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Paradosso's profile

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Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 283
Location: Milan
Schools: Wharton, LBS, UChicago, Kellogg MMM (Donald Jacobs Scholarship), Stanford, HBS
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Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 08:15
I've posted my profile in the accepted.com board and in another thread seeking advice to finalize my school list, but in the latter case I was probably looking for some profile reviews as well (otherwise career goal and school list could have been sufficient).

It seems like I had my mind read by the guys who started this board, so without further ado here's my profile and everybody is welcome to share their opinion on which schools I may have a chance / be competitive for and to advise on strategies to optimize my application strategy (reference to specific schools/essays is extremely valuable, as are experiences from '10 admits or current ambassadors).

Hope I can return the favor though I'm not nearly as informed as most guys around here.

A starting point: should I talk about graduating one year later as I had to help out my family working? Trade-off between highlighting a weakness and showing some leadership (yet my job was not really linked to what I was studying, nor I can ask LORs from people there - they cannot speak a word of English...).

Thanks, as always.

Age, gender, ethnicity: almost 27 (almost 28 at matriculation), white male, Italian.

Education: BA (Hon.) with a major in marketing and business administration from Bocconi UG (best management college in Italy). GPA 28,2/30, final mark 110/110. Semester abroad at Strathclyde (UK). Member of International Students Association.

GMAT: taking it in two weeks, currently scoring 720-750 in MGMAT and GMATPrep

Work Experience (3 years at matriculation):
- 20 months at a boutique MC firm in Italy: promoted after one year, given an intern and a full-time analyst to manage after one year, substantial contribution in selling the extension of a major engagement, acted as the company reference point for IT procurement and integration with parent company when the firm was acquired;
- 3 months now in a major MC firm (top 3): international engagement (Ukraine, Switzerland, Italy) as well as international team (Ukrainian, Russian, Dutch, Italian), should be promoted to a post-MBA position in one year.

Extracurriculars: junior teacher at local sailing club, organized sailing race with about 100 participants; head of non-editorial activities for the leading italian music webzine (until I went working as a consultant), negotiated two deals with major players in the online advertising business.

Career Goal: move to the US in a product management role in a major Internet-based company (first choice would be Amazon), eventually lead my own team or my startup again in a product and design based industry.

Weaknesses: took me one year more than expected to graduate, due to family matters. I also feel my extracurricular are not up to par with other applicants though leadership could emerge in my professional career so far.

Other: at my previous company I worked directly with the CEO for a couple of months, he happens also to be a VP of HBS Alumni and would strongly support my candidacy with compelling stories (An ex-colleague who worked with him in comparable ways and had his LOR is now in HBS with a 620 GMAT -and a very well-engineered application though!).
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Status: Um... what do you want to know?
Joined: 03 Jun 2007
Posts: 5464
Location: SF, CA, USA
Schools: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA 2010
WE 1: Social Gaming
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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 22:27
I think I've already given a review somewhere, but overall I think you have a very strong profile. Your EC leadership is not shabby at all, so don't knock it yourself. A couple of those things could turn into a short essay that adds personality and leadership/teamwork to your well rounded profile.

3 years of WE may be a weakness at some schools, but don't let that stop you either. Show great progress in your professional life in your essays and you'll convince the adcoms that they have to take you. :)

As I said in the other thread, and I will state again here, your goals of product management at a big internet company and eventually starting your own company could not be a better fit for four schools (2 of them very difficult to get in), Stanford, HBS, Haas, and MIT (in no particular order). I would seriously consider applying to those 4 schools. Since you said you don't need a safety since you would just apply again next year if you don't get anything this year, spend all of your time focusing on those four and you should have a good chance. :) Good luck and let me know if you need any Haas help in the coming months.
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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 14:54
Agree with Kry on everything - and add Kellogg to the list ;)

As for original advice, I'm less concerned with 3 years WE (I think thats right in the sweet spot for HBS/Stanford/Kellogg/MIT, but do believe you are going to want to talk up the "Why MBA / Why Now" part of your story. One question I would ask reviewing your profile (from an admissions perspective) is why apply to business school 3 months after getting a new job at a top flight consulting firm. To switch into product management is a good answer - but it needs to flow (including the recent switch). The job switch may not need to be addressed in the app (not directly atleast), but its a decent bet that in Alumni interviews or HBS interview, that might be a question that might come to the interviewed mind.
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Status: Um... what do you want to know?
Joined: 03 Jun 2007
Posts: 5464
Location: SF, CA, USA
Schools: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA 2010
WE 1: Social Gaming
Followers: 63

Kudos [?]: 327 [0], given: 14

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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 17:45
I was pretty impressed with Kellogg's relatively new Entrepreneurship and Venture capital club. It had some students with good experience and a lot of new programs coming up. There is also a stat where 80% of Kellogg graduates end up starting a company OR working as a founding member of a startup within 5-10 years of graduating.

Kellogg is a good school that you can't go wrong with if you decide to go there. :)
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GMAT Club Knowledge Vault:
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http://gmatclub.com/forum/111-t56286
Member Essays:
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Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 283
Location: Milan
Schools: Wharton, LBS, UChicago, Kellogg MMM (Donald Jacobs Scholarship), Stanford, HBS
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 134 [0], given: 3

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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 23:32
Excellent suggestions kryzak and steel, thanks. I will surely end up in Kellogg or Hass eventually :)

Steel, the boutique consultancy where I was wonrking got acquired by a consultancy focused on manufacturing and operations, that's basically why I could not pass up the offer of a big 3 though I was thriving there. Plus, I figured out it could be good to me to have experience both in a small environment and in a huge office before my MBA (the office where I'm working now is the biggest in the world for this big 3).

Do you think this could fly with the interviewer or I need to research myself further? (I feel like knowing the answer to this... :)).
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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2008, 01:47
haha - that'll definitely explain it.
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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2008, 02:01
Sorry to take over your thread but I have a similar situation

6 months back I was working with one the biggest automobile companies and I moved from automobile to a totally different industry (automation) though I remained in the same function – Global Sourcing. But sourcing and supply chain in automobile is very different from the current industry.

Honestly, the main reason for my move was a raise. But how do I put it in right words. I feel getting too honest with adcoms might be risky…
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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2008, 05:36
durgesh79 wrote:
Sorry to take over your thread but I have a similar situation

6 months back I was working with one the biggest automobile companies and I moved from automobile to a totally different industry (automation) though I remained in the same function – Global Sourcing. But sourcing and supply chain in automobile is very different from the current industry.

Honestly, the main reason for my move was a raise. But how do I put it in right words. I feel getting too honest with adcoms might be risky…


Durgesh - glad to see other sourcing pros joining the MBA ranks (I was at a supply chain / sourcing boutique consultancy firm for the last three years)

As for a strategy - I would suggest just using the unifying theme of sourcing rather than the firms as your experience - taking anecdotes from your time at each firm to discuss particular strengths of your candidacy. I wouldn't address the switch with anything more than a pasing comment unless it comes up in an interview - where you can talk through it and explain that they provided an interesting opportunity - where you gained x experience - but now want to go back to school to get y and pursue goal z.
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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2008, 06:39
thanks steel, i guess i need to cleary define x, y and z and make it strong point....

since you have a background of sourcing, hows an MBA in Fin after experiance in sourcing... this is what i'm targetting...
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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2008, 11:17
I doubt I will be conventrating in Finance but am certainly looking to boost my know how in it. Its one of the hard skills I am looking to exit my MBA with.

As to feasibility of moving to finance from a sourcing background, I think its a fairly sellable and practical approach. Lots of the soft skills will transfer - negotiating / deal expertise, analyticsl thinking needed to identify opportunities, transaction based thinking, etc. You can easily fit the MBA in to augment areas you want to improve in.
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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2008, 05:04
Paradosso wrote:
Plus, I figured out it could be good to me to have experience both in a small environment and in a huge office before my MBA (the office where I'm working now is the biggest in the world for this big 3).


Just curious what the Top 3 is from the European perspective.

None of the Top 3 we hear about in North America has their largest office in Europe.
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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2008, 08:31
The top 3 in alphabetical order:

- Bain & Company
- Boston Consulting Group
- McKinsey and Company

I can assure you that one of these companies has its largest (since 2005) office in Europe. :)
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Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2008, 17:11
Paradosso, I also think you should seriously consider kryzak's suggestion on looking closely at MIT. I think given your long-term goals, MIT may provide you with a better platform to accomplish those goals than will Kellogg.

And I also believe that your background would really add to "engineer friendly" MIT's diversity. And Boston's a tech hub in its own right, much more so I would say than Chicago.
Re: Paradosso's profile   [#permalink] 16 Jul 2008, 17:11
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