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Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2013, 13:05
debayan222 wrote:
debayan222 wrote:
Hi MBA Apply,
Can you provide info on European MBA?

Look forward to hear from you.


Hi Alex,
I thought it'd be helpful for you if I come up with some specific questions on European MBA...

So, my questions are :
1.Most of them are 1 year program as you know...so,should one consider these for career change (re: Industry change not job function change)?

2.Could you please let me know like INSEAD & IE whether LBS,Said & Judge also have rolling admissions and two intakes (for example, one in September 2014 and other in January 2015 for INSEAD)...?

3. LBS,INSEAD are top ones but in global b-school rankings (FT) b-schools like IE,Said & Judge are placed ahead of many top 20 US schools like Ross,Darden,Anderson (for IE only),McCombs...How do you see that for an International applicant & career changer?

4..For these European schools, is it always better to apply in R1 (if some of them don't have rolling admissions and/or two intakes) rather than in R2 like US schools...?

Would really appreciate some deep insights from you on these.

Looking forward to hear from you.


You're looking at it in completely the wrong way.

It comes down to where you want to work and live right after b-school. If you're focused on getting a job in Europe, then focus on the Euro schools. If you're looking to work in the US, focus on the US schools. If you really are indifferent and have no preference or opinion, then that's the root of the problem.

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2013, 19:12
Hi Alex,

I feel like I am a blessed man when I discovered this long thread. Thank God!

I am looking to apply to top 10 MBA programs but uncertain about the strengths of my profile, could you please take a quick look?

-- 3 years of auditing at Big 4 in China with focus on consumer products companies.
-- MSF at Boston College with a 3.8 GPA and Beta Gamma Sigma.
-- Professional athlete in China with provincial championship.
-- Currently founder and CEO of an e-commerce firm, the firm is still quite small at this stage (3 people) but has sales in all 50 states and is easily searchable on all major search engines. By the time of September 2014, I will have 2 years of experience managing it.
-- got bachelor's degree in Australia, served as vice-president of a student society for two years, nothing else spectacular though....about 3.1 GPA.
-- Haven't taken GMAT but just assume I have a 740 score for now....
-- CFA level II candidate
-- Summer intern experience at non-profit and I-Bank during undergraduate

The reason I want to do an MBA is I find marketing far more interesting than finance while managing my own firm, and I am more interested in taking care of the marketing part of the business rather than the whole thing (i.e. CEO). So I want to do a MBA and use that to get into the marketing function of big firms.

Do I have a shot at the top 10 programs? Or you believe there is something very wrong with my mind and I should just go out and play in the sun?

Thank you very much for your time.

And again, great thread, thank god I saw it.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2013, 20:34
Expert's post
AlexMBAApply wrote:
debayan222 wrote:
debayan222 wrote:
Hi MBA Apply,
Can you provide info on European MBA?

Look forward to hear from you.


Hi Alex,
I thought it'd be helpful for you if I come up with some specific questions on European MBA...

So, my questions are :
1.Most of them are 1 year program as you know...so,should one consider these for career change (re: Industry change not job function change)?

2.Could you please let me know like INSEAD & IE whether LBS,Said & Judge also have rolling admissions and two intakes (for example, one in September 2014 and other in January 2015 for INSEAD)...?

3. LBS,INSEAD are top ones but in global b-school rankings (FT) b-schools like IE,Said & Judge are placed ahead of many top 20 US schools like Ross,Darden,Anderson (for IE only),McCombs...How do you see that for an International applicant & career changer?

4..For these European schools, is it always better to apply in R1 (if some of them don't have rolling admissions and/or two intakes) rather than in R2 like US schools...?

Would really appreciate some deep insights from you on these.

Looking forward to hear from you.


You're looking at it in completely the wrong way.

It comes down to where you want to work and live right after b-school. If you're focused on getting a job in Europe, then focus on the Euro schools. If you're looking to work in the US, focus on the US schools. If you really are indifferent and have no preference or opinion, then that's the root of the problem.


Hi Alex,
Sorry for the confusion...I'm more keen on European MBA but skeptical how career changers would suit the 1 yr European MBA!

Hope it clarifies your doubt and now you'd be able to clarify mine :)

Looking forward to hear from you.

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2013, 13:01
noboundary wrote:
Hi Alex,

I feel like I am a blessed man when I discovered this long thread. Thank God!

I am looking to apply to top 10 MBA programs but uncertain about the strengths of my profile, could you please take a quick look?

-- 3 years of auditing at Big 4 in China with focus on consumer products companies.
-- MSF at Boston College with a 3.8 GPA and Beta Gamma Sigma.
-- Professional athlete in China with provincial championship.
-- Currently founder and CEO of an e-commerce firm, the firm is still quite small at this stage (3 people) but has sales in all 50 states and is easily searchable on all major search engines. By the time of September 2014, I will have 2 years of experience managing it.
-- got bachelor's degree in Australia, served as vice-president of a student society for two years, nothing else spectacular though....about 3.1 GPA.
-- Haven't taken GMAT but just assume I have a 740 score for now....
-- CFA level II candidate
-- Summer intern experience at non-profit and I-Bank during undergraduate

The reason I want to do an MBA is I find marketing far more interesting than finance while managing my own firm, and I am more interested in taking care of the marketing part of the business rather than the whole thing (i.e. CEO). So I want to do a MBA and use that to get into the marketing function of big firms.

Do I have a shot at the top 10 programs? Or you believe there is something very wrong with my mind and I should just go out and play in the sun?

Thank you very much for your time.

And again, great thread, thank god I saw it.


Here's where you stand:

Stretch (choose 1-2): Kellogg, Sloan, Tuck, Booth, Columbia (I'd look at Kellogg and Sloan given your goals)
Sweet spot (choose 3-5): Haas, Duke, Darden, Ross, Yale, Stern, Cornell, UCLA (I'd focus on Haas, Duke, Darden, Ross, UCLA)
Safety (choose 0-1): anything outside the top 16; given your background you may not feel it's worth the time and money to go back unless it's a top 16.

In any case, with these range of schools and assuming you do a good job on executing the written applications and interviews, you should have a reasonable shot at getting in - you have a solid profile that is still traditional but not overly cookie cutter (i.e. you have enough notable experiences that you won't blend in as easily). Again it comes down to choosing a sufficient number of schools across a good range, and in your case the schools that'll likely be a best fit for you (marketing, entrepreneurship, general mgmt) are: Kellogg, Sloan, Haas, Duke, Darden, Ross, and UCLA.

Good luck

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2013, 13:03
debayan222 wrote:
Hi Alex,
Sorry for the confusion...I'm more keen on European MBA but skeptical how career changers would suit the 1 yr European MBA!

Hope it clarifies your doubt and now you'd be able to clarify mine :)

Looking forward to hear from you.


Again if you're looking to work in Europe post-MBA, then you should focus on the Euro schools. There's plenty of engineers and technical folks at these schools, and many of them go in with the intention of making a career change.

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2013, 21:25
AlexMBAApply wrote:
noboundary wrote:
Hi Alex,

I feel like I am a blessed man when I discovered this long thread. Thank God!

I am looking to apply to top 10 MBA programs but uncertain about the strengths of my profile, could you please take a quick look?

-- 3 years of auditing at Big 4 in China with focus on consumer products companies.
-- MSF at Boston College with a 3.8 GPA and Beta Gamma Sigma.
-- Professional athlete in China with provincial championship.
-- Currently founder and CEO of an e-commerce firm, the firm is still quite small at this stage (3 people) but has sales in all 50 states and is easily searchable on all major search engines. By the time of September 2014, I will have 2 years of experience managing it.
-- got bachelor's degree in Australia, served as vice-president of a student society for two years, nothing else spectacular though....about 3.1 GPA.
-- Haven't taken GMAT but just assume I have a 740 score for now....
-- CFA level II candidate
-- Summer intern experience at non-profit and I-Bank during undergraduate

The reason I want to do an MBA is I find marketing far more interesting than finance while managing my own firm, and I am more interested in taking care of the marketing part of the business rather than the whole thing (i.e. CEO). So I want to do a MBA and use that to get into the marketing function of big firms.

Do I have a shot at the top 10 programs? Or you believe there is something very wrong with my mind and I should just go out and play in the sun?

Thank you very much for your time.

And again, great thread, thank god I saw it.


Here's where you stand:

Stretch (choose 1-2): Kellogg, Sloan, Tuck, Booth, Columbia (I'd look at Kellogg and Sloan given your goals)
Sweet spot (choose 3-5): Haas, Duke, Darden, Ross, Yale, Stern, Cornell, UCLA (I'd focus on Haas, Duke, Darden, Ross, UCLA)
Safety (choose 0-1): anything outside the top 16; given your background you may not feel it's worth the time and money to go back unless it's a top 16.

In any case, with these range of schools and assuming you do a good job on executing the written applications and interviews, you should have a reasonable shot at getting in - you have a solid profile that is still traditional but not overly cookie cutter (i.e. you have enough notable experiences that you won't blend in as easily). Again it comes down to choosing a sufficient number of schools across a good range, and in your case the schools that'll likely be a best fit for you (marketing, entrepreneurship, general mgmt) are: Kellogg, Sloan, Haas, Duke, Darden, Ross, and UCLA.

Good luck



Alex,

Thank you very much for the information! This is very helpful!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2013, 09:34
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AN MBA FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP? AN ALTERNATE PATH

One of the most common aspirations of many MBA applicants and students is wanting to start a business of their own one day. In prior posts, I have cast doubts on whether an MBA is even worth it for aspiring entrepreneurs (at least those who are looking to start a business in the short-term), but I also recognize that it's just my opinion that others may disagree with. So what I write below assumes that if an MBA was worthwhile for an aspiring entrepreneur, what is one way to navigate the transition from MBA student to entrepreneur?

There are many hurdles in making this a reality. The economic cycle certainly matters, since in good times one is more likely to be optimistic and risk taking compared to bad times when it may be wiser to hunker down. Financial circumstances also matter: with many MBAs taking on significant debt to pay for school, it may be too much to take on that much risk in the shorter-term. Another blindingly obvious hurdle is simply not having a compelling enough idea - that one is in love with the idea of entrepreneurship, without a specific enough business concept in which to channel all that love.

Oftentimes though, as great as all these hurdles may be, the biggest one is simply fear of the unknown. Even those who have started their own side businesses before, there can still be this fear of taking that big leap into becoming a full-time entrepreneur - because the stakes are much bigger if one is looking to make a full-time living from the business.

And in many ways, the psychological shift from working for someone else to being one's own boss is a big leap not unlike any major life transition (becoming a spouse, to becoming a parent, and so forth). It not only changes the way you work, but changes the way you see your work. And that can be a scary thing because it plants a series of self-sabotaging questions in the back of your head that you may be afraid to answer:

If it fails, will I be tough enough to cope with the aftermath? If it's successful, what if I don't like being an entrepreneur?

We are as scared of failure as we are of success, especially when we anticipate that it involves upending our status quo (making a big shift in what we do and who we are in the workplace) to even make that leap. For many aspiring entrepreneurs coming out of business school, it will mark the first time they would be working for themselves on a full-time basis.

Being one's own boss has been romanticized in our culture, and so much emotional energy can be invested in the fantasy of being the next great pioneer, the next self-made billionaire. And I think most people with notions of starting a business recognize on an instinctive level that it's not all roses, because if it were that romantic and glamorous, there would be a lot more entrepreneurs out there.

Regardless of which hurdles are the key drivers in preventing you from making that leap, one alternative is this:

Work for a startup.

You don't have to start your own business right away. While work cultures can vary from one startup to the next, at many startups the chaotic and fluid nature of your workweek and responsibilities requires a different mentality than working for an established company.

Working at a startup (or a more established VC-backed company) can give you a taste for what's to come. Not only will you get broader responsibilities that have a more direct impact on the company, you will also have more leeway to define what your responsibilities are, as well as initiate and execute ideas without running into a clusterf*ck of committee meetings and approvals. Even if you officially have a "boss" (usually the founders), it can feel more like you're working WITH them and not FOR them.

While it's not the same as actually running your own company as a founder/CEO, working at a startup can give you experience in the trenches - allowing you to experience what it truly feels like, while giving you a bird's eye view of what the founders are going through. And experiencing that startup environment will either scare you away from it, or embolden you in the future to start your own. Or you can walk away from it still unsure, but with that experience, there's less "fear of the unknown" should an opportunity to start your own business comes up years (if not decades) down the road.

Again, if you have a business idea and you're ready to go full steam ahead, go for it! But if you don't have one, you're unsure, or there's hurdles you can't overcome at this point in your life, don't fret -- you can always work for a startup for now, make the most of that experience and take it from there.

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2013, 09:31
Hi Alex,

I understand you must have a lot of messages coming in to your inbox and I do apologize to have to add to that number. The reason for my post is because I would like to ask your honest advice on a choice I'm supposed to make.

I am currently a 22 year old- fresh grad living in Southeast Asia. I graduated from second tier university in the States with a 3.8 GPA in Civil & Environmental Engineering. I took the GMAT and got a 740. I have recently been offered a job to work with either Deloitte Consulting or Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. However, although Deloitte enjoys a better name in the U.S, Roland Berger is known to do better work in Asia, although still smaller in size.

However, in thinking about going to B-school down the road, it seems schools such as Harvard take in a considerable amount from Deloitte and less so from Roland Berger. My question to you then is, in terms of getting into the top 3 B-schools in the U.S, does it make a difference if I come from Roland Berger vs. Deloitte? Or to make it a bit broader, between the consulting companies ex- MBBs.

I understand, it is a small part of the overall application. However, I would like the best chances available to get into a top B-school and would really love to hear you advice. A few sentences of your viewpoint would be really cool.

Thank you so much and I look forward to your reply.


Warm wishes
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2013, 15:33
js25 wrote:
Hi Alex,

I understand you must have a lot of messages coming in to your inbox and I do apologize to have to add to that number. The reason for my post is because I would like to ask your honest advice on a choice I'm supposed to make.

I am currently a 22 year old- fresh grad living in Southeast Asia. I graduated from second tier university in the States with a 3.8 GPA in Civil & Environmental Engineering. I took the GMAT and got a 740. I have recently been offered a job to work with either Deloitte Consulting or Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. However, although Deloitte enjoys a better name in the U.S, Roland Berger is known to do better work in Asia, although still smaller in size.

However, in thinking about going to B-school down the road, it seems schools such as Harvard take in a considerable amount from Deloitte and less so from Roland Berger. My question to you then is, in terms of getting into the top 3 B-schools in the U.S, does it make a difference if I come from Roland Berger vs. Deloitte? Or to make it a bit broader, between the consulting companies ex- MBBs.

I understand, it is a small part of the overall application. However, I would like the best chances available to get into a top B-school and would really love to hear you advice. A few sentences of your viewpoint would be really cool.

Thank you so much and I look forward to your reply.


Warm wishes


There is not enough of a difference in overall rep of the firms to matter -- focus on the one that will give you more interesting work and with people you'd rather work for (and/or learn from).

And no, HBS does not take a considerable amount from Deloitte or any Big-4 firm; their bread and butter are MBB consultants.

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2013, 11:14
noboundary wrote:
AlexMBAApply wrote:
noboundary wrote:
Hi Alex,

I feel like I am a blessed man when I discovered this long thread. Thank God!

I am looking to apply to top 10 MBA programs but uncertain about the strengths of my profile, could you please take a quick look?

-- 3 years of auditing at Big 4 in China with focus on consumer products companies.
-- MSF at Boston College with a 3.8 GPA and Beta Gamma Sigma.
-- Professional athlete in China with provincial championship.
-- Currently founder and CEO of an e-commerce firm, the firm is still quite small at this stage (3 people) but has sales in all 50 states and is easily searchable on all major search engines. By the time of September 2014, I will have 2 years of experience managing it.
-- got bachelor's degree in Australia, served as vice-president of a student society for two years, nothing else spectacular though....about 3.1 GPA.
-- Haven't taken GMAT but just assume I have a 740 score for now....
-- CFA level II candidate
-- Summer intern experience at non-profit and I-Bank during undergraduate

The reason I want to do an MBA is I find marketing far more interesting than finance while managing my own firm, and I am more interested in taking care of the marketing part of the business rather than the whole thing (i.e. CEO). So I want to do a MBA and use that to get into the marketing function of big firms.

Do I have a shot at the top 10 programs? Or you believe there is something very wrong with my mind and I should just go out and play in the sun?

Thank you very much for your time.

And again, great thread, thank god I saw it.


Here's where you stand:

Stretch (choose 1-2): Kellogg, Sloan, Tuck, Booth, Columbia (I'd look at Kellogg and Sloan given your goals)
Sweet spot (choose 3-5): Haas, Duke, Darden, Ross, Yale, Stern, Cornell, UCLA (I'd focus on Haas, Duke, Darden, Ross, UCLA)
Safety (choose 0-1): anything outside the top 16; given your background you may not feel it's worth the time and money to go back unless it's a top 16.

In any case, with these range of schools and assuming you do a good job on executing the written applications and interviews, you should have a reasonable shot at getting in - you have a solid profile that is still traditional but not overly cookie cutter (i.e. you have enough notable experiences that you won't blend in as easily). Again it comes down to choosing a sufficient number of schools across a good range, and in your case the schools that'll likely be a best fit for you (marketing, entrepreneurship, general mgmt) are: Kellogg, Sloan, Haas, Duke, Darden, Ross, and UCLA.

Good luck



Alex,

Thank you very much for the information! This is very helpful!



Hi Alex,

I'm planning to apply to Sloan in Round 2, Kellogg/HBS/Haas/UCLA in Round 3. I will do GMAT at the end of October. Apart from Sloan (which doesn't have round 3), should I also apply another one during round 2 because applying in Round 3 is a really bad idea? Thank you!
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2013, 08:24
noboundary wrote:

Hi Alex,

I'm planning to apply to Sloan in Round 2, Kellogg/HBS/Haas/UCLA in Round 3. I will do GMAT at the end of October. Apart from Sloan (which doesn't have round 3), should I also apply another one during round 2 because applying in Round 3 is a really bad idea? Thank you!


Avoid R3. You have plenty of time to do the GMAT *and* submit the applications in time for R2 deadlines. Focus on the GMAT now, get it out of the way first, and then you can dive into the applications (which should take around 4-8 weeks total to complete 4-7 schools).

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2013, 11:37
Hi Alex,

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

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

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

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

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

Please do share your inputs, thanks again :)

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2013, 09:57
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akshaychaturvedi007 wrote:
Hi Alex,

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

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

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

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

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

Please do share your inputs, thanks again :)


In short, you are overshooting.

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

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

Where you should focus is on the following:

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

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

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

ISB would be similar to a top 30 (sweet spot), as would European programs like Oxford, Cambridge, HEC, IESE, ESADE, IE. The top Euro programs like INSEAD and LBS will be big stretches (closer to a US top 8).

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2013, 12:52
Hello Alex,

I would sincerely appreciate an honest critique of my current profile and targeted schools/programs. Thank you very much.

US Male, American Born Chinese
Age 25
Undergrad: Topish Liberal Arts School (Colgate, Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette etc...)
Major: BS Biology BA Economics
GPA: 3.4 Overall, 3.5 Biology, 3.8 Economics
GMAT: First Score 690 (47 Quant, 38 Verbal) Second Score 660 (50 Quant, 29 Verbal) 6.0 AWA both times, 8 IR first time, 5 IR second time
Work Experience- 2-3 years- Investment Banking Internship at Middle Market Firm, Analyst at SK-China Real Estate (Property acquisition and management), Portfolio Management Analyst at MetLife China
Leadership Roles in College and NPO
Work Experience in both USA and China
Learned how to read and write Chinese in just a year (Goal was to be able to read a Chinese newspaper within a year) and lived in China for 2 years, Did not previously know Chinese even though I am a Chinese Born American
Personally invests in both US and Chinese Stock Markets

Goals: To get a solid financial education given my science background and work in areas like Healthcare or Cleantech IB/PE (Like I did during my banking internship) but with China, Chinese financial opportunities (Capital raising, project/deal sourcing, etc....), work at a managerial level for a Clean tech/Waste management firm, or any new possible areas I may find interesting during the course of my MBA education.

Targeted Programs: Wharton Chinese Lauder Program, UC Berkeley MBA+Masters Public Health Mgmt or MBA+Master International Relations, Duke MBA+Master of Eniv Mgmt, Columbia, NYU Stern, and Dartmouth (The latter 3 are just full time MBA programs)
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2013, 12:39
overmind1632 wrote:
Hello Alex,

I would sincerely appreciate an honest critique of my current profile and targeted schools/programs. Thank you very much.

US Male, American Born Chinese
Age 25
Undergrad: Topish Liberal Arts School (Colgate, Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette etc...)
Major: BS Biology BA Economics
GPA: 3.4 Overall, 3.5 Biology, 3.8 Economics
GMAT: First Score 690 (47 Quant, 38 Verbal) Second Score 660 (50 Quant, 29 Verbal) 6.0 AWA both times, 8 IR first time, 5 IR second time
Work Experience- 2-3 years- Investment Banking Internship at Middle Market Firm, Analyst at SK-China Real Estate (Property acquisition and management), Portfolio Management Analyst at MetLife China
Leadership Roles in College and NPO
Work Experience in both USA and China
Learned how to read and write Chinese in just a year (Goal was to be able to read a Chinese newspaper within a year) and lived in China for 2 years, Did not previously know Chinese even though I am a Chinese Born American
Personally invests in both US and Chinese Stock Markets

Goals: To get a solid financial education given my science background and work in areas like Healthcare or Cleantech IB/PE (Like I did during my banking internship) but with China, Chinese financial opportunities (Capital raising, project/deal sourcing, etc....), work at a managerial level for a Clean tech/Waste management firm, or any new possible areas I may find interesting during the course of my MBA education.

Targeted Programs: Wharton Chinese Lauder Program, UC Berkeley MBA+Masters Public Health Mgmt or MBA+Master International Relations, Duke MBA+Master of Eniv Mgmt, Columbia, NYU Stern, and Dartmouth (The latter 3 are just full time MBA programs)


In short, your chances are slim at top 8's like Wharton, Columbia, Tuck and Haas with your current GMAT. Keep in mind that the majority of Asian/Asian-American applicants are in finance like yourself, and so there's more than enough who will have stronger GMATs than you. To be competitive, you realistically need a 720+. And even then, they will be stretches but where at least you have enough of a shot.

For top 16's like Stern and Duke, you will still need a 700 or else the GMAT will be a big handicap, again simply because you're up against a lot of folks like yourself who will have stronger scores than you.

Do whatever it takes to boost that score - it's your biggest handicap at this point.

_________________

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alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2013, 15:51
Thank you, I sent you a pm with a further question

AlexMBAApply wrote:
overmind1632 wrote:
Hello Alex,

I would sincerely appreciate an honest critique of my current profile and targeted schools/programs. Thank you very much.

US Male, American Born Chinese
Age 25
Undergrad: Topish Liberal Arts School (Colgate, Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette etc...)
Major: BS Biology BA Economics
GPA: 3.4 Overall, 3.5 Biology, 3.8 Economics
GMAT: First Score 690 (47 Quant, 38 Verbal) Second Score 660 (50 Quant, 29 Verbal) 6.0 AWA both times, 8 IR first time, 5 IR second time
Work Experience- 2-3 years- Investment Banking Internship at Middle Market Firm, Analyst at SK-China Real Estate (Property acquisition and management), Portfolio Management Analyst at MetLife China
Leadership Roles in College and NPO
Work Experience in both USA and China
Learned how to read and write Chinese in just a year (Goal was to be able to read a Chinese newspaper within a year) and lived in China for 2 years, Did not previously know Chinese even though I am a Chinese Born American
Personally invests in both US and Chinese Stock Markets

Goals: To get a solid financial education given my science background and work in areas like Healthcare or Cleantech IB/PE (Like I did during my banking internship) but with China, Chinese financial opportunities (Capital raising, project/deal sourcing, etc....), work at a managerial level for a Clean tech/Waste management firm, or any new possible areas I may find interesting during the course of my MBA education.

Targeted Programs: Wharton Chinese Lauder Program, UC Berkeley MBA+Masters Public Health Mgmt or MBA+Master International Relations, Duke MBA+Master of Eniv Mgmt, Columbia, NYU Stern, and Dartmouth (The latter 3 are just full time MBA programs)


In short, your chances are slim at top 8's like Wharton, Columbia, Tuck and Haas with your current GMAT. Keep in mind that the majority of Asian/Asian-American applicants are in finance like yourself, and so there's more than enough who will have stronger GMATs than you. To be competitive, you realistically need a 720+. And even then, they will be stretches but where at least you have enough of a shot.

For top 16's like Stern and Duke, you will still need a 700 or else the GMAT will be a big handicap, again simply because you're up against a lot of folks like yourself who will have stronger scores than you.

Do whatever it takes to boost that score - it's your biggest handicap at this point.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2013, 17:36
Alex, I was really hoping that you would be able to provide some insight with my profile here.

GMAT: 740
Undergraduate GPA: 3.44 (finance major at a top undergrad business program)
Work Experience: 2 years in Consulting in a Big 4 Firm (highly rated)
Extra Circulars: Nothing special to note.. lead a few internal intiatives at work

Target Schools: Columbia, Berkley, NYU, Penn, Northwestern (all 2 year full time MBA programs)

Can you please let me know if my target schools are realistic? I am looking to transition into a more finance role preferablly in real estate. Any advice as to whether I should be aiming for different schools would be very useful.
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2013, 10:10
MBA1210 wrote:
Alex, I was really hoping that you would be able to provide some insight with my profile here.

GMAT: 740
Undergraduate GPA: 3.44 (finance major at a top undergrad business program)
Work Experience: 2 years in Consulting in a Big 4 Firm (highly rated)
Extra Circulars: Nothing special to note.. lead a few internal intiatives at work

Target Schools: Columbia, Berkley, NYU, Penn, Northwestern (all 2 year full time MBA programs)

Can you please let me know if my target schools are realistic? I am looking to transition into a more finance role preferablly in real estate. Any advice as to whether I should be aiming for different schools would be very useful.


A couple of things:

1. Most big-4 folks tend to have 3-5 years of experience at application (or 4-6 years at matriculation), so you'll be at a disadvantage there.

2. Even with 1-2 years more experience, you are overshooting. Top 8 schools like Wharton, Kellogg, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, Sloan and Haas are stretches -- tough for Big-4 folks to get in but where there's still enough of a chance that they're worth applying to 1-2 (but go in with realistic expectations). Schools in the top 16 are where you'll likely have more luck -- schools like NYU, Cornell, Yale, Ross, Duke, Darden, and UCLA are where you should focus your efforts on (choose 3-4 from this list).

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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2013, 22:15
Hi Alex,

You reviewed my profile last year and although you suggested that I could wait 1-3 years, I decided to go ahead and apply to Cornell and Stern where I was dinged without an interview despite having a good relationship with adcom, and on the whole, a great set of essays.

I have decided to postpone my plans and now matriculate either in 2015 or 2016. I'd appreciate any input you could give me.

Ethnicity- Indian Male living in Canada-- I will probably get my Canadian citizenship in 1-2 years

I majored in Finance at a small regional school in Canada. GPA -3.3 - -last two years(Dean's list) GPA 3.7

GMAT --710 (Q49, V39)

W/E
1 year work experience working at a family run Engineering consulting firm in India.
Marketing Internship at 3M Canada
I have 2.5 years experience in supply chain management as a Buyer at a Mid size (400-500 employees, 100mill in revenue)Aerospace manufacturing firm in Canada.
I currently plan on switching careers over to a more finance oriented role either in corporate finance or portfolio management

Other information:
-- Passed all three levels of the CFA on the first attempt
- extracurricular involvements --Toastmaster, numerous non leadership volunteer roles

Goals
My end goal is to work at an Aerospace company either in a corporate finance role or as an aerospace supply chain management consultant leveraging my background in finance. Alternatively I could manage an aerospace pension fund or equity research focusing on the aerospace industry. I'll have to fine tune my story and will probably hire a consultant this time.


Target Schools
These are the schools i'm targeting. In my opinion I'm a stretch at all schools except Oxford and UCLA because I have worked at very small companies and attended an unknown regional Canadian school. Can you recommend any other schools that you think I might have a decent shot at?

CBS, Booth, Kellogg, LBS, Oxford, UCLA - Anderson

Thanks
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Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2013, 10:29
bondc707 wrote:
Hi Alex,

You reviewed my profile last year and although you suggested that I could wait 1-3 years, I decided to go ahead and apply to Cornell and Stern where I was dinged without an interview despite having a good relationship with adcom, and on the whole, a great set of essays.

I have decided to postpone my plans and now matriculate either in 2015 or 2016. I'd appreciate any input you could give me.

Ethnicity- Indian Male living in Canada-- I will probably get my Canadian citizenship in 1-2 years

I majored in Finance at a small regional school in Canada. GPA -3.3 - -last two years(Dean's list) GPA 3.7

GMAT --710 (Q49, V39)

W/E
1 year work experience working at a family run Engineering consulting firm in India.
Marketing Internship at 3M Canada
I have 2.5 years experience in supply chain management as a Buyer at a Mid size (400-500 employees, 100mill in revenue)Aerospace manufacturing firm in Canada.
I currently plan on switching careers over to a more finance oriented role either in corporate finance or portfolio management

Other information:
-- Passed all three levels of the CFA on the first attempt
- extracurricular involvements --Toastmaster, numerous non leadership volunteer roles

Goals
My end goal is to work at an Aerospace company either in a corporate finance role or as an aerospace supply chain management consultant leveraging my background in finance. Alternatively I could manage an aerospace pension fund or equity research focusing on the aerospace industry. I'll have to fine tune my story and will probably hire a consultant this time.


Target Schools
These are the schools i'm targeting. In my opinion I'm a stretch at all schools except Oxford and UCLA because I have worked at very small companies and attended an unknown regional Canadian school. Can you recommend any other schools that you think I might have a decent shot at?

CBS, Booth, Kellogg, LBS, Oxford, UCLA - Anderson

Thanks


So you ignored my advice last time -- and now you're asking for my advice once more (so you can ignore it again?). :)

Honestly you're overshooting. And no, there's nothing you can really do in the next year to fundamentally change where you stand in terms of the schools you should be targeting.

Top 8: these are big stretches. Maybe look at 1 school as your lottery ticket (choose 1 of CBS, Booth, Kellogg, Sloan, Tuck, Haas, LBS, INSEAD).

Top 16: these are your slight stretches to sweet spots and where you should focus on almost exclusively. Choose 4-5 from Ross, Duke, Darden, Stern, Cornell, Yale, UCLA.

Top 30 and beyond: these are reasonable safeties. Choose 1-2 from Oxford, Cambridge, the Canadian schools (Ivey, Queen's, Rotman), and the regional US schools like Texas, Tepper, Georgetown, Purdue, Indiana, UNC, USC, Maryland, Emory, etc.).

_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com
Follow me on Facebook

Re: Ask Alex @ MBA Apply   [#permalink] 25 Oct 2013, 10:29
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