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Profile Evaluation - 740 GMAT, Banking/Music experience

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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 30
Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Technology, Leadership
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.99
WE: Business Development (Entertainment and Sports)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 9

Profile Evaluation - 740 GMAT, Banking/Music experience [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2014, 12:04
Jen, huge thanks in advance for any feedback on the below. I feel I have a peculiar story to tell, but would like to understand any potential weaknesses in my profile, especially for applications at top US schools.

Male, Italian, currently 28. Lived in London since 2008.

GMAT
740 (Q49/V41), IR 8, AWA 6

Education
1) Bachelor in Management of Public Administration (taught in Italian) at Bocconi University, top Italian business school.
GPA: 4.0. Final Result: 110/110 cum Laude. Graduated in 2006.

2) MSc in Finance (taught in English) at Bocconi University.
GPA: 4.0. Final Result: 110/110 cum Laude. Graduated in 2008.
Awarded with 'Scholarship for Outstanding Students' (50 scholarships vs 2000+ students), with full exemption from MSc fees.

Exchange Programs: 3 months in a high school in South Africa in 2002 with American Field Service; 1 month at Shanghai’s Fudan University in 2005; 4 months at Copenhagen Business School in 2007.

Extra-curricular Activities
• 5-year volunteering with American Field Service (Intercultural Programs), 2003-2008. Appointed President of Milan's Local Chapter in 2006-2008, managed 25+ volunteers across all activities of the association. Invited by Italian Secretary General to be part of the national Committee for 3-year Strategic Plan in 2008.
• Wrote, played and produced (voice, guitar/bass, keyboards, drum programming) 3 albums between 2007 and 2011, distributed physically through e-commerce store and digitally on sale on iTunes and other retailers.
• Led a 3-piece cover band in 2009/2011, performed several acoustic gigs in small London venues.
• Studied Russian at London's main Russian-culture centre since 2011. Become a member of the association, and organised 2 events focusing on Soviet rock music.

Work Experience
Over 6 years of experience in London.

1) Morgan Stanley: my career started with a Summer Internship in 2006. Received full-time job offer, but decided to pursue MSc, thus converting the offer into a 2nd internship in a different division in summer 2007. Started full-time job in July 2008 (M&A Real Estate). Tough working conditions, partly due to the financial crisis that started back then, made me soon realize that banking career was not the one for me. I took the most difficult decision of my life and resigned in December 2008, with the dream of pursuing a heartfelt career in my true passion, music.

2) Universal Music: hired in March 2009. Rapid and consistent progression across 2 divisions (International and UK). Promoted from Analyst, to Manager, to Head role in less than 18 months. Involved in several key projects, and currently leading (i) analysis of existing business partners (ii) commercial negotiations for distribution of digital rights in the UK, dealing with wide range of partners (big tech companies, ISPs, supermarkets, music startups, etc.). Currently managing 2 analysts. Various examples can show a profound impact on the worldwide organisation, through leadership, innovation and adaptation of strong quantitative skills to specific industry challenges.

Why MBA Now, and Goals
I am very happy with my job, and I would like to raise the game in 2015. MBA would provide me with a wider angle on several industries and refresh/learn management principles I am currently not exposed to.

Short term: slight industry change. The aim is to get a directing role at a top global Technology company (Digital Content/Internet Services), either in the US or UK.
Long term: relocate to Italy with a senior exec position in a top global Technology company. My ideal goal would be to contribute to the development of Italian tech/digital industry – I could welcome involvement in the public sector at a later stage.

Target Schools
1R at Stanford, Columbia, MIT, Harvard, London Business School. US school would be preferable.
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Expert Post
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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Re: Profile Evaluation - 740 GMAT, Banking/Music experience [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2014, 08:43
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Expert's post
Hi there,

Thanks for your post. Your profile was interesting to read, which should help you stand out from the crowd of applications/be remembered!

What you've got going for you (strengths) based on what you've described so far:

-excellent GMAT score
-excellent academics
-interesting, and fairly unique, work experience, especially your current role, with analytical, quant, and leadership skills in an industry that is less common in b-school (i.e. you would have an interesting perspective to contribute to the classroom, one way to look at it)
-vast international experiences are great to draw from and again provide a different perspective

Potential weaknesses or questions that could be asked:

No major weaknesses so far, but areas that either could be questioned or that you could strengthen:

-slightly random career path, as self described... however that does not have to be a major issue, people can change their minds and direction, just be prepared to explain fully in essays and interviews. It's good that you've been on the current track for a while now.
-Though as I'm reading it now, could be a touch confusing on relating your current role to your post-MBA goals? Is your plan to totally leave the music industry?
-Along those lines, could work on tightening up your goals descriptions some, and being sure that you show how your past experiences and the MBA lead to those future goals

With strong essays/application, I think you could have a shot at top programs around the world, including those you mentioned. Of course competition is always fierce, and there are many factors to consider, but just be sure to focus a lot of time and effort on those essays-- that is the one part of your application where you create something FROM SCRATCH to represent who you are, so lots of opportunity there to make an impact on the admissions decision!

Please let us know what other questions you have, and if you'd like to speak further with one of us, we do offer a free 30 min consult option at http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php if interested at any point. Good luck and keep us posted!

PS-- shout out to London, I lived there for close to 4 years and loved it!! Also visited Bocconi, loved visiting Italy while over there! ;)
_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 30
Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Technology, Leadership
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.99
WE: Business Development (Entertainment and Sports)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 9

Re: Profile Evaluation - 740 GMAT, Banking/Music experience [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2014, 12:56
mbaMissionJenK wrote:
Hi there,

Thanks for your post. Your profile was interesting to read, which should help you stand out from the crowd of applications/be remembered!

What you've got going for you (strengths) based on what you've described so far:

-excellent GMAT score
-excellent academics
-interesting, and fairly unique, work experience, especially your current role, with analytical, quant, and leadership skills in an industry that is less common in b-school (i.e. you would have an interesting perspective to contribute to the classroom, one way to look at it)
-vast international experiences are great to draw from and again provide a different perspective

Potential weaknesses or questions that could be asked:

No major weaknesses so far, but areas that either could be questioned or that you could strengthen:

-slightly random career path, as self described... however that does not have to be a major issue, people can change their minds and direction, just be prepared to explain fully in essays and interviews. It's good that you've been on the current track for a while now.
-Though as I'm reading it now, could be a touch confusing on relating your current role to your post-MBA goals? Is your plan to totally leave the music industry?
-Along those lines, could work on tightening up your goals descriptions some, and being sure that you show how your past experiences and the MBA lead to those future goals

With strong essays/application, I think you could have a shot at top programs around the world, including those you mentioned. Of course competition is always fierce, and there are many factors to consider, but just be sure to focus a lot of time and effort on those essays-- that is the one part of your application where you create something FROM SCRATCH to represent who you are, so lots of opportunity there to make an impact on the admissions decision!

Please let us know what other questions you have, and if you'd like to speak further with one of us, we do offer a free 30 min consult option at http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php if interested at any point. Good luck and keep us posted!

PS-- shout out to London, I lived there for close to 4 years and loved it!! Also visited Bocconi, loved visiting Italy while over there! ;)


Jen, thanks so much for your detailed reply. Really glad to hear that my two host cities, London and Milan, treated you well!

It's encouraging to hear your feedback. Especially your analysis of potential weaknesses, if not addressed properly in the application, is super useful. My story is peculiar, which as you say is good to stand out, but I agree I need to be very clear to the AdCom on what has driven my choices and my path. And how MBA will help drive this path forward to where I want to go. Good news is - it's all very clear in my head, I just need to refine the short/mid/long version of the pitch.

Re your points:

1) career path. There clearly is one major turning point - Banking to Music, which sounds somewhat crazy. But not random, knowing my full background! I think this actually can work in my favour if explained properly. Despite having brilliantly graduated in Finance just 6 months earlier, feeling huge peer pressure, working for a high-salary high-prestige company, etc. I was brave enough to listen to my inner voice. I felt VERY unhappy with my life as a junior M&A inv banker (plus it was Autumn 2008, which made things worse!), and I decided to take the helm of my life. I could have chosen a finance job with less intense working hours - but no, I decided to take a step forward, and use my skills to do what I truly loved. Music had been my overwhelming passion since I was 9 years old, as my extra curricular activities show. I taught myself how to play several instruments, how to professionally record music, and I wrote/self-released a few records in my spare time. I even turned a profit from all cd sales (not including in the P&L a value for my own time spent playing/recording, but that is priceless!). When I decided to have a shot to the music industry, I realised that my strong quantitative skills, which I had developed through my studies and 10 months overall at Morgan Stanley, would be golddust for an industry in transition from simple CD sales to complex digital/streaming models. That's how I pitched myself to Universal back in early 2009, that's how I was promoted to a Head role at 27, about 5 to 7 years less than the average age. Five years later, I feel I turned a potential failure into a success story.

2) goals. My current role is de facto already within my target industry (Digital Content / Internet Services), perhaps just at the edge of it. Hence the "slight" industry change. As one of many examples, if I negotiate a deal with Apple on iTunes Radio, for distribution of rights owned by my employer, I need to be aware and try to model out the tiniest details of their business plan, product features, strategic positioning, marketing activity, etc. The huge difference being that iTunes Radio is Apple's product, not something I have any input on. In the last few years I realised that developing and bringing to market a digital product, especially if with cutting-edge technology and great vision, is exactly what excites the most. So the big plan for next phase of my life would be to leave the record company, after a gratifying experience, and to transition my knowledge/skills into one of the big Tech companies I already interact with. Not necessarily on a music digital service though. An MBA would help me (i) get more exposure on the wider target industry, beyond digital music products; (ii) get wider knowledge on functions/management principles I am currently not exposed to on a day to day basis (my role is mainly Commercial); (iii) develop further my leadership and innovation skills.

Let me know if you think any of the above is still obscure. I will work very hard on the essays, because I know that they will be the make-or-break factor of my application. And I will reach out for a 30-min session if I feel the need in the near future.

Many thanks again - warm regards from cold London!

Last edited by NandoParrado on 14 Jan 2014, 13:55, edited 4 times in total.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 31 Oct 2013
Posts: 38
Location: United States
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, General Management
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
WE: Analyst (Consulting)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 30

Re: Profile Evaluation - 740 GMAT, Banking/Music experience [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2014, 13:17
Whoa...just want to stop by and say great profile!!

If I have to point out any flaws in this flawless profile (if I may) would be the gap of employment between 12/08 and 03/09 (Did you work elsewhere during these 3 months?) I am no expert at all... but it maybe worth mentioning because schools could perceive it as a layoff which was common at that time? (again, i am not expert)

Good luck with the applications!
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 30
Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: Technology, Leadership
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.99
WE: Business Development (Entertainment and Sports)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 9

Re: Profile Evaluation - 740 GMAT, Banking/Music experience [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2014, 13:40
applebees wrote:
Whoa...just want to stop by and say great profile!!

If I have to point out any flaws in this flawless profile (if I may) would be the gap of employment between 12/08 and 03/09 (Did you work elsewhere during these 3 months?) I am no expert at all... but it maybe worth mentioning because schools could perceive it as a layoff which was common at that time? (again, i am not expert)

Good luck with the applications!

Thanks Applebees! It's an absolutely valid point you're raising - and I will make sure to address it in the applications. To answer your question - I did not work in Jan/Feb 2009. I took 2 weeks off around Christmas time to get back into a human shape after months of severe sleep deprivation. Then I spent almost all January trying to figure out how to (literally) get my foot into the door of a major record company. It's a very hard industry to get in, there's no application process as well-defined as the one in banking or FMCG industries for instance. Once I managed to do that, through a combination of strategy/persistence/luck, I started interviewing in early Feb and I then I was hired in a permanent role on March 9th. I might be wrong, but I think 2.5 months without employment when doing such an unusual industry change might seem pretty reasonable.

Good luck with your applications too!
Expert Post
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 1206
Followers: 10

Kudos [?]: 126 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation - 740 GMAT, Banking/Music experience [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2014, 18:58
Expert's post
Hiya,

Thank you for the additional insight into your situation, past, present and future. Yes I believe if you are able to describe and explain all of that, within the essays and interview, it should all make sense and help explain your past decisions, as well as what you'll bring from your past to the MBA, and to your next career steps. And it helps the way you describe how your interest in digital content came about and how it is all related, certainly. ;)

Excited to hear how it all goes for you. Let us know how else we can help, and best wishes!

Cheers! ;)
_________________

Jen Kedrowski
mbaMission

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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