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Prospective MBA applicant---would appreciate your critique.

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Prospective MBA applicant---would appreciate your critique. [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2004, 02:42
Hi,

I am a potential MBA applicant for Fall 2005. I hope you can spare a few moments to comment on my attributes.

Desired term of entry: Fall 2004

Nationality: Indian

GMAT: Scheduled for first week of October 2005

Secondary/High School: An globally reputed international school (I was in their Singapore location)

Undergraduate School: University of Michigan Business School

Undergraduate GPA: 3.25 (gpa was higher until the end of Junior year).

Work Experience:

Two years as an strategy analyst at a top tier (e.g. McKinsey) international managment consulting firm (in one of their U.S.A. offices)

Transferred full time to a client in the energy industry, worked with them for 18 months.

Have been employed for the last two years at a family owned company that develops and executes projects in fields such as Ports, Offshore Maritime services, Power Plant construction, Oil Exploration, Road and Mass Transit development.

This company has been in operation since the 1940's and is well recognized in their field. My role was primarily focused on developing their business in China and South America (I took on this job due to my knowledge, language skills, and strong interest in these countries).

Over the past two years, we have partnered with the largest Chinese companies in various fields, won and begun developing 3-4 National scale projects (in India), as well as two projects for two very large companies in India. Additionally, I was invited to be part of the delegation of the recent Indian Prime Minister to China, and was invited to meet the President of Brazil during his recent visit to India.

My role is primarily focused on developing bids/proposals, developing new clients, and macro management of certain projects which are in process.

Unfortunately, my current experience (family owned business.....) may be a negative?, as numerous applicants from India write that they worked with their family business.

I do not have a background in I.T. programming or Engineering.

Location of work: South East Asia, China and India. Conversational Mandarin and Spanish.

Extracurricular:

Co-Founder and current Undergraduate President of my undergraduate University Alumni Association in India.

Founding Member and current executive committee (1 of 5 members) member of the Indian network of a my High School, which consists of a network of 10 schools globally. These schools are part of a movement, founded on principals such as peace, environmental sustainability, political awareness, individual growth. The movement is not elitist in any way. I can pm you the website if interested.

The movement has been in existence for over 40 years. Its leadership includes individuals such as H.E. Mr. Nelson Mandela, H.E. Queen of Jordan, H.E. Prince of Wales.

Active member of a social service organization (in India) founded by my Brother. The organization has grown significantly, and currently is internationally recognized (e.g. received grants from the Ford Foundation) and has made several real and value added contributions to the society.

Immediate family members are currently on the Board of Columbia Business School, and The Lauder Institute of Wharton. One of my brothers went to the Lauder MBA program at Wharton (full time), after which he was invited to join the board. Another brother has graduated from the Harvard Business School full time 2 year MBA program.


Given that my gpa is low....many of the top 10 schools may be out of consideration?.

What do you think are some realistic (U.S) MBA programs that I could consider?.

Thanks
Andy
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2004, 06:59
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Did some extenuating circumstance cause your GPA to drop at the end of your junior year? Did something happen then? What was your GPA prior to that time?
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2004, 07:31
Hi,

The nominal GPA is to the left of the center of the distribution at most of the elites but not dramatically so. Further, it comes from one of the most respected undegrad programs in the US. However, the GMAT score would help in the evaluation of your academic attributes.

I think that the "family business" issue is mitigated in part by the fact that you worked for a well-recognized multinational firm. In addition, the family business issue depends greatly on how you describe/sell this experience to the admissions officers.

Forgive me if I missed this in your post, but do you intend to return to the family business after the MBA?
What are your goals for the program?

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 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2004, 12:28
Hi Linda and Hjort,

Thank You for your replies. Linda, I have sent you a PM with my GPA breakup and some explanations for my 'low' G.P.A

Hjort, to be frank, I am undecided about whether I will return to my family business or take some other route, e.g. job.

If you feel there is a certain direction I should lean towards in my applications, then I can surely make a case for that.

I would really appreciate any additional evaluations/information that you can provide me about possible college choices etc.

Do you have any comments on my extracurriculars?.

What do you feel is a strong GMAT score....my Math is definitely my weaker point.

Is it even worth applying to HBS? ...or would it be a waste of my money and the schools time?.

Thanks
Andy
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2004, 18:00
Your extracurriculars seem interesting and pass the "cocktail party test" (someone who heard this story would be likely to want to hear more about the student). However, I had trouble understanding exactly what these groups did but I figured that you would be able to explain more fully on the actual application.

Your nominal GPA does not sound low enough to exclude you from many of the elites but this still depends on the GMAT. Since GMAT and GPA act to some extent as compensating attributes, it would be helpful to have an above average GMAT for your intended schools.

Regarding the application to HBS:

What attracts you to HBS?
Are these attributes unique to HBS?
Have you actively evaluated other schools?

If one has difficulty answering these questions, applying to the school in question is probably not the greatest idea.

I am more than happy to provide information on programs that might interest you but I need a bit more guidance regarding what types of programs you are seeking.

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 [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2004, 11:55
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andymba wrote:
Hi Linda and Hjort,

Thank You for your replies. Linda, I have sent you a PM with my GPA breakup and some explanations for my 'low' G.P.A

Hjort, to be frank, I am undecided about whether I will return to my family business or take some other route, e.g. job.

If you feel there is a certain direction I should lean towards in my applications, then I can surely make a case for that.

I would really appreciate any additional evaluations/information that you can provide me about possible college choices etc.

Do you have any comments on my extracurriculars?.

What do you feel is a strong GMAT score....my Math is definitely my weaker point.

Is it even worth applying to HBS? ...or would it be a waste of my money and the schools time?.

Thanks
Andy


Andy,

I received your PM and believe that given your outstanding work experience and extra-curriculars you should apply to top ten schools provided that yo score a 700+ on the GMAT. Your GPA isn't that low that it will knock you out of contention. You should, however, provide an explanation, similar to what you sent me, for the dip in your senior year.

Finally, the whole issue of family business can be dealt with easily in your case. Simply describe your responsibilities and achievements. Doing so will show that your family's business is not the equivalent of the corner grocery store or local gas station. It is a global business with millions of dollars and you have handled millions of dollars of responsibility. Furthermore, you also worked at McKinsey, and that is a well-recognized name that serves as a feeder for top business schools.

Your extra-curriculars are impressive and a definite plus in your profile.

It is difficult to recommend schools without knowing what you want to do after your MBA. I know you are unsure if you will return to your family's business, but could you give me a little more insight and direction before I suggest schools?
Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2004, 13:15
Hi Linda and Hjort,

Once again, Thank You for your thoughts. Linda, I took the liberty to send you another PM, I promise not to carry on doing so.

I have two questions which are of a high priority to me right now:

a) I would like to know if there are any MBA programs in the USA, well recognized programs that is (top 15 or so) that offer a MBA as well as a chance to learn a foreign language (Asian Language) from scratch. I do not expect to reach fluency in the lanuage, but am keen on possibly doing a MBA/MA combination if at all possible.

b) I have scheduled my GMAT (first try) for early October, and was hoping to submit my applications in time for the first deadline (i.e. by Nov 1 for several top 15 colleges). However, given the short amount of time between my GMAT and the application deadlines, I am wondering whether it would hinder my chances if I were to apply by the second deadline?.

I am sure with all your experience, you would have some honest thoughts on whether there is an advantage of applying by the first deadline as opposed to the second deadline. I am purely interested in any advantage in terms of admission, and not factors such as housing, financial aid etc.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Thanks
Andy
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2004, 16:11
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andymba wrote:
Hi Linda and Hjort,

Once again, Thank You for your thoughts. Linda, I took the liberty to send you another PM, I promise not to carry on doing so.

I have two questions which are of a high priority to me right now:

a) I would like to know if there are any MBA programs in the USA, well recognized programs that is (top 15 or so) that offer a MBA as well as a chance to learn a foreign language (Asian Language) from scratch. I do not expect to reach fluency in the lanuage, but am keen on possibly doing a MBA/MA combination if at all possible.

b) I have scheduled my GMAT (first try) for early October, and was hoping to submit my applications in time for the first deadline (i.e. by Nov 1 for several top 15 colleges). However, given the short amount of time between my GMAT and the application deadlines, I am wondering whether it would hinder my chances if I were to apply by the second deadline?.

I am sure with all your experience, you would have some honest thoughts on whether there is an advantage of applying by the first deadline as opposed to the second deadline. I am purely interested in any advantage in terms of admission, and not factors such as housing, financial aid etc.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Thanks
Andy


I replied to A in my reply PM.

To answer B: You want to submit your best application as early as possible. That means that now you should be devoting time to your GMAT to obtain the best score you can. AFter you know your score, you can work on your essays. You should submit them as soon as they are ready, but without rushing them or submitting them before they are ready. Remember Linda's rule:

Submit as early as possible PROVIDED you don't compromise the quality of your application.

"Your application" includes both the GMAT score and the essays.

So whatever advantage exists for applying first round is outweighed by the risks of submitting something less than your best in a rush to submit by the first round deadlines.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2004, 06:33
Hi again,

I agree that earlier is better for the applications. Depending on your first choice, I would even consider using one of the early evaluation deadlines (early action, early decision, etc.).

I trust Linda gave you a number of strong schools for learning an Asian language. There are several schools that offer MBA/MA degrees in Asian Studies. Some that come to mind include Berkeley, Virginia, and Texas. Among the ultraelites, Penn has the Lauder Institute while Chicago offers an MBA/AM in East Asian studies. Cornell has the FALCON program while Michigan has the Asia Business Program.

http://dml.cornell.edu/falcon/mba-ma.html

Even for the schools that require some initial training in the language, this requirement might be negotiable and/or you could probably reach this level in an intensive summer program before starting the MBA/MA program (such as FALCON above).

In addition, you might want to research the Foreign Affairs/Diplomacy schools that offer joint degrees such as Dartmouth/Tufts, Columbia, and Georgetown.

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 [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2004, 10:20
Hi Linda and Hjort,

Thank You for your replies once again.

Hjort, I appreciate your replies on the schools offering Asian Language programs. I definitely would appreciate more information on this topic from both Linda, yourself, and any of our friends on this site.

I wish I knew about the Falcon program earlier, now the best that I can do is join the summer program, since I am interested in beginning my MBA in Fall 05.

Do you know of any programs or how to go about fulfilling the language requirements in time to apply for MBA /MA programs in Fall 05. I know for example the Lauder Institute requires proficiency in a language to qualify to join the program.

I am extremely keen on pursuing a dual degree, i.e. MBA/MA (Asian Studies) and would appreciate any further advice that you have.

Thanks
Andy
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2004, 12:10
Hi,

Had we known you were interested in an MBA/MA we would have helped you sooner . . .

As long as you are diligent there is enough time to apply to a joint degree program. I will send more info. in a PM.

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 [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2004, 12:27
Thanks Hjort,

I look forward to your PM

Regards,
Andy
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2004, 18:05
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andymba wrote:
Hi Linda and Hjort,

Thank You for your replies once again.

Hjort, I appreciate your replies on the schools offering Asian Language programs. I definitely would appreciate more information on this topic from both Linda, yourself, and any of our friends on this site.

I wish I knew about the Falcon program earlier, now the best that I can do is join the summer program, since I am interested in beginning my MBA in Fall 05.

Do you know of any programs or how to go about fulfilling the language requirements in time to apply for MBA /MA programs in Fall 05. I know for example the Lauder Institute requires proficiency in a language to qualify to join the program.

I am extremely keen on pursuing a dual degree, i.e. MBA/MA (Asian Studies) and would appreciate any further advice that you have.

Thanks
Andy


I can't really advise you on language program nor do I have a great grasp of joint MBA/MA in Asian study programs, but I invite Hjort or anyone else who has that knowledge to share the info. Obviously, Lauder is a great program. Georgetown also has a strong international program.

Given that you already have a conversational knowledge of Mandarin and Spanish, that you should be able to work on one of those two languages and get it to an acceptable level by the time you would start b-school.

Good luck!
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