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Need help on deciding programs and schools

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Need help on deciding programs and schools [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2005, 13:51
Dear Linda, Forum Administrators, and Moderators,

I would like to thank you all for providing valuable information to all of us aspiring to enhance our career goals. I would also like to thank the other individuals willing to share their knowledge and help others within the community.

I need help on deciding to which MBA programs and schools I could apply for and have a chance of getting admitted. The following sections include my background, and the reasons for me pursuing MBA. If I bore you with lot of details, I apologize in advance, I believe the more information I provide the better guidance I could get. And if I miss to provide vital information, please feel free to ask.

Let me start with the easier and quantifiable stuff.

1. Originally from India

2. Age: 30

3. Education:

a. Masters in Computer Science, University Of Texas at Arlington
i. GPA: 3.5
ii. T.A. for highly analytical computer courses

b. Bachelors in Computer Science, India.
i. Not IIT, but reasonably tough to get into government run university
ii. Bad GPA, 62%, even though ranks were not assigned, I believe I would be ranked at 70th percentile.

4. GMAT: 730; Verbal 41, Quantitative 49, AWA 5.0

5. Experience:
a. Working as a senior software engineer for over 8 years. As a consultant, provided technical solutions in various industries (Insurance, Telecom, and Credit Evaluation). Provided technical leadership to various small development teams.

b. A highly respected member of the team for the knowledge and experience I bring to the table, and the ethics and attitude with which I conduct myself in the organization.

c. Actively advocated changes to software development process within the organization, and saw improvements in the product quality.

d. Not much of management experience

e. Did not work for stellar companies. Most of the places I worked with do not have an MBA graduate, even in the top management.

f. Current Salary: High 90s

6. Extra-curricular

a. Play racquetball at the local club

b. I am a PR lead for Habitat For Humanity in the local county for about 3 months

c. Participate in technical discussion forums on the Internet.

Why MBA?

My ultimate goal is to lead an organization that provides technical/information services to financial institutes. I would like to use MBA to move from software development to management. Here is how I wish to see my career progress after MBA.

Immediately after MBA, take up a project management position to manage a software development team either in a financial institute, or in a consulting firm such as IBM and provide consulting to financial institutes. For the next 3 years, I would like to utilize my experience in software development and my education in management to successfully lead the teams and grow up the management ladder. By the time I get to 40 years old, I would like to see myself either at the top of the ladder or getting close to the top of the ladder.

I have a strong interest in both technology and mathematics, and while I was doing research on MBA programs I also found interest in Financial Engineering. Since I have experience in developing complex business applications using C++, I believe I could also do some courses in Financial Engineering and step into software development teams in Investment Banking and grow from there.

MBA programs

I was debating very much on whether I should do a part-time program or a full-time program, or an accelerated MBA program. I have applied for Wharton and HBS for the R2 2005, and got dinged by Wharton without an interview, and am also afraid that I would be dinged by HBS (no, I did not hack into applyyourself.com website). I visited the campus of HBS and was very much impressed by what it offers. I very much enjoyed the case discussion they had on the day I visited its campus. However, I believe I am not competent enough to be admitted by HBS, and Wharton kind of schools.

I am favoring part-time program for the following reasons. I may be little old to pursue a full-time MBA. I also think I might be able to accelerate my transition into management while doing MBA if I do part-time. However, I am afraid, I will be missing out on the experience of on-campus activities that full-time students enjoy. The other reason for favoring a part-time program is that I have a better chance of getting admitted into a part-time program of good school than a full-time program of the same school.

I am not confident how much I could learn in an accelerated program, and hence am not considering it actively.

Schools and Specializations

Specializations I am interested in are Strategy, Financial Engineering, and Technology. I am ruling out myself ultra-elite schools such as HBA, Wharton, MIT, Columbia, Stanford, and Kellogg with an assumption of not being competent enough to be admitted. The business schools I am interested in are Stern, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, and Darden. I need to know the chances of me getting an admission in above-mentioned schools. I can apply for part-time this year to Stern, however I need to wait for one more year if I want to apply for these other schools, and am not sure how my age would affect in me getting admitted to these other schools the next year.

I truly appreciate your feedback on the school selection, program selection, my chances of getting admitted, and how I could enhance my application to improve the chances.

Thank you very much.

Sam
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