Hey Paul, I found your free guides very useful, however sadly I am not planning on applying to HBS or Columbia. Do you know when the Stanford guide will be available? Thanks, and appreciate the eval if you get to it!
About myself: Asian-American Male. Born in Asia, grew up in USA and UK. Currently 24 years old.
GMAT: 770 (Quant: 49, verbal 47, AWA 6.0). (Made the 80/80 split with Q 85% and V 99%)
School/GPA: Second-tier business college in Boston. BS in Business Administration. GPA is 3.39, but for the second half of college my GPA is 3.65
Total WE at Application: 32 Months
WE-1: ATG: Small E-Commerce Platform Firm. (12 months full-time)
Duration: Interned and worked part-time (20 hrs/week) during my last semester. Worked in partner alliances and partner management.
WE-2: Oracle Corporation: Large Hardware & Software Firm (20 months full-time at app)
Duration: Partner Program Management, ROI Projects for partners joining, Partner Recruitment, one project that I have led with a team of four co-workers which has to do with the best method of accelerating partners towards being ready to develop assets and sell to customers.
VP of Emerging Markets Club (Head of Middle East & Africa). Led team of ten students, at time was the second largest club.
Member of Venture Capitalism Club
Member of College Case Competition Team (Won consulting competition as ugrad team over ten graduate school teams from our college)
Member of College Rugby Club
I am involved with a non-profit based in Ghana started by a fellow student and friend from college. We operate in Ghana both from Ghana and from the United States. My main operation is running the mentor-ship program. This involves managing a group of 20 US-based mentors which skype with 40 high school students in Ghana on case studies, college-choice guidance, and school-work. I manage and create most of the case studies, which are adapted from corporate level business problems, ethics choices, or also local problems that these students may experience.
Other operations I assist with is the building of a resource center in Ghana for students and a central hub for local entrepreneurs, future building of an associated sports academy, college-level case competitions (cases revolve around local issues which are then planned to be implemented with government and corporate funding).
This is my main post-college extracurricular, when I was in college a lot of my EM Club activities were around sub-saharan Africa, and all of my essays in econ and international business classes were written about on these counties (African brain drain, corruption in Nigeria, the African Union and its monetary policy etc). This is an important issue to me, has been for a long time, and will be well-represented in my essays.
I have a great list of high-impact events in my life which involve international travel, to try to compensate for my lack of international WE (I have traveled to every continent but Antarctica). A lot of these are high-impact experiences which I will try to factor into my essays. For example, my visits to sub-Saharan Africa and its effect on my interests. My visit to Hiroshima with both sets of ancestors, one American and one Japanese, and how it affected my view of self-identity. While these experiences demonstrate my international experience, they are not a gimmick. These experiences are very important to me and I would like to use them in essays if possible to demonstrate who I am and how I view myself.
I am currently in technology, and looking for a career change to Management Consulting. All of the schools I am aiming for have recruiting relationships with MBB. My plan is to go to MBB, stay for an extended amount of time (Exiting before the director or partner level), and then devote time to my current non-profit NGO or another. Although I will always keep an interest in the current non-profit I am working with throughout my MBA and during my career, and absolutely relentlessly work to get my fellow students and co-workers involved.
Target schools: Stanford, Haas, Tuck, Kellogg, MIT, Yale SOM, Wharton. I have a number of key factors.
1. I like a well-rounded curriculum (No HBS, No Darden)
2. I prefer smaller schools, I have always gone to smaller schools (Stan, Haas, Tuck, Yale)
3. I prefer collaborative schools, with collaborative students (Kellogg, Tuck)
4. Main aim is to ultimately live in the Bay Area (Stanford, Haas)
5. I also want to take classes on non-profits as a personal interest (Haas, Yale SOM)
6. I really want to go to a MBB firm with a career change (Stanford, Tuck, Kellogg, MIT, Wharton)
MIT is a little larger than the others, but I do currently live in Boston and love it. I've also worked with a number of Sloan alumni and have been very impressed. Also, Wharton may seem to be a weird choice, being so large and having a reputation as a competitive student body. However, I have long had a fascination with Wharton and have loved everything I've heard from alumni.
I have a clear strategy and reasons already in mind for why I like each school. I am unable to visit any of them until the Fall however. Please let me know if I am stretching too high. I hope my GMAT can compensate for my lower than average GPA for these schools. Will my second-half GPA have a significant effect on how schools look at my GPA? Also, I struggled with accounting (C+), so I am planning on taking an extension course at UCLA online. Would you recommend doing this or devoting time to my applications instead?
Thank you for any input!
See my debrief below: