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Request for profile Evaluation: GMAT 720 (QA 49/VA 40)

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Current Student
avatar
Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 9
Schools: ISB '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V40
WE: Other (Education)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 6

Request for profile Evaluation: GMAT 720 (QA 49/VA 40) [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 04:53
Hello,

Please evaluate my profile.

I am a 24 year old Indian working at an Advocacy position in a not-for-profit in Delhi, India.

Gender: Male

Academics:
    SSC (10th Grade): 93.2% (CBSE)
    HSC (12th Grade): 85.0% (CBSE)
    Under-grad: 73.5% IT Engineering from a private engineering college affiliated to a State Technological University (RGPV, Bhopal).
    Have undergone a 3-day leadership workshop at ISB (Indian School of Business)

Academic Achievement
Cleared the Zonal Informatics Olympiad.
National Cyber Olympiad (School Rank- 1, State Rank- 121)

GMAT
    720 (QA: 49/VA: 40)
    Haven't received IR and AWA scores yet

Work Experience
    Will have 3 years of work-ex by July 2014.
    First Year: Research Assistant with an Member, Parliament of India (Lower House), who has a cabinet rank as he is head of a constitutional body, under a popular one-year fellowship programme. Full time work-ex of 11 months.
    Second Year - Present: In an associate level Advocacy position for not-for-profit in the education space. Advocacy work includes advocating for policy change at the three tiers of govt and at Legislature (Parliament) level.

    Recently worked on a project of the scale Rs. 1 million+ leading a team of two. Leading internal ad-hoc project groups of 2/3 people as well.
    Received the best performance appraisal in the organisation
    Was nominated to a sponsored workshop at a location outside India

Extra-curricular
    Founded the college campus magazine and led the team as Editor-in-chief
    Was a Microsoft Student Partner and gave numerous lectures in college, organised events etc.
    Was the Principal Editor of the Newsletter Daily for an International Conference on Environment

Post-MBA Goal
Management Consulting or Finance

Target Schools: ISB, Wharton, Ross, Kellogg, Duke

My questions
    Considering my background, do I stand a chance to get into a Finance role post-MBA? If yes, do you suggest a niche? Which sectors are suitable to my profile if not finance?
    Which programs and B-school do you suggest I apply for?
    Am I looking at the correct schools or do I need to aim higher or lower?
    Would I have low-GPA problems?

Please help me answer these crucial questions.

P.S: I don't want to get into a non-profit role. I would ideally like to be in a position involving Govt. Consulting if such positions exist and are available to post-MBAs. Or, I would like to get into a role that involves business development or an internal consulting role at corporate firms which offer such positions.

Last edited by hayekorder on 17 Aug 2013, 13:06, edited 2 times in total.
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MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 16 Jul 2011
Posts: 486
WE: Consulting (Education)
Followers: 37

Kudos [?]: 140 [0], given: 22

Re: Request for profile Evaluation: GMAT 720 (QA 49/VA 40) [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 09:06
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. :-)

EssaySnark
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Current Student
avatar
Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 9
Schools: ISB '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V40
WE: Other (Education)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 6

Re: Request for profile Evaluation: GMAT 720 (QA 49/VA 40) [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2013, 08:15
Hello,

Thanks for your detailed response. I really appreciate you taking time out for it. I utilised the time to research about functions and different career paths they entail.

Based on my profile, your response, and conversations with other MBAs, I think I would prefer being in a Consulting, General Management and Technology function in that order of preference. I couldn't gather enough detail about the Technology function so request you to elaborate whether these are roles in big technology companies in sectors such as e-commerce, consumer electronics, IT etc.

Question Based on the functions mentioned above and my profile and work-ex, can you suggest the programs that would fit me?
I was looking at ISB, Wharton, Ross, Kellogg, Duke.

Regarding Finance function: Actually, I have tremendous interest in Economics and Finance. I have read a lot about Economics and follow the events of my country and the world. I am very much interested in public finance and have gone through Federal Budgets in detail but I haven't formally studied economics ever. Though I am motivated enough to study Finance just for the love of it, my profile doesn't reflect so. Since it would be tough to demonstrate an understanding of basic economics and finance to the b-schools, I am wary of pursuing such a career. Maybe, later I could make a switch but that probably can't be my first job realistically as per both your advice and the reply I have received after speaking to those studying in b-schools and those who understand the market.

GPA Question: My UG percentage (73.5%) is within the top 20% of my class but when I convert it to GPA, it comes out pretty low which is why I asked the question. The overall university highest is around 84-85% so some top-level GPAs are impossible to get.
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 16 Jul 2011
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WE: Consulting (Education)
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Kudos [?]: 140 [0], given: 22

Re: Request for profile Evaluation: GMAT 720 (QA 49/VA 40) [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2013, 12:04
Hi hayekorder - great to hear that you're doing more research, this process is very "needy" and it requires a lot of effort to figure these things out. We're not yet convinced that you've done quite enough on the career goals, though - specifically, "General Management" is not a goal at all, and "Technology" is an industry, not a function (unless you mean "IT" which we don't think you do).

Are you saying that you want to go into consulting and are considering management consulting or technology consulting?

It's going to be more difficult to do anything in the technology arena if you haven't done it in the past. The main reason for this is there's a lot of domain knowledge needed to succeed and the bigger reason is due to the extreme competition - there's A LOT of other people going into bschool who've already been working in tech for the entire past careers, who are much better suited to those jobs coming out. It's going to be a stretch for you to make that jump. Just like with finance.

For management consulting, it would probably be easier for you to position your background in a way that shows how you could make that transition, since the recruiters value lots of different backgrounds, and bschool can more easily be the jumping-off point for consulting. The big drawback here is that it's one of the most popular post-MBA careers - so again, there's lots of competition, not only coming out of school when you're fighting for available jobs, but in GETTING IN to bschool, when the adcoms are evaluating you against other applicants. It's much more feasible than tech but still not a slam-dunk. But you do have some interesting elements in your background, so it could work!

The schools you named would be fine for management consulting, but the main reason we say that is because ALL schools are fine for management consulting. The ones you've listed are quite different in terms of culture so you probably need to do more to figure out why you're choosing them, specifically, so that you can articulate that clearly in your essays. Of those you've listed, Ross may be the school that's "easiest" (if there is such a thing!) only based upon the fact that your profile is slightly different from many other Indian applicants and they respond well to that, and they have the highest admit rate of the others (Duke too but they're a little trickier to crack for some with your profile).

You're doing the right things by asking around and talking to people on their experiences and the different career options. Try to attend some school events too - that can help immensely. Good luck with everything and you need to get started on those essays soon! Round 1 is a big advantage for most.

EssaySnark
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Re: Request for profile Evaluation: GMAT 720 (QA 49/VA 40)   [#permalink] 20 Aug 2013, 12:04
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