I must say that you have a very impressive profile. Even with a 690 GMAT, any top school give your application a very considerable look. I do think that it is wise to retake the GMAT, so best of luck there.
Based strictly on what you have told me about your goals, I believe that a good starting point for "what schools?" should be the report put out by the Aspen Institute (AKA - Beyond Grey Pinstripes: the sustainability MBA rankings). Drilling down on the report, I would narrow your choices to MBA programs that will carry international appeal. Additionally and based on your profile, you should target schools that have earned a US News ranking of around 15 or above. One more thing - examine the relationships that these top programs have with the schools of Public Policy on campus. Your education-based goals are multifaceted in nature. I believe that you would benefit greatly from a flexible curriculum, and with him multitude of resources available to you – not only at the business school, but also across campus.
Alas, I know that you want a short list and here it is. I would take a closer look at Stanford, Yale SOM, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, Haas, Columbia and Ross. Unless I am mistaken, all should fit the rough criteria I laid out above. With respect to financing for international applications, you may run into barriers with Ross and Columbia (I believe.) However, if they want you bad enough, they will throw some money your way to ease the pain.
I hope this helps and I applaud applicants like you who want to make a difference at the nexus of society and business.
I was hoping to get some advice from you on what type of schools I can target, based on my experience and goals. I know you probably hear this a lot but please be brutally honest! Thanks in advance. Here's a brief description of my profile:
a. Age: 25, Nationality: Indian, Gender: Female, GMAT: 690 [writing it again in 2 weeks]
b. Work Experience:
- Worked at a top global bank for just over 2 years in Consumer Banking. As part of the Management Associate Program based in Singapore, I was given the opportunity to take on the role of Product Manager for a relatively new product (primarily a sales & marketing function, with some operational responsibilities) and I was able to grow the product accounts base by more than a 100% in the first year. I was lucky enough to be given direct managerial responsibilities early on and I took on a team of 4 sales staff to help grow the product further.
-While working with Citibank, I also actively involved myself in community service activities (my part-time passion at the time, which I've recently converted into a full-time one). I led the Citibank Community and Volunteerism committee and mobilized funds and volunteers to conduct city-wide events involving over 4,000 people annually. I also conceptualized and led an expedition of 14 members from Singapore to India to spend 2 weeks in a slum, building houses and interacting closely with the residents of the slum community. These were both extracurricular activities but I've put it down here to show why I decided to make a switch to the development sector.
- I now work full-time at an India-based Education Non-Profit with international presence, with over 7,000 employees based across India. I run a nation-wide program for vocational skilling of underprivileged youth and directly assist the CEO with overall budgeting, planning and analysis. I lead a team of 10 people to carry out these responsibilities and I have been selected for a program for the 35 top leaders in the organization from across the country.
c. Education: Undergraduate degree - dual major in Information Systems Management & Marketing at a top university in Singapore with a GPA of 3.63/4.0 with a Magna Cum Laude distinction
d. Goals: I've very recently also set up my own education related startup based on a profit model but it's at a very nascent stage. I'd like to take it to scale and expand. In order to do this though, I need to build a strong international network, and build my management, finance and entrepreneurial skills that an MBA program will give me.
e. Extra-curricular activities: Music - Singing (Occasional performances as vocalist with different bands and I used to lead an A Cappella group in college). Provided remedial teaching for a year to a group of disadvantaged children in Singapore.
Hope this is not too much information! I'm also a little concerned about financing options at different schools.
Thanks again. Hope to hear from you soon.
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