Hey hayekorder - thanks for reaching out for input from EssaySnark.
First comment: You're targeting U.S. schools (and ISB); you can't talk in terms of "lacs", few Americans have even heard of that. Present your background in a way that's appropriate to your audience.
To your questions:
1. Not sure. Transitioning from something completely unrelated into finance is a very big leap. You will have your work cut out for you in establishing how you have relevant experience and transferable skills. It's possible but it's going to be challenging. You can't expect the MBA alone to prepare you; before they'll even admit you, the schools will need to see evidence that you'll be able to pull this off, based on what you've done in the past. And we cannot suggest a "niche" for you in finance - sorry, but we don't even know you, how could we suggest something as critically important and personal as what you should do with the rest of your life? Plus, it makes it sound like you aren't pursuing an MBA based on your own interests but you just are chasing the money (the underlying motivation for most people interested in finance is, just to be blunt, wanting to get rich). If you don't know what role in finance you'd like to pursue, then it's hard for us to recommend pursuing it at all. This would be a VERY big jump for you and you'd need to come into it with motivation, passion, conviction, drive - and a clear sense of what you want to do and why. Lots of red flags for us in that simple question. And we can't really suggest any other career for you for similar reasons. The MBA is a means to an end, not the end itself
. All we can offer is that you could go into consulting - because practically ANYBODY could go into consulting - it's easy to show how a variety of past experiences could produce relevant skills that would be useful in that field. And you do have an interesting work history. So there's that.
2. We can't suggest schools without knowing what you want to do. The schools you've listed are all quality programs and the basic stats in your profile certainly shows that you're qualified for them. And, your background looks very interesting. Once you figure out what you want to do with your life
then you should have plenty of raw material to work from, to position your background in a way that shows the adcom why you need the MBA. But in order to evaluate this school or that one, you really need to figure out, like, why you're doing this in the first place. What are you interested in? What do you want to do with your life? Right now it just appears that you're trying to escape from your current life. That's not a good enough motivation - or more precisely, maybe that's something that's motivating you, but it's only the bare beginning. That's not going to get you into bschool. You need to do the work to figure out where you want to take your life, and focus on that. That's what the schools will respond best to, and it's the most important decision to make in this entire process - it's what all your strategies and tactics and plans will center on.
3. Same response re: "higher or lower" - the schools you've named could be open to you, based on the core stats of your profile, but we have no idea if they are good fits to you, nor if you are a good fit to any of them, since you haven't figured out why you want an MBA in the first place. Your profile qualifies you - but it's not enough to get you in.
4. The Indian grading systems and school standards are all over the map. On first blush we wouldn't have assumed that your grades were in trouble territory, however your question implies otherwise. If you know that you didn't do so well in school, then that answers it. The way you reported it, we had assumed that these were simply average marks. If you did poorly compared to your peers in college and if your transcripts show very low grades in important subjects then that would change the situation.
We seem to be coming down hard on you and that's not the intention - but you have more work to do to figure this stuff out - or more directly, to figure YOU out. Why are you doing this MBA thing? That really needs to be answered first. Your basic profile is decent but it's not stellar. You're coming from the classic oversubscribed candidate pool. You seem to have a really interesting set of work experience which is awesome - but it's up to you to figure out your future and see how that past experience has set you up for a bold new adventure. You have some blank spots to fill in before we can start to offer real guidance.
Hopefully that wasn't completely discouraging - we'll be here if you want to come back and hit us up again, after you've figured some stuff out.
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