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Do I have a (bad) profile?

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Do I have a (bad) profile? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 10:04
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Hi all,

I need some objective evaluation on my profile. I am currently preparing GMAT with good progress. I am confident to score mid 700. However, after an admission consultant told me that my chance to enter some top schools are slim, I lost all the momentum and feel there is no point to continue. My mind keeps asking whether I am really that dumb.

Some quick backgrounds of me:
- Hong Kong Chinese, male
- Will become 29 in this Oct
- Bachelor degree: Engineering, GPA: 3.50, 2nd hon (1st division), good university in HK
- Will take GMAT on Sept 9. Stretch target for 750. Min. 700.

Extracurricular Activities:
- Maths society vice chairman, basketball team captain, subject leader in high school.
- Class representative and basketball team captain in university, won several medals in basketball competition.
- "Preferred Graduate Award" given by university for good performance in job placement
- Won several medals in judo competition, assistant instructor in teaching children (we teach poor children free in our cliub)
- Also served as a coach in many judo competitions
- the members in our club are mostly international (98%). I exposed to many different culture.
- Since June 2008, volunteer of a charity organisation. We build schools for poor childen China. I am the person-in-charge to inspect the collapsed school after Sichuan Earthquake because schools collapsed more than other buildings did.

Career:
- 2 years in engineering consulting (leaded draftsmen in projects, in-charge of projects up to $10M)
- 1 year in financial product sales (B to C), biggest broker firm in HK (top 10% salespersons among peers)
- 1 year in sales and market research in big Asian alcoholic beverage company (2nd biggest IPO in Singapore Stock market), (improved sales by 10%, direct reported to VP)
- already 1 year as a Channel Specialist (assistant manager grade) in the Strategic Development Department of a Fortune 100 insurance company

As you can see, I have genuine interest in Sales and Marketing which steered me step by step to where I am now. Having experience in sales and marketing in various industries, my ultimate goal is to setup my own sales and marketing consulting firm advising companies on Hong Kong and China strategy. My first step will become a brand manager of big FMCG company or an consultant of a business consulting firm. A MBA will strengthen my business knowledge (which I did not gain in my undergraduate degree) and put me in a better position to launch my job in companies such as P&G, Unilever, Mckinsey, etc. I think the training and experience in those firms will be a valuable asset when I start my own firm. I also have a goal to become a legislator representing the business industry in HK.

Weakness:
- age. Am I really too old? Actually I started MBA late because I had a career change from engineering to marketing. And at that time, I would like to accumulate more experience in marketing before getting my MBA. Also because of my finance constraint.

Schools I like:
Wharton
Kellogg
Yale SOM
Tuck
MIT
Haas

Any advice will be very very much appreciated. Should I throw my OG11 away? Sorry that I am negative.
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Re: Do I have a shitty profile? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 10:35
hey there,

Um, people know that my opinions of the admissions consultants aren't that high, especially the ones who tell you "you have no chance" just so they can get you to sign up and work with them. Ok, rant over. :)

You have a pretty strong profile! To answer your question, you are NOT too old for the schools you listed. Right now only Harvard and Stanford are known to go younger, and the rest still have average ages of 27-28. If it helps, I'm 31, have an engineering masters, worked 5 years as an engineer and only decided to get an MBA after working 2 years in business development. So if you can tell your story of WHY you wanted to switch to marketing from engineering, HOW you did it, and WHY that prompted you to get an MBA (if you're already in marketing, why do you need an MBA? That sort of questions), then you should have a good chance.

Your EC leadership is great, your GPA is fine, your GMAT will NEED to be above 700 (to make you competitive), preferably 720+ for the schools you're looking at. The one weakness I see is that you didn't list any MAJOR work leadership experience. You've done some good work, but if you can talk about the leadership and teamwork aspects of those jobs in your essays, then you can mitigate the issue.

DO NOT be negative. You need to get a good GMAT score. Once you do, it'll depend solely on your essays. Also, DON'T let the consultants get you down. I'd trust people on GMATClub much more than those consultants, who told me most of the schools I've applied to were "unlikely" for me.

Anyway, my 2 cents, take it with a grain of salt though. :)

Wharton - reach, this will be a very tough one, but age will not be a factor there
Kellogg - smaller reach, depends on great essays and how well you convey your leadership/teamwork characteristics
Yale SOM - Tough just because the class size is so small, but on target.
Tuck - Tough, but doable.
MIT - small reach, emphasize your marketing background and how you're NOT a typical engineer
Haas - Tough because of the acceptance rates, but very doable with your stats and with good essays.

Have you considered any "safety" schools? Like Michigan, UCLA, or Duke for Marketing?
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Re: Do I have a shitty profile? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 13:13
LOL, I do not have anything of substance to add but I have to comment on how hilarious the subject is!
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Re: Do I have a (bad) profile? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 15:48
Sorry to be the bad guy but swearing is highly frowned on here, so I changed your title. Yes I know we are all adults but we try to maintain a higher standard here than some other boards. Please refrain from using that type of language in the future.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Re: Do I have a (bad) profile? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 17:23
riverripper wrote:
Sorry to be the bad guy but swearing is highly frowned on here, so I changed your title. Yes I know we are all adults but we try to maintain a higher standard here than some other boards. Please refrain from using that type of language in the future.



I am sorry, riverripper. I did not assume that I can use offensive words because we are all adult. I am obviously not native in English, so I didn't know the word is that bad.

Thanks for correcting me. Appreciate that.
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Re: Do I have a shitty profile? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 19:25
kryzak wrote:
hey there,

Um, people know that my opinions of the admissions consultants aren't that high, especially the ones who tell you "you have no chance" just so they can get you to sign up and work with them. Ok, rant over. :)

You have a pretty strong profile! To answer your question, you are NOT too old for the schools you listed. Right now only Harvard and Stanford are known to go younger, and the rest still have average ages of 27-28. If it helps, I'm 31, have an engineering masters, worked 5 years as an engineer and only decided to get an MBA after working 2 years in business development. So if you can tell your story of WHY you wanted to switch to marketing from engineering, HOW you did it, and WHY that prompted you to get an MBA (if you're already in marketing, why do you need an MBA? That sort of questions), then you should have a good chance.

Your EC leadership is great, your GPA is fine, your GMAT will NEED to be above 700 (to make you competitive), preferably 720+ for the schools you're looking at. The one weakness I see is that you didn't list any MAJOR work leadership experience. You've done some good work, but if you can talk about the leadership and teamwork aspects of those jobs in your essays, then you can mitigate the issue.

DO NOT be negative. You need to get a good GMAT score. Once you do, it'll depend solely on your essays. Also, DON'T let the consultants get you down. I'd trust people on GMATClub much more than those consultants, who told me most of the schools I've applied to were "unlikely" for me.

Anyway, my 2 cents, take it with a grain of salt though. :)

Wharton - reach, this will be a very tough one, but age will not be a factor there
Kellogg - smaller reach, depends on great essays and how well you convey your leadership/teamwork characteristics
Yale SOM - Tough just because the class size is so small, but on target.
Tuck - Tough, but doable.
MIT - small reach, emphasize your marketing background and how you're NOT a typical engineer
Haas - Tough because of the acceptance rates, but very doable with your stats and with good essays.

Have you considered any "safety" schools? Like Michigan, UCLA, or Duke for Marketing?


Hi Kry,

I am sorry for the previous subject line. My mood was very negative when I typed that. Even when I read your words "You have a pretty strong profile", my inside still kept telling me "Kry just tried not to be too mean". : (

I know your "unlikely" story, which I guess is well-know here. I admire that you could overcome the noise and finally put your feet in Haas.

Thanks for telling me that I am still young : ). That is the only thing I can't change. But still, I will put more effort to explain why I started MBA relatively late.

Regarding the essay, I think I can prepare a good one because I am a careful writer who can think clearly, deeply and critically. Of course I still need the help from the experts here.

Yes, I do not have direct reports because I am relatively new in this industry and I am working in a representative office of my company. The services we provided here are mainly sales and marketing, so not labour intensive. Even though i do not have major work leadership experience. I will mention some projects/ tasks where I took lead. I am also the chairman of a committee in my company. Our committee cooperates well in with other offices internationally.

I really appreciate your advices on schools because I know that the likely vs unlikely issue is difficult to tell. Thanks!

I am not native in English, so I am afraid I misunderstand the terms here. What I guess is: reach (most unlikely) > smaller reach > small reach > very tough > tough > doable, very doable. Am I right?

I did think about backup. But some of the backups advised by the consultant are unknown to me, for example, Wisconsin and UNC Kenan-Flagler. As MBA is a big money and time investment for me, I don't want to end up failing to achieve my career goal. In other words, I am afriad that companies such as P&G, Unilever, Mckincy, BCG will not consider my application if I come from Wisconsin.

You mentioned about Michigan, UCLA, or Duke for Marketing. They are good schools as far as I know. But are they "elite" school? Are there many good S&M and consulting companies hiring their graduates?

Anyway, thank you again for your reply. Now I can totally focus in GMAT.
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Re: Do I have a shitty profile? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 19:26
raabenb wrote:
LOL, I do not have anything of substance to add but I have to comment on how hilarious the subject is!


Hi raabenb, I am sorry for the title.
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Re: Do I have a shitty profile? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 19:52
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judokan wrote:
I am not native in English, so I am afraid I misunderstand the terms here. What I guess is: reach (most unlikely) > smaller reach > small reach > very tough > tough > doable, very doable. Am I right?

I did think about backup. But some of the backups advised by the consultant are unknown to me, for example, Wisconsin and UNC Kenan-Flagler. As MBA is a big money and time investment for me, I don't want to end up failing to achieve my career goal. In other words, I am afriad that companies such as P&G, Unilever, Mckincy, BCG will not consider my application if I come from Wisconsin.

You mentioned about Michigan, UCLA, or Duke for Marketing. They are good schools as far as I know. But are they "elite" school? Are there many good S&M and consulting companies hiring their graduates?

Anyway, thank you again for your reply. Now I can totally focus in GMAT.


Yes, sorry about that. you are correct with the "ratings" of the reach vs doable. If anything, I think you have the best chance (if I had to put a percentage, probably 30-40%) with Haas, Tuck, and Yale. The other three will take some luck based on the applicant backgrounds. If it's a year where similar applicants like you apply in smaller numbers, then your chance of getting in will be higher. Wharton would probably be close to their admit rate, roughly 15-20%, MIT and Kellogg would probably be 20-25%.

I would apply to the UNC and Wisconsin for the same reason you brought up. For someone to go to school across the Pacific and paying a lot of $$, you need to aim for an Elite school. Yes, Michigan, UCLA, and Duke are all VERY GOOD schools in the Elite level. You will have no worries if you apply and get into those schools. I would say your chances at those schools will probably be 50%.

Again, take my percentages with a grain of salt. I normally do not give those out, but since you were a bit confused by my "reach/doable/tough" terms, I tried my best to quantify them. Applying to B-school is like gambling. You can only have rough percentages, and almost nothing is for certain (unless you're an olympic gold medalist :P)

Good luck with the GMAT, and keep your spirits up!
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Re: Do I have a (bad) profile? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 23:05
haha, getting Olympic medal is at least 100 times harder than getting into Wharton.

Do you mean “I would NOT apply to UNC and Wisconsin”?

The percentage helped me to visualize the ratings better. I feel much less confused now. Sure, I will bare in mind your disclaimer. But because of my recent Quan practice, I naturally started thinking:

Probability to get in MIT/Wharton/Kellogg = 15% each
Probability to get in Haas/Tuck/ Yale = 30-40% each

Then , probability of getting in any one of the school is = ???
: )
Better ask the expert in the Quan forum. haha.

Honestly, I can see that if all the assumptions were accurate, and if I put my best efforts in the application, my chance of getting in one of them will not be low.

Thanks again, Kry. +2 for you
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Re: Do I have a (bad) profile? [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2008, 00:25
judokan wrote:
Do you mean “I would NOT apply to UNC and Wisconsin”?


Yes, that's what I meant, sorry for the typo. :)

Good luck!
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Re: Do I have a (bad) profile? [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2008, 01:00
kryzak wrote:
judokan wrote:
Do you mean “I would NOT apply to UNC and Wisconsin”?


Yes, that's what I meant, sorry for the typo. :)

Good luck!


Noted with thanks.
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Re: Do I have a (bad) profile? [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2008, 09:58
Also, when you write your essays be sure to have them proofread from several people. Essays can be the deciding factor between getting an interview or just get out right dinged (rejected). If you don't know too many good native English speakers, there are several places online where they can check it for you for a low rate. I read a post from someone on a website he posted on some good prices where he got his papers checked but can't recall the thread sorry.
Re: Do I have a (bad) profile?   [#permalink] 07 Oct 2008, 09:58
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