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Profile evaluation please

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 44
GMAT 1: 770 Q49 V46
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 1

Profile evaluation please [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2011, 09:05
Hi Paul,

Sorry about top-posting. I'd posted my profile here about a month back, and since people kept posting their queries after me, mine never got answered. :)


Aiming for MBA class of 2012.

Age: 28 at matriculation
Gender: Female
Nationality : Indian

GPA : Engineering. 71% from a non Ivy league university.

GMAT : 770 - QA 49, VA 46, AWA 5.0 (First attempt)

Work experience:

2.5 years as a software developer with a leading IT company in India. Worked on a wide variety of projects, led teams (under 5 people), won awards for excellent performance and ensuring timely delivery of products and client satisfaction.

Extra-curriculars:

Editor of college newspaper.
Member of the alumni executive board of my college.
Took literacy classes for adults to help them get better jobs

MAJOR area of concern:

I've been living in the US for the last two years, and have been unemployed during this time because of visa restrictions. I've been spending this time by doing pro bono work for non profit organizations. I'm working (volunteering?) as a technology consultant for a health based organization, and as an event planner/fundraiser for another non-profit. Even though these are unpaid positions, I've spent the same amount of time and effort on these as I would in a paid position. (In fact more, since I have been effectively doing 2 jobs.)I could put a positive spin on the unemployment situaton by saying that I've used this time well by doing productive work for the community, as well as trying to develop some new skills and learning more about a different industry. I'm glad for this experience, cos the way I see it, it distinguishes my profile a bit from the regular Indian IT applicant. But still, the question remains whether the 2 year gap from a traditional (read paid) job would be a major roadblock. What do you think?


Career goals:

Immediately after B school, I'd like to work in Management Consulting for a couple of years. After building a strong career graph and a strong network of professional contacts in this country in these couple of years (from what I'm told this is as long as most people tend to stay in consulting in any case), I'd like to move into a general management position which would be more conducive to the lifestyle I'm looking to have a few years down the line.To be more specific, I am interested in exploring a general management career in the healthcare industry.

School choices:

Booth
Kellogg
Darden
Ross
Duke


I'd love to hear your thoughts on my chances at these schools. Feel free to tell me if I'm being too ambitious, and if so, what schools you would consider to be more attainable. Thanks a lot in advance!
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MBA Admissions Consulting
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Re: Profile evaluation please [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2011, 10:01
Expert's post
Sapphire,

Sorry your original post was buried! You have correctly identified your largest issue, which is the lack of work experience for such a long period of time. Knowing that an MBA program is first and foremost a professional degree path that relies upon career progress, we have to try to figure out if there is still a way to showcase the relevant experience and skill to A) contribute to the program and B) land an MC job coming out of school.

And you really do have to look at it from both angles. First, adding value to the class: What have you been doing for two years (and before that) that will bring new perspectives and reference points to group projects and class discussions? To take it further, how did those experience inform you long-term career vision? The best way to say "these were two years well spent - IN FACT, they were far more useful than just holing up in an office programming for months on end" is to be able to talk about how they developed your passions and goals and changed your life. If you just found ways to kill the time, it will leave the reader cold.

Then there's the recruiter. You have to appease the recruiter in this process and the adom takes on that role. So if you say you want to do MC right out of school, the reader is going to ask "will an MC hire this person?" You have to cultivate essay questions that provide a "yes" to that question. What skills have you gained? What industries have you learned about? What unique problem solving skills to you now possess? In short: how will you uniquely help an MC firm by adding value to their clients.

Overall, your biggest objectives need to be A) weaving a narrative around these last two years that forward clear goals, valuable skills, and unique perspectives, and B) really making sure your long-term goal stems from those experiences, so that they didn't just buy you time, but changed as you as a person.

If you can do that, I think you can still have a fighting chance.

Respectfully,

Paul Lanzillotti

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