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Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2012, 20:09
jxatrillion wrote:

Alex, thank you for your input. One thing I'm worried about is my inability to create an Alternative Transcript if I'm looking to apply Rd 1/2 of this year. My applications are set to be due late October, a week after my GMAT (I'm going to work on my applications right now ahead of the GMAT).

My options are:
+ apply Rd 1/2 without the Alt. Transcript
+ apply Rd 3/4 and rush in a 2-class Alt. Transcript
+ apply next year when I have a full Alt. Transcript

Stuck in a pickle here. What would you recommend? Would the Alt. Transcript help make that big of a difference? Would a 700+ GMAT (80%+ Q) be enough to apply without an Alt. Transcript? Thanks again for your input.


If the adcoms love you, you're the kind of person who ends up on the waitlist. What I suggest is to shoot for R1/2 while building an alternate transcript so that in the event of a waitlist, you have something to show them, since I think if there's a reason to waitlist you, it'll be concerns about your ability to handle the academics at b-school (even if you had a strong GMAT; if your GMAT is weak, then there's a greater chance you'd be dinged outright).

Worst case is you don't get in, and try again next year. In short, apply this year rather than just waiting it out for the sake of waiting it out.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2012, 20:17
str1der wrote:
Dear Alex,

Trust all's well. Resonating views of some of the other people who have posted here, your style of answering questions on this website is much appreciated. I do feel you provide very accurate and to the point suggestions on a candidature. In that respect, am detailing my profile below to get some pointers from you

Background: Indian male, computer engineering (first class) from a top public university (non IIT)

Full Time Work Experience:
- Headhunter (Since late 2010), work at the India office of the world's largest executive search firm which has offices in 50+ countries.
- Promoted to Associate Consultant in Jan 2012 - the youngest and only non MBA to get this promotion in the India office's 18 year history
- Led business development activities with the managing partner which resulted in $250K of won business, successfully recruited the CEO of a $750Mn company while working on one of those projects
- Have led various projects such as the CEO of $1.5 Bn steel major, Global CEO of a $1 Bn Swiss conglomerate (working with a swiss client, international search for Indians and expats run from India), Chief learning Officer for a $30 Bn+ conglomerate etc.
- Lead the Socializing and CSR initiatives at office, successfully raised funds for a Green initiative
- Recognized as best performer in the India Office last year, received a Rookie of The Year award in our annual offsite in Thailand

Between Jun 2009 and late 2010
- Ran part of HR operations for a research captive of one of the worlds most prominent consulting firms
- Part of the global talent management and professional development team for employees
- Ran the allocations function, responsible for staffing the entire 250 member workforce, across all designations, in India, China and South Africa
- Received a perfect annual evaluation - one of only three such individuals company wide, and only one in the HR team
- Responsible for the revenue reporting function, where I reported to the Global CEO, and was responsible for billing and reconciliation of $10Mn+ of global revenue
- Led a team of two, whom I recruited, and which received the first ever outstanding client service award for an HR team

Part Time Work Experience:
While in college started a web design studio. made good margins and profits working across 8 projects with a global team (freelancers recruited online through portals like elance)

Achievements (Outside of Work):
- India's youngest Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of 13
- Among the top three students consistently throughout school, in the top 15% in college
- Won Various National & State Level Declamations, Debates and Quizzes

Interests & Other Info
- Won the Best New performer award for Stand Up Comedy for an impromptu performance at one of Delhi's most prominent bars
- Highly involved in fund raising activities, teaching initiatives, and my school alumni board
- Love to travel - have traveled/backpacked to the US, UK, UAE, China, Japan, Thailand, and most of India

GMAT: First attempt in 2008: 690 (Q48, V36, AWA 6), Second attempt in 2011: 690 (Q48, V35, AWA 6), Third Attempt in 2012: 730 (Q49, V42, AWA 6)

School Selection:

Main Targets
Wharton
Kellogg (Reapplicant - interviewed last year, rejected)
Tuck (Reapplicant - rejected without interview last year)
Cornell
Darden
INSEAD
Columbia (Reapplicant - rejected without interview last year)

Dream Schools (will apply only after applying, or hopefully getting in, to schools above in Round 1)
HBS
Stanford
MIT


As you probably know, what certainly helps is that you are *not* an engineer like your Indian compatriots. Hard to say what happened last year, but it looks like you've had a solid career thus far, and as such I think that schools in the top 8 are stretches (but worth applying to 2-3: Columbia, Kellogg, Tuck, Sloan, Booth, Haas), and top 16 are more likely your sweet spots (choose 3-4: Ross, Darden, Duke, Yale, Cornell, NYU, UCLA). INSEAD and LBS are in between - I guess call them slight stretches. H/S/W are likely long shots to be honest (you're up against too many people with more pedigree than you and who can claim to be just as accomplished in their careers as you - and they aren't exactly shoe-ins for these three schools either simply because there are more folks of a similar caliber than there are spots).

In short, try again - which it sounds like you're doing. Your essays could've been an issue - but I would guess that it's not that they were bad, but that they were simply "okay" or even "good" - but that you just simply fell through the cracks or got lost in the shuffle (which may sound strange since you're not an Indian engineer - but strip away your nationality, and your work profile is that of a corporate professional - which isn't totally unusual).
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2012, 20:25
clubgmatuser wrote:
Hi Alex

Please evaluate my Profile.

GMAT: 640 (Q50 V26) I’m reappearing in a month and hope to get 700+
Undergrad: IIT (BHU), Varanasi
GPA: 6.1/10
Age: 23
Nationality: Indian
Target schools: top 20 US B-Schools
Academics:
I got 78.6% in 10th, 82% in 12th with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Later that year, cracked IIT-JEE (toughest exam in country for admission in engineering schools), got accepted in Mechanical Engineering at IIT (BHU), Varanasi. During college, I worked as an intern at MAHLE filter India Ltd for 2 months during which I worked on increasing the efficiency of oil filters. After Undergrad, I got on-campus placement in an IT start-up. Then on I have been working in the same organisation for the last 2 yrs. I’ve executed many projects in the Insurance sector in big Indian Insurance companies working directly with the clients.
Also, I’ve worked as a volunteer for a NGO on weekends for the past 5 months.
Sports:
I’ve played chess at District and state levels. I was part of 4 member college team and we won silver medal in national college fest. And also, I got 2nd place in Intra College Chess Tournament.
After MBA:
After MBA, I want to work for some years in a finance company where I can learn business as much as I can and pay off my loan and later use those skills to start my own company.
I’m worried for my low GPA a lot. Please suggest me what are the schools that I should target considering I get 700+. Please also consider schools outside US.

Best Regards,


To be honest, I think you will be a long shot for top b-schools at this point in the US or Europe, even with a 700+ GMAT. You're up against a lot of other Indian guys who have had more experience than you, and who have worked/lived abroad for years before applying to b-school (a lot tend to do an MS in Engineering in the US, then work in the US for a tech company for a few years before applying).

You should either work for a few more years and see if you can find a way to get work experience abroad -- not sure how you can do that through a small IT startup. You may want to look into working at a global firm that has offices in India, and build experience there as well. With Indian applicants who aren't living full-time in the US or Europe, the biggest concern adcoms have is your ability to fit into a predominantly western culture that is b-school (in spite of it being "international" -- again the US schools are still very Americanized in terms of social norms and values, as are the European schools with more western norms).

What you may be able to do is to look at b-schools in India or other parts of Asia with a strong GMAT. That could be your best bet.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2012, 20:26
OptimisticApplicant wrote:
Hi Alex,

Have you had any clients apply to UNC Kenan-Flagler's online program (MBA@UNC)? I know that the program is relatively new, but I was curious to see if you had any thoughts on the potential benefits and limitations of the program. Also, do you think that future prospective employers will view the degree as equivalent to UNC's more traditional offering?

Thanks!
OptimisticApplicant


In short, no clients I've had applied there.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2012, 12:19
alex. hope this is an appropriate question in this topic: what are your favorite non-fiction, "business" books? anything from marketing to leadership to wall street to personal development. books you've read in life that you wish more people read.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2012, 17:13
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oodl wrote:
alex. hope this is an appropriate question in this topic: what are your favorite non-fiction, "business" books? anything from marketing to leadership to wall street to personal development. books you've read in life that you wish more people read.


Honestly I don't read a lot of business books.

What I wish folks would do more is to read anything but business. If you're already in b-school (or you're working in business/corporate already) and your free time consists of reading Harvard Business Review articles and your bookshelf (or Kindle/iPad/Nook) is full of mostly just business books - chances are your view of the world will be severely limited. Or even worse, you will end up defaulting to the management-speak of the moment (which is often a substitute for indepedent thought).

Read anything BUT business. Read fiction (it's not a waste of time -- because while it doesn't give you "knowledge", well written fiction gives you wisdom about human behavior). Read science books, books about photography, religion, astronomy, architecture, and so forth.

The more curious you are about other subjects, the greater your ability to see the interrelationships between so many of these subjects.

So many people idolize Steve Jobs for instance, and will read anything and everything written about him - when ironically what made Steve Jobs so fascinating was that his primary sources of inspiration and reference were anything but business. He supposedly kept a copy of "The Autobiography of a Yogi" handy which was his Bible. His famous Stanford speech was precisely about letting your curiosity run wild even if the subject of that curiosity doesn't seem to have an apparent or practical use (his study of calligraphy in college years before he even realized that it would inspire him to get his engineers to create Mac fonts). Or, a lot of people will read Walter Issacson's biography on him, and microanalyze his management style and what made Apple's "strategy" so special (when it's not a matter of *knowledge* but attitude - ultimately, it's about intuition driving action; artists innovate, while market researchers imitate).

It's probably not what you were hoping for, but again if you're asking what I wish more MBA types, applicants and business professionals would read more of - it's anything BUT business. It'll open your mind. And for life wisdom, you're best off reading religious scripture or literature - more often than not, it's the primary source for the watered down versions of self-help you'll find in a business section about careers (which usually amounts to some cliche verison of "follow your passion!" or "don't forget to balance your work and family life!").
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2012, 03:32
AlexMBAApply wrote:
Rong wrote:
Hi Alex,

I've read a lot of your and I appreciate your honest feedback for fellow applicants. Would love to hear you thoughts on mine:

Firstly, I am a Bruneian. (It's rare I know)

Education:
Undergraduate: BEng in top 5 UK engineering school with Class 1 Honours (84% average), with 3 academic awards for: Best project, best student in the department and in the faculty. (Will not attempt to convert to GPA for now)

Graduate: Masters of Science in Electrical & Electronic Engineering in Imperial College with Merit - Thesis (Distinction) + Exams (Merit) = Merit

Scholarships: Shell Brunei Scholarship for fully funded Undergraduate and Graduate studies, after being assessed by certified Shell assessors based on Shell's assessment criteria.

GMAT: Plan to take early 2013 - Aiming for 730.

Work Experience: Shell Brunei

November '11 to April '12: Graduate Onboarding Programmes
May to Present: Reservoir Engineer (RE), responsibilities:
1) Delivering reservoir reviews to unlock business value in a mature hydrocarbon field, as part of a larger multidisciplinary team of subsurface engineers and geologist.
2) Responsible to deliver models to predict future reservoir performance for business planning purposes.
3) Focal point for managing and coordinating the implementation of an organization-wide Shell operations improvement program.

EC
1) One of the committee leaders of Shell's Young Professional Network. So far, I have:
- Created the first graduate mentoring circles and 'Lunch & Learn' programme to provide mentoring and development sessions by senior business leaders to graduates.
- Created a charity programme to enable graduates to give back to the community through various collaborations with other full time charity.
- Mentor to younger generation of Shell scholars to tackle corporate case studies during their internship, part of their onboarding programme. The programme received rave reviews from management and will be made a flagship event for the company.
- Involved in school outreach programs to promote careers in oil & gas, especially in how we incorporate safety in our lives (Note to all: no mobile phones while driving!)
2) Self taught guitarist and singer, but I don't perform in public.
3) Volunteer substitute teacher for physics for year 9 and 10 students (ad-hoc basis, I've once helped out because the teacher unfortunately suffered a heart attack.)
4) Planning to launch a community mentoring programme, targeted towards improving academics, soft skills and career knowledge of Year 9 and 10 students.

Why MBA:
1) General management and leadership development for future management/executive positions in Shell
2) Exposure to fields of non-profit, specifically in soft skills/leadership education and sustainable development. I believe being a oil and gas producer, incorporation of sustainable development in our business plans are vital.
3) Broadening my perspective - learning from immensely talented people and to improve myself as a person from all aspects.

Post-MBA Plan: After going to business school, I want to use those skills for the following:
1) 3 year stint in an MBB consultant focusing in sustainable development and operations management (If I'm allowed by Shell, if not go to (2))
2) Return to Shell Brunei and continue development of my technical skills as a RE, and then into management positions - team leader, development leader and onwards.
3) Launching a non-profit - provide a platform to develop younger generations, in order to develop Brunei's human capital to position ourselves for the future, when our oil and gas runs out.

Potential Shortcomings:
1) Work Experience: I plan to apply for Fall 2014 - 3 years in matriculation but 2 years during time of application.
2) Leadership: I do not, and will not have direct reports. For me to have direct reports, I need to be promoted 3 times! Therefore, conveying compelling leadership stories relative to others, will be more difficult.
3) ECs: I do not plan to volunteer in a lot of different organizations, I believe in depth. Also, my passion is in mentoring and developing people. I might have sufficient depth, but the question is: Is it sufficient?
4) Background: Are petroleum engineers an attractive candidate to these B-schools?
5) Any more?

I would like to get your evaluations on my prospects to be admitted in H/S/W, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Haas and Kellogg, assuming I achieve at GMAT score of 730

Thanks!
Thank you so much for helping out!


While I appreciate all the effort you put into your lengthy post, it's really quite simple:

You're getting ahead of yourself. I'm sure you can't wait to go back to school, but you seem to be anticipating a bit too much, rather than focusing on what is in front of you right now: your job.

Most engineers have around 4-7 years of experience at matriculation. So if you apply next year, you'll have a tougher time than if you continued to build a bit more experience first. Also, don't "assume" a GMAT score. You're not even taking it next year, so all this stuff about school chances is going to be pure fantasy on your part - and I won't feed into that fantasy. You're young. A *lot* can happen in just one year for you - both in terms of the kinds of experience you gain as well as maturity in ways that you simply can't anticipate at this point.

If you want an assessment, ask me in the year you're actually going to apply, and *after* you've done your GMAT. All the best


Alex,

Thanks for the opinion.

I agree its absolutely crucial to keep my feet on the ground and I am extremely focused on my job, which is one I absolutely enjoy and love everyday.

The reason why I am asking now for an evaluation now is to basically determine what my initial position looks like for my target schools and thus to have an idea of when is the best time to apply from my field of work. I've gotten advice to apply early since some schools seem to like young applicants.

Nevertheless, without having significant development in career and personal terms, I will not apply. Hence, the question is how in the these 2-3 years, can I gain enough quality experience to develop myself sufficiently to put in a strong application?

Whether that is in 2 years or 3 years, one thing is for sure: I am working hard everyday and am enjoying myself in the process to get more quality experience to aid my development.

I still plan to do my GMAT for Q2 next year. Therefore, I believe the only variable remains to be the rate at which I can acquire sufficient working experience to demonstrate my potential to AdComs.

Your comments actually made me think quite abit, and for that: thanks a lot!

Also, great initiative here to help out fellow applicants!

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2012, 04:22
AlexMBAApply wrote:
jxatrillion wrote:

Alex, thank you for your input. One thing I'm worried about is my inability to create an Alternative Transcript if I'm looking to apply Rd 1/2 of this year. My applications are set to be due late October, a week after my GMAT (I'm going to work on my applications right now ahead of the GMAT).

My options are:
+ apply Rd 1/2 without the Alt. Transcript
+ apply Rd 3/4 and rush in a 2-class Alt. Transcript
+ apply next year when I have a full Alt. Transcript

Stuck in a pickle here. What would you recommend? Would the Alt. Transcript help make that big of a difference? Would a 700+ GMAT (80%+ Q) be enough to apply without an Alt. Transcript? Thanks again for your input.


If the adcoms love you, you're the kind of person who ends up on the waitlist. What I suggest is to shoot for R1/2 while building an alternate transcript so that in the event of a waitlist, you have something to show them, since I think if there's a reason to waitlist you, it'll be concerns about your ability to handle the academics at b-school (even if you had a strong GMAT; if your GMAT is weak, then there's a greater chance you'd be dinged outright).

Worst case is you don't get in, and try again next year. In short, apply this year rather than just waiting it out for the sake of waiting it out.


Alex,

Thank you for your valuable feedback. I don't know how much else to thank you but will make sure to update you with whatever happens. Here goes my best!!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2012, 21:40
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jxatrillion wrote:
AlexMBAApply wrote:
jxatrillion wrote:

Alex, thank you for your input. One thing I'm worried about is my inability to create an Alternative Transcript if I'm looking to apply Rd 1/2 of this year. My applications are set to be due late October, a week after my GMAT (I'm going to work on my applications right now ahead of the GMAT).

My options are:
+ apply Rd 1/2 without the Alt. Transcript
+ apply Rd 3/4 and rush in a 2-class Alt. Transcript
+ apply next year when I have a full Alt. Transcript

Stuck in a pickle here. What would you recommend? Would the Alt. Transcript help make that big of a difference? Would a 700+ GMAT (80%+ Q) be enough to apply without an Alt. Transcript? Thanks again for your input.


If the adcoms love you, you're the kind of person who ends up on the waitlist. What I suggest is to shoot for R1/2 while building an alternate transcript so that in the event of a waitlist, you have something to show them, since I think if there's a reason to waitlist you, it'll be concerns about your ability to handle the academics at b-school (even if you had a strong GMAT; if your GMAT is weak, then there's a greater chance you'd be dinged outright).

Worst case is you don't get in, and try again next year. In short, apply this year rather than just waiting it out for the sake of waiting it out.


Alex,

Thank you for your valuable feedback. I don't know how much else to thank you but will make sure to update you with whatever happens. Here goes my best!!


Good luck!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2012, 07:41
Are the schools in my list ideal for my intended career goals? Are there any other schools that i should consider?

Thanks!

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2012, 19:13
strangebrew wrote:
Hi Alex,

I've read a ton of your posts (both here and on businessweek) and I really appreciate your honest and candid feedback. Can you please provide some feedback on my candidature and let me know if i am on the right track? Thank you!


Background: Indian Male
Age: 29 (will be 30 at the time of matriculation)

1)Work Experience:

~6 years of Product Development & commercialization experience (2 years in telecommunications industry in India, 4 years in medical device industry in the US). Currently working as a senior engineer for a fortune 500 medical technology company

2)GMAT:

1st attempt: 690 (Q48 V36 AWA 5.5) 90th %ile
2nd attempt: 730 (Q49 V41 AWA 5.5) 96th %ile

3)Educational Background:

-Bachelors in Engineering from University of Madras, India, 2004 (graduated in the top 5% with distinction)
-Masters in Computer Science from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2008 (GPA 3.64)
-Received Research/Teaching Assistantship at the Carlson School of Management during entire period of study
-Enrolled in courses at the business school in addition to graduate school
-Conducted guided research in the area of supercomputing culminating with a masters thesis

4)Extra Curricular:
-Competitive table tennis player (playing since age of 9). Captained teams at school, college, state, university and club levels and won several tournaments. Currently rated at USATT 2020 (Top 25 in the state of MN)
-USA Table Tennis (USATT) Certified Table Tennis Coach: currently coach and mentor several players at work and club.
-Leadership chair of an Asian employee resource group at work. Led and executed several initiatives toward employee engagement and retention and received award from CEO inclusion council.


5)Cerifications:
Certification course in Managing project complexity from University of Minnesota, 2011

6)Target Programs:
INSEAD, London Business School, Oxford Said, Cambridge Judge, ISB

7)Post MBA Goals:
Short term: Business development/General Management role via leadership rotational program at a large healthcare company in the Asia Pacific
Long term: Entrepreneurship

Are the schools in my list ideal for my intended career goals? Are there any other schools that i should consider?

Thanks!


In short, I think you're targeting the right range of schools given your profile -- pretty solid candidate all around for the range of schools you're gunning for. INSEAD/LBS are stretches but where you still have enough of a chance that it's worth applying; Oxford/Cambridge are sweet spots where you have a reasonable shot of getting into, and ISB should be a safety.

The more important question though is why the focus on Euro schools and not US schools? For your goals, either will work, but just curious.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2012, 06:49
Thanks for your feedback, Alex. I am targetting Euro/Asian schools as i want to make a transition to Asia (Singapore/India/HK). Also, I think that for my intended career goals (business development in healthcare), a one year MBA would suffice. I looked into US programs with strong healthcare focus like Duke, Kellogg, Wharton, Berkeley but it appears that i need to work in the US atleast for 4-5 yrs post mba, a challenging option as i also need work visa sponsorship from my future employer.

Are there any other schools that i can add to the mix? How about CEIBS? Please comment.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2012, 22:30
Hey Alex,

I sent you an email and you told me to post it here.

Currently

I am an IT consultant and developer. I also have a product in pipeline that was conceived, designed and implemented by me.

My GMAT score: 730 (96%ile) - 50 Q 39 V, AWA: 5.0 & IR: 8 (94%ile).

I am looking for admits in these schools. - Booth, Stern, Ross, Duke, Cornell, UCLA, Kenan Flager and UT Austin.

Why MBA?

I have been investing for over five years and what started as curiosity, developed into passion over time. I have used my software skills to create DCF calculating programs and stock
selection programs. I leverage my knowledge to select leading technology companies. So, I love handling and researching technology stocks.

I blog on stock investing –midasreturns.wordpress.com. Couple of my articles were published on seekingalpha.com.

I put together a website that educates people about mutual funds – mutualfundsforfuture.com. Infact I created an investment club to mentor people about investing.

I manage the 401Ks and IRAs of my colleagues and the list continues to expand. I manage $400K worth of funds. The return of my stock portfolio is around 25% YTD.

Recently, I initiated a project to utilize my company’s existing health care product to create a new product that analyzes equities using fundamental and technical analysis. This product will help people who have the knowledge of
equity research but lack the software skills to write program to analyze stocks.

I want to manage investments or do equity research. So I decided to embark on the MBA journey. I also plan on taking CFA level I exam in June 2013 prior to start of the MBA program.

Problem and questions

I have a MS from Wayne State University with GPA 3.2. I did my undergrad from run of a mill school in India, even though I had scholarship there. I have 6 years of work ex in IT.

But now, I am looking for a career switch from IT to buy side or sell side equity analyst.i.e. investment management and/or equity research.

My the main concern is my age - 31.

So how difficult is it to switch from IT to Equity research at this age. Is this goal feasible and will any of the schools listed above give me a chance?
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2012, 09:12
Hi, Alex.

I'll try to keep this short.

I took the GMAT back in April earlier this year and scored a 730. Recently, after seeking out advice from an MBA grad, I was advised to send my score report to the school I am interested in immediately and re-sit for the GMAT (given the fact that I feel I had a bad test day; i was scoring in the 750-770 range for practice) and only send those scores if I improve.

Back in April, I went back and forth in my head and ultimately decided not to retake given my split of Q49/V41 (i seriously think i was 1 or 2 questions from a 750... no, it's not about how many right/wrong, but i'm confident i missed some easy ones...)

Now this new advice has me thinking...

1) Obviously if i'm confident I can score 750+ I should re-take, but at this point will it reflect poorly on me for not having re-taken the test earlier this summer or in May (where has the time gone btw...)?
2) I was also advised to apply to all my schools (+/- 5) in R1... when exactly is the last day I could take the GMAT and have it valid for R1? I figure it is the actual application deadline, but I haven't seen it written anywhere
3) the IR reason will be brand new to me. how heavily will this be weighted?

and just an FYI, I have a 3.5 GPA from Cornell Engineering and a background in digital media. I'm shooting for the top schools, so I'm wondering if a 750+ could help me significantly.

Thanks in advance,

jay
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2012, 12:27
strangebrew wrote:
Thanks for your feedback, Alex. I am targetting Euro/Asian schools as i want to make a transition to Asia (Singapore/India/HK). Also, I think that for my intended career goals (business development in healthcare), a one year MBA would suffice. I looked into US programs with strong healthcare focus like Duke, Kellogg, Wharton, Berkeley but it appears that i need to work in the US atleast for 4-5 yrs post mba, a challenging option as i also need work visa sponsorship from my future employer.

Are there any other schools that i can add to the mix? How about CEIBS? Please comment.


When you get outside the US, you've basically covered it. The other Euro schools like IE, ESADE, IESE, HEC, etc. probably won't do you much good as they seem to be more Euro focused than the UK ones. As for UK, you've pretty much covered it as those are the top schools. In terms of Asia, it's pretty limited - for India it's ISB and IIM, and others like HKUST, CEIBS, Nanyang, etc. are more *ahem* Chinese focused even if they don't explicitly say so (not necessarily "China" focused but "ethnic Chinese" centric in terms of the culture and the career opportunities - whether it's in China, HK, Singapore, SE Asia, Taiwan, etc).
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2012, 12:31
vatsas wrote:
Hey Alex,

I sent you an email and you told me to post it here.

Currently

I am an IT consultant and developer. I also have a product in pipeline that was conceived, designed and implemented by me.

My GMAT score: 730 (96%ile) - 50 Q 39 V, AWA: 5.0 & IR: 8 (94%ile).

I am looking for admits in these schools. - Booth, Stern, Ross, Duke, Cornell, UCLA, Kenan Flager and UT Austin.

Why MBA?

I have been investing for over five years and what started as curiosity, developed into passion over time. I have used my software skills to create DCF calculating programs and stock
selection programs. I leverage my knowledge to select leading technology companies. So, I love handling and researching technology stocks.

I blog on stock investing –midasreturns.wordpress.com. Couple of my articles were published on seekingalpha.com.

I put together a website that educates people about mutual funds – mutualfundsforfuture.com. Infact I created an investment club to mentor people about investing.

I manage the 401Ks and IRAs of my colleagues and the list continues to expand. I manage $400K worth of funds. The return of my stock portfolio is around 25% YTD.

Recently, I initiated a project to utilize my company’s existing health care product to create a new product that analyzes equities using fundamental and technical analysis. This product will help people who have the knowledge of
equity research but lack the software skills to write program to analyze stocks.

I want to manage investments or do equity research. So I decided to embark on the MBA journey. I also plan on taking CFA level I exam in June 2013 prior to start of the MBA program.

Problem and questions

I have a MS from Wayne State University with GPA 3.2. I did my undergrad from run of a mill school in India, even though I had scholarship there. I have 6 years of work ex in IT.

But now, I am looking for a career switch from IT to buy side or sell side equity analyst.i.e. investment management and/or equity research.

My the main concern is my age - 31.

So how difficult is it to switch from IT to Equity research at this age. Is this goal feasible and will any of the schools listed above give me a chance?


In short, I think you're targeting the right range of schools. Schools in the top 8 are stretches, schools in the top 16 are sweet spots, and safeties are outside the top 16. You may even want to include one more stretch and delete a sweet spot school (maybe add Columbia and delete one of Ross, Duke, or UCLA).

Stretch: Booth
Sweet spot: Stern, Ross, Duke, Cornell, UCLA
Safety: Kenan Flager and UT Austin.

At your age, it shouldn't be an issue for equity research - as it tends to trend a little older than say investment banking.

From everything you've written it sounds like you know what you want, the finance thing isn't just a pipe dream but something you're already actively working on outside of work, so at this point it's just a matter of focusing on doing the best you can on the applications. Good luck
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2012, 12:33
jaywhy wrote:
Hi, Alex.

I'll try to keep this short.

I took the GMAT back in April earlier this year and scored a 730. Recently, after seeking out advice from an MBA grad, I was advised to send my score report to the school I am interested in immediately and re-sit for the GMAT (given the fact that I feel I had a bad test day; i was scoring in the 750-770 range for practice) and only send those scores if I improve.

Back in April, I went back and forth in my head and ultimately decided not to retake given my split of Q49/V41 (i seriously think i was 1 or 2 questions from a 750... no, it's not about how many right/wrong, but i'm confident i missed some easy ones...)

Now this new advice has me thinking...

1) Obviously if i'm confident I can score 750+ I should re-take, but at this point will it reflect poorly on me for not having re-taken the test earlier this summer or in May (where has the time gone btw...)?
2) I was also advised to apply to all my schools (+/- 5) in R1... when exactly is the last day I could take the GMAT and have it valid for R1? I figure it is the actual application deadline, but I haven't seen it written anywhere
3) the IR reason will be brand new to me. how heavily will this be weighted?

and just an FYI, I have a 3.5 GPA from Cornell Engineering and a background in digital media. I'm shooting for the top schools, so I'm wondering if a 750+ could help me significantly.

Thanks in advance,

jay


Stop wasting your time retaking the GMAT and focus on the written applications. Whether your score is 730, 760 or even 800 isn't really what matters (it's about thresholds: once your score is above a certain threshold - and for top schools its 720 -- it won't have a meaningful difference).
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2012, 10:57
Hi Alex,

I will appreciate your feedback on my profile and also if I have any chance of receiving scholarships. I am 23 years / male (started working full time at 20).

I help my customers in diverse industries including defense, medical, energy metering segments to design their systems. Work day is similar to that of an entrepreneur handling customers in my region and deciding actions based on business priorities. Worked in three different states in US (one year program) in three different business units. I have authored multiple articles published on company's webpage.

2) GMAT.

Total - 720, Verbal- 38, Quant-50, AWA 6.0, IR 7

3) College info

Among top 10 engineering colleges, Aggregate %age of eight semesters = 83%, Department Rank = 4/100
Major - Bachelors, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Institute Merit Scholarship received through all four years.

4) Extra-C activities

Founder of my college's alumni magazine. I was involved in every phase of the magazine starting from building a framework, connecting with alumni, compilation, editing, design, sponsorship, forming team of 30+ students, delegating tasks etc. The team was directly mentored by Director of our Institute. Junior teams have come up with three annual editions since it's start.

Involved with a non-profit association for over couple of years - included two months internship in Boston Headquarters under direct supervision of Director of Computing at MIT Media Labs. Following internship, I helped in a deployment at a school in a rural community in India.

Authored publications on various technology topics (six in all) in international conferences, journals, electronic design etc.

6) My initial aim is to research more about H/S/W/K/Sloan/INSEAD/LSB.

7) Post-MBA goal.

I will like to go into consulting. I have experienced consulting on a smaller level and really liked it; now i will like to work on work on a bigger level and move into a broader space than just semiconductors.

thanks !

Last edited by av2012 on 20 Aug 2012, 20:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2012, 16:32
av2012 wrote:
Hi Alex,

6) My initial aim is to research more about H/S/W/K/Sloan/INSEAD/LSB.

7) Post-MBA goal.

I will like to go into consulting. I have experienced consulting on a smaller level and really liked it; now i will like to work on work on a bigger level and move into a broader space than just semiconductors.

thanks !


Readjust your expectations. H/S/W are long shots (Indian engineers like yourself don't really have a shot - if you apply, consider them lottery tickets). Focus on Kellogg, Sloan, Booth, Columbia, Tuck or Haas as stretches (choose 2-3), and then schools like Ross, Duke, Darden, Stern, Cornell, Yale and UCLA as sweet spots (choose 2-3). LBS and INSEAD are stretches, and only apply there if you're reasonably certain you want to be based in Europe or the Middle East post-MBA.

Given that you want to work in consulting, I'd focus on Kellogg, Sloan, Ross, Duke and Darden -- and if you're interested in Europe, then add in LBS and INSEAD.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2012, 23:30
Hi Alex,

Saw your posts on gmatclub and really like the insights you gave.

I am a tax attorney currently working with one of the big 4 accounting firms in India. I also have a LL.M. from George Washington University, Washington D.C.

I am interested in doing a MBA in 2014 and wanted to start preparing myself for it right now. Would really appreciate any kind of help/ advice. Also, my area of interest is project finance and infrastructural development (I currently work in the infrastructure practice) so if there is a particular school you think I should be looking out for, please let me know.

Really appreciate all the help.
Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2012, 23:30
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