I am going to apply to the Fall 2010 weekend MBA programs for the following schools, in order of preference:
1. Chicago GSB
3. Wash U Olin (PMBA weeknights.. but its only 1.5 hours away so I could drive there 2-3 times a week)
4. UofI at UC
5. UofI at springfield
Age: 29 (and 4 months)
Ethnicity: LPR of Pakistani origin
GMAT: 730 (V41 Q49 AWA 5.5) given this Nov.
Undergrad GPA: CS/IT 3.07/4 so so school from Pakistan. GPA rose uptil the 4th semester, but due to personal issues that I dealt with, fell for 3 semesters, finally rising in the 8th semester.Each semester required some kind of tech project, followed by a big final project in the last 2 semesters. Each project was done in a group, I was the group leader for each project and the projects were interesting and innovative.
Grad GPA: Research Masters in Computing 11.75/20 GREAT university in France was in the top 100 according to Times when I graduated. Very tough and challenging as all courses/assignments/presentations were in French. Very challenging as I had learned French
for 5 months just prior to starting the program. An 8 month research internship was a degree requirement. Had won a full scholarship + spending money to go to this Uni. Started a Phd but dropped out due to US immigration.
1.5 years in startup tech company in Pakistan. 6 months as tech and 1 year as Team lead.
3.5 years (in Fall 2010), in a well respected firm in Springfield, IL. 2 years as techie, 1.5 years as Business Analyst.
ECS: Not much into college activities during undergrad, but did teach high school kids on average 5 - 10 hours a week throughout the undergrad (for spending money).
Also was a founding member of my community's youth committee.
Travelled extensively all over the country to not just touristy places or large metro areas but also to very tiny little hamlets and villages scattered throughout the country. Some interesting experiences there (I have a ton of those).
During grad study, I was a member of a serria club like university organization which organized trips around the region for such activities as hiking, skiing, bicycling and such. I was an active member of that organization and participated on a weekly basis!
I also traveled a large swathe of Europe during that time, all over France, Germany, Spain, the UK etc.. etc..
At one time an earthquake hit a region in Pakistan and I involved myself in fund-raising activities such as cooking for a charity dinner and getting donations.
Since moving to Springfield, I have travelled to large parts of the US and one brief trip to Canada for enrichment purposes. Also did a lot of hiking and camping. I am a fan of the outdoors!
Founding member of a regional adventure group so a lot of excursions are thanks to them!
I also saw a quip while glancing through the book, MBA Admissions strategy, by AV Gordon about mentioning helping out a relative. Since 2007 I have been supporting my mother,sister and brother. They had nowhere to go (another long story). Over the years I have helped many people write resumes and improve on papers and such.
Not many other ECs besides those since being in Springfield.
All of the above schools are at max 3 hours away from where I live and work.
I like where I work now and how I have the chance to progress upward.
So I'll most likely work there during the whole MBA or for part of it.
But I love the city of chicago and I would love to move there permenantly.
Career goals include progressing upwards in my company, possibly finding a managment role in a tech company in Chicago and eventually starting my own tech business in some niche Financial industry. I worked on stock market prediction during my master's thesis and during the truncated Phd, so I think I will present that to adcomm in my essays as a business idea.
I think that Pakistani-Americans are underrepresented in the US market.
I would love to learn all the skills that a top class b-school would teach me to achieve all of these things.
I have always loved tech and I do not really want to switch careers but go onto mgt side of things.
Thank you If you have reached this far, and With all of this said, would I have a shot at the top 3 schools mentioned above?
How should I address the weakpoints above such as low GPA?
I would be Pakistani/IT/Male if such an application pool exists, however would I lumped in the Indian/IT/Male pool?
An eval would be wonderful!
"The distribution is fat-tailed relative to the normal distribution"
~ Eugene Fama Professor of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business