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Hi! How does my profile fare?

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Intern
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Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Posts: 5
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Hi! How does my profile fare? [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2007, 10:14
Hi Paul! I know you're swamped with these requests, so I really appreciate any time you might have to give a candid assessment of my profile. Also, I'd appreciate any advice from the other guys in the forum. Thanks!

1. Demographic: 25, male, graduated from Southeast Asia; but lived for a time in Australia and Canada when I was young.

2. Undergrad: 3.6 out 4.0 GPA in Business, graduated in the top 5% of my class, and received a student achievement award (given to only 3 each year)

3. GMAT: 750 - Q48, V47

4. Work Experience - 3.5 years at matriculation as a marketing research manager for a multinational FMCG who specializes in innovation for low-income markets.

a. I lead research projects in 6 countries. I don't have direct reports, but I manage 5 research agency teams (to whom we outsource research execution). Projects involve both quantitative and qualitative research in areas such category assessment, brand positioning, segmentation, product testing, and ethnography.

b. Major achievements include
(1) Turning around a declining brand by leading a major segmentation project which involved quantitative analysis and an ethnographic expedition that required cross-functional collaboration among advertising, finance, R&D, sales, and manufacturing functions;
(2) Leading the category's innovation process that is geared to producing a pipeline of winning product & marketing ideas to take into market. The two campaigns we developed from this process had led to record-level sales and profit for our business
(3) Led a team to assess a new product launch in a major growth segment but made a recommendation not to continue (with strong resistance from management, of course). We eventually got agreement and saved the company up to $4million in production and marketing costs. (I think i can spin this story as a 'success', even if we didn't really launch...)

c. Awarded by global category president for the turnaround work; promoted in 2 years (vs average of 2.5/3 years); got a dept citation for 'stopping' the new product launch

4.1 In addition, I ran a part-time tutoring business in college.

5. Extracurriculars -
a. Was the managing director of a social venture promoting political awareness among high school and college students. I led the venture by raising funds, establishing partnerships with local and international civic organizations, and managed operations...Eventually, we won first prize in a World Bank international competition that recognized student-initiated ventures that contributed to development. I'm still involved with this ventures activities to this day via coaching and mentorship arrangements.
b. As a college senior, was the founder and editor-in-chief of my school's official student publication; managed a staff of 30.
c. Represented my university in national business conference and an international student conference in globalization



6. Why MBA: I found connecting consumer insights with branding and innovation to be very fulfilling in my current work, as there's a huge potential to in Asia's developing consumer /retail segments. I'd like to start my own venture capital firm that specializes in building early-stage start-up brands in Asia. VC is still at its infancy in this region, so I'd like to play a role in pioneering it here. I need hard skills specific to VC work such as valuation, general management, and organizational behavior; and the softer skills related to negotiation, managing teams, and dealmaking.

7. Target schools: HBS (for its gen mgt track), Wharton (for its strength in finance/marketing), Stanford (innovation/links to silicon valley) and Columbia (finance,private equity)

What do you think my chances are? How do you think I could improve on my chances.

After reading your book, I've identified my potential weaknesses:
(1) Age - 3.5 yrs WE. I plan to address this by highlighting my fast-track promotion, work which is normally led by a person 1 level higher than me, breadth in geographic scope (due to projects spanning different countries) and maturity (Im still the youngest member of a 10-person multifunctional team)
(2) Technical background - I fear my research background might box me as being too technical, though this is also my strongest reason for wanting an MBA.

What do you think? Looking forward to your thoughts
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Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 1675
Location: San Diego, California
Followers: 12

Kudos [?]: 164 [0], given: 0

Re: Hi! How does my profile fare? [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2007, 09:06
enoid wrote:
Hi Paul! I know you're swamped with these requests, so I really appreciate any time you might have to give a candid assessment of my profile. Also, I'd appreciate any advice from the other guys in the forum. Thanks!

1. Demographic: 25, male, graduated from Southeast Asia; but lived for a time in Australia and Canada when I was young.

2. Undergrad: 3.6 out 4.0 GPA in Business, graduated in the top 5% of my class, and received a student achievement award (given to only 3 each year)

3. GMAT: 750 - Q48, V47

4. Work Experience - 3.5 years at matriculation as a marketing research manager for a multinational FMCG who specializes in innovation for low-income markets.

a. I lead research projects in 6 countries. I don't have direct reports, but I manage 5 research agency teams (to whom we outsource research execution). Projects involve both quantitative and qualitative research in areas such category assessment, brand positioning, segmentation, product testing, and ethnography.

b. Major achievements include
(1) Turning around a declining brand by leading a major segmentation project which involved quantitative analysis and an ethnographic expedition that required cross-functional collaboration among advertising, finance, R&D, sales, and manufacturing functions;
(2) Leading the category's innovation process that is geared to producing a pipeline of winning product & marketing ideas to take into market. The two campaigns we developed from this process had led to record-level sales and profit for our business
(3) Led a team to assess a new product launch in a major growth segment but made a recommendation not to continue (with strong resistance from management, of course). We eventually got agreement and saved the company up to $4million in production and marketing costs. (I think i can spin this story as a 'success', even if we didn't really launch...)

c. Awarded by global category president for the turnaround work; promoted in 2 years (vs average of 2.5/3 years); got a dept citation for 'stopping' the new product launch

4.1 In addition, I ran a part-time tutoring business in college.

5. Extracurriculars -
a. Was the managing director of a social venture promoting political awareness among high school and college students. I led the venture by raising funds, establishing partnerships with local and international civic organizations, and managed operations...Eventually, we won first prize in a World Bank international competition that recognized student-initiated ventures that contributed to development. I'm still involved with this ventures activities to this day via coaching and mentorship arrangements.
b. As a college senior, was the founder and editor-in-chief of my school's official student publication; managed a staff of 30.
c. Represented my university in national business conference and an international student conference in globalization



6. Why MBA: I found connecting consumer insights with branding and innovation to be very fulfilling in my current work, as there's a huge potential to in Asia's developing consumer /retail segments. I'd like to start my own venture capital firm that specializes in building early-stage start-up brands in Asia. VC is still at its infancy in this region, so I'd like to play a role in pioneering it here. I need hard skills specific to VC work such as valuation, general management, and organizational behavior; and the softer skills related to negotiation, managing teams, and dealmaking.

7. Target schools: HBS (for its gen mgt track), Wharton (for its strength in finance/marketing), Stanford (innovation/links to silicon valley) and Columbia (finance,private equity)

What do you think my chances are? How do you think I could improve on my chances.

After reading your book, I've identified my potential weaknesses:
(1) Age - 3.5 yrs WE. I plan to address this by highlighting my fast-track promotion, work which is normally led by a person 1 level higher than me, breadth in geographic scope (due to projects spanning different countries) and maturity (Im still the youngest member of a 10-person multifunctional team)
(2) Technical background - I fear my research background might box me as being too technical, though this is also my strongest reason for wanting an MBA.

What do you think? Looking forward to your thoughts


Enoid,

Impressive profile. I don't think being labeled 'techie' should be one of your worries though I agree that your age becomes a factor if only because you are aiming very high so even though schools like HBS and Stanford are explicitly open to younger applicants another year *might* enable you to offer them an even stronger profile. However, you are doing all the right things, have several distinctive elements, including the international team-leading and the social venture, and you might have a shot now at those schools. So I would not discourage you from applying to them. Worst case, you get dinged and just come back the next year even stronger, building on the specific feedback they give you. One thing you can do -- aside from just continuing to gain impact in your current activities -- is to start (if you haven't) due-diligencing your VC goals, since your move from marketing to VC is a fairly dramatic one. I.e., show them you know what you're getting into. Also, begin building vast networks at HBS, Wharton, Stanford, and CBS. Become intimately familiar with their programs and people.

Good luck,
_________________

Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

Follow Paul Bodine on Twitter

Intern
Intern
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Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Posts: 5
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2007, 04:03
Thanks, Paul. Really helpful advice - esp about the part of not worrying about my technical background.

You're right, I did realize that shifting from marketing to VC is a big change and hence, i need to demonstrate to the adcoms that I've done the due diligence and can successfully make this transition. However, my follow-up question is what constitutes 'demonstrable interest' in the eyes of the adcom that will convince them that my career goals are valid? So far, I've pegged this down to 3 things. Pls do let me know if you think these make sense:
1. Talking about how my current work mirrors some areas that relevant to VC such as leading a structured innovation process in my company, assessing demand for those innovations, recommending which ones to kill or keep alive, and developing the right go-to-market strategy /business model for that innovation
2. I've applied as a member of the local venture cap / priv equity association
3. Having a personal network of entrepreneur / start - up friends. For instance, i maintain close ties with the leader of a local business incubator in my home country

Thanks again for the advice! Have a great weekend!
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Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 1675
Location: San Diego, California
Followers: 12

Kudos [?]: 164 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2007, 08:38
enoid wrote:
Thanks, Paul. Really helpful advice - esp about the part of not worrying about my technical background.

You're right, I did realize that shifting from marketing to VC is a big change and hence, i need to demonstrate to the adcoms that I've done the due diligence and can successfully make this transition. However, my follow-up question is what constitutes 'demonstrable interest' in the eyes of the adcom that will convince them that my career goals are valid? So far, I've pegged this down to 3 things. Pls do let me know if you think these make sense:
1. Talking about how my current work mirrors some areas that relevant to VC such as leading a structured innovation process in my company, assessing demand for those innovations, recommending which ones to kill or keep alive, and developing the right go-to-market strategy /business model for that innovation
2. I've applied as a member of the local venture cap / priv equity association
3. Having a personal network of entrepreneur / start - up friends. For instance, i maintain close ties with the leader of a local business incubator in my home country

Thanks again for the advice! Have a great weekend!


enoid,

Yes, those three things are *exactly* what I had in mind re: showing due diligence and building a bridge from past career to future career.

Good luck,
_________________

Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

Follow Paul Bodine on Twitter

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