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Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

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Re: Wharton/Tuck chances [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2012, 20:50
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To answer your questions:

Yes, H/S are likely long shots, and Wharton a more realistic shot as a Penn alum (still a stretch though); schools do like to keep in the family.

As for consulting, keep in mind that it makes ZERO difference which top 8 school you go to. ZERO. Your chances aren't better at one school versus the next, so long as the consulting firms actively recruit there. The reason is, at schools like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, Sloan, Columbia, Booth, and Tuck - all the consulting firms will interview virtually everyone who submits a resume to them. In other words, you basically have a 100% chance of getting a first round interview.

And it's about nailing the case interview before you move onto the subsequent rounds of interviews. The moment you walk into that interview room, where you go to school has zero impact. It all comes down to how you as an individual perform in that room - how well you handle the case interview, and then from there on in how well you handle the more standard "getting to know you" interviews.

There are differences in numbers/percentages of those who go into consulting - but that has nothing to do with "how hard it is" and more a function of student interest in that particular year and that particular crop of students. Again, so long as you go to a school where the consulting firms actively recruit (and at a top 8 school, you are virtually guaranteed an interview as long as you submit your resume/cover letters to the firms), it comes down to individual performance.

From the consulting firms standpoints - they are all feeder schools. Some years they will get more hires from one school versus another, and in other years it will reverse. It comes down to student interest, the crop of students that year that happens to be interested in consulting, and the yield (who ends up taking the job offers).
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Reach, Match and Safety Schools [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2012, 17:14
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I think you're looking at the right range of schools. You have the kind of background that wouldn't be out of place at a lot of these schools (don't sell yourself too short here).

STRETCH: Kellogg, Booth
SWEET SPOT: Duke, NYU, Darden, Ross, Cornell
SAFETY: Tepper, Indiana, Wisconsin, BC, BU

Stretches are schools where your profile won't be out of place, but that there's way more people of a comparable caliber as yourself than there are spots (more often than not people of a comparable caliber as yourself and who put together strong applications would still get dinged - but there's still some who will be lucky enough to get in). Again, stretches are schools where you have enough of a chance that they're worth applying to 1-2 schools, and in your case Kellogg and Booth fall in that category.

Sweet spots are schools where you have a reasonable shot of getting in. By no means a guarantee (i.e you may not get into every school you apply to) but where you can be comfortable knowing you can get in somewhere. I'd focus on 3-4 from this list - and I'd recommend Ross, Duke and Darden for what you're looking for. NYU and Cornell are also great, but the other three tend to have more students with like-minded career interests as yourself.

Safeties are schools where you should be able to get in. Within your list, I'd stick to 0-1. Maybe look at Indiana or Wisconsin as both have good marketing programs.

So I'd recommend to narrow down your list to: Kellogg, Booth, Ross, Duke, Darden, Indiana, Wisconsin.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Reach, Match and Safety Schools [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2012, 17:20
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I would agree with everything that Alex mentioned.

Quote:
Successful Poker/Casino Craps player...


Also, I wouldn't mention this in your application. Successful poker player I could believe since this is a game of skill, but there is generally a bad wrap that gamblers get. I don't believe most schools would consider this very impressive, and may actually look down on it.

Also, there is no such thing as a successful Casino Craps Player. The game is not in your favor, and although you may get a lucky and win, the game is always against you. Being a stats guy myself, reading that made me laugh, no matter how much $ you are up on craps, it's a losing game.

Don't "gamble" with your application.
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Re: Profile evaluation: advice needed [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2012, 08:22
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Biggest concern with you from an adcom's perspective is the combination of the fact that your work experience has been only in India and your rather non-traditional goals (non-profit).

So from their perspective, here's this Indian gal with no US experience, wanting to spend $150,000 to go into something non-traditional (and not known for being a high paying job) after b-school. Where are you going to get the money? Why are you spending all this money to do all this? From the looks of your jobs to date, you're getting paid presumably in local currency (i.e. much lower than what you'd get paid in the US for a comparable type of job), and you want to spend a crapload of money on an expensive US degree, just so you can go back to working for little money in a non-traditional job - in the US or India (either way it doesn't make sense: you'll have a hard time getting recruited for US-based non-profit type jobs even in consulting given your background, and if you go back to India to do this, you're back to being paid in local currency). Even if your family is wealthy with gobs of money, it still doesn't make much sense.

So the adcom either feels that you are completely uninformed about what b-school is all about (i.e. given your background they may feel that you're in for a huge culture shock), or that you're being disingenuous about your aims (i.e. you are saying non-profit do-gooder stuff because you think it makes for a good story, when in reality you do want to go to b-school to get the high paying traditional corporate jobs like everyone else).

Honestly I don't know either. If you really are focused on nonprofit, you may want to stay in India and take the IIM admit -- getting a nonprofit type of job in the US with your background is going to be tough. If you indeed are looking for a more traditional corporate route (i.e. you simply want to work/live in the US by working a decent business-oriented job at a company whether it's marketing, finance, consulting, etc.) then by all means apply to these US schools, but stick to career goals that make sense for the realities of what you'll be facing.
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Re: Profile evaluation: advice needed [#permalink] New post 01 May 2012, 08:01
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Ha! A lot of people, a lot of people...
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Re: Profile evaluation - Older applicant [#permalink] New post 20 May 2012, 08:55
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To be honest, at your age, why don't you look at EMBA or part-time programs? What are you looking to do after b-school?
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Re: Profile Evaluation - Another Military [#permalink] New post 27 May 2012, 08:42
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Here's what you should do:

(1) Shoot for a 700+ GMAT, and ideally a 720+ GMAT. That is what adcoms expect at the schools you're looking at. They will cut you some slack for your undergrad GPA (not uncommon for military officers to have lower GPAs), but that means you really should have a strong GMAT to make up for it. Yes you did well in your masters, but the GMAT is still the primary metric they will look at.

(2) Apply to the schools you listed this year. If you do get in, then you can decide later whether it's worth it (especially if you continue to grow in your current company). If you don't get in, as you said you're in a good place, so you are in a position to apply for the part-time or exec programs. The good thing about these California schools is that three of them have the strongest part-time programs in the country (Haas, UCLA, USC -- the other top tier P/T programs are Kellogg, Booth and NYU), and Stanford offers the 1-year Sloan program (a full-time executive masters that is sort of like an exec MBA).

In short, in your case it's about the GMAT and strong execution on your written applications and interview - and you should have a reasonable shot at the schools you listed.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2012, 18:09
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jxatrillion wrote:
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.


Sweet spots would be top 30 schools like Texas, UNC, Emory, USC, Tepper, Georgetown, etc.
Stretches are top 16 schools like NYU, Duke, UCLA, Ross, Darden, Cornell, Yale.

Sounds like you have good work experience, but the GPA is a big issue. First, you need at least a 710, if not a 740+ with your GPA. Plus, you need to enroll in some online extension courses (UCLA is one that offers them) to build an alternate transcript: take calculus, stats, algebra, microecon, etc. (just 2-3 courses should be fine).

Other than that, R1 vs R2 won't matter - I swear I hear both sides all the time. Some say R1 is better, others say R2 is better - and it all seems to be coming from folks who are trying to rationalize why they chose the particular round to submit to. Again, it does not matter for any school other than Sloan or Columbia (which only has 2 rounds).

Good luck
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2012, 22:16
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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,

Last edited by clubgmatuser on 23 Jul 2012, 09:48, edited 1 time in total.
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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 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 29 Aug 2012, 20:04
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amnesty17 wrote:
Dear Alex,

Please evaluate my profile.

Nationality: Indian Female
Age: 28
GMAT: 670 (Quantitative: 49, Verbal: 33)

As I already took GMAT four times, I have decided not to take GMAT again.

Educational Background:
Bachelor of Engineering in Information Science from Visveswaraiah Technological University, Karnataka, India. – First Class with Distinction

Professional Background: Experience: 6.5 years (as of August-2012)

1) 2006 To 2010: Associate Consultant at Oracle, India

I worked on Supply Chain Management to solve the purchasing problems of Oracle customer, Alcoa. I had extensive contacts with customers located in Asia, Australia and US.

2) 2011 To Current: IT Consultant at Shell Asset Management Company (a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company), The Netherlands

I provide software solutions and services to customers located in Asia and Europe.
I don’t have any budget responsibility and don’t have any direct reports.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

From 2011 To Current: Coordinator of Amnesty International Group in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I coordinated fund raising in 2011 and 2012. I led many actions for women’s right in Saudi Arabia, Gays right in Turkey and Arms Trade Treaty. I coordinated Amnesty benefit concert in 2012.

Languages known: Tamil, English, Hindi, Kannada

International Exposure: Since 2011, I have been working in the Netherlands (20 months)

Reason for doing an MBA: Career Progress
After MBA, I like to work as Senior Consultant for an IT company such as Oracle or IBM located in Europe/Asia.

Area of interest: Technology/IT Consultancy

Target Schools: INSEAD, IMD, LBS, Oxford, Cambridge, HEC
I like to do my MBA in Europe. I already visited HEC, IE and RSM and am going to visit INSEAD, LBS and Oxford in September 2012.

My partner got into INSEAD and will be beginning his MBA in January-2013.

I request you to evaluate my profile and let me know the schools I have good chances at.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Amnesty


You probably already know this - but your GMAT is going to be a significant handicap. What I suggest is to apply to INSEAD anyway (your partner is there so that helps). LBS and IMD will be big stretches because of your GMAT (apply, but know that the chances aren't good); Oxford, Cambridge and HEC will be a bit more realistic, although again with these GMAT scores creeping up each year, I still think there will be concerns at these schools. Again, you have an interesting enough background (especially outside of work) that I think you can put together a strong application - but again you're handicapped by your GMAT unfortunately.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 21:06
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bob99 wrote:
Hi Alex.

I'm reusing the template one of the other admission consultants used. I'd love to get your feedback as well as you seem to be quite good at bringing people with unrealistically high goals back down to the ground again :)

I am still a few months away from sending applications and do not have my GMAT done yet. I hope it's still possible to get an evaluation, as I am wondering if my goals might be completely unrealistic.

I'm a 31 year old male from Scandinavia.

1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
After graduating I have worked full time in software development and IT consulting. After two years I was promoted to technical Project Manager/tech lead for a new banking system for one of the largest banks in Scandinavia. The project had around 20 developers. After another two years in that position I left to join a small IT consultancy as CTO/assistant general manager. Here I've worked for another three years, totalling 7 1/2 years of experience after receiving my master's degree. I've been involved in all parts of running the company and is the "right hand" of the general manager.

2) Your GMAT:
Not taken yet. I'm studying a couple of hours daily and testing at 670 now. I'll take the test in around two months, so 700 should be realistic. If you think a higher score is necessary, I would love to hear it.

3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
Master's degree in engineering (computer science). Top technical university in my country. Final grade of B on a scale from A-E where E is fail. I worked part time (50%) with software development for a well-known company during my studies.

4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
I'm leading a volunteer professional community with 300 members who meet monthly. I am responsible for getting both professional speakers to come and speak to us and for providing a venue for local people to share their experiences. I have had minor speaking appearances at major international conferences.

5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.

6) Your target programs.
INSEAD is my clear number one choice. I am only looking at one-year programs and is looking mainly in Europe. Oxford and Cambridge next on the list.

7) Your post-MBA goal.
I am looking for a career change. While I have excelled in my technical work and in technical consulting, I have become increasingly interested in businesses: How they work, what makes them profitable and how to make them grow. I am an entrepreneur at heart and would like to start my own successful business. However I am very interested in working for one of the very large companies as well.

Since a career change is what I'm aiming at, I have decided to not pursue an EMBA. While I'm certainly one of the older applicants for the regular MBA programs, I got hope that I can get accepted. Following that, with distinguished results from a good business school my goal is to land a job at a good management consulting company as a way to make my career change happen.


In short, it comes down to your GMAT. For the schools you're looking for aim for a 700 or greater to be safe (high 600's at a bare minimum, or else you'll be a long shot).

Your age won't be an issue for European schools - they tend to skew a little older anyhow so you won't feel out of place (while most folks at US programs are in their mid- to late-20s, at the Euro programs it tends to skew late-20s to early-30s).

Beyond that, it's just a matter of putting together the strongest applications. Your profile is competitive enough (assuming your GMAT is strong that is). Good luck!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2012, 09:54
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rohitbizschool wrote:
Hey Alex,
I saw your 'Mumbai-mumbler' video. Quite funny! You seem familiar with international applicants' problems.

I’ve done my undergrad from Mumbai (Bombay) University, India. Different universities in India have different grading even though most of them follow the Percentage system

For example, a First Class (60% to 75%) is considered a good score in Mumbai University (which has an extremely difficult grading system) but may be an average score in universities in other parts of India.

My score was 65% which might seem like a poor score to someone not familiar with the grading. Should I write an optional essay explaining this? Unfortunately, I can only guess what percentile my score would be (my guess 85%) but there are no official percentile-records that the university maintains.

I’m also aware that most business schools do not ask the applicants to convert their scores to GPA.

I also have a Masters degree from a renowned engineering school in the US with a very good GPA. Can I put all this in the optional essay and ask the schools to assess my academic ability based on my grades in the Masters program since they’re standardized?

I read in some thread that one student (also from my university) was asked by Wharton to explain the reasons for his poor undergrad score. He had a similar score (65%) which is actually ‘First Class’ and a good score in Mumbai University. If a school like Wharton (which I'm sure receives many applications from all over the world) is not familiar with the grading of Mumbai University, chances are that other schools might not very very familiar too.

I’m applying to part-time programs and have 5+ years of experience working in a Fortune 500 company in the US.

Thanks!


Just state it in one sentence explaining that your raw score is First Class (i.e. within the top percentiles) for the school. That's all you need to say.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2012, 11:52
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MacFauz wrote:
Hi Alex,

Could you please evaluate my profile and suggest which schools I would be competitive in

Indian Male

Age : 23 (14 - Mar - 1989)

Work Experience : 27 Months as on 1st December 2012 in a HVAC Contracting Company which is one of the top 3 companies in the field in India.

Responsibilities : Procurement Engineer - Involves technical (Have to verify technical data of various machinery to check compliance and ensure apple to apple comparison) as well as commercial responsibilities(meeting with vendors, negotiating and finalizing prices, arranging for delivery).
Have had one promotion and two salary increments in two years although have not held any leadership posts.

GMAT Score:
Quants : 49, Verbal : 42, Overall : 740
AWA: 5.5, IR : 8

Undergrad Info:
B.E in Mechanical Engineering with 70% from Anna University (Non IIT Indian University - State Owned)

Extra-Curricular
Was part of the school soccer team and regular in the school athletic meet winning several medals in the intra school sports meets. Although I doubt if that would amount to anything.
Community service is also 0. I have been instrumental in getting roads laid in my area but do not have any proof. To sum it up, I think this would be what would hurt my profile most.
Have received appraisal letters from my management for good performance which I hope could stand for something and so confident that I can get good recommendations.

Target Programs in order of preference
Harvard
Wharton
Stanford
Yale
CMU Tepper
Boston University

As a follow up, I have the below questions as well

1) Do I need to take the TOEFL for these schools? My Undergraduate and high school were both in English.

2) Is it true that I would be significantly reducing my chances of admission to a US school by applying in R3 instead of in R1 or R2? If yes, is it better for me to wait and apply in R1 next year than apply in R3 this year?

3) Where can I get assistance in framing my essays?

Thanks In Advance...


You don't need to take the TOEFL if the language of instruction is in English.

As for your chances -- if you can afford to wait until R1 next year, that would be ideal. R3 is a real gamble because by then most of the seats would've been filled with the R1 and R2 admits.

And finally, for your school choices, you need to readjust your expectations. Forget about H/S/W - you're not getting in because you're up against way too many people who frankly have stronger profiles than you (and/or profiles that adcoms are more interested in) -- I know there may be folks out there who say "you never know" but in all honesty, they're long shots no matter how you slice and dice it. Schools in the top 16 like Yale, Cornell, Stern, Ross, Duke, Darden and UCLA are stretches - but schools where you have at least an outside shot. Schools in the top 30 are more in your range, such as Tepper, Maryland, Texas, Emory, Georgetown, UNC, USC, and so forth.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2013, 09:40
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neo0911 wrote:
Hi Alex,

I've bought your book and find it’s really useful and enjoyable to read. I'm now considering the application starting around Aug 2013. My basic background is as below:
Singaporean Male Chinese;
GMAT 760, 99%, (Q51, V42);
Bachelor of Computing graduated from National University of Singapore in 2005 (GPA 3.51);
Now working in oil/energy industry as the Director of Corporate Development of a listed company in Singapore; mainly focusing on strategic planning and M&A in Asia Pacific energy market. Have led and concluded multibillion-dollar investments/transactions/projects in the region.

My target schools (only my preliminary thoughts) include: Stanford GSB, HBS, Wharton, MIT Sloan, CBS, HAAS UC Berkley, Yale, Cornell Johnson, UCLA: Anderson.

Here is my concern (at least for now): at the current stage I'm about 32 with nearly 7.5 years working experiences, and I know applicant like me is "too old" for the top schools (especially the top 3). How do you see my application? Of course I understand that it is very difficult for you to give the assessment based on the very limited information mentioned above; however, I just want to hear your general opinion about my school selections and appreciate any your advice at the beginning of my application.

Thanks!


You're one of those applicants who is at a point in his career where it only makes sense to go to the top schools, but at the same time adcoms will prefer younger folks over you. You'll face this at all top schools, but especially at HBS, Stanford and Wharton.

The thing that helps a little is that you're an Asian male who is NOT in finance (it seems like the overwhelming majority of Asian or Asian-American guys who apply to b-school are in finance, sort of akin to the massive numbers of Indian engineers applying to b-school).

Here's what I suggest:

H/S/W: apply if you really want, but just know they're going to be a big stretch simply because there's enough folks in the applicant pool who are younger that they will prefer over you. You have a solid professional profile, but you're up against other H/S/W applicants who have that and who have as much pedigree/brand in their resume (if not more) and who are younger. Older applicants who tend to be more successful at getting into these schools tend to be non-traditional applicants (military, non-profit professionals, pro athletes, etc. and not corporate professionals like yourself). Again, apply if you really want to scratch that itch, but just have realistic expectations about your chances given who you're up against.

Sloan, Columbia, Haas: these are schools where you'll have more of a shot, and where you should focus on. I think with solid execution on the apps and a bit of luck, you should be competitive.

Yale, Cornell, UCLA: there are no real safety schools in the top 16, but these are schools where you have a reasonable shot of getting into.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2013, 23:01
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harshkhemka88 wrote:
Hi Alex,

I am 25, Male, Indian

Education: Bachelor of Commerce, University of Delhi (GPA 4.00), Post Graduate Diploma in Management (GPA 4.00)

GMAT: 760 (Q50, V42, AWA 5, IR 8)

Professional: WE of 2 years (~2.5 years at the time of application), Founder Publishboat.com, Business Development Head at Safedecor Pvt. Ltd. (20 million dollar company manufacturing high pressure laminates), Past work ex: Infosys consulting (Senior Associate Consultant) for ~18 months

EC: President of Choreography Society in College (Lead a team of 20 in various national-level competitions)
Volunteer/Member of Padhai- Education for the under-privileged (~ 5 months)

Career Goals: Short term- Grow Publishboat.com to be the literary agency of choice in India, Long term- Internet Entrepreneurship

Target Schools: Based on my research, the best schools for mba in entrepreneurship seem to be Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Cornell, Tepper and Yale

Application: R1 or R2 (October-December 2013)

Why MBA? To acquire skills and knowledge of entrepreneurship

Will really appreciate your insights on my profile and suggestion on other schools which are good for entrepreneurship. Which schools are my Stretch and which, safety?

Thanks,
Harsh


To be honest, if your business were so successful (or on the cusp of really ramping up), why would you take two years off from it?

If you really believed in your business, you wouldn't be applying to b-school. And to wax poetic about networks, what you'll learn, etc. is BS and you know it.

The overwhelming majority of MBAs (even at the schools you listed) aren't exactly budding entrepreneurs. The b-school program is geared primarily to graduate folks who can start in middle mgmt positions right after school. It's the kind of environment that tends to attract prestige-oriented, risk-averse individuals - including the schools you listed. And there is nothing wrong with that -- but don't fool yourself into thinking that b-school somehow will turn risk-averse folks into enterprising, risk-taking individuals. Different people have different values and priorities.

Again, if you really believe in your business, you owe it to yourself to invest the money you would've spent on b-school on your business instead. If you really are interested in entrepreneurship, don't bother with an MBA: you can always hire them.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2013, 14:09
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TheNona wrote:
Hi Alex. I am currently applying for Desautels (McGill) 's full time course this year . In fact , I am a 30 year old pharmacist with 6.5 work experience 5 of them in a multinational pharmaceutical company first as a sales representative then as a sales trainer after being promoted.I had distinguished extracurricular activities during high school and undergrad but later my job consumed 80% of my time , the rest 20% was dedicated to PG studies and to my family . PG studies include a diploma in Industrial Pharmacy and another in "Training the Trainer" , and a certificate in written translation .In addition to all these ,I got an HR certification from SHRM as well as some workshops and non-academic courses including finance for non-financial managers . Knowing that my GMAT scores are 540 , then a 550 , and my GPA varies between 2.82 -2.94 after assessing it on different GPA calculators,while Desautels responded to my inquiry that they look for 600 GMAT and a GPA 3 , encouraging me to apply but meanwhile implying that they can forgive a slightly lower GPA for a satisfactory GMAT , what do you advise me to do ? which strengths can you see in my profile can compensate for the GMAT gap? knowing that I am applying these days to catch the deadline but will still retake the GMAT for the 3rd time next month aiming at updating them with a better score.By the way , on their website it is said that the range of GMAT scores for their students is 560-780.

Thanks in advance :)


Retake the GMAT. I know you are hoping for me to say "you can overcome your lower than average GMAT, yes you can!" but that would just be giving you false encouragement. With schools in this tier, it's ultimately about your GMAT. Good luck!!
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Last edited by AlexMBAApply on 22 Apr 2013, 14:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2013, 11:04
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kunzi wrote:
Hello Alex,

I'm in dire need of your blunt advice.

My Profile:

Nationality: Indian
GMAT: 700 (Q 49 V36)
GPA: 75% from a top 50 engineering school
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Work Experience: 7 years at Matriculation with a top Oil exploration and refining company (I worked only in downstream - refining)

4 Years: Mechanical Engineer - Maintenance. Lead a team of 6 technicians. Worked towards ensuring the reliability and availability of mech. equipment. Developed maintenance plans - Preventive and Predictive. Active involvement in Tendering and Contract Management.

2 Years: Senior Engineer - Maintenance and Projects. Leveraged the maintenance expertise to streamline and manage Revamp Project activities. Lead a team of over 40 technicians to complete shutdown activities well ahead of schedule. Job included planning, inter - department coordination and execution.

1 Year: Senior Engineer - Vigilance. Leveraged the technical and commercial expertise to bring systemic improvements across the organization. Focussed on areas that required system development or improvement and recommended changes to improve efficiency, transparency and effectiveness.

Leadership
• Elected Representative for Management Staff Association (Officer's association to liaison with the Management)
• Work profile full of leadership examples

Extra Curricular:
• Active Member of Toastmaster's Club
• Community Service through the CSR activities of my company - Organized blood donation camps, AIDS awareness campaigns etc.
• An active event organizer throughout my life - right from school till today. Was a member of Organizing Committee for Annual Tech. & Cultural fest at college. Active participation in organizing company events including handling venue, logistics, decor, liaison with speakers etc.

Future Plans:
Energy Consulting with a focus on sustainability.

Target Firms:
GE (internal consulting)
Bain
McKinsey

Backup Plan: Operations management in Energy industry. Target Firm: Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP.

Wish to apply to:

1. Tuck
2. Duke Fuqua
3. Darden
4. UCLA
5) Johnson
6) Emory
7) Mc Combs
8) Kelley
9) Ivey, Canada
10) Rotman

I wish to apply to the first 5 schools in R1. The others in subsequent rounds, in case R1 doesn't bear any fruits.

I am skeptical in the following areas:

1. Do I have the USP to get into the programs mentioned above, considering I don't take another shot at GMAT ?? Request you to highlight any apparent weaknesses in my profile.

2. Is my choice of schools ok ? What schools should I focus on. A list of schools reputed for placements in the energy sector (Consulting and Operations).

I wish to clarify here that I took GMAT in 2011 and had applied to Ivey and Rotman in Canada. I got rejected from both the schools after interview. But I must mention that I hadn't done any research about B-school applications and Interview and I had not portrayed my balanced profile through the essays and specially during the interviews.

This year, I hope to put in the best possible application package through thorough research and introspection.

Look forward to your response.
Thank You.

Best Regards,
KUNAL


You're targeting the right range of schools. The first 5 on your list are stretches, but where you have enough of a chance that it's at least worth applying. Biggest hurdle for you is getting the adcom to see you as an individual in a sea of Indian male applicants who have very similar profiles as you (yes, you're not IT or tech, but you're still an engineer with a pretty standard issue profile: you are in a technical position with some team responsibility, and your extracurriculars are pretty standard issue as well i.e. Toastmasters). Again, the biggest risk is blending in.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2013, 09:57
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akshaychaturvedi007 wrote:
Hi Alex,

As discussed, wanted to share with you my profile and enquire about suitability of schools.

- 2.5 years of experience (as of yet); 2 with EY and a 6 month stint with KPMG - have demonstrated fast career progression
- Been a start-up fanatic, currently running an international start-up with presence in eleven countries - model is via product store, services offered, and a live blog: a for-profit social entrepreneurial initiative
- Involved with social entrepreneurial roles outside work - funding for a rural start-up which is a Wharton study; aiding a World economic forum fellow, etc
- Managed football team at EY and won awards, leadership roles in school, college and work - Sports Captain, College Representative, etc.

- Long term career goal is to be a maximum impact social entrepreneur and a politician, have actively worked toward these goals, currently work with a political outfit on an innovative plan to improve the lives of people living in the constituency
- Passed out of University of Delhi with an aggregate of 64%: top 10% of passing class

GMAT Score: 710 (Q48, V40) ; AWA 6, though messed up with an IR of 1

Schools I am keen on: HarVard, Wharton, MIT Sloan, Yale, Keloggs, Indian School of Business, Chicago Booth

Please do share your inputs, thanks again :)


In short, you are overshooting.

Big-4 guys are essentially a long shot at HBS -- forget it. Your chances are basically slim to none especially for a Big-4 person who is coming out of India.

As for Wharton, Sloan, Kellogg, Booth -- they will be stretches for Big-4 folks. For someone like yourself based in India, they will likely be long shots or big stretches. Focus on 0-1 school as your lottery ticket.

Where you should focus is on the following:

Top 16: Yale, Stern, Cornell, Ross, Darden, Duke, UCLA. These schools are stretches but where you have enough of a shot that they're at least worth giving a serious shot. Choose 2-3 from this list.

Top 30: Georgetown, Maryland, Emory, UNC, USC, Texas, Tepper, Purdue, Indiana. These schools are sweet spots where you have more of a reasonable shot of getting into. Choose 2-3 from this list.

Outside the top 30: these would be safeties. Choose 0-1 from this tier.

ISB would be similar to a top 30 (sweet spot), as would European programs like Oxford, Cambridge, HEC, IESE, ESADE, IE. The top Euro programs like INSEAD and LBS will be big stretches (closer to a US top 8).
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply   [#permalink] 07 Oct 2013, 09:57
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