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Profile Eval + narrowing down the right schools for me?

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Profile Eval + narrowing down the right schools for me? [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2012, 16:08
Hi all! Here's a look at my profile - I have a few questions, I was hoping for help with.

1) Basic demographic info: 24 year old, F, Asian American
2) Educational Background:
    Econ and Asian Studies major at UC Berkeley
    GPA: 3.47/4.0
    GMAT: 710 (Q85%, V83%)

3) Work experience:
Currently working at a blue chip tech firm in Silicon Valley - it's a large, global Fortune 500. I will have 3 years by the time I plan to matriculate (Fall 2013).

First 1.5 years - Marketing operations role with side projects, focused on Small Medium Business Marketing that spanned budget management, product marketing, and web and social media marketing. In this role, I initiated and drove projects focused on greater visibility through analyzing metrics. This included overhauling the finance and budgeting process for the group, analyzing social media metrics, and providing reports on how our product portfolio was doing. **I was the fastest amongst my peer group to have been promoted.

Current role - Channel/B2B marketing for one of the company's major technology portfolios. I'm still shaping what this role means, but currently, it's focused around working cross-functionally to provide greater awareness amongst our technology partners about our products, create/provide the right enablement tools to help them sell more, and devise ways to simplify the B2B experience. **Aiming for a second promotion by the end of my 3rd year (at the latest).

4) Extracurriculars:
In undergrad, led two award-winning advertising groups, focused on account planning and strategy. One was a national advertising competition, in which 100+ schools compete nationally. The other was an internal competition at a reputable advertising agency in NY.

Post-undergrad, I guest lecture 1-2 a year at a local, private-university on real-world marketing topics; I have also held 1-2 presentations at my alma mater around internship opportunities students interested in advertising can take advantage of. I'm an avid Yelp Elite reviewer, a 5K and half-marathon runner, and I plan lots of social group events and cook a lot of food.

5) Short/Long term goals:
To understand different parts of the business to become a more effective marketer, focused on strategy, and eventually in a management role in the tech industry
^ Is that too vague?

I'd like to eventually end up on the West Coast, but think now would also best time to venture East to experience a different lifestyle/culture.

6) Schools:
In terms of schools, this is what I've identified as my criteria:
* Non-competitive, collaborative culture
* Strong programs in marketing and tech
* Ties to firms in the West, particularly Silicon Valley
* Close to major cities, but not in the heart of the city
* A school that sits somewhere inbetween providing a solid quant background as well as those soft management skills (my strength is that intersection point b/w the two).

My list so far, and I'm hoping to cull down to 4-6 that really fit:

Stanford - reach, but dream school
Haas
Chicago-Booth
Kellogg
Wharton
MIT-Sloan
Duke
UCLA
USC


My questions:
* I really want to end up somewhere that is going to be a good fit for my personal interests and goals. What are some good strategies to determine what will be a good fit? Any websites to hit up outside of the school official ones and places like GMATclub? Are campus or school visits useful?
* Are there any on this list that I should add or take out based on my criteria?
* What are my chances at the more ultra-elite schools listed?
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Re: Profile Eval + narrowing down the right schools for me? [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2012, 17:28
lammy,
You have a good profile: your career progression is strong and the extracurricular leadership is an asset. Your 'numbers' are also strong. I would not discourage you from applying to Stanford and Wharton though (depending on the depth of your story/profile -- which I could gauge better by seeing your resume: paulbodine@yahoo.com) they are probably 'stretch' schools for you.

To learn more about the schools, I strongly recommend visiting and talking to students, alums, etc. There's no substitute for actually pressing the flesh and witnessing the culture of the place. Regarding other schools, you might also consider Columbia and Michigan (strong marketing). As I mentioned, your chances at Stanford will be the toughest, depending on how much more there is to your profile (I have a questionnaire and thorough interviewing process that will flesh out all your strongest differentiators). Feel free to send me your resume for a closer, more personalized assessment.

--Paul Bodine
www.paulsbodine.com
Great Applications for Business School

lammy wrote:
Hi all! Here's a look at my profile - I have a few questions, I was hoping for help with.

1) Basic demographic info: 24 year old, F, Asian American
2) Educational Background:
    Econ and Asian Studies major at UC Berkeley
    GPA: 3.47/4.0
    GMAT: 710 (Q85%, V83%)

3) Work experience:
Currently working at a blue chip tech firm in Silicon Valley - it's a large, global Fortune 500. I will have 3 years by the time I plan to matriculate (Fall 2013).

First 1.5 years - Marketing operations role with side projects, focused on Small Medium Business Marketing that spanned budget management, product marketing, and web and social media marketing. In this role, I initiated and drove projects focused on greater visibility through analyzing metrics. This included overhauling the finance and budgeting process for the group, analyzing social media metrics, and providing reports on how our product portfolio was doing. **I was the fastest amongst my peer group to have been promoted.

Current role - Channel/B2B marketing for one of the company's major technology portfolios. I'm still shaping what this role means, but currently, it's focused around working cross-functionally to provide greater awareness amongst our technology partners about our products, create/provide the right enablement tools to help them sell more, and devise ways to simplify the B2B experience. **Aiming for a second promotion by the end of my 3rd year (at the latest).

4) Extracurriculars:
In undergrad, led two award-winning advertising groups, focused on account planning and strategy. One was a national advertising competition, in which 100+ schools compete nationally. The other was an internal competition at a reputable advertising agency in NY.

Post-undergrad, I guest lecture 1-2 a year at a local, private-university on real-world marketing topics; I have also held 1-2 presentations at my alma mater around internship opportunities students interested in advertising can take advantage of. I'm an avid Yelp Elite reviewer, a 5K and half-marathon runner, and I plan lots of social group events and cook a lot of food.

5) Short/Long term goals:
To understand different parts of the business to become a more effective marketer, focused on strategy, and eventually in a management role in the tech industry
^ Is that too vague?

I'd like to eventually end up on the West Coast, but think now would also best time to venture East to experience a different lifestyle/culture.

6) Schools:
In terms of schools, this is what I've identified as my criteria:
* Non-competitive, collaborative culture
* Strong programs in marketing and tech
* Ties to firms in the West, particularly Silicon Valley
* Close to major cities, but not in the heart of the city
* A school that sits somewhere inbetween providing a solid quant background as well as those soft management skills (my strength is that intersection point b/w the two).

My list so far, and I'm hoping to cull down to 4-6 that really fit:

Stanford - reach, but dream school
Haas
Chicago-Booth
Kellogg
Wharton
MIT-Sloan
Duke
UCLA
USC


My questions:
* I really want to end up somewhere that is going to be a good fit for my personal interests and goals. What are some good strategies to determine what will be a good fit? Any websites to hit up outside of the school official ones and places like GMATclub? Are campus or school visits useful?
* Are there any on this list that I should add or take out based on my criteria?
* What are my chances at the more ultra-elite schools listed?

_________________

Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

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Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 82
Detail: MBA admissions help
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 2000
GMAT 1: Q V
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Eval + narrowing down the right schools for me? [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2012, 07:04
From what you've described, Kellogg seems like it'd be a great fit for you. It's extremely collaborative and well-known for its marketing program. Your chances of admission would not be bad, since you offer a bit of geographic diversity along with your background in tech. The Univ of Chicago, IMO, doesn't fit well into your decision criteria. Still an awesome school, but based on what you've described, I'm not sure it fits.

To me, there's nothing that beats an in person visit. No websites, forums, etc can replace meeting the students who were accepted. Talking to alums is also helpful, but (this is my own bias) make sure they are grads of the full-time program. The decision to attend full time vs. part time is very different for students, and it sounds like you want the full time experience. Chicago and Kellogg are very close together, so the trip would be efficient.

My only caveats to all of this is:
(1) While your background is decent, your focus seems light. Getting a LOT crisper on what you'll do with your degree and why, is imperative.
(2) The criteria you've set for your school selection is also what many programs claim they offer. Splitting the hairs and defining these terms in your own way is where things are challenging.
(3) There are no ties to Silicon Valley like Stanford. No one else comes close. Not Cal (sorry, but it's true), MIT, HBS, or Wharton. The network and influence of Stanford are unlike anything i've ever seen from b school alums. So, don't use the west coast / tech influence as too large a part of your decision criteria. IMO, focus instead on a program that offers a rich foundation from which to build.

Hope that's helpful,
-james young
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http://www.TheFirstRead.com
Former Kellogg adcom member, offering a new approach to MBA Admissions Consulting.

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Affiliations: CFA
Joined: 29 Jul 2011
Posts: 221
Concentration: Finance, Economics
Schools: Johnson '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 600 Q45 V28
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GMAT 3: 750 Q49 V42
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Re: Profile Eval + narrowing down the right schools for me? [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2012, 07:41
Lammy,

I am just a peer reviewer, but I think you have an excellent background for any school. I am always impressed and inspired (and intimidated) by reading about how much my peers have accomplished.

To learn about schools and their cultures, my starting point is the GMAT club boards. A lotg of people with great insight, just do some digging here to get the feel. Then once you narrow the scope, dig deeper by looking at schools websites and through campus visits.

I would apply to Stanford if I were you, and I do think your career goal would be too vague for Stanford, but was adequate for a profile evalution here. Good luck with your apps and keep us posted.
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Re: Profile Eval + narrowing down the right schools for me? [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2012, 23:25
Youngjames wrote:
The Univ of Chicago, IMO, doesn't fit well into your decision criteria. Still an awesome school, but based on what you've described, I'm not sure it fits.

Is there something specific about Univ of Chicago you felt fell out of scope? I was initially drawn to the flexible curriculum and the location (Chicago!). Based on reading, it seems like Univ of Chicago has a lot more work to do, in terms of building the student community and how tight-knit it is.

Youngjames wrote:
My only caveats to all of this is:
(1) While your background is decent, your focus seems light. Getting a LOT crisper on what you'll do with your degree and why, is imperative.
(2) The criteria you've set for your school selection is also what many programs claim they offer. Splitting the hairs and defining these terms in your own way is where things are challenging.
(3) There are no ties to Silicon Valley like Stanford. No one else comes close. Not Cal (sorry, but it's true), MIT, HBS, or Wharton. The network and influence of Stanford are unlike anything i've ever seen from b school alums. So, don't use the west coast / tech influence as too large a part of your decision criteria. IMO, focus instead on a program that offers a rich foundation from which to build.


(1) understand and totally agree, based on what I wrote in my original post! The background to the short sentence: in terms of what I like to do, I like looking at what exists and finding ways that I can improve upon it. Something I've noticed time and again in my various marketing jobs and extra-curricular activities is - we're all really good at doing our own individual things (especially in large corporations), but not as great in terms of putting all the individual pieces together. I like being that person - the one who finds out how all the different things around me fit together, and how I can integrate these things to create a better, clearer strategy. To me, the real value of an MBA is understanding all the different pieces that go into a company and how we can use that information to create better marketing for all the great products that tech companies create every year. Oftentimes, to be able to affect this level of integration and change is through leadership and management (another reason for the MBA). Does that make sense? I will definitely need to tighten this up, but that's the background on what I want to do.

(2) Are you thinking in terms of deciding which to apply to? Or in terms of differentiating them in the applications themselves? In terms of figuring out where to apply, I think you're right - nothing will beat talking to students and being on campus. A lot of campus visits seem like they will have to wait until the fall quarter/semester starts up at the different schools. I'm definitely going to try to use the summer to gather up as much info as I can and talk to alumni in the area.

(3) That's fair advice to give.

In either case, THANK YOU! The advice is very helpful.
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Re: Profile Eval + narrowing down the right schools for me? [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2012, 07:01
hey lammy...just to touch on a couple of add'l point you raised. I actually went to the Univ of Chicago as an undergrad and to Kellogg for my MBA, so I actually feel pretty credible (for once!) on this very specific topic. As a major caveat, UChicago is a GREAT program. I'm in no way saying it's not. I am, however, saying it's VERY different from Kellogg, and most of that difference comes from the criteria you value, which is why it's important.

For starters, Chicago is in the so side of chicago while Kellogg is in evanston. For that reason, many Chicago GSBers live in downtown chicago, while most Kelloggians live in E-town. This reduces the amount of community you feel with your students. At kellogg, you will see each other ALL THE TIME (walking to class, drinking at coffee shops, B&N bookstore, whatever). At Chicago, you won't b/c most people are downtown and it's all spread out. This dynamic then has a self-fulfilling prophecy effect where most Kellogg ppl go there b/c of the community element, whereas most GSBers pick Chicago b/c they want to be downtown.

Also, Chicago's GSB curriculum is built around its incredible economics dept. While it's amazing, in some ways it's not as "practical" as what you learn at Kellogg. Its intellectual focus also requires a great deal of "deep quiet thought" as you work out complex formulas and analysis. Kellogg's work is much more team oriented and that's where they challenge you. As an example, when i was an undergrad at UC, I double majored in econ. Many of my econ classes were built around calculus (maximizations, etc.). in my 15+ years of prof experience i have NEVER used calculus to solve any business problem.

And finally...Your career focus response is heading the right direction. Just remember to "show, not tell." It's a lot more compelling and you'll get more mileage out of your word limitations this way.

Hope that's helpful,
-james young
_________________

http://www.TheFirstRead.com
Former Kellogg adcom member, offering a new approach to MBA Admissions Consulting.

Re: Profile Eval + narrowing down the right schools for me?   [#permalink] 13 Jun 2012, 07:01
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