thanks for reaching out to me.you have an extremely interesting profile. In fact I've only come across something like it once before in my tenure as a professional admissions consultant. I believe that you do have the basis for a compelling MBA story and candidacy, however my first question is around your goals and what it is that you want to do upon graduation from any top MBA program.
In reading your post I know that you want to move into the finance realm. There are a few issues with this. First, is extremely difficult to break into the investment banking industry without prior experience. Think about it this way -- why should they hire you over the thousands of other newly minted MBAs who already have significant investment banking experience? So it's not that it is an unreasonable goal, it is that you may not be viewed as someone who is able to hit the ground running at a bank on day one upon graduation. You need to articulate how your future finance career will build logically upon your past military career. You have to draw that strong correlation for the admissions committee in your essays. Because, in turn, the admissions committee knows that you have to dictate that same story to a potential recruiter. The admissions committee is a good filter for what will fly with recruiters. So when dictating the story nature you draw one to one connection. Else, you can't get hired, you can't get through the door into a top MBA program.
The other question I haveis with respect to your age. You have 14 years as an Indian army officer. So how old is that make you? I am going to guess, that at a minimum, this makes you approximately 32 years old. This makes you less attractive to American MBA programs. When you combine this with perhaps unrealistic goals within banking, your battleship could be sunk.
Your overwhelming redeeming quality is your leadership experience. Any MBA program would love to have you as an applicant, if solely considering your leadership experience. My suggestion is this -- and it's a narrow suggestion -- apply to UVA Darden. This is a school that will value your military experience, perhaps more than any other school in the United States. I would re-examine your long-term goals as well. In fact, what I see you as possibly doing is engaging a strategy firm that has a strong presence in the public sector. Your tactical experience, combined with strategic frameworks, would be of great service to private security companies, governments, NGOs and international organizations looking to expand their presence into areas of the world currently under conflict. So for example, you could provide guidance to a client company regarding their security concerns when opening a new facility in Iraq, Afghanistan or even Pakistan. You understand the implications of running an operation where insurgency operations exist. You can use this knowledge to help client companies form contingency plans but also strategic differentiators and where they locate their own operations.
I hope the above helps. Again, I thank your background extremely interesting. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck with your MBA application journey.
Respectfully, Paul Lanzillotti
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