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Age: 26 Background: Female, Indian, born and brought up in Saudi Arabia, Educational Background: UToronto 3.1 (Accounting and Economics), Wilfrid Laurier University 3.85 (Masters in Business Economics) Professional Work Experience: one year in start up consulting company in Dubai as Business Analyst\Team lead for few small projects Post Masters: 3 YRS Analyst-Associate (one promotion) at Mid Size consulting firm (Economic Consulting) in Toronto
Part time Work Experience: During UnderGrad PT Financial Assistant at University Dept, Research Assistant at Econ University Dept., Summer Analyst at Indian Transportation firm, Summer Analyst at Deloitte Saudi Arabia, during Masters TA for Econ Course, summer internship at government agency GMAT:720 on practice tests, aiming for 750 (might be a stretch) ECs: very involved in undergrad and grad (everything from student government, student center finance committee, Club VP etc). currently volunteering weekly at community center - mentoring children, running activities etc. Interests are foods blogs, fitness etc.
I might want to focus (in my essays) on my background (no money, came to Canada at 17 with no financial\parental support, attended large university with no guidance). Epiphany I had the year after graduation really put me on track in life. I realized that during my undergrad at the associated horrible experience I did not have any ambition or a dream. Post undergrad, working in the real work I realized I had a lot to offer.... became very very determined and ambition....
Post MBA aspirations:
Would love to work on management consulting or in Corporate Strategy at a large MNC for 5-10 years before I start my own company.
Strengths: Good GMAT Score and Masters GPA. Lots of PT work as well ECs. Worked in India (4 months), Dubai (14 months), Saudi Arabia (4 months) and Canada (3 years)?? Maybe Strength. Weakness: 4 Years of Total work experience and only one promotion at current place (in my three yrs here)
Given all this could you help me figure out a list of stretches, sweet spots and back ups. I'm open to moving to the States or Europe. At this point I'm open to suggestions. Ofcourse I would like to aim for the best but I'm realistic at the same time.
Stretch: Kellogg, Sloan, INSEAD (schools like Columbia, Booth, and LBS are peers, but the student body is a bit more finance-focused; you'll likely find more people you have an affinity for at Kellogg, Sloan and INSEAD who are interested in the same kinds of careers as you).
Sweet spot: Duke, Darden, Michigan, Tuck (schools like NYU, Cornell, Yale, UCLA and Haas are peers, but you'll likely find less folks focused on consulting/industry compared to the other 4 schools).
Safety: this would be outside the top 16. Up to you whether you feel it's worth it to apply. Keep in mind that it becomes very hard to land a mgmt consulting job at a school outside the top 16 - where the students and recruiters are more focused on industry/Fortune 500 and regional firms. These would be Canadian schools like Ivey, Rotman and Queens, or US schools like USC, Texas, Tepper, etc. Or UK schools like Cambridge/Oxford (which tends to be more finance-oriented in terms of recruiting).
Will take your advise! Infact I am quite open to working the industry, that is what I meant to say by saying I would like to do corporate strategy as an alternative consulting so maybe a few school like Ivey or Tepper wouldn't be a bad safety to have!
One quick question: My GRE is a 780 Q , 570 V and 5.0 AWA. My GMAT is now hovering around a 720 - 740. Should I submit my GRE scores where thy are acceptable or stick to the GMAT?
As far as I know, it won't really matter - I believe all the top b-schools now accept the GRE (others out there -- correct me if I'm wrong). Given that either score is strong, I don't think it's going to make a difference. The thing with test scores is that a high score isn't an asset, but a low score can be a liability.
In your case, it's just a matter of choosing a set of schools that you feel are the best *personal* fit for you in terms of your lifestyle, environment, the kinds of people you want to be around, etc. And then showcasing your strengths on the application (which in this case would be the fact that you've worked/lived in different countries - and working as a woman in a patriarchal or dare I say chauvinist environment in Dubai and Saudi Arabia).
I haven't given the GMAT yet (those are my practice test scores). I'd rather avoid giving it if the GRE score I have already obtained is strong enough. From your answer I think I think its safe to assume me GRE will be enough to be competitive.
Thanks for the advise with regards to finding a good fit. Personally I've had experience being in at a university I absolutely hated and I know the importance of "feeling good" about the place you'll be be spending 1-2 years.
With my research so far, I'm aiming to get into either Duke or Darthmouth. I think they are of the calibre I am seeking and I'm glad you think they could be my sweet spots.