I am currently preparing for GMAT which I intend to take in Jan end. I plan to start writing essays in the summer of 2010 for the academic year starting fall 2011. I am currently in engineering/operations role and plan to change field to finance. Could you please advise what my chances are for Wharton, Harvard and Stanford?
1) Basic demographic info: age, gender, nationality
Indian citizen working in the US. 28/male (will be 29 when I apply)
2) Educational Background: undergrad major, GPA, GMAT score, any grad work you've done
BS, Electrical Engineering (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India) 2003: GPA 9.67/10, Rank: 2 out of 35 students
MS, ECE (University of IL at Urbana-Champaign) 2005: GPA: 3.95/4
GMAT: planning to take in Jan end. Hoping to get greater than 700
Completed CFA Level 2 in June 2009 and planning to take CFA Level 3 in June 2010
3) Work experience: what is your current role? Have you had any promotions? What industry do you work in? For how long have you worked?
Employer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (makes computer chips and is Intel's competitor)
Duration: from Aug 2005 to present (will be 5 years work experience by the time I apply)
Role: I started in technology but I was interested in learning more about business and hence went into operations. I have completed black belt six sigma training. I am working on improving manufacturing efficiency and reducing inventory using six sigma process improvements and statistical data analysis. Got a promotion last year.
4) Extracurriculars: do you participate in any extra-curricular activities? What is your role there? For how long have you been involved?
I have always been curious about stocks and investing. Knowing the basics of investing from CFA, I persuaded friends and other investors to invest in Austin's real estate and some local businesses, in effect creating a very small private equity firm. The balance sheet is still in red though.
This has been in progress since about a year now.
Other than work and investing, I enjoy painting, playing cricket, acting and dancing salsa though I haven't taken any leadership role in these. I did work for AID (Association for India's Development) for a while but discovered that it is not my passion and doing community work just for getting admission into a B-school does not make sense.
5) Short/Long term goals: what do you want to do after your MBA? Any geographic preferences?
I have realized that I enjoy more when I have some control over the entity I am investing in. Hence I prefer to invest in real estate or local business. After MBA, I see myself either working in a venture capital firm or a private equity firm managing small to mid-size companies. Obviously for that I may need to go through investment banking.
Other possible option is hedge funds.
6) Schools: Which schools have you considered already? Any on your initial short list?
Since I want to move into finance, I am definitely considering Wharton. I still need to find out more about University of Chicago, Stern and Columbia. I may apply to Stanford and Harvard just because they are in the top 5.