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Looking for feedback on school selection

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Looking for feedback on school selection [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2014, 23:53
Hi there!

I am a younger Indian female applicant on the lower end of the work experience spectrum with extensive startup experience and I would really appreciate your thoughts on my profile:

Here's a brief summary of my profile:

1) GMAT: 710 (47Q, 40V)
2) Education: Electronics and Communication Engineering from a top 25 engineering college in India (Non-IIT)
- CGPA: 9.03/10 (21 out of 250, top ten percent of class)

3) Internships:
a) International semiconductor company (think Intel, Freescale - got through rigid selection process) - Design Intern (6 months)
b) University in Eastern Europe - Research Intern (1 month)
c) Indian School of Business - Research Intern (2 months)

4) Work Experience - Total Experience 1 year (2 at the time of matriculation)

a) Software Engineer at tech startup started by serial entrepreneurs (1 year)
- 1 promotion from Consultant to Software Engineer
- Worked directly with clients from the U.S and Africa, took ownership of projects within 6 months of joining
- Reduced development time by 60%, developed proprietary algorithm marketed to retailers such as Walmart & Target
- Female coder, only female among 30 odd male employees
- Confident of getting a strong recommendation from the founder of the startup

b) Founder of startup that provides professional writing services to students and young professionals
- Leading a team of two part time employees and an intern while working full time myself
- Have had around 400 clients in less than a year of its inception; students accepted to Duke, Cornell and similar
- Observing profits of over 200% due to low initial investment and knowledge capital
- Designed the marketing strategy, developed the website, oversee the writing, top search result on Google

Extracurriculars and additional information:
- Vice President of the Student Body (~8000 students)
- Member of the Sports Council
- Played for the Women's Basketball team at college
- Headed a green initiative (5K Run, Campus Cleanup, mobilised funds)
- Maintain a blog with 30,000+ views and 5000 unique visitors
- Developed apps for NGOs, pro bono
- Coaching govt. school kids for a scholarship exam (5 hours a week for 3 months)
- Travelled to over 30 countries so far

My Target Schools (in order of priority): Yale, Tuck, Johnson, Darden

My Query: Can you please let me know if my school selection is realistic or I need to focus more on schools such as Goizueta and Tepper?

Looking forward to your response. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Looking for feedback on school selection [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2014, 06:17
Also forgot to mention:

My goals: I want to get experience across industries in as little time as possible so that I can hit my final goal of starting my own venture. With that in mind, consulting is a highly appealing, low risk-high reward option. Either technology or management consulting would allow me to learn about how different companies tackle problems and how CEOs take decisions in such a high level-high stakes scenario. I want to use that experience to start my own company in the technology space in India, with my priority being - it isn't going to be just another IT service provider or KPO firm (we have too many of those). I'd like to create real value and real products.
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Re: Looking for feedback on school selection [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2014, 10:22
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Hi there,

Thanks for posting. It sounds like you are pretty ambitious and determined, so that is a good start, and congrats on your startup. Wondering what exactly 'professional writing services' entails, you mention students getting into universities, is it admissions consulting or is that a part of it?

Anyway you have solid grades though non-IIT, lots of good involvement, technical/quant skills, and your own startup shows a lot of initiative and will likely mean you'll bring a good entrepreneurial viewpoint into the classroom.

However I do think you'd be a stronger applicant with another year of experience; both in your full time role and with your start-up, and there's the potential to get more involved in the community and look for other ways you can show leadership, within that timeframe. Right now your schools list could be a bit ambitious, whereas with even stronger experience it could be more on-par. So it probably depends upon how badly you want to go for it now, vs waiting. Let me know how else we can help you think through this or what other q's you have. Good luck!
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Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
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Re: Looking for feedback on school selection [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2014, 23:33
Thanks for your response! Well I wouldn't call it admissions consulting since we don't do any actual strategy work or help with choosing schools. We function as writing aides for students applying to master's programs (mostly in the sciences) and help review their resumes, cover letters and statements of purpose.

I am not hung up on going this year, however I do want to give it a good shot. I plan to reapply next year with a stronger profile if I do happen to get dinged everywhere this time around. Do you think applying aggressively to ambitious schools is a good strategy?
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Re: Looking for feedback on school selection [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2014, 13:42
Expert's post
Gotcha, well very cool (and similar as well to my world, lol).

So if I'm understanding correctly, generally you feel you want to give it a shot this year for sure and plan to re-apply next year if needed. Sure thing. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "Do you think applying aggressively to ambitious schools is a good strategy?" ;) When you say applying aggressively... I guess I envision that ideally, everyone who applies should do so 'aggressively' if that means really giving it your all, because otherwise it's not worth it right. I do think it will be a bit tougher for you at this point as mentioned, so for better chances of getting in somewhere this year, you'd want to include a few slightly less competitive schools too. Feel free to clarify your q more or ask additional q's. ;) Good luck to you!
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