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Top tier shot/Profile evaluation

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Joined: 06 May 2010
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Top tier shot/Profile evaluation [#permalink] New post 07 May 2010, 05:54
My approach to my ECs is quality not quantity, will this hurt me? I really think its stupid when people do things JUST to put them on their resume. I plan to apply to the top tier schools and intend to start my MBA in the Fall of 2013. Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

Do I have a good shot at a top tier? I plan on building my resume and EC in the next couple of years.

Education:
Masters: Some credits completed for Engineering Management, 1 dropped class, 3.67 GPA. Leaning towards not finishing the degree because I don't want to take the engineering route in my career and also due to financial reasons.

Bachelors: Computer Engineering, 2009 3.38 GPA at regionally known engineering school

GMAT: TBD, shooting for 700+

Extracurriculars:
President and founding member of IEEE Chapter during college, ~200 members of which ~20-50 showed up for events. During my tenure, I helped shape the Electrical and Computer Engineering curriculum for today's job market by networking with a certain company that will need a specialized and in demand skill set. They ended up sending one of their employees to teach a night class at my suggestion.

Youth group leader at an inner city church since 2008. Involved with church around ~23 hours a month total. I mentor and counsel around 23 teens academically and spiritually. I've had to try to convince teenagers that they don't have to join the military to pay for college.

I also do things like help clergy with immigration concerns and act as an intermediary for them with lawyers.

Medical missions trip next year in a far off land

Work Experience:
Current Industry: Energy

Post Bachelors: I worked in the financial industry doing IT project management for 9 months, and then switched into the energy industry where I now do engineering economics type of work.

Pre Bachelors: Participated in the co-op program at my school where I worked in 5 full time, 4-5 month engineering and IT jobs
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MBA Admissions Consulting
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Re: Top tier shot/Profile evaluation [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 21:07
Expert's post
Hi nrgmba:
You have the right approach with quality over quantity. If you boil the ocean the best you will get is a lukewarm bath. This is not going to hurt you especially given the depth of your IEEE leadership. If you spread yourself too thin, an admissions committee will assume a few things: first that you may not have clear idea of where you fit in, second, you may be padding the ole resume in preparation for business school and third, that you may not understand what it really means to have a meaningful impact on those you are responsible for leading (and thus shirk responsibility by merely being a member of a team.)

Before I can give a fair assessment of your chances at a top tier MBA program, I have a few questions.
With respect to your IEEE activities at the undergrad level, have you been continuing this type of professional community and leadership activity (now that you have graduated)? Continuity is going to be key and I am not sure if by your first comment (and graduate classes) if you have not managed to continue in this vein.

I was an UCLA Anderson admissions interviewer and I can tell you that now that you are out in the "real world", you have about 60 to 70 hours of "burn time" per week. Above all, it's a sliding scale with respect to balancing your in and out of work leadership responsibilities. So if you are burning the midnight oil at work, then you get a break on significant leadership out of the office. However, you best believe that the admissions committee is going to be looking for you to turn it up with a few different leadership roles at work. If you are "8 and skate" then you want to make sure that you are finding another leadership activity out of the office to fill that void from 40 to 60+ hour per week.

If there is a burn time gap, my opinion is that you should get out there any find an activity that mixes professional and personal leadership beliefs. For example, re-engage your IEEE activities at a local chapter and make sure you get involved with mentoring. Rekindle that virtuous circle and pay it forward so that you look like you can handle an intense work load and give back to the industry in a meaningful way.

A few more points - "Do you have shot?" Basically, this is going to depend (above all) on your GMAT score and demographics. If you crush the GMAT, you look prettier and prettier for everyone point above the school's mean. Remember that you are going to roll with a pretty smart applicant sub-group (engineers), you will be competing against them, so aim high. Once you get your score, compare it against the mean and you will have answered your own question.

If you hit the e-stop on the graduate engineering degree (and I think this is a wise choice given the ROI on a masters in engineering), you need to think about how you are going to frame this. A lot of engineers take CEUs (I have a BSME) and I know that many take them to improve their expertise in a certain area like mat sci or properties of polymers (for example). How many credits are in? Would you be able to explain this away as building your subject matter expertise than pulling the rip cord? I can provide some pointers offline.

I hope the above helps. If you have more questions, please PM me and I can provide more specific and very direct guidance. As always, if you would like to dial into a conf call for an hour or so, I am always available to help you plot the course over the next couple of years.

Thanks,
Paul
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Re: Top tier shot/Profile evaluation   [#permalink] 10 May 2010, 21:07
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