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Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

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Re: Building a profile for business school [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2011, 08:39
As always, good writing and a good read.
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2011, 17:27
Hey guys, I just took the GMAT today with low expectations (scored 540-650 on practice tests) and was studying sporadically with a hectic work schedule, crammed this past long weekend, and was absolutely shell shocked when I got a 720! (Q47 V42). Lady luck was seriously on my side today. Thanks again for the tips,I 'm getting more excited that perhaps applying to some of these schools may be a reality for me.
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2011, 11:19
That is awesome!!! Congratulations!!!
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Re: Building a profile for business school [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2011, 18:41
**** it, this is who I am, take me or leave me.

One of the best posts I have seen in GC.
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2011, 20:47
Thank you Alex!

I have a follow-up question because I've been reading up on various forums and have seen several posts about having a balanced quant and verbal subscore that made me question if I was prematurely happy. A Q47 translates to the 76th percentile and a V42 translates to a 95th percentile.
I think the Q47 used to be above the 80th percentile a few years ago, but the group average has since risen.

Should I be concerned with this percentile on the Quant? Some of the schools I want to apply to i.e. Haas has explicitly stated that they focus on the quant sub-score.

I majored in finance and so took 'quant'-ish courses in undergrad and got B's, not great but not horrible either.

Your insights would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Lath
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2011, 14:42
I wouldn't worry too much. It's not like your quant is way off (i.e in the 60s or low 70s), and like you said you have an analytical background so it should be fine.
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Re: Profile evaluation request [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2011, 16:16
It's good to have your opinion. Thank you Alex! :-)
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Profile eval - Female, IT Sales/Marketing, GMAT 750 [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2011, 23:56
Dear MBA Apply consultants,

I would be really grateful if you could evaluate my profile, knowing how busy you are helping candidates to get into the top MBA programs.

I'll start by saying that I consider myself to be quite a strong candidate, however I need help identifying potential weaknesses that the adcoms of the universities I'm applying to could point out. Also it would be great if you could generally assess my chances of getting into my chosen schools and briefly summarize what could be the best marketing self-positioning strategy I could apply.

I am a Russian female of 26 (27-28 at matriculation) with 4.5 (5.5-6 at matriculation) years of professional experience at global IT companies in sales/marketing roles.
Career highlights: I was hired from university by Microsoft from a pool of over 500 candidates (as part of the MACH graduate program) for an Account Manager role. At program end I transitioned to another Fortune 100 software company in the role of Channel Account Manager, and I am currenty employed by a Fortune 500 security company as a Channel Manager responsible for the whole Russia & CIS territory. During my employment I have managed people, have done cross continent projects (e.g., launched an Online Software Store in Russia, which implied close collaboration eith the US HQ). With every new employer, I contributed with a solid and demostrated revenue increase, which lead to roles suggesting high-level responsibilities.

My GMAT is 750 98% Q48 (80%) V 44 (98%), AWA 5.5.

I graduated in 2006 from a top 3 Russian university - Lomonosov Moscow State University with a Major in West-European Laguages and Literatures - Magna cum Laude (GPA 3.9/4.0). Two years after graduation I obtained a diploma in HR management (became a manager and needed more knowledge on selecting, training and motivating employees) - Summa cum Laude (GPA 4.0/4.0).

I have Russian & Italian citizenships (lived in Italy in my teens) and speak three languages professionally: Russian, English and Italian. I also have conversational ability in Spanish and French.

As you probably know, community service isn't as popular among the youth in the Eastern Europe (as are similar things in the US), however, I have been an active member of a Russian charity organization helping sick children and homeless animals. I am also a member of Greenpeace and WWF.

My target programs are:
Stanford
MIT Sloan
Berkeley Haas
IMD
INSEAD

My post-MBA goal is to stay in the IT industry, but grow to a technology managing role with a broader scope (managing sales in a region like the Emerging Markets, EMEA). I am also considering IT consulting as another option.

My profile strengths as I see them:
Competitive background (limited applicant pool - IT but not Engineering)
Female with excellent academics (though this isn't probably THAT rare :) )
Higher than average GMAT
Fast career progression that shows leadership potential (transition to managerial position very young)
Solid international experience

My possible profile weaknesses:
Lack of quantitative sublects in my undergrad (though I think I have demonstrated my msthematical ability at the GMAT, I will probably need to write an optional essay explaining that I'm studying calculus, accounting basics and economics with well-known books like Mankiw's, J. Utts' and others)
... anything else? :?

Looikng forward for a reply and thanks a lot for soing this for all the MBA hopefuls!

Sincerely,
Olga
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Re: New Web Series: INTERVIEW DON'Ts [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2011, 01:30
Ah if many candidates were like this it would be so much easier to get into a top MBA program =).
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Re: Profile eval - Female, IT Sales/Marketing, GMAT 750 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2011, 12:59
Honestly I think you have a very good handle on where you stand, so at this point it's just a matter of focusing on the written applications. You have a strong profile (you have managerial/supervisory experience), so all the schools you listed are within range (of course some schools like Stanford are hard to get into, but you have enough of a chance that it's at least worth applying). As for quant background, what you mentioned should be fine - your high GMAT certainly helps, and what you intend to mention in the optional is fine.
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Re: Profile eval - Female, IT Sales/Marketing, GMAT 750 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2011, 13:15
Thanks Alex!

This sounds quite promising, I'll do my best =)
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Re: Building a profile for business school [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2011, 23:49
a good confidence boosting and realistic post. grt alex!
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2011, 09:40
Wanted to bump this to get an updated evaluation. I am planning not planning on applying until Fall 2012 and matriculating in Fall 2013 with 4 years experience. I am looking for general advice on things I should be working on in the meantime.

Chinese American, Age 23
GPA: 3.07, BS. Chem. Engr., Top 10 University (US News), Graduated in 3 years, ~3.5-3.6 including hours earned prior to matriculation at university (40% of my credit hours)
GMAT: 740
Work Experience: Have now worked just over 3 years as a chemical engineer including doing 3 plant startups in the US, China, and Jordan as well as some technical design experience. I've had experience leading teams of ~50 people, and am currently leading an international team spanning 3 continents. I have been an active participant in international JV negotiations and generated the project economics for said JV. This company is not a Fortune 500 company, but has provided me with significant opportunities that I wouldn't have gotten elsewhere (or at least that's my spin on it). I've spent just over 1/3 of my time with this company overseas on various assignments.
E/C's: Pretty minimal. Founding member of the first green tech club within our corporation. Various volunteering through the corporation, but limited due to amount of travel.

As a side project, I started my own company and developed a social gaming web site for China aimed at integrating with Chinese social media. Unfortunately, the market has evaporated (NBA) almost overnight. This project has lasted ~9 months, and I've averaged ~15 hours a week on said project for the duration.

My goal is to work in the venture capital industry long term, specifically in hightech/greentech. I understand that this is a very difficult industry to break into, even for traditional applicants like iBankers. Thus, it's crucial for me to get into a top name MBA and secure a relevant internship. If I'm unsuccessful at that, I'll go the iBanking route and try to transition in that way.

Goal schools are: H/S/W, Sloan, Haas, as these are the only schools I've seen with appreciable numbers of students with employment in PE/VC following graduation. I'm also still partial to dual degree programs with Masters of International Studies (Lauder/Haas).

Thanks again for your time!
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Re: Profile Evaluation Request [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2011, 13:18
Not sure what else you want me to tell you other than:

Do the best you can on the written applications and interviews.

You seem dead set on applying to these schools, so that's about all anyone can tell you. You are you who are, you can't change who you are overnight, so all you can do is put your best foot forward by showcasing what you've done with your career so far in the applications.
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Profile Evaluation - Stanford and HBS [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2011, 04:08
Hello,

I was wondering if an admissions consultant could do a profile evaluation for me for Stanford and HBS. My main concern is age, as I am 29 at time of application and will be 30 by the time I would begin the program. I've recently been discouraged by quite a few searches on age at these schools, especially after seeing a distribution of HBS age for its class of 2010.

My stats:
BSE Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor - 3.85GPA
MSE Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor - 8.50/9.00 GPA
GMAT: 750 (Q49, V42)
Age: 29
Sex: Male
Race: Caucasian

Work experience at time of enrollment would be a little over 7 years
Worked at an International company doing a leadership development program, including a rotation in Italy - 1.5 years
Spanned Lean Manufacturing, RD and Supply Chain roles
Latest full time was with start-up biotech firm - 5 years
Hired as engineer
Promoted after 9 months to Engineering Lead
Promoted after another 14 months to Engineering Manager
- Solid experience building teams, departments, systems (built group consisting of 9 direct/indirect reports)
- Strong examples of influence/collaboration
Recently left position to pursue early stage start-up work as entrepreneurship is my passion

Solid recommendations: Directors, Managers in the organization who recognized skills/abilities

Extracurricular: Few experiences in college as I focused a lot on studies/internships, same for grad school as I was an instructor.

Essays: No earth shattering story, but very focused on entrepreneurial passion, with solid responses, with examples, for their questions.

Long story short, my concerns are mainly surrounding my age and level of experience being pretty high for their normal standards.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Stanford and HBS [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2011, 10:20
You're right, age will be an issue. However, that is completely out of your control; it is what it is.

If you're dead set on applying to HBS and Stanford, just do the best you can on the applications, and make sure you are applying to other schools.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of b-schools out there that will likely get you what you want in terms of recruiting, quality of people, the experience itself, etc. I think too many applicants make way too much out of going to certain schools as if it's somehow night and day.

The reality is, within the top 16 schools the student body, recruiting, quality of education, etc. share way more in common than applicants like to make it out to be. And especially within the top 8, there really is no difference other than to one's ego. The fact is, most b-school folks coming out of these schools all end up in similar places in their careers, and all have very similar experiences within their b-schools. When you get out, there will be HBS alums working for Fuqua alums who will be working for college grads with no MBAs.

I know some of these b-schools give applicants a real hard on, but I would encourage you to also look at other schools if your ego can handle it. Apply to H/S but know that it's not going to make much of a difference in your life compared to going to Columbia, Kellogg, Sloan, etc. or even schools like NYU, Duke, Ross, etc.

Applicants care most about school prestige - almost obsessively so. Current MBA students care less because they are so busy and focused on making most of their experience. Recent grads and recruiters care even less because they are more focused on what's ahead (job). And once you're out of school 6+ years out, no one cares at all - to alums, the MBA has nostalgia but not career value. To your colleagues, partners, etc. by then they only care about what you've done in your career since b-school.

If schools like HBS and Stanford strongly prefer younger candidates, then just accept that -- there are plenty of other schools out there that will likely be a better fit for you anyways.

The hottest girl in the class doesn't always make the best girlfriend.
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Profile Evaluation? - F/32/8yrs we in finance/700/3.60 [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2011, 22:24
Alex - I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on my chances.

1) 8 years - 4yrs investment banking at bulge bracket (promoted to Assoc.), 2 years PE, 2 years HF - all on the investment side
2) 700 97% verbal 67% quant (taken once, 4 years ago, my quant score is low but i had As in finance and accounting classes during school, plus I've passed all 3 levels of CFA - hopefully it's really not worth retaking?)
3) Ivy league undergraduate business school. GPA 3.60 Grad. 2001.
4) Local leadership positions with environmental non-profit post college, lots during college
5) focus is really on INSEAD, LSB but welcome any other suggestions
6) post-mba goal is corporate development/strategy at multinational company in western Europe.

My concerns are that I don't have international work exposure, only extensive int'l travel (just got back from 15 months of traveling aboard, which also means that I'm not currently working). And my age, I am currently 32. Also female, asian-american.

Worth applying for September 2012?
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Re: Profile Evaluation? - F/32/8yrs we in finance/700/3.60 [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2011, 06:44
Quote:
3) Ivy league undergraduate business school.

How'd you like Wharton? :)
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Re: Profile Evaluation? - F/32/8yrs we in finance/700/3.60 [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2011, 08:03
hello212 wrote:
Quote:
3) Ivy league undergraduate business school.

How'd you like Wharton? :)


yeah gave it away too much huh? Wharton was fine. It was a long time ago
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Re: Profile Evaluation? - F/32/8yrs we in finance/700/3.60 [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2011, 17:08
Thanks for the frank response. I definitely vacillate between being excited to get a MBA and wondering if it's worth the money and effort.
Re: Profile Evaluation? - F/32/8yrs we in finance/700/3.60   [#permalink] 21 Oct 2011, 17:08
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