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Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2012, 19:55
firsttimer2 wrote:
Hi Alex,

What would be a good way to find volunteer organizations (to build ECs in my interest area) and what type of roles to target so it also helps the bschool app?

Do these volunteer orgs offer such roles in a formal manner?

My work is in engineering and leaves little time for ECs.

thanks in advance.


That's something you have to figure out, as it's very local - I don't know where you live, so I can't tell you what is out there for you. Part of the learning process is for YOU to spend that time to discover it yourself.

And no, volunteer orgs are not in the business to just hand out formal roles to people looking to pad their resume. They are too busy trying to fulfill their mission in helping out those they set to help out. That may be harsh, but if you're looking to pad your resume, don't bother. These orgs don't want you either because you're not there to help - you're simply there for yourself and most people will see through it (and won't give you much responsibility anyhow).

If you don't have time, then don't try and window dress your resume - because everyone will see through it.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2012, 20:00
rohitbizschool wrote:
Hi Alex,

I’m considering applying to *part-time* programs (Fall 2013). I took the GMAT a couple months ago and scored 700.
Score: 700 (90 percentile)
Quant 48 (80 percentile)
Verbal 38 (83 percentile)
AWA 5.0/6.0

I’m considering applying to *part-time* programs (Haas-Berkeley, Anderson-UCLA) and maybe (Booth-Chicago, Kellogg) I’m not very sure about the latter because I live in San Francisco and flying out to Chi-town every weekend might not be very practical.

I was wondering if I have a good chance of getting into these elite schools because I’m part of the over-represented pool. Here are the details:

- Software professional in the Silicon Valley with 5 years of experience.
- Ethnically Indian (male/28)
- Undergraduate GPA - First Class from a university in India. Not sure how to convert that into GPA
- Masters Degree in CS from a reputed engineering school in California. GPA 3.85/4.00
- I’ve been doing well at work (at a reputed tech company ) and can get good (hopefully) recommendation letters from my manager and the director (who’s a Haas part-time alumnus) of the department.
I think mine would be an average profile for elite schools.

I plan to apply to part time programs for the Fall 2013 class.

I understand that the GMAT score is just one criterion and the Admission Committee looks into other criteria like work experience, extracurricular activities, recommendations, essays, etc. as well. Do you have experience working with *part time* MBA applicants with a *similar background* (overly represented)?

My options/goals after graduation:
- Advance into Executive Management and lead teams.
- Product Management (tech)
- Business Development (tech)

I'm also considering Leavey (Santa Clara University) as a backup option if I don’t get into Haas. Although, I’m not very sure about it’s reputation. I know a few Product Managers and General Managers in my company who have graduated from Leavey and they seem to be doing well (obviously, can’t generalize). My concern is that Leavey is ranked very low. In fact, it has been plummeting in the past few years.

Also, it would be great if you could give a brief overview of your consulting services for part time applicants. I’m mostly interested in the resume+essays service.

Thanks!
-Rohit


If you're looking at part-time, you have enough of a chance that they're worth at least applying, although again as you know there's a ton of Indian engineers applying (many of whom have very similar profiles). Sounds like you have a pretty good idea of where you stand. My suggestion is to focus on these 4, and then only consider Santa Clara and other local schools as a backup. If you're looking to move up the ranks in your industry, then the branding of the degree won't matter quite as much (because you already have a job and not going through the recruiting process).

If you're looking to know more about my services, just email me.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2012, 22:03
Alex, Thank you very much for your honest opinion.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2012, 22:50
AlexMBAApply wrote:

That's something you have to figure out, as it's very local - I don't know where you live, so I can't tell you what is out there for you. Part of the learning process is for YOU to spend that time to discover it yourself.

And no, volunteer orgs are not in the business to just hand out formal roles to people looking to pad their resume. They are too busy trying to fulfill their mission in helping out those they set to help out. That may be harsh, but if you're looking to pad your resume, don't bother. These orgs don't want you either because you're not there to help - you're simply there for yourself and most people will see through it (and won't give you much responsibility anyhow).

If you don't have time, then don't try and window dress your resume - because everyone will see through it.


I don't disagree, and thanks for your reply but you misinterpreted part of my post. My question related to ECs in my interest area. I will figure it out from here, thanks.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2012, 07:56
Hi Alex
any views on courses by MBAMath.com?? some testimonials claim students wid low gpa were accepted after sending in a transcript. Actually that makes much more sense than an alternative transcript because they teach quant pertinent to what a prospective student is gonna learn in B-school. I am not questioning sensibility of adcom but why make a guy do a course in pure microeconomis when you can make him do a course in subjects that are exactly going to be taught in class. Wouldn't such classes boost up the academic ability of the class?? Tuck ad Cornell seem to agree and a lot of schools buy subscription to MBAMath.com
More specifically What do you think is HBS adcom's take on this??
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2012, 01:35
Hi Alex,

Would be great if you let me know what you think of my profile. Here is a very brief summary.

WORK EX
~4.5 years’ experience in cloud computing, virtualization and security domains.
3 years in McAfee, 1 year in Citrix as Software Quality Assurance Engineer.
IT Skills – Responsible for overall product quality, collaboration with global teams, test execution and reporting
Non IT skills - Sales enablement, project management, hiring and mentoring, setting up new processes etc. Indirectly leading a team of 5 members. Have mentored 9 people.

ACADS
GMAT: 700 - (Quant - 49, Verbal – 36), yet to receive AWA scores
B.TECH - 83.3% (CS)
12TH - 70%
CFA Level II candidate PRINCE2 foundation certified - Project management
ITIL v3 foundation certified- IT Service Management
CompTIA Security+ certified - Security domain

ACHIEVEMENTS
rated >4 (out of 5) for 3 years of operations in McAfee
‘Employee of the Quarter' award in McAfee
Stock Grant Bonus for outstanding performance
Spot Bonus for outstanding performance
Promoted within completing 1 year in McAfee

EXTRA CURRICULAR
Freelance test mentoring for a 2 year old tech start-up, also gave a talk to its employees
Service-lead, managing CSR activities for my present team of 20.
Program-manager for McAfee's CSR initiative for 2 years, managed team of 50 volunteers.
Elected student representative - Mess committee in college
Prefect/ House Captain in final year of school
Editor of school magazine in 11th standard

AREA OF INTEREST
Management consulting, general management, strategy

TARGET COLLEGES
Kellogg, ISB, NUS so far.
Looking for colleges in US or APAC region mostly.

QUESTIONS
1. Which 2 colleges should i choose as backups for my area of interest?
2. Which 2 colleges do you think I have a fair chance of getting in?
3. Which 2 colleges do you think I can get in with a bit of luck and carefully crafted application?

Thanks for the help!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2012, 06:27
Hi Alex ,


Here is a brief of my profile :

Educational Background:
Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communications - GPA 3.3
GMAT 680 (Q49,V33)

Professional Background: Experience: 5 years (as of August-2012)
1) Senior Analyst 2010 - present: Credit Risk Analytic at a Boutique Consulting
Currently working with the largest retail bank in UK to develop strategies and insights to advise clients on the following :

Customer acquisition ,Customer retention,Loss Minimization on High Credit Limit accounts,Collection strategies to minimize loss on delinquent accounts etc.
Strategies to minimize Loss Given Default (LGD) and Probability of Default(PD) of high risk segments within a time period. The LGD has a direct impact on the Balance sheet of the Bank and as such the strategies mentioned above have saved the bank in millions


2) 2007-2010: Business Analyst at a Major IT MNC
Started as trainee for the learning Infrastructure development team , was promoted to the level of lead in 4 months , took
the responsibilites of handling the entire offshore delievery management, was awarded for the same by the client.

Continued to work in the same domain for another client and developed my skills further to get into the business side of the domain ,
I was specifically asked to handle the pre-sales activities, I trained around 4-5 associates at my workplace during the
same time as we tried aggressively to get a $1,000,000 project for our team , The project was in a open bid state and 2
other vendors were asked to send proposals etc.


Extra-Curricular Activities:

NGO experience - Worked for an NGO from within the organization to help the underprivileged children, of Denotified tribal area , in accessing a continuous stream of education. Involved in speaking to small fund donors and gathering volunteers.

Rock Band in Undergraduate Institute - Performed Live and backstage at various competitive events across State.

Head of Cultural Committee in Undergraduate Institute - Funds collections , marketing events for the various year round activities

Member of Core marketting committee in Undergraduate Institute - Marketing spotlight events across state, inviting high budget sponsors for event sponsorship

Languages known: English , Hindi , German(Speaking)

Reason for doing an MBA: Career Progress
I would want to leverage my Credit Risk Analytic experience and work post MBA for a Big 4 in their Risk Advisory domain, or leverage the same experience to work for a large lending Institution in their Credit risk vertical.

Area of interest: Consulting

Target Schools:

Ambitious - Ross , Duke, Cornell , Darden
Safe - UTMccombs , Tepper , HKUST , USC, NUS


I want to know whether I should apply with this kind of profile (specifically GMAT) to my safe schools in R1 or should take all the schools in R2 with a better GMAT score
Thanks in advance for your help.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2012, 21:48
RajatSrivastava wrote:
Hi Alex,

Would be great if you let me know what you think of my profile. Here is a very brief summary.

WORK EX
~4.5 years’ experience in cloud computing, virtualization and security domains.
3 years in McAfee, 1 year in Citrix as Software Quality Assurance Engineer.
IT Skills – Responsible for overall product quality, collaboration with global teams, test execution and reporting
Non IT skills - Sales enablement, project management, hiring and mentoring, setting up new processes etc. Indirectly leading a team of 5 members. Have mentored 9 people.

ACADS
GMAT: 700 - (Quant - 49, Verbal – 36), yet to receive AWA scores
B.TECH - 83.3% (CS)
12TH - 70%
CFA Level II candidate PRINCE2 foundation certified - Project management
ITIL v3 foundation certified- IT Service Management
CompTIA Security+ certified - Security domain

ACHIEVEMENTS
rated >4 (out of 5) for 3 years of operations in McAfee
‘Employee of the Quarter' award in McAfee
Stock Grant Bonus for outstanding performance
Spot Bonus for outstanding performance
Promoted within completing 1 year in McAfee

EXTRA CURRICULAR
Freelance test mentoring for a 2 year old tech start-up, also gave a talk to its employees
Service-lead, managing CSR activities for my present team of 20.
Program-manager for McAfee's CSR initiative for 2 years, managed team of 50 volunteers.
Elected student representative - Mess committee in college
Prefect/ House Captain in final year of school
Editor of school magazine in 11th standard

AREA OF INTEREST
Management consulting, general management, strategy

TARGET COLLEGES
Kellogg, ISB, NUS so far.
Looking for colleges in US or APAC region mostly.

QUESTIONS
1. Which 2 colleges should i choose as backups for my area of interest?
2. Which 2 colleges do you think I have a fair chance of getting in?
3. Which 2 colleges do you think I can get in with a bit of luck and carefully crafted application?

Thanks for the help!


As a fairly middle-of-the-road Indian engineer (tons of guys like yourself applying), here's where you stand:

Stretch (choose 1): Kellogg, Booth, Columbia, Sloan, Tuck, Haas
Sweet spot (choose 3-4): Duke, Darden, Ross, Cornell, Stern, Yale, UCLA
Safety (choose 1-2): NUS, ISB
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2012, 21:50
crackHSW wrote:
Hi Alex ,


Here is a brief of my profile :

Educational Background:
Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communications - GPA 3.3
GMAT 680 (Q49,V33)

Professional Background: Experience: 5 years (as of August-2012)
1) Senior Analyst 2010 - present: Credit Risk Analytic at a Boutique Consulting
Currently working with the largest retail bank in UK to develop strategies and insights to advise clients on the following :

Customer acquisition ,Customer retention,Loss Minimization on High Credit Limit accounts,Collection strategies to minimize loss on delinquent accounts etc.
Strategies to minimize Loss Given Default (LGD) and Probability of Default(PD) of high risk segments within a time period. The LGD has a direct impact on the Balance sheet of the Bank and as such the strategies mentioned above have saved the bank in millions


2) 2007-2010: Business Analyst at a Major IT MNC
Started as trainee for the learning Infrastructure development team , was promoted to the level of lead in 4 months , took
the responsibilites of handling the entire offshore delievery management, was awarded for the same by the client.

Continued to work in the same domain for another client and developed my skills further to get into the business side of the domain ,
I was specifically asked to handle the pre-sales activities, I trained around 4-5 associates at my workplace during the
same time as we tried aggressively to get a $1,000,000 project for our team , The project was in a open bid state and 2
other vendors were asked to send proposals etc.


Extra-Curricular Activities:

NGO experience - Worked for an NGO from within the organization to help the underprivileged children, of Denotified tribal area , in accessing a continuous stream of education. Involved in speaking to small fund donors and gathering volunteers.

Rock Band in Undergraduate Institute - Performed Live and backstage at various competitive events across State.

Head of Cultural Committee in Undergraduate Institute - Funds collections , marketing events for the various year round activities

Member of Core marketting committee in Undergraduate Institute - Marketing spotlight events across state, inviting high budget sponsors for event sponsorship

Languages known: English , Hindi , German(Speaking)

Reason for doing an MBA: Career Progress
I would want to leverage my Credit Risk Analytic experience and work post MBA for a Big 4 in their Risk Advisory domain, or leverage the same experience to work for a large lending Institution in their Credit risk vertical.

Area of interest: Consulting

Target Schools:

Ambitious - Ross , Duke, Cornell , Darden
Safe - UTMccombs , Tepper , HKUST , USC, NUS


I want to know whether I should apply with this kind of profile (specifically GMAT) to my safe schools in R1 or should take all the schools in R2 with a better GMAT score
Thanks in advance for your help.


Given your raw profile, you seem to have a good assessment of where you stand given your school choices. With that said, if you can apply R2 with a better GMAT, you should. Right now, your GMAT will make you more of a long shot with your "ambitious" schools. With a 700+, they'll be stretches but where you have at least more of a chance.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2012, 12:55
Hi Alex,

I would really appreciate your comments of my profile.

PERSONAL INFO:
- Female from South East Asia
- Education: pharmacy school in my home country (GPA 7/10); master of public health in the US (GPA 3.5)
- Work experience: 6 years in public policy and healthcare management
- GMAT: 690 (49Q; 34V), AWA 6.

WORK EX: (highlights)
- Led the development of several government regulations in pharmaceutical system of my home country --> Deeply involved in the decision-making & policy-developing processes of the central healthcare system
- Effectively represented the gov authority in international negotiations with other countries (including the US)
- Improved efficiency of the organization through reforming key operation processes
- Reported directly to top leaders in the government department of health

DISADVANTAGES (self-perceived):
- Quite-intangible achievements
- Management experience: mostly projects other than persons
- mediocre GMAT 690 after... 4 times! ( :oops: ) ; GPAs from a non-US school and a non-Ivy US school are both average
- Age: 31 - above the average in top schools

EXTRA CURRICULAR
- College: school's student government; president of the class (100 students)
- Throughout college and career: Participated and led several "mobile clinics" - providing free health exams and medicines to disadvantaged people in isolated villages

CAREER GOALS:
- post MBA: healthcare consulting firms; established NGOs in healthcare
- long-term: head a social venture in Asia to address health management issues in developing countries

TARGET SCHOOLS
HBS, Wharton, MIT, Haas, Yale, Duke...

QUESTIONS
1. Already took GMAT 4 times (550 -> 650 -> 660 -> 690, AWA 5.5). Would the Adcoms (and You) think I'm crazy/immature if I retake the GMAT the 5th time to break 700 (strongly believe I can do so this time :oops: )
Or should I instead try to submit to 1-2 schools in R1 (it's pretty late already :( ) and count on luck in R2?

2. Are the above schools all long-shots to me?

Thanks so much for your time!

Last edited by GabyGaby on 01 Dec 2012, 11:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2012, 20:03
.

Last edited by saadhu on 06 Dec 2012, 17:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2012, 01:23
Hi Alex, would appreciate a profile evaluation by you!

Nationality: Indian citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident

Age: 26 (by next year fall)

GMAT: 710 (M48 V39), 6.0 AWA, 7.0 IR

Work experience: 4 years
2 years at a leading international bank in credit risk management focusing on specialized industries like private equity, leverage finance and diamond trading
2 years at one of the world’s largest commodities traders in credit risk management spanning 20 commodities across 65 countries

Education: Undergrad in Economics and Finance from Singapore Management University (SMU) – a new-age school launched in 2000 with significant prestige in Asia
GPA: 3.0 / 4 (Graduated with Merit)
Teaching Assistant for 3 Political Science courses and Research Assistant for Professor in recently published book about Poverty in China

Professional Qualifications:
Financial Risk Manager – Certified FRM (It’s like the CFA for Risk)
Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst – CAIA Level 1

Background: I am ambitious, hard-working and focused on building my way to become a Chief Risk Officer as my long term plan. Currently, I approve trading strategies for futures and non-futures traded commodities in countries like Ghana, Mozambique, Costa Rica and Vietnam. I left my more traditional role in banking to accept my current role which carries significant responsibility and is a great learning experience. A recent highlight included receiving an out-of-turn promotion at my current firm.

I would appreciate an evaluation of my chances.

Target schools (order of preference):
INSEAD
London Business School
Yale
Columbia
Oxford
NYU
Cornell
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2012, 09:04
thucanh80 wrote:
Hi Alex,

I would really appreciate your comments of my profile.

PERSONAL INFO:
- Female from Vietnam
- Education: pharmacy school in Vietnam (GPA 7/10); master of public health in the US (GPA 3.5)
- Work experience: 6 years in public policy and healthcare management
- GMAT: 690 (49Q; 34V), AWA 5.5.

WORK EX: (highlights)
- Led the development of several government regulations in pharmaceutical system of my home country --> Deeply involved in the decision-making & policy-developing processes of the central healthcare system
- Effectively represented the gov authority in international negotiations with other countries (including the US)
- Improved efficiency of the organization through reforming key operation processes
- Reported directly to top leaders in the government department of health

DISADVANTAGES (self-assessment):
- Quite-intangible achievements
- Management experience: mostly projects other than persons
- mediocre GMAT 690 after... 4 times! ( :oops: ) ; average GPAs 3.5 from non-US and non-Ivy schools
- Age: 31 - above the average in top schools

EXTRA CURRICULAR
- College: school's student government; president of the class (100 students)
- Throughout college and career: Participated and led several "mobile clinics" - providing free health exams and medicines to disadvantaged people in isolated villages

CAREER GOALS:
- post MBA: healthcare consulting firms; established NGOs in healthcare
- long-term: head a social venture in Asia to address health management issues in developing countries

TARGET SCHOOLS
HBS, Wharton, MIT, Haas, Yale, Duke...

QUESTIONS
1. Already took GMAT 4 times (550 -> 650 -> 660 -> 690, AWA 5.5). Would the Adcoms (and You) think I'm crazy/immature if I retake the GMAT the 5th time to break 700 (strongly believe I can do so this time :oops: )
Or should I instead try to submit to 1-2 schools in R1 (it's pretty late already :( ) and count on luck in R2?

2. Are the above schools all long-shots to me?

Thanks so much for your time!


Given your age and profile, HBS is a long shot.

With your current GMAT, Wharton and Sloan are long shots. With a 720+, you may be a stretch for Wharton and Sloan, but where you have enough of an outside shot that they may be worth applying to. With your current GMAT, any of the schools outside the top 8 will be stretches (Yale, Duke, Haas, Darden, Ross, Cornell, Stern, UCLA) - worst case is if your score doesn't improve, you still have an outside shot at these schools outside the top 8 that they're at least worth applying to.

What I suggest is to retake the GMAT - yes it sucks having to take it 5 times, but a 720+ on a 5th attempt is still better than your current score. Rather than worry about schools, focus on the GMAT retake. You can do it. You have a strong enough profile otherwise for the top 16 schools (especially the those outside the top 8) that you owe it to yourself to get the strongest GMAT score that you can.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2012, 09:09
longranger wrote:
Hi Alex, would appreciate a profile evaluation by you!

Nationality: Indian citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident

Age: 26 (by next year fall)

GMAT: 710 (M48 V39), 6.0 AWA, 7.0 IR

Work experience: 4 years
2 years at a leading international bank in credit risk management focusing on specialized industries like private equity, leverage finance and diamond trading
2 years at one of the world’s largest commodities traders in credit risk management spanning 20 commodities across 65 countries

Education: Undergrad in Economics and Finance from Singapore Management University (SMU) – a new-age school launched in 2000 with significant prestige in Asia
GPA: 3.0 / 4 (Graduated with Merit)
Teaching Assistant for 3 Political Science courses and Research Assistant for Professor in recently published book about Poverty in China

Professional Qualifications:
Financial Risk Manager – Certified FRM (It’s like the CFA for Risk)
Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst – CAIA Level 1

Background: I am ambitious, hard-working and focused on building my way to become a Chief Risk Officer as my long term plan. Currently, I approve trading strategies for futures and non-futures traded commodities in countries like Ghana, Mozambique, Costa Rica and Vietnam. I left my more traditional role in banking to accept my current role which carries significant responsibility and is a great learning experience. A recent highlight included receiving an out-of-turn promotion at my current firm.

I would appreciate an evaluation of my chances.

Target schools (order of preference):
INSEAD
London Business School
Yale
Columbia
Oxford
NYU
Cornell


Sounds like you have a good grasp of where you stand given your profile -- the schools you mentioned are within reach. You have a good mix of stretches (INSEAD, LBS, Columbia) and sweet spots (Yale, Stern, Cornell) and a safety (Oxford), so it's just a matter of focusing on doing the best you can on the applications.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2012, 22:39
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.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2012, 01:10
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!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2012, 09:49
Hi

Could you please suggest me schools where i can apply this year. Below is a brief history-


I'm a civil eng by degree (from one of the top 5 tech inst in india) but i'm working for a bank (mortgages) which involves a lot of understanding of the real estate sector and the eco conditions affecting it. I'm also consulting builders on how to increase sales and other strategies regarding construction problems. I gave my GMAT twice this year, i was disappointed with the scores 650, 640, even though i was scoring 700+ in my practice tests.

I have a 2 yr work ex. 1.5 with the bank and the previous 6 months with a civil consultant,as a structures designer.

My col GPA is very low- 6.3/10. But i have a lot of extra curric during that time. I was the president of a cultural club involving around 120 students,was actively involved in the organization of the col's annual cultural festival, was the vice captain of the col's basketball team. I also have a couple of business plans,which won prizes, though never started.

I have helped my alumni association in organizing the 1st global meet of our col.

Could you suggest me whether i should apply to schools this year, with that score ? And which schools should i focus on ?
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2012, 09:57
Hello,

Could you please give me a little feedback on my unique situation? I am applying for MBA programs in pursuit of a JD/MBA dual degree. I am hoping for admission into at least one top 14 law school (such as Cornell, Harvard, Virginia, Penn, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia) and would like to get into the MBA program as well. However, I am a college senior and am concerned about the uphill battle with work experience. While I have not been working after undergraduate I started a real estate investment business and work in real estate. I am a female Native American(citizen of Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), 3.65 gpa in Business from a large public institution, with a GMAT of 710, AWA 5.5, Quant in the 71st percentile(my weakness) and Verbal in the 96th percentile. I am applying through the Consortium to schools like Michigan, Darden, Yale, Cornell, ect. Do I have a chance of getting into the Business School at any of these? If so, how can I craft an application to make up for my weaknesses and highlight my strengths?

Thank you for your insight!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2012, 09:55
manky25 wrote:
Hi

Could you please suggest me schools where i can apply this year. Below is a brief history-


I'm a civil eng by degree (from one of the top 5 tech inst in india) but i'm working for a bank (mortgages) which involves a lot of understanding of the real estate sector and the eco conditions affecting it. I'm also consulting builders on how to increase sales and other strategies regarding construction problems. I gave my GMAT twice this year, i was disappointed with the scores 650, 640, even though i was scoring 700+ in my practice tests.

I have a 2 yr work ex. 1.5 with the bank and the previous 6 months with a civil consultant,as a structures designer.

My col GPA is very low- 6.3/10. But i have a lot of extra curric during that time. I was the president of a cultural club involving around 120 students,was actively involved in the organization of the col's annual cultural festival, was the vice captain of the col's basketball team. I also have a couple of business plans,which won prizes, though never started.

I have helped my alumni association in organizing the 1st global meet of our col.

Could you suggest me whether i should apply to schools this year, with that score ? And which schools should i focus on ?


It's not just your score - you need to work a few more years as well. I strongly suggest waiting at least another year or two before applying given your background.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2012, 10:12
Milo2010 wrote:
Hello,

Could you please give me a little feedback on my unique situation? I am applying for MBA programs in pursuit of a JD/MBA dual degree. I am hoping for admission into at least one top 14 law school (such as Cornell, Harvard, Virginia, Penn, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia) and would like to get into the MBA program as well. However, I am a college senior and am concerned about the uphill battle with work experience. While I have not been working after undergraduate I started a real estate investment business and work in real estate. I am a female Native American(citizen of Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), 3.65 gpa in Business from a large public institution, with a GMAT of 710, AWA 5.5, Quant in the 71st percentile(my weakness) and Verbal in the 96th percentile. I am applying through the Consortium to schools like Michigan, Darden, Yale, Cornell, ect. Do I have a chance of getting into the Business School at any of these? If so, how can I craft an application to make up for my weaknesses and highlight my strengths?

Thank you for your insight!


What are you hoping to do after the dual-degree program?

I think the JD/MBA is only useful if you intend on practicing law. Otherwise, if you're looking for a business career, don't bother with a JD as that degree is useless on its own - you aren't in a position to practice law unless you pass the state bar exam, and even then - law is a profession of specialists, and a generalist degree like a JD won't be of much use in real world legal situations that require the expertise of a specialist - i.e. if you have a trademark/IP issue, what you learned in your JD won't substitute for legal counsel from actual trademark/IP lawyers. In the real world, even lawyers will blanch at giving any advice outside their expertise area -- ask a trademark/IP lawyer about your sister's workplace sexual harassment suit, and that trademark/IP lawyer won't be able to give any real advice beyond very high level stuff that won't be of any use to your sister's suit. It's like asking a psychiatrist to perform heart bypass surgery - yes, they both went to med school (and maybe even the same med school). Again, the JD and MD are generalist degrees that are just the first baby steps towards what are highly specialized professions. The MBA on the other hand is a generalist degree that prepares its grads for a generalist profession (business isn't about being really good at a super specific task - it's about managing a bunch of things as a whole, which is the opposite of law or medicine).

Again, only do a JD/MBA if you are going to practice law.

If you're looking for a business career, don't waste time or money with a JD. And if that's the case, you really should work for a few years before applying. In fact, while law schools don't require work experience, unlike say a generation ago, about half the entering class at most top law schools have 2-3 years of post-college full-time experience.

As a college senior, it's hard to truly appreciate the value of working in the real world for a few years right after college, but it'll be far better for you and your career, because you learn far more about what you are interested in (and what you're not interested in) - not just in terms of the actual work, but the kinds of people you can learn from the most in a professional context, as well as lifestyle issues (the kinds of workplaces and lifestyles that allow you to be your best - i.e. some people can handle corporate travel better than others; some folks can handle certain kinds of long hours while others can't; and so on and so forth). By going back to school right away, your learning will be done completely in a vacuum with zero personal context. It sounds like you are well on your way to having a great start to your career, you sound like a level headed and driven person, so you are best off channeling that into working for a few years.

Again, I strongly suggest you hold off on applications, and find a full-time job. Your biggest weakness right now is lack of context (no post-college full-time experience, and no, your current experience is no substitute for that), which you can't overcome without actually having those years of experience.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply   [#permalink] 26 Sep 2012, 10:12
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