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Profile Evaluation and opinion

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Intern
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Joined: 31 Oct 2008
Posts: 5
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Profile Evaluation and opinion [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2009, 18:55
Hi Alex

Here is my rather detailed profile, with some questions at the very end:

Nationality: Chinese Canadian, first-generation immigrant from Hong Kong
Gender: Male
Age: 26

GMAT: 760 (99th percentile)
Undergrad: University of Toronto, Computer Engineering
GPA: 2.80
(This is the worst part of my profile. I have a rising trend in my marks:
1st year GPA: 2.30
2nd year GPA: 2.68
3rd year GPA: 2.87
4th year GPA: 3.35)

Work Experience

2.5 years Total Post-Grad Experience, all in the civil service:
1 year working on Public Health IT Systems Strategy (Environmental Health)
- Responsible for leading the development of food safety and safe drinking water systems
1 year working on HR and Payroll systems
- Responsible for coordinating the development of government HR systems
6 months working on Public Health Systems (Infectious Disease)
- Responsible for developing outbreak management (eg. Influenza, SARS) systems
I have been promoted a total of 2 times in the last 2.5 years, from Programmer/Analyst (80% technical), to Senior Programmer Analyst(50% technical), and then to Senior Business Analyst (10% technical). All 3 positions are in different divisions in the civil service. I do mostly project management now.

16-month Pre-Grad internship:
- Quality Assurance Lead for a medium-sized supply chain planning software company.
- Coordinated the testing efforts for a new add-on product.

Post-Grad Community Work/Extracurricular Activities

Founder of OneBigU, an online learning community that allows students to "earn" donations by helping other students. These donations are given to a charity group whose mission is to help those suffering in Darfur. This is my first jab at creating a small social enterprise.
- Hired and managed an IT Development team of 3 people in India for 4 months to help me finish the development work. I bootstrapped the whole project.
- Devised and executed a marketing strategy with no budget that accomplished the following:
- Boosted traffic from 0 to 3000 monthly unique visitors per month.
- Obtained live interview with a mainstream TV tech reporter (CityTV), about 2 minutes long
- Obtained feature article in the local Metro Newspaper.
- Obtained feature articles from several Canadian tech bloggers, student bloggers and social enterprise bloggers.
- Obtained a small snippet in the university alumni magazine.

Church-related Activities
- Script writer for weekly Catholic radio program on Canada's leading Chinese radio station.
- Lead and coordinate activities for youth at the church.
- Organize annual retreat for youth (approximately 200 participants)
- I also provide guidance and leadership to the church's youth group committee, of which I was previously a member.

Pre-Grad Community Work/Extracurricular Activities

1) Committee Chair for Sponsorship for Frosh Week
- Lead a small team of 3to contact local businesses to raise sponsorship money to fund the annual Engineering Frosh Week.

2) Professional Development Officer (IEEE Student Office)
- Coordinated special technology seminar series for students to learn about new tech trends and career opportunities.

Here are my questions
1) I want to apply to the coming third round for starting in Sept 2009. Is that a good idea? Or should I wait till the next first round for starting in Sept 2010?
2) How are my chances at HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago, and Columbia in 3rd round? Should I revise my expectations?
3) Is my GPA going to hurt my chances for the elite schools? Does my GMAT mitigate this?

Thank you for your advice, Alex!
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MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation and opinion [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2009, 00:01
Your GPA will hurt you, but the saving grace is your GMAT as well as going to a non-US school (adcoms don't emphasize GPA as much for applicants who did their schooling outside the US).

However, it's really hard to say what your chances are. You are a wild card simply because there's not a whole lot in your background to benchmark against others. You are unique, but on the surface it's simply because there's not as many folks from the civil service applying to b-school -- and while you seem to be good at your job and you have some really good extracurriculars, nothing seems to stand out as truly exceptional for that "uniqueness" to be a real asset (it just ensures that you won't be lost in the shuffle). So when it comes to school selection, I would choose only maybe 2 or 3 from that list that you'd love to go to (consider them your "dream" or "stretch" schools), and then focus on schools in the lower half of the top 16 like Cornell, Yale, NYU, Duke, Darden, Michigan, Haas, and UCLA (choose maybe 2 or 3 "sweet spots" from this list). And then maybe 0-1 safety schools beyond that like Rotman, Ivey, or other regional schools you'd love to go to.

As for rounds, if you can afford to wait, wait until next year. However, if you're absolutely dead set on getting in this fall, by all means apply in Round 3. Just know that your chances are likely to be even slimmer (for my above recommendations, your "stretch" schools are out of reach, and your "sweet spots" become stretches.
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

Intern
Intern
Joined: 31 Oct 2008
Posts: 5
Followers: 0

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

Re: Profile Evaluation and opinion [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2009, 08:26
Thanks for the quick reply!

I have one more question. What are my chances for INSEAD R1 January start? Is this also a stretch?
MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation and opinion [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2009, 10:48
INSEAD is in range, and it's a great school if you're looking to work in Europe or Asia; if you want to work in North America, stick to a US school.
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

Re: Profile Evaluation and opinion   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2009, 10:48
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