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Paul, please evaluate my profile (PhD, Engineering)

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Paul, please evaluate my profile (PhD, Engineering) [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2006, 15:51
GMAT : 700 (Q 49, 90%, V 36, 80% overall 92%)

Background: Undergrad, Chemical Engg., IIT New Delhi, 3.67 GPA

Went straight to grad school to Rensselaer Polytech Inst (Top 25 Engg school) in 1996 (GRE was 2100, actually I am surprised that my GMAT is also in the same ratio)

and finished PhD in 2001 (4.0/4/0 GPA and lot of publications).

Came to IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, NY, very cool place but did not get the group and project I was hoping for, moved around between groups learning lot of new stuff but once you are a specialist and PhD, you want to do what you like. Anyhow worked in IBM till this June and got totally frustrated and left. Now working in a start up Solar Cell Company in New Mexico (kind of got into a hot field). But I love East Coast and my wife is still there in a job so want to apply in East Coast schools.

Now why MBA after PhD:

During IBM job, I got really interested in investing stocks. I had money saved up. Even took risks and borrowed money on credit cards to invest. I doubled my money in 2 years and that too with the full time job. Used to wake up 4 AM in morning to watch CNBC and follow markets, used to set up autotrades etc.

Any way I think I am made up for finance and given my strong technical and mathematical background can get into either Investment Banking, VC etc. but I need a good MBA b4 that. I could have applied earlier but I was waiting to get my Green Card (which I shud I have applied for earlier anyway)

I also have ex-curr experience: was the President of Cricket Club at RPI, helped my club win a big Inter college tournanemt, helped increased funding of the club and membership. Have done voluntary work for various organizations (helping seniors locally). Recently helped to make a cricket ground in CT and got TV and press coverage (the whole team got it, not just me individually)

Do I have chances in Wharton, MIT, NYU, Yale, Cornell, CMU, Columbia
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Re: Paul, please evaluate my profile (PhD, Engineering) [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2006, 16:00
jainan24 wrote:
GMAT : 700 (Q 49, 90%, V 36, 80% overall 92%)

Background: Undergrad, Chemical Engg., IIT New Delhi, 3.67 GPA

Went straight to grad school to Rensselaer Polytech Inst (Top 25 Engg school) in 1996 (GRE was 2100, actually I am surprised that my GMAT is also in the same ratio)

and finished PhD in 2001 (4.0/4/0 GPA and lot of publications).

Came to IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, NY, very cool place but did not get the group and project I was hoping for, moved around between groups learning lot of new stuff but once you are a specialist and PhD, you want to do what you like. Anyhow worked in IBM till this June and got totally frustrated and left. Now working in a start up Solar Cell Company in New Mexico (kind of got into a hot field). But I love East Coast and my wife is still there in a job so want to apply in East Coast schools.

Now why MBA after PhD:

During IBM job, I got really interested in investing stocks. I had money saved up. Even took risks and borrowed money on credit cards to invest. I doubled my money in 2 years and that too with the full time job. Used to wake up 4 AM in morning to watch CNBC and follow markets, used to set up autotrades etc.

Any way I think I am made up for finance and given my strong technical and mathematical background can get into either Investment Banking, VC etc. but I need a good MBA b4 that. I could have applied earlier but I was waiting to get my Green Card (which I shud I have applied for earlier anyway)

I also have ex-curr experience: was the President of Cricket Club at RPI, helped my club win a big Inter college tournanemt, helped increased funding of the club and membership. Have done voluntary work for various organizations (helping seniors locally). Recently helped to make a cricket ground in CT and got TV and press coverage (the whole team got it, not just me individually)

Do I have chances in Wharton, MIT, NYU, Yale, Cornell, CMU, Columbia


jainan24,

I see two potential problems in your bid for the top schools: unclear how much leadership you've had in your career or extracurricularly and your reason for wanting to move into finance could backfire on you. First, regarding leadership, if you've got leadership stories highlight them. Don't emphasize the PhD; it's impressive but it means you weren't in the workforce and they may label you a "techie" if you push it too much. Regarding the "I love investing" theme, I would emphasize your countless conversations with IB and VC people already practicing in the industry, how you learned so much from them about what they do all day (if they have MBAs mention that too). Definitely can the stuff about maxing the credit cards to buy puts on DotBomb.com while everyone was asleep. You want to seem mature and savvy about the career change.

Assuming there are no red flags you didn't mention, then you have a decent chance at Cornell, Yale, and CMU and a slight chance at Wharton, MIT, CBS, and NYU. How you execute on the goals statement and the leadership profile will be critical.

Good luck,
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Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

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 [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2006, 20:28
Hi Paul,

Thank you for your reply and comments

regarding our comments on:
I see two potential problems in your bid for the top schools: unclear how much leadership you've had in your career or extracurricularly and your reason for wanting to move into finance could backfire on you. First, regarding leadership, if you've got leadership stories highlight them.


First even with PhD I would have amassed 6 years of Work Ex b4 I start next year. I will definitely emphasize leadership experience in my work. Leadership in technical field comes in slightly different flavour. As, being a technical project owner one has to be leader in innovation and may be not too much in leading people. I definitely mentored people in my projects e.g. summer students, technicians etc. and took initiatives

I will try to highlight my Ex curr leadership more, I think my efforts with Cricket Club at RPI are worth a story.
Plus the reason to move into finance (that I love stocks) will not be highlighted in any essays. I just wrote it just to let you know that it is one part of the huge field of finance that interests me. I know there are lot of day traders out there making money w/o any MBA and such. My goal is to achieve complete education, not just be a stock picking and chart reading expert.


Regarding your comment

{I would emphasize your countless conversations with IB and VC people already practicing in the industry, how you learned so much from them about what they do all day }

I haven't really had those kind of conversations much. In my current company I may have that opprtunity as it is a start up but IBM never needed any VCs

{Definitely can the stuff about maxing the credit cards to buy puts on DotBomb.com while everyone was asleep. You want to seem mature and savvy about the career change.}

Didn't understand for whom you were implying the first sentence for. Anyway, again mentioning anything like that on application would be stupid, I am aware of that, may be I was trying to show off too much, sorry about that.


{Assuming there are no red flags you didn't mention, then you have a decent chance at Cornell, Yale, and CMU and a slight chance at Wharton, MIT, CBS, and NYU. How you execute on the goals statement and the leadership profile will be critical. }

Well I have had clean career so far in acads and job, no red flag. Are my chances at CBS, NYU, MIT, Wharton lower because of my score/GPA/background or just becos I was unclear on my goals in this post. If I write my goals properly and highlight leadership effectively, would my chances be increased?

Regards
Anurag
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2006, 20:38
Paul, I forgot to mention that I am 31 years old now, could my age work against me?
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2006, 11:28
jainan24 wrote:
Hi Paul,

Thank you for your reply and comments

regarding our comments on:
I see two potential problems in your bid for the top schools: unclear how much leadership you've had in your career or extracurricularly and your reason for wanting to move into finance could backfire on you. First, regarding leadership, if you've got leadership stories highlight them.


First even with PhD I would have amassed 6 years of Work Ex b4 I start next year. I will definitely emphasize leadership experience in my work. Leadership in technical field comes in slightly different flavour. As, being a technical project owner one has to be leader in innovation and may be not too much in leading people. I definitely mentored people in my projects e.g. summer students, technicians etc. and took initiatives

I will try to highlight my Ex curr leadership more, I think my efforts with Cricket Club at RPI are worth a story.
Plus the reason to move into finance (that I love stocks) will not be highlighted in any essays. I just wrote it just to let you know that it is one part of the huge field of finance that interests me. I know there are lot of day traders out there making money w/o any MBA and such. My goal is to achieve complete education, not just be a stock picking and chart reading expert.


Regarding your comment

{I would emphasize your countless conversations with IB and VC people already practicing in the industry, how you learned so much from them about what they do all day }

I haven't really had those kind of conversations much. In my current company I may have that opprtunity as it is a start up but IBM never needed any VCs

{Definitely can the stuff about maxing the credit cards to buy puts on DotBomb.com while everyone was asleep. You want to seem mature and savvy about the career change.}

Didn't understand for whom you were implying the first sentence for. Anyway, again mentioning anything like that on application would be stupid, I am aware of that, may be I was trying to show off too much, sorry about that.


{Assuming there are no red flags you didn't mention, then you have a decent chance at Cornell, Yale, and CMU and a slight chance at Wharton, MIT, CBS, and NYU. How you execute on the goals statement and the leadership profile will be critical. }

Well I have had clean career so far in acads and job, no red flag. Are my chances at CBS, NYU, MIT, Wharton lower because of my score/GPA/background or just becos I was unclear on my goals in this post. If I write my goals properly and highlight leadership effectively, would my chances be increased?

Regards
Anurag


Anurag,

My reference to investing in DotBomb.com was a joke, no offense. My reference to informational interviews with IB and VC people was to encourage you to have those conversations and then mention them in your essays to show your due diligence in making such a radical career change. My estimation of your chances at CBS, NYU, MIT and Wharton was based partly on your goals -- i.e., they must be shown to be extremely well thought out and real. But partly also on my sense that your leadership profile is not as strong as one would like. Also, yes, your age will hurt you a bit.

I should separate NYU from the 3 other schools because I think it is easier to get into. The closer you get to the top of the pile among B schools the more you must show not only good numbers, good leadership, and good community but some stand-out experiences or qualities that break you out of the pack. I did not detect those breakout uniqueness factors in your profile.

Good luck,
_________________

Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

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 [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2006, 19:56
Hi Paul

I wrote to you couple of months ago. I have submitted applications for NYU, Yale, Cornell and Columbia (still finishing MIT, added Rochester as safety). Your comments were really helpful for me.

I talked to lot of my friends who have finished MBA from top schools and some of them are in IB and VC industry. Being from IIT in India gives me a good alumni base to talk to. I got mostly positive feedback in terms of my goals.
I did mention some of those conversations in essays but not too much (word limits are getting smaller and smaller these days). I stayed within 10% of word limits.

I did not say at all about switching to finance in my essays. I thought more about this and I think entrepreneurship in technical area (especially alternative energy such as solar energy) makes more sense with my background. I feel it will make me stand out little bit (being from Indian background) as I haven't seen anybody else on this or other forum who either has a background or emphasizes need for growth in this critical area. Plus I did elaborate my leadership stories at work and my extracurricular efforts.

I also didn't say too much about my PhD in my essays except that it gives me a broad technical background for innovation or even technical consulting or VC.

MIT application is still in progress and the school focuses a lot on technical entrepreneurship. My question is: do you suggest to focus on anything else (less or more) before I submit MIT application.

Thanks
Regards,
Anurag
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2006, 12:14
jainan24 wrote:
Hi Paul

I wrote to you couple of months ago. I have submitted applications for NYU, Yale, Cornell and Columbia (still finishing MIT, added Rochester as safety). Your comments were really helpful for me.

I talked to lot of my friends who have finished MBA from top schools and some of them are in IB and VC industry. Being from IIT in India gives me a good alumni base to talk to. I got mostly positive feedback in terms of my goals.
I did mention some of those conversations in essays but not too much (word limits are getting smaller and smaller these days). I stayed within 10% of word limits.

I did not say at all about switching to finance in my essays. I thought more about this and I think entrepreneurship in technical area (especially alternative energy such as solar energy) makes more sense with my background. I feel it will make me stand out little bit (being from Indian background) as I haven't seen anybody else on this or other forum who either has a background or emphasizes need for growth in this critical area. Plus I did elaborate my leadership stories at work and my extracurricular efforts.

I also didn't say too much about my PhD in my essays except that it gives me a broad technical background for innovation or even technical consulting or VC.

MIT application is still in progress and the school focuses a lot on technical entrepreneurship. My question is: do you suggest to focus on anything else (less or more) before I submit MIT application.

Thanks
Regards,
Anurag


Anurag,

No, it sounds like you're going about things in the right way. Just be sure you are convincing in your "Why MIT" argument and that you are responding to MIT's essays instructions to say what you "thought, felt, and did." You may want to check out Linda Abraham's tips on Sloan's essay questions.

Good luck,
_________________

Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

Follow Paul Bodine on Twitter

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