Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 19 Apr 2014, 09:04

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile evaluation - Older applicant [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 11:45
You have a misguided view of the exec and part-time programs. They will suit you much better for what you're after in terms of post-MBA goals (you're basically staying in the industry) as well as where you're at in your life.

Recruiters don't look down on exec or part-time programs. They are treated DIFFERENTLY.

Full-time programs are designed for folks who are early in their careers (a few years out of college). And recruiters are looking for these kinds of folks to fill mostly junior level positions (not quite entry level, but it's not mid-career like where you are already right now).

Part-time and executive programs are designed for people like you: folks who are mid-career and looking to transition within their industry sector.

As for "networking opportunities" - it seems like too many applicants don't really think this thing through, and treat it as shorthand for some vague notion that all of a sudden by being in school they will have the golden key to unlock the doors to the magic kingdom, or at least they will all become part of some old boys network (modern version of it) where money and jobs are traded like baseball cards.

Think about it. If you go full-time, many of your classmates will be almost a decade younger than you, and with significantly less experience (professionally and personally) than you. They are a few years removed from doing keg stands in college, and you (my guess) are either married with kids, or at that stage where your friends/contacts are at that stage (and where keg stands seems like a distant memory to you, almost adolescent). You were in college when Netscape went public (and where your current MBA students may not even know what that is), when Clinton was President, when Friends and Seinfeld were still on at its peak, and when John Elway and Michael Jordan were still playing and winning championships. You were a young adult when the dot-com boom hit and crashed, whereas most of your future full-time MBA classmates were still in elementary school. You vividly remember a world before Facebook, iPhones, text messaging, tweets, cell phones, and pre-9/11 security and innocence. Your classmates can't really remember a world without any of these lifestyle things or values. What do these kids (to you) have to offer for you? And conversely, what do you have to offer to them? You're likely on different planes of existence and mindset.

I'm not trying to make you feel like a dinosaur :-) ,just to give you some perspective here.

Remember that "networking" basically means making friends in school. It's not "schmoozing" (because all talk is cheap). It's about relationships you build with people, and that trust is forged over time through working together on projects. Calling up some exec on the alumni database isn't really "networking" - it's just a form of cold calling where they won't hang up on you in 5 seconds or less. And you can do this whether you're a full-time or exec/part-time student -- either way, you're a stranger to the alumni on the other end of the phone (or text or email).

Again, in part-time and exec programs, you'll be around classmates that are closer to you in age, experience and maybe stage of life as well (regardless of whether they are single or married). Don't you think getting to know people like these are a better fit for you?
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile evaluation - Older applicant [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 11:56
One other thing:

With your profile, you should be competitive for part-time / exec programs like Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, Wharton and the executive programs at Harvard.

If you were to apply full-time, then you're looking at schools in the bottom half of the top 16 like Cornell, Yale, NYU, Duke, Darden, Ross, UCLA.

If you were looking purely for the brand on your resume, the part-time/exec is still better for you.
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

Intern
Intern
Joined: 19 May 2012
Posts: 3
Followers: 0

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

Re: Profile evaluation - Older applicant [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 19:14
Can't thank you enough for your input. I really needed some independent feedback. You've given me a lot to think about.

Thank you!
Intern
Intern
Joined: 08 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
Followers: 0

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

Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 09:42
Hi Alex,

Thank you very much for your feedback last time. My profile has changed quite significantly (thanks to your suggestion).

My main question now is whether to apply this fall/winter or next

Updated profile:

Schooling: MA/BSc in Math. Econ from UCLA. Graduated 2010 with both degrees
GPA: 3.65
GMAT: 770 AWA 5.5 (official score)

Worked at the Federal Reserve Board as a quant. oriented research assistant. Aug2010-April2012

Working at the McKinsey Global Institute as a research fellow. The position is unique in that I do not provide research support. Rather, I'm staffed on a team of 4 to 5 associates and business analysts to co-author publishable reports. My role on the team is to provide expertise on global financial markets, while other team members provide insight on their practice areas. Once the report is sent out for publication, I'm drafted onto a new team to produce a new report.

On the side, I serve as a policy adviser for a LA mayoral candidate. I try to provide sharp but accessible analysis of issues that will catch voters' attention (particularly Latino votes). The aim is to demonstrate that our campaign has the brain power to put structure on complex issues and provide solution that the Latino community can relate to.

My end goal is to return to McKinsey. I would really like to attend one of the top 8 schools.

Ideally, I would like to apply this winter. But there are benefits to waiting one more year.

What do you think my chances are at the top 8 programs if I apply this year versus the next?

Thank you very much for your time.
MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 18:57
Look, if you really really want to apply, go for it, rather than looking to me or anyone else for reaffirmation. It sounds like you're in a huge rush, and you probably can't wait a year no matter what anyone tells you (I mean, you say your profile has changed significantly and it's barely been a few months - which to be blunt only reveals that you probably need a bit more experience under your belt; real change is measured in years, not just months, especially when you've had a bit more perspective). Again you've just *started* these new things - rather than looking too far ahead, how about just focusing on the things you've just *started* recently?
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

Intern
Intern
Joined: 08 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
Followers: 0

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

Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 19:14
Thanks Alex,

I appreciate your honestly, and that's exactly what I sought. I had the impression that the new brand name and the political involvement would answer some questions about teamwork and leadership. Your perspective makes sense.

The rush is coming from my deferring a near full ride to a top law school, and needing to reconfirm my intent to enroll by February, 2013. I would like to weigh my MBA prospects with that existing offer.

I would prefer to go to a top MBA program rather than a top law program. But I would have to give up what's concretely in front of me if I were to wait on the MBA application

I appreciate your honesty. I feel like I can always count on it. I'm very interested on any additional input, as long as you're willing to give it.

Thanks very much
MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 19:26
You're in a great place right now: a great job at a top firm, and invaluable political experience. And you're still young.

This is just my personal opinion, but you may have dodged a bullet by not going to law school (that is, if you are not going to law school after all).

I don't know too many lawyers who are happy or satisfied. The work can be miserable, no matter what kind of law you practice.

And it really boils down to one thing:

More than any other profession, law is about seeing the glass half empty, whereas most professions are about seeing the glass as half full: in business, you are working on boosting sales and growing a company. In medicine, you are hoping to save a life (or to make someone better). In engineering, you're building something (not destroying it). Even in the military, you are fighting in order to bring peace.

But in law, your job is to identify and prevent problems. You're looking at the negative. You spend 3 years in law school learning how to think like a lawyer: so that in the real world you know how to do two things as a lawyer -- identify the legal issue in a situation, and find a legal solution to prevent the issue from blowing up. It's oriented toward damage control. You're looking to *protect* your clients - it's defensive. And that kind of negative angle can wear down just about anyone. More than any other profession, it brings out the worst in a person's cynicism and jadedness. Maybe only law enforcement or being a corrections officer is worse (and it's not like the quality of life for law enforcement officers is that great).

Corporate law (the most popular and highest paying) is so dull you'll die from a thousand paper cuts. It's drudgery and makes you hate life. Trademark/IP can be interesting, but the malpractice insurance you'd pay is so sky high and where your clients misuse litigation as a business strategy that you'd secretly wish the Chinese would pirate everything and cause your clients to go bankrupt. Estate/family law means you'll be dealing with divorces, custody battles, and rich kids fighting over their dead parent's money. Litigation requires an almost sociopathic streak (they probably have the most dismal view of human behavior of anyone).

Again as a client - you only hire a lawyer when you have a problem, or when you want to prevent a problem from happening.

Plus, the legal market is stagnant. Maybe even declining. The job market sucks for law, and will likely continue to suck.

My advice for you is to just focus on what you have now, and take it a step at a time. If b-school is in the cards for you in the future, then great. If not, no big deal because you already have a strong foundation for your career.

But don't go into law school unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure you want to practice law, and you know what you're getting yourself into. Again, the career satisfaction rates for lawyers are amongst the lowest of any white collar profession (at least in the US).

Damn, even talking about the law makes this whole post negative.
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 19:36
Quick thing: only potential positive about the law is if you're looking for a career in politics. But then again, some folks would rather sweep floors than become elected officials :-)
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

Intern
Intern
Joined: 08 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
Followers: 0

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

Re: Profile Evaluation [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 19:48
Thank you spending the time to write all of that. I will give it some thought.

My passion lies in problem solving. I'm afraid law might not satisfy that need. On that basis alone, I think I have my answer. The rest is just finding the courage to walk away from that offer. On the bright side, it gives me something extra to write about on my essays.

You've been extremely helpful and generous. I really appreciate your guidance.
Intern
Intern
Joined: 25 May 2012
Posts: 2
Concentration: Operations, General Management
WE: Operations (Military & Defense)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 1

Profile Evaluation - Another Military [#permalink] New post 25 May 2012, 15:14
GMAT: None officially but I've taken the official practice GMAT (680 and 710)
Undergrad GPA: 2.7 from US Air Force Academy
MS in General Mgt: 3.92 from Central Michigan U.
Current Occupation: Project Manager in Semi-Conductor industry in Bay area, CA
Previous Occupation: 5 years Nuclear weapons officer (Left service as Captain)
Applying to: Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, and USC

Career Goal: I'd like to stay in the semi-conductor or tech industry in Northern California. Stay in operations and move up to exec level someday.

Primary Concerns:
Low GPA obviously... that stands out the most in my resume and I'm really kicking myself for not trying harder in college. I had a difficult time balancing everything at a military academy. It's funny because I was able to excel at only one aspect of the trifecta (Military, Academics, Physical fitness) per semester, so my college transcript shows spikes in different areas throughout all 4 years. I did manage to finish a MS during my military career to try to make up for my poor undergrad GPA. I have tons of extracarricular activities which I did not mention here but is on par with what the other military members have mentioned. My leadership experience is probably different from the others in that I managed other officers(~220 in my wing) instead of the typical officer to enlisted relationship.

What GMAT score do I need to hit to offset my weaknesses? Is there anything else you reccommend besides excellent reccomendations and essays? I have 1 year of corporate experience in my current project management position. I was torn about pursuing an MBA because I am in a good position to move up in my company and my pay is very satisfying but I feel like I will hit a ceiling later. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
Intern
Intern
Joined: 25 May 2012
Posts: 2
Concentration: Operations, General Management
WE: Operations (Military & Defense)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 1

Re: Profile Evaluation - Another Military [#permalink] New post 27 May 2012, 18:19
thank you for your reply alex... I will take the GMAT and re-examine my options. I still feel like most of these schools are long shots but never hurts to try.
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 18 Nov 2011
Posts: 153
Schools: Johnson '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 730 Q47 V44
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 50 [0], given: 21

Re: What Can I Do To Improve My Chances? [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2012, 12:34
Fantastic points Alex. This serves to reinforce my predicament (only took GMAT once and scored a 730, contemplating a re-take but will probably not serve me well with the time I spend studying rather than writing essays or visiting schools).

I was a bit surprised to read "You don't have to visit every single school you're applying to." Is it common to apply to a school in a different region and make it all the way to an acceptance offer without having ever stepped foot on the campus? (Whether it be tours or through a campus interview).

Can you share some insight on which round one should apply to and how many schools is too many? For example, I'm currently looking to apply to about 5 schools but is it out of this world to tack on an additional 2? Do I apply R1 for all of my reach schools and R2 for the more realistic targets? I'm a bit confused as to how to segment the schools with the different rounds.
MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2012, 08:30
A NEW MODEL FOR ADMISSIONS (LESS ESSAYS)

With Wharton recently experimenting with a group-based exercise, UCLA requiring a video/audio essay (2 years ago), and now HBS changing it up, there's only going to be more school I believe that will continue to move away from the old model of long essays--> interview --> decision

In fact, I think they can (and likely will) move towards the following model:
1. Resume + simple application form (demographic info, test scores, GPA)
2. Interview + short essays (questions that are meant to reveal what cannot be reasonably inferred from the resume/profile alone)
3. Two or three recommendation letters
4. Decision

I don't think adcoms need essays or rec letters from EVERY applicant. At top schools, they can pretty much identify the top third to top half based on the resume/profile alone (and for those who aren't in the top third to top half, there's no need to waste the time of the adcoms, applicants, or recommenders on the essays and rec letters). Adcoms are trying to build a diverse class based on demographics and pre-MBA professional backgrounds - they are divvying up the applications into groups as it is, so it's not that hard most of the time to identify the top third to top half based on resume/profile alone.

And then once they've identified the top third to top half - they invite these folks for an interview (or interviews) and to write short essay questions that are only given to them once they've been invited. And since only a subset of the applicants are invited to write the essays, the adcoms can provide a different set of essay questions to different applicant groups (i.e. traditional applicants or those from "crowded" demographics are given a set of questions that will be different than the questions being asked those non-traditional professional backgrounds and/or underrepresented demographics - and this will allow the adcoms to more effectively evaluate subjective info from applicants based on their backgrounds).

And then only ask for reference letters once they've weeded out those from the interview/essays. The majority of the time, the rec letters won't make a difference either way, and it's really just to uncover any potential "gotchas" or info about the applicant that may be incongruous with what the adcom has seen so far. The rec letter in a way is a "human" background check to complement the standard background checks they will do on admitted students.

This kind of process I don't think will require more resources or time from the adcoms (in fact, it may be less) -- and it's a more efficient and effective way to evaluate applicants (and saving the applicants time as well - giving them more chances to apply to more schools, which will benefit all b-schools as they see applications rise since more applicants will "punt" if there are no essays required for the initial round).
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2012, 10:09
A QUICK NOTE ON THE HBS POST-INTERVIEW ESSAY

A lot of people will fall into this trap of trying to pre-write the essay. DO NOT DO THIS.

That's why they are asking this essay in the first place. They want to know how you follow up based on what happened in the interview.

Adcoms can sense pretty quickly if something is pre-written: it's either too vague and generic, or it's covering material in such a decorated and stage managed way that it's obvious someone spent way too much time trying to manicure every single sentence and to contrive an example that had nothing to do with what happened in the interview.

A strong post-interview essay is one that directly responds to or is a follow up to what was discussed in the interview.

And you have no real way of figuring out what that will be. Sure, you can do interview coaching (and you probably should - if not with a consultant, at least practice mock interviews with colleagues and friends), some folks may tell others what their HBS adcoms had asked them and so forth. But it's not about that. It's about the nature of the discussion and what you actually said in the interview - and more importantly, how the adcom responded to some of the moments in the interview as you were talking about yourself. There is no way of predicting how an individual will respond to you, or to even know in advance beyond just a vague idea of how the actual moment-to-moment experience will be like in that interview room.

Finally, too many people are stressing out about this post-interview essay. The thing is, it's not going to really matter for 99.9% of the folks who actually get interviewed. The decision is basically made based on the interview itself - no "mini essay" afterwards is really going to change their mind if they already liked you, or they thought you were a tool. It's something they instituted this year - and it's an experiment. If it doesn't really impact their decision making, it will be gone (or significantly changed) next year. Again, this year is an experimental year for HBS - they are trying to change the format in which they assess people, and so they are keeping an open mind about the process. Having said that, in my opinion I think the importance that many applicants seem to put on this post-interview essay is overblown.

In short, what HBS is basically saying this year is that the two biggest things that matter are: your resume and your interview performance. The essays and rec letters are minor and likely won't be a huge factor for most applicants. In other words, HBS adcoms believe that for many applicants, they can pretty much figure out whom they want to interview based on the resume alone (and the essays won't matter much unless they really suck). And that for most of the people that get invited for an interview - they can figure out based on the interview performance alone whom they want to admit.
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

Intern
Intern
Joined: 17 Mar 2011
Posts: 4
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 710 Q50 V35
GPA: 3.59
WE: Accounting (Non-Profit and Government)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 1

Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2012, 23:36
Hi Alex, I've been reading your posts and they are by far the best quality out of the consultants on gmatclub as you give a direct, no frill answer and are unafraid to hurt applicants feelings. I'm wondering if I can get a profile evaluation, hopefully this wont take more than 5 minutes of your time.

Ethnicity: Asian American Male
Age : 26
Gmat: 710
Undergraduate: UC Berkeley 3.59 GPA Business Administration

Work Experience:
3 yrs - City and County of San Francisco as an accountant - working on department budget in the Controller's Office, general ledger, compliance, grants at department of public health, medical cost reimbursements
0-1 yrs - Big 4 as an Audit Associate (unfortunately laid off) - tech firm audits

ECs/ Tid bits:
CPA
2 yrs - Created a stock blog as a hobby - was marginally profitable
1 yrs - Was webmaster for the California Investment Association at UC Berkeley
1 yrs - Historian at Asian American Association at UC Berkeley
Study Abroad for a year in Japan, interned at Robert Half
Boy Scout of America Eagle Scout

Post MBA Goal: Become a budget analyst for governmental institution to help higher education retain funding.
Long-term Goal: Become a budget director of a university school system and structure pension and health care benefits

Stretch: Columbia, Northwestern
Target: Michigan, Duke, Yale, NYU
Safety: Haven't given it too much thought.


Thanks so much!
MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2012, 21:15
supax wrote:
Hi Alex, I've been reading your posts and they are by far the best quality out of the consultants on gmatclub as you give a direct, no frill answer and are unafraid to hurt applicants feelings. I'm wondering if I can get a profile evaluation, hopefully this wont take more than 5 minutes of your time.

Ethnicity: Asian American Male
Age : 26
Gmat: 710
Undergraduate: UC Berkeley 3.59 GPA Business Administration

Work Experience:
3 yrs - City and County of San Francisco as an accountant - working on department budget in the Controller's Office, general ledger, compliance, grants at department of public health, medical cost reimbursements
0-1 yrs - Big 4 as an Audit Associate (unfortunately laid off) - tech firm audits

ECs/ Tid bits:
CPA
2 yrs - Created a stock blog as a hobby - was marginally profitable
1 yrs - Was webmaster for the California Investment Association at UC Berkeley
1 yrs - Historian at Asian American Association at UC Berkeley
Study Abroad for a year in Japan, interned at Robert Half
Boy Scout of America Eagle Scout

Post MBA Goal: Become a budget analyst for governmental institution to help higher education retain funding.
Long-term Goal: Become a budget director of a university school system and structure pension and health care benefits

Stretch: Columbia, Northwestern
Target: Michigan, Duke, Yale, NYU
Safety: Haven't given it too much thought.


Thanks so much!


With your school choices (or absence of any CA schools), it seems like you're trying to get the hell out of California, aren't you? :)

Anyhow, I think your expectations are realistic; you're right that the top 8 are stretches, and top 16 are sweet spots. Safeties would be outside the top 16 - whether you feel it's worth it or not is really a personal decision.

Two things you may want to keep in mind:

1) Career goals: adcoms may question why you are doing an MBA given your goals; with your accounting background, what may make more sense is an MPA or MPP. In other words, if these are your *real* goals, you may have to come up with an alternate career path that may be more traditional (consulting, financial services, corporate, etc), and then it's a judgment call as to what you decide to go with in the essays and interviews. And if it's simply narrative (you are saying this because you think the adcoms will find it impressive) - then ditch it, because if it's just narrative, it will come across that way (it's simply not going to come across as authentic in an essay because you don't believe in it). In any case, even if they're your real goals, I'm sure you probably have other job options post-MBA you're thinking of as well.

2) Work experience: focus more on team stuff and what you learned about group dynamics in your job. The technical/analytical work is boring to talk about (not just because it's accounting; just about *any* job's technical aspects are boring for anyone other than those in one's own industry - whether it's engineering, finance, tax, consulting, law, etc. But people are not boring. And in your case, being a budget guy in California's dysfunctional state government, I'm sure you have plenty of stories and cautionary tales and lessons learned about group dynamics and how political "accounting" and "budgets" can be - and how that impacts your own job responsibilities/tasks as well as how you deal with people in your workplace.
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

Intern
Intern
Joined: 17 May 2011
Posts: 2
Followers: 0

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

Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2012, 22:11
Hi Alex,

I've bought your book and have read a whole bunch of your posts on gmatclub. I second what supax said; you have, by far, the best quality posts out of all the consultants on gmat. I like your no-nonsense, no-frills style of answering and I was hoping if you could be kind enough to take a few minutes of your time to put me and my profile on blast (I swear I'm not a masochist).

Ethnicity: Malaysian Male (on H1b now)
Age: 24 (25 by end of 2012)

Undergrad: SUNY Stony Brook. '08 Psychology 3.79 CGPA
Grad: SUNY Stony Brook. '10 M.A Psychology 3.3 CGPA

Work Experience (4 years):
1st year - Did neuroscience research at Yale School of Medicine. Worked with patients with cocaine addiction/OCD. Our research involved performing fMRIs on them, did some pretty cool stuff... one experiment involved administering methylphenidate to patients with cocaine addiction. That experiment was published in PNAS and I was included as an author. Study was funded by NIH/NIMH. Would have stayed longer but had to leave Yale because of immigration problems.

2nd year - Since I had to leave Yale AFTER grad school application deadlines, my alma mater took me in for their 1 year grad program. Whilst doing my Masters, I did clinical psychological research. Worked with patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia. Our study was funded by the NIH. I conducted the experiments on the patients +analyzed data. We submitted a paper but it was refused.

3rd year to Now - Currently doing psychiatric research at the Feinstein Institute of Medical Research. Working with teenagers at risk for psychosis/psychotic illnesses. I perform the EEG and fMRI procedures on them and analyze their data. My lab is part of a few multi-site studies funded by the NIH/NIMH. We collaborate closely with the other sites (Columbia/UCLA/Harvard/Yale/Calgary/Emory/UNC etc.). I'm working on publishing a journal article as one of the main authors now; would've done this earlier if it weren't for my indecisive attitude about academia and all the politicking happening around the lab.

So far I have 3 journal publications in my name (including the PNAS one), 2 posters and 1 talk.

Extra-curricular:
I help seniors use the computer at the local community center (volunteering through NY cares). Filed an application for a Big Brother position. I've taken movie script-writing classes and computer programming classes over the last 1.5 years in efforts to find an alternative career. I even tried starting my own web start-up, but ultimately lost all enthusiasm/excitement for it 2 months later. So after 2 months of networking at meetups + coding/building the website ... I stopped working on it. :( I'm also an avid skier.

Career path:
I'd like to do equities research upon completion of my MBA, preferably buyside (though either/or would be fine). My decision to switch to this career-path is due to my noticing that there are many similarities between researching equities and academia; requires lots of reading+analysis and discussion+defending of your thesis and arguments - difference is that results can be seen quicker, and (obviously) pay is better. Started my current portfoilo in 2011. It is, however, miniscule and I'm only invested in biotech positions (I only invest in what I know!).

In the long run, I'd like to see how far I go in ER. As you've written in a blog post of yours, people may change careers every 10-15 years, so I really can't see that far up ahead. But if I had to tell the adcom something, I'd tell them I'd like to be a PM or something.

If it weren't for b-school, I'd probably get a PhD (something which i'm not particularly keen on). Why the career change? I'm tired of the esotericism/triviality that is academia. (I mean, who cares if the magnocellular pathway has bias processing towards low spatial frequency stimuli?!)

Schools:
Would love to attend either Columbia/NYU. Would like to keep it within the northeast (gf lives in queens). Yale would be okay, but I worked/lived there long enough to know that New Haven is a shit-hole. I'd choose Fordham as a safety. Just afraid of being tagged as a 'commuter', seeing as I live in NYC already.

Questions:
1.) Is Columbia a stretch? NYU/Yale? (If I get my target score of 720 GMAT...)
2.) Should I take the CFA level 1 to prove that I'm interested in the public markets/finance?
3.) Would it improve my chances if I published one more journal article? i.e, would it show more accomplishment in my career?
4.) Seeing as I'm in academia, I don't have too many chances at leadership. Will the adcoms call me out on having applied for a big brother volunteer position so close to my application date?

As such, I'm struggling with the decision to apply either this year (2012), or next (2013). If applied this year, I would not have a CFA/extra publication/enough leadership experience as a big brother .... but I'm wondering, even if I had all that - would it even help me at all?

That's all. Sorry for being so verbose and thanks for reading. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again!

Last edited by umeranyth on 17 Jul 2012, 11:02, edited 18 times in total.
Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 30 Mar 2012
Posts: 120
Location: United States (TX)
Concentration: Strategy, Entrepreneurship
GMAT Date: 09-14-2013
GPA: 2.64
WE: General Management (Consumer Electronics)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 30 [0], given: 11

GMAT Tests User
Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 04:08
Hello Alex, just wanted to know if I'm a bit too ambitious in my school selections (stats and targets below). Which schools would be "sweet spots?"

Also, is it always better to apply RD1? I've been reading that some programs offer better chances if you submit your app during Round 2 due to them being ready to "round out" the class. Just reread all 8 pages. Thanks again for your commitment to this thread.
_________________

Stats by August 2014
28, Asian-American, Raised in the Bronx, NY. Moved to Houston by myself to graduate HS.
2.64 (downward trend) Economics degree from UT-Austin in Dec. 2009. No excuse, I spent 100% building a student organization that I'm still very active with today.
GMAT Goal: 710+, exam scheduled for September 14, 2013 at 8AM CST

WE: Sales Team Manager at Apple - business development and strategies for the Apple Online Store, Australia. I've also built my own consulting practice working with a successful Startup in Austin, TX, managing their online brand and helping them with analytics.
Past WE: Financial Services advising at Northwestern Mutual Financial, Equities Trading at Kershner Trading Group
Post-MBA Goals: Strategy Consulting or Brand Management in Tech/Fashion

EC: 3 years of National Council on Fraternity (VP, President), Current Chairman of Texas Exes, Asian Alumni Network (2012-2014)
Target: (1) Stern (2) Fuqua (3) McCombs (FT/PT)
Giving this 110%. I appreciate all advice and encouragement. Thank you, everyone.

Intern
Intern
Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Posts: 16
Followers: 0

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

Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 13:25
Hi Alex,


GMAT: currently preparing
Undergrad: Currently undertaking - Bachelor of Financial Services, Institute of Bankers, UCD, Ireland. The number 1 business school in Ireland. 2 years to go...
GPA year one: 3.67
Age: 31
Nationality: Irish
Target schools: top 20 US B-Schools

I've seen you give some really great advice here and it seems you shoot from the hip so I would be very grateful if you could take a look at my personal profile.

From what I have been reading on the forum I would not appear to rank as a typical business school applicant. Right now I am preparing for the GMAT. Perhaps if I provide some personal history some of you can direct me a little on what business school would be a good match and/or most realistic for me to apply to.

My medium term career objective is to move into another industry. Financial services and property development are my areas of interest. More long term I would hope to run my own business within those industries. In the short term I would hope to acquire the skills to grow my business to sufficient scale that I could exit with enough capital to do something myself, or change industry post MBA and pick up some experience in an area like banking.

Entrepreneurial experience
First off I'm 31. My 12 years of experience have been entirely in the fitness industry. I am a personal trainer by trade but during my career I’ve started several businesses; gyms, a fitness ecommerce site, nutrition education business etc... Up until recently I was running two gyms, both of which I started myself. I have just sold one facility in order to open another larger one, which is 6000 square feet or so. All these businesses have been started on a shoestring budget. The actual story behind some of these would make your hair stand on end. These startups extend all to way back to about the age of 7 and I'm pretty sure that any section on overcoming difficulties in my application letters should blow the socks off any admissions officer: )

Anyway prior to owning my own facilities I was an operations manager for six years with Irelands largest corporate fitness provider (a company that fits out fitness facilities in large corporate offices and provides management thereafter)

For 3 years I was a strength and conditioning coach for the IRFU. That’s the Irish rugby football union here in Ireland, we have a very high standard of rugby here.

I was the fitness and nutrition advisor to the Irish Everest expedition in 2008.

I've spent much time on TV and giving media interviews on the subject of nutrition and exercise. On a professional level one could say I have gone about as far as I can go as a personal trainer and am now really focused on building a business within the industry. One stand out skill can say has attributed to succeeding in the industry has been my curiosity for knowledge, I have done my best to assimilate as much information as possible on the subject.

Academics
I do not hold an undergraduate degree. I do hold a number of diplomas in personal training, nutrition, life coaching and an area called NLP. I over the years have consumed more books, and information on exercise science and nutrition than anyone I know! I really made an effort to create an informational advantage you could say.

Right now I'm doing an undergrad in financial services... 2 years to go. So far my grades have been good. This summer I will complete the ACCA diploma in business and accounting. Its like year one of an accounting degree. I really want to get comfortable with accounting before I enter the MBA.

Sport
From the age of 14 to 19 I competed for Ireland at the sport of archery. I was the number one ranking archer in Ireland for 6 years. I had a good European ranking and still hold many national records today. For the past 5 years or so I have competed at triathlon. Right now I race ironman distance triathlon and have competed internationally. I would tend to place in the top 20 in my category at international races. I really enjoy endurance sports and feel that they have thought me a great deal about work ethic and discipline.

Mountaineering
I have also climbed a number of high altitude mountains in Europe and Africa and had a lead role in preparing the climbers for the Irish Everest expedition in 2008. I trained for 12 months with the climbers both in Ireland and around the world.


Charity work
As a part of the mountaineering the climbers and myself decided to raise money for a Christian charity which was responsible for building school in Uganda. We raised over €70,000 and a new school was completed in 2009. As part of the project I spent some time in Entebbe, Uganda working with the charity.


I did note brevity in the requirements so I apologize for the length here.



I would really appreciate some good honest feedback here. If a personal profile like mine puts me right out of the top 50 just say it! I would really like to have some direction on what is realistic.



sincere thanks for the help



Kind Regards


Eoin McKenna
MBA Admissions Consulting
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2404
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Followers: 69

Kudos [?]: 519 [0], given: 0

Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 18:02
umeranyth wrote:
Hi Alex,

I've bought your book and have read a whole bunch of your posts on gmatclub. I second what supax said; you have, by far, the best quality posts out of all the consultants on gmat. I like your no-nonsense, no-frills style of answering and I was hoping if you could be kind enough to take a few minutes of your time to put me and my profile on blast (I swear I'm not a masochist).

Ethnicity: Malaysian Male (on H1b now)
Age: 24 (25 by end of 2012)

Undergrad: SUNY Stony Brook. '08 Psychology 3.79 CGPA
Grad: SUNY Stony Brook. '10 M.A Psychology 3.3 CGPA

Work Experience (4 years):
1st year - Did neuroscience research at Yale School of Medicine. Worked with patients with cocaine addiction/OCD. Our research involved performing fMRIs on them, did some pretty cool stuff... one experiment involved administering methylphenidate to patients with cocaine addiction. That experiment was published in PNAS and I was included as an author. Study was funded by NIH/NIMH. Would have stayed longer but had to leave Yale because of immigration problems.

2nd year - Since I had to leave Yale AFTER grad school application deadlines, my alma mater took me in for their 1 year grad program. Whilst doing my Masters, I did clinical psychological research. Worked with patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia. Our study was funded by the NIH. I conducted the experiments on the patients +analyzed data. We submitted a paper but it was refused.

3rd year to Now - Currently doing psychiatric research at the Feinstein Institute of Medical Research. Working with teenagers at risk for psychosis/psychotic illnesses. I perform the EEG and fMRI procedures on them and analyze their data. My lab is part of a few multi-site studies funded by the NIH/NIMH. We collaborate closely with the other sites (Columbia/UCLA/Harvard/Yale/Calgary/Emory/UNC etc.). I'm working on publishing a journal article as one of the main authors now; would've done this earlier if it weren't for my indecisive attitude about academia and all the politicking happening around the lab.

So far I have 3 journal publications in my name (including the PNAS one), 2 posters and 1 talk.

Extra-curricular:
I help seniors use the computer at the local community center (volunteering through NY cares). Filed an application for a Big Brother position. I've taken movie script-writing classes and computer programming classes over the last 1.5 years in efforts to find an alternative career. I even tried starting my own web start-up, but ultimately lost all enthusiasm/excitement for it 2 months later. So after 2 months of networking at meetups + coding/building the website ... I stopped working on it. :( I'm also an avid skier.

Career path:
I'd like to do equities research upon completion of my MBA, preferably buyside (though either/or would be fine). My decision to switch to this career-path is due to my noticing that there are many similarities between researching equities and academia; requires lots of reading+analysis and discussion+defending of your thesis and arguments - difference is that results can be seen quicker, and (obviously) pay is better. Started my current portfoilo in 2011. It is, however, miniscule and I'm only invested in biotech positions (I only invest in what I know!).

In the long run, I'd like to see how far I go in ER. As you've written in a blog post of yours, people may change careers every 10-15 years, so I really can't see that far up ahead. But if I had to tell the adcom something, I'd tell them I'd like to be a PM or something.

If it weren't for b-school, I'd probably get a PhD (something which i'm not particularly keen on). Why the career change? I'm tired of the esotericism/triviality that is academia. (I mean, who cares if the magnocellular pathway has bias processing towards low spatial frequency stimuli?!)

Schools:
Would love to attend either Columbia/NYU. Would like to keep it within the northeast (gf lives in queens). Yale would be okay, but I worked/lived there long enough to know that New Haven is a shit-hole. I'd choose Fordham as a safety. Just afraid of being tagged as a 'commuter', seeing as I live in NYC already.

Questions:
1.) Is Columbia a stretch? NYU/Yale? (If I get my target score of 720 GMAT...)
2.) Should I take the CFA level 1 to prove that I'm interested in the public markets/finance?
3.) Would it improve my chances if I published one more journal article? i.e, would it show more accomplishment in my career?
4.) Seeing as I'm in academia, I don't have too many chances at leadership. Will the adcoms call me out on having applied for a big brother volunteer position so close to my application date?

As such, I'm struggling with the decision to apply either this year (2012), or next (2013). If applied this year, I would not have a CFA/extra publication/enough leadership experience as a big brother .... but I'm wondering, even if I had all that - would it even help me at all?

That's all. Sorry for being so verbose and thanks for reading. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again!


Thanks! Glad you value my honesty and directness.

1. Columbia is a stretch, but you have enough of an outside shot that it's at least worth it (yes your experience to date is research - but it's in health sciences which helps; any other research discipline like engineering, humanities, etc and it would be a long shot). NYU and Yale would also be stretches as well but still worth applying. The thing is, you don't have the typical profile, so it's a wild card - i.e. even more subjective on the part of the adcom. All of this assumes a 720+ GMAT.

2. No. Within 5 years, about 2 billion Asians would've taken the CFA. Even with Level 1 - it's not hard, but the volume of work required to pass the exam means you will have no life. It's not something to do casually, unless you are a real geek.

3. No. It's not about your academic smarts. You're an Asian dude in health sciences. They'll assume you're book smart. What isn't as obvious is whether you have the team/interpersonal skills, so that's what you need to emphasize (think of the geeky Asian bookworm stereotype: that is what adcoms are thinking even if they will never admit it out loud - so you have to show the opposite).

4. Don't start stuff now for the sake of it. It'll be obvious. Focus on the team oriented aspects of your work, being able to work with different kinds of people, etc.
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply   [#permalink] 17 Jul 2012, 18:02
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
New posts 3 Career/MBA question for Alex. sajal09 2 27 Mar 2009, 11:00
New posts 1 Ask a Wharton MBA techandconsulting 8 18 Aug 2010, 21:56
Popular new posts Ask Personal MBA Coach PersonalMBACoach 40 11 Sep 2010, 20:56
New posts Ask alex ljflzzql 1 15 Nov 2010, 12:44
Display posts from previous: Sort by

Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  

Go to page   Previous    1  ...  6   7   8   9   10   11   12  ...  20    Next  [ 385 posts ] 



GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.