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Perplexed

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Manager
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Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 115
GMAT 1: 700 Q50 V34
GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V35
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 10

Perplexed [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2013, 04:59
Hi Kimberley,

Hope you are doing good.

Below is my brief profile:

Nationality: Indian
Gender: Male
Age: 27 years

Undergrad: IIT (2008 batch), CGPA: 6.5 / 10 (relative grading)
FRM (both levels)
Passed CFA Level - 2

GMAT: 710 (Q50, V35) and AWA: 4.5 (took in Oct 2012)
Work ex 1: Marketing analytics KPO (2 years)
Work ex 2 (Since June 2010): Financial Management (Process consulting) and Shared Services & Outsourcing Advisory with Management Consulting team of a Big 4
International work ex: None, however have worked extensively with US and European clients / colleagues

Total work ex by Aug'14: 6 years and 1 months (expected)
Extra curricular: Have been involved with an Indian NGO and worked in North India. Did a lot of stuff during the college, for example, was the General Secretary of the elected students body. Involved in managing technical festivals etc.

I applied to 7 schools last year (2013 admits). Below were the results:

1. Stern (Round 1) - Reject without interview
2. Booth (Round 2) - Reject without interview
3. HKUST (Round 2) - Reject without interview
4. Fuqua (Round 2) - Reject without interview
5. Ross (Round 2) - Was wait-listed initially (without interview), then rejected
6. Cornell (Round 3) - Reject without interview
7. NUS (Round 1, last day) - Reject with interview

As you might have guessed, I am perplexed with above results.

The short term goal I wrote in all the essays was: Associate in the M&A group of a global investment bank.
The long term goal I wrote in all the essays was: Start/join a venture capital firm focusing on emerging economies

I guess the short-term goal was the reason why the adcoms got worried and did not call me.

I just want to know the real reason why I was dinged by so many schools and that too without even an interview opportunity.

I guess these might be a few answers for this year:

Should I take the GMAT again?
Should I re-assess my goals?
Should I improve the essays (presentation, content etc.) without changing the goals?
Should I target some other set of schools? Please suggest a few. I am currently thinking of Kellogg, UCLA Anderson, Yale, Tuck, INSEAD. But if I think the school selection was not a problem, the problem was somewhere else.

What do you think?

I can provide you the essays I submitted if you need.

Many thanks in advance!!!!
IndianExpress
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Affiliations: Columbia, Wharton, LBS
Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 592
Schools: Harvard, Stanford, LBS, Columbia, Wharton, HEC Paris
Followers: 19

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Re: Perplexed [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2013, 06:52
Thank you for your posting.

I am sorry that things did not turn out well for you. However, I want to point out a few issues that relate to your candidacy:

* you are part of a very competitive demographic group where there are many more qualified candidates than there are allocated spots. Thus, the acceptance rate for a person like you is actually much lower than it is for the general application pool;
* you come from a very traditional background and have very traditional goals -- meaning that I do not believe that you distinguished yourself enough in this arena - which is a very important arena;
* you applied to very competitive programs

As for your specific questions:

Should I take the GMAT again? I WOULD NOT -- I DO NOT SEE THIS AS THE PROBLEMATIC ASPECT OF YOUR CANDIDACY. I WOULD USE MY TIME, ENERGY AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES IN BETTER WAYS TO MAKE MYSELF A STRONGER CANDIDATE.

Should I re-assess my goals? YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL HERE ESPECIALLY TO SCHOOLS YOU PLAN TO RE-APPLY TO. YOUR GOALS ARE PRETTY STANDARD AND IF A SCHOOL IS LOOKING FOR CANDIDATES WHO DO NOT WANT TO FOLLOW A COMMON CAREEER TRAJECTORY, THEN YOU ARE BY DEFINITION, A LESS ATTRACTIVE CANDIDATE.

Should I improve the essays (presentation, content etc.) without changing the goals? I WOULD DEFINITELY SAY YES AND SEEK THE ASSISTANCE OF A PROFESSIONAL THIS TIME AROUND. IF YOU DID NOT USE AN ADMISSIONS CONSULTANT, IT WOULD BE A WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT. IF YOU DID YOUR APPLICATIONS ALONE, THEN I BELIEVE THAT THEY COULD HAVE BEEN LESS COMPETITIVE AND COMPELLING THAN YOUR FELLOW APPLICANTS (ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO USED CONSULTANTS).

Should I target some other set of schools? Please suggest a few. I am currently thinking of Kellogg, UCLA Anderson, Yale, Tuck, INSEAD. But if I think the school selection was not a problem, the problem was somewhere else. YOU ARE LOOKING AT SOME SCHOOLS THAT ARE ACTUALLY MORE COMPETITIVE THAN THE THOSE THAT REJECTED YOU. WHICH SCHOOLS YOU CHOOSE TO APPLY TO REQUIRES SOME EXPERIENCED GUIDANCE -- DO NOT JUST JUMP AT ANY SCHOOL THAT SEEMS ATTRACTIVE -- BUT STRATEGIC ABOUT IT AND KNOW YOUR REAL CHANCES OF ADMISSIONS.

GOOD LUCK

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review
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Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 115
GMAT 1: 700 Q50 V34
GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V35
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 10

Re: Perplexed [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2013, 00:39
Thanks for your comments Kimberley.

I agree that I should engage a professional consultant this time around. I will definitely do so this year.
However, before doing that I would like to understand the exact reasons for my failure last year. Please let me know if you can help me with that (and how).

As a follow-up to your comment pertaining to the school selection for this year, can you please indicate which of the schools mentioned by me are more competitive than the ones that I applied to last year? Also, it would be great if you could highlight the reasons why you believe that I would not be competitive enough at these schools (say Kellogg or Haas). Which programs do you think I have a very good chance of getting through?

Finally, do you think aligning myself to Consulting (for short-term goal) would be more prudent given that my work-ex would be more relevant in that domain?

Thanks again for your prompt response.

Thanks,
IndianExpress
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Affiliations: Columbia, Wharton, LBS
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Re: Perplexed [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2013, 07:01
I agree that I should engage a professional consultant this time around. I will definitely do so this year. THAT IS A VERY SMART STRATEGY -- THE ACTUAL COST OF A CONSULTANT IS ONLY ABOUT 2% OF YOUR OVERALL BUSINESS SCHOOLS COSTS SO IT IS A RELATIVELY MINOR INVESTMENT TO MAKE.

However, before doing that I would like to understand the exact reasons for my failure last year. Please let me know if you can help me with that (and how). WITHOUT STUDYING YOUR APPLICATION, I WOULD SAY THAT THE REASONS FOR YOUR LACK OF SUCCESS WAS DUE TO YOUR INABILITY TO DISTINGUISH YOURSELF IN A COMPETITIVE DEMOGRAPHIC AT COMPETITIVE SCHOOLS, SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION THAT WAS NOT AS COMPELLING AND PROFESSIONAL AS YOUR COMPETITION, AND MAYBE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT DID NOT TRULY SUPPORT YOUR CANDIDACY FULLY. TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WENT WRONG WITHOUT STUDYING YOUR ENTIRE APPLICATION IS DIFFICULT, BUT FROM MY EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH RE-APPLICANTS WITH SIMILAR BACKGROUNDS, THESE TEND TO BE THE REASONS I SEE MOST OFTEN.

As a follow-up to your comment pertaining to the school selection for this year, can you please indicate which of the schools mentioned by me are more competitive than the ones that I applied to last year? ALL OF THE NEW SCHOOLS ON YOUR LIST ARE VERY COMPETITIVE AND WITH THE EXCEPTION OF BOOTH, THESE SCHOOLS TEND TO BE MORE COMPETITIVE THAN THE ONES YOU APPLIED TO LAST YEAR. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU WILL NOT GET IN THOUGH -- JUST MEANS THAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE A RADICALLY DIFFERENT APPROACH. I MIGHT ALSO RECOMMEND A FEW OTHER SCHOOLS TO YOUR LIST.

Also, it would be great if you could highlight the reasons why you believe that I would not be competitive enough at these schools (say Kellogg or Haas). Which programs do you think I have a very good chance of getting through? I WOULD HAVE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOU AS A PERSON AND AS A CANDIDATE TO DO THIS. JUST REALIZE THAT YOU ARE COMPETING AGAINST VERY ACCOMPLISHED AND VERY MOTIVATED PEOPLE, ALL OF WHOM ARE INTELLIGENT, DEDICATED AND UNIQUE - NOT TO MENTION THAT THEY ARE ALL WILLING TO INVEST IN THEIR FUTURE BY RETURNING TO SCHOOL. GIVEN THE COST AND TIME INVESTMENT OF AN MBA DEGREE, EVERY CANDIDATE TAKES THEIR APPLICATION PROCESS SERIOUSLY AND DEDICATES THE TIME, EFFORT, ENERGY AND RESOURCES TO SUBMIT THE BEST APPLICATION THEY CAN. AS FOR WHICH SCHOOLS ARE MOST OPEN TO CANDIDATES LIKE YOU WOULD BE UCLA, YALE AND INSEAD.

Finally, do you think aligning myself to Consulting (for short-term goal) would be more prudent given that my work-ex would be more relevant in that domain? I WOULD ONCE AGAIN HAVE TO SPEAK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR GOALS IN ORDER TO DEVELOP A PERSONALIZED CAREER VISION. CONSULTING HAS BECOME VERY POPULAR SO GOING INTO GENERAL STRATEGY CONSULTING PLACES YOU YET INTO ANOTHER DEMOGRAPHIC WHICH IS COMPETITIVE AND OVER-REPRESENTED. I RECOMMEND THINKING OF A NICE IN THIS INDUSTRY TO FOCUS ON. HOWEVER, DEVELOPING A COMPELLING CAREER STORY IS THE SINGLE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF WRITING ESSAYS.

I HOPE THIS ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS.

KIMBERLY PLAGA
_________________

Manhattan Review GMAT Prep & MBA Admissions Consulting
Web: http://www.manhattanreview.com | Phone: +1.212.316.2000
Receive 20% off Admissions Consultings as GMATClub member!

Re: Perplexed   [#permalink] 21 Jun 2013, 07:01
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