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Your impressive employment history, very competitive GMAT score, and extensive extracurricular activities will make you a strong candidate for the top MBA programs, including HBS, Stanford, and Wharton (though your strong but not exceptional GPA does represent a potential, though not insurmountable, challenge at HBS and Stanford). It is also important to note that you are in a highly competitive subsegment of the admissions pool consisting of male Indian applicants with engineering backgrounds. Your consulting work (including the promotion and international work) will help to differentiate you from this very challenging pool of applicants, but I think that you should utilize the next 8 months as well as your essays to further differentiate yourself. This will ensure your admissions success.
I would recommend that you apply to HBS and Stanford as reasonable stretches and Wharton, Columbia, Chicago, and Sloan as targets. Tuck should be a safety for you as would Yale and NYU (two other safety schools to consider given your goals).
You will certainly want to highlight your promotion on your resume and your leadership experiences at McKinsey/Bain/BCG as well as your experience living in different countries and working with a nonprofit in your essays. These aspects of your application will add authenticity. But they are not enough alone to get into the school of your choice (especially Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton). I would want to work with you to help you better share who you are AS A UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL with the admissions committees. This is the strategy that has been most successful in my extensive work with male Indian applicants admitted to the top 3 schools. The key to doing this successfully is extensive introspection and the advice of an objective team of counselors that can tell you what is trite and what will really resonate with the admissions committees.
If we were working together, I would suggest that we need to collaborate to come up with a much more compelling, entrepreneurial short and long-term goal. People who want to get into PE are a "dime a dozen" and since you have already been promoted to a post-MBA role, the schools could legitimately ask why they should give you a spot just to return to your own firm. Business schools want to know why you absolutely need an MBA to achieve your goals/dreams and why you need it at this specific point in your life. The lack of a clear articulation of this, coupled with your post-MBA promotion, may lead admissions committees to believe you do not need the MBA, and your highly competitive stats might not be enough to counteract this. We need to craft a story with clear reasoning as to why an MBA from each school is crucial to your future career goals. Since schools really want applicants with an entrepreneurial focus right now (look at how much HBS, Stanford, and Wharton are spending on entrepreneurial programs and centers!), I would suggest we develop an admissions strategy with an entrepreneurial component. Unlike 5-10 years ago, this is almost a prerequisite for MBA admissions today.
My team at Stratus Prep
and I have worked to guide hundreds of clients with profiles similar to yours into HBS, Stanford and Wharton. We invite applicants to sign up with Stratus Prep
now so that, at no additional charge, we can advise you and help shape your admissions profile and story over the next 8 months. We already have 40 applicants working with us for Round 1 and our most in demand counselors are already almost sold out for Round 1. The fact that we will work with you over 8 months, along with our team approach and the fact that I personally work with each applicant as an objective evaluator throughout the entire process, are the secrets to our success. If you are interested in learning how we could assist you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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