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Profile Evaluation for a newly inspired MBA seeker

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Profile Evaluation for a newly inspired MBA seeker [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2013, 15:34
Thanks for taking the time to read through this

My profile:

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, cum laude
University of California Irvine
Overall GPA: 3.56
Engineering GPA: 3.74
Spend 1 semester studying engineering at Hong Kong University as part of a global exchange program

GRE Exam: 167/170 Quantitative (95%ile) and 163/170 Verbal (93%ile)
GMAT: --- currently in prep period, ETS compares my GRE score to a 740 on the GMAT ---

Work Experience - 2 years

I work at a boutique, global management consulting firm focused in major engineering industries such as Automotive, Aviation, and Telecom. We offer services ranging from engineering solutions (system validation, product development etc.) to program management, supplier management, and classical strategy consulting. Globally we have approx 1200 employees, 150 of which are in North America. My industry focus has been Automotive telematics.

I started at this company straight out of college at the lowest rung of the organization: Test Engineer. I wrote and executed test cases, fairly mindless and boring tasks; I knew from the start that I wanted more. I began to push my boundaries by getting involved with the product innovation group within the organization, and it was there that I pioneered automated test software applications within the company, leading to increased business at key clients. Within 1.5 years I transitioned from Test Engineer > Program Management Support > Product Manager > Project Lead for two projects back to back, one of which was in the 6 figure revenue range.

Extra Curricular:

Co-founded an online food-delivery startup targeted towards college students. I was in charge of sourcing and managing developers, building requirements, UX and wireframes. I'll be candid in saying that it failed in less than a year, with 0 revenue. Still, there were a lot of valuable lessons from that project.

My Goals:

Ideally, I'd like to start my MBA Fall 2014, at Stanford. Stanford is my dream school for a few reasons: they offer a joint MS in Computer Science and MBA program that would be perfect for my long term goals (founder, CXO or other leadership at a technology startup), the program has great global experience opportunities, and they are located in the heart of the silicon valley, where the majority of the technology innovation happens.

I'm open to other top 20 MBA programs worldwide, but I'd like to stay with schools that have a pedigree of being technology oriented as opposed to banking, finance or marketing.

Are my goals reasonable? What are some schools that I should look at? Any advice or tips on ways to strengthen my application would be appreciated. Do I need to get involved with community service or non-profit? Is my work experience compelling enough to justify the short length?

Again, thanks for reading and I appreciate any feedback you might have.
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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Re: Profile Evaluation for a newly inspired MBA seeker [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2013, 13:23
Expert's post
Hi there,

Thanks for posting your profile. I believe based on what you've written, you have a feel for what your initial strengths and weaknesses are... for example, only 2 years of experience is not as in-depth as most applicants, and coming from an engineering background could initially lend to a preconception for being only good with IT/analytics/quant and less strong at people management and communication skills... on the flip side, your progression within the 2 years is commendable and notable, and it sounds like you'll do a good job at describing the impact that you have had in your roles, and your start-up experience, even if failed, does show a lot of determination and initiative, and it's a good learning experience as you mentioned.

Your GRE scores are impressive, and your academics are solid. Your international experience is another plus. In general if you are able to make a compelling case within your application (namely the essays!! don't underestimate their importance!) for the fact that you have had a lot of QUALITY experiences even if fewer quantity/years of experience, and that you have a lot of experiences to draw from that you'll bring to classroom discussions, and you support your overall rationale for WHY you want the MBA and why (stanford or the given school), you should have a chance at reputable programs. It's really about standing out and getting noticed, and doing a good job at telling your story in your application.

As for Stanford, what you have done a good job at so far compared with others I hear is really laying out genuine and passionate reasons WHY you really want to go to Stanford, and that is important and will help differentiate you to an extent, so be sure to include that level of dedication and passion for Stanford in your essays and potential interview. The interest in the specific dual-degree COULD be another small way to get noticed as well. All that being said, it is also good to keep in mind that Stanford is THE number one most difficult MBA program to get into in the world, statistically speaking... it doesn't help that their class size is smaller than say HBS or Wharton! So it's always going to be a challenge even with a strong profile. But certainly give it a shot since you are so interested in their program.

Other programs you could look into might include: Haas, MIT, GA Tech, Johnson, and lower-ranked but also good for technology, Tepper.

Good luck on the process!
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Re: Profile Evaluation for a newly inspired MBA seeker [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2013, 13:39
Thanks for your detailed response to my profile -- just one more question:

Given my GRE scores, does it make sense to take the GMAT? From my understanding, most schools accept the GREs now, though my hunch tells me that they implicitly prefer the GMAT. What are your thoughts on this?
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Re: Profile Evaluation for a newly inspired MBA seeker [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2013, 12:40
Expert's post
Hi there,

To a certain degree it's personal preference, especially if say you've already started GMAT prep as I think you mentioned and you have done some practice tests and scored very high, you may feel you want to give it a shot. BUT I wouldn't say it's necessary, if the schools you are interested in accept GRE, as your GRE percentiles are excellent. Additionally, if you think about it, schools report GMAT scores but not GRE scores consistently, so there may even be times where a decent (but not outstanding) GRE score helps justify an other-wise strong applicant that would not get in at that same level of GMAT percentiles... just another way of looking at it to point out that GRE does not have to be a negative on your application, if the school has said they accept it.
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mbaMission

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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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