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I'm an Indian female interested in doing an MBA in either the US or UK. I just wrote my GMAT a week ago and got 660 (Q44 V37), had expected at least 700, so it is a bit of a disappointment but I'm not sure how much I can improve in such a short time period so I've decided to not write it again. I come from a engineering background having done my grad in Telecom from a top engineering college of my State. I'm not sure what my GPA would be but I graduated with First Class lying in the top 30% of my class. I work in a small product company that focus on video quality monitoring. I wouldn't term myself as an IT person mainly because my job has nothing to do with IT (at least that's how i see it). I have 2 yrs of work experience, by the time i start my MBA it would be 3.
Here's what I'm worried about, i had a job offer from a reputed company in India with a good pay, but I declined that offer to join the company I am working with presently. My dad founded the company and is the CEO, but I mainly joined cause I would be applying everything i learnt about in 4 yrs of college to do my job and i loved the technology they were working with. My designation is Product Manager - now I know ppl automatically conclude that I was given this because of who I am, I thought so too when I joined, but after two years I think I can confidently say I haven't let down my superiors who saw the potential in me and entrusted with such a big responsibility. I was dead set on not doing a job that 90% of engineers do, I wanted to learn, explore and do something different. And I got to do exactly that, I did a lot of research on upcoming strategies that the company should move towards, analysis on the pros and cons of that and helped implement this move as well. I was also responsible for a particular patent pending facet of our product that is our Intellectual Property and a big USP with our clients. The second year I spent a lot of time marketing our products in the US. I have had the opportunity to present and demo our product to our clients like Ericsson. I have also spent close to 5 months training our clients on how to use our products.
I guess what I wanna ask is, do I have a chance at some good schools with my score and work experience. The schools that I would wanna apply are: Harvard ISB Yale Cornell Oxford: Said Cambridge: Judge Tuck Tepper Ross
I understand that some of the above schools may be out of reach, but if so I would like some advice on where to apply and where to not apply. I would love to apply to Booth and Kellogg as well but is it worth it? Am I unique enough for them, do I stand a chance? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Also should I talk about working in a company founded by my dad or not. I understand that some of the opportunities i have been given may have been cause of who I am but I also know that I have gone above and beyond every expectation my superiors have had of me. Due to that I think I was given a lot of assignments well beyond my age and experience, not because of my surname but because I had proved myself before.
Please let me know what I should do in terms of what schools to apply to and what strategy to use.
What job do you want post-MBA? If you tell us where you want to go in life, it makes it easier to identify which schools are a good fit. Are you interested in continuing as product manager in the technology sector? Are you interested in marketing? Generally or in the technology sector? _________________
Sorry those are points I should have addressed in my profile, cant believe it slipped my mind! I am interested to continue in the technology sector, so I would like to come back to my present company and take up a position that allows me to plan strategy's and help develop the product line. My goal is to add other product lines that are both revenue generating and have shorter sales cycles. But I am unable to do anything about it cause of my position and experience, this is where I think an MBA from a good school would help me.
For what you want to do, a general management program with strong reputations in marketing and management is a good bet. From your list, it looks like you're sticking with schools that will own a lot of prestige in India, which makes some sense in that you want that credibility for more responsibility. From an academic reputation stand point, the following US schools have killer marketing+management rankings:
School (average USNews management and marketing ranking): Wharton (2.5) Kellogg (2.5) Ross (5) Fuqua (5.5)
In addition, while competitive, none of these schools are as depressingly selective as HBS or Haas. My gut tells me that you will be facing a big uphill battle at Yale with your GMAT, as they have really looked to bring that stat up with Ted Snyder aboard. Also, know that Ross doesn't currently offer loans to international students without a US co-signer. Fuqua does, not sure about Wharton and Kellogg, but I think they do too. Depending on your financing situation, I strongly advise you to find out what a school's loan policy is before leaping into their admissions process.
Tepper is also a great school. It's a very small community with big access to the engineering schools on campus. Of all the schools I visited and researched, it's the one that gets business technology the best, which obviously makes sense.
I would cut HBS and Tuck. HBS because I believe you're too far off the reservation and even Sandy says they don't like family business kids that much. Tuck is an amazing school, but I think you might really benefit from having a larger institution with more engineering schools for cross-listed classes and projects.
So, yeah, just some of my thoughts. I don't know what a top 30% GPA translates to, but assuming you're like a 3.5 GPA with a 660GMAT, I think you'll be competitive for Ross and Fuqua, and certainly in the zone for Cornell and Tepper. Wharton and Kellogg would be real reaches, but if you're someone who has a big spark in person, I think you're almost guaranteed an interview at Kellogg, so that could boost you through a bit. One thing to consider if things don't pan out the way you hoped is taking another year to boost your GMAT and add more work experience instead of settling with a program you may not really, really, really want to attend. But that's all looking way in the future, so hope this helps for this application cycle. _________________
Thank you so much for such a wonderful and comprehensive reply! Gave me new factors to think of between shortlisting schools and deciding whether to apply or not. My favorites are Tepper and Cornell, so I'm glad you think I would be a competitive applicant there. I would maybe apply to Stanford or Kellogg as my reach schools. But as you suggested, I will have to look more closely on the school's loan policy.
I did have a couple more questions if you don't mind answering them. In my resume or essay is it advisable to mention the names of the clients or vendors I have worked with? Also I have a letter of appreciation from a member of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce for a project that I lead and worked with them on. Would mentioning that or attaching the letter, help or hurt my chances? If it would help, which part of the application should I mention it in, the resume or the essays? Also do you think I would be able to boost my chances by going through a consultant, if so who would you suggest? Lastly, since I'm new to the whole procedure and haven yet started out, what exactly do you have to do to apply for a scholarship, grant or Teaching Assistant position.
Sorry about bombarding you with these, but if you have any information/ thoughts on these if you could share them, it would help me lot.
Definitely mention any big names you've worked with. If you can tie it into resume bullet points that's great. Same with the appreciation letter, if you can do something like "Led X project or sales initiative with Y, leading to increased Z and an official letter of appreciation from A." If there's a bigger story to tell, depending on what it is, maybe that's an essay item, hard to say without knowing specifics.
A consultant might help your chances, sure. There's not one I could recommend for these schools, but find some of the threads here regarding consultant reviews, or even look through their feedback on profiles and identify one that seems to give good advice for your type of background/career goal.
Usually, there is not a separate scholarship application. If/when you are admitted, you will receive any notice of merit scholarship then from admissions. There are some notable exceptions including the Park Fellowship at Cornell which requires an extra essay and an on-site trip for a special event I believe. When you look at schools, definitely look for a scholarships page and see if there are any special requirements, but again, most of what you'll see on the threads when someone says "in with $$!" it's not a special application thing. _________________