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Profile Eval + School selection [#permalink]
05 Jun 2014, 06:53
-27 y/o Indian Male
-GMAT 710 (Q 81, V 88).....think I can improve this by 20-30 points atleast
-Graduated in 2008 from a business school in UK with a degree in accounting and finance. Topped my degree in year one. Ended up with an upper 2.1 degree.
-planned on working in UK itself in order to gain some international work ex but had to move back to India because of my fathers death (3 weeks after final term). Had to take care of family affairs so moved back.
-Have 6 years experience of working in the business development and strategy division of a firm with interests across hydropower, textiles and education. Have worked across all 3 sectors. Started out working as an analyst overseeing the development of a 5MW hydropower plant. This gave me a great insight into the workings of the infrastructure space in a developing country like India. Moved onto designing and implementing a plan for expanding the denim division within the textile sector. The expansion of the denim vertical played an important role in hedging against the downturn in the other textile divisions during the post lehman crisis. Currently leading a team in implementing the expansion/diversification of the education vertical. The idea for diversification was my brainchild. I'm also the youngest at the firm at a senior managerial role.
-short term goal is to make a transition to a top tier management consulting firm and work in new geographies (outside of India). Long term goal is to move back to India and start my own boutique consultancy.
-Extra curricular: work with one of the most prominent environmental NGO in the country. Currently drafting a letter that will be sent out to all the newly elected members of the Indian parliament, focusing on the urgent steps needed in the field of environmental conservation. Having lost my father to blood cancer I have organized and participated in blood donation camps as its a cause near my heart. I was also responsible for redrafting and implementing the corporate social responsibility charter at the firm with a focus on sanitation for the poor and improving female financial literacy.
-Target schools- Insead (dream school), Kellogg, Booth, Darden, LBS, Cornell and Yale (please feel free to suggest any others)
Also should I apply to Insead for the Jan 2015 intake in R3 or wait for the next application cycle to begin at Insead? Same question for HEC paris and IMD
Thanks for taking time out and helping people out here. Really appreciate it.
Re: Profile Eval + School selection [#permalink]
06 Jun 2014, 10:37
Hey there ramalo,
Thanks for posting! Love the detail so, without further ado, let's get into this!!
It seems you're on the path to retake the GMAT which is a great decision. A 710 is a strong score but a upper second finish during uni means your GPA is a bit on the lower side. So a stronger GMAT is really going to help there. What I like, however, is that you studied abroad and you majored in business. So, with the right GMAT, you're going to get past the first screener - which is almost entirely stats based!
Wow, you've done and seen a lot! There's a lot here I like. You're in some pretty interesting industries across some awesome functions and you've held some impactful positions! Specifically, here's what I like. You're coming from something other than IT and, on top of that, you've diversified your experiences. That's really memorable! Secondly, you're making BIG moves in these places. Diversifying an industry vertical isn't easy and the fact that it was your idea and that you're leading the team to do it is amazing. Lastly, you being the youngest person in a senior managerial role says a lot about you. Having that come across in your essays and, more importantly, recommendations will be key!
You're involved which is great. What's even better to see, however, is that you have impact and scope. It's also really diverse which can be great. Conveying consequences and numbers behind some of these accomplishments will be critical. For example, your work with the environmental NGO is great but communicating why your efforts mattered will be what help you stand out. I also think your efforts with blood camps are commendable - I'm sorry you lost your father to cancer but it's absolutely worth noting that it spurred you to try to make a difference!
Consulting is a perfectly fine short term goal to have. After all, most people refer to MBAs as consultant factories anyway and there's definitely a bit of truth to that. However, with such a generic goal, you're going to have to be specific and memorable. WHY consulting? WHAT industry(ies)? WHO have you talked to? WHY do you think it's a good fit? HOW will you do it? Most folks who say consulting say a sentence or two. That's not enough. You have to SELL this when you have a goal that's so commonplace.
Your longer term goal needs some work. Starting up your own consulting firm in the long run isn't a bad goal but there needs to be a discussion here.
If you goal is Tier 1 consulting, you need to go to as highly ranked program as you can BUT you need to pick programs where those firms will hire YOU. What do I mean by that? Just because you get into Harvard, doesn't mean you'll be RELATIVELY good enough to be picked up by Bain. You would have better chances at a tier of school right below that. Relativity is key!
INSEAD is a great program but you lack international experience. That's something INSEAD really likes. However, you have experience across industries and across value chains which is pretty rare for someone in your applicant pool and at your age. Before we get into the rest of your list - a question for you. How did you pick these programs? The programs in your list are pretty different from one another and it'd be great to better understand your reasoning.
I hope this helps - if you have specific questions, please let me know! If you want to chat in detail, sign up to chat with us [here] for your free consultation.
Re: Profile Eval + School selection [#permalink]
07 Jun 2014, 12:51
Thank you so much for taking time out and providing such a detailed evaluation.
Academics: Completely agree with you. I think I should be able to get a score closer to 730+ and that's something I'm working hard on. I think this will help partially offset my undergrad performance.
Professional Experiences: Thank you for your kind words. I think I have a strong base for my essays but I will definitely need professional help in framing my essays. As far as recommendations go I think I should be able to get strong ones.
Goals: Coming up with a strategy and then executing it is something I do in my current role. But my role is currently confined more or less only to the Indian context. Post MBA I would definitely like to work outside of India. As my short term goal I would like to work within the strategy consulting domain with focus on industries such as infrastructure and natural resources (in both I will be able to utilize my current skill set and build upon it) Moreover working in the developed world (USA or Western Europe) will allow me to learn the best global practices in these sectors and this will come in handy when I eventually move back to India, seeing the long term requirement for expertise in these sectors. I know I need to work on my short term and long term goals to stand out from the rest.
Schools: I agree with you that my lack of international work experience might hamper my Insead application. However I'm hoping that through my essays I will be able to explain to the adcom the reasons which hampered my ability to do so (Having to move back to India, post my fathers demise, to take care of family affairs) and I'm also hoping that the fact that I graduated from a UK university should also help slightly.
The main reasons for choosing these programs (Insead, Kellogg, Booth, Darden, LBS, Cornell and Yale)has been the good consulting recruitment at these schools and also their well established international brand value, especially in India. Please suggest some other schools that might be suitable given my profile.
Also do you think it makes sense to apply to Insead for the Jan 2015 intake during R3 or wait for the August 2015 application? Same question for Hec Paris and IMD.
Thanks once again and hoping to hear from you soon.
Re: Profile Eval + School selection [#permalink]
09 Jun 2014, 05:45
You're very welcome! I'm glad you found my feedback helpful. You have your hands full with the GMAT retake and that should absolutely be your first focus. Have you set a date?
Also, I'm sure with your experiences you can probably pull on some great recommenders. However, given your rather unconventional (but awesome!) professional experiences, they are going to have to provide context. That will be key for the adcom to understand what you're all about and why it matters. That last part is key. Recommender strategy is always key but in your case it's a bit more important!
From a goals perspective, they make perfect sense. When it comes down to making them stick, however, it'll come down to the perfect balance of specificity and uniqueness. Easy, right?
As for schools, if your goal is to get into consulting, then literally any top 20 program will do. You're right, some have better brand awareness abroad but what it will come down to is two things. Firstly, what schools best fits you? Your learning style, personality, needs, etc. Secondly, where will YOU have the best chances of landing a top consulting placement. Effectively, where will you be relatively top quartile WITHIN your program. Let's talk schools once you retake the GMAT - honestly, that should be your focus. We can work through the schools after we have your score in hand.
However, in the meantime, what I would suggest is you visit our page on [How to Choose Programs]. It's a pretty good list of the things to consider when choosing MBA programs. Go through it, have a think, reflect. Come up with your list of must haves, nice to haves, and the rest. Once you have the GMAT score in hand and a good handle of what's important to you, we can take it from there!
As for applying this year, don't. You have a pretty strong profile and have a shot at some great programs. Don't hack up your strategy and push things forward that don't need to be. Apply next year. Not only will your chances be better, but you'll be in a better spot to understand your application strategy and how to handle it.
When you're ready to start the process, sign up to chat with us. I know you mentioned you'd need a hand with your essays, but every partnership with our clients starts with our free consultation. It's a great way for you to learn more about us and for us to do the same about you! Then we can figure out the path forward together.
Good luck on the GMATs and let us know how they go!