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This year or Next ? [#permalink] New post 17 May 2011, 07:58
Hi,

I am a 25 years old Indian male.

I am under the dilemma of whether my profile is strong enough for Ivy Leagues this year or should I wait for a year more, move to a Tier 1 Private Equity / VC firm, make my profile stronger and apply next year. Just to note here, I would love to go for MBA as soon as possible.

My GMAT score is 750.
GPA:3.2/4

Here is my story in short:

Wanted to become a fighter pilot with Indian Air-force, and qualified for an officer position (This is one of the most grueling interviews in India for testing leadership, spanned out over a 10 day period, and only 0.3% of 0.1Mn of all applicants get through).

Could not qualify the health examination due to a weak eyesight.

Disappointed but not discouraged, started preparing for engineering entrances in India and qualified joint entrance for IITs, again only less than 1% candidates get through out of more than 0.3Mn

I consider myself unique in the respect that I have proved both my analytical ability and leadership skills through these structured entrance examinations and interview procedures, considered to be among the toughest to crack.

Further, I completed my under graduation from IIT Kharagpur.

Work experience: 2 years completed; Spent 1 year at a Bulge Bracket Investment Bank's analytics office and currently working with one of India's leading investment banks in a front end role (have completed multiple deals here).

Leadership experience: Captain, Athletics and Field Hockey teams of my undergrad school; leading the teams to various victories.
Organizing experience: Secretary, Student body - Introduced many new events and advertising campaigns.

I am also associated with a renowned NGO, where I am developing and teaching a self learning course (conceptualized by myself)

I would be grateful if you could give me an indication on whether I should apply this year or next, by which time I would have hopefully moved to a good Private Equity / VC firm.

Thanks a Lot for your help
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Re: This year or Next ? [#permalink] New post 17 May 2011, 13:50
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Hey zing122:

Thanks for reaching out to me. This is definitely an interesting question.

First, I would start off by examining the probability that you would in fact be able to gain a position at a reputable private equity or venture capital firm.

Second, I would examine the effects that leaving your current position would have on the rest of your colleagues and recommenders at the investment bank. Would leaving your current position jeopardize an excellent recommendation that you would have received otherwise?

Third, I would try and determine the probability that you would come up to speed quickly enough in the new venture capital or private equity firm to be able to garner the appropriate recommendations. How will it be perceived if you were to announce to your boss at your new firm that you were planning on leaving only shortly after arriving? I can tell you right now that I probably will not be received well.

So what you are risking by waiting another year and taking a new position, is burning bridges at your former employer and with your new employer. The worst-case scenarios that could turn out to be a lose-lose. I think that there is a pretty good probability of this happening as well. I know with a high degree of certainty that your new employer will probably be turned off. Failure to get a recommendation from your most current work experience is definitely a red flag with admissions committees. In fact, a lot of schools ask you to provide explanatory text around why you did not ask your current supervisor. You can put forth any story you would like, but when the admissions committee sees that you have only been there a year or so, they will know the story is. Remember that business school is as much about learning in the classroom as it is about building relationships. If they think that you are a self-serving and bridge burning individual, it is a nail in the coffin.

TL:DR (too long, did not read) -- do not leave your job to transition to a new job this late in the game. Private equity and venture capital can be a short or long-term goal upon graduation from business school.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti
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