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Part-time or Exec Mba - Guidance requested

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Joined: 21 Aug 2005
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Part-time or Exec Mba - Guidance requested [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2005, 16:25
I am looking at only part-time or Exec Mba at Wharton/Kellog/ChicagoGSB/Columbia in that order. I am not interested in other schools. I am giving below my profile and I request you to help me assess my chances and also to advise me on either my app process or my choice of b-schools.

Nationality: Indian
Age: 34
Industry: IT Services
Current role: Head of NA and European IT operations in a $750MN company
Total IT experience: 13 years; Various Leadership and Managerial roles globally; More specifically - Account Management, Business Development, Program Management; Currently heading IT operations in NA and Europe
(a new role i recently assumed; its difficult to quantify yet).
US Experience: 7 years; Others - India and UK
Other Leadership experience: Initiated from concept, lead and established Account-wide (over multiple regions) Mentoring, Training and Team Building programs; Also lead a few region-wide initiatives on program management.
Other Certifications: PMP from PMI.
Social work: Lead one charity event and volunteered in two other events

Undergrad GPA: 2.73/4 ; Graduation in Mechanical Engineering from India
GMAT: 710 (Q49, V38; 90 and 85 percentiles respectively)
Recommendations: From CIO and CFO
Sponsorship: Partly company/Partly self

Reason for MBA: In the long-term, I aspire to become a CIO en-route to becoming a successful CEO in the IT service industry. Currently my focus is mostly IT and i need to develop business focus.

As I see, my strengths are - work experience, strong recs and good essays. My weaknesses are - definitely my Undergrad GPA and perhaps my GMAT.

My questions:
1) What are my chances at Wharton, Kellog, ChicagoGSB and Columbia. Iam keen on Wharton in particular because of its close proximity to my home.
2) Should i opt for part-time or exec mba?
3) Does my reason-for-mba look odd ie CIO to CEO in a service industry? But thats the truth.
4) Should i explain my low GPA in my essays? The reason was simple - around the time i was in my undergrad i fancied taking up a sport as a profession but i changed my mind later as the sport didnt look attractive financially. IF i wish to explain or if iam questioned, should i answer as the truth is. Does low GPA matter considering that i graduated 13 years ago.
5)Could you give some tips for my essays; for e.g, what to highlight and what not to highlight?
6)Also, could you please comment on my choice of schools?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Expert Post
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Joined: 22 Apr 2004
Posts: 1103
Location: Southern California
Schools: Kellogg MBA 2004
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Dec 2005, 07:00
Expert's post
I think your chances at any of those schools are very good. Yes, you have a low undergrad GPA, but since then you've done so many things that are more relevant to your potential as a future business leader. If you were just 24, then your GPA would matter much more, and would potentially keep you out of those schools. But your leadership in your current company is going to be of more interest to these schools.

From what I know, you're probably on the cusp between going for a part-time MBA or an exec MBA. I think you may have an easier time getting into a part-time program, especially given your lack of formal business training in the past. Also, people in exec ed. programs are usually sponsored by their companies, and it sounds like you wouldn't be fully sponsored. So, I would aim for those programs.

I think your reasons for wanting an MBA are valid, and your post-MBA goald are reasonable and appropriate. In your essays, explain your low undergrad GPA, but don't over-emphasize it. Explain what happened, and move on. As for the other things in your essays, try to emphasize as many non-work things as you can... Your history with sports, your community service, etc. You'll need these to stand out from other Indian IT applicants.

Wharton obviously makes sense given your location. For part-time programs, Kellogg and U. Chicago will probably ask why you're applying, since you live near Philly.

Scott
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Scott

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Part-time or Exec Mba - Guidance requested

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