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I'm Vivek. I work in India. I have 4 yrs of technical experience in a start up. My undergraduate academics are good. Apart from technical work I'm a good people manager for which I got appreciation from the VPs of the company (They are former Texas Instrument leaders).
On work, I think I've good leadership qualities & have taken initiatives like cutting down learning time for people through new techniques. I'm always appreciated a lot by my senior managers & peers for this quality.
I'm targetting top B schools like HBS, Kellogs, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia etc. for my MBA.
The reason why I want to do MBA is because I love challenges. Business management is a great challenge in any organization. The decisions related to it can take the company to great heights (or lows). And experience in working after doing MBA & the kind of people I get to know in schools & work will ultimately this will help me setup my own start up! (There is more to it).
I haven't yet given my GMAT but I'm targetting admission around Sept. 2006.
Please tell me if I can make it. Or what are the things that I need to take care of.
Obviously it's still early in the process for you and I only know a tiny bit about you, but I think you have a decent chance. I say that because you seem to have good experiences and a good feel for what value and MBA can provide. Many applicants with backgrounds similar to yours can't give a good reason for why they want an MBA. As long as you keep working on gaining leadership experience and carefully articulate what you'll do with an MBA, you should be in pretty good shape.
BTW, the name of the school is Kellogg, not Kellogs.
Your timeline sounds great. So many applicants end up taking the GMAT and trying to write their essays at the same time. While many applicants certainly get in by doing this, we strongly advise against it! You have the right plan: take the GMAT early enough that you can completely put it out of your mind by the time you start preparing the rest of your application.
I'd be interested to hear a bit more about your work experience, especially the leadership experiences that you referred to. Also, more details about why you want an MBA. These things will become the basis of your application story!
Yes, you caught the right point here. I planned it this way for the same reason that I don't want to think about the GMAT during actual admission process. Have the mind concentrated on the essays & related things. Thanks for reviewing the plan! (now I'm confident.)
Please give me sometime, I'll send the details of my experience & the 'why MBA?'. I'll put it down & send it across!
Meanwhile, can u please tell me about the interviews? Are the interviews taken over the phone or face-to-face? Is it different in different schools?
Most schools do face-to-face interviews. If you can't interview with an admissions officer in Canada, then they'll usually set you up with a local alum who conducts the interview. The best-case scenario is always to interview at school (visiting the school helps to show your interest), but interveiwing with an alum is fine. (I got into Kellogg with an alumni interview.)
A telephone interview is less ideal, just because it's hard to establish a rapport with teh interviewer. But, it is fairly common for non-U.S. applicants interviewing with U.S. schools. Try to do a face-to-face interview if you can, but it's okay if you do it over the phone.
Scott, Thanks for the clarification on interviews.
I have one more very important question (rather a concern) related to financing my MBA.
Do I need to show that I can sponsor or back-up all my study+living expenses, showing my bank balance during the admission? As you know, most of us can't do it since MBA expenses are too high. How do I manage this?
I heard that once I get into the school I'll get the loan. Does it mean that schools don't ask for any finance proof during admission process?
How to manage this important portion of the study?
I honestly don't know this part of the process for internationals as well as some other people in this forum. Some schools will ask for a summary of your assets. Others will accept you and then worry about it, but they can be pretty strict in terms of loans. I know many U.S. schools will only give loans to international students who have an American co-signer (the schools' concern is that a student would graduate and head back to his home country without paying, making it very difficult for the American schools to recoup their money). The co-signer thing isn't necessarily as hard as it sounds, but it can be a very lenghty process, one that my international peers hated!
Really it depends on the school. But you can usually get in without proving that you can pay for the whole thing. The real challenge comes after you're admitted, when you need to line up the loans. That's an area where someone else in this forum can hopefully help you better than I can.