GMAT = 750 Q50 V40, GRE = Score range Q750-800 V670-770 (exact results on new scale to follow in Nov)
Age = 26
Location = India
Experience = 5 years (all in Microsoft)
Current position = Program Manager
Experience = Program Manager (1+ year), Software engineer (4 years)
Goals = Product Manager in an exciting tech product company in Silicon Valley in the short term, Senior leader (VP/GM) in a high growth tech product company
Career growth rate = Slightly above average - not star-studded
Extra curricular activities = Very limited
Academics = Good GPA (~3.8) from a reputed engineering school (Delhi School of Engineering)
Manage reports? No
International experience? No
My primary motivation to get into a graduate degree course is mainly to get a break as a PM in the bay area. However, I would like to stay away from MS in Computer Science because I do not want to do a technical course right now. At the same time I do not want to over spend both time as well as money. Therefore I would love to go for a school in which I could get a scholarship.
So far I have narrowed down on California schools - Haas, Anderson and Marshall. I also want to apply to McCombs because of its association with tech sector. I am confused about other colleges.
1) What other schools should I apply to for my goals to stay within tech industry?
2) I am not aiming for the top 10 schools except Haas. Am I aiming too low?
3) Any other courses I should consider? (I am already applying for MEM courses)
4) Does it make sense to study from East Coast if my target is to work in California after MBA?
Anderson is a highly competitive program, so I do not believe you are aiming low there. Marshall and McCombs are also both very strong programs, but a bit lower ranked than Haas and Anderson. I would also recommend Carnegie Mellon - from which 15% of the graduates working in the US end up in the western US and 16% of all their graduates are in the technology industry.
Your GMAT and undergrad GPA are both strong. My only concern is that your essays need to show the management part of your program management position more than they show the program part: the MBA programs are seeking individuals who know how to lead and influence people, not just code well or organize a small technology team.
Similar to the MEMs, you may also wish to consider NYU's MS in Management and Systems or MIT's System Design and Management MSc degree. These both combine the studies of technology and management, and graduates can also become product managers based on this education.
Jennifer Bloom, CPRW
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