My email conversation with IESE AlumniI wrote gmat on 31st of May and scored 710 (50, 35). This is my second score. Old score is 620(48, 28).
I am working as Telecom Presales consultant. I will have 7 years of work ex by the time I join fall 2013 batch. I own a very small education consulting firm in my home town. I visit schools in the neighborhood, engineering colleges and try to help them choose right career. I used to play guitar for a local band. But that did not work somehow. I have been taking French classes. I will write level A1 certification by the end of this year. All these years I was working in India only.
Could you please answer my queries below?
1. From what I have mentioned above, do you think my profile is competitive for IESE and Insead?
2. I was particularly interested in IESE until recently I heard a few job situation horror stories and how international students did not get any job. Is it really that bad?
I shouldn’t really think about jobs n all, but given that I am going to have a lot of debt from the tuition, it will be better for me to take all factors into consideration.
3. Since I have worked for tech firms for 7 years, do you think I should stick to tech domain? I don’t really think there is anything wrong with working for Tech companies. Having said that, is IESE a wrong place for a techie?
4. What was your score? Did IESE offer any scholarship? In case I get an admit from IESE , should I go for it even if they do not offer me any scholarship?
5. From what I have mentioned above, what do you think are the weaker sections in my profile? I will try to write my application accordingly.
So from your profile I would say you are more suited to insead, lbs or even imd. These schools look for 5 or more years of experience and any sort of entrepreneurial experience is valued highly. The companies coming on campus also look for such profiles. Your gmat score also fits well, even the first score, as workex and extracurricular compliment it. In iese, average work experience is 3-4 years, and companies also look for such profiles while recruiting.
That said, the job situation for internationals is quite bad here. More in iese as we lose out on local spanish companies due to language requirements. Lbs has a big advantage in terms of local market language, but the work permit situation in UK has gone from bad to worse. Eurozone is cited to go back into recession and unemployment in UK and in Europe has increased a lot over last year. Job search should be your top criteria while pursuing an MBA, particularly in current global scenario.
In iese common job profiles are banking, consulting and operations or marketing roles in various industry. Some people also start their own companies. There is nothing good or bad about being a techie, its a personal choice that you need to make. If you do make that choice then any general management course is less suitable for that career path, unless you want to be a strategy consultant in technology industry or you want to setup your tech firm.
Both these I would say will be hard to find in European market, because you would need to know clients local language.
My score was 730 and I didn't get a scholarship. I took a loan for tuition and another one for loving expenses, and I have to say it has been a tight budget ever since. I am very grateful and would do it all over again, but today is a different scenario and your career ambitions are unique to you.
I would suggest you think about why a general MBA instead of an MBA specialising in technology or even a technology focused specialisation which doesn't have to be an MBA. Then think about the location that you want to experience and can find a job and then think about the school based on class profile, subject focus and professor profiles. And think what will be your back-up option if you have to go back to your home country without a job.. its true, only about 30 internationals out of 100 in the iese class of 2012 graduated with a job. Other schools are not very different, but the students have more workex and hence better backup options.
Hope this helps rather than scares you. My professor said investing in education is the right thing to do during recession, but what makes it tough in our case is that we have to borrow to invest, we don't know how long the recession will last, and working here needs us to know the language and have our employer sponsor our visa.
Tech recruiters - yes good approach but tech school will probably not have fin recruiters.
Fin experience - yes prior exp is very relevant and a clear competitive advantage in the current job market.. that said cfa should definitely help, but takes a lot of effort, so be prepared for that..
Iese career cell advice and help, but the onus is on the individual.. so I wouldn't take them as a guarantee..
Let me know in case you have any specific doubts. I will include them in my next email.