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Undergraduate: Bachelor of Financial and Investment Analysis from a leading college within Delhi University. Secured a 76%, which translates into First Division, with distinction. Placed among the top 10 students of the course. Interned at a large public sector bank in the Investment Management division.
Have cleared level 1 of CFA qualification and presently preparing for level 2 (June 2012)
GMAT Score : 760 (QA 50; VA 42) AWA : 5.5
Current Work Experience:
- Recently (Feb 2012) joined as Deputy Manager in the Corporate Strategy and Planning team of a large consumer goods company - Activities under the purview of the position include annual operating plans, 3-year strategic outlook, business scenario planning and forecasting, and building of internal capabilities and value drivers through process design and compliance
Previous Work Experience:
- Worked for about 20 months at a UK-based business research firm, as Analyst (10 months) and Senior Analyst (10 months) in the Strategic Services team - Worked across a broad range of industries, including telecom, consumer products, and pharmaceuticals; focus on risk assessment, industry and market analysis and growth strategy formulation - Work included: - Strategic decision-support (China procurement setup options, best cost country sourcing, etc.) - Industry analysis (including size and growth, competitive landscape, trends and drivers, and Porter’s analysis), and - Company analysis (including business overview and strategy, operating metrics, revenue and cost analysis, and industry and competitive bench marking) - Responsible for end-to-end delivery of projects, conduction primary and secondary research to draw insights, and guiding new analysts on complex projects
Some key projects undertaken:
- Spain Hotel Industry – Profitability Assessment - Assisted a leading private equity player in assessing profitability determinants of various hotel operating models in Spain - Built profitability models for hotels with various ownership structures, of various quality levels, and in different geographies (under present, pessimistic and optimistic scenarios) - Recommended investment opportunities based on profitability models and qualitative risk assessments
- China Procurement – Competitive Intelligence and Global Integration - Assisted a global wine and spirits company in understanding various internal and external factors hindering the adoption of its sourcing platform in China - In-depth evaluation of various sourcing setups, practices followed by other FMCG companies and identification of key success factors for a sourcing operation in China - Mapping of market insights with current organizational practices to recommend action areas
Other organisational Initiatives - Part of recruitment team - Visited college campus as part of the company's recruitment drive, and conducted test, group discussions. and interviews for selection of students - Trainer - Conducted a wide range of training for new joiners and lateral hires; modules for training encompassed all project and research-related activities - Rolled out the Visual Arts Library (a repository of analytic and visual tools) for use by employees across the organisation
Extra-curricular activities - Part of college team that rolled out the inaugural issue of a quarterly magazine pertaining to our course and set plans for succession; oversaw two issues before graduating - Participation in business plan competitions at college level - Participation in various sporting competitions at school and college level - Participation in various public speaking competitions at school and college level
Current Plans: - Continue learning in the Business Strategy team on the present organization, and build on skills acquired at previous employment - Understand dynamics of corporate function, and assist in formulation of group-level strategy - Apply for full time MBA program in Fall 2013 in a top-tier B-school
Long-term Goals: - Leverage skills acquired in the Strategy domain and the MBA to work at a reputed company in the consulting vertical - Leverage academic background in finance to provide a value proposition marrying both streams of learning
I am planning to apply for the fall 2013 session.
Please advise on the programs I should be targeting and the schools I have a chance of cracking.
Do you have a preference in location, and what are your goals post-graduation? As opposed to just focusing on applying to the highest ranked program, I strongly recommend you consider where your specific future goals lie and what schools will best help you attain these. As an example, if you are interested in a future career in Private Equity, applying to a program in New York or the surrounding area is a great idea, because of the alumni network you will tap into. If you are interested in technology, California is a great place to be.
Focusing on your goals will not only help with your application, but it will provide you with a much better business school experience.
Thanks for the input there. I have to say, I'm leaning toward strategic consulting post-MBA, but have no real geographic preference per say. Through the profile evaluation, I'm trying to get some feedback on whether I have a shot at some of the top 10 schools. Within such schools, I'll go ahead and apply to schools with the best fit to my profile and career goals.
It this a sensible approach in your opinion? The reason behind going after the top schools is that I'll be picking up a large loan in funding the program, and would take the step only with a top school.
With regards to which schools to apply to, I want to emphasize that the location where you attend a program will have a large impact on your experience. As an example, although Columbia and NYU have world-wide networks, students will always be drawn to finance and consulting due to the proximity to New York City. If you know there are certain industries you are more interested in, you should look at the location where that industry is located (Ex: Entertainment and Los Angeles, Technology and Silicon Valley, etc.). It's just as important to know which industries you are not interested in as it is to know which industries you do want to pursue.
For your application, your numbers certainly indicate that you have the intellect and focus to thrive in a top tier MBA program. Nothing about his story makes me think there is any reason why you cannot be admitted, but nothing stands out telling me why you should be accepted into a top program. All of the reasons why a top program would admit you are in the details of your work experience, personal experiences, personality, values and overall story.
I will be building on the details around work experience, personal experience and goals over the next few months. I have a bit of time before application deadlines come around, so will spend as much time as possible in building my candidature. I am relieved to see that you see potential in the application, and that the numbers are in place for a run at good schools.
Last thing, in the time frame (I want to apply for Fall 2013) that I have, how many schools can I apply to? I've read about people applying to 5-6 programmes, is it possible to apply to more (say 8)? The thought process here is, I'm not desperate to get into an MBA in fall 2013, and can push it out to 2014 to pick up more experience. I understand that this year is a bit too early in terms of age and experience, so I am only going for the top schools in the country. Filling out a few more forms gives me a chance to earn some interview calls, and hopefully places me in a better position if I need another go at it.
With regards to how many schools you should apply to, it depends on the individual. If you do decide to apply to 6-8 schools, we recommend you apply among multiple rounds. As an example, select 3 schools to apply to in the 1st round, and 3 additional schools to apply to in the 2nd round.