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Hi, I'd appreciate it if you can advise on my strategy and target schools based on my profile. thanks.
Education: IIT Madras B.Tech mechanical engg. GPA 3.5
University of Maryland, MS mechanical engg. electronic packaging. GPA 4.0
Work Ex: 4 years at a top semiconductor firm as an electronics packaging engineer. Age: 28
Strategy: My work has given me excellent exposure to upper management and interaction with different stages of the semiconductor chip life cycle. It involves supplier management, leading mutliple projects, travel / audits of Asian suppliers, in short, a good mix of technical and management roles. With an MBA, I would be able to play a more influencial and global role in the semiconductor industry. My technical expertise and knowledge of the main cost drivers in semiconductors will help me in this larger role, preferrably in my home country, India.
Leadership: Most of my leadership abilities have surfaced in my job, manging suppliers, working with different teams, often under stressful conditions/ resource constraints to achieve qualification of our products within the schedule. Although I don't have direct reports, the nature of my work is very management-oriented, managing different functional groups and suppliers.
Community involvement: I am very passionate about photography, and I keep myself active in the area through involvement in local photo clubs, covering cultural events, selling my photos online (stock photography).
I'm also a trained ballroom dancer, won competitions at inter-college bronze level at university, and have been actively involved in ballroom dance studios in maryland and at my current location.
I am targetting Fall 2008: Wharton (because of its diverse programs & atmosphere) and ISB (because it is in India, tailored for professionals and is a good school). I want to pick one from UCLA, INSEAD, Columbia, Chicago for the third spot. I'm limiting my apps to 3 since I don't want to dilute my efforts.
If you're really interested in tech, also look at Sloan, Stanford, and Haas. I think those ones may be a better fit for you than Columbia, Chicago, or UCLA.
Also, be sure to emphasize the unique parts of your app, including ballroom dancing. You probably already know this, but your background and career goals are very common, so your challenge will be to stand out from the pack!
thanks scott. appreciate your feedback. can you help with a few more questions:
1. i don't see many electronics packaging engineers as mba applicants, so wouldn't my background be unique ?
2. while i can emphasize dancing as a passionate hobby, i can't emphasize ballroom dancing as a career. how do i go about doing this in the essay without sounding too far away from the main topic ? or can i just elaborate on my hobby, is that considered ok ?
3. i'm interested in getting out of engineering since i want some change, i want portability with my job and the ability to move back to Asia. what argument would be best in this circumstance ?
1. Think a little more broadly. While there may not be a lot of electornic packaging engineers out there, admissions offciers will see you as an Indian applicant from a tech background who wants to go back to India after b-school... This is a very common appicant profile these days. Just keep that in mind.
2. It is VERY much okay to elaborate on a hobby in your application. Most applications have an essay that asks (either directly or indiretcly) about what makes you unique. This is the perfect chance to talk about your passion. If you only talk about your work and academics in your application, you most likely will not get into a top b-school.
3. Not sure that I understand you last question, but I think you answered it pretty well in your original post.