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How to strengthen Profile

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Status: I live to eat :)
Joined: 02 Dec 2010
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Schools: INSEAD Jan '15
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How to strengthen Profile [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2011, 09:32
Hello Alex,
Would really appreciate your input on how to improve my profile.

22/Male/Indian
1) Graduated in Engineering in May 2010. Anna University. 80%. Strong extra curriculars at College. Was Representative for 6000 Students of IEEE Madras Section. Various other strong college extra curriculars.

2) Am Currently Working in Consulting.. Not for the Big 4 Tho. A Indian Firm - I mainly work with Daimler & Hyundai . We are in a sense their India Consultants. - Help them negotiate with the Govt. & Lots of other Strategic Stuff. Been working from May 2010. Significant achievement so far -Effected savings of 100 million Euros as part of a 3-member Advisory team renegotiating Government Incentive Package for a 800 million Euro Investment by Daimler. Lots of responsiblility at firm. Restructuring Hyundai India Foundation currently

3)GMAT 770/50/45/6.0 .

4)Applied for LBS masters in mgmt 2011. Got dinged:(!.
So am now looking at MBA - class of 2015. I figured applications have to be in 1st October 2011. So I have about a year and a half to improve my profile.Am aware that I come from the most competitive demographic group - have read your blog entry about the Blind Spot. So few questions.

1. Do I stand a good shot at a top 10 School for the class of 2015? Will have 3 years work ex by the time i matriculate. Or is it too less work ex?

2.Suggestions on what I can do in this year and a half to improve my profile.

Many thanks for your input. Appreciate it.
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Re: How to strengthen Profile [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2011, 09:12
You're asking a question I can't answer.

This is YOUR life. I don't know you. What you do with it is something only you can figure out, rather than trying to reverse-engineer your way into b-school admissions (which is a foolish thing to do).

Be the most accomplished person you can possibly be. Work on things that have meaning to you (or if you don't know what that is, make the "search" for what you find meaningful your goal). How this applies to YOU will be specific to you as an individual.

Don't spend your time trying to build a profile for b-school. Spend that time instead to do what you want to do regardless of b-school, because by taking that perspective/mentality, you'll end up with a more interesting life (and the byproduct being a more interesting resume) in the process.
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Status: I live to eat :)
Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 14
Schools: INSEAD Jan '15
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V45
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 1

Re: How to strengthen Profile [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2011, 09:16
Hi Alex ,

Thanks very much for that quick and insightful reply .
It really gives me something to think about .

Thanks

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Re: How to strengthen Profile [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2011, 10:05
frankly I'd say just play it by the textbook and do all the "right" things that these adcoms like to see. You have a lot of time.

1. volunteer, help the poor; do it to show 'continuous commitment' to a good cause, whatever it may be
2. take on a "leadership" role in a managerial capacity
3. create good relationships with your supervisors so that you can ask for recommendations; dont forget to send these people birthday cards
4. did I mention volunteer for the poor
5. work for a big brand institution that the adcoms may have heard of
6. pay for gmat test prep and get a high gmat score. take the test multiple times until you are happy.

don't kid yourself 2 years of an MBA is nothing but an expensive rubber stamp. It is an investment that you need to plan for. you could buy property in some parts of the world with the same money and charge rent.

half the people will pretend they did all the noble things out of the goodness of their hearts. I call BS. Most people plan out the process with the aim of getting an MBA eventually. You have time. Start by doing all the "right" things now. If you sit down and try to make a list of things these adcoms would possibly like to see then it should not be too hard.

I have been researching the process for the last 6 months. Reading stuff, talking to people who have MBAs at top schools. You have to plan stuff out if it does not come naturally to you. Singing, acting, volunteering does not come to all people naturally. Good for people who can do this stuff with initiative -- probably they inherited the genes or whatever --- others need to plan and there is nothing wrong with that. Reverse engineer if you have to.
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Re: How to strengthen Profile [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2011, 11:12
This is where I disagree.

I can understand your cynicism, having gone through this process for six months, but I've seen thousands of applicants over seven years, plus my own experiences as an applicant more than 10 years ago, as well as a host of b-school alums/classmates from different schools.

What you wrote will result in a very cookie cutter and uninspired profile, which can actually hurt your chances. And you end up hating yourself even more because you invested all this time "planning" for someone else's sake (or your career and life choices are dictated by your need for validation from some 3rd party), rather than pursuing stuff on your own terms.

Applicants think they can fool adcoms into believing a bunch of crap. Remember that they have seen more BS than you can make up. You're not going to fool anyone by volunteering for the poor.

And if you spent all these years reverse engineering your profile, choices, etc. to impress others and you don't succeed - what you're left with is a feeling of living someone else's life on someone else's terms. It can feel like you're living a lie. And you end up with the cynicism and self-defeatist attitude of a 45 year old going through a mid life crisis while still in your 20s.

Whether you succeed or fail (at getting into b-school, or anything else), reverse engineering yourself will more often than not lead to disappointment. If you fail, you'll feel like a loser who feels he's given up his self-determination for someone or something else. If you succeed, you'll have a hard time appreciating the success, and it will feel a bit empty.

Also, it's not about volunteering for the poor or underprivileged. Plenty of people are at the top schools without it.

What it comes down to is being talented and accomplished in whatever field you choose. It's no accident that at the top schools, you get a disproportionate number of folks with blue chip backgrounds and strong resumes.

More often than not, people don't end up with strong resumes because they make "building a strong profile for b-school" as the main goal. They have it because they were exceptionally driven to do well in their careers in the first place. Going to a top b-school isn't some lifelong goal, but one of many potential opportunities - it's not some "end goal".

There's a disproportionate number of folks at top schools who went to top undergrad schools. These folks as high school kids didn't choose these undergrad colleges because they wanted to go to b-school. They simply tried to get into the best undergrad schools they could get into, period. Same with those who end up going to McKinsey, Goldman, etc. -- they didn't do it for b-school, but because if they wanted to work for the best firms they could get hired at within banking/consulting. Moreover, there's enough folks at these top undergrad colleges who eschew the traditional route, and do other things that truly drive them (they got into a top college, so they're pretty bright people and succeed or not in these "nontraditional careers" they would've at least given it their best shot and learned from it).

The thing is, the stronger candidates for b-school aren't driven by resume building and reverse engineering their profile. They are driven by achievement - they're not "waiting" to get into b-school, but are simply seeing it as an opportunity, and are also fully confident that they can succeed without it.

And b-schools in a way are admitting folks who don't need the credential because they have the combination of experience and drive to succeed anyways without it. Sort of like banks being the most willing to lend money to those who don't need it.

So no, you do NOT plan for it. What you should be doing no matter what is working to your potential in whatever career or extracurricular that you're involved in.

Again, I can understand your cynicism, but to assume that it takes special "genes" to take initiative or to do what moves you is simply a mindset that comes from the tyranny of low expectations.

Which makes your post even more sad.

You call the MBA just an "expensive rubber stamp" - yet you are advising someone to reverse engineer their life for something that you downplay as a superfluous thing?
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Re: How to strengthen Profile [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2011, 00:11
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Thanks Alex. Actually I'd add No. 7 to the list above: hire an admissions consultant who gives you honest feedback. Based on what I have read over at the Businessweek buzz school thread and other fora, you seem to be a good bet. Also HBS Guru.

Actually I have attended the best schools, including an Ivy, and and my expectations are not low. And yes, I am prepared to pay for an MBA. I am not sure why another person should be allowed to sit in judgment over why I really want to do it.

What is 'low' is the admissions process that is full of stereotypes. Oh IT grad ---> sh*t he must be a nerd! kinda mentality shown by these adcoms. And I am not IT, not a nerd, but a fairly good student, if I may say so myself, and I will be a first-time applicant (I am not carrying any past grudges). The adcoms have seen so many apps; Yes, and so they are programmed to expect certain things, unless you can pull out: I served in the Peace Keeping force in Subsaharan Africa and led a battle unit kinda stuff that not everyone can or wants to do.

The application process can be planned out if you start early. Most people who I have spoken to in my organization who have MBAs (H/S/W/Col) left me with this distinct impression. The whole point of this post is how to "strengthen" the application not to make it a cinch. Few things in life are. He is smart -- 770 GMAT. He has time. He should pick things that let him go by the playbook. Who is to say he may not actually end up liking stuff that he ends up doing if he is not really sure in the mind about what he should really do to improve his chances? He doesn't know - that's why he posted this Q. This question does have a general answer. Alternatively, it can also be answered by a counter-question: How badly do you want the MBA?
Re: How to strengthen Profile   [#permalink] 20 Feb 2011, 00:11
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