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Please evaluate my profile and let me know which category of schools i can target. Am providing info in a QnA format.
1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
-By fall 2012, I will be having 6.5 years work ex in a top IT services firm in India -Have worked for Fortune 500 clients based in US. -Have extensive experience in planning, delivering and managing complex software projects that involve multiple technologies, stake holders and delivery teams. -Have lead team(s) of 6 to 10 members. -Have received good appreciations and Star-of-the-month kind rewards. -had successfully spearheaded Media Campaign and communications for two high profile week long Techfests.
2) Your GMAT. 760 Q50V44
3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
College: Anna University, Chennai (One of the Top 10 institutes in India) GPA: 7 (on a 10 point scale) Major: Production Engineering
4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
Public Relations officer of a club @ college Headed a student political party election campaign @ college Founded a new motivation system to foster healthy competition and improve associate's yearly appraisal goals achievement @ work Spearheaded Media campaigns for hi profile Techfest @ work
5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA. Nil. I have a IBM Certified Database Associate certificate.
6) Your target programs. I am targeting "elite" schools strong in marketing curriculum and can get me jobs in B2C Tech industry. (Haas and the like - research on B schools ongoing).
7) Your post-MBA goal.
Marketing jobs (Brand management/ Product management) in B2C Tech industry -software products, Digital marketing, Social media.
Your GMAT is quite solid. Because you come from an overrepresented demographic that typically scores high on the test, it won’t move the needle as much as otherwise, unfortunately.
Your GPA equates to a 2.8, which is low for top programs – this will be your primary challenge. Was there an extraordinary circumstance that caused your low marks? Did your GPA rise as you progressed through undergrad? If so, you might try to explain these factors in the optional essay. Better yet, do you have any other analogue that is a better representation of your academic ability and potential? Programs will want to know that you can handle the material. Your high GMAT serves as an indicator, but you could use another one to mitigate the 2.8.
Your work experience appears solid, but it will come down to your leadership experiences. The more you can demonstrate your ability to lead teams (which it seems you have done), drive results, and take initiative, the more competitive you will be. Having won, Star-of-the-Month types of rewards, I’m guessing you can draw upon experiences like these in your essays.
Your college extracurriculars won’t count too much because they are older (schools typically like experiences that have occurred within the past 3 years). The motivation system sounds like a great experience, but was that at work. How have you demonstrated leadership outside of the office?
In terms of post-MBA goals, you appear to be a career-changer. That, in itself, is not a problem, but you should paint a compelling picture of your career arc that logically connects your past and present experiences with your desired career path in the future. The more compelling a case that you can make that this is a logical and plausible transition and that business school can enable this transition, the better.
I think Haas is a slight reach, but if you can 1) mitigate your GPA, 2) really call out true leadership at work and outside, and 3) paint a cohesive career arc, I think you should try!
Thanks for the great assessment Brain.It really helps (+1 for you )What schools can i target ? How are my odds against a) Kellogg b) UCLA c) MIT d) Duke e) Stanford f) Tuck g) Ross h) USC i) Mccombs
Is leadership work outside of office necessary ? I have good leadership experience outside of my core project work (which i had pursued purely out of passion & not by any compulsion) but most of them are connected to my office one way or the other. I need to think about experiences which are not related to my office at all.
How does my role as Chief of Media campaign for hi-profile techfest count ?
I think UCLA, Duke, Tuck and Ross are on par with Haas. Kellogg, MIT, and especially Stanford will be more competitive. USC and McCombs would be safer choices.
For the top programs, it would be beneficial to demonstrate your leadership outside the office. You listed the techfest experience under "work" in your original post, so I don't think it counts as outside the office, unfortunately. Your non-work activities need not be official volunteer work. You can talk about your interests and passions, how you engage the world.