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I am seeking feedback on my profile to get a better understanding of my chances at the programs below.
1. London Business School (Sep'14 intake) 2. INSEAD (Sep'14 intake) 3. Judge Business School (Sep'14 intake) 4. Said Business School (Sep'14 intake)
I am a 28 year old Indian male. I am currently working with big4 in their Advisory practice in New York. I currently 5.5 years of work experience (6.5 years by matriculation).
My work profile is primarily focused in the financial services industry. I perform consulting services for most of the major banks in helping them be in compliance with various US federal regulations (such as Dodd-Frank, Basel etc.) and perform assessment on their operating model to improve efficiency and identify gaps. I have received 2 promotions in a span of 3 years at my present firm (prior to my current firm, I was with another big4 firm for 2 years, hence total work experience of 5.5 years). I have also been consistently recognized for my performance and rated in top 10% of the firm for the past 4 years. I have also received various awards for my contribution in building the knowledge capital of the firm. My work involves extensive traveling within US, so have had the pleasure of working with a diverse group of individuals in different team settings.
In extra-curriculars, I worked for an upcoming social networking website (primarily Indian based) in 2006 for a period of 1 year where I was helping on building go-to-market strategy and brand management. I am currently involved in expanding customer base of an Indian matrimonial website in United States. I have yielded over 15% growth in US customer base over a period of 2 years.
I hold a Master's degree (MS) in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech, USA (GPA = 3.6) and a Bachelor's degree (BE) in Information Technology Engineering from University of Mumbai, India (Top 15%, GPA ~= 3.6). I have also done 5 years of my schooling (Class 6th through 10th) in Hong Kong in an international school which had students from over 40 countries, so have had good international exposure from an early age.
My GMAT is 660 (Q50, V30). I have taken it 3 times already. For some reason, I am not able to translate my performance in practice tests (consistently over 700s in GMAT Prep) to the real exam. I understand that my GMAT is below average but please advice whether it makes sense to take GMAT again or do I stand good probability of making it to the schools above on my existing score.
Thanks for sharing your profile, it was an interesting one to read. On one hand, you have a lot of common experiences and profile attributes among MBA applicants (IT and Engineering background, Indian nationality and undergrad, financial services background, lots of quant and technical expertise), but you do have other aspects that help you stand out some from other applicants with those attributes (such as your US/Big4 NYC work experience and US Masters degree; your education/time in Hong Kong; your travel around the US and world; your extensive accomplishments at work and your teamwork experiences).
Overall you have a strong profile for the schools you mentioned, and it sounds like a lot of great experiences that you could use in the application essays as well as in the b-school classroom itself.
One piece that is missing from what you provided so far is-- WHY. Why do you want the MBA? What are your short and long term career goals? Do you need another Masters degree? Etc. If you can create compelling essays to answer those questions, your profile will be strong, with the biggest weakness being the GMAT. LBS will be the biggest reach from your list because it has the lowest acceptance rate, but it is also a popular program for those with a finance background (which is a plus since it could be a good fit for you, and also a small minus because it means you'll be part of a large group of applicants with finance experience). In summary I believe you have a chance at the schools on your list presently, but it would be greatly increased with a higher GMAT score, yes.
If you decide to re-take once more, I encourage you to seek help if you haven't yet-- with GMAT preparation or a tutor. It sounds like verbal is the biggest challenge for you so focus a lot on that side. Usually if you are able to break 700 on the software you have the ABILITY on test day as well, but maybe you get nervous (??) or your timing is off or something is different on the actual exam, so a tutor or class can help you identify what is going on and break through that barrier if possible.
Hope that helps and let us know how everything goes and if you have any other questions!
Re: Profile Evaluation. Please advise. [#permalink]
08 Aug 2013, 12:19
Quick update. I took the GMAT again and scored a 680 (Q47, V36). Though my verbal improved but my quant went down. Do you think an improvement of 20 points make a difference? Since I am applying to the top schools, do you think I need to write about my multiple GMAT attempts (x4) in the optional essays? Thanks.
Re: Profile Evaluation. Please advise. [#permalink]
08 Aug 2013, 17:07
Hi again, Congrats on at least a slight increase, though I know you were hoping for more. I do think 680 puts you a little more in-reach than 660, yes, though LBS & INSEAD may still be a bit more challenging. BUT if schools like a candidate enough, a 680 GMAT generally won't keep them out... it just means that the pressure is on for the rest of your application, and your ability to showcase all you'd like to get across about you and what you'll bring to the class, as well as why you NEED the MBA, why now, and why xyz school is the best one for you. So at this point it sounds like it's time to focus on those essays if you haven't yet and make the post of your profile and application.
As for commenting on the optional essay about the GMAT attempts, I generally don't suggest that as a necessary step for my clients unless you feel there is something you can or should say about it (?); generally schools take the highest score and multiple attempts is not that uncommon. 2-3 is more common than 4, but you do have other areas you've demonstrated that you can handle the program as well (previous academics and quant experience) so I don't think it will become the main focus of your application.