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Testing waters - profile evalutation

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Testing waters - profile evalutation [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2011, 13:54
Age: 26
Background: Female, Indian, born and brought up in Saudi Arabia,
Educational Background: UToronto 3.1 (Accounting and Economics), Wilfrid Laurier University 3.85 (Masters in Business Economics)
Professional Work Experience: one year in start up consulting company in Dubai as Business Analyst\Team lead for few small projects
Post Masters: 3 YRS Analyst-Associate (one promotion) at Mid Size consulting firm (Economic Consulting) in Toronto

Part time Work Experience: During UnderGrad PT Financial Assistant at University Dept, Research Assistant at Econ University Dept., Summer Analyst at Indian Transportation firm, Summer Analyst at Deloitte Saudi Arabia, during Masters TA for Econ Course, summer internship at government agency
GMAT:720 on practice tests, aiming for 750 (might be a stretch)
ECs: very involved in undergrad and grad (everything from student government, student center finance committee, Club VP etc). currently volunteering weekly at community center - mentoring children, running activities etc. Interests are foods blogs, fitness etc.

I might want to focus (in my essays) on my background (no money, came to Canada at 17 with no financial\parental support, attended large university with no guidance). Epiphany I had the year after graduation really put me on track in life. I realized that during my undergrad and the horrible experience I had I had not one single ambition or dream. Post undergrad became very very determined and ambition.

Post MBA aspirations:

Would love to work on management consulting or in Corporate Strategy at a large MNC for 5-10 years before I start my own company.

Strengths: Good GMAT Score and Masters GPA. Lots of PT work as well ECs. Worked in India, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Canada?? Maybe Strength.
Weakness: 4 Years of Total work experience and only one promotion at current place (in my three yrs here)

Given all this could you help me figure out a list of stretches, sweet spots and back ups. I'm open to moving to the States or Europe.
At this point I'm open to suggestions. Ofcourse I would like to aim for the best but I'm realistic at the same time.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Testing waters - profile evalutation [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2011, 18:42
Expert's post
Hi testingwaters:

I do think that a top 10 program is definitely a potential for you. I think the top three or four programs in the United States or the "states" as the rest of the world calls us, may be a little bit of a reach. of course, this all depends on your GMAT score. I know you are scoring well on the practice tests, but please take a few of them, as all GMAT practice tests are not created alike. Trust me on this one, I have created some myself as part of a larger project.

I think your undergraduate academic experience is the biggest X factor here. If you show grade progression, that is a bonus. However, if you have a number of failing grades, you are going to want to describe why in the optional essay for each program you are applying to. Regardless, you have to keep in mind that most of the people you are competing against (those who are in fact competitive) will not have this blemish on their academic record. So you better come to the table with a story about how you may have had to work or that you had financial difficulties during your undergraduate academic career. Do not come to the table with a story based in your immaturity at the time. You will not win any points that way with the admissions committee reader.

The other thing you have to consider is your Masters in business economics. This degree, at face value, can be considered very similar to an MBA degree. You are going to need to explain why you gained that specific degree and why you want to go back and get an MBA. I will give you a hint -- it involves gaining a more holistic business management perspective, beyond just economic theory which is more silo and myopic (if you can believe that).

Your "Coming to Canada" story may play well. Of course, it could always have the opposite effect. Stories that evoke strong emotion can swing both ways with the reader. You may think that you are telling a very touching story, but the admissions committee reader may think that you are gratuitous or -- even worse -- lying. You have to walk a fine line with these types of stories -- especially if the school in question really does not care. Stanford will straight up ask you for a answer like you can provide. Harvard and Wharton, they really could care less. They just want to know how you have demonstrated leadership and executed. I believe that this is changing at these two schools, but you still need to be aware of your arguments and audience.

What really separates the rock stars from the groupies is the nature of your extracurricular activities. How meaningful are they to you? Is there a certain cultural or personal connection to your constituency? Is there something that you may have seen when you were younger that motivates this specific performance at the community center? If the answer is more no than yes, then you may have a problem with your volunteer experience. Specifically, it could look like you just volunteering not really developing and leadership qualities from it, but also not really being in a role to impact those around you are a large scale. This is in no way to diminish your efforts, it is just that when you consider who you are applying with, the other applicants may have more significant volunteer experience.

your international experiences -- both personal and professional are really good. remember, it is not about where you have been, but what you learned from it with respect to empathy and diversity.

I would throw your hat in the ring with Stanford. This needs to be an international female perspective that is uniquely your own when you construct your essays. I am sure that growing up where you have in working where you have has allowed you to contrast and compare societies, people and culture. Stanford will love that kind of story. Also with the first essay, you get to pour your heart out with respect to arriving in Canada with nothing. Walk that fine line and do not get too bleeding heart.

I also think that you may do well at Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke and Ross. All these programs do well internationally, all have access to large multinationals and top consulting companies. In particular, Dartmouth, Duke and Ross have to work a little harder to attract international students -- because of their location. I think there is opportunity there. I also think that if you get a pretty good GMAT score, you will not really have an issue getting into these programs.

Of course, I believe that I can help you with crafting a story. I believe that we should sit down and speak for about an hour regarding your background. If you would like to do this, please let me know.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
_________________


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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 8
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1

Re: Testing waters - profile evalutation [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2011, 19:32
PaulLanzillotti wrote:
Hi testingwaters:

I do think that a top 10 program is definitely a potential for you. I think the top three or four programs in the United States or the "states" as the rest of the world calls us, may be a little bit of a reach. of course, this all depends on your GMAT score. I know you are scoring well on the practice tests, but please take a few of them, as all GMAT practice tests are not created alike. Trust me on this one, I have created some myself as part of a larger project.

I think your undergraduate academic experience is the biggest X factor here. If you show grade progression, that is a bonus. However, if you have a number of failing grades, you are going to want to describe why in the optional essay for each program you are applying to. Regardless, you have to keep in mind that most of the people you are competing against (those who are in fact competitive) will not have this blemish on their academic record. So you better come to the table with a story about how you may have had to work or that you had financial difficulties during your undergraduate academic career. Do not come to the table with a story based in your immaturity at the time. You will not win any points that way with the admissions committee reader.

The other thing you have to consider is your Masters in business economics. This degree, at face value, can be considered very similar to an MBA degree. You are going to need to explain why you gained that specific degree and why you want to go back and get an MBA. I will give you a hint -- it involves gaining a more holistic business management perspective, beyond just economic theory which is more silo and myopic (if you can believe that).

Your "Coming to Canada" story may play well. Of course, it could always have the opposite effect. Stories that evoke strong emotion can swing both ways with the reader. You may think that you are telling a very touching story, but the admissions committee reader may think that you are gratuitous or -- even worse -- lying. You have to walk a fine line with these types of stories -- especially if the school in question really does not care. Stanford will straight up ask you for a answer like you can provide. Harvard and Wharton, they really could care less. They just want to know how you have demonstrated leadership and executed. I believe that this is changing at these two schools, but you still need to be aware of your arguments and audience.

What really separates the rock stars from the groupies is the nature of your extracurricular activities. How meaningful are they to you? Is there a certain cultural or personal connection to your constituency? Is there something that you may have seen when you were younger that motivates this specific performance at the community center? If the answer is more no than yes, then you may have a problem with your volunteer experience. Specifically, it could look like you just volunteering not really developing and leadership qualities from it, but also not really being in a role to impact those around you are a large scale. This is in no way to diminish your efforts, it is just that when you consider who you are applying with, the other applicants may have more significant volunteer experience.

your international experiences -- both personal and professional are really good. remember, it is not about where you have been, but what you learned from it with respect to empathy and diversity.

I would throw your hat in the ring with Stanford. This needs to be an international female perspective that is uniquely your own when you construct your essays. I am sure that growing up where you have in working where you have has allowed you to contrast and compare societies, people and culture. Stanford will love that kind of story. Also with the first essay, you get to pour your heart out with respect to arriving in Canada with nothing. Walk that fine line and do not get too bleeding heart.

I also think that you may do well at Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke and Ross. All these programs do well internationally, all have access to large multinationals and top consulting companies. In particular, Dartmouth, Duke and Ross have to work a little harder to attract international students -- because of their location. I think there is opportunity there. I also think that if you get a pretty good GMAT score, you will not really have an issue getting into these programs.

Of course, I believe that I can help you with crafting a story. I believe that we should sit down and speak for about an hour regarding your background. If you would like to do this, please let me know.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti


Thanks for all the feedback. I am planning to get in touch with a consultant but not for 1-2 monthm. I am busy at the moment with some personal matters. I'd like to elaborate further about myself to give you a better idea of where I stand.

My GPA... It has a slight upward... fact of the matter was... I didn't know what to study, and at Utoronto they make it hard for one to switch majors.. so once I was in accounting.. I was in accounting... which I hated... my marks in my 2nd major economics were stellar.. that's why my decision to do a masters in business economics...

My Grad school... it was essentially an economics degree with a focus on business\practical application... micro... macro.. econometrics.. some econ electives and a research paper... Should it be a big concern of mine that it will be perceived as too similar to an MBA? Personally they seem vastly different.
Why I did it? I didn't want to into the job market with a mediocre GPA. It was not representative of me. I was not only able to do very with in my Grad Program but also get a pretty decent job and an excellent summer internship during the 12 month program. Also I felt i didn't "learn" anything in undergrad. Because of my interest in economics and relatively high marks I was interested in economics consulting.. for which at least in Canada I would need a Masters Degree..

ECs... I take part in one organization... and have been doing so for several years... I do so because I like working with children - mentoring and helping them.. in part because they remind me of myself when I was younger and needed help...

Would this added information make my situation appear a bit better?
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Re: Testing waters - profile evalutation [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2011, 23:52
Expert's post
now this is good information. This is the story behind the story behind the story. What you just wrote is excellent justification or rationale for why your undergraduate performance maybe lower than the average. While it is up to an admissions committee to accept or reject your reasoning, you are putting your best foot forward with the story.

With respect to your graduate degree, this is even more evidence that you found something you are passionate about and fully embraced it. What you just articulated to me is also something that you are going to need to lay out. Again I think that an admissions committee will absolutely view your Masters degree as some subset of an MBA degree, but we just need to be sure in my opinion. A simple explanation of two or three sentences should suffice in the application.

based on this enhanced information that you have provided, you do seem to be a very attractive candidate or at least have the beginnings of one. It is just up to you to nailed the GMAT and put together a great essays. Of course I can help you with the essays, but only when you are ready. I do not hard sell how you feel like it is the right time and it is the right decision.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti

testingwaters wrote:
PaulLanzillotti wrote:
Hi testingwaters:

I do think that a top 10 program is definitely a potential for you. I think the top three or four programs in the United States or the "states" as the rest of the world calls us, may be a little bit of a reach. of course, this all depends on your GMAT score. I know you are scoring well on the practice tests, but please take a few of them, as all GMAT practice tests are not created alike. Trust me on this one, I have created some myself as part of a larger project.

I think your undergraduate academic experience is the biggest X factor here. If you show grade progression, that is a bonus. However, if you have a number of failing grades, you are going to want to describe why in the optional essay for each program you are applying to. Regardless, you have to keep in mind that most of the people you are competing against (those who are in fact competitive) will not have this blemish on their academic record. So you better come to the table with a story about how you may have had to work or that you had financial difficulties during your undergraduate academic career. Do not come to the table with a story based in your immaturity at the time. You will not win any points that way with the admissions committee reader.

The other thing you have to consider is your Masters in business economics. This degree, at face value, can be considered very similar to an MBA degree. You are going to need to explain why you gained that specific degree and why you want to go back and get an MBA. I will give you a hint -- it involves gaining a more holistic business management perspective, beyond just economic theory which is more silo and myopic (if you can believe that).

Your "Coming to Canada" story may play well. Of course, it could always have the opposite effect. Stories that evoke strong emotion can swing both ways with the reader. You may think that you are telling a very touching story, but the admissions committee reader may think that you are gratuitous or -- even worse -- lying. You have to walk a fine line with these types of stories -- especially if the school in question really does not care. Stanford will straight up ask you for a answer like you can provide. Harvard and Wharton, they really could care less. They just want to know how you have demonstrated leadership and executed. I believe that this is changing at these two schools, but you still need to be aware of your arguments and audience.

What really separates the rock stars from the groupies is the nature of your extracurricular activities. How meaningful are they to you? Is there a certain cultural or personal connection to your constituency? Is there something that you may have seen when you were younger that motivates this specific performance at the community center? If the answer is more no than yes, then you may have a problem with your volunteer experience. Specifically, it could look like you just volunteering not really developing and leadership qualities from it, but also not really being in a role to impact those around you are a large scale. This is in no way to diminish your efforts, it is just that when you consider who you are applying with, the other applicants may have more significant volunteer experience.

your international experiences -- both personal and professional are really good. remember, it is not about where you have been, but what you learned from it with respect to empathy and diversity.

I would throw your hat in the ring with Stanford. This needs to be an international female perspective that is uniquely your own when you construct your essays. I am sure that growing up where you have in working where you have has allowed you to contrast and compare societies, people and culture. Stanford will love that kind of story. Also with the first essay, you get to pour your heart out with respect to arriving in Canada with nothing. Walk that fine line and do not get too bleeding heart.

I also think that you may do well at Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke and Ross. All these programs do well internationally, all have access to large multinationals and top consulting companies. In particular, Dartmouth, Duke and Ross have to work a little harder to attract international students -- because of their location. I think there is opportunity there. I also think that if you get a pretty good GMAT score, you will not really have an issue getting into these programs.

Of course, I believe that I can help you with crafting a story. I believe that we should sit down and speak for about an hour regarding your background. If you would like to do this, please let me know.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti


Thanks for all the feedback. I am planning to get in touch with a consultant but not for 1-2 monthm. I am busy at the moment with some personal matters. I'd like to elaborate further about myself to give you a better idea of where I stand.

My GPA... It has a slight upward... fact of the matter was... I didn't know what to study, and at Utoronto they make it hard for one to switch majors.. so once I was in accounting.. I was in accounting... which I hated... my marks in my 2nd major economics were stellar.. that's why my decision to do a masters in business economics...

My Grad school... it was essentially an economics degree with a focus on business\practical application... micro... macro.. econometrics.. some econ electives and a research paper... Should it be a big concern of mine that it will be perceived as too similar to an MBA? Personally they seem vastly different.
Why I did it? I didn't want to into the job market with a mediocre GPA. It was not representative of me. I was not only able to do very with in my Grad Program but also get a pretty decent job and an excellent summer internship during the 12 month program. Also I felt i didn't "learn" anything in undergrad. Because of my interest in economics and relatively high marks I was interested in economics consulting.. for which at least in Canada I would need a Masters Degree..

ECs... I take part in one organization... and have been doing so for several years... I do so because I like working with children - mentoring and helping them.. in part because they remind me of myself when I was younger and needed help...

Would this added information make my situation appear a bit better?

_________________


Paul Lanzillotti | Founder| About | mba@amerasiaconsulting.com | 877.866.9251

Schedule a Consultation | Twitter | Blog

Download "How To Apply" Guides | INSEAD | Columbia | Harvard | Wharton

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