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Value of Research Papers, Local work vs Internships abroad?

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Value of Research Papers, Local work vs Internships abroad? [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2011, 07:49
Hello :)

As a prospective applicant to the HBS 2+2 program, I was wondering how much value research papers (conference proceedings and journal publications) hold in one's application. I have an IEEE International Conference proceedings publication (First Author) and an IRNet (InterScience Research Network) journal publication (Second Author). Will these research initiatives strengthen my application? They are well aligned with my career goals, and have been developed as part of a 20-member project I head.

Also, I am aware that summer internships and activities make one's MBA application stronger (particularly if one is a college senior). Does the location of one's internship matter? Currently, I am working with a non-profit transportation organization in my city (in India), which clearly aligns with my career goals. However, I have received an internship offer to work with a high profile firm abroad (China). Although taking up the offer will add credibility to my work-ex, it does not align directly with my career. Will the MBA AdCom value abroad internships with big names more than involved work in a local scale? (Being a college senior, I am applying only to the HBS 2+2, and for a deferred admission to GSB, Stanford)

The other sections of my applications - ECs, Leadership, GPA (9.39/10), GRE (1560, 4.5 AWA), Awards etc. are pretty much in place. I need to sort this out as my deadlines draw near. Once this is settled, I can focus on my essays and recommendations.

Any guidance will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Value of Research Papers, Local work vs Internships abroad? [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2011, 16:28
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Couple of thoughts

1) don't tell stanford you are applying to Harvard and vice versa--these schools are polar opposites in culture and generally applicants apply to one or the other, not both. Applying to both could communicate immaturity and lack of due dilligence.

2) yes your papers can make a good impression. With the 2+2 program, applicants are obviously coming without post-BAC WE, so having achieved publication as an undergrad is impressive and should be included.

3) As for the China internship, you are on the right track to identify that there may be a problem if it does not align with your goals. 2+2 applicants tend to be ahead of the pack in maturity and career focus, which is partly why they are given a shot without the typical track record in the professional world. Far better to keep your passions laser focused to create a story which weaves a theme and demonstrates achievement and commitment.
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