a local children's program.


Thanks in advance for your help.


Regards

Thora
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2011, 09:12
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Hi Thora,

Thanks for your post. Your profile seems strong. You have a strong GPA and your GMAT score is in range for both Kellogg and Chicago. As a note, an admissions team member will want to see progress in your career and evidence of leadership experience; these are two parts I see a bit less of in your description.

From what you have written above, I would say that your efforts should go towards crafting your message on how you will add to the incoming MBA class at each of these institutions. What are two to three messages you want an admissions team to remember after reading your application?

I hope this was of help. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Best,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2011, 11:08
For anyone in the same boat as me (i.e. lower than ideal quant score), I wanted to give you some hope. I did not write the GMAT again and instead focussed on my essays. I applied to R2 at INSEAD and was advised this morning that I have been admitted.

Best of luck to others with their applications!


StacyBlackman wrote:
Hi lawgirl,

To begin, do not be concerned about your first GMAT test score (the 43rd percentile.) For your MBA applications your GMAT score will be self-reported so you will only report your highest score. An MBA program will then verify your score if you are accepted. If you believe you can significantly improve your score again, you may want to consider taking the GMAT test again.

If you took the GMAT once or twice and did not receive the score you think you are capable of, consider a prep course to enhance your skills and remind you how to solve those high school math logic problems. We recommend Manhattan GMAT , because the company specializes in GMAT prep and focuses on knowledge rather than tricks.

When making an assessment on a candidate, a number of MBA programs will not only look at your quant score on the GMAT but also whether any of the work you do is quantitative, as well as the classes you have taken. To individuals who fall short in this area, you may want to emphasize your financial experience and/or consider taking a few classes in statistics, financial accounting, microeconomics and/or finance before applying.

I hope this was of help lawgirl. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Best,

Conrad at Stacy Blackman Consulting
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2011, 11:29
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Hi lawgirl,

Congratulations! INSEAD is a great business school and you will have an amazing experience.

Best,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2011, 09:47
Hi Stacy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
fedexunledded
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2011, 11:02
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Hi fedexunledded,

Thanks for posting. You have a strong application. Your GMAT score is excellent, and you have strong leadership experience in your extracurriculars.

We had a client who had a similar background to you. Our client was born and raised in India, and then went to work for a large corporation where he progressed for the next five years. Although he had solid work experience, and numbers, his demographics placed him in a highly competitive pool, where he really needed to find a way to differentiate.

In our strategy, we recognized that many Indian applicants pursue engineering careers and their resumes all begin to look the same. In working with this client we completely removed the focus from the nitty gritty technical details of his every day job, and emphasized his management and leadership experiences, which set him apart from many of his peers. Specifically, he had spearheaded a non-profit initiative and garnered a great deal of support within his office, ultimately raising significant funds, but also setting the stage for future office initiatives of this kind. He had also taken on a training role, mentoring new hires and helping to develop the blueprint for a training program. Neither of these roles were part of his formal job description but they highlighted his leadership abilities and added color to his resume.

In the end, he was admitted to Columbia, Tuck and MIT. For your application, I recommend you spend a lot of time on your essays to discuss your leadership experience and how you could contribute to an incoming class. Your essays, and your letters of recommendations, are what will differentiate you from other applicants.

I hope this was of help. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Best,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2011, 20:40
StacyBlackman wrote:
Hi fedexunledded,

Thanks for posting. You have a strong application. Your GMAT score is excellent, and you have strong leadership experience in your extracurriculars.

We had a client who had a similar background to you. Our client was born and raised in India, and then went to work for a large corporation where he progressed for the next five years. Although he had solid work experience, and numbers, his demographics placed him in a highly competitive pool, where he really needed to find a way to differentiate.

In our strategy, we recognized that many Indian applicants pursue engineering careers and their resumes all begin to look the same. In working with this client we completely removed the focus from the nitty gritty technical details of his every day job, and emphasized his management and leadership experiences, which set him apart from many of his peers. Specifically, he had spearheaded a non-profit initiative and garnered a great deal of support within his office, ultimately raising significant funds, but also setting the stage for future office initiatives of this kind. He had also taken on a training role, mentoring new hires and helping to develop the blueprint for a training program. Neither of these roles were part of his formal job description but they highlighted his leadership abilities and added color to his resume.

In the end, he was admitted to Columbia, Tuck and MIT. For your application, I recommend you spend a lot of time on your essays to discuss your leadership experience and how you could contribute to an incoming class. Your essays, and your letters of recommendations, are what will differentiate you from other applicants.

I hope this was of help. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Best,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team


Thank you Conrad for your feedback.

There is a likelihood that I might be given additional responsibilities in Business and Process Improvement soon. So that may help my cause as far as applying to B school is concerned.

I would like to have your opinion on my choice of target schools. Am I aiming too high and should I replace a reach/big reach school with a safety school (Tuck, Haas, Sloan with UCLA Anderson or UNC Kenan-Flagner)?

Cheers,
fedexunledded
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2011, 22:40
...

Last edited by vince2012 on 01 Mar 2011, 17:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2011, 10:41
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Hi fedexunledded,

With regards to whether you should replace a reach school with a safety school, it depends on your preference. If you absolutely know you want to attend business school now, then it is better to include an additional safety school. However, if you feel comfortable waiting an extra year, then it may make more sense to include more select programs.

I hope this was of help.

Best,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2011, 10:49
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Hi Vince,

Thanks for posting. An MBA admissions team will be looking for experience managing and leading others, and this is the part of your application you should really focus on. Your GMAT score is excellent, and you should be proud of your score.

We had a client who, similar to you, had limited experience at an investment bank. As an entry level employee in an extremely large organization, she had very little opportunity to differentiate or demonstrate leadership. Although she had significant extracurricular experiences, she needed some professional stories but as she racked her brain for examples that would help her shine, she came up empty.

In our strategy, we decided to use a relatively mundane example of overhauling an Excel spreadsheet, but dove into details that demonstrated some terrific qualities that the client possessed, such as initiative, detail orientation, can do attitude, ability to influence others, leadership and more. Although the task was not hi-tech – it did provide a stage to present all of this. She also discussed the layers of impact of her simple contribution – and the subsequent lesson that change is possible at any level of an organization, and even small changes can have substantial impact.

In the end, she was admitted to both HBS and Stanford. Given the early stage of your career that you are in, I recommend spending time on your essays to show how you have exemplified leadership and can contribute to an incoming MBA class.

I hope this was of help.

Best,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2011, 09:04
Thanks for this great service.

Would like a bit of advice re: extracurricular/leadership activities.

I went to one of HYPS, did three years at a top-tier ibank in hong kong, and am now at a top-tier VC fund in California. While in college I was extremely active on campus wrt leadership and activities, but given my moving around internationally and insane work hours I've had almost no chance to accomplish anything outside of work beyond a few hours of volunteering a month and occasional (read: rare) participation in a social entrepreneurship group.

I'd be reaching for Stanford/Wharton/HBS but I understand - particularly as an Asian American male - that my profile is rather common so am curious whether you have seen applicants with my background admitted to these schools with minimal post-college extracurricular activities.
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2011, 10:03
Hi,
I would like to get into one of the top 10 B-Schools
My details -
--Undergrad - Electronics and Communication Engineering, India - GPA 3.9
--1 year work exp at a startup - as Business Analyst - India
--MS in Electrical Engineering at UIC, Chicago. GPA - 3.14
--3 Years of work Exp as an Application Engineer in USA
--Aiming for GMAT - 720+
--Rotary club member for 3 years
Female, Indian, Age 28

What are my chances to get into top ones and what should I work on?
Any other feedback/suggestion/advice you have for my profile.

Thank you so much!!
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Re: Ask Stacy Blackman [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2011, 12:44
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Hi simmy818,

Congrats on a great undergraduate GPA and thanks for posting. The worry I have right now is that there are a lot of Indian engineers who apply to business school, and it is really important that you try to stand out as much as possible.

We had a client who was born and raised in India, and earned his undergraduate degree in engineering. Although he had solid work experience, and numbers, his demographics placed him in a highly competitive pool, where he really needed to find a way to differentiate.

In our strategy, we knew many Indian applicants pursue engineering careers and their resumes all begin to look the same. In working with this client we completely removed the focus from the nitty gritty technical details of his every day job, and emphasized his management and leadership experiences, which set him apart from many of his peers. Specifically, he had spearheaded a non-profit initiative and garnered a great deal of support within his office, ultimately raising significant funds, but also setting the stage for future office initiatives of this kind.

In the end, he was admitted to Columbia, Tuck and MIT.

Your GPA and GMAT score (expected score) fit well with top programs, and your acceptance will really come down to differentiating yourself and showing an admissions team that you can contribute and add value to the incoming class. You can best do this in your personal essays and letters of recommendation.

I hope this helps. I'm happy to answer any other questions you have.

Cheers,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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