- Age: 26
- Gender: Male
- Nationality: Indian
- GMAT: 730 (Q-48, V-41, AWA-6)
- Total Work Ex.: 5 Years
- Current Organization: Oracle
- Designation: Senior Software Engineer
- Industry: IT/Software Products
Well, you already know that you fall into a heavily competitive pool (Indian IT), so it won't come as a surprise if I say that you face a few challenges. A 730 GMAT is certainly strong, though, as insane as it sounds, probably about average for your demographic. I imagine you already knew that. (I wouldn't retake though, focus on other areas). Your 5 years work experience seems solid, and the blue chip size of Oracle is noteworthy. Is this experience US based? If so, thats at least some degree of differentiation - many (and I mean many) Indian applications are essentially IIT + Tata and/or Infosys backgrounds. Impressive - but surprisingly common in the competitive MBA pool. Big company experience with someone like Oracle, especially if in the United States won't get you admitted by itself, but it is at least interesting and somewhat unique within the Indian IT pool. If this is not US based, thats ok too.
- Academics: Topper in school, Honors in Engineering from a decent state university in India(GPA: 3.5/4)
Fine. Won't help, won't hurt.
- Volunteering: Good exposure during professional life, associated with many volunteer groups and worked for betterment of HIV +ive children, education for under-privileged girls, teach English to rural students
There's a difference between "exposure" and leadership. "Associated" with sounds very weak. Associated is a word politicians use to distance themselves from people. "Sir, is it true that you slept with that woman in Bangkok?" "Of course not! We are in no way associated!". Extracurricular activities are like a nice lady, you want to get them to know them well enough to introduce them to your mother. Right now, it sounds like you had a one night stand with a one legged hooker named Candy. Jokes aside - what have you DONE for these groups? Have you been with them for a long time? Are you taking on a leadership role with one or more of them? What have you achieved in that time? Can you take on more responsibility? If not, why not? If yes, why haven't you? Etc.
- Have done a 5 year diploma course in classical music, singing is a passion for me
Now see, that's interesting and I bet that's pretty unique. +1 point to you.
- Participated actively in sports in school, college and professional life
Boring unless you can tell me something leadership oriented or otherwise noteworthy. Were you part of the varsity team? Were you team captain? etc. If not, simply "playing a little cricket on Sundays with my friends" is probably not
- Was the founder member of cultural committee in college and organized many events
A little too old to be focused on this. I'm guessing this is at least 5 years old?
I want to be a decision maker such a IT Systems management person who interacts with potential customers and negotiates for projects. Basically, I want to get involved in the bigger aspect of the industry and not only code & work for a specific module or product. I feel that my good communication skills as well as experience in working in a Global level team in both IT services and IT products organizations would be an advantage.
If you are telling me to tell us - thats fine. For your essays this will need work. If all you want to do is be a Systems management role, then why do you need an MBA? Why cant you just keep working and get promoted into that role? What specifically about an MBA education will enable you to reach that point that you can't otherwise do? More importantly, you don't sound very excited about things in the above, make sure you demonstrate passion.
Target B schools: Darden, Stern, Oxford, Cambridge, McCoumbs(Texas-Austin)
All of these seem doable. I would encourage you to consider one more stretch school - maybe not Harvard or Stanford since the odds there are slim no matter who you are - but maybe Kellogg, Chicago, Wharton, etc Your GPA/GMAT and work experience are not going to make you the most competitive candidate there - frankly, you'd be about average - but average is just fine - there is always a big element of luck in these things. Consider it.
What I'd do:
1. Focus on extracurriculars if you don't have leadership experience there.
2. Rebrand the why MBA to be more specific, more tailored and more energetic
3. Think about leadership opportunities at work that you can use in stories.