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IT Background From China?

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Admissionado
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 2784
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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IT Background From China? [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2011, 14:29
Expert's post
What is up folks. More questions from our friends in China. This one I thought was the best of the bunch. It is long, but if you are into IT and technology, very relevant. Enjoy...

=======================
Hi Jon,

can you help me to evaluate my profile for 2012 MBA application?

BS of computer science, Top 15 school in China, GPA 3.2-3.3 (our school is known for low GPA), class rank 2/71, leadership expericence in some student union department, numerous awards for academic performance and extra curricular activity, excellent graduate of province ( 4%).

MS of computer science, TOP 4 school in China, GPA 3.3, 4 research papers ( 2 of them are top tier international conferences ), some awards for academic excellence, volunteer experince for an internationl conference in shanghai

Master in computer science ( Quitted my phd program in second year ), a well-known campus of university of california ( not Berkeley or UCLA ), GPA 3.97 , one research paper, teaching assistant, School fellowship, China earthquake Relief effort volunteer

so far, 2 and 8 months working experience in headquarter of a world leading finanical software company in NYC ( No.1 brand in industry) , software engineer and project manager for critical projects in our department, fast promotion, excellent award certificate for "siginficant contributions" to company ( 5% ), CFA level 2 candidate

GMAT: 740+5
GMAT: 1460+4.5 ( expired )
TOEFL: 647+5 ( expired )

since my current salary is higher than average salary of first-year top MBA graduate ( you know IT engineer is overpaid in USA :) ), I would only try top 10 schools. If I can not get into top schools, I will staty in my current company.

However, I have very obvious weakness:

1) age: almost 30 now ( almost 31 when I start my MBA study )
2) two master degrees ( I need to explain why I quitted my phd program , otherwise I am at risk of being considered as a degree collector )
3) tech background not welcomed by top schools
4) no volunteer experience after I came out of school ( plan to add some volunteer experience this year )
5) working experience ( 2 and 8 months so far ) is not long compared to other applicants

My career goal is to become an executive in an IT comany or return to China to start my own company in a couple of years. Jon, can you give me some suggestions on my application ? Should I also try harvard/stanford or just focus on other top 10 schools ? Thanks.

==========================
[Hello my friend. To be honest, you don’t seem to need much guidance from us—you know all the answers already! : ) You have identified the challenges in your candidacy: age, IT industry (which is tough from China), limited extra-currics, and the two degrees. I am not worried about your 3 years of work experience. And we will address the two degrees in your Optional essay—that will be critical.

But so that leaves the age issue, which we will have to address (carefully, and subtlely) in your essays. You DO have a chance here—and as you apply, don’t focus exclusively on “top ten” programs. Why? Well, did you know that CMU is the second best IT program in the US? And that UT Austin is also in the top five? Same with Stern…so as you look at schools, don’t get too stuck if you would on the “top ten” aspect. The world of IT is unusual, and the best management programs are not always the best programs for IT…]
_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

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