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Too many questions for a 680

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Joined: 20 Jul 2004
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Too many questions for a 680 [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2004, 21:43
Hello guys,

Please see below my profile and the score. I have too many questions, probably due to my least exposure to the american education system, so please bear with me. Also, I have filled as much info as possible.

Profile:
26, Male, Indian, Single, Engineering Undergrad, IT Work

School:
(Not sure if any of these matter to an adcomm)
1. 10th grade - 1994 - 89% - Third in the class of 120. School topper in 3 subjects. 200/200 in maths. 150/200 in English. Anglo Indian board (known for their stress on English).
2. 12th grade - 1996 - 88% - 200/200 in maths. 160/200 in English.

Undergrad:
1. Instituition: NIT (Previously REC), Trichy, India (http://www.nitt.edu) - one of top 10 Engg. colleges in India
2. Degree: Bachelor in Engineering (Production Engineering, four years) - Production Engg is similar to Mechanical Engg with a high mix of Industrial and Management flavor.
3. Score: 83% - Scored second in a class of 45. around 20th rank in the batch of 450. One of my friend who did MS here told me that this translates to a 4.0 GPA.
4. Special subjects: Had a lot of courses that an adcom might be interested - Maths I and II (90% & 75%), Statistics (76%), Resource Mgt (92%), Industrial Economics and Mgt (71%), Value Engg (89%), Materials Mgt (88%), Prodcution mgt (96%), etc.
5. Additional Info: Got recruited in-campus during the third year by one of top IT MNC's in India. Was the class representative in the final year.

Work Exp:
1. With the same Indian consulting MNC for the last 4.5 years (1.5 years experience in the India branch, 4 years experience in US at client locations). Strength of the company: 15000 employees. I was promoted thrice in 4 years.
2. US Clients: Client1 = Premier Healthcare company in Seattle (4 months), Client2 = Technology service provider in Chicago/Denver (2 years), Client3 = Premier Healthcare company in LA (4 months)
3. Reco: Got a couple of good signed recommendation letters from the from the client2. Can get a solid reco from client3 too. Also, received a company wide 'Beyond the work' award in the second year.
4. Lead: During the India office tenure, lead a 10 member team for 8 months, before moving to a client location in US. Despite being a consultant, I was trusted to lead a team of four client guys in client2. I was also the manager and contact point on behalf of the client2 for its clients.
5. Recently. I won a project worth 1.2m single handedly from client3, which is out-of-league for generally tech guys of my age/work. I will be leading a team of 10 there.
6. Coordinated with onsite offshore model. Good consulting/client handling experience.

GMAT:
Overall: 680/800 (90 percentile)
Quants: 50/60 (95 percentile)
Verbal: 31/60 (65 percentile)
Essay: Expecting a 5.5-6

Additional measures:
1. Planning to write TOEFL in Dec, since I am a non-native english speaker.
2. Planning to write PMP certification (Project Mgt Professional), as a part of the company norm early next year.
3. Planning to gain some experience in teaching/other charity activities in client3.

Future expectation:
1. I am planning to apply for fall 2005 full time in US B Schools. Open to part time courses and Europe schools, if it increases the chances for admission and finance (scholarship).
2. Desired courses: Consulting, General Management, Project Management, Information Systems -- to be inline with my current experience.
3. Given my score and the competition from fellow indians, I think Harvard, Stanford and Wharton are distant reaches. Also considering my interests, I am looking at: Carnegie Mellon, Tuck, Duke, Emory, etc.

Questions:
1. GMAT: I can see the off-balance in Quants and verbal in the score. Considering I get a 6 in essays and a good score in TOEFL, would this still threaten the chances of admission? Are 680/800 and 65% verbal really bad scores? Do you recommend me to retake the exam? I am confident of improving the verbal, but am concerned about the consequence if the Quants score drops to 85% next time. In that case, would the adcoms consider the latest scores or the best scores? Is there a preference to the way the individual scores are considered - like overall, then Quants, then Verbal ;), and then essays score? Would my client experience (presentations skill and special mention in the recos) justify that verbal defieciency?
2. Reco: Should I try and get in touch with my NIT professors to get a reco, now. I am sure one of them would do that for me. Also, is a reco for the indian 1.5 years experience recommended?
3. Schools: Which colleges do you think are stretch, competetive and safety - to my current score and interest? Are Kellog, Chicago, Sloan, Michigan and alike out of reach too? Is there any school that you would suggest for good scholarship programs?
4. Finance: How do non-residents manage the finance? If I decide to go full time, I would loose my job and current salary. I understand some of the top colleges cost from 60-100K for two years. In the worst case when one doesn't get any scholarship, how many years does he normally take to pay back the finance loan?
5. Scholarship: I understand most schools consider all the applicants for scholarships. Is there anything I can do to enahnce the chances of getting a college scholarship? Also, is there any private scholarships (I've heard of Rhodes') that I can try my hands at?
6. Sponsorship: Historically, the MNC that I work with sponsors MS programs for employees, since it considers this a career advancement. It has not yet seen a case requesting an MBA sponsorship. But, I am planning to make a request to the directors and VPs that I work with, asking them to sponsor my MBA and in return I would come back and work with the company for n (say 3 or 5) more years after graduation. Would this work and have you heard of such cases? Also, when is the best time to make such a request?

Thanks for reading till this line :) and for your replies. Sorry again for the long post, but I wanted to be clear. :)

Thanks,
Hardworker

Last edited by hardworker_indian on 16 Oct 2004, 09:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Expert Post
Veritas Prep Representative
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Joined: 22 Apr 2004
Posts: 1104
Location: Southern California
Schools: Kellogg MBA 2004
Followers: 37

Kudos [?]: 209 [0], given: 50

 [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2004, 12:03
Expert's post
Wow, it's kind of hard to respond to your message because it's so long! But I will try to cover them briefly:

1) A 680 is not bad for the GMAT. It won't keep you out of any school. I don't think that you really need to take it again. However, if you do, schools ten to look at your best scores, not your most recent ones.

2) A few schools specifically look for academic recommendations, but most do not. I think a good work-related one is worth a lot more than an academic one. Whether the reco is about your U.S. or Indian experience should simply depend on where you can get the best reco from.

3) I do not think that any of those schools is too much of a reach for you. Note that I'm not saying that you'll certainly get in, just that I think your chances are good enough at each of those schools that you should consider applying. For schools with good (i.e., big) scholarship programs, look at something like Vanderbilt or UNC or U. Texas.

4) Loans are always very tough for international students in the U.S. I don't have a lot of guidance for you here, but know that it takes some students (U.S. or otherwise) decades to pay back their loans! Yup, it's a big commitment. Don't expect to be able to work while in school. You'll be too busy.

5) Most scholarships are handed out by the individual schools. Frankly, the best way to maximize your chances of getting a scholarship is by putting together a really compelling application. Contact the individual schools to ask about any special programs that they have (for instance, Chicago gives a handful of students a full scholarship each year), but they'll probably just tell you that they'll contact you if they pick you, and leave it at that.

6) I would make this request now. I know a lot of companies (esp. in consulting) sponsor their students with the understanding that they will return to work for at least a few more years. The key will be to convince your employer that you'll actually come back and that you'll be more valuable to them as an MBA. In the case of consulting firms, their MBAs are clearly more valuable because they can bill clients more for their time. How will you be more valuable to your company with an MBA? You'll need to answer this question for them.

Good luck,
Scott
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Scott

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Too many questions for a 680

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