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Senior Manager
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Joined: 30 Dec 2004
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Looking to be evaluated... [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 16:24
Ok so here is me:

Education and Academic Stats
B.S. Chemistry 3.0, Santa Clara University
GMAT 670 (48Q, 34V) this is my second time...my first time I got a 650 (49Q, 29V)
I went to Northwestern to get my PhD in chemistry right after graduation but quit because I realized that I didn't want to be a chemist and other personal reasons.

Work Experience:
Currently I have been working three years in the biopharmaceutical industry but by the time I apply I will have been in the industry for four or five depending on when I leave for B-school (Fall 2006, Fall 2007). I worked two years for a company that recently went public. At this company I was the first one placed on a project and worked on it pretty much by myself for a few months (which is rare for someone at my level research associate) until some major breakthroughs occurred after which 8 other people were added to the project. This project is now getting ready to go into clinical trials and I am one on a short list of people on the patent for it (I was the first to synthesize the molecule that could potentially go into the clinic).

After two years I wanted to learn new science and see the operations at a different company. I moved to this new company and two months after I joined we went public (I had nothing to do with it ;-)) Currently I am working on a project with about 10 other people and I feel I am making some valuable contributions to the project by making proposals for ideas etc. (again I am only a reasearch associate so this I think is rare..or atleast I hope) I have been working for this company for a year now and might stay until either '06 or '07...still not sure.

Life experience

I was born in the US but I have lived in India and Japan and can read and write one Indian language and speak Japanese semi-fluently (and only read and write hirgana and katagana).

I have bipolar, I am in control of it but a huge reason why I had to quit grad school was to really take time to understand it, deal with it and move on (and I did not take the GMAT with extra time or anything if you are wondering :-D )


Extracurricular
At Santa Clara I was the president of the chemistry club, I was a starting member of the Improv troupe and my senior year was awarded the Joseph Deck Award for being the most "well-rounded" student in chemistry....or something like that

In my short stay at Northwestern I was recognized by the students there with a teaching award because I taught organic chemistry lab.

I am taking an Berkeley Extension Course in accounting and plan on taking several more before I apply (i.e. Finance, Micro, etc.).

Impetus for going to B-school
1) I feel in my position I have made some good decisions which have resulted in good outcomes but in my position the opportunity to make key decisions is very limited. I want to go b-school to be put in the position to be able to do that.

2) Along those lines my longer term goals are to start my own biotech company in India and I know I would need an MBA to really know how to start doing that.

3) My shorter terms goals are to gain a job either in I-banking (healthcare related) or business development position for big pharma/biopharma/medical devices company to learn the tricks of the trade.


Right now I am looking at a lot of programs, but ones that have caught my interest are UCLA, Fuqua, Stanford, Haas, Ross and LBS....I chose LBS because I really want an international experience and from the info sessions and everything I have been to LBS seems big on that. I also prefer small programs over big ones. Some specific questions are:

1) Do I look like everyone else?
2) Do I look too different?
3) Will mentioning my struggle with bipolar raise eyebrows?
4) Is my GMAT/GPA low for what I'm looking at, should I either retake or reevaluate my school choices?
5) I don't have any explicit volunteer work, so should I get it? Will it seem disingenuous?

Wow that was a loooonnngg post....Guys I wanted to give you all the information possible so that you can critically evaluate me. I appreciate any input.

Thanks.
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Joined: 22 Apr 2004
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Location: Southern California
Schools: Kellogg MBA 2004
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2005, 05:43
Expert's post
First of all, great post! You did a great job of laying out your background and your reasons for wanting to attend b-school.

To answer your questions:

1) I don't think you look too similar to everyone else. The one thing that struck me as similar-sounding was your mention of your desire to go into banking after you get your MBA. But, your reasons seem pretty unique (not just "I want to make money"), so that's good.

2) I don't think you are too different. The foreign work and language experience is terrific. Also, be sure to emphasize your improv comedy experience and all of the other things that make you look different. Different is a good thing!

3) Interesting quetsion re: your bipolar condition. I don't know the condition that well, but I can appreciate what a challenge it has been for you. Schools will definitely not discriminate against you because of it, but you're right that it will probably raise eyebrows. I think it can make for an extremely compelling essay topic such as "Talk about a significant challenge you have overcome." Generally speaking, I think schools find personal challenges -- that really help them feel like they know the applicant -- more interesting than professional challenges. However, if you cover this in your application, BE SURE to make clear that you have overcome it and that it won't be an issue while you are in school, esp. since it was the reason why you quit grad school last time.

4) Your GMAT score is good enough to get you into any of those schools. Your verbal score looks a little bit low, but you can help yourself more my spending lots of time on your essays than trying to bump up your GMAT score by another 30 points.

5) Yeah, I noticed that you don't have volunteer work. It would be nice if you had something outside of work that you're doing now, whether or not it's volunteer work. Anything in which you can demonstrate a passion for something -- and ideally show off some initiative and leadership skills -- would help. I think just joining Habitats for Humanity this week might appear a little contrived.

BTW, I like your choice of schools and your reasons for choosing them. Make sure to talk about this in your essays and interviews! Too many applicants don't have compelling reasons for applying to their target schools, other than the fact that those schools are highly ranked.

Good luck!
Scott
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Senior Manager
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Joined: 30 Dec 2004
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2005, 12:00
Thanks Scott for your quick reply. I will start looking around for some volunteer experience that I feel passionate about. I was worried about my GMAT score but to be quite honest I think I would rather spend more of my time on my essays than on the GMAT, so thanks for the advice.

I was worried about the bipolar, and it is going to be hard to talk about but I think I can make something positive out of it.

Of the schools I have seen and info sessions I visited the ones listed seemed the most interesting. My GPA is low and my GMAT is not outstanding so I am a little worried about my chances, but these are the only schools I really want to go to, and I see no point in applying to schools that I don't want to go to (thats why I kicked USC off my list). Hopefully good grades in the classes I take will reflect better on my abilities?

Thanks again!
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Expert Post
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2005, 05:36
Expert's post
Good grades now can definitely help show that you have the smarts and dedication to do well in b-school. Schools will pay attention to this!

Scott
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Scott

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Senior Manager
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Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 296
Location: California
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2005, 12:06
Hello gents,
I spoke with a good buddy of mine who is attending UCLA and he told me to look into Tuck and Darden. I have read Tuck and Darden profiles from several different sources (i.e. your book, Montauk's and BW) but I have never attended an info session or anything. Considering my goals (which I stated about a month ago and which you kindly replied to) and my impetus do you think these schools are fitting choices? They both are small programs, which I like, but I don't knowif they place well in Biotech/pharma industry. Furthermore I do not want to over-apply. I've picked out 5 schools which I really like (that already seems like a lot!) I think 7 maybe too much? But at the same time I want to get into a school and many of the schools I have chosen are extremely selective. Your opinion, as always, is greatly valued.
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2005, 12:49
Expert's post
Good question. I don't have any hard facts on hand, but based on anecdotal evidence, I'd expect that Darden would have a better link to the biotech/pharma industries. That's partly driven by their geography, which puts them in the same region as the Research Triangle in NC. (Along those lines, maybe also consider UNC.) I think very highly of Tuck, but coming out of there you may need to do more of an independent job search (which isn't a terrible thing).

That's just my opinion. I think highly of both schools. If I had to pick one, I would probably pick Darden for that reason.

In terms of your question about no. of schools to target, yeah, I'd probably try to keep it at or below six. As to which one to drop... That's up to you!

Scott
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