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Profile from Vietnam. Please give me your feedbacks.

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Profile from Vietnam. Please give me your feedbacks. [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2007, 07:47
Hi Paul,
I would highly appreciate if you could evaluate my profile and suggest what I need to do in order to apply in Fall 2009.

Background:
- Vietnamese/Male.
- Age: 26 (will be 28 when I enter MBA).

Academic:
- GMAT: 730 (V40 89%, Q49 89%, AWA 5.5).
- Undergraduate: Computer Science from a top technical school in Vietnam. Ranked as 3rd place in my graduation class. I believe I can succeed academically in grad school because the other three students in the top 4 are doing extremely well in top PhD programs in the US.
- Won various awards and merit-based scholarships during high school and university.

Work experience:
- 3 years in Japan: first as a software developer, and gradually promoted to project manager. Our team consists of members in different development centers: Japan, India, Vietnam, and Thailand. We provide software solutions for major Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc.
- Recently appointed as director of our branch office in Vietnam. Although the company is still small (about 8 persons), I decided to come back to Vietnam because there are lot of opportunities and because it is extremely difficult for me, a foreigner, to get further promotion in Japan.
- Prior coming to Japan, I worked for one of the largest software outsourcing provider in Vietnam for 7 months. I was almost promoted to senior developer in just 6 months (while the norms require 2 year working), but decided to leave in order to pursuit new challenges in Japan.
- While at university, I and another friend invented an innovative anti-reverse engineering method for software products. Although we failed to market it successfully, we managed to create our own part-time business as consultants and free-lance coders for big software companies in Vietnam.
- Also, worked as an market researcher for a China-based consulting firm. I was invited to go to China to attend training, a very rare achievement for Vietnamese students.
- Languages: English, Japanese, Vietnamese.

Extracurricular/Community involvement:
- Hosted a very polular web blog about stock investing and business management in Vietnamese language. I am considered as one of the first persons who have made the concepts of passive investing (via index-fund) and value investing popular and understandable to individual investors in Vietnam. My writings have been featured in various popular websites and books, and I was also invited to write the preface for the official Vietnamese edition of the book “The Warren Buffett Way – 2nd edition”.
- Team leader of the FPT Young Talents Club from 2002-2004. This club consisted of the best undergraduate students throughout Vietnam, and most of the team leaders of this club are now successful entrepreneurs or PhD students .
- Member of the JVF Scholarship group. We invited Japanese businessmen to contribute to our funds so that we can award scholarships for students in my university. I am one of the two Vietnamese and the youngest member in this group.

Future goals:
- I plan to spend the next 2 years (before MBA) to build a financial portal for investing community in Vietnam. Over the past few years, I have been a contributor to the largest Internet forum of Vietnamese investors. Recently the key persons of this forum have received fundings from IDG Ventures and thus changed the objectives in order to seek IPO soon. Although the shareholders (I am myself one of them) may have financial benefits from this event, I think it is a shame to abandon the current community which is still growing and has great promising opportunities.
- After MBA, I would like to create a holding company in Vietnam which invests and controls highly-profitable subsidiaries in technology area. I believe an MBA from a good school would be the final missing piece in my starting-kit for my future business.

Target schools:
- UC Davis. If all else are equal, I favor UC Davis because all of my family and relatives (3 generations) live in Sacramento, and I am the one who was left in Vietnam. :lol: Most of them worked for the US Army during the Vietnam war, thus they had to migrate to the US to quit the miserable life in Vietnam (prisons, no properties, etc.). I was the most unlucky member who did not live with my family since I was 11 and eventually could not go to the US with them. I also faced with disadvantages in Vietnam because my previous generations were “black-listed”. Therefore I would like to stay near my parents in just 2 years during MBA and ease their most regretful pain: they could not live with their child and provide him with equal chances in life as an ordinary child should have.
- Tepper, Texas Austin: some of my friends recommended these schools.

My questions:
1) Do I have any changes at the above schools? I am not sure if I should explain my main reason to UC Davis because it does not sound businesslike.
2) Are there any areas I need to focus in order to improve my chances?
3) If the chances are limited, would you suggest other good schools for me?

I am looking forward to your reply.
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Re: Profile from Vietnam. Please give me your feedbacks. [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2007, 21:34
Expert's post
linhnam wrote:
Hi Paul,
I would highly appreciate if you could evaluate my profile and suggest what I need to do in order to apply in Fall 2009.

Background:
- Vietnamese/Male.
- Age: 26 (will be 28 when I enter MBA).

Academic:
- GMAT: 730 (V40 89%, Q49 89%, AWA 5.5).
- Undergraduate: Computer Science from a top technical school in Vietnam. Ranked as 3rd place in my graduation class. I believe I can succeed academically in grad school because the other three students in the top 4 are doing extremely well in top PhD programs in the US.
- Won various awards and merit-based scholarships during high school and university.

Work experience:
- 3 years in Japan: first as a software developer, and gradually promoted to project manager. Our team consists of members in different development centers: Japan, India, Vietnam, and Thailand. We provide software solutions for major Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc.
- Recently appointed as director of our branch office in Vietnam. Although the company is still small (about 8 persons), I decided to come back to Vietnam because there are lot of opportunities and because it is extremely difficult for me, a foreigner, to get further promotion in Japan.
- Prior coming to Japan, I worked for one of the largest software outsourcing provider in Vietnam for 7 months. I was almost promoted to senior developer in just 6 months (while the norms require 2 year working), but decided to leave in order to pursuit new challenges in Japan.
- While at university, I and another friend invented an innovative anti-reverse engineering method for software products. Although we failed to market it successfully, we managed to create our own part-time business as consultants and free-lance coders for big software companies in Vietnam.
- Also, worked as an market researcher for a China-based consulting firm. I was invited to go to China to attend training, a very rare achievement for Vietnamese students.
- Languages: English, Japanese, Vietnamese.

Extracurricular/Community involvement:
- Hosted a very polular web blog about stock investing and business management in Vietnamese language. I am considered as one of the first persons who have made the concepts of passive investing (via index-fund) and value investing popular and understandable to individual investors in Vietnam. My writings have been featured in various popular websites and books, and I was also invited to write the preface for the official Vietnamese edition of the book “The Warren Buffett Way – 2nd edition”.
- Team leader of the FPT Young Talents Club from 2002-2004. This club consisted of the best undergraduate students throughout Vietnam, and most of the team leaders of this club are now successful entrepreneurs or PhD students .
- Member of the JVF Scholarship group. We invited Japanese businessmen to contribute to our funds so that we can award scholarships for students in my university. I am one of the two Vietnamese and the youngest member in this group.

Future goals:
- I plan to spend the next 2 years (before MBA) to build a financial portal for investing community in Vietnam. Over the past few years, I have been a contributor to the largest Internet forum of Vietnamese investors. Recently the key persons of this forum have received fundings from IDG Ventures and thus changed the objectives in order to seek IPO soon. Although the shareholders (I am myself one of them) may have financial benefits from this event, I think it is a shame to abandon the current community which is still growing and has great promising opportunities.
- After MBA, I would like to create a holding company in Vietnam which invests and controls highly-profitable subsidiaries in technology area. I believe an MBA from a good school would be the final missing piece in my starting-kit for my future business.

Target schools:
- UC Davis. If all else are equal, I favor UC Davis because all of my family and relatives (3 generations) live in Sacramento, and I am the one who was left in Vietnam. :lol: Most of them worked for the US Army during the Vietnam war, thus they had to migrate to the US to quit the miserable life in Vietnam (prisons, no properties, etc.). I was the most unlucky member who did not live with my family since I was 11 and eventually could not go to the US with them. I also faced with disadvantages in Vietnam because my previous generations were “black-listed”. Therefore I would like to stay near my parents in just 2 years during MBA and ease their most regretful pain: they could not live with their child and provide him with equal chances in life as an ordinary child should have.
- Tepper, Texas Austin: some of my friends recommended these schools.

My questions:
1) Do I have any changes at the above schools? I am not sure if I should explain my main reason to UC Davis because it does not sound businesslike.
2) Are there any areas I need to focus in order to improve my chances?
3) If the chances are limited, would you suggest other good schools for me?

I am looking forward to your reply.


linhnam,

UC Davis??? My friend, you are seriously underestimating the quality of your profile. It is extraordinarily distinctive and strong and you should be aiming much, much higher. What's so good about it? You have strong "numbers," great international experience, an underrepresented 'demographic' (i.e., Vietnam), a compelling personal story, leadership and management experience, well-rounded interests, good English skills. a focused post-MBA goal, and good community involvement. That's quite a bit.

UC Davis, Tepper, and Texas should be your "safety" schools. I am assuming that you would describe your goals as Finance + Entrepreneurship so in that case I would recommend the following schools: MIT Sloan, Haas, Chicago, Wharton, UCLA, Columbia, among other possibilities. If you want to take a shot at Harvard and Stanford I would not discourage you.

Your underestimation of your profile tells me that you may not fully understand the B-school application process, so I recommend that you read books like Richard Montauk's and my own to get a better feel for what schools value. If you do aim as high as I am recommending you will want to present a very polished application, which means understanding what sorts of stories to discuss in your essays, what a good reco letter is, etc.

Good luck,

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Intern
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007
Posts: 5
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Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

 [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2007, 22:29
Hi Paul,
Thanks so much for your quick response.

Yes, I think I am not understanding enough about the MBA application process at the moment. I have just started researching for b-schools. What I have known so far are only the statistic numbers in the top schools: acceptance rates, profiles of current students and alumni, etc. Moreover, I did not have an under-graduate or graduate degree abroad as typical successful Vietnamese applicants have. Those things made me so intimidated that I decided the look for fairly good schools which my friends or relatives know about.

I will spend the next year digging into the MBA application world. Again, thank you very much for introducing good resources.

I wish you have a happy new year.
Nam
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003
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Location: Los Angeles CA
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Re: Profile from Vietnam. Please give me your feedbacks. [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2008, 13:22
Expert's post
Nam,

U.S. B-schools may not have as much information on your undergraduate school as they do with other applicants but your GMAT score, resume, and English skills should eliminate much of their concern. Good luck.

_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

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