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Please evaluate the following profile and provide guidance.
Personal - Indian/Male/29 yrs
GPA, major, school – 67%, Computer Science Engineer, College ranked 35th in India including IITs & NITs
GMAT with breakdown Scheduled coming September. Targeting 720+
Resume highlights, including company name, job titles and promotions Worked with India's second largest software exporter for 7.3 yrs
Career Progression - Software Engineer -> Module Lead -> Programmer Analyst -> Domain consultant Moved into consultant role (Domain consulting group) through internal gating process with multiple interview rounds. Recommended by previous project leaders
Worked with four major clients (Fortune 500) in financial services space. Lead consulting side of the engagement with two clients
International exp - 3 yrs US Geography (Durham, Minneapolis, NYC, Richmond)
Activities in addition to my performance measures- Took part in recruitment drives Anchored one of the presales RFP Published POV (organization level) - Retirement services Developed a case study (project level) - Ramping up resources Devised targeted communication for one of the practice with audience 1500+
Extracurricular involvements IEEE member in Undergrad Active member of Toastmasters International Member of NGO dedicated towards teaching and healthcare of children in need Donations to multiple programs including World food program
Awards, patents, publications, etc... Certifications - Association of Mutual Funds India (AMFI) - Mutual Funds Basic NSE’s Certification in Financial Markets (NCFM) - Securities Market Basic
Presented paper in IIT Roorkee (while in undergrad)
Interesting personal facts - countries lived in, challenges faced, unusual interests Countries lived in - India & US. Also visited Canada – Quebec French cultural fest Challenges faced - Took care of undergrad funding myself Interests - Cooking, Dancing (Bollywood & Salsa), Yoga. Joined Language exchange program (in Minneapolis)
B schools targeted i) Duke Fuqua - NC ii) ISB Hyderabad India iii) UNC Kenan Flagler - NC iv) UCLA Anderson - CA v) McCombs UT - TX
Reasons – i) Ranking - Under top 25. ii) Geography - SE, SW. From long term perspective, I prefer job opportunities in these regions. Iii) Relatively Fair chances of getting scholarship iv) Plan to major in Sales/Marketing/General management
Additional background info I moved out of previous employer in Dec 2011. Since then I haven't joined any other employer.
My aspiration of moving into client facing group (IT sales/key account mgmt/engagement) looked like a farfetched dream due to lack of qualification ie. MBA and experience. Didn't want to move to any other IT mammoth simply because they all run in same fashion and I would have ended up in same function and position
Tried for client servicing opportunities with budding organizations but to my hard luck they all either asked for qualification or core business dev experience. Got just one chance but got rejected for same reasons
Jan-June 2012 was kind of break period. I waited for right opportunities. Did some freelancing work. Also, made some personal plans, which were on back burner for long, priority.
Now I am preparing for GMAT and planning to apply for 2013-2015 class
Questions i) Is the targeted school list good enough or should I research for some more schools also? ii) Do I need to write an optional essay explaining my move out from previous employer? iii) Any additional thoughts to help me in my application process?
Thank you for all the information. I think you've been very thoughtful in your school choices -- I commend you on being both realistic and taking into account your own goals and needs when considering target programs!
As you know, you fall into that fiercely competitive demographic of "Indian Male Engineers," so you'll want to try to position yourself more so as a consultant and play up your business contributions to your previous company/clients moreso than your technical achievements. Taking into consideration your extracurricular, community, academic and professional profiles, I would say you're an average candidate within this demographic.
The real challenge is that you are applying as an unemployed candidate. That is going to be tough. The other thing is that it seems you haven't used this time to do anything else really (e.g., fulfill a lifelong personal ambition, get involved extensively in a nonprofit that you are passionate about, etc.). I definitely suggest that you find a way to weave your decision into your career narrative, and yes, I think it warrants an optional essay.
Taking this into consideration, I feel that Duke may be a bit of a reach school. I might suggest that to compensate, you add another somewhat safer school to your list (e.g., Rice, Texas A&M, Wake Forest, Tulane in the regions you specified).
I can't say that I know too much about UCSD's program, but as a safety school it should be a fine choice if it's somewhere you are interested in going. You'll have to evaluate the program based on your own criteria. I wouldn't say it has a very strong reputation, but the UC system in general is well regarded. I would take a look at the employment stats from the program and see if the companies that recruit there are ones that you are interested in working for after school. This can be a good indicator!