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Please evaluate [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2013, 14:56
(Clone of the general thread, but I'd very much appreciate a professional opinion).

Hi! I really need an advice on what I should do, and what I should expect with these stats (below). Like what schools do I have a shot at, how could I improve my chances et cetera. My ultimate goal is management consulting or strategy, preferably tech corporations. Should I consider some sort of MBA/M.Eng dual degree, like Kellogg's MMM (MBA+M.Eng.Management), or MIT's MBA/MSc.Eng. Or would a regular MBA be better for me?

I do realize I can hardly hope to get admitted to the H/S/W, but should I try anyway, just in case I get wildly lucky? Or would it compromise my future chances of applying there some other time (maybe with a couple more years of experience or something)? Same with the others, if I don't have a shot at top-10 this year, should I apply anyway or wait another year and then apply?

24 y/o (25 in September, thus 26 in the Autumn '14) male, Russian (Moscow), 100% fluent in English though.

760 GMAT (50Q, 42V).

Yet to take the TOEFL, but I'm pretty confident about it.

Education:
* 2009 - 2014 (graduating July '14): A 5-year diploma degree from the Moscow Aviation Institute, no-name worldwide but rather well known in Russia. A double major-like degree in Computer Science and Economics. Top-1 student of my class, honors analogous to magna cum laude (there aren't going to be any summa cum laudes in my year). Approx. 4.85/5 GPA, that's like ~3.9/4.
* 2005 - 2008: studied, but did not graduate, at the Moscow State University, department of Mechanics and Mathematics. GPA not worth mentioning (worth not mentioning actually lol). Was just a young (matriculated at 16) romantic idiot with interests other than study (like sports, adventures etc). Thus I've quit the school and volunteered for the army service.

Work Experience:
* April 2013-August 2014 (as per contract): Strategic Marketing Intern (full-time) at General Electric, kind of a huge deal for Russia. I might be able to convince my HR manager to change the title to a "junior analyst" or something like that after this Summer, it's not a standard practice to have people without a completed degree other than as interns though. Anyway, I'm going to have an almost 1.5 years of full-time experience by the Autumn '14. What I do here is very diverse, ranging from market analytics to B2B relationships to working with financial reports (clients & competitors), tons of experience.
* 2009 - April 2013: freelance and/or part-time as a software developer/architect/designer etc. Nothing really serious to show for it, mostly low-profile database projects and a couple of browser-based MMOGs. Just enough to pay the bills (added with the scholarship).
* 2008 - 2009: a year of army service. Elite paratrooper unit similar to the USMC, completed the service as a "senior combat engineer (sapper)". Received an excellent-grade army recommendation letter, including "leadership and command skills" etc.

International Experience:
* May-September 2012: Work&Travel USA. Explored almost the entirety of the US North-East and South-West, worked as a lifeguard.
* June-July 2011: Travelled across the Central Asia, visited ancient cities such as Bukhara and Samarkand.
* August-September 2010: South Africa, tourism and English practice.
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Re: Please evaluate [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2013, 23:01
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Hmmm Good question! You have a very interesting story and lots of good stuff in your profile, (and an mazing GMAT, congrats). But the one thing really pulling your profile down for an MBA is your work experience. The problem is that MBA programs won't count work experience you did before college. I mean it will be on your resume and can help, etc. etc. but without at least two years of post-UG work experience (three is better) I think your chances would be pretty slim at most of the top programs. Which is a shame, because I think that with your army experience, your excellent grades, your GMAT, you are a very good, even an excellent candidate, and it is obvious that your clever, and different.

But still, this is one obstacle that is hard to overcome. You have a few options here: 1. Decide that you will delay your MBA application by 2-3 years. I know this is a tough decision, but ultimately I think this can give you the best results. 2. Decide anyhow to apply this year, realizing that your chances are slim (and then if this fails perhaps trying again in 2-3 years. This option is fine but very time-consuming and requires a lot of energy 3. Instead of going for an MBA, go for a Masters in Management. It's an option, but for you I would rather recommend an MBA.

From what I can see here, these are your main options. Any thoughts?
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Re: Please evaluate [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2013, 23:25
JonAdmissionado wrote:
Hmmm Good question! You have a very interesting story and lots of good stuff in your profile, (and an mazing GMAT, congrats). But the one thing really pulling your profile down for an MBA is your work experience. The problem is that MBA programs won't count work experience you did before college. I mean it will be on your resume and can help, etc. etc. but without at least two years of post-UG work experience (three is better) I think your chances would be pretty slim at most of the top programs. Which is a shame, because I think that with your army experience, your excellent grades, your GMAT, you are a very good, even an excellent candidate, and it is obvious that your clever, and different.

But still, this is one obstacle that is hard to overcome. You have a few options here: 1. Decide that you will delay your MBA application by 2-3 years. I know this is a tough decision, but ultimately I think this can give you the best results. 2. Decide anyhow to apply this year, realizing that your chances are slim (and then if this fails perhaps trying again in 2-3 years. This option is fine but very time-consuming and requires a lot of energy 3. Instead of going for an MBA, go for a Masters in Management. It's an option, but for you I would rather recommend an MBA.

From what I can see here, these are your main options. Any thoughts?


Thanks a lot! I've really been thinking along these same lines myself. I'm probably going to choose the option 2, I'm not lacking in the energy and motivation department :).

The question here is, which of the top-10 schools are reapplication-friendly. I've heard some are really more of a one-shot deal. I need to compile a list of schools that I can and should apply to this year, even though the chances are slim, without risking compromising my chances of getting in there a year or two later down the road with more experience, in case things don't work out this year.

Apart from the MBA I was thinking of applying to some of the PhD in Management programs (like INSEAD in particular). I do realize the chances are probably even slimmer, but would it harm to try?
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Re: Please evaluate [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2013, 02:13
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Well if you limit yourself to Top 10 program, I would steer clear of Harvard Stanford and Wharton. I would also leave out Booth which anyways has a preference for older candidates. And from the rest, you can try the ones that interest you the most. I think you have nothing to lose except energy and time, and if you have both of those, then you have nothing at all to lose!

I guess you can apply for a PhD, but the question you need to ask yourself is: do you WANT to? The career path you will follow by doing a PhD will be quite different than an MBA (a lot more studying a lot more research, writing and academic, and a lot less corporate work), so you can always try, but decide that you want that before you make this decision.
Hope this helps!!

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