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Profile evaluation request - targeting Insead only

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Joined: 21 Nov 2010
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Profile evaluation request - targeting Insead only [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2010, 06:01
Dear consultants,

Could you please give me your thoughts on my profile below? Do you think it's a good fit for Insead?

Apologies for the big post, I'm trying to be as descriptive and concise as possible, it's like a short resume.

#1 - Academic:
I'm 28 yrs old, Greek, received my BSc from the greek annex of Empire State College (SUNY) in Management Information Systems. GPA was 3.17. During the first 3 years in this university classes were taught from SUNY professors in Athens, and the fourth year by Empire State College professors in Athens. 4th year GPA was 3.34. Classes were taught in English, school was physically located in Greece, and the BSc degree was awarded from the US institution (Empire State College) as if I was in the States.

GMAT: Haven't taken official GMAT test yet - I'm still preparing, in my first official practice test I scored 650). I plan to take the test by January 2011 but I'm not in a rush.

Languages: English (Certificate of Proficiency), Greek (native), German (practical)

#2 - Work Experience:
After I graduated 7/2005, started an IT services company out of Athens, Greece, which I still maintain to this day. Company did approx $150k in sales last year, has signed quite a few notable customers. It's a fully virtual company with 10 part-time employees from Amsterdam, Slovakia, London, Nepal, Israel, Houston, Lisbon, Manila. I'm not involved in the day-to-day running of the business.

In 9/2006 one of my company's customers offered me a position with his firm. I took the offer and started part-time work as the IT administrator of that publicly-traded medical diagnostics company. Job was carried out through telecommuting, but I still had to make several trips to the HQ at Chicago, NYC office, and Geneva office.

In 09/2007 I started working full time, again through telecommuting, for a new startup (biopharmaceutical company) as their IT Manager. Stayed with them from the company's founding through its growth and expansion phase, all the way through its listing on the public stock exchange (01/2009).

02/2009 - had to enroll in the military for my mandadory national service as a Greek. Spent 9 months there, working in the Army's IT operations division, and then 11/2009 I started working for a new luxury yacht builder out of China as their CIO, my time is split between China (on-site) and Athens (telecommuting). I guess the above summary gives me 5.5 years of work experience.

Also since 7/2010 I'm serving as an Advisor to a Green-IT company out of Athens (scientific board member).

#3 - Non-work related:
In 2005 I became a founding member of the main young entrepreneurs association in Greece and I'm now a Vice President. Have been an active member of Brussels-based entrepreneurs associations for networking in EU, etc. Initiated link with Asia entrepreneurs associations, signed MOU with them. I'm also a contributing editor of the biggest greek newspaper in circulation, for business and entrepreneurship issues.

Schedule:
I'm targeting Round 1 (Class of 2013); will be applying towards the end of March 2011. I only plan to apply to Insead, I love everything about this school and I've visited both campuses - it's my dream to be offered a position there. I believe it will give me the business insights I need to take my career to the next level. I believe Insead is entrepreneurial in nature and Georges Doriot did an amazing job with the school in the early days when it was just an idea. Will try to use the "entrepreneurial" theme throughout my application.

Please share your views on the above as they pertain to Insead's admission criteria. The four criteria for Insead are a) Academic capacity, b) Leadership potential, c) international outlook, and d) ability to contribute.

One of the issues that concerns me is, should I indicate that my undergraduate courses were taking place away from the university (don't know if it matters?)

Second issue that concerns me: is the GPA low?

Third - are there any chances that from the admissions committee point of view, my work experience may suggest that I was spreading myself too thin? The IT theme is common among all four positions, but would it be better if I only showed my IT services company as my sole activity in the sector, and exhibited the growth that it has achieved in the past 5 years? In this case, the companies I was closely involved with would be presented as clients of my own little company.

And finally - any other pieces of advice that may be helpful for my background and qualifications?

If you are still reading this, thank you so much for your time - your input is very important to me.
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Re: Profile evaluation request - targeting Insead only [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2010, 11:08
Hello,

Thanks for the overview of yourself, here are some recommendations:

Definitely keep all of the roles you had, no need to take some away to show more focus. In fact, it is more impressive that you started a company, have it running on the side while you do your other business.

In terms of the grades, don't bother explaining any more details around that. Truth is a mediocre GPA from a mediocre school will be hurting your application, but that doesn't mean you can't get around that. I would focus on the GMAT a lot, you really want to do well to balance out the GPA. Do you think you could crack 700 with enough practice?

Leadership and international outlook you are great at, certainly with your companies and your global roles, you are fine there. Ability to contribute is a little BS, that's easy to work into the application.

Key here is to think about what your goals are after the MBA and how INSEAD will help you. INSEAD has a great program and there are some specific things they are looking for in their applicants, some of which they don't broadcast too much. Think about your story overall and how you will package that. That is something I help clients with a lot.

Contact me if you have any other questions. Good luck!!

-Scott
scott@personalmbacoach.com
http://www.personalmbacoach.com
--Free application strategy discussion & initial essay review
--Insider tips and mock interview preparation
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Scott Edinburgh
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scott@personalmbacoach.com
http://www.personalmbacoach.com
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Re: Profile evaluation request - targeting Insead only   [#permalink] 21 Nov 2010, 11:08
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