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New post 02 Mar 2019, 08:41
Hi there! There is a lot to like about this profile: the international experiences, the increasing responsibility, and the move OUT of a purely technical role into a consulting role.

For the career vision, check out the free content I have around career visions in the free trial of ApplicantLab, that should help you narrow down which post-MBA role is better to cite. I'd leave the policy stuff out though -- it muddies the story a bit. (of course you can still do it in real life, I'm just saying leave it out of the application).

I am concerned about the GMAT. You really should re-take, and properly study this time, using an online course like e-GMAT (especially since your verbal was weaker). If you got a 700 with only 14 days of self-study, then my hope is you can get a competitive score ("competitive" = 30+ points above a school's average) with true dedication and formal study.

Re: your concern that you don't have time, the Round 1 deadlines are still several months away? (Unless you're planning to apply in a late round for some schools like LBS, which I do not recommend, since many / most spots are already taken).

TL;DR: hold off on the applications and apply in Round 1. Spend at least a couple of months studying with a proper study tool to aim for 730+ (750+ is ideal). There's no point rushing to get in a weak application, especially in Round 3 which is usually a futile errand anyway.


Thanks!,
Maria



shubhajit wrote:
Hello,

I seek some advice regarding the suitability of my profile for the schools that I am targeting for fall 2020. Would be grateful if I could receive some feedback.

Background:

• Indian, male
• Engineering bachelors (electrical) - GPA 6.1/10 (equiv to 61%) at tier 1 university
• 5+ years' worth of work experience (be 6 by the time I apply) - Renewable energy - Consulting and operations
• GMAT 700 (Q47 V38 IR4)

Target colleges:
• LSB
• INSEAD
• HEC
• Oxford Said
• ISB

Post MBA goals
Career acceleration in the same field

Short term:
Manager/Team lead at a Developing/Investing firm that could leverage my knowledge engineering and operations to build a strong renewable energy portfolio
OR
Senior Consultant/team lead at a consulting firm that assists governments in emerging markets to set up appropriate policies to maximize benefit to their economies - technically as well as financially.

Long term -
Senior executive at a firm that builds on a portfolio of energy projects through organic/inorganic growth to maximize its gains. Would also like to be involved in policy related advisory for emerging markets.


Work exp break down:-

3 years at a technical consulting firm (largest in India) - Energy industry. (2013-2016) - location India

• Worked on conventional power projects in Greece and Morocco - 1 year. Clients were foreign nationals. Had limited travel during this time.
• Mostly focused on developing strong technical fundamentals
• Shifted to renewable energy industry (utility scale solar plants). Offered consultancy services to lenders, policy makers and developers. Drew on the rich technical learning that I garnered in the first year of my service.
• Travelled extensively all over India and witnessed the boom in the renewable energy space first hand.
• Promoted to the position of an Engineering Consultant – Design


2 years at the world's 2nd largest solar PV (photo voltaic) Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) company

• Employed as senior design engineer.
• Employed at double the pay.
• Shifted from consultancy to operations in the space of a couple of months
• Drew on the wealth of technical experience garnered in previous employment as technical consultant
• Started the energy storage department in the firm
• Picked up financial modelling and programming even though these were not a part of my job description. Employed this skill set to pivot discussions with management and clients and to engage in objective arguments.
• Led a team of 8 at the home office and a team of 24 at site, to successfully commission the largest solar PV plant (at that time) inside an Airport (beside the runway) at the Kolkata International Airport.
• Obtained recommendation from Client (central government of India)
• Manager (team lead) for 3 large scale solar PV projects that were completed - concept to commissioning - within a space of 2 years and were based out of India, Egypt and Argentina
• Employment included extensive travelling all over the country and to Egypt and Vietnam (for construction monitoring)


1 year at the world's largest energy consulting form (2018- present)

• Offered a role of a Consultant in Energy Storage and Renewable energy
• 4x the pay that I received at my previous employment
• Permanent employment offered at Dubai office. Currently hold a resident Visa.
• Centre of excellence for solar PV. I have been asked to disseminate my operations experience to the solar consulting team.
• Offer consultancy services to private equity forms, banks and developers investing in energy storage (primary role)
• Travel to Jordan, Egypt, Kenya and Saudi Arabia

Extra curriculars

2011- present
• Started a cooperative for sustainable tourism in the Himalayas. The geographic location is quite limited to few high - altitude locations in Jammu and Himachal Pradesh.
• It’s a low-key initiative that includes locals as well as travellers and I have never wanted any hype around it. There is no formal company registration. It is an initiative that has been popular only because of the heavy involvement of the local people. It's a cause I personally care about.

2013-2015
Volunteer at an NGO that works to offer education to the underprivileged - run by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi

2016-present
Active member of a vocational training institute where I disseminate my knowledge of operations to budding technicians

Kindly post your opinion whether my profile looks competitive enough to be considered by the aforementioned schools. I am a bit worried about my GMAT score. I only had 12 days to prepare for it and I have a feeling that I can probably do better. But to be very honest, I don't think i will have enough time to retake, thanks to commitments at work. Should I actively consider retaking?

Thanks a lot!

SNG

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New post 02 Mar 2019, 11:07
Hi Maria

Thank you so much for your feedback, really appreciate it!

I do intend to apply in R1 (for fall 2020 admit) to all of the colleges that I mentioned earlier in my post. Your point is well taken, I will retake the GMAT. Though it would be incredibly onerous to manage with my current workload.

Thanks once again for your prompt response, and I'll look forward to work on my applications with Applicant Lab once i have that "competitive" score :)
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New post 04 Mar 2019, 14:48
That's the spirit! Go for the retake, and regarding being busy with work, just remind yourself that your competitors for that spot are also working very demanding jobs, and yet they are prioritizing the GMAT anyway :) There are many, many Indian candidates (in particular) all dying to get a very limited number of spots, and some of them study for a year (!) and re-take several times to get that competitive score. You owe it to yourself to take the test really seriously the next time around, otherwise, you're just doing your candidacy a dis-service.

Go Go Go!,
Maria :)

shubhajit wrote:
Hi Maria

Thank you so much for your feedback, really appreciate it!

I do intend to apply in R1 (for fall 2020 admit) to all of the colleges that I mentioned earlier in my post. Your point is well taken, I will retake the GMAT. Though it would be incredibly onerous to manage with my current workload.

Thanks once again for your prompt response, and I'll look forward to work on my applications with Applicant Lab once i have that "competitive" score :)

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What is ApplicantLab?

The only MBA admissions service endorsed by Harvard Business School's student newspaper, ApplicantLab takes admissions consultants' tools and puts them in your hands, teaching you how admissions officers think. It guides you through your strategy, essays for all of your schools, resume, recommendations, and even interviews.

Learn more now:

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New post 12 Apr 2019, 22:09
Hi Maria. I emailed you a week ago and you've led me to this thread. Would love a profile review. Will apply to Oxbridge MBAs next year (4 years WE at matriculation, age 25) so I'm wondering what my chances are right now and what I can do to strengthen my application to make me competitive for scholarships.

Background and nationality: Citizen of a South East Asian (SEA) country. Ethnicity is mixed: SEAn and East Asian.

Age and gender: 23 male (25 by matriculation)

Undergrad Information: Top 2 university in my country, does not rank well globally. Majored in a quantitative business course. GPA converts to slightly below 3.65 (no grade inflation).

GMAT: Yet to take. Practice CATs hover above 700, but I'm targeting a 730.

Work experience and leadership: 2 years (as of right now) in a middle market bank working in Equity Research as a covering associate (so 4 years by matriculation if I apply next year, with a promotion to analyst by then hopefully). Very client-facing. Also informally work (multiple non-hands on roles such as some asset management and HR recruiting) in a diversified family business that's considered medium-sized in my country. Eight digit annual revenues in USD.

International experience: Have gone to business trips to other Asian countries. Constantly in contact with international buy-side clients across the globe.

Community and others: Had strong leadership roles in a charity-based UG org. Semi-active after as a consultant to the org. Plan to be a lot more active.

Post MBA goals: I will run the medium-sized family business one day, and an MBA would help with the network, learning, and reputation. These things are important because: 1. we have been dealing with more international clients lately, 2. reputation helps in making deals and gaining clients, and 3. reputation helps because I plan to IPO one of the companies we hold.

Anything else? Took summer courses in top unis in UK and an East-Asian country.

Cheers!
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New post 14 Apr 2019, 10:03
Hi Maria,
Request you to evaluate my profile.

Indian Male, Age: 30 at the time of matriculation
GMAT: 680

B.Tech: NIT Jaipur (Electronics & Communication)
M.Tech (Aeronautics)

Work Ex:
Indian Navy as Lieutenant Commander (total 10 years at the time of matriculation)
Handled various roles as Department Head, Manager etc.
Presently, Manager at a Naval Aircraft Yard (mainly looking after operations, logistics & HR management)

Extra curricular: Runners up in Indian Naval Boat Pulling Regatta (most prestigious sailing competition of IN), Runners up in Enterprise Class sailing, conducted various events etc.

Awarded Commendation (awarded only to 3% officers)

Other details: Holds a PMP and have done various courses from Coursera & EdX to enhance my skillset and work in the Navy.

Why MBA: Post retirement, I want to get into Operations Management. I have decent managerial skills, good analytical and problem solving abilities and good leadership skills. I think an international MBA will enhance my overall personality, will help me learn from my coursemates & will provide me a learning opportunity to excel in corporate.

Please suggest colleges which are within my reach and which are a bit out of my reach but likely possible. I intent to do a full time MBA from US/ Singapore/ Europe.

Thank you

PS: I will be giving GMAT again in 3 months time and expect to increase the score by 30-40 points.
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New post 21 Apr 2019, 06:58
Hi Maria
I am Asish, and I am from India. Following is my brief profile-
GMAT-710
Age-30
GPA-3.5
WE-2 years (Non profit Govt org) + 6 years in retail banking
Target admission year-2020
Post MBA goals- Corporate finance followed by IB and consulting.

Though I have 6 years of experience in banking, mostly I worked in branch level during these years. I consulted with some admission consultant, and each of them suggested that my experience is a bit one dimensional. Truly speaking I don't have significant leadership experiences.

How should I project my profile to the Adcoms? What kind of profile enhancement do I require? What should be my target schools?
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New post 22 Apr 2019, 16:32
Hello! Thanks for reaching out and apologies for the delay -- I was on vacation last week due to the Holy Week / Passover holiday over here! Let's dig in:

GMATworm100 wrote:
Hi Maria. I emailed you a week ago and you've led me to this thread. Would love a profile review. Will apply to Oxbridge MBAs next year (4 years WE at matriculation, age 25) so I'm wondering what my chances are right now and what I can do to strengthen my application to make me competitive for scholarships.

Background and nationality: Citizen of a South East Asian (SEA) country. Ethnicity is mixed: SEAn and East Asian.

Age and gender: 23 male (25 by matriculation)

Undergrad Information: Top 2 university in my country, does not rank well globally. Majored in a quantitative business course. GPA converts to slightly below 3.65 (no grade inflation).

GMAT: Yet to take. Practice CATs hover above 700, but I'm targeting a 730.

Work experience and leadership: 2 years (as of right now) in a middle market bank working in Equity Research as a covering associate (so 4 years by matriculation if I apply next year, with a promotion to analyst by then hopefully). Very client-facing. Also informally work (multiple non-hands on roles such as some asset management and HR recruiting) in a diversified family business that's considered medium-sized in my country. Eight digit annual revenues in USD.


I think your career is off to a strong start -- a key component of your application will be demonstrating the people skills I'm guessing you have (client facing work) -- but kicking it up a notch to demonstrate leadership skills. In other words, making sure that the different components of your application (essays, recommendations, etc.) really show that you have the ingredients for leadership. I say this because often equity research is viewed as being a "reactive" role (analyzing what other companies are doing) vs. a "proactive" role (actually driving change at a company)... so showing them that you have the raw ingredients for leadership via the application, so that you will be a more "proactive" leader later on, will be important.
Quote:
International experience: Have gone to business trips to other Asian countries. Constantly in contact with international buy-side clients across the globe.

Community and others: Had strong leadership roles in a charity-based UG org. Semi-active after as a consultant to the org. Plan to be a lot more active.

Great! Please do try to increase your contribution to that charity between now and when you apply next year. This can be a great place to go "above and beyond" especially if your work at the bank is more structured / hierarchical and doesn't give you a ton of room to,. e.g. lead projects by yourself.
Quote:


Post MBA goals: I will run the medium-sized family business one day, and an MBA would help with the network, learning, and reputation. These things are important because: 1. we have been dealing with more international clients lately, 2. reputation helps in making deals and gaining clients, and 3. reputation helps because I plan to IPO one of the companies we hold.

OH! Ok so, given your young age, my advice to you is to go work for the family business starting now, work there for a year or two, and then apply then. This will help give a ton more credibility to the career vision -- proving that you actually are committed to (and good at!) the family business. It will also help you stand out more vs. being an equity analyst.

One piece of advice though -- don't tell a school you're only interested in them for their "reputation" -- that's like telling someone you only want to date them because they're wealthy. Your "Why MBA" argument needs to be tighter. Thankfully, in the ApplicantLab I have an entire module devoted to helping you develop a strong rationale for getting the MBA.

Quote:
Anything else? Took summer courses in top unis in UK and an East-Asian country.

Cheers!

The summer courses are not really all that impactful -- they neither help nor really hurt you.

Just out of curiosity, why are you interested in only the UK schools? Several of the US programs have the ability to study topics specifically related to family businesses, e.g. Cornell, Columbia, etc. Also, European programs tend to skew just a smidge older in their applicant pool compared to US programs.


Thanks!,
Maria
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The only MBA admissions service endorsed by Harvard Business School's student newspaper, ApplicantLab takes admissions consultants' tools and puts them in your hands, teaching you how admissions officers think. It guides you through your strategy, essays for all of your schools, resume, recommendations, and even interviews.

Learn more now:

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New post 22 Apr 2019, 16:51
Hi there! As per my note to the earlier person on this thread, apologies for the delay in replying; last week was a holiday week leading up to Easter / Passover so I wasn't online much!

In terms of your profile, you face a few headwinds -- one of them, your GMAT, will indeed be helped if you can increase the score by 30 - 40 points. Note that Indian GMAT test-takers usually score about 20-30 points higher than average, so to determine which schools your score is competitive for, a quick rule of thumb is to subtract 20-30 points. In other words, if you get a 720, then I'd look at programs with a 690 or 700 average.

Your existing background managing operations sets you nicely at a program that specifically has an operations focus. Be sure to research prospective programs and see if they offer, e.g. a "major" or concentration in operations management prior to applying to be more certain that the program is a good fit.

Given your age, for the US programs I'd focus on the 1-year programs offered at places like Cornell and Emory. Other programs to research could be Michigan State Broad and Purdue Krannert.

I think ideally you could find programs that are at the intersection of having an avg GMAT score of 690 (again, assuming you're at, say, 720), a focus on operations management, and either have a slightly older student body and/or offer a 1-year program, just because many U.S. programs have students with an average of 4 - 6 years of experience, and right now you're at about twice that.

Apply to some "dream" schools (because why not?) but be sure to cast a wide net too (that is, apply to many schools in your "portfolio") just to try to mazimize your chances of an acceptance.

Thank you!

kumawatpriyank wrote:
Hi Maria,
Request you to evaluate my profile.

Indian Male, Age: 30 at the time of matriculation
GMAT: 680

B.Tech: NIT Jaipur (Electronics & Communication)
M.Tech (Aeronautics)

Work Ex:
Indian Navy as Lieutenant Commander (total 10 years at the time of matriculation)
Handled various roles as Department Head, Manager etc.
Presently, Manager at a Naval Aircraft Yard (mainly looking after operations, logistics & HR management)

Extra curricular: Runners up in Indian Naval Boat Pulling Regatta (most prestigious sailing competition of IN), Runners up in Enterprise Class sailing, conducted various events etc.

Awarded Commendation (awarded only to 3% officers)

Other details: Holds a PMP and have done various courses from Coursera & EdX to enhance my skillset and work in the Navy.

Why MBA: Post retirement, I want to get into Operations Management. I have decent managerial skills, good analytical and problem solving abilities and good leadership skills. I think an international MBA will enhance my overall personality, will help me learn from my coursemates & will provide me a learning opportunity to excel in corporate.

Please suggest colleges which are within my reach and which are a bit out of my reach but likely possible. I intent to do a full time MBA from US/ Singapore/ Europe.

Thank you

PS: I will be giving GMAT again in 3 months time and expect to increase the score by 30-40 points.

_________________
What is ApplicantLab?

The only MBA admissions service endorsed by Harvard Business School's student newspaper, ApplicantLab takes admissions consultants' tools and puts them in your hands, teaching you how admissions officers think. It guides you through your strategy, essays for all of your schools, resume, recommendations, and even interviews.

Learn more now:

Free Trial / GMATClub Reviews / Founder's interview with the HBS student newspaper
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New post 22 Apr 2019, 17:20
Hi there Ashish -- great to meet you. It can be difficult to assess chances based on these sorts of message board postings, but your post in particular is pretty "lite" on details so it's an even tougher task.

That having been said, I will do my best!

As you may know, most U.S. MBA programs' students have around 5 years of work experience, so your 8 years (9 at matriculation) as well as age of 30+ puts you at a slight disadvantage. So for starters, look into the "class profiles" of each school you're considering and see if they take older students. Your best bet may be with one-year programs and/or programs in Europe, which tend to be more open to more seasoned applicants.

Regarding your work experience, it's true that retail banking isn't considered all that elite. That having been said, you might have more leadership experience than you know! Just because you have not formally managed teams doesn't mean that you have not had opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills, it just means that perhaps they have occurred in a more informal way.

How many promotions have you received? Are you ahead of your peers, career-wise? Can your recommenders speak to how you have pushed for innovative new ideas, inspired the team during tough times, etc.? All of these things can potentially serve as "evidence" that your career is in fact on an upward trajectory.

One thing I would very much work on are your post-MBA career goals. To be blunt, it would be almost impossible (at any age, but especially at your age) to jump from retail banking to corporate finance to investment banking to consulting. Applying with a career vision like this would automatically sink your application, as it would look as though you had not really researched / thought carefully about what a realistic career path is, post-school. Should you decide to apply, I'd urge you to spend a lot of time researching viable career paths and being thoughtful about the plan you present.

Regarding schools to consider, here is my blog post on the topic: https://www.applicantlab.com/blog/mba-a ... mine-odds/

Research to see -- when other people from your bank, in a similar role , have applied to business schools -- where have they ended up going?

Again, there's very little info provided, so it's not all that easy to do things like provide a list of schools to apply to. Usually, a general rule of thumb for Indian applicants is to start by finding schools with GMAT scores about 30 points lower than yours (in your case a 680), but if you really don't have much leadership experience, etc. then I'd go even further and look for schools with, say GMATs in the 650-ish range, in the hopes that they'd be willing to give you a chance based on the score and not on the strength of the profile.

Now, if you DO have leadership experience, but it's just informal vs. formal, then THAT can be overcome by submitting strong essays giving concrete examples, a resume that shows upward career progression, and recommendations that vouch for you being a rising star. This is why the "qualitative" sections of the application make up about 60% of the admissions decision -- so conveying those experiences correctly can make a big difference!



aghosh54 wrote:
Hi Maria
I am Asish, and I am from India. Following is my brief profile-
GMAT-710
Age-30
GPA-3.5
WE-2 years (Non profit Govt org) + 6 years in retail banking
Target admission year-2020
Post MBA goals- Corporate finance followed by IB and consulting.

Though I have 6 years of experience in banking, mostly I worked in branch level during these years. I consulted with some admission consultant, and each of them suggested that my experience is a bit one dimensional. Truly speaking I don't have significant leadership experiences.

How should I project my profile to the Adcoms? What kind of profile enhancement do I require? What should be my target schools?

_________________
What is ApplicantLab?

The only MBA admissions service endorsed by Harvard Business School's student newspaper, ApplicantLab takes admissions consultants' tools and puts them in your hands, teaching you how admissions officers think. It guides you through your strategy, essays for all of your schools, resume, recommendations, and even interviews.

Learn more now:

Free Trial / GMATClub Reviews / Founder's interview with the HBS student newspaper
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New post 22 Apr 2019, 21:36
ApplicantLab wrote:
Hello! Thanks for reaching out and apologies for the delay -- I was on vacation last week due to the Holy Week / Passover holiday over here! Let's dig in:

GMATworm100 wrote:
Hi Maria. I emailed you a week ago and you've led me to this thread. Would love a profile review. Will apply to Oxbridge MBAs next year (4 years WE at matriculation, age 25) so I'm wondering what my chances are right now and what I can do to strengthen my application to make me competitive for scholarships.

Background and nationality: Citizen of a South East Asian (SEA) country. Ethnicity is mixed: SEAn and East Asian.

Age and gender: 23 male (25 by matriculation)

Undergrad Information: Top 2 university in my country, does not rank well globally. Majored in a quantitative business course. GPA converts to slightly below 3.65 (no grade inflation).

GMAT: Yet to take. Practice CATs hover above 700, but I'm targeting a 730.

Work experience and leadership: 2 years (as of right now) in a middle market bank working in Equity Research as a covering associate (so 4 years by matriculation if I apply next year, with a promotion to analyst by then hopefully). Very client-facing. Also informally work (multiple non-hands on roles such as some asset management and HR recruiting) in a diversified family business that's considered medium-sized in my country. Eight digit annual revenues in USD.


I think your career is off to a strong start -- a key component of your application will be demonstrating the people skills I'm guessing you have (client facing work) -- but kicking it up a notch to demonstrate leadership skills. In other words, making sure that the different components of your application (essays, recommendations, etc.) really show that you have the ingredients for leadership. I say this because often equity research is viewed as being a "reactive" role (analyzing what other companies are doing) vs. a "proactive" role (actually driving change at a company)... so showing them that you have the raw ingredients for leadership via the application, so that you will be a more "proactive" leader later on, will be important.
Quote:
International experience: Have gone to business trips to other Asian countries. Constantly in contact with international buy-side clients across the globe.

Community and others: Had strong leadership roles in a charity-based UG org. Semi-active after as a consultant to the org. Plan to be a lot more active.

Great! Please do try to increase your contribution to that charity between now and when you apply next year. This can be a great place to go "above and beyond" especially if your work at the bank is more structured / hierarchical and doesn't give you a ton of room to,. e.g. lead projects by yourself.
Quote:


Post MBA goals: I will run the medium-sized family business one day, and an MBA would help with the network, learning, and reputation. These things are important because: 1. we have been dealing with more international clients lately, 2. reputation helps in making deals and gaining clients, and 3. reputation helps because I plan to IPO one of the companies we hold.

OH! Ok so, given your young age, my advice to you is to go work for the family business starting now, work there for a year or two, and then apply then. This will help give a ton more credibility to the career vision -- proving that you actually are committed to (and good at!) the family business. It will also help you stand out more vs. being an equity analyst.

One piece of advice though -- don't tell a school you're only interested in them for their "reputation" -- that's like telling someone you only want to date them because they're wealthy. Your "Why MBA" argument needs to be tighter. Thankfully, in the ApplicantLab I have an entire module devoted to helping you develop a strong rationale for getting the MBA.

Quote:
Anything else? Took summer courses in top unis in UK and an East-Asian country.

Cheers!

The summer courses are not really all that impactful -- they neither help nor really hurt you.

Just out of curiosity, why are you interested in only the UK schools? Several of the US programs have the ability to study topics specifically related to family businesses, e.g. Cornell, Columbia, etc. Also, European programs tend to skew just a smidge older in their applicant pool compared to US programs.


Thanks!,
Maria


Thanks for the review Maria.

I do plan on working in the family business the moment I get an acceptance to a program, which should be around a year before matriculation. Parents made it clear that I have to take an mba before I dive into the family business full time because once I do so, the opportunity cost would be too high to leave for 1-2 years. Especially in the context that we're currently jumpstarting a diversification into new industries. So there definitely is a time aspect to why I'm applying relatively young. Furthermore, I don't think I can get strong LoRs if I work in the family business compared to in my current role. Would it be enough that I tell adcom my plans to work in the fam business righr after an accept?

I do like to point out however that in the last 3 years, I had been involved in the fam business, just not in a hands on manner. I've dabled into wealth management, HR recruiting, and institutional sales (of course not full time) with strong results.

I like UK schools because 1. They are one year programs (less opportunity cost vs a 2 year one in the US), 2. the class profiles are much more international on average vs US schools, and 3. it seems easier to get into top UK programs vs T10 US schools (correct me if I'm wrong).


I'll make sure to get more involved in the charity organization, and find ways to show leadership. But as it is, does it look like I'd be competitive for Oxbridge/LBS?

Cheers!

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New post 22 Apr 2019, 22:59
Hi Maria,

Plz evaluate my profile for CMU Tepper,Haas,NYU Stern and Yale

My profile is as follows:
Indian Male, 32 years old
Engineering graduate in Computer Science.

10th- 78%
12th - 77.6%
B.Tech- 68% From State Technical University.


Total of 8.5 years of work experience :
3 years with Infosys Limited as Senior System Developer.

5.5 years in retail banking with the largest bank in India, State Bank of India (Joined as Probationary Officer). Branch Manager since last 3 years.Dealing with retail finance as well as general management.

GMAT : 710 Q 50 V 36 IR 5 AWA 5

Extra Curricular:
1. Have been a part of an NGO which works in education sector for rural students, for 6 months
2.During my stint as Software Engineer, was a member of employee club and conducted a fundraising program for wedding of poor girls.
3.Have conducted a number of financial literacy camps in rural areas,outside of my work area.
4.Appeared for UPSC Civil Services Interview twice,probably the toughest exam in India.

Achievements: In both my organisations,got promoted to a higher position in the minimum possible time.
.In recognition of my work,was selected to open and head a new bank branch catering to Defence Officers.
.Numerous internal awards for achievements catering to different areas of work.

Have a unique exposure of working with the farmers and the rural population of the country,as well as with High Profile Defence Officers.

Want to change my career field,and an MBA would be a right step in that direction.Post MBA industry preferred is Consulting or Finance.

Thanks
Abhishek

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New post 23 Apr 2019, 07:14
ApplicantLab wrote:
Hi there Ashish -- great to meet you. It can be difficult to assess chances based on these sorts of message board postings, but your post in particular is pretty "lite" on details so it's an even tougher task.

That having been said, I will do my best!

As you may know, most U.S. MBA programs' students have around 5 years of work experience, so your 8 years (9 at matriculation) as well as age of 30+ puts you at a slight disadvantage. So for starters, look into the "class profiles" of each school you're considering and see if they take older students. Your best bet may be with one-year programs and/or programs in Europe, which tend to be more open to more seasoned applicants.

Regarding your work experience, it's true that retail banking isn't considered all that elite. That having been said, you might have more leadership experience than you know! Just because you have not formally managed teams doesn't mean that you have not had opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills, it just means that perhaps they have occurred in a more informal way.

How many promotions have you received? Are you ahead of your peers, career-wise? Can your recommenders speak to how you have pushed for innovative new ideas, inspired the team during tough times, etc.? All of these things can potentially serve as "evidence" that your career is in fact on an upward trajectory.

One thing I would very much work on are your post-MBA career goals. To be blunt, it would be almost impossible (at any age, but especially at your age) to jump from retail banking to corporate finance to investment banking to consulting. Applying with a career vision like this would automatically sink your application, as it would look as though you had not really researched / thought carefully about what a realistic career path is, post-school. Should you decide to apply, I'd urge you to spend a lot of time researching viable career paths and being thoughtful about the plan you present.

Regarding schools to consider, here is my blog post on the topic: https://www.applicantlab.com/blog/mba-a ... mine-odds/

Research to see -- when other people from your bank, in a similar role , have applied to business schools -- where have they ended up going?

Again, there's very little info provided, so it's not all that easy to do things like provide a list of schools to apply to. Usually, a general rule of thumb for Indian applicants is to start by finding schools with GMAT scores about 30 points lower than yours (in your case a 680), but if you really don't have much leadership experience, etc. then I'd go even further and look for schools with, say GMATs in the 650-ish range, in the hopes that they'd be willing to give you a chance based on the score and not on the strength of the profile.

Now, if you DO have leadership experience, but it's just informal vs. formal, then THAT can be overcome by submitting strong essays giving concrete examples, a resume that shows upward career progression, and recommendations that vouch for you being a rising star. This is why the "qualitative" sections of the application make up about 60% of the admissions decision -- so conveying those experiences correctly can make a big difference!



aghosh54 wrote:
Hi Maria
I am Asish, and I am from India. Following is my brief profile-
GMAT-710
Age-30
GPA-3.5
WE-2 years (Non profit Govt org) + 6 years in retail banking
Target admission year-2020
Post MBA goals- Corporate finance followed by IB and consulting.

Though I have 6 years of experience in banking, mostly I worked in branch level during these years. I consulted with some admission consultant, and each of them suggested that my experience is a bit one dimensional. Truly speaking I don't have significant leadership experiences.

How should I project my profile to the Adcoms? What kind of profile enhancement do I require? What should be my target schools?

Thank you Maria for your valuable advice.
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New post 29 Apr 2019, 04:34
Hi Maria,

I read on the FAQs on your portal that you usually do not evaluate profiles but looking at the reviews(@applicantlab) of how you have helped out people in their applications, I could not resist posting this! I would really like to hear from you on my profile.

Could you please evaluate my profile for a top-10 US B school, INSEAD and LBS? I have 18 months of full time work experience. Do you think it would be a good idea to apply to these schools next year?(so I would have 3 years of work experience at the time of joining). I see that most of these schools have an average work experience of 4-5 years. Would I be at a disadvantage the year following the next if I apply and get rejected next year? Is it a right time to work with a consultant?

Hera are more details:


Academics:

10th standard: 94%, ICSE
12th standard: 85% Maharashtra State Board
Undergraduate: IIIT Bangalore, Major Computer Science CGPA 3.61/4(Deans Merit List, among top 5 of graduating cohort), Minor Data Science. It was an integrated program so I have a B Tech and M Tech in Computer Science.
GMAT Q49, V38. Total 710 (I read your previous posts and understand my GMAT is on a lower side for these schools, I am already working on it)

Professional details(Internship):
AMD, BNP Paribas, Yatra.com(Indian startup)
Selected for Summer school organized by Stanford

Professional details(full time):

September 2017-December 2018 Hilti Group in Kuala Lumpur as Data Scientist
Jan 2019- Present Hilti Group in Switzerland as Product Owner(promoted). Leading a team of 4 developers (not direct reports but). I plan to change geographies again next year. The location is not decided but it would be a European country.

Other stuff

Co-founding member of E-Cell of my college(2014)
Mentoring students pursuing Masters in technology with their thesis(2019)
Learning German (2019)
Worked with AIESEC, Bangalore(2014)
Did a research internship at RMIT University in Australia and published a paper.(2015)
Won 10-12 tech competitions at a national and international level(2013-2018)

Thanks in advance, Maria! Greatly appreciated.
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New post 07 May 2019, 00:48
Hi Maria,

I came across your interview with that client who got into Emory and I'm pretty set on getting ApplicantLab in time for my applications this fall. I wonder if you could have a look at my profile and tell me what sort of schools I should be looking to apply to.

Gender: Male
Nationality: Pakistan
Age: 25

Education and Background:
- Born in Pakistan but grew up in Bahrain (till High School)
- Received full scholarship to go to boarding school in Canada
- Went to Uni in the UK (Top 20 in the World)
- Electrical and Electronics Engineering (2nd Class Honours (Lower)) - GPA converts to 3.01 on the WES calculator. Basically I was completely immature and decided to pursue an engineering degree cuz that's what everyone in my family had done before. Started off strongly but then floundered in the middle when I realised this just wasn't for me. Got my head down and worked super hard in the final year (final year GPA is 3.24).

Work Experience:
- Global Project Coordinator for large Industrial Automation company in Tokyo. Essentially technical sales to customers (Big Oil and renowned EPC contractors).
- Currently 26 months. Will be 40 months by matriculation.
- Studying Japanese. Will have official intermediate proficiency certification at time of application (hopefully).

GMAT: 690 (Q44; V:40)

Target Industry: This is where it gets interesting. I'm not averse to moving into operations consulting (as this is what my current role most strongly relates to) and I think this is what I will position as my main goal for North American programs. My dream career is within the sports industry which is why IESE Spain is my highest priority in the coming application cycle. They have dedicated sports treks out to London and NIKE happens to be one of the biggest employers for their graduates. Am I dumb for having two vastly different career paths in mind?

I'm hoping I can leverage my international experience and GMAT to make up for that GPA.

Target Schools: IESE, Rotman, McGill, Emory, Notre Dame, Fisher

Target schools above are the ones I plan on applying to this year but I may swap out one here and there.

I'd love to hear what you think!

Thanks!
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New post 11 May 2019, 05:46
Hi Maria,

A friend of mine used ApplicantLab and had a fantastic reapplication story last year. I'm probably going to be using it for my applications this year. I did have some questions and was hoping you could do a quick evaluation of my profile as I prepare for applications this fall.

BACKGROUND


    GPA: 4.0 double major (Global Studies & Communication) at a large state school
    GMAT: 710 (Q46 V42 IR – 8). Will be retaking
    Age & Nationality: 26 (on matriculation) White Female (American)

WORK EXPERIENCE


    1 year at a well-known international education non-profit, promoting summer study abroad programs for high school students. I was primarily in charge of promoting our programs and recruiting students and partner high schools to participate.

    Currently, 1.5 years in a Japanese company (in Japan) where I manage our international suppliers, most of whom are from Europe and other Asian countries. The job involves imports, exports, shipping, and logistics and include maintaining relationships with these suppliers and coordinating/interpreting regular meetings. I also do a lot of paperwork in Japanese – not sure if that matters or not.

    In addition to these, I held several internship and research positions for two years when I was in college. Not sure if this counts toward my work experience, but the total time would be over a year across 3-4 different roles.

OTHER INFORMATION


    I had many extra-curricular activities during college, but the one constant has been English and cultural exchange classes that I continue for people at my current job and community members. I also am using my experience to help a couple of non-profits in India as part of a remote project. The project involves launching a spoken English curriculum for over 1000 children/beneficiaries supported by these non-profits.

    I’m business proficient in Japanese and fluent in Brazilian Portuguese. I also did a couple of exchange programs to Japan and Brazil.

    Recipient of a couple of fellowships/awards in college. Also had several leadership positions in clubs/organizations.

GOALS


    Looking to pivot to consulting in the short-term. I find that my background has developed a foundation for solving problems in cross-cultural situations. I would like to build upon these strengths by helping companies solve their organizational challenges and applying these skills to a wide range of management/business projects. While I prefer to start as a generalist, I’d be interested in eventually specializing in marketing projects (this is an idea, but I'm not 100% clear on this yet).

    In the long-term, I would like to start my own boutique consultancy. I was thinking that it would specialize in international marketing projects (or projects with a cross-cultural/international aspect to it). I think an MBA would complement my international background and degree in communications and people skills to prepare me for my career goals.

TARGET SCHOOLS


    Kellogg – my dream school. Also looking at Tuck, Yale, Ross and a couple of others.

QUESTIONS


    1) First and biggest question is about my choice of recommenders. I’m getting one from my former supervisor, but I have a choice for the second one and was wondering which would work better. My options are:
    Option 1: Getting one from my company in Japan. This would be exceptionally hard as it is a very traditional company and they will not be supportive of me leaving to get my MBA. That said, I do know one person who would be willing to write it, but he’s a senior and not my direct supervisor. He’s also not familiar with my job/duties and his English level is lower intermediate at best (though I suppose I could pay someone to translate a Japanese letter). I’m also not sure how aware he is of what an MBA recommendation requires and how much I’ll be able to coach him through the process. The advantage here is that it is a professional recommendation.
    Option 2: My other option is getting one from the non-profit I’m working with in India. The disadvantage here is that I started working with them recently. I would have only completed 6 months by the time applications are due. That said I was brought on-board specifically for this project that has been stalled for a while and am confident that I can bring it to completion before its time for me to apply. So while I wouldn’t have been there too long, I would have completed an entire project working closely with my recommender. The advantage here is that she is extremely familiar with the MBA process and I would have no doubts about the quality of the recommendation.

    2) Am I being realistic about my school choices, given my background, GMAT score and goals? Do my short and long-term goal make sense?

    3) While I am trying to improve my 710 (Q46 V42), how much importance should I give this? Should I stop at nothing to improve the 710, or am I a competitive candidate with this score?

Thank you in advance for your response!
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New post 28 May 2019, 17:10
Hi there!

I'm not sure what happened -- I thought I had posted an answer to this!

The truth is, with only 18 months experience at the time of applying, you will be at a SEVERE disadvantage in the process -- in fact, some schools do not even consider candidates applying with less than two years of experience.

I like that you're working in Switzerland now -- your career seems to be off to a good start!

My advice is to continue doing well at work, take on significant leadership positions at work (volunteer to go above and beyond in terms of leadership), and cultivate out-of-work dedication to a cause or significant hobby, I think in a few years you'll be in much stronger shape to apply.

You may also find this blog post useful: https://www.applicantlab.com/blog/preparing-apply-mba-program-focus/

The good news is, your GMAT score will be valid for 5 years, so if you do a re-take (which can be what you focus on now for the next few months since I do not advise applying this year), then the score can be used later on when your profile is more in-line with what these schools are looking for.


Best,
Maria


jayarora wrote:
Hi Maria,

I read on the FAQs on your portal that you usually do not evaluate profiles but looking at the reviews(@applicantlab) of how you have helped out people in their applications, I could not resist posting this! I would really like to hear from you on my profile.

Could you please evaluate my profile for a top-10 US B school, INSEAD and LBS? I have 18 months of full time work experience. Do you think it would be a good idea to apply to these schools next year?(so I would have 3 years of work experience at the time of joining). I see that most of these schools have an average work experience of 4-5 years. Would I be at a disadvantage the year following the next if I apply and get rejected next year? Is it a right time to work with a consultant?

Hera are more details:


Academics:

10th standard: 94%, ICSE
12th standard: 85% Maharashtra State Board
Undergraduate: IIIT Bangalore, Major Computer Science CGPA 3.61/4(Deans Merit List, among top 5 of graduating cohort), Minor Data Science. It was an integrated program so I have a B Tech and M Tech in Computer Science.
GMAT Q49, V38. Total 710 (I read your previous posts and understand my GMAT is on a lower side for these schools, I am already working on it)

Professional details(Internship):
AMD, BNP Paribas, Yatra.com(Indian startup)
Selected for Summer school organized by Stanford

Professional details(full time):

September 2017-December 2018 Hilti Group in Kuala Lumpur as Data Scientist
Jan 2019- Present Hilti Group in Switzerland as Product Owner(promoted). Leading a team of 4 developers (not direct reports but). I plan to change geographies again next year. The location is not decided but it would be a European country.

Other stuff

Co-founding member of E-Cell of my college(2014)
Mentoring students pursuing Masters in technology with their thesis(2019)
Learning German (2019)
Worked with AIESEC, Bangalore(2014)
Did a research internship at RMIT University in Australia and published a paper.(2015)
Won 10-12 tech competitions at a national and international level(2013-2018)

Thanks in advance, Maria! Greatly appreciated.

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New post 28 May 2019, 20:27
Hi Maria, Would love to get your thoughts on my profile.

Background:
29, Male and Indian. Grew up in Thailand (primary to high school), completed my undergraduate degree in UK, and my graduate degree in USA.

I will be 30 years old when I start next year in Fall.

Academics:
730 GMAT

Undergraduate: Imperial College London
GPA Equivalent: 3.8/3.9+?? (First class Honors)
Major: Chemical Engineering

Graduate: Duke University
GPA: 3.9
Major: Masters in Statistical and Economic Modeling

Work Exp:
After Undergraduate Degree:
- ~2 years - Fortune 200 company as a Project Development Engineer. Basically leading engineering proposals and bid presentations for customers to build turn-key plants by working with a team of business development, project management and engineering resources. A good balance of technical and business focus. Quit to go get my graduate degree.

During Graduate Degree (focus was on using data for energy policy work):
- Worked for an international organization (think World Bank, UN etc.) as a research assistant to scope out the benefits to the South Asia region for free trade of electricity. Turned into a whitepaper.
- Work with a large US Goverment organization to build a series of tools to better benchmark energy efficiency of factories (similar to the energy star benchmark). Published a paper.
- Started a social enterprise to build portable solar power for street vendors in urban slums. Lead a team of 4 to raise capital through social enterprise competitions and build a prototype to test the idea.

After Graduate School:
- working as a Data Scientist, leading implementation of AI/Machine Learning solutions for clients
- 1.5 years - Work as a data scientist in a Big 4 consulting firm. Working on actual AI projects for major Fortune 500 clients.
- 1.5 years and continuing - Moved to the center of excellence of another Big 4 consulting firm. Joined as a senior and promoted to manager in 1 year.

Extra curriculars:
More during undergrad (leadership positions for social enterprise club and cultural club). Some since, but not in leadership positions.

Goal:
To build skills in other business areas (finance, and strategy especially). Short-term: Join the digital/analytics arm of MBBs. Long-term: be a principal/director of product management for an AI/analytics focused tech company (e.g. Google Cloud, Tableau, NVIDIA etc.).

Target Schools:
HSW, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Chicago

Thanks! Please do let me know how realistic/unrealistic the goals are. I am also concerned about my age, and I will be retaking the GMAT.
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New post 30 May 2019, 09:37
Hi again! If you are planning to apply next year, my advice is still to work in the family business for that year vs. staying in your current job. Getting hands-on experience in the family business will prove to the admissions committee that you truly are poised to drive positive change in the future for them.

I have had other family business clients get rejected and when they asked for feedback they were told that in the interview it didn't seem that they actually understood the business, so the stated career plan was not convincing.


Thanks!,
Maria

GMATworm100 wrote:
ApplicantLab wrote:
Hello! Thanks for reaching out and apologies for the delay -- I was on vacation last week due to the Holy Week / Passover holiday over here! Let's dig in:

GMATworm100 wrote:
Hi Maria. I emailed you a week ago and you've led me to this thread. Would love a profile review. Will apply to Oxbridge MBAs next year (4 years WE at matriculation, age 25) so I'm wondering what my chances are right now and what I can do to strengthen my application to make me competitive for scholarships.

Background and nationality: Citizen of a South East Asian (SEA) country. Ethnicity is mixed: SEAn and East Asian.

Age and gender: 23 male (25 by matriculation)

Undergrad Information: Top 2 university in my country, does not rank well globally. Majored in a quantitative business course. GPA converts to slightly below 3.65 (no grade inflation).

GMAT: Yet to take. Practice CATs hover above 700, but I'm targeting a 730.

Work experience and leadership: 2 years (as of right now) in a middle market bank working in Equity Research as a covering associate (so 4 years by matriculation if I apply next year, with a promotion to analyst by then hopefully). Very client-facing. Also informally work (multiple non-hands on roles such as some asset management and HR recruiting) in a diversified family business that's considered medium-sized in my country. Eight digit annual revenues in USD.


I think your career is off to a strong start -- a key component of your application will be demonstrating the people skills I'm guessing you have (client facing work) -- but kicking it up a notch to demonstrate leadership skills. In other words, making sure that the different components of your application (essays, recommendations, etc.) really show that you have the ingredients for leadership. I say this because often equity research is viewed as being a "reactive" role (analyzing what other companies are doing) vs. a "proactive" role (actually driving change at a company)... so showing them that you have the raw ingredients for leadership via the application, so that you will be a more "proactive" leader later on, will be important.
Quote:
International experience: Have gone to business trips to other Asian countries. Constantly in contact with international buy-side clients across the globe.

Community and others: Had strong leadership roles in a charity-based UG org. Semi-active after as a consultant to the org. Plan to be a lot more active.

Great! Please do try to increase your contribution to that charity between now and when you apply next year. This can be a great place to go "above and beyond" especially if your work at the bank is more structured / hierarchical and doesn't give you a ton of room to,. e.g. lead projects by yourself.
Quote:


Post MBA goals: I will run the medium-sized family business one day, and an MBA would help with the network, learning, and reputation. These things are important because: 1. we have been dealing with more international clients lately, 2. reputation helps in making deals and gaining clients, and 3. reputation helps because I plan to IPO one of the companies we hold.

OH! Ok so, given your young age, my advice to you is to go work for the family business starting now, work there for a year or two, and then apply then. This will help give a ton more credibility to the career vision -- proving that you actually are committed to (and good at!) the family business. It will also help you stand out more vs. being an equity analyst.

One piece of advice though -- don't tell a school you're only interested in them for their "reputation" -- that's like telling someone you only want to date them because they're wealthy. Your "Why MBA" argument needs to be tighter. Thankfully, in the ApplicantLab I have an entire module devoted to helping you develop a strong rationale for getting the MBA.

Quote:
Anything else? Took summer courses in top unis in UK and an East-Asian country.

Cheers!

The summer courses are not really all that impactful -- they neither help nor really hurt you.

Just out of curiosity, why are you interested in only the UK schools? Several of the US programs have the ability to study topics specifically related to family businesses, e.g. Cornell, Columbia, etc. Also, European programs tend to skew just a smidge older in their applicant pool compared to US programs.


Thanks!,
Maria


Thanks for the review Maria.

I do plan on working in the family business the moment I get an acceptance to a program, which should be around a year before matriculation. Parents made it clear that I have to take an mba before I dive into the family business full time because once I do so, the opportunity cost would be too high to leave for 1-2 years. Especially in the context that we're currently jumpstarting a diversification into new industries. So there definitely is a time aspect to why I'm applying relatively young. Furthermore, I don't think I can get strong LoRs if I work in the family business compared to in my current role. Would it be enough that I tell adcom my plans to work in the fam business righr after an accept?

I do like to point out however that in the last 3 years, I had been involved in the fam business, just not in a hands on manner. I've dabled into wealth management, HR recruiting, and institutional sales (of course not full time) with strong results.

I like UK schools because 1. They are one year programs (less opportunity cost vs a 2 year one in the US), 2. the class profiles are much more international on average vs US schools, and 3. it seems easier to get into top UK programs vs T10 US schools (correct me if I'm wrong).


I'll make sure to get more involved in the charity organization, and find ways to show leadership. But as it is, does it look like I'd be competitive for Oxbridge/LBS?

Cheers!

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New post 30 May 2019, 09:49
anshkool4u wrote:
Hi Maria,

Plz evaluate my profile for CMU Tepper,Haas,NYU Stern and Yale

My profile is as follows:
Indian Male, 32 years old
Engineering graduate in Computer Science.

10th- 78%
12th - 77.6%
B.Tech- 68% From State Technical University.

Just as a head's up, your pre-college grades aren't part of the MBA application :)
Quote:

Total of 8.5 years of work experience :
3 years with Infosys Limited as Senior System Developer.

5.5 years in retail banking with the largest bank in India, State Bank of India (Joined as Probationary Officer). Branch Manager since last 3 years.Dealing with retail finance as well as general management.

The good news is, it looks like you've had some really solid career progression!

The trickier thing is, with 8.5 years of total experience, you'll need to be sure to explain why you're applying for an MBA at this phase in your career, vs. the more typical profile of having about 5 years of experience.
Quote:
GMAT : 710 Q 50 V 36 IR 5 AWA 5

This seems a little on the low side for the programs you are targeting. Indian candidates need to try to get 20+ points above a school's stated average, given the intense competition in the Indian applicant pool.

Since the verbal is the section that tripped you up, have you looked into e-gmat? I've heard that they are especially good with teaching verbal.

Quote:
Extra Curricular:
1. Have been a part of an NGO which works in education sector for rural students, for 6 months
2.During my stint as Software Engineer, was a member of employee club and conducted a fundraising program for wedding of poor girls.
3.Have conducted a number of financial literacy camps in rural areas,outside of my work area.
4.Appeared for UPSC Civil Services Interview twice,probably the toughest exam in India.

The first activity sounds too recent for you to have had a leadership position in it (only 6 months?). The example from your software engineering days is too out-dated. Sounds like the financial literacy camps might be your strongest story. They will not care about the Civil Services interview -- don't mention it in your application.
Quote:
Achievements: In both my organisations,got promoted to a higher position in the minimum possible time.
.In recognition of my work,was selected to open and head a new bank branch catering to Defence Officers.
.Numerous internal awards for achievements catering to different areas of work.

This is great! You don't necessarily need to list every award you've gotten; the fact that your company considers you successful is obvious given your promotions and the request for you to open a new branch.
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Have a unique exposure of working with the farmers and the rural population of the country,as well as with High Profile Defence Officers.

I'm not entirely sure what that means, but if it's given you an additional setting in which to demonstrate leadership qualities, then wonderful!
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Want to change my career field,and an MBA would be a right step in that direction.Post MBA industry preferred is Consulting or Finance.

I do not recommend applying with that career vision. Most consulting or banking firms are looking for younger candidates who have the stamina (and possibly don't have families yet) to put up with the punishing work hours. Go through the free "Career Vision" module in the free trial of ApplicantLab to try to generate some additional ideas.

I think you can try to apply to the schools you mentioned, but I am not sure that they would be good fits. Haas, especially, is rumored to not be Indian-friendly (I heard a rumor that last year, they only accepted 3 people from India? I am not sure if this is true, but that is an incredibly small number!) and its small class size makes it very difficult to get in.

Tepper and NYU might work out (if you can get the GMAT up) -- otherwise, I'd urge you to look into the European programs or Canadian programs which tend to be more open to more seasoned candidates.


All the best!,
Maria
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New post 30 May 2019, 10:09
Dreamer111 wrote:
Hi Maria,

I came across your interview with that client who got into Emory and I'm pretty set on getting ApplicantLab in time for my applications this fall. I wonder if you could have a look at my profile and tell me what sort of schools I should be looking to apply to.

Gender: Male
Nationality: Pakistan
Age: 25

Education and Background:
- Born in Pakistan but grew up in Bahrain (till High School)
- Received full scholarship to go to boarding school in Canada
- Went to Uni in the UK (Top 20 in the World)
- Electrical and Electronics Engineering (2nd Class Honours (Lower)) - GPA converts to 3.01 on the WES calculator. Basically I was completely immature and decided to pursue an engineering degree cuz that's what everyone in my family had done before. Started off strongly but then floundered in the middle when I realised this just wasn't for me. Got my head down and worked super hard in the final year (final year GPA is 3.24).

Your diverse international experience growing up helps you stand out from the other Indian/Pakistani males applying. You may want to consider QUICKLY explaining the Bahrain - Canada - UK path in your optional essay, just so they are aware that you experienced different cultures growing up. Something like "It may not be clear from the rest of the application, but my pre-college background was also highly international -- we moved to Bahrain soon after I was born, and I won a scholarship to attend high school in Canada. I hope that these diverse cultural experiences can help me provide additional perspectives during class discussions."

I'd start the optional essay though with a brief explanation for your undergraduate grades. You can explain that you had trouble at first adapting to the rigors of college, but then (as your rising GPA proves) you got the hang of it, and in fact the GPA from your last year of college was in fact a much higher 3.24, up from 2.X in year 1. \

3.24 is still on the low side, but at least you're showing an upward trend!

Quote:
Work Experience:
- Global Project Coordinator for large Industrial Automation company in Tokyo. Essentially technical sales to customers (Big Oil and renowned EPC contractors).
- Currently 26 months. Will be 40 months by matriculation.
- Studying Japanese. Will have official intermediate proficiency certification at time of application (hopefully).

GMAT: 690 (Q44; V:40)


Oh man -- I LOVE the Japan angle to your story! Is there any way that I can convince you to wait a year before applying so that:
1) Your work experience will be closer to the 5-ish years your target schools have and
2) Give you an opportunity to re-take the GMAT? 690 is a little low and I'd feel much better about your chances if you could improve it!

Of course, you can always apply this year and the worst thing that happens is rejections, so then you'd re-apply in a later year (or two). MBA programs are for the most part friendly to re-applicants, so the only thing you have to lose is the time/money around applying.
Quote:
Target Industry: This is where it gets interesting. I'm not averse to moving into operations consulting (as this is what my current role most strongly relates to) and I think this is what I will position as my main goal for North American programs. My dream career is within the sports industry which is why IESE Spain is my highest priority in the coming application cycle. They have dedicated sports treks out to London and NIKE happens to be one of the biggest employers for their graduates. Am I dumb for having two vastly different career paths in mind?

IMHO, apply with the strongest career vision you can, and keep your dream of working the sport industry a secret until you get accepted somewhere and enroll. I worry that putting this as a career vision in your application might make them worry about your post-MBA employability.
Quote:
I'm hoping I can leverage my international experience and GMAT to make up for that GPA.

I agree that the international angle does help! But I don't think your GMAT "makes up" for the GPA necessarily -- if the GPA is below average, then your best bet is to have a GMAT that is above average. to balance it out.
Quote:
Target Schools: IESE, Rotman, McGill, Emory, Notre Dame, Fisher

I'm heartened to see that you are targeting schools with lower average GMATs! Since the chances are better at those. You know, IESE might be worth applying to this year -- your 690 is indeed above average for them, and they will dig the international angle. For some of the others, you can throw your hat in the ring, though I'm not sure of the reasoning behind some of them (e.g. Fisher is a very tech-focused school).

How about instead if you look into USC? They have a sports business institute and their average GMAT is 690, so you're right at the average there: https://www.marshall.usc.edu/faculty-re ... -institute

You'd apply to the program with a strong career vision, and then you can get involved with the sports business institute once you're there. https://www.marshall.usc.edu/faculty-re ... -institute
Quote:
Target schools above are the ones I plan on applying to this year but I may swap out one here and there.

I'd love to hear what you think!

Thanks!



Hope this helps!
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Ask ApplicantLab   [#permalink] 30 May 2019, 10:09

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