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Kindly evaluate my profile [#permalink]
31 Mar 2008, 13:27
I've always wanted to seek your advice in admission matters but I wasn’t sure about my future plans or I should say that I want concerned due to my ridiculous mindset. Anyhow, I've decided to pursue a MBA and would highly appreciate your comments and feedback. You are allowed to be harsh and question my candidacy as it helps me think in ways I haven’t thought about and perhaps it will help me better position myself for the future.
-- Age - 26 -- Nationality - Indian -- Gender - Male -- Education - BS in Finance and Economics (minor). GPA 3.2. My grades were pathetic the first two semesters (received below 2.5. Had 2 F's and never retook the classes as they were electives. Will this hurt me?). However, from then on I worked extremely hard and even managed to land in the deans list for a couple of semesters. I hope the schools recognize the hard work and also the upward progression. That is, I went from GPA of 2.2 over to 3.8 ….and never went below a 3.3. My major GPA should be somewhere around 3.5 and I’m praying that I cross 700 in my GMAT as that may offset my 2 F’s. Any thoughts? -- Work History - Business Analyst -- Business Strategic Consultant -- Project Manager.
Consulted for major fortune 500's – Industries: Banks, Heath Care, Retail, Financial and Airlines. I’ve lead and managed numerous initiatives. Since they were primarily consulting roles, I often had to switch companies every six months or so. I have to admit that these frequent changes in roles and jobs will bite me as the schools evaluate my career path and might even turn out to be totally unacceptable to the admission officers. But, my rationale is that, having exposure to different industries and business makes me a stronger individual and provides me with the ability to understand the interplay between the various industries. Also, I strongly believe that to be a strong business leader you need to have an industry wide background. Again, I’d have to explain these in depth during my essays to substantiate my case. But, what are your thoughts? I'd like to point out that unlike most IT BA's, I posses a strong background in working and dealing with the business matters. My roles were challenging and required strong presentation, analytical, negotiation and planning skills. The reason I say this is because I don’t want to be perceived as someone with a strong IT background. Basically, I want to stay away from the Male/Indian/IT bucket. Current School Work - Attending school for an accounting degree (undergrad level classes) to beef up my accounting knowledge and also to ensure that I have 150 credit hours of course work, which by the way is a requirement for CPA examinations Extracurricular Activities - School Related: Internships - Successfully completed 3 internships. 2 with the state of Missouri and 1 with a regional manufacturing firm. Professional Organizations - Member of Economics Fraternity. Performed volunteer work for Rotary club. Key member of SIFE - Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE offers students the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise)
Post School - I haven’t been really involved in any volunteer/professional organizations lately due to the demanding nature of my consulting work, entrepreneurial activities outside the country and also due to the fact that I'm overly engaged with school. (I.e. Accounting classes. Accounting classes are part of my preparation for CPA designation. (Certified Public Accountant)) I’m planning on joining a few organizations in the coming week and undertaking initiatives to demonstrate my leadership. But, I hope that the schools do not perceive this as something that I’ve done just for the sake of being involved in the community.
Entrepreneurial Leadership - I've always had a passion for International business and constantly tapping into foreign markets. With that said, at the age of 19, I established a retail store in India and ran it for two years. I wasn’t able to continue with the operation due to stiff competition from domestic players and lack of management personnel. (Lesson Learned – Need the right people and LOCATION does matter. It was truly an experience) I recently started another retail unit (stationery and office supplied) in Dubai (Middle East – UAE) and I’m currently operating it with the help of my family. The biz is growing fast as Dubai is a strong economy and this time I have the right people on board. Also, last year I joined an auditing firm as a business partner. Would you consider these as my core strengths? I don’t know how much of these will help as they are outside the US. One main reason I'm concentrating on international markets, especially Dubai is because of my background (raised in Dubai, from the age of 3) and due to the earning potential. (Very strong domestic market and promotes biz development) I plan to leave US by 2011 and so this is part of my exit strategy to ensure that I have something sold to develop as I land in Dubai.
Future Plans – After successful completion of my masters, I intent to work for a public accounting (Big 4’s) to understand and conquer accounting. Then I’d like to switch over to a business strategic consulting role concentrating on high level M&A deals in the financial sector. This is where my accounting and CPA designation will really add value.
Due to my recent interest in the accounting sector, I've been contemplating between a Masters in Accounting or a MBA (maybe with a concentration in Acct and Finance). On a side note, Do you think admissions for MBA would be more competitive than a Masters in Accounting?
I haven’t completed my GMAT yet, but I've started my preparations and will be appearing for the exam this summer. For the sake of your analysis, let's assume that I've completed my GMAT and received a score of 650 (I can’t settle for anything less than 700, but let’s go with a worst case number). Given this information do you feel that I have enough ammunition for the MBA admission battle at the TOP 20 schools? Okay, let’s get realistic. I’m pretty confident (seems like words coming out a in competent guy. right) that this background wouldn’t fetch me a spot in the TOP 10. My target school is University of Texas - Austin, since they have the #1 Accounting program and their MBA program seems to be pretty tight. So, do you think I have what it takes to secure a seat at Texas?
Additional schools that I’ve been considering are as follows: • Cornell University (Johnson) • NYU (Stern) • University of Virginia (Darden) • Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) • UNC - Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler) • Indiana University (Kelley) • Yale University • University of Illinois (Masters program)
FYI…. (What is my biggest fear – My undergrad GPA (2 F’s) and lack of extra curricular activities?)
Re: Kindly evaluate my profile [#permalink]
04 Apr 2008, 09:33
Your profile is not the typical Male Indian IT one, so that helps you. I like the entrepreneurial leadership experiences; you should emphasize them in your essays, but the schools will still want to know that you've had leadership and impact in your "day" job. I also think the Dubai background will help you stand out a bit.
The perception of "job-hopping" may hurt you a bit, but explain it and it probably won't be a deal-breaker. The relative lack of community involvement is a negative, so I would encourage you to find one solid commitment that enables you to have leadership and impact in the coming months. The two F's are less critical given your subsequent GPA and will matter less if there were specific reasons for the grades and they were not in quant-related classes. But the best way to eliminate concerns about grades is to get GMAT verbal and quant scores as close to the 80th percentile. If you do, you could have a shot at Texas, though it would probably be a "semi-reach" school for you rather than a "competitive" school. Of the other schools you mentioned, Stern, Virginia, and Yale will be longshots even with a near 700 GMAT.
Top MBA programs are harder to get into than master's in accounting programs because the competition is fiercer. But that's only true for the most selective MBA programs.
Re: Kindly evaluate my profile [#permalink]
04 Apr 2008, 09:50
I appreciate your time and feedback. I will certainly try to get involved in some professional or non profit organizations to sharpen my extra curicular segment
Another question that has been rattling in my head nowdays is the danger of having a master degree prior to MBA. That is, if I plan to pursue an MBA after a masters in ACCT would I be questioned or scruitnzied. Meaning - WHY DO YOU NEED ANOTHER MASTERS DEGREE when you have one in Accounting. Would having a masters in hand prior to an MBA turn out to be hurdle for my MBA plans. What are your thoughts?
Once again I appreciate your assistance. Have a great weekend!
Re: Kindly evaluate my profile [#permalink]
08 Apr 2008, 07:44
Yes, having a master's already in hand will raise questions in the adcoms' mind, namely, why does he need another one? Doesn't he know what he wants to do? It's not necessarily the positive asset that applicants think it is. And many, many applicants apply with existing master's degrees so it doesn't help you stand out either. More important to adcoms would be strong leadership and impact in a professional environment.