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Profile Evaluation - Indian with IB/PE Work ex

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Intern
Intern
avatar
Affiliations: CA, CFA
Joined: 06 May 2011
Posts: 17
Location: India
Concentration: Real Estate, Strategy
GMAT 1: 700 Q48 V37
WE: Asset Management (Venture Capital)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 3

Profile Evaluation - Indian with IB/PE Work ex [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2011, 10:12
Hi Paul,

I am new to this forum and have just started to browse through the various posts. I especially liked the work you are doing here, simply great! Please evaluate my profile and indicate suitable colleges.

So, here is my profile:
- Personal: Male, Indian, 28. Don't know if this helps in improving the profile, but I come from a poor family and had to struggle a lot for funds initially. It was only after I started working that the situation started to improve.

- Educational Qualifications: Bachelor of Commerce (2003), CA (Chartered Accountant, equivalent to US CPA, 2004), CFA Charterholder (cleared level 1 in 2005 and level 2 in 2006, but then work pressure took over, cleared level 3 in 2010)

- GMAT: 700 (Q 48, V37, overall 90%), AWA awaited [do you think this is competitive enough or I need a retry?]

- GPA: As you can observe, my B Com and CA ran parallely. My focus was entirely on nailing CA in first attempt (which I did), while B Com was just meant to have a graduation degree. Hence my B Com score is not outstanding (roughly 64%). I don't know how this translates into GPA, but do you think this will impact the overall profile? In CA, my score was 60%+ in both level 1 and 2 but below 60% in level 3. I achieved 14th rank all over India in level 2. In CFA, my level 1 score for all the subjects was 70%+. In level 2, a couple between 50-70%, but most above 70%. In level 3, it was a mix between 50-70% and 70%+.

- Work Experience: For 1.5 years after CA (which included 3 years internship with a major local audit firm), I worked with the local office of a bulge bracket US investment bank (6 months in real estate team and rest in capital markets team). Since then, I am working with one of the largest Indian PE in the the real estate investments team (5+ years of work ex here, overall 6.5+ years). The IB business was more like a KPO office, but we were pretty well integrated with the global offices and used to work on live transactions as well as pitch books, though never had client interactions. In the real estate IB, my major accomplishments were working closely with the London office to prepare a generic "Why invest in RE?" presentation that was subsequently used across several client meets and pitchbooks, preparing RFP and answering potential investors' questions for a Real Estate Fund, sale-and-leaseback transactions analysis, etc. In the capital markets team, one the major accomplishments was to establish a close relationship with the Nordic desk at the London office, resulting in regular work flow and increased involvement. I was also involved in few capital market offerings in Europe. I was given an opportunity to move to London for 2 months and work directly with the team there, but I had to decline that because of health reasons (I had met with a car accident and suffered spinal cord injury. I was bed ridden for almost 2 months). Finally the lure of IB ended (I felt IB has short-term focus, while PE is relatively long-term) and I decided to move to PE. The involvement has been amazing at the PE and I have been involved in 12+ investments and 100+ investment screenings. Our RE funds are development-focused, i.e. we undertake development and leasing/sale of the assets. We also actively arrange for debt financing of the assets at SPV level. My involvement has been lesser on the projects and leasing/sales side, but I do monitor the progress of under development and ready assets. We have exited from 3 investments till date, and I have been involved at various levels in all the transactions. I joined as associate in the PE fund, and have been recently promoted to VP designation.
I have tried to be as thorough as possible with the work ex, but let me know if you need further details.

- Extra curriculars: I love trekking, travelling and photography. I have trekked extensively in the Western Ghats (mountain ranges near Mumbai) and Himalayas. I am going for a 20000ft peak in the Himalayas in July this year. I have led various treks and got the team through tough situations many times. I have also worked for organisation of blood donation camps in my home town.

- Languages: Apart from English, I am fluent in Hindi, Gujarati and Urdu. I have done a basic course in spoken Mandarin Chinese and want to learn it further.

- MBA goals: I have had a lot of experience in getting involved in investment and fund management activities. I now want to reach the next level. An MBA from an international university will help me in broadening my perspective and in integrating that knowledge with my existing qualifications and experience. Post MBA, I would prefer to continue in investments/fund management, preferably RE. Indian RE investment environment is still very unorganised and lacks structured long term investment vehicles. My short term goal is to gain further knowledge and imbibe international best practices in this field and in long term to use these in India.

- Target Colleges: Target is primarily top 10-15 US colleges plus LBS. A bit undecided whether a 1 year program would make sense. I hope you can throw some light on this. Please tell me if I am too optimistic in targeting the top 10-15 colleges.

I hope this will give you enough brief of my profile. Eagerly waiting to hear from you...

Thanks
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Indian with IB/PE Work ex [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2011, 15:44
Expert's post
Hi there,

So there is obviously a huge amount of information here and I applaud you for being so thorough. I won't be able to completely match that thoroughness, but I will try to help shed light where it is most critical. Here are some things that I want to mention:

- You certainly have the whole idea of overcoming adversity covered. The setback of missing out on a job in a new part of the world, all while dealing with a major injury - that is one. Coming from poverty to make something of yourself - that is two. Working primarily in the real estate space, which is an industry-wide story of bouncing back - that is three. So you have some of your best ammunition the same arena. This can be good if weaved together properly and you don't fear your story of triumph into too much of a tale of tragedy. But depending on the app, you might also have to pick and choose which of these fields you can till. So does your economic background help you? Maybe, if you can talk about it.

- Your WE is good and your detail is quite nice, but the big thing to focus on is the skill set that is A) needed to excel in your next area of work, and B) that you have been honing. This is the line you have to draw (note: few people do). I latched onto the part about creating compelling presentations, because that is a very viable post-MBA skill. Whether consulting, banking, whatever - the need to present powerful arguments (consulting reports to clients, roadshows, investment packets, you name it) is key. So look for these types of skills and build your story around how you have developed them.

- Your 700 is right where it *needs* to be to get a strong look and not fall victim to "eh, he doesn't have the score." I will say though that you could use 30 more points if that is possible for you. Not because of your demo, but because your UG scores seem a bit low. The more you can offset one low mark with a high mark, the better your chances are.

- I don't think top 15 is out of reach. I would just urge you to avoid loading up on too many super elite programs in terms of selectivity. As long as you have a balanced list, I think you can be plenty competitive.

Hope this helps you out. If I missed anything, feel free to ask follow ups.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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Intern
Intern
avatar
Affiliations: CA, CFA
Joined: 06 May 2011
Posts: 17
Location: India
Concentration: Real Estate, Strategy
GMAT 1: 700 Q48 V37
WE: Asset Management (Venture Capital)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Evaluation - Indian with IB/PE Work ex [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2011, 10:22
Finally! You don't know how eagerly I used to check for a reply :-D

Your reply has been really helpful. AND A BIG THANKS FOR THAT.

If it doesn't take too much of your time, can you please help me with these?

1. Taking GMAT again will be a bit difficult, so can I try to highlight the national level rank in CA against lower B Com percentage?
2. I have read that the colleges emphasise a lot on extra curricular activities and involvement in social causes. Do you think my credentials are weak here? If so, how badly can this impact my chances?
3. I have shortlisted the following colleges (in no particular order) - LBS, Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, MIT Sloan, Booth, NYU Stern. Would you suggest any changes? I particularly like Columbia. How would you assess my chances there?

Thanks again for this help!
Expert Post
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Indian with IB/PE Work ex [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2011, 19:07
Expert's post
I'm glad it was helpful - sorry again for the delay.

I don't understand your first question, but the bottom line is that the raw score is what matters because that is what goes on their class average.

ECs come down to the stories you tell, not the laundry list of things you've done. They will be as strong or as weak as the thematic traits you draw from those experiences and share with the adcom. It's not about a list. (For instance, Michigan removed the place on the app altogether where you once would have listed your ECs.)

I think it is a bit of a mistake to only go Super Elite + NYC because those are the most selective programs. You should mix in some schools in the 8-15 range that are not in New York. This is just what I warned against above. Research the schools based on selectivity and make sure to give yourself some that have some better odds.

Best,
-PL
_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

Intern
Intern
avatar
Affiliations: CA, CFA
Joined: 06 May 2011
Posts: 17
Location: India
Concentration: Real Estate, Strategy
GMAT 1: 700 Q48 V37
WE: Asset Management (Venture Capital)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Evaluation - Indian with IB/PE Work ex [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2011, 22:58
Thanks for the quick reply Paul.

I am sorry for the first question, it seems I didn't clarify myself. You had suggested that an additional 30 points can offset my low UG percentage. Going for GMAT again might be a bit difficult for me. Instead, can I offset my low UG percentage with my all-India rank in CA?

Thanks for your guidance on EC and colleges. I'll keep this in mind.

Best regards
Husain
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Indian with IB/PE Work ex [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2011, 01:40
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Expert's post
No, it won't work the same way. The GMAT score is something that impacts their class averages, as does GPA. When one is super high, it can be ballast for one that is lower. Other than that, the raw number is what it is. Your best bet from that point forward is to at least remove thematic concerns. This is where you all-India rank would come in, but I don't think there are going to be large concerns about your maturity, discipline, focus, etc. So that is why it is different. Not in a bad way, just a functional way.

-PL
_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

Intern
Intern
avatar
Affiliations: CA, CFA
Joined: 06 May 2011
Posts: 17
Location: India
Concentration: Real Estate, Strategy
GMAT 1: 700 Q48 V37
WE: Asset Management (Venture Capital)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 3

Re: Profile Evaluation - Indian with IB/PE Work ex [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2011, 22:29
Thanks a ton Paul for your time. I know I have pestered you a lot, and you have been really patient throughout.

Best wishes and best regards,
Husain
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Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 840
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Kudos [?]: 178 [0], given: 195

Re: Profile Evaluation - Indian with IB/PE Work ex [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2011, 22:32
Expert's post
You got it. Good luck.
-PL
_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

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