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PhD Engineer, 32+ MBA Candidate

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PhD Engineer, 32+ MBA Candidate [#permalink] New post 23 May 2013, 01:47
Hi All,
I am quite confused and would really like to get some feedback. I really wanted an MBA, but am now rethinking everything.



My Profile

Nationality:
Australian (Current); Indian (former)

Education:
PhD (Chemical Engineering) (Nationally recognized Midwestern school - US)
B.Tech (Chemical engineering) (Medium-level College –India)
Strong Academics overall, finished top of class in college (percentage system; no GPA.) Perfect GPA in Grad school. Lots of academic honors and fellowships.

Work Ex:
Engineering in a development firm in Australia. By Fall 2014, I would have spent 6 years there. First couple of years as an individual contributor, next two years as a senior engineer. For the last 3 quarters of a year, working in Process Integration, this is quite a broad role.
My work experience is why I want to do an MBA, as I have seen the pitfalls involved in not looking at technology products from a consumer point of view.

Age: 32

Extra-curriculars:
Adult Black-belt in Jujitsu.
Member of local Rotary club for the last 3 years, have served in various leadership positions in the club and delivered multiple international projects.
Volunteering at local Homeless shelter for 3.5 years.
Member of Graduate student union at University and President of Undergraduate Dorm. (1 year each)
Others…

GMAT:
750 (Q50, V40) (July 2010)

Now, I have been thinking doing an MBA over the last 3 years. I gave the GMAT in 2010, but did not apply that year. I applied the next year, and did not get anywhere. I was disappointed and decided to address what I thought were the problems with my application, particularly with my work experience. Moved roles to gain wider experience. Reapplied this year, however due to multiple issues had to push the applications to round 3. Reapplied to two schools (Columbia and Booth), got rejected from both. Got wait-listed at Kellogg. Would really like to go to Kellogg, but I am not sure that I would be accepted, given that I am a round 3 international candidate.

After my recent failures, I have been rethinking my entire application strategy. I want to move to a consumer-facing role in a tech. company, and want to add business skills to my technical skills. With my current career-path, I am probably going to end up in senior-level roles with predominantly a technology focus. So I feel that I really need an MBA to broaden my choices. I am looking for product management roles in technology companies after my MBA, and have some clear directions that I would like to pursue.

However, by Fall 2014, I will be 33, and quite old as compared to the rest of the class. So should I apply again?
Also, my previous failures over the last 2 years have made me question whether I am a candidate that the schools would be interested in? The schools that I would like to go to would be Kellogg, MIT Sloan or Haas.
Also, I have put many important decisions, (starting a family, etc.) on hold because I was really interested in completing my MBA first. However time is running out:(

So I would really appreciate any thoughts on my situation. Any suggestion/feedback/criticism would be accepted gratefully. Please help.
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Re: PhD Engineer, 32+ MBA Candidate [#permalink] New post 23 May 2013, 02:11
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Thanks for your posting and being so open and honest about your background and experiences.

There is a disconnect here that needs to be addressed. You have the background, stats and experience to be admitted into a world-class MBA program. My guess is that there is something wrong with how you present yourself in your application and this really needs to be addressed. Being a slightly older candidate presents some challenges, but in your case I believe they can be overcome. The biggest hurdle to overcome for you is that you are in a very competitive demographic group (Indian male), but in this case I also think that it can be overcome with your work and life experiences. Not having seen your application it is difficult to say, but my guess is that you might not have presented yourself to the best of your abilities - and when competing against a world-class candidate pool - this will definitely impact your chances.

My immediate advice is that you get feedback from an experienced admissions consultant. Our Director would be more than happy to speak with you about your background. An assessment can be arranged if you contact our office. I would also not give up on Kellogg at this stage -- while getting off the w/l is not easy, it can be done.

Good luck.

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review

Contact us for a free candidacy assessment.
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Re: PhD Engineer, 32+ MBA Candidate [#permalink] New post 23 May 2013, 02:17
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A well thought-out post that requires a more thorough answer than I'll give, but I wondered if you had given the top European programs any consideration? In particular IMD seems to be a perfect fit for you. Of course I'm a bit biased as I applied there myself, but it's a great school with a top notch reputation (at least in Europe). It's more skewed towards the industry than consulting and finance, which seems to be a good match for your future plans.

It's still possible to make the Jan 2014 intake with only two of five deadlines having passed so far.
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Re: PhD Engineer, 32+ MBA Candidate [#permalink] New post 24 May 2013, 01:29
Hi Kim,

Thanks for the feedback. It gives me a much needed boost of confidence....

I have never interacted with admission consultants, and I might have missed a trick there. Even doing it now might be good as it will help me identify the flaws in my application.
I would like to follow this up, and you mentioned about contacting your Director. Any suggestions on how to do this? Send an email to your website with my situation or send a request for profile evaluation? If you need my contact details, let me know.

About Kellogg, I would really be happy to get-off the wait-list and get accepted, but given my track-record, I am not very hopeful. If I get accepted, nothing like it.


Anyways, thanks for your time. I really appreciate it.







ManhattanReview wrote:
Thanks for your posting and being so open and honest about your background and experiences.

There is a disconnect here that needs to be addressed. You have the background, stats and experience to be admitted into a world-class MBA program. My guess is that there is something wrong with how you present yourself in your application and this really needs to be addressed. Being a slightly older candidate presents some challenges, but in your case I believe they can be overcome. The biggest hurdle to overcome for you is that you are in a very competitive demographic group (Indian male), but in this case I also think that it can be overcome with your work and life experiences. Not having seen your application it is difficult to say, but my guess is that you might not have presented yourself to the best of your abilities - and when competing against a world-class candidate pool - this will definitely impact your chances.

My immediate advice is that you get feedback from an experienced admissions consultant. Our Director would be more than happy to speak with you about your background. An assessment can be arranged if you contact our office. I would also not give up on Kellogg at this stage -- while getting off the w/l is not easy, it can be done.

Good luck.

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review

Contact us for a free candidacy assessment.
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Re: PhD Engineer, 32+ MBA Candidate [#permalink] New post 24 May 2013, 01:36
Hi there,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I had applied to Insead and had been rejected, and that was it. Did not really look at other schools.
Thanks for suggesting IMD, I will look it up. Maybe, all is not lost:) Will look up other schools as well.

Best of luck with your applications..



bob99 wrote:
A well thought-out post that requires a more thorough answer than I'll give, but I wondered if you had given the top European programs any consideration? In particular IMD seems to be a perfect fit for you. Of course I'm a bit biased as I applied there myself, but it's a great school with a top notch reputation (at least in Europe). It's more skewed towards the industry than consulting and finance, which seems to be a good match for your future plans.

It's still possible to make the Jan 2014 intake with only two of five deadlines having passed so far.
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Re: PhD Engineer, 32+ MBA Candidate [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2013, 02:07
Hi All,
An update from my side and some more confusion!! I am still on the wait-list for Kellogg:(


I have just received an admission offer from the NUS MBA program. It was a quick application that I did not think much about previously, but started getting interested after applying.


Now NUS is not a bad place to be, but I am guessing that it is not at the same level as top10, top15 US programs. Given my interest in technology, Singapore is a great place. And NUS definitely enjoys a good reputation in the region.

However, NUS does not seem to be a strong player in Technology. I would be open to a career switch if necessary, but I think that would be difficult at NUS (or any other solid medium level program). Finally, the median starting salaries at the Program are significantly less than what I make now.

That being said, I still want an MBA and recognize that as I get older, it will be harder.

So here is my dilemma: Should I take up NUS, or should I apply again in round 1 in the fall to some of my target US schools for matriculating in 2014? A bird in hand is/ is not worth two in the bush...

Any comment/suggestion would be helpful.

Thanks.
Re: PhD Engineer, 32+ MBA Candidate   [#permalink] 14 Jun 2013, 02:07
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