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Profile evaluation- reapplicant

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Joined: 24 Nov 2008
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Schools: Columbia Business School Class of 2012
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Profile evaluation- reapplicant [#permalink] New post 06 May 2009, 11:37
Hi Alex,

First off, a great thanks for helping people in here! I wish I noticed this section a few months ago :-( Please help me figure out this dilemma.

I applied to six schools this year (all R2)- Columbia (Regular), MIT, Chicago, Kellogg, HBS and Stanford. I am currently WL-ed at Columbia and MIT and interviewed everywhere except HBS/Stanford.

My profile is- Indian, Male, 26yrs, GMAT (700 48/38 5.0),
3.5 yrs as of today in IT Consulting in NY and have Bachelor's from Non-IIT in India (80% score) and
Master's in Computer Science (GPA 3.6) from top 5 (US News ranking).
I have good extra curricular record- held multiple leadership (in fundraising, operations) positions in the same organization (volunteer for 4 yrs) including leading fundraisers that raised >100K and have run marathons to raise $$.
Post MBA goal- Operations Strategy consulting.

My question to you is - if I don't get Columbia/MIT this year, where would you suggest me to reapply?
What areas would you suggest me to improve? Do you think any specific schools that are more reapplicant friendly?

Also, I am curious to know if you're aware of any success stories among reapplicants in HBS/Stanford. I'm keen in improving my profile and reapplying to top schools for 2010 if my current WLs don't work out. Hopefully your advice can give me a better perspective.

Thank you!
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Re: Profile evaluation- reapplicant [#permalink] New post 06 May 2009, 14:08
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Sorry to hear about all the dings and waitlists. Uncertainty really sucks.

Anyhow, I think you overreached with your choice of schools. If you don't get into any school this year, then what I suggest for next year:

Choose 3: Columbia (ED), Chicago, MIT, Kellogg

Choose 3: Duke, Darden, Michigan, Tuck

These schools would likely fit your needs more in terms of career goals (ops consulting, or any consulting). If you interviewed at these places, you were competitive. Chances are, your interview probably didn't go well in addition to your written application could've been even better (it probably wasn't bad since you got interviewed, but it probably could've been stronger). With a stronger or more focused effort, you should be able to get into at least one of the above schools next year.

For HBS and Stanford, it's not really a matter of execution, but a matter of fit. You simply don't fit the profile that they're looking for. I hate to be that fatalistic, but there are times when you just need to let go of schools that will be a waste of your time and effort, and focus on schools where you will have a shot. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.
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Re: Profile evaluation- reapplicant [#permalink] New post 06 May 2009, 17:44
Thank you Alex for the quick reply :)
To say the truth though I'd happily go to any one of the schools I applied to, I think I have tough time not succumbing to being a brand wh*** (pardon the expression). But I hope to move beyond this line of thought starting today! Thank you for taking time to reply and help me out.

I suppose it's a sense of assurance about the future you get when you think you're a product of HBS/Stanford. Many of us need to let go of this and instead focus on building our skills with a solid education and work hard to receive those opportunities that people at HBS/Stanford get.
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Re: Profile evaluation- reapplicant [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 15:37
No worries!

I understand how in the application process one can completely exaggerate the differences between schools and careers paths that grads take, but trust me on this -- it's not like people from certain schools are categorically living in a completely different zip code, or that there are "HBS departments" and "Kellogg departments" within a company. There's no apartheid going on here with b-school graduates.

Once you graduate, you're one of a gazillion people with an MBA degree from a top school - it's interchangeable. The world at large doesn't microdifferentiate the reputations of top schools like applicants do. And it seems like people from certain cultures (read: Asians) seem to get far more hung up on school brands than anyone else.

Most graduates from all the top schools end up in the middle to upper middle class. They have families, mortgages, and a job (or a small business). They aren't independently wealthy, but depend on having a *current* source of income (from their job or their business) to pay their bills. They are sh*t scared of the economy just like everyone else.
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Re: Profile evaluation- reapplicant [#permalink] New post 08 May 2009, 06:46
Thank you for the insight, Alex! I hope many people read this thread...
Your perspective on this is so different some other(s) consultant(s) in BusinessWeek forum who talk about how HBS/Stanford is the only thing that matter and one should pursue them even if one got full ride on another top 5 school (recent thread).

I certainly have grown more wise since I started this thread. I think there is a lot to learn from the brand management team of these schools as they have managed to create such aura for their programs (whether it is needed or not, right or not is another story). Thank you, Alex.
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Re: Profile evaluation- reapplicant [#permalink] New post 08 May 2009, 14:21
Hi praz great thread. I was in your situation last year. I was waitlisted at LBS and NYU and received interviews at a few others but was subsequently dinged. I can empathise with your agony this year. However, those interviews and WLs indicate that you are a competitive candidate and that with some minor tweaks in your application strategy you will definitely see that admit. Also, school reputation can be a bit like the GMAT - it matters upto a certain level (like say a 700 GMAT). Beyond this level there are just variations within school specific strengths (like different quant verbal splits) and the actual score seems to matter less.
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Re: Profile evaluation- reapplicant [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 06:42
Thank you, bsd_lover for your encouragement! Your app-story brings hope to many like me. :)
Re: Profile evaluation- reapplicant   [#permalink] 11 May 2009, 06:42
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