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Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2013, 08:48
I am Gaurav from INDIA. I am 25 years old. My profile is as follows:

>Class 10 - 91%
>Class 12 - 92%
>Bachelors in Engineering (Electronics & Telecommunications) 4 years full time - CGPA - 9.1/10 from a reputed University in INDIA
>2 years Full time work experience in IBM INDIA PVT. LTD. as a SAP Business Intelligence Consultant
>Currently pursuing MBA in Capital Markets (2012-14) from India from a reputed B-school. CGPA for first year - 3.6/4.
>I have 4-5 corporate projects in my name, in the area of IPO, Private Equity deal, Capital Budgeting, Business strategy for SMEs, etc.

I want to pursue a Masters in Finance from abroad, with focus on following areas:

Corporate finance
Investment Banking
Mergers & Acquisition
Private Equity/ Venture Capital
Valuation
and other related subjects

Is it the right stage in my career to go for a Masters in Finance? If Yes, then how should I go about it? Kindly assist me.
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2013, 22:07
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Hey there man,
Thanks for dropping a line.
If your goal is Masters in finance then 2 years of prior experience is not too bad. (for an international MBA you would need more, but I see you are getting an Indian MBA anyhow). How do you go about applying? You take your GMAT and then you apply. "Simple" as that ;) (of course you have to decide on the schools, fill out applications, etc. etc. and that is not always soooo simple).

If you want to know more about where you would have good chances, then I need more info from you - test scores, and more detail about your work and goals.

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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2013, 22:15
Hi Jon,
Thank you for the reply. I have a big concern regarding my chances of getting into a top B-school for a MS in Finance. Let me take you through my situation please. I am yet to give GMAT/GRE.

The MBA programs in India do not have a very vast choice in terms of electives, and in my case there are no electives, it is a completely structured program. The MBA here is highly theoretical nature with minimal emphasis on practical approach and extremely poor in terms of contribution from fellow classmates, hence there is almost zero learning from peers.

Here is how I developed an interest in Investment Banking and thus felt a great need for a MS in Finance:

>While doing my MBA, I went through the subjects in Capital Markets (not in-depth as in India it is just a kind of browsing through the subjects)
>I got selected for 4-5 corporate projects (while still pursuing my MBA) in the area of investment banking. >One of the visiting faculties heads a boutique investment bank in India. He was very happy with my practical approach towards the subject, thus he offered me the opportunity to work on a live project. From there I got 4 more projects in my basket.
>Through the projects, I developed further interest, hence now I want to gain in-depth knowledge in finance subjects related to investment banking, private equity, M&A, corporate finance, etc.
> And a MS in Finance is the only program which can give me the option of choosing the electives as per my interest. (I did not/DO NOT have this option in India).
>I have a good job opportunity in India, but I am ready to forgo that if I can get good quality education.

I am concerned if already having a MBA would adversely affect my chances of pursuing a course in Ms in Finance, as the question of why a second degree may arise and it would be against the general trend of having a Ms degree and then going for a MBA (mine is a reverse case).

So now I want to first have some perspectives of my chances of getting into a top B-school for MS in Finance, keeping in mind, the fact that I would be already having a MBA degree by April 2014.
I am planning for Fall 2015. By that time I will have another 1.5 years of work-experience (April 2014 to August 2015) in addition to the already 2 years that I have, but this won't get highlighted in the applications since I will be dispatching those by November 2014.


Kindly assist is my profile is good and is my MBA degree would not be a big hurdle for applying to a Ms in Finance program. I can manage a good score in GRE/GMAT.

Thanks & Regards,
Gaurav Bansal.
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2013, 00:41
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I see, Gurav!
Now, the first thing I would suggest is that when you do apply you should tell them this story. Because you are right that otherwise, the school might be finding themselves wondering why you are proposing to do an MF right after having done an MBA. But the way you present it here does make sense.

The big question right now for me is whether you should take that job and work for a year or two. There are essentially two "types" of Masters in Finance, pre-experience programs and post-experience programs (although this is not entirely true, they are the same type, but just that some schools have preferences for candidates with more experience, they are just really different rankings). You can find FT's ranking of both here: http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolra ... ience-2013 and here: http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolra ... ience-2013.

In general, if you have a good offer right now for a good job and don't mind waiting a bit, I think it is better for you to learn what you can on the job and apply for a program after one or two more years experience. You will probably get into a better program, plus the knowledge you bring in will allow you to take soooo much more out of the program.

What are your thoughts?
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2013, 03:58
Hello Jon,
Thank you for sharing your perspective. Our thoughts do match to a great extent. You rightly pointed out that one/two years of further work experience would help a lot. I am planning it this way:

I am planning for Fall 2015. By that time I will have another 1.5 years of work-experience (April 2014 to August 2015) in addition to the 2 years (IBM) that I already have. So that would be like 3.5 years experience before I join in (if I am fortunate enough :-D ).

I already have some practical experience in terms of the know-how as to how the investment banking/finance business is done, but I want to attain more in-depth knowledge in the corporate finance/investment banking field, learn from the various experiences/perspectives (global) that other fellow mates will share and that would give me immense confidence, broaden my horizon and equip me with the necessary knowledge to handle a more challenging role.

Let me share a part of my current experience in more detail with you:

>I am working on 4-5 LIVE corporate projects.
> I am drafting the prospectus for 5 companies that will be listed on the MAIN/SME stock exchange (INDIA) and handling the Issue management.
> I am handling a Pre-IPO private equity investment deal as well, where in I represent my organization in the meetings with Family offices, HNIs, PE funds.
> I have experience in drafting the Teaser, Concept Note, Information Memorandum,etc.
> I represent the organization in all the corporate meetings with the company managements, Merchant Bankers, Legal Advisors to the Issue and all other key intermediaries.
>I represent the organization in discussions regarding the IPO rating for the clients from the rating agencies (S&P's - CRISIL and Moody's - ICRA.
>I am also working on a corporate project on capital budgeting which involves the entire analysis on Acquisition vs Hiring of assets for a project.

And there are more such experiences involved.

So with the above experience that I am currently gaining (though not officially full-time), by fall 2015, I would have a lot to contribute to the class that I join. And with the good quality education standards abroad, I definitely stand to gain more by coupling it with my practical experience.

Coming to the job perspective -> Yes I can take a job now, but that on job learning period will be very slow, non-comprehensive and localized, as I will be directly working with local teams without getting the kind of knowledge experience (as mentioned in the beginning of this mail) I would want.


Kindly share your views on the thoughts that I have shared.
As an admission panelist, would you be convinced by my true situation or will I have to present my case in some other way to convince them. Honestly, I feel that I should share the true picture as there is nothing wrong in my story. Yes I agree it is a double degree, but if there is a person who really wants to have more knowledge and is ready to forego a job opportunity, then why deny admission if he already has a similar degree?

I am extremely open to healthy criticism and look forward to hearing from you. :)
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2013, 22:25
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gauravbansall567 wrote:
Yes I agree it is a double degree, but if there is a person who really wants to have more knowledge and is ready to forego a job opportunity, then why deny admission if he already has a similar degree?

I am extremely open to healthy criticism and look forward to hearing from you. :)


Let me start with this question cause it's a bit provocative.. ;)...
The thing to keep in mind is that the schools WANT you to NEED them.. so maybe that is why they might deny admission to someone they feel has the knowledge.... they want to become an instrumental part of your development, so I think the key is not just "I want more learning"... but to CONVINCE them of your need of this degree.

In the job/project situation, if I understand you correctly, all the projects you are working on above (IPO, corporate projects, etc.) you are doing as a freelancer? On a project base? And they are not part of a job? And this is what you would propose to do to gain financial experience? (And this is an ADDITION to your IBM job right?)

I'm just a bit confused as to the simultaneity (or lack) regarding your job situation... if you can clear this up for me, I can answer you better.
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2013, 23:11
Hi Jon,
I am really grateful to you on the point regarding the WANT/NEED situation.
:o
Now I surely frame my situation in a better way. I want the good quality education because I really need it to pursue a career in the investment banking domain. I will be building upon this and also request for your valuable inputs.

Regarding the job timeline, here is how it goes:

June 2010 to May 2012 - IBM as a SAP BI Consultant (Full-time job):

• SHELL client - SPOC for SAP BI interfaces – managed and assisted the offshore and onshore interface teams
• Responsible for managing critical month end business submissions and round the clock resolution of business issues from SAP BI perspective
• Communication focal point (POC) for the IBM SAP BI team for all mail communications to the client
• Business Value Addition - Initiated and implemented complete automation for the business critical interfaces
• Conceptualized and documented the in-depth working of various interfaces for future reference

MBA in Capital Markets - June 2012 to April 2014

Along with my full-time MBA course, I am working simultaneously on all those 4-5 corporate projects, which has helped get a lot of practical know-how of the way business is done. Now I feel a strong NEED to couple this experience with a strong knowledge base which I can get by pursuing a MS in Finance where I can chose the subjects of my interest.

I hope I have cleared the confusion regarding the job aspect. Kindly let me know if any further information is required from my end. :-D

Thanks & Regards,
Gaurav Bansal.
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2013, 23:47
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Aha! I got it now...
So my advice to you: keep on with those projects, keeping your MF in mind. But besides projects try and get 1-3 real internships in target companies for you. This will probably be more valuable than anything else you can do to prove that you have the capacity to get a job and to gain experience. ( I hope you already have one for this summer).

Then you can try applying to relevant MF programs (if you want to immediately follow your MBA back-to-back... but like I wrote, if you can get a job in finance thanks to your MBA and get one more year experience, you will likely have better chances). So is this the IDEAL moment for you to apply to an MF? In my mind, not ideal... because I think you would be better off trying to leverage your way in on the basis of your MBA and then evaluate yourself later... the opportunity costs for an MF are high, and you may find you can avoid them, and learn what you want on the job.

Plus you seem to have hooked up with some nice projects, and you should be trying to tap some of your contacts for a internship/hire/other contacts... I would focus on that first, and leave the MF idea as an alternative.

If you have any further thoughts, questions, disagreements, just let me know!
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2013, 09:44
Hi Jon,
I have done my two months of summer internship in the rating agency Standard & Poor's Indian arm - CRISIL.

I worked on the following:
> The rating process
> Sector analysis
> Company analysis within a particular sector


So overall, it was a good learning experience.

My second training (you can refer to this as another internship) was on the capital budgeting project which involved financial modelling, projections, DCF valuation, sensitivity analysis, break-even analysis and finally the decision making process based on all the analysis.

Regarding the work experience, I agree that one year experience after MBA would be good and I am planning exactly that way:
I complete my MBA in April 2014. I work for 15-16 months from April 2014 to August 2015. And if I am fortunate, then I can join in fall 2015.

Apart from the poor education here, there is one more drawback. In INDIA, the real problem is of the job profile that one gets, it is not about the salary-pack. I can get a job on the basis of my MBA and current resume, but the job profile will not be good and as pointed out in one of my earlier mails, the on-job learning would be slow and localized.

My projects are good, but the job opportunity from those is not that great as I would any day prefer a global organization.

A global education would really help me both from the knowledge front and a strong platform for trying for a good profile in global Investment Banks.

Well, these are my current thoughts. Looking at my scenario, I feel should go for the Ms in Finance program. I look forward to hearing from you on this :o
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2013, 00:07
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Hey man,
I totally think you should go for the MF too, plus the job prospects once you get out of a good institution abroad can be fantastic!

I think you are definitely doing all the right things with the gathering your experience and the internships/projects you are taking, and would also toooootally agree regarding the job. So right now your main job I would say is to get your profile as awesome as possible so that you can get into the best MF possible and then the best job possible. In a way this year and next can be the toughest of your life, because you are setting the foundation for everything that will happen later.

So when you ultimately look for this one year job that you will do between the MBA and MF the MOST important thing is its prestige - and I mean specifically it should be an employer (if possible, of course) which is a feeder to the best schools). It almost doesn't matter as much WHAT you do as WHERE you work, and if you can land the right job, it will make things a LOT easier for you later. Otherwise if you have any gaps/weaknesses/ anything missing (like not enough extra currics or volunteer work or whatever) NOW is the time to star thinking about what you can do to make in enough!)
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2013, 05:07
Hi Jon,
Another big thank you for the encouragement and the advice.

I have a couple of questions please:

1. What exactly do you mean by an employer which is a feeder to best schools?

Let me know if I am correct or not. What I understood is that I should try and get a job in a company which is more popularly known. And that the COMPANY NAME (WHERE) would matter more than the WORK (WHAT) that I do.

How will the above make a LOT of difference as pointed by you?

2. When you refer to Gaps/weaknesses/anything missing (extra-curricular/volunteer work/etc.), what exactly do you mean in each of these?

I am unaware as to what the B-schools really look for in the profile. AS you rightly pointed out, I can surely work on this. Can you kindly suggest as to what are the things that would be required to make a strong profile?

Currently I have the following with me:

Co-curricular

• 1st in intra-house dramatics at school (Year 2000-2002)
• 1st in cricket senior division at school (Year 2000)
• Social work Internship (1 month - 2013)
• Member of Junior Alumni Committee @ NMIMS, Mumbai – 2012-13
• Member of Corporate Communication Team of Investocraft cell @ NMIMS, Mumbai – 2012-13
• Organized and anchored the Fun@work event at IBM (2011)
• International competition – Member of management team, responsible for manufacturing an all terrain vehicle (2009-10)
• Fabricated a chip design and transformed it into a micro-controller programmed robot capable of digital image processing applications (2008)
• Designed and manufactured a wired robot capable of playing football and extinguishing fire up to a height of 30 cm, for a competition during under graduation (final stage) (2007)
• Member of the General Body of Red-X club, an adventure club, during under graduation (2007)


I had forgotten to mention about my summer internship during my undergraduation:

• Worked on a live project ‘Front-end Integration & Design for Test’, by implementing a logic flow design for fault detection in chip design. This was my summer internship (Jan -2010 to May 2010) during Undergraduation.


Are the above points good?
What are the areas that I can work upon?
Would any social work certificate help? How does one justify some social work without any certificate?
Will working on a research paper on Corporate Governance, under the guidance of a PHd. student (Final Year) help me in building my profile?


Jon, you have been really helpful to me. As a student it is extremely difficult to have so much assistance in terms of perspectives, consultation and information.

:) Thank you.

Is there any way I can help you with in terms of any information about India (Education services, B-Schools, etc.) or is there any other information related assistance I could give. Do let me know!

Thanks & Regards,
Gaurav Bansal.
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2013, 23:04
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gauravbansall567 wrote:
Hi Jon,
Another big thank you for the encouragement and the advice.

I have a couple of questions please:

1. What exactly do you mean by an employer which is a feeder to best schools?


2. When you refer to Gaps/weaknesses/anything missing (extra-curricular/volunteer work/etc.), what exactly do you mean in each of these?


Dear Guarav,
I'm very happy to help! Plus you make it easy for me, cause you ask such specific questions, and give me all the info I need! :)

Let's start with the questions:

1. If you start doing deep research into the schools, you will begin to notice patterns... i.e. that Goldman Sachs send a ton of people to Columbia, (in the MBA) that McKinsey sends folks to HBS, that Google will send people to Stanford... you will begin to recognize that people from specific companies have tendencies to be more or less recruited by one school or another... so it's more than just a "good job", but a target company from which a good amount of people would go to your target schools. In general there aren't statistics for which firms candidates come from, but there IS info like this on the internet in forums, you can extrapolate it from linked in or best yet, get in touch with people at the actual programs to find out where people come from, and you can make your list of target companies (anyhow there won't be more than 5-10 of them)

2. Meaning that if you have any area of your application or profile that might be perceived as weak, NOW is the time to start working on it. If all is good, then just focus on two things 1. Getting the best grades you can 2. Getting the best job you can.

When I write community service/volunteer work, I am thinking of things like Junior Achievement more than anything else.. so if you are still doing that, try to ADVANCE in that (i.e. to take a leadership position, to propose projects, etc). You don't need to justify any of your social work, so don't worry about that, just DO it! ;) Working on a research paper can be nice, it will be even nicer if it is published, but it's also not thaaaaat helpful, so don't kill yourself to do it. More important is your internships and jobs, and doing as well as you can at school (plus if you can take the lead of any sort of group/committee, esp. anything finance-related, it can be fantastic).

Hope this helps!!!
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2013, 09:58
Hello Jon,
Thanks for clearing all my doubts. I will collate all the suggestions that I have received from you and start working towards my goal of fall 2015. I will definitely stay in touch. Thanks a lot :o


Thanks & Regards,
Gaurav Bansal.
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Re: Request for your valuable suggestion [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2013, 00:12
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Dear Gurav,
Great to hear here! Good luck to you in all your preparatory works, and if anything comes up, you know where to find us.
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