I'm an Indian, Female, IT engineer.
I have been in dire straits for long and decided to go for an MBA last Dec to bail me out. I have been preparing for GMAT since and meanwhile looking for advice to decide how to proceed further.
I have been a class topper in school, throughout.
Scored 77% in High school leaving exam, SEBA, Assam.
Scored 72% in Senior secondary exam, AHSEC, Assam.
I graduated in Comp Sc from NIT, Silchar in 2000 with a low score of 58%. Reason(not excuse): I used a wrong approach to studies. Realised it quite late, 7th sem when it was too late to recover from the damage.
Got into a tier 3 IT company (recession forced me to take up whatever offer I received). Spent 3 years before quitting.
Joined a MNC IT company and stayed with them for 6 years( with a one-plus year stint in US with a Financial services giant) with one promotion in this duration. I must admit here that I preferred job satisfaction and work-life balance to money or a high-flying position that entails compromising with one's after-office life.
However, I had leadership roles in the last but one 3 years (worked as a Test Lead for a Financial Services TCoE) of my stint. The last year was frustrating as the industry was going through a recession and that forced many like me to take up roles that didnt suit our experience or domain. I asked for a roll off but was declined and made to work for a project that did me no good. I finally called it quits in March 2010.
Meanwhile, I also separated(divorced) and with the intention to join back I started looking for jobs. Infact 3 months after I quit, I interviewed with an MNC and a company from Hyderabad both of which declined me an offer because of the "gap".) I was through with the technical rounds for both.
Since then it has been 3 years today and I havent been able to get back, everyone uses the "gap" word to say No. I spent one year contemplating, introspecting and trying to get answers to the bigger questions of a human life. I read 2 books every month. A year later, I wrote two books, unpublished as of now. Voluntered for an NGO and spent time learning photography, honing my cooking skills, doing things I never had time for, earlier.
Finally last year I felt ready for the world again and since I have to support myself, I explored all options available to me. I decided to use MBA as a vehicle to relaunch my career and am looking for advice on whether to pursue my degree in India or abroad.
My main concern is - Will the 3 years-break be the deciding factor in my acceptance? If so, which B-schools should I avoid and being 36+ yrs of age, which are the schools that I should look for - broadly speaking, which countries accept people with "breaks" and age not on their side?
Short-term goal: I am looking to rejoining IT, post MBA. Companies like Accenture, IBM or even Finance majors like Fidelity are what I would prefer. I have not yet drilled down to the kind of roles I would like. But I prefer to work in US, India is also an option.
Long term goal: Entrepreneurship, but not necessarily IT-related.
I have been a CSTE holder (among the top ten scorers) while in the last company, received ACE award twice, was lauded for my management skills (though overlooked for promotion and sent off to US).
While in school, I actively participated in quiz, debate and other competitions, received prizes in every competition I joined. I was a member of the Computer Club that organised quizes to spread awareness of the uses of computer education. I am trained in Hindustani classical music and tabla, although I have not touched the harmonium for more than a decade. Sports never featured strongly, yet I am good in badminton and squash.
In Engineering college, I was a participating member of SPIC MACAY and helped organise concerts by Pt Rajan and Sajan Mishra, danseuses Swapna Sundari, Sonal Mansingh along with other students and the wife of the DC of Silchar who was the Chairperson of SPIC-MACAY, Silchar chapter.
I started a blog that I abandoned after a year due to lack of readership (my friends circle in FB consists of IT ppl who complain that their attention span has reduced to one-liner, FB status msgs. So, I reverted back to writing one-liners.)
Recently, I co-founded the Bangalore chapter of my college's alumni organisation and organised an alumni successfully last Feb. Currently working on drafting a charter for the same.
One year MBA program is what I intend to attend. Would like to use the school's placement assistance program, being out of job. Planning to take GMAT in late May/early June this year. I am average technically, strong managerially and have very good communication skills.
Why u feel u are in dire strait and need an MBA to bail you out.
I have read your post , more than anything I feel u are much more than what u really feel about yourself.
You have been winner for most part of your life and will be winner again.
Always remember " Why do we fall,? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up."
(The above is not my quote, its from a movie.)
And coming back to MBA, concentrate on GMAT.
Take things one by one, plan your immediate goals for MBA.( I see GMAT being the closest for you).
Score good and believe me you can actually do very well on that front. You were topper in your school and nothing will stop you from crossing 750 mark. ( Devotee more than 200 hours of study)
And then with that score reassess your application.
Show the schools what they will gain from taking you in.
FYI i just saw Rice(Jones) has max GMAT of 740 last season, cross their max.
Let the admission panels feel missing out on bright candidate like you rather than other way round.
Keep digging until u find ur diamond.