All of those schools are within your reach. you have to understand that schools like HBS and Wharton are always every applicants "stretch schools." No one is a slamdunk at those two programs.
What I would like you to start with is an examination of what you believe that those schools can provide and getting you towards your long-term goal. How well do they place their graduating students in strategy roles at top firms? This is above and beyond the fact that you have to convince them that you will actually contribute to the school, your colleagues in the collective experience of all involved at a particular MBA program. I would go download the career placement reports that every one of your target schools are center office publishes. This is usually a PDF document available for download on the career Center's website.
so let's assume these target schools do a reasonably good job of placing their graduates in strategy roles. I was your current experience within construction project management and development relate to strategy? Don't be overly simplistic in your evaluation of management consulting opportunities. These firms acquire the best and brightest. I'm not saying that you are not among the best and brightest. You quite possibly are. However, there are a lot of people gunning for these jobs and there will be a lot of applicants saying this is what they want to do when they grow up and graduate from an MBA program. So think about it this way -- if a bear is chasing you and two of your friends are the words -- you don't have to be a fast runner, you just have to be faster than your two friends. So what am I saying? I am saying that in comparison to all the other applicants, you need to go above and beyond your reasons for wanting to become a management consultant as this goal is somewhat ubiquitous. You really have to have a compelling reason, and quite possibly prior experience, to make a lucid argument for the school. I'm not saying you can't do that. So what I am suggesting is an alternate path. What is it about you that differentiates you? There has to be something from your personal and professional history that does this. I always tell my clients that their personal passions should relate more directly to their longer-term goals and career vision. I believe the best applicants, the ones that show the most differentiation in their profile, are the ones that have a meaningful connection from their personal passions to their longer-term career goals. Do you have a personal connection to the area of expertise you want to pursue as a management consultant? If so, this is probably a very good goal and will probably leave the one that is convincing on paper to the admissions committee -- and eventually a recruiter. However if you can't draw strong correlation between your professional experience, your personal passions in your longer-term goals within management consulting, I suggest you dig deeper. Find out what it is that motivates you a very personal level. This, by the way, so I schools ask you questions or on your personal beliefs and even your family. They want to know basically that you're not full of crap or that you're not just running with the herd and stating things that everybody else could stay, thus wasting their time.
So so break out the thinking cap and shovel. Examine more closely your extracurricular activities. I see that you are somewhat involved in educating those who may not have had as much opportunity as us. Is this something that can connect to longer-term goal? So for example -- is there something within the management consulting domain that you could use your current experiences within construction and education to form a logical and employable short and long-term career goal within consulting? I know this is a fairly difficult question answer. This is what I hope my clients brainstorm on a daily basis.
I think you do have the basis for a compelling candidacy. If you would like to speak for an hour to on the phone, I am game. I believe that we can hash out your candidacy -- at some introductory level -- in an hour or so. Please let me know if this is something you'd be interested in. It is conducted under no financial obligation.
I hope the above helps. Please let me know if you have questions.
I'm about to start the application process for B-School.. Would love your feedback on my profile to find out if If I'm aiming at the right range of target schools.
1. GPA: 3.4 Bsc in Chemical Engineering Top 10 US School
2. GMAT: 740, Q 49, V 42, AWA 5.5
3. Work: 3 years work experience (4 at matriculation) at Fortune 5 Engineering and Construction. Experience includes process engineering, business development, financial modeling of industrial projects
4. International profile: French/American (bilingual/bicultural)
- Teaching math classes for adults obtaining GED (6 months)
- Volunteer at after-school program for underprivileged children (6 months)
- Volunteered at tutoring program for underprivileged for 2 years
- Lead effort to develop a website for my department
Career goals: Management Consulting in Strategy practice (short-term), return to industry (long term)
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