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Evaluate my profile please! :)

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Evaluate my profile please! :) [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 09:19
Hi there,

Here is my profile, any help would be greatly appreciated as I'm just trying to gauge how competitive I will be and what areas of my application I will need to work on before I submit my application (which in turn will also dictate when I submit my application):

Nationality: Chinese-Canadian
Age: 25 (this year)
Work experience: 2 years + 1 month at a public accounting firm, recently laid off
Education: Honours Business Administration UG at a top Canadian business school, 2.9 GPA (my biggest concern)
Extracurriculars: Lots of Leadership EC's in university - President of one of our school's largest business student societies, exec committee member for a number of years, etc.
GMAT: Currently studying for, aiming to write in 6-8 weeks, goal of about 660-680

My purpose to go back to grad school and get my MBA is because I want to change career paths, and gain international exposure and experience. I would love to go to school in Europe, but I don't know if I'm very competitive at any of the top ones (ESADE, IE, IESE, Said, etc). Do the EU schools look heavily on UG GPA or moreso on GMAT?

Thus, I may just consider applying to schools in Canada and applying for international exchange from there if I really don't stand a chance applying to EU schools. My top school choices in Canada are: Ivey, Rotman, Queen's, Schulich, McGill, and Sauder.

I would also consider applying to HKUST as well, but not sure of my chances there either.

What are your thoughts on my competitiveness in getting into one of the EU schools, HKUST, or the Canadian schools? Thanks!!
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Re: Evaluate my profile please! :) [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 09:33
Expert's post
Thanks for the detail, this definitely helps in my evaluation of your candidacy.
I like to use a basic and intuitive framework I have called the "MBA Acceptance Equation."
G/G + W/E + P/P/P + YMBA? + YNOW? = S/T + L/T Goals

So to answer some of your immediate questions: To generalize, European programs care more about the quality of your work experience. This is why you will find a sigma shift W.R.T age. It is not uncommon to find most of your European b-school colleagues to be in their early 30's. A high 600 score is probably appropriate for most business schools in the EU. Your GPA will be mitigated (not eliminated) by your longer work experience. I have my own war stories about my own GPA as well. As a rule of thumb, the only excuse for lower grades is an acute event (ie. I had to drop out to save the family business) or the fact you had to work out of necessity (ie. no silver spoon stories here).

Right now, I would take an online course in a core MBA subject to demonstrate recent academic proficiency. Adcoms do not care about the name or format of the course. You just need to get an A. If you can find a accounting/finance combo class, that is a sure bet. Just get the "A".
I helped a number of candidates get into HKUST last year. It is a great program that is a rising star in Asia. The one thing that my clients had to see was the fact that they really wanted to go there and that they were not throwing darts against a board to see what would happen. This has to be over emphasized with HKUST.



kdub09 wrote:
Hi there,

Here is my profile, any help would be greatly appreciated as I'm just trying to gauge how competitive I will be and what areas of my application I will need to work on before I submit my application (which in turn will also dictate when I submit my application):

Nationality: Chinese-Canadian
Age: 25 (this year)
Work experience: 2 years + 1 month at a public accounting firm, recently laid off
Education: Honours Business Administration UG at a top Canadian business school, 2.9 GPA (my biggest concern)
Extracurriculars: Lots of Leadership EC's in university - President of one of our school's largest business student societies, exec committee member for a number of years, etc.
GMAT: Currently studying for, aiming to write in 6-8 weeks, goal of about 660-680

My purpose to go back to grad school and get my MBA is because I want to change career paths, and gain international exposure and experience. I would love to go to school in Europe, but I don't know if I'm very competitive at any of the top ones (ESADE, IE, IESE, Said, etc). Do the EU schools look heavily on UG GPA or moreso on GMAT?

Thus, I may just consider applying to schools in Canada and applying for international exchange from there if I really don't stand a chance applying to EU schools. My top school choices in Canada are: Ivey, Rotman, Queen's, Schulich, McGill, and Sauder.

I would also consider applying to HKUST as well, but not sure of my chances there either.

What are your thoughts on my competitiveness in getting into one of the EU schools, HKUST, or the Canadian schools? Thanks!!

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Re: Evaluate my profile please! :) [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 09:53
Thanks for your quick reply, Paul - I appreciate it!

With regards to the EU schools placing greater emphasis on quality of work experience, does this necessarily put students who have less work experience (i.e. me) at a large disadvantage? Rather, if I really want to study in EU, would I be better off working for another few years before applying?

With HKUST: Great to hear that you've had great experience and success in helping applicants get admitted there! I've read a lot about the school and its rising reputation within not only the global ranks, but particularly within Asia. I guess a question for you, since you seem to be quite familiar and knowledgeable about the school: what are the job prospects like in areas outside of Finance for students at HKUST? I know it's arguably one of the tops for finance within Asia, but how about for other functional areas such as international business, marketing, strategic management, or management consulting? Are graduates of HKUST's MBA program usually limited to stay and find work within Asia/HK/China afterwards? Or is there large mobility to work elsewhere internationally, for instance in Europe, or the US, or even Canada? And what are their admissions requirements like compared to EU schools or Canadian schools (more emphasis on which areas?)

I actually recently took a university-level Advanced Assurance course through distance education and got an A- in the course. Would it be wise to take a few others on top of this to further supplement my transcript?

Thanks Paul!!
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Re: Evaluate my profile please! :) [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 10:18
Expert's post
Kdub:
I would not say a high disadvantage but it does place additional pressure on that part of the application. I would apply now with 2 years of W/E. However, a critical question to address on the essays is what you have been doing lately since your separation from work. This is in conjunction with your longer term goals. Applicants are rejected because the school does not believe they have a game plan that is realistic for the school and actionable for the applicant.
HKUST is a great school for finance but will help you get your foot in the door in other areas such as mgmt consulting and intl business. I am not certain of its strength in marketing. The play that was successful this past year at HKUST was taking LA based RE analysts and speaking to the need for codified RE investment practices in the booming China region. Also, with LA being a major base for Chinese investors and for American investors in China, we spoke to how the applicants would use their relationships in the Chinese-LA community to help strengthen the schools relationships in LA and China. With HKUST, you are most likely going to be constrained to the Asia region. However, if you get into a large Chinese company with an international presence upon graduation, you should have not geographic restrictions. This is your backdoor to moving back to Canada for example.
Generally, I thought their admissions requirements were quite agreeable. For example, when one candidate got waitlisted, I encouraged him to call up to see how he could personally move the needle. This was all he needed, including another rec, to get him off the waitlist. The adcon member even told him what his achilles heel was. Basically, the interviewer had noted that she doubted his sincerity in wanting HKUST as he had mentioned USC as another school he was applying to (more on this, if you want.) I thought this was quite refreshing and honest. So once he addressed it directly, he was in.
If you want to talk to this current HKUST student, please let me know, I will reach out to him.
If you want to speak to me this week regarding your questions, please PM me and we can set up a time to speak for about an hour.
Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti

kdub09 wrote:
Thanks for your quick reply, Paul - I appreciate it!

With regards to the EU schools placing greater emphasis on quality of work experience, does this necessarily put students who have less work experience (i.e. me) at a large disadvantage? Rather, if I really want to study in EU, would I be better off working for another few years before applying?

With HKUST: Great to hear that you've had great experience and success in helping applicants get admitted there! I've read a lot about the school and its rising reputation within not only the global ranks, but particularly within Asia. I guess a question for you, since you seem to be quite familiar and knowledgeable about the school: what are the job prospects like in areas outside of Finance for students at HKUST? I know it's arguably one of the tops for finance within Asia, but how about for other functional areas such as international business, marketing, strategic management, or management consulting? Are graduates of HKUST's MBA program usually limited to stay and find work within Asia/HK/China afterwards? Or is there large mobility to work elsewhere internationally, for instance in Europe, or the US, or even Canada? And what are their admissions requirements like compared to EU schools or Canadian schools (more emphasis on which areas?)

I actually recently took a university-level Advanced Assurance course through distance education and got an A- in the course. Would it be wise to take a few others on top of this to further supplement my transcript?

Thanks Paul!!

_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

Expert Post
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Joined: 25 Jan 2010
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Re: Evaluate my profile please! :) [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 10:21
Expert's post
kdub09 wrote:
Thanks for your quick reply, Paul - I appreciate it!
I actually recently took a university-level Advanced Assurance course through distance education and got an A- in the course. Would it be wise to take a few others on top of this to further supplement my transcript?


I almost missed this one. I would guess this was a Quality Assurance class? I used to be a quality engineer for a Tier 1 auto supplier back in the day. I worked in in London Ontario for a while as well.

Anyway, if it is a QA class, you have to hit up one of the core MBA subjects - accounting, finance, stats, econ - that is quant based. This will give you the most bang for your buck.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

Manager
Manager
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Joined: 03 Jan 2010
Posts: 68
GMAT 1: 700 Q V
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Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 5

Re: Evaluate my profile please! :) [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2010, 10:59
Thanks for the insight, Paul. The course was actually a Audit & Assurance course (public accounting), so it had a mix of quant+qual. But I'll take a look into taking another MBA-level course as well. Do schools generally allow non-MBA students to take MBA-level courses?

I'll send you a PM personally shortly, but just wanted to throw back out there my question with regards to my chances at getting into the Canadian b-schools listed, in case Paul or anyone else had any insights on their admissions processes.

Thanks again Paul for your advice and insights on the HK and EU schools with regards to my application and profile.
Re: Evaluate my profile please! :)   [#permalink] 18 Feb 2010, 10:59
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