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Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2012, 22:23
Dear Alex,

Im thinking to apply to top MBA programs. I would like to know your opinion about INSEAD. I like it but I am afraid about its career prospect as the situation in Europe is not very good and they hayve 1000 graduates a year wich is huge. Do you think its comparable to Columbia, Chicago, MIT, Tuck etc?

Checking its employment report, I notice only around 50% of students get jobs thorugh career sevices which is really low. Do you have any idea why this occur?

Thank you and regards

JMc
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 15:00
jmcgra wrote:
Dear Alex,

Im thinking to apply to top MBA programs. I would like to know your opinion about INSEAD. I like it but I am afraid about its career prospect as the situation in Europe is not very good and they hayve 1000 graduates a year wich is huge. Do you think its comparable to Columbia, Chicago, MIT, Tuck etc?

Checking its employment report, I notice only around 50% of students get jobs thorugh career sevices which is really low. Do you have any idea why this occur?

Thank you and regards

JMc


The main reason why far fewer INSEAD students get jobs through career services is that there are far more people at INSEAD who return to their pre-MBA employers, and most of these employers are consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, and so forth. All the top b-schools in the US have tons of mgmt consultants -- however, they are going to b-school to get out of consulting (or if they are at a Big-4, they are looking to upgrade to McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc.). And yes, some of them will still go back to the same consulting firm post-MBA. At INSEAD however, traditionally the mgmt consultants there have no intention of leaving - and many are sponsored by their firms (this is also a cultural thing perhaps as well - the mentality in Europe in the business world is far less "mercenary" or "freelance" compared to the US and folks tend to stick with the same company for much longer -- although that is changing).

As for the situation in Europe - that is obviously a much broader and more difficult question! Everyone I'm sure has a different opinion on this obviously, as I'm sure many economists disagree. It's hard to say really.

Personally, I don't think things will change much in Europe in the short-term; in fact, there's so much uncertainty right now that I doubt it'll get any better in the next few years until there is more clarity -- is Greece as f*cked as it seems? Will Spain and Italy's economies follow Greece's down the toiet, or will it at least stabilize after going through some short-term pain? And will Spain or Italy drag the rest or Europe (esp. France) down with it? How will German voter frustration and contempt affect their own gov't's attitude towards the rest of Europe? The biggest problem now with Europe is the sheer uncertainty. Everyone knows that Europe will go through a period of adjustment - but no one really knows how that will play out or the sheer severity of it. It's bad - but no one knows how bad it is, and just as important - everyone is terrified about finding out how bad it is.

The thing is, it seems like MBA applicants in Europe have felt it - applications to LBS last year was down 20%+ from what I read somewhere.

So in summary, INSEAD is a *great* school. If you were looking for jobs in Europe (regardless of industry), it's as good as it gets, and better than any top b-school like Chicago, Columbia, Kellogg, etc. for recruiting in Europe. But again, you're right, the economy in Europe is uncertain right now. Having said that, the US isn't exactly a picnic either; the economy has stabilized somewhat, but still slow, sluggish, and sentiment seems to be generally pessimistic at least in the short-term.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2012, 23:34
...

Last edited by andyandy on 11 Mar 2013, 19:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2012, 12:29
andyandy wrote:
Hi Alex,

I hope this finds you well. I've pasted an overview of my profile below. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Regards,

Andrew

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Profile: 32 years old, American male, Caucasian
Undergrad: BS Psychology at Big Ten school, 3.56 GPA
Grad: Some coursework at Big Ten school of Music, 3.51 GPA
GMAT: 760 (99%), 49Q (83%)/46V (99%)

Work Experience (5 1/2 years):
I started at a Coordinator/Assistant level in Business/Legal Affairs at a small (50 employees) independent home entertainment studio/label in Los Angeles and received two promotions within 3 ½ years, becoming their Director of Digital Business/Strategy. Being at a small company, I’ve gained very broad experience in many areas as a one-person operation, including short/long-term digital strategy, financial projections/forecasts, business development, marketing/promotions, negotiating agreements, content/asset delivery, and managing digital partner/content owner relationships. I’ve grown our annual digital revenue from 5 to 7 figures in 4 years, and our company has been at the forefront of independent studios in launching content for multiple high-level launches (eg Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.). I currently manage one employee and have managed 3 interns in past.

Background/Why MBA:
After completing some masters-level coursework at a Big Ten school of music, I decided that the best way to pursue a career in the entertainment business was to move to Los Angeles and take an entry-level job. That job quickly affirmed that my main interests involve formulating a strategy that makes my department as efficient, cost-effective and profitable as possible and then making the moves that put that strategy into motion.

I looked at my move to Los Angeles as an investment in experiences/skills while knowing that my long-term plan would eventually bring me back to the Midwest. I have since married and now my wife and I have a little one that we want to raise near our extended families. In the short-term, my interests have led me into an area where the available strategy work in the Midwest lies in non-entertainment industries such as consulting. These factors, in addition to my discussions with recruiters about my long-term goals, make this the perfect time for me pursue an MBA. An MBA will give me the education, experience and qualifications needed to further my career in strategy.

Extra Curricular/Volunteer Work:
I was heavily involved in helping fellow students while in undergrad. I spent 4 years working at my college’s learning center. 1 ½ of those years were spent mentoring college-level algebra, including leading 3-5 classes/semester of 15-25 students each. I also spent 3 years working at the student resource resource center. I received 2 college leadership awards in addition to being named a top 100 outstanding student at my college as a senior.

While in Los Angeles I’ve done several things. I spent 2 ½ years in a mentoring program for at risk youth from South Central Los Angeles. I’ve done volunteer work for multiple organizations including the Special Olympics, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Rock the Classroom, the Los Angeles Veteran’s Hospital, Heal the Bay, etc. I’m also involved on a special committee at my job that promotes employee morale and involvement. I’ve organized after work social activities, promoted volunteering, organized employee tennis tournaments and co-managed softball teams, and other events.

Post MBA Plan:
Short-term: Placement in a large company with an office in the Midwest in a Strategy/Consulting role. One example is Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co.

Long-term: COO/CEO at a large company.

Possible Shortcomings:
Work Experience: working for a small company has been an amazing experience, but the infrastructure and amount of work required in my one-person department did not facilitate a need for more employees until recently. Without speaking with various ad-coms, I’m not sure if the management/leadership experience I’ve had in working with clients and extra-curricular activities is adequate or covers the number of employees that I’ve managed.

Academics: I received an incomplete in one of my last graduate-level courses, and that eventually led to an F on my transcript. I’ve read multiple thoughts on how this may affect my application, and my main concern is the timing of the F.

Schools:
HBS, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, Kelley (IU), Mendoza (Notre Dame)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In short, I think schools like Kellogg and Booth are reasonable stretches. Schools in the Duke, Darden, Ross, UCLA, Cornell, Yale, and NYU are more your sweet spots. Kelley and Notre Dame are safeties that you should have no problems getting into. HBS and Wharton are big stretches: nothing glaringly wrong with you, but you're up against more than enough folks who are younger and have more pedigree on their resumes (and while you aren't the cookie cutter consultant/banker/engineer -- you aren't really a non-traditional applicant either since your work experience is business related). Again, you seem to be a solid all around candidate, so the other top schools are more likely going to be in range where you're not up against as many folks with a lot of pedigree.

Here's what I suggest:

HBS/Wharton: choose one as your hail mary if you must

Then focus on Kellogg, Booth, Ross, Duke, Darden, Kelley and Notre Dame. UCLA is west coast (and you said you want to leave); Cornell/Yale/NYU attract more folks interested in finance careers post-MBA; Duke/Darden/Ross tend to attract those who are interested in consulting and industry, and whose culture tends to be more family oriented (college town/ suburbia). With this list, you should be able to get into a few of the schools hopefully and have some options to choose from. Good luck!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2012, 00:07
hi alex,

profession:Merchant Navy
work ex- 4years / (including 1 year of paid internship)
INDIAN
age:25
CGPA:4.0/4.0
gmat :620(3rd attempt) (quant :49,verbal:25)

decent extra curricular
good professional achievements

Served NGO:2 years

what are my chances in ISB, HKUST ?

please suggest
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2012, 20:17
700mirage wrote:
hi alex,

profession:Merchant Navy
work ex- 4years / (including 1 year of paid internship)
INDIAN
age:25
CGPA:4.0/4.0
gmat :620(3rd attempt) (quant :49,verbal:25)

decent extra curricular
good professional achievements

Served NGO:2 years

what are my chances in ISB, HKUST ?

please suggest


Honestly your GMAT is going to be a big handicap especially for ISB since their average is around 700. As for HKUST, I believe their average is in the mid-600s or so - so your score is not quite as far off; however, it's still going to be a stretch.

Practically speaking, all you can do now is just apply to these schools with your strongest possible applications, and hope that there's enough luck on your side to get in.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2012, 22:53
AlexMBAApply wrote:
700mirage wrote:
hi alex,

profession:Merchant Navy
work ex- 4years / (including 1 year of paid internship)
INDIAN
age:25
CGPA:4.0/4.0
gmat :620(3rd attempt) (quant :49,verbal:25)

decent extra curricular
good professional achievements

Served NGO:2 years

what are my chances in ISB, HKUST ?

please suggest


Honestly your GMAT is going to be a big handicap especially for ISB since their average is around 700. As for HKUST, I believe their average is in the mid-600s or so - so your score is not quite as far off; however, it's still going to be a stretch.

Practically speaking, all you can do now is just apply to these schools with your strongest possible applications, and hope that there's enough luck on your side to get in.



thank you so much for guiding me

can you please suggest that taking 3 or more attempts in GMAT reflects a bad side in the application? how does the college takes these repeated attempts in evaluating the application ?

gmat (1 st attempt):530
gmat (2nd attempt):550
gmat (3rd attempt):620

since i gave 3 attempts ,do you suggest me to retake the GMAT?
what should i do for ISB and HKUST in my application ?

thanks in advance
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2012, 08:11
700mirage wrote:
thank you so much for guiding me

can you please suggest that taking 3 or more attempts in GMAT reflects a bad side in the application? how does the college takes these repeated attempts in evaluating the application ?

gmat (1 st attempt):530
gmat (2nd attempt):550
gmat (3rd attempt):620

since i gave 3 attempts ,do you suggest me to retake the GMAT?
what should i do for ISB and HKUST in my application ?

thanks in advance


Retake the GMAT. Yes it's a concern that you've taken it that many times, but getting a competitive score on a 4th attempt is still better than submitting an app with your current score.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 30 Oct 2012, 05:16
AlexMBAApply wrote:
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!


Thanks for your time, Alex!

I took the GMAT today and got a 710 (Q47 - 73% and V41 - 93%). Both quant and verbal are in the lower range of my prep scores, and I think I can get up to Q48-49 with reasonably certainty. Is it worth the extra effort to cross 80% in quant do you think? With a demanding full-time job and two kids I don't want to spend more time on the GMAT unless it will significantly improve my chances.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2012, 07:54
bob99 wrote:
AlexMBAApply wrote:
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!


Thanks for your time, Alex!

I took the GMAT today and got a 710 (Q47 - 73% and V41 - 93%). Both quant and verbal are in the lower range of my prep scores, and I think I can get up to Q48-49 with reasonably certainty. Is it worth the extra effort to cross 80% in quant do you think? With a demanding full-time job and two kids I don't want to spend more time on the GMAT unless it will significantly improve my chances.


I can't remember what your undergraduate background is, but it really depends. If you were a liberal arts major, then you probably should retake it as the adcoms will be concerned about your ability to handle the quantitative aspects of the MBA program. If your degree was in engineering, business or something quantitative, then you should be okay - it's not ideal, but the adcoms will be a bit more forgiving.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2012, 11:38
Nationality: Indian
GMAT: 740 (Q 49 V42)
GPA: 3.61 from top 50 engineering school USA (Tier 2/3) Graduated cum lade
Major: Electrical Engineering
Minor: Business Administration
Work Experience: 3 years at Matriculation
(India) 1 Year: Business Development officer for an online portal (gracerequest.com) for spa and salon reservations, and gym memberships. The business didn’t go well so we closed it after one year. I was working with the founder and 3 others.
(India) 2 years: Big 4 IT Risk, Associate Consultant
Internships:
• Comcast : Software QA 6 mths (USA)
• Central Electronics Limited (Govt of India) : Solar photovoltaic QA 6 mths
Community Service: Taught poor children in a village every weekend for 6 months
Leadership
• Elected officer for two professional organizations college chapter
• Represented the university at a leadership conference
Honors:
• Member electrical engineering honors society
• Ranked 3rd in Senior Design Competition
• Dean’s List
• Dean’s Merit Scholarship
Future Plans:
Use my mba education and international exposure to improve my business acumen and come back to India, an emerging economy, and start my own business.
Please evaluate my chances for the following colleges
1. Wharton
2. LBS
3. INSEAD
4. Kellogg
5) ISB
6) MIT
Also, please let me know if there is any apparent weakness.
Any thoughts are appreciated.
Thank you very much for your time.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2012, 21:43
Aju wrote:
Nationality: Indian
GMAT: 740 (Q 49 V42)
GPA: 3.61 from top 50 engineering school USA (Tier 2/3) Graduated cum lade
Major: Electrical Engineering
Minor: Business Administration
Work Experience: 3 years at Matriculation
(India) 1 Year: Business Development officer for an online portal (gracerequest.com) for spa and salon reservations, and gym memberships. The business didn’t go well so we closed it after one year. I was working with the founder and 3 others.
(India) 2 years: Big 4 IT Risk, Associate Consultant
Internships:
• Comcast : Software QA 6 mths (USA)
• Central Electronics Limited (Govt of India) : Solar photovoltaic QA 6 mths
Community Service: Taught poor children in a village every weekend for 6 months
Leadership
• Elected officer for two professional organizations college chapter
• Represented the university at a leadership conference
Honors:
• Member electrical engineering honors society
• Ranked 3rd in Senior Design Competition
• Dean’s List
• Dean’s Merit Scholarship
Future Plans:
Use my mba education and international exposure to improve my business acumen and come back to India, an emerging economy, and start my own business.
Please evaluate my chances for the following colleges
1. Wharton
2. LBS
3. INSEAD
4. Kellogg
5) ISB
6) MIT
Also, please let me know if there is any apparent weakness.
Any thoughts are appreciated.
Thank you very much for your time.


Biggest thing you need to do is to readjust your expectations. Nothing really "wrong" with you other than for the range of schools you listed, you're simply up against too many folks with more desirable profiles and/or more extensive experience (Indian engineers with 5-6 years of experience at F500 companies, and not in IT services).

Stretch schools are Cornell, Yale, Stern, Duke, Ross, Darden and UCLA.
Sweet spot schools are in the top 30 such as Emory, Texas, Tepper, USC, UNC, Vanderbilt, Indiana, Purdue, Maryland, Georgetown.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2012, 00:40
Hi Alex,

It would be really helpful if u could pls evaluate my profie


Indian 29/M

GMAT - 650 (Q50, V29) :(
CFA (Charter Pending)
FRM (GARP)

Post Graduate Diploma in Banking & Finance (NIBM , Pune - Governed by
RBI) (CGPA- 9.22/10)

BBA (Agra University - 68%)

Professional

State Bank of India (Corporate Lending - Assistant Vice President - 5
yrs work ex)

Shipping Corporation of India Ltd ( Merchant Navy - 1.5 years)

Extracurricular

Volunteered for Tsunami Relief & Rehabilitation (Andman & Nicobar Islands)

Member & Volunteer of Indian association of Investment professionals

Associated with NGO - Need for the improvement of Rural Livelihood

Photography

Target school - Tuck , Chicago Booth

Future Plans

Long term - To start an NFBC

Short Term - To change over from corporate Banking to PE

thanks
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2012, 08:27
chiragji wrote:
Hi Alex,

It would be really helpful if u could pls evaluate my profie


Indian 29/M

GMAT - 650 (Q50, V29) :(
CFA (Charter Pending)
FRM (GARP)

Post Graduate Diploma in Banking & Finance (NIBM , Pune - Governed by
RBI) (CGPA- 9.22/10)

BBA (Agra University - 68%)

Professional

State Bank of India (Corporate Lending - Assistant Vice President - 5
yrs work ex)

Shipping Corporation of India Ltd ( Merchant Navy - 1.5 years)

Extracurricular

Volunteered for Tsunami Relief & Rehabilitation (Andman & Nicobar Islands)

Member & Volunteer of Indian association of Investment professionals

Associated with NGO - Need for the improvement of Rural Livelihood

Photography

Target school - Tuck , Chicago Booth

Future Plans

Long term - To start an NFBC

Short Term - To change over from corporate Banking to PE

thanks


In short, I think you need to readjust your expectations.

First, you're not getting into PE with your experience. You're up against too many folks with PE experience (or at the least, top tier IB experience). PE is likely more a medium- to longer-term thing, as you will have to work a few years in IB post-MBA.

Secondly, you need to retake the GMAT. With your current score, you'll be a long shot at any of the top 16 schools, and a stretch for any of the top 30 (especially given the breakdown of that score: low verbal scores is a common handicap amongst Indians and raises concerns). You need at least a 700, and ideally a 720 or greater.

Finally, even with a stronger GMAT (i.e. 700+), you will need to focus on a different range of schools. Top 8 schools like Tuck and Booth are big stretches - apply to both, but your focus should be on 3-4 sweet spots such as Stern, Cornell, Yale, Ross, Duke, Darden or UCLA.

Good luck on the GMAT retake!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2012, 08:56
Hi Alex

thanks for the insight

But Is getting into PE is too far fetched considering i have CFA charter and hopefully a MBA degree in future and also with 5 years of experience in financing different infra projects and companies (ranging from USD 50 million to USD 500 million)

I know my GMAT score is low and I plan to retake GMAT , however will the decent acads wont compensate the low Gmat score

thanks
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2012, 11:06
chiragji wrote:
Hi Alex

thanks for the insight

But Is getting into PE is too far fetched considering i have CFA charter and hopefully a MBA degree in future and also with 5 years of experience in financing different infra projects and companies (ranging from USD 50 million to USD 500 million)

I know my GMAT score is low and I plan to retake GMAT , however will the decent acads wont compensate the low Gmat score

thanks


Again, you need to readjust your expectations.

PE isn't about having a CFA or MBA -- because those credentials are a dime a dozen relative to the actual jobs available in PE. A lot of it comes down to prior PE experience, and/or at the minimum experience at a top tier IB or mgmt consulting firm. Also, to be blunt, it's a cultural thing - most funds are highly collegial with few people (it's a very "upper crust white" culture at most firms) and from their vantage point, you're not going to fit in based on your background. Most people in your position will need a few years of living and working in the US before perceptions start to change.

Also, no your academics won't compensate for your GMAT. Adcoms tend to focus more on GMAT anyhow for international applicants - especially if you're being benchmarked against a boatload of other Indian guys, there isn't really any wiggle room when it comes to the GMAT.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2012, 12:21
Hey Alex,

I would like your expert insight on a decision I have to make rather soon. Basically I started my undergrad career as pre-med. All those upper-level science courses did result in a sub-par GPA. The last two year of my undergrad career, I started developing an interest in business and know that this is what I want to pursue. Aright long story short, here is my Q: I have been able to pull off a GPA of 3.5-.3.7 consistently for the last three semesters, with a course load of 19 upper-level credits. However, my overall GPA is still a lackluster 2.9. I need to take 3, 3 credit classes to bring me over 3.0. My GMAT score is 750 and I want to get solid work experience for a couple of years before I head over to business school. Do you think it's worthwhile for me to take those 3 extra classes, during the winter-session, to get over the psychological 3.0 barrier (for the ad-coms) or do you think there is not much difference between a 2.9 and 3.0? Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 13 Nov 2012, 12:31
globalmacro wrote:
Hey Alex,

I would like your expert insight on a decision I have to make rather soon. Basically I started my undergrad career as pre-med. All those upper-level science courses did result in a sub-par GPA. The last two year of my undergrad career, I started developing an interest in business and know that this is what I want to pursue. Aright long story short, here is my Q: I have been able to pull off a GPA of 3.5-.3.7 consistently for the last three semesters, with a course load of 19 upper-level credits. However, my overall GPA is still a lackluster 2.9. I need to take 3, 3 credit classes to bring me over 3.0. My GMAT score is 750 and I want to get solid work experience for a couple of years before I head over to business school. Do you think it's worthwhile for me to take those 3 extra classes, during the winter-session, to get over the psychological 3.0 barrier (for the ad-coms) or do you think there is not much difference between a 2.9 and 3.0? Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it.


Yes, it will help - take those 3 classes.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2012, 15:31
HI Alex,
I am about 33 years old and have about 8 years experience in Telecommunication industry. As most of the engineering it is mostly individual contribution. But i spend most of my time supporting various customers. I also got a nod from my management to move into marketing early next year. Moving forward in a long run, i want to start a company to provide 3rd party support in telecommunication industry. I wanted to pursue MBA to build my network, develop my management and financial skills and implement them in my current and future positions. I was leaning to EMBA, but I am not sure how much chance I have in getting into Kellogg or UChicago. I also wanted to know how different the EMBA when compared to Part time MBA.

Thanks.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2012, 07:18
Hi Alex,

I would really like to get a profile evaluation from you.

Here are my stats:

Age/Gender: 27/Female
UG/GPA: CUNY - Good GPA
Masters: MS.Ed
GMAT :760

Current Profession:
Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

Extensive Travel + International Experience

Goals:
Long-term - Entrepreneurial Ventures in Education

So, please let me know what you think of my chances at Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg, Columbia, Wharton, MIT, Booth and Tuck - any schools more of a fit than others?

Thanks a lot for taking the time!
Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply   [#permalink] 26 Nov 2012, 07:18
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