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Profile Evaluation Request

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Joined: 24 May 2011
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Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2011, 11:16
Hi,
Please evaluate my profile and suitable schools to apply to. I am intending to attend only 1 of the top 20 B Schools in the world. Would be great help if you can provide me with some schools to target (realistic target, stretch).
• Indian/IT/Male/25 (Yeah, I belong to the most competitive pool of applicants !!!)
• GMAT – 740 (Q51, V39) – Am contemplating a retake of GMAT as my prep was solid (easily above 760), but screwed up on the exam day due to some unforeseen circumstances in work place. How good Is a 740 from an Indian/IT/Male category? My view is that is just average.
• Education (Consistently solid) :
 B.Tech : CGPA – 8.4 ( in computer science engineering) from a top 15 college in India (Non-IIT) .
 Xth – 85%
 XIIth – 85%
• Work Experience : I believe my work experience is very much different from the normal IT job that people do and this is the area am banking on.
 3 years today, 4 at matriculation
 Got into the Biggest and the Best Software maker(worldwide) in the world straight out of college (Not the indian companies).
 Fantastic career progression till date – Rated among top 20% of the employees.
 Recruited into the Talent cum Leadership Development Program.
 Highest leadership position in the Talent Development program at the company. Leading a team of 80 people in designing and executing the program to develop leaders at the company : Social initiatives, training initiatives, morale initiatives etc.
 Organized plethora of events in the company.
 Have gone to multiple teams over the last 3 years with varied roles in the Software cycle.
 Currently a Program manager.
• Awards at workplace :
 Highest Leadership position in the Talent Development Program.
 Awarded Outstanding Contribution Award (Individual Award) for Leadership in FY11.
 Awarded Star award for Leadership (Individual Award) during Q4 FY11.
 Awarded Pro award for Execution (Individual Award) during Q3 FY10.
 Awarded Pro award for Excellence (Individual Award) during Q4 FY09.
 Awarded Team Award during Q4 FY09.

• Community Services :
 Teaching every week at underprivileged government school over the last 1 year.
 Worked with Help Age India organization a lot during school days.
 Worked for National Student Services during College.
 Organized fund raising events for an NGO.
• Extra curriculars(not much) :
 Learnt French basic level and cleared DELF 1
 Learnt German basic level– no certification yet.
 Took part in national level Quiz Competition (Qualified till Quarter finals)
 Won some jamming contests and essay writing contests.
 Senior executive of the Computer Society of India
• International experience : Negligible, although have a few stories of what I learnt from these to talk about.
Just few training events in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York.
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2011, 11:17
Any suggestions on which all areas to apply will be highly appreciated. I have about 3 months for R1 and 6 months for R2 applications.

Thanks in Advance.
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2011, 22:06
Expert's post
Hi gmataspirant123:

Thanks for the level of detail that you have provided. It really helps in my evaluation.

You have done a lot over the last three years of your life and professional working experience. As you know, the critical thing is going to be to differentiate your background from the large number of other Indian IT males. You seem to have a very good grasp on this concept.

For the most part, everything you have told me is very much in line with what I would expect from a competitive Indian applicant. To be clear, I do not see a lot that really places you ahead of the competitive section of Indian IT males that will be applying to business school. This is not to say that you will not be competitive at a business school program and a top 20 business school program at that. What I am saying is that I get the feeling you personally feel that you are at the top of your applicant subgroup. I believe that you are at the top of your demographic, but beware of bounded rationality. That is, all your fellow (IT Indian) applicants that are indeed competitive at top schools will have approximately the same experience.

There are a few things I wanted to point out. It is going to be very hard to define a truly great your organization is to the admissions committee. This is for several reasons. The first is that the reputation of a software firm is really hard for an admissions committee reader to differentiate. That is, how much better is Oracle than SAP? it is more a matter of opinion. Also, working for a prestigious firm does not necessarily correlate to you having a good or bad performance as a manager or leader. It seems that you have done well in your management role. However, this is not necessarily related to the prestige of the firm. In the essays, please focus on your individual efforts and that of your team's. Do not focus on the reputation of your firm.

I would not spend that much more time trying to improve your GMAT score. You really want to focus in on round one. Spending more time on the GMAT effectively decreases the amount of time you will be able to spend crafting essays, visiting schools and learning more about what you need to say and do in order to attend a top business school program. Your GMAT score is effective as is.

A lot of your extracurricular experiences are excellent. Again, they fall in line with what I would expect from a top business school applicant. Be careful to limit the amount of emphasis you pay to academic type awards and accomplishments. With your technical background and by viewing your resume in test scores, the admissions committee will know you are a smart guy, but be careful not to emphasize numbers as opposed to introspection. You need to break the stereotype of a "numbers" candidate from India. Focus more on introspection and on what you learned from every experience that you have been a part of. This will help break any stereotypes associated with your demographic. It will show that you are mature and introspective.

Demonstrating introspection is also important because being smart or getting the right numbers does not make a good manager or someone that will be successful in their ultimate goals. It certainly does not mean that you will be an effective contributor in the classroom.

It is really going to be hard for me to define what specific schools you should target, because I really do not have a good idea as to what your goals are.

So what are your short and long-term goals? What schools do you believe will be a good fit based on these goals and your research? Do this over, then reach out to me with your short list. I will be able to critique more effectively, or providing you with an analysis of not only your school choices, but also how you evaluate your fit with the schools.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2011, 17:15
Sorry Paul, I know this is a very late response to your question. But, all this while I was doing the various research on B schools etc.

TO YOUR QUESTION ON ST/LT GOALS:
I am working at a top tech MNC company in India. I am also part of the talent development program here. The program has 80 members and there are various committees (analogous to the various clubs in B schools). All 80 members are part of exactly 1 committee. Each committee is headed by a committee lead and there is one over All-Up lead, leading the program and designing the experiences.

I have been elected as the All-Up over all lead of the program since the last 1 year (was re-elected at the 6 month mark). I have some fantastic initiatives to talk about in this program which had far reaching effects. Hence, not inclined towards talking about my technical work which is as such the core job of every IT person.

Through the experience, I have realized that I want to start a company for talent management and leadership development, with special focus on emerging economies like India/China where the attrition rate in companies is high and people change jobs almost every 2 years. This is something that I want to do in the long run.

I know that MBA is critical for me as I don't have the business skills (marketing, finance etc.) needed to run a company.

But, am not able to figure out on what should I be doing in the short run. I know that it is not possible for me to immediately open a company after a Business school education (especially with that huge loan of my MBA education on my head :)). I am thinking on talking about strategy consulting for companies (not sure about consulting in which industry) as this will help me touch various industries and understand the processes and human capital in them. Am not sure whether this short term goal of mine (of getting in to strategy consulting) sounds convincing.

Would be great if you could help me in fine tuning this short term goal!!!

SCHOOLS THAT I HAVE SHORTLISTED (in order of preference):
Harvard
Wharton
Tuck
Fuqua
Sloan
Anderson
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