(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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
You may want to check with HBS 2+2. Technically you seem to meet their criteria, but you certainly would be "different" from their typical acceptance.
Given your current studies, which should be giving you an excellent technical background, I'm not sure you need to joint degree. It depends on what kind of consulting you want to do. With a year or two of more typical pre-MBA experience, you would be highly competitive at H/S/W and the consulting feeder schools. Currently, I think the would be unlikely admits, but there is no harm in trying. If you aren't admitted, work for a couple of years and try again.
Stanford also has a deferred acceptance program for early career applicants.
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