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Please help - Questions about MBA and after!

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Please help - Questions about MBA and after! [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2013, 21:12
Hi there,
I would like to study MBA from top 10 universities in the US. Could anyone please have a look at my profile and let me know my chances of getting into top schools? I also have lot of other questions. Please help me.

Academics :-
SSC - 84%; Intermediate/+2 - 91%; Engineering - 76% ; I won an award from Govt of AP (India) (Prathibha award) for securing good rank in Engineering Entrance Exam;

Work experience :-
I have around 9 years of experience in IT. I worked with top Indian MNCs as a project manager for an year, project lead for around 4 years. Worked in onsite for about an year. Currently I am working for a friend's start-up to gain experience to start my own in future.
Had awards and promotions in the companies I worked.
Have got 2 technical certifications and 4 certifications in Life Insurance domain (LOMA certifications - short of one certification for ALMI designation)

Extracurricular :-
Have participated in lot of extracurricular activities during my school and college days; Have been associated with a slum improvement program with an NGO for 2 years. Have good knowledge of public policy and governance as I also prepared for Indian Civil Services for a while.

Expectations out of MBA:
Consulting then move onto Entrepreneurship. And I also plan to start my own NGO later on when I am financially ok.

My questions are:
1) As I asked above: what are my chances of getting into top 10 US schools?
2) I am planning to give GMAT by the end of this May. What is the score expected to get into these schools? Will I get enough time to prepare for my application if I give GMAT in July?
3) What would be total cost of the MBA programme and the living expenses during the 2 years?
4) Do the schools offer any scholarships? If yes, what would be the probability that I get one?
5) Is it possible to work part time in the hectic schedule? How about the study loans? Should we take loans from Indian Banks or US banks?
6) How about jobs after MBA? How long would it take to pay off the entire loan?

Guess I have asked enough questions for now! Hope someone has patience to reply to my questions :)
Have a nice time!

- Swetha
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Re: Please help - Questions about MBA and after! [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2013, 08:28
Expert's post
Hi Swetha,

Thank you for posting and if you have any questions regarding my response below, please don't hesitate to ask.

1) What are your chances: given your profile, background, and long term goals I would say your chances within the top 10 (across the bracket, obviously the chances change between #1 and #10) are average. You background and ethnicity put you in a large applicant pool but your long term goal (of starting a NGO) and gender give you an edge. Also, your extracurricular activity, which is in line with your long term goals, adds a unique component to your application that would be a differentiator.

2) GMAT: You should target at least a 700+ (if not a 720+). A 700 would place you within the upper 50% in terms of score but against your peer set (Indian, IT) it would be table stakes. Something that will help your GMAT score stand out is a strong performance in Qualitative as the rest of your immediate applicant pool can find that challenging. As for timing, it's a great thing you're thinking about how the GMAT calendar will impact applications. Yes, if you complete it by July that should give you enough time to think through your story (and how your GMAT score shapes that) and school research / prioritization.

3) This can vary by program and city. However, if you choose a location with an above average but not excessive cost of living, then you would be looking between $150 - 200K. Most programs estimate $70 - 90K a year.

4) They do offer scholarships and most offer both merit and need based. It is very difficult to assess the probabilities here because of the vast number offered. Some are based on GMATs, some based on long term goals, some based on accomplishments to date, and some based on specific demographics (e.g. gender). Giving you a percent here wouldn't be giving you any sort of real information. It would be a guess unfortunately. However, once you have a school list selected and a story laid out, then it becomes marginally easier to assess odds.

5) I would highly recommend against working during your studies. I personally worked my way through undergraduate but would say you will be robbing yourself of the true MBA experience and opportunities if you work. I can go into more detail but I am very passionate about dissuading my clients from considering this option. As for loan options, it comes down to what you are eligible for, what terms you are willing to accept, and how the rates compare. That is more of a decision after you've gotten in and you start comparing hard numbers. I would recommend you research both, however.

6) Jobs after graduation vary. If you go into I-Banking or Private Equity, you're looking at substantial packages that would allow you to repay your loans quickly. Consulting ranks highly in terms of pay as well. Most people within these professions can pay off the loans within a fraction of the term of note. However, not all choose to do so. Standard terms average at 15 - 20 years and it comes down to cash flow, cost of capital, and personal preference. If paying it off, however, is a key objective of yours then you can do so in a matter of years. It would just take a very strict budget :)

If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask and I hope the above information helps you out. If you want me to clarify any of my points, let me know. You can also send me a private message if you'd like or sign up for a free consultation here.

I know there's a lot of information out there and a lot of questions! Good luck!

Bhavik
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Re: Please help - Questions about MBA and after!   [#permalink] 26 Apr 2013, 08:28
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