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Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

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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!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2012, 14:11
sunvict wrote:
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.


If you're confused between a part-time and EMBA, don't worry - a lot of people are.

The part-time MBA program essentially has the same curricula as the full-time: it's more or less the same academic requirements and classes, except the classes take place on the evenings or weekends, and the courseload is spread out over a longer period of time (2-4 years, instead of 20 months for full-time programs). The age distribution is wider than full-time, but skews younger than EMBA programs. In other words, you get a pretty wide distribution of 20-somethings to 40/50-somethings. Also, more of the students are financing the degree themselves compared to the EMBA.

The EMBA program traditionally is a mid- to executive level program. Mostly folks in their mid 30s and beyond (and quite a few are in their 40s or older). The curricula is typically not the same as a full-time or part-time program - it's less quant/analytical, and more focused on management issues. In short, it's less analytically rigorous, also because the folks at those more senior levels are not the ones crunching the numbers anyhow. At many schools, classes are typically held on weekends, or in mini-intensive long weekends over the course of a year or two. A lot of the students are being sponsored by their employers - they are the ultimate "company man" in that pre-1980s sort of way (a dying breed). As such, they have no intentions of switching careers or even companies - it's a "country club MBA" since it's on the company dime. Of course that is changing, but the program is still set up in a way that is geared towards these "company men" (and I emphasize men - because it's still unfortunately a sausage fest at this level).

You're on the young side for EMBA programs, but within range. In terms of workload, the EMBA is easier, but you'll learn more in a part-time program (and it won't matter in terms of credential - an MBA is an MBA). Either way, if you can get your company to pay for either program, that would be ideal.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2012, 14:16
ravine wrote:
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!


H/S/W: stretches, maybe even long shots. You're a non-traditional, but you don't have the pedigree (i.e. for non-traditionals, it really helps to have come from an Ivy/equivalent).

Columbia, MIT: had you applied in their ED and R1 respectively, they would've been a stretch; but more likely a long shot if you're asking now since they only have 2 rounds, and they fill the majority of their class through their first round admitted pool. Being non-traditional helps, but it's a roll of the dice simply because of the limited spots.

Booth, Tuck, Kellogg, Haas: stretches, but where you have enough of a shot that they're worth applying to.

Sweet spots: Stern, Cornell, Yale, Ross, Darden, Duke, UCLA. These are the schools to focus on. They are NOT beneath you. Focus on 3-4 from this list, and 2-3 from the above (i.e. 2-3 of Booth, Tuck, Kellogg, Haas).
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2012, 14:37
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Last edited by njdude2012 on 04 Dec 2012, 05:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2012, 09:55
njdude2012 wrote:
I would appreciate your input on my profile , my profile is as follows:

GMAT1: 580 (Q47 V22), AWA (6.0)
GMAT2 : 650 (Q47 V33) AWA (6.0)
GMAT3 : 710 (Q49 V39)

Undergraduate Education : Electronics Engineering, Top University in India - Department Rank 2
GPA: 80.8%
Postgraduate Education : Electrical Engineering, US (Rutgers)
GPA: 3.83

Nationality: Indian
Age: 29

Work Experience: 2 Years Indian software firm -- before graduate education in the US
Currently, working for a wall street firm (5 big banks of the US) as an assistant vice president - Project Manager/Product development -technology (~ 5 years)
-Managed team size between 3-50 ; not all of them were my direct reports but there were approximately 50 people in my team.
-Won star awards..


Job:
-Founder of professional photography firm -- I am a professional photographer.
-Won Barack Obama's award for my contribution to photography/volunteering
-Active guitar teacher. (I was a guitarist during college days; I teach music to my community people)
-Won some academic medals during UG for standing first in my department/university.

Int'l Experience: United States (all 5 years in the US).

Want to get an MBA from Top US business school (<= top 10).

Preferred list:
1. Columbia
2. Wharton
3. Stern
4. Sloan
5. Booth

Any thoughts? My managers are Columbia and Stern alum. Not sure whether that would help though. I feel cheap to even think about it.


Readjust your expectations.

Columbia and Sloan only have 2 rounds, so if you're applying for R2 this year, they're both likely a long shot simply because the majority of the seats will have been filled through the ED/R1 admits.

Wharton is a big stretch - nothing wrong with you, but you're up against folks with bluer chip backgrounds, and back office financial services guys have a tough time getting through.

Booth is a stretch - not quite as hard as Wharton, but still a stretch for the same reasons as Wharton.

Stern (and Yale, Cornell, Ross, Duke, Darden, UCLA) are more in range - these are sweet spots and where more folks like yourself tend to have a bit more success in getting in.

If I were you, I'd limit the stretches to 2-3 at most, and add 2-3 sweet spots in addition to Stern.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2012, 03:38
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...
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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 19 Dec 2012, 14:29
Alex, just wanted to thank you for my prior profile evaluation. I have a 3.5 GPA, 730 GMAT, and am an average school (70-80 on US News University Rankings) and Big 4/Credit Rating Agency guy. You said my sweet spot schools were the 10-16 schools, and I applied to MIT, Haas, Tuck, and Anderson. Dinged by Tuck (and assuming dings by MIT and Haas since I never got interview invitations from either school) but in at Anderson with a $40K scholarship. I felt extremely good about my chances at Anderson, which is why I applied to long shots such as MIT and Haas.

To everyone reading this thread, Alex knows what he is talking about! Take his admissions advice seriously. He's seen hundreds of profiles and knows what's up.

Last edited by codytravers on 27 Dec 2012, 10:13, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2012, 11:12
codytravers wrote:
Alex, just wanted to thank you for my prior profile evaluation. I have a 3.5 GPA, 730 GMAT, and am an average school (70-80 on US News University Rankings) and Big 4/Credit Rating Agency guy. You said my sweet spot schools were the 10-16 schools, and I applied to MIT, Haas, Tuck, and Anderson. Dinged by Tuck (and assuming dings by MIT and Haas since I never got interview invitations from either school) but in at Anderson with a $40K scholarship. I felt extremely good about my chances at Anderson, which is why I applied to long shots such as MIT and Haas.

To everyone reading this thread, Alex knows what he is talking about! Take his admissions advice seriously. He's seen hundreds of profiles and knows what's up.


Thanks for the kind words, and more importantly, congrats on the admission and scholarship!!! It's a bit chilly (by SoCal standards) right now, but you'll love it here in LA (or welcome back if you're from here). Westwood is a great area (traffic sucks, but that's LA). #kaching
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2012, 11:22
Thank you! Not from LA, but I have wanted to move to California from Texas for years now. I'd say UCLA gives me a pretty great excuse.

Would love to treat you to a beer and pick your brain a bit about business school when I move next summer. Also very fascinated by UCLA's 22% increase in applications last year and would enjoy chatting about that. I will contact you in a few months to do so. Take care Alex.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 07:41
Hello Alex- I have recently been placed on the round 1 waitlist at chicago booth. I am a Big4 auditor, and went to school at a top 10 business undergrad in the northeast. I have my CPA as well. My GMAT is 700 Q44 V41. My question is, in addition to submitting a video, extracurricular LOR, and update essay, is it worth it to re-take my gmat to improve my quantitative score? Any help would be MUCH appreciated, as if I am going to re-take the test, I need to begin studying ASAP.

Thank you so much.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 23:13
Hi Alex,

Quick question. Is it worth my time and $ to start an alternative transcript. 740 (48 q, 44 v) 3.48 from no-name liberal arts school, business major (3.83 bus. GPA) w/ a quite a bit of quant courses. Basically, I would like to start an alternative transcript for two reasons (1) went to no-name school and (2) work will be relatively calm during the upcoming spring semester so it would be an opportune time.

My questions basically are: Will my current GPA + no-name school be a significant handicap? Probably not applying any time soon (i.e. targeting 2-3 years). If taking additional classes will only have a minimal impact, then my time and money could be spent on other things. Basically, curious if I'm already doomed from top schools via avg. GPA + lack of pedigree.

Greatly appreciate your help.

Thanks,
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2012, 09:19
codytravers wrote:
Thank you! Not from LA, but I have wanted to move to California from Texas for years now. I'd say UCLA gives me a pretty great excuse.

Would love to treat you to a beer and pick your brain a bit about business school when I move next summer. Also very fascinated by UCLA's 22% increase in applications last year and would enjoy chatting about that. I will contact you in a few months to do so. Take care Alex.


Maybe it's a reversing trend from years' past where people were moving out of CA, and now moving back...
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2012, 09:20
Bigblue1010 wrote:
Hello Alex- I have recently been placed on the round 1 waitlist at chicago booth. I am a Big4 auditor, and went to school at a top 10 business undergrad in the northeast. I have my CPA as well. My GMAT is 700 Q44 V41. My question is, in addition to submitting a video, extracurricular LOR, and update essay, is it worth it to re-take my gmat to improve my quantitative score? Any help would be MUCH appreciated, as if I am going to re-take the test, I need to begin studying ASAP.

Thank you so much.


No it's not worth re-taking the GMAT at this point.
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Alex Chu
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply   [#permalink] 24 Dec 2012, 09:20
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