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pro [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2011, 22:16
Dear All,

Following is my profile:

Age: 27 years

Acads:
• Under-grad stream: BTech (ICT) from DAIICT (not likely to be recognized outside of India as the IITs are)
• Under-grad CGPA/percentage: 2.96/4 or 62.4 (have a couple of Fs too!) – will basically own up to it in my optional essay. Also, after graduating, I have chosen a completely different field (Microfinance), so will build my defense around that.

GMAT: 740

Extra-curricular: Good (Have won a state-level lawn tennis championship, written 2 academic research papers which got published, was active in the student body of my college)

Workex details:
• Years: 4 (on 28th Aug'11)
• Industry: Microfinance (Development Sector) - currently working in Product Development as Senior Manager (at a top 10 MFI in India)
• Work Progress: Good - have done well and consistently moved up in the 4 yrs at Ujjivan
o Currently leading a product vertical within the company
• International Exp (Abroad): None

Recommendations: I am in good shape on that front

Outside Office Work:
• Lead writer for a social sector oriented blog
• Advisor and volunteer for Activist Circle – a discussion+networking platform for local communities of youth involved in the development sector
o I give introductory lectures on microfinance and mentor fellows who join the Activist Circle fellowship

Post MBA career goal (short-term): Social Venture Fund (I believe that my on-ground operational work-ex in Ujjivan plus the hard-skills, i.e. finance learnt at an MBA program will equip me for a job at an SVF). I plan on taking relevant electives (Private Equity, Finance) during my MBA to give myself the best shot at an SVF job

Post MBA career goal (long-term): yet to give shape to that (I have an idea for a start-up, but I have to think through it and don’t want to appear unrealistic)

Other notables:
• Got admitted to IIM-Indore in 2008 (IIMs are the leading MBA schools in India with acceptance rates of less than 1%), but decided to stay in Ujjivan (I had initially joined Infosys after my under-grad and gave my CAT exam during my tenure there. By the time CAT cleared and results came out, I had switched to Ujjivan and then I decided to stay and not pursue my MBA). I am mentioning this because I plan to use it in my essays

Target Schools: INSEAD, LBS, Oxford, Chicago GSB, Cambridge

W.r.t international experience (which is important especially for LBS and INSEAD), I have the following line of thought/defense:

1. I choose to work in India because I wanted to work in the development sector and since I am Indian, to me it made the most sense to work here
2. Post MBA, I want to work in a Social Venture Fund - to understand how companies make decisions on investing in social enterprises. I don't have a preferred location of my job post MBA (India/international) but I am guessing that if I choose India over international, then it might hurt me in my application to these schools
3.My long term goal (potential) is to start-up a end-to-end dairy consulting firm for Indian farmers (I believe that combined with my current on-field experiences and experience in an SVF will provide with the skill sets and expertise to start up in future). I have to refine this further though

In view of 1-3, can I build a logic/defense for my INSEAD/LBS apps which can counter my ZERO international experience?

Also would love to hear thoughts on my chances at other schools - Oxford, Chicago and Cambridge

Best,
Srijan Kaushik
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Re: pro [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2011, 22:07
Expert's post
Srijan,
Okay, let's start with the beginning: with your profile and stats you might have to add a few more schools lower down on the list to ensure acceptance. You should still apply to the school of your dreams, but I want to be straight up with you about your chances.

The non IIT school plus the grades will make your application a bit tougher. Thankfully you have this amazing GMAT score which shows that you are totally capable, and a very intelligent fella. And that will help a LOT. But it still doesn't entirely wipe away the past.

Another very good plus is your microfinance orientation and your Social VF goals. B-schools are looking for this stuff, and although lots of candidates say "I want to help my country" few have actually done. You HAVE! and this is great as well.

As far as the international thing, this is a bit of an issue that we have to address in your application. Two reasons: first, they want you to have some sort of international experience to know that you can succeed. Second (and just as importantly) r.e. your goals. If you are coming from India and going back to India how in the world are you gonna pay for B-school? This is very important for schools, because the last thing they want to do is accept someone who will not come (especially for financial reasons)

So, overall you DO have a good profile, but you do have some issues to address, and I think you would be good to add a few more schools to your list.
_________________

Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

Admissionado.com

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