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Applicant Lab Admissions Consultant
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Re: Ask ApplicantLab  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2019, 10:40
Hi delain ! Great to meet you -- let's dig in:

delain wrote:
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)

Did your undergrad degree give you an opportunity to take any quant classes, like calculus, statistics, etc.? I'm not flat-out WORRIED WITH A CAPITAL "W" about the GMAT... if you've got any evidence of strong quant skills from elsewhere, then that might help balance out the GMAT score. Like -- it's not a "bad" score -- I just have a personal preference to see it be at the average or above :) If you asked me if a re-take were absolutely necessary, I'd say no -- BUT since it seems that you think you could do better with a re-take, then go for it (you have my blessing)! :)
Quote:

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.

Ok, so in total you have 2.5 years of work experience (the collegiate activities don't count -- esp don't focus on the research positions on, e.g. , your resume, since "research" is usually a solitary pursuit and thus tells the AdCom nothing about your ability to work on / lead teams.

I do have a slight concern about applying with 3 years of experience, since that puts you just a smidge (by about a year) of the average. The question to figure out is: "Has my current job allowed me to demonstrate the sort of leadership potential that will make me competitive vs. other candidates?" . That is, the lower-level stuff like paperwork, interpreting, and coordinating meetings might not move the needle much. But -- have you led any projects? Have you introduced some cool new process or idea to your company that helped it? You don't need to have FORMAL LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE to apply, necessarily, but at least some sorts of accomplishments that show potential for future leadership.

For example, the first Kellogg essay asks you to talk about a leadership experience where you have created, and I quote, "Lasting Value". Do you have a story that could answer that question, or would it maybe be better to wait a year and try to create "lasting value" at your job (or a non-profit) over the next year?
Quote:

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 like the recurring theme of cultural exchange -- first of all, if you introduced English classes at your job, then that shows leadership potential! My gut is saying that we try to combine the "cultural exchange" idea with your current experience (somehow!!!) for your career vision rationale.

How do we weave together the previous dedication to cultural exchange (in work, extra-curriculars, and as a participant) with the sort of "out of left field" switch into import/export? What was driving you to take your current job?

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

Very cool! Also since you DID exchange programs yourself, you have a personal connection to why the theme of "cultural exchange" matters so much to you.
Quote:
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.

Ok, so I like the story of working for a consulting firm first and then opening up your own consulting firm later. If you want your future career to revolve around marketing then ideally you could find specific branches of the consulting firms that match that. I guess there's nothing wrong with saying that you'd be a "generalist" but then you might end up doing a supply-chain project for a truck manufacturer in Nebraska or something like that that doesn't really get you where you want to go.

Another suggestion, as mentioned above, could be to run with the "international exchange" angle and come up with a career vision that involves you putting a unique spin on the "educational travel" market?
Quote:

TARGET SCHOOLS


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

Is there any way you can get yourself to Evanston for the open interview season at Kellogg? Your other schools make sense. You know, a school you might want to check out is Georgetown. They have a big international focus (I recently visited the campus and learned that SEVENTY PERCENT of the incoming class there has experience living / working overseas!!!!
Quote:

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.

Ok, so this is tricky but not insurmountable. First of all, many schools allow you the recommender to submit the recommendation in their native language and then also submit a "certified" translation of it into English. You can not do the translation yourself, since you are not supposed to know what your recommender has written.

Secondly, you can work with the recommender and give him a document with your "greatest hits", point you want him to emphasize, etc. to try to guide him. Again, you can't put direct words in his mouth, but you can provide suggestions.

Thirdly, you can write an "Optional Essay" explaining why your current boss isn't your recommender.
Quote:
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?

Again, a voice in my gut is asking myself if you might be a stronger candidate a year from now -- you'll have had the chance to make more impact at work, you'll have a stronger recommendation from the non-profit person (since then by that point you will have been working with her for over a year, vs. only 6 months).

My advice is to go ahead and apply this year, since you can always re-apply in the future (most MBA programs are very re-applicant friendly; that is, they don't penalize you for re-applying should the first attempt not work out)
Quote:
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!


I think you're an "OK" candidate with that score -- if you told me that you knew deep down that 710 is the best you can do and that you suspect that a re-take would not yield better results, then I'd tell you not to worry about it. But if you think you can do better, then I think you should try -- it won't hurt!

Hope this was helpful!


-Maria
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Re: Ask ApplicantLab  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2019, 10:54
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Hi @urkdul !

urkdul wrote:
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.

Where are you living / working now? The international experiences do help!
Quote:
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

Well, at least there won't be any question about: "Can this person handle the quantitative rigor of the MBA program!" :)
Quote:
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.

Are you still involved with that social enterprise? Of the 3 things mentioned, that is by far the strongest one. You may not even bother mentioning 1 - 2 of the other projects, since "research" is usually a solitary task, and MBA programs are more looking for team leadership.
Quote:
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.

Ok so even though you are ~29 right now, which is "old", your total work experience is 5 years, so hopefully they will look more at years of work experience vs. chronological age.

I'm hoping that since your title is now "manager" that you are leading teams of others? This is important / better than being someone working on data analytics programs by themselves.
Quote:
Extra curriculars:
More during undergrad (leadership positions for social enterprise club and cultural club). Some since, but not in leadership positions.

Is the social enterprise still viable? Have you had any continuing interaction with them? I think you can list that as an extra-curricular, even if you're no longer involved.
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.).
[/quote]
Do you know other people from your current firm, with a title / job similar to yours, who have gone to your target MBA programs and been able to move into MBB? It's certainly possible to use b-school to make that transition, but not always easy. I'd resist mentioning "MBB" in your application.

IMHO your strongest story would be to join a company directly as a product manager. This makes for a stronger rationale for needing the MBA. Pick a company in the industry you have the most consulting experience with. don't say "Google Cloud, Invidia, etc." since aren't those very different companies?
Quote:
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.

[/quote]

I think getting into H/S may be a challenge, given your age but also since you're currently not at an MBB. Yes, people from the Deloittes of the world do get in to H/S, but not at the same rate as those coming from MBB. Your best bet is to find others from your current firm, at your current level, and find out where THEY got accepted to b-school. If they have been getting into the MITs and Booths of the world, then great! Otherwise, you may need to cast a wider net.

Maybe look into Duke (their concentration in tech management is a STEM degree so you get a better visa after it), the NYU or Cornell 1-year Tech MBA offerings... maybe Fisher also? They are in Seattle and so send a TON of people to Amazon and Microsoft -- they have one of the best tech placements of any school!


Hope this helps!,
Maria
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Re: Ask ApplicantLab  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2019, 11:02
Hi Maria,

I'm using ApplicantLab for this upcoming application cycle, but I was wondering if you could take a look at my profile and let me know if you think I'd be a good fit at the schools I am applying to and if there is anything I can do to improve my profile before applying in September? (Besides using ApplicantLab for help writing my essays and fine tuning my resume of course).

Background and nationality: Male, White, US citizen, 27 years old (at time of matriculation).

Undergrad Information: BBA in finance from Top 30 Public University with a 3.2 GPA (I had one bad semester where I dealt with depression from the death of my best friend, dragging down my GPA. I plan to use the optional essays to explain this). Additionally, I have taken three MBA-level courses from Harvard Business School through their CORe Requirements program, which I completed with Honors.

GMAT: 730 (Q 47, V 44, IR 6, AWA 6)

Work experience and leadership: At the time of applying, will be 5 years working as a financial analyst for major bank with one promotion to intermediate analyst. I, along with some of my colleagues, lead a team of analysts based in India, I have led many projects and worked on the largest project my office has ever done, and have mentored some of the associates on my team. I also spent a month working in Italy during my time at this company.
I have also co-founded a small company with a few colleagues that runs a free website dedicated to writing articles that teach personal finance and investing, among other things, to people who have little to no previous finance experience.

Community and others: I have been on the board of a local non-profit Irish Heritage organization for the past two years. I have mentored four undergraduate students at the University I graduated from over the past two years. Member of an environmental organization since the beginning of this year, where I have written letters to local and state politicians and been part of campaigns to get local businesses to go green. Additionally, I've volunteered with Meals on Wheels for the past year.

Recommenders: One is my current supervisor, who has been my boss since I started my career. The second is his boss, who has given me projects directly and helped advance my career.

Post MBA goals: Immediate goal of wanting to switch to management consulting to experience problem solving at its highest level in different industries. I know most don't stick with consulting for longer than 5 years, so my long term goal is to start my own company that uses finance to help solve some of the issues facing the environment.

Schools I am applying to: Kellogg, Booth, Ross, Stern, Cornell Johnson, Fisher. Possibly also either Darden or McDonough depending on how things go.
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Re: Ask ApplicantLab  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2019, 14:54
Hi jaja231 !

jaja231 wrote:
Hi Maria,

I'm using ApplicantLab for this upcoming application cycle, but I was wondering if you could take a look at my profile and let me know if you think I'd be a good fit at the schools I am applying to and if there is anything I can do to improve my profile before applying in September? (Besides using ApplicantLab for help writing my essays and fine tuning my resume of course).

Background and nationality: Male, White, US citizen, 27 years old (at time of matriculation).

Undergrad Information: BBA in finance from Top 30 Public University with a 3.2 GPA (I had one bad semester where I dealt with depression from the death of my best friend, dragging down my GPA. I plan to use the optional essays to explain this). Additionally, I have taken three MBA-level courses from Harvard Business School through their CORe Requirements program, which I completed with Honors.

GMAT: 730 (Q 47, V 44, IR 6, AWA 6)

Ok, so this is a solid foundation for an MBA profile -- the one bad semester is explainable, and the GMAT helps balance out the GPA anyway!
Quote:
Work experience and leadership: At the time of applying, will be 5 years working as a financial analyst for major bank with one promotion to intermediate analyst. I, along with some of my colleagues, lead a team of analysts based in India, I have led many projects and worked on the largest project my office has ever done, and have mentored some of the associates on my team. I also spent a month working in Italy during my time at this company.

I think you'll get a lot out of trying to find "resume twins" and see where they ended up going to school -- when other "intermediate financial analysts" from your firm apply to b-school, where do they normally end up? This can help serve as a litmus test of how your background will be viewed.

It's good that you have leadership experience -- be sure to highlight that EQ in the essays, since the stereotype is that finance-types lack EQ!

Re: working on "the largest project my office has ever done", how this is viewed will depend upon what your exact role was on the project. Not necessarily your formal title within the team, but more "What did he do to move the project forward / propose new ideas / persuade others of a different view?"
Quote:
I have also co-founded a small company with a few colleagues that runs a free website dedicated to writing articles that teach personal finance and investing, among other things, to people who have little to no previous finance experience.

I would treat this as an "Extra curricular" on the resume and not as "professional experience" (just in case you were wondering where it would go.

I think this is interesting but it will really only "count" if you have a significant readership, have been reblogged by a well-known publisher, etc. The reason I say this is that this might be viewed essentially as "having a blog" (albeit with a few friends), but a TON of people have blogs these days (and sometimes I'll see one on a resume, find it online, and discover that it only has like 10 articles and no apparent readership.

SO yes, mention it (and especially if it's generated revenue or big readership #s) -- but it will be seen as "huh, interesting" only because sooooo many people have blogs!
Quote:
Community and others: I have been on the board of a local non-profit Irish Heritage organization for the past two years. I have mentored four undergraduate students at the University I graduated from over the past two years. Member of an environmental organization since the beginning of this year, where I have written letters to local and state politicians and been part of campaigns to get local businesses to go green. Additionally, I've volunteered with Meals on Wheels for the past year.

Being on the board of a non-profit is good!

The other 3 things though may not be worth the resume "real estate" -- by that I mean, I'd rather see, say, 4 lines of text / bullet points really explaining your leadership impact at the non-profit where you're a board member vs. 1 separate line of text for each of the 4 activities.

Being on a board has probably given you strong leadership experience -- the mentoring of undergrads could perhaps go in the *application form* under extra-currics, but probably doesn't merit that precious precious resume space.

The other two -- writing letters for the environment and doing meals on wheels -- are nice, but may not be leadershippy / impactful enough to include.
Quote:
Recommenders: One is my current supervisor, who has been my boss since I started my career. The second is his boss, who has given me projects directly and helped advance my career.

Sounds good! Make sure at least one of them compares you favorably to others from your firm who have also gone on to MBA programs.
Quote:
Post MBA goals: Immediate goal of wanting to switch to management consulting to experience problem solving at its highest level in different industries. I know most don't stick with consulting for longer than 5 years, so my long term goal is to start my own company that uses finance to help solve some of the issues facing the environment.

The short-term goal feels a little bland and not specific enough. If you're going to say consulting, wouldn't you try to find a firm that can give you insight into a specific industry? I think a lot of people don't realize that for every consultant who gets staffed on a "Sexy" project, there are five who get stuck doing supply-chain work for a fish farm in Idaho (or something like that).

What I would do is first re-evaluate the long term goal, and then work backwards from there to identify the best post-MBA goal.

Even if your real long-term goal is financing environmental projects, IMHO you have not sufficiently "walked the talk" of the environment mattering to you. Writing a few letters isn't quite the same as, say, being involved with the World Wildlife fund for 4 years and running a fund-raiser for them (for example). So a cynical adcom, wary of banker applicants who suddenly seem to find their social consciences just in time to apply to b-school [imagine that!] looking at your actual commitment to that goal with a bit of skepticism. I'M not saying that you're not actually committed to that goal, I'm just saying that's how it will probably look.

So given that, go through the Career Vision module of the Lab and try to find something that flows more logically from where you've been in the past.
Quote:

Schools I am applying to: Kellogg, Booth, Ross, Stern, Cornell Johnson, Fisher. Possibly also either Darden or McDonough depending on how things go.


If consulting (and environmental stuff) is your real-life goal, I don't think you should apply with that story, but I DO think you should take a really serious look at Duke Fuqua. They send a decent amount of the class into consulting, plus they offer TWO ways to focus your studies on environment stuff -- check out this major, which seems 100% up your alley: "MBA Concentration in Energy Finance" https://go.fuqua.duke.edu/data/fuquawor ... tions.html

On your list, I'd swap out Fisher and replace with Fuqua. In fact if you research the MBA in Energy Finance OR Duke's "MBA Concentration in Energy & Environment" and find it really compelling, it might become your first choice and if so, if you apply via their Early Action round, your chances go up. Even if you don't apply via EA, note that Duke has an "open interview period" from Sept - Oct where, similar to Kellogg, you can schedule an appointment to interview, thus guaranteeing an interview. Finally, Darden also has open interviews but it's ONLY open to their early action applicants.

I think the challenge for you will be 1) coming up with a compelling / interesting / realistic career goal based on "evidence" from your past and 2) using EQ / leadership stories to stand out from the zillion other white male bankers :)


Hope this helps!,
Maria
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Re: Ask ApplicantLab  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2019, 13:37
Hi Maria!
I'm wondering how soon is too soon to start using ApplicantLab. I have a use-it-or-lose-it stipend from my next job that was meant to cover the GMAT/GRE, but I have some money left over and they said I can use it for admissions consulting. I wouldn't be applying for 2+ years. Is ApplicantLab a good place to start for application planning this far out, or would I be better off starting somewhere that specifically offers application planning and coming back to ApplicantLab (on my own dime) when I'm closer to applying?
Thank you!
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Re: Ask ApplicantLab  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jun 2019, 00:30
Hi Maria,

Thanks for getting back!

Sorry for not making it clear, but I intend to apply in the next year cycle 2020. By Sept 2020, I would have had 3 years of international work experience and by the time of joining a few more months than that. What do you think about this idea? Is it better to wait longer?

I read the blog that you suggested. Quite useful tips there and I will incorporate them right away (especially the one on recommendations)!
By mentioning, 'cultivate out-of-work dedication to a cause or significant hobby', I am quite confused. Your blog says do not start something immediately prior to your application as it may not come out as genuine. Could you shed more light on how to go about this?

Any other areas, except the GMAT, I can improve on to come out as a stronger applicant?

Many thanks in advance, Maria!


ApplicantLab wrote:
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 12 Jun 2019, 09:14
Hi jayarora!

Regarding "Do not start immediately prior to your application", I mean like 6 months or less prior to submitting an application. If you are planning to apply in next year's Round 1, then you can start something now and it will be OK -- just make sure to try to take on a leadership role in whatever it is you choose to do.

Regarding applying with 3 years experience vs. more -- the good news is, most schools are "re-applicant friendly" so, even though I'd prefer that you wait one more year (to get lots of great leadership / impactful outcomes in your job to be as competitive as possible vs. other applicants' leadership achievements), you can always apply next year and then try again in a later year if it doesn't work out.


Thanks!,
Maria

[quote="jayarora"]Hi Maria,

Thanks for getting back!

Sorry for not making it clear, but I intend to apply in the next year cycle 2020. By Sept 2020, I would have had 3 years of international work experience and by the time of joining a few more months than that. What do you think about this idea? Is it better to wait longer?

I read the blog that you suggested. Quite useful tips there and I will incorporate them right away (especially the one on recommendations)!
By mentioning, 'cultivate out-of-work dedication to a cause or significant hobby', I am quite confused. Your blog says do not start something immediately prior to your application as it may not come out as genuine. Could you shed more light on how to go about this?

Any other areas, except the GMAT, I can improve on to come out as a stronger applicant?

Many thanks in advance, Maria!
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New post 12 Jun 2019, 09:20
Hi hcrawford26 !

Thanks for reaching out!

There actually would be a benefit to starting to use the Lab now -- in the Lab, I have a "To Do List" with things you can start doing at any time (starting them earlier only benefits you). In addition, going through the initial modules (Career Vision, Brainstorming -- especially what for me proves "leadership", learning what the different schools are looking for, etc.) could perhaps help guide your actions at work and school over the next couple of years in order to be a stronger candidate when you do apply. (For example, you could get started on cultivating a significant "extra-curricular" activity such as leadership in community service, etc., now so that in 2+ years you'll have a strong track record to demonstrate on your applications.)

The Lab's subscription term is 1 year, but the renewal cost is $99 for six months and $149 for an additional year -- and your work will be saved -- so you could start going through it now and then re-activate it later when you apply a few years from now.


Thank you!,
Maria




hcrawford26 wrote:
Hi Maria!
I'm wondering how soon is too soon to start using ApplicantLab. I have a use-it-or-lose-it stipend from my next job that was meant to cover the GMAT/GRE, but I have some money left over and they said I can use it for admissions consulting. I wouldn't be applying for 2+ years. Is ApplicantLab a good place to start for application planning this far out, or would I be better off starting somewhere that specifically offers application planning and coming back to ApplicantLab (on my own dime) when I'm closer to applying?
Thank you!
Holly

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New post 15 Jun 2019, 10:32
Hi,

I am an Indian Female and have graduated in BCOM(hons.) in 2017
I have 13 months of work experience with Citi in Investment banking research (till july 2018) and post that, I have been working with kids and stray animals in my locality. And have now joined a couple of organisations.
During the Gap, I have spent most of my time on improving my mental health. Something I had been struggling with for years.
My CGPA is 2.75/4 - due to my continuous involvement with other organisations - internships.
GMAT 720
My Goal post MBA is to start my own Social sector consulting firm.

I need your help in deciding which colleges I should apply.
My desired course is MBA + Masters in Public Policy

My major concerns are my CGPA, my work experience and my gap.
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New post 18 Jun 2019, 16:41
Hi esha61 !

Thanks so much for reaching out.

I think that, since you only graduated 2 years ago (and have been, if I understand correctly, essentially unemployed (?) for about half of that time), now is the not the right time to apply to business school, though you might be able to apply to an "MiM" (Masters in Management) program instead.

Even if you had been employed the full two years, most applicants to business school have between 4 - 6 years of experience. Also, realize that the admissions decision hinges primarily on someone's leadership accomplishments at work, so you'd be "competing" in the applicant pool with people who have, say, 4+ years of banking research experience.

What I'd advise you to do is to try to get a job in one of these non-profits, and then spend a few years trying to drive positive change there -- that is, try to take on leadership and management activities so that you can point to specific accomplishments when you apply. Then, work there for around 3 years and apply later, now with a strong track record under your belt.

Regarding how to explain the career gap, I empathize with your mental health struggles, but please do not mention this in the application. Instead, say that you knew you wanted to work in the non-profit sector but weren't sure exactly which cause was the one you were most passionate about, so you took some time trying out different organizations until finding the right one.

Waiting a few years to apply not only gives you a chance to try to become a leader whose accomplishments will be competitive in the applicant pool, but it will also create distance from your undergraduate grades. That is, the college grades matter less the older the candidate is.


I hope this helps!,
Maria


esha61 wrote:
Hi,

I am an Indian Female and have graduated in BCOM(hons.) in 2017
I have 13 months of work experience with Citi in Investment banking research (till july 2018) and post that, I have been working with kids and stray animals in my locality. And have now joined a couple of organisations.
During the Gap, I have spent most of my time on improving my mental health. Something I had been struggling with for years.
My CGPA is 2.75/4 - due to my continuous involvement with other organisations - internships.
GMAT 720
My Goal post MBA is to start my own Social sector consulting firm.

I need your help in deciding which colleges I should apply.
My desired course is MBA + Masters in Public Policy

My major concerns are my CGPA, my work experience and my gap.

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New post 27 Jun 2019, 10:42
Hi Maria, hoping you can give some insight on my profile. Will be doing applications next year in 2020. Big 4 audit background with CPA. Trying to figure out what kind of chance I have for my reaches and potential for scholarship $$ at my targets

Background and nationality:
- 26M (28 at matriculation), Canadian (Filipino ethnicity)
- Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
- (Projected): potentially taking CFA Level 1 (very common in finance industry in Canada it seems like, even in IB)

Undergrad Information:
- Bachelor of Commerce (Honours), double major in Accounting and Finance
- 3.3/4.0 (converted from 3.7/4.5)
- I should note there's a downward trend in last two years (2.8/4.0 in last year, 3.0/4.0 in last two years). I know Rotman requires a 3.0 in last year so I'm worried about this

GMAT:
710 (Q48 V39 IR3 AWA6)
- IR score is low but my previous two attempts I scored an 8 and 5 so I think having that on my score report offsets the low 3

Work experience and leadership:
Will have about 4.5 years in total at time of application:
- 2.5 years Big 4 Audit. Promotion to Senior, high ratings and excellent reviews, lead senior on largest client in the office ($750M revenues, $1B market cap), performed audit work over three acquisitions and multiple equity/debenture offerings
- 1 year Financial Reporting Manager in a publicly traded company in the newspaper/media industry, implemented new accounting standards for investments and lease accounting, managed 2 staff and reviewed their entries and reconciliations
- (Projected): potentially looking for a new job that is more related to finance (ie. FP&A, corp dev, valuations, investment analyst) to have something tangible that shows my commitment to the career pivot

Community and others:
Current:
- Board Director at a charity that provides food access/security/policy
- Treasurer at an animal welfare charity that helps find lost dogs
- Finance Committee member at a non-profit youth employment services organization
- Big Brother mentor
Undergrad:
- Vice President for co-op students association
- Corporate Events Coordinator for accounting students association
- Business case competition team member (we won school of the year)

Post MBA goals
- Investment banking (post-MBA associate at big 5 Canadian banks or boutique firm) or corporate finance

Anything else?
Targets: Rotman, Ivey, Schulich, Queen's
Reach: Cornell Johnson, NYU Stern

Questions:
- Any chance at all for my reach schools?
- With my profile what are my chances for scholarship $$ at my targets?
- Is my low GPA an issue when applying?
- Should I take CFA level 1?
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New post 27 Jun 2019, 15:05
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Hi mangubaj!


mangubaj wrote:
Hi Maria, hoping you can give some insight on my profile. Will be doing applications next year in 2020. Big 4 audit background with CPA. Trying to figure out what kind of chance I have for my reaches and potential for scholarship $$ at my targets

Background and nationality:
- 26M (28 at matriculation), Canadian (Filipino ethnicity)
- Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
- (Projected): potentially taking CFA Level 1 (very common in finance industry in Canada it seems like, even in IB)

Undergrad Information:
- Bachelor of Commerce (Honours), double major in Accounting and Finance
- 3.3/4.0 (converted from 3.7/4.5)
- I should note there's a downward trend in last two years (2.8/4.0 in last year, 3.0/4.0 in last two years). I know Rotman requires a 3.0 in last year so I'm worried about this

I wouldn't worry a ton about the downward trend; schools give you an opportunity to explain the circumstances in something called "the optional essay".

Regarding Rotman, why don't you just reach out to them and ask just how stringent this rule is? For example, can it be offset via the GMAT score? I think Rotman's avg GMAT is about 660 or so, so your 710 should be looked upon favorably?

Quote:
GMAT:
710 (Q48 V39 IR3 AWA6)
- IR score is low but my previous two attempts I scored an 8 and 5 so I think having that on my score report offsets the low 3

Work experience and leadership:
Will have about 4.5 years in total at time of application:
- 2.5 years Big 4 Audit. Promotion to Senior, high ratings and excellent reviews, lead senior on largest client in the office ($750M revenues, $1B market cap), performed audit work over three acquisitions and multiple equity/debenture offerings
- 1 year Financial Reporting Manager in a publicly traded company in the newspaper/media industry, implemented new accounting standards for investments and lease accounting, managed 2 staff and reviewed their entries and reconciliations
- (Projected): potentially looking for a new job that is more related to finance (ie. FP&A, corp dev, valuations, investment analyst) to have something tangible that shows my commitment to the career pivot

I think it's good that you are (were?) the lead senior on the office's largest client... especially working on M&A deals since you can say that this is what sparked your interest in investment banking.

IF you want to make the switch to i-banking, don't waste your time trying to get an FP&A job, or even investment analyst... stick with something that will be more directly related to that role, like corp dev or valuations)

Quote:
Community and others:
Current:
- Board Director at a charity that provides food access/security/policy
- Treasurer at an animal welfare charity that helps find lost dogs
- Finance Committee member at a non-profit youth employment services organization
- Big Brother mentor
Undergrad:
- Vice President for co-op students association
- Corporate Events Coordinator for accounting students association
- Business case competition team member (we won school of the year)

It's great that you seem to have deep involvement in non-profits, vs. the totally unimpressive lukewarm candidates who half-heartedly tutor a kid here or there.

I suppose the only (minor) "hmm" moment is that your causes seem scattered -- from dogs to youth to hunger -- in the next year, I'd advise you to double-down in terms of your contribution in one or two activities vs. spreading yourself out so much (pick the 2 you have the potential for deepest impact with). In the application, I wouldn't bother mentioning the Big Brother volunteering; you have enough strong community service "Street Cred" without adding yet another activity that is less powerful than being a Board Director of a non-profit.

Quote:
Post MBA goals
- Investment banking (post-MBA associate at big 5 Canadian banks or boutique firm) or corporate finance

Anything else?
Targets: Rotman, Ivey, Schulich, Queen's
Reach: Cornell Johnson, NYU Stern

Questions:
- Any chance at all for my reach schools?
- With my profile what are my chances for scholarship $$ at my targets?
- Is my low GPA an issue when applying?
- Should I take CFA level 1?

I'm optimistic that your GMAT score will help offset the GPA, especially if you write the optional essay and apply to schools with average GMATs >30+ points lower than your score.

Also, note that Ivey waives the GMAT if you have passed all 3 levels of the CFA -- so even passing level 1 should help -- sounds like you'd need the CFA anyway, even if you skip business school but still try to make a career switch into valuations, etc.

Regarding scholarships, honestly THAT is a crap-shoot. In my experience, schools use scholarships to recruit students who will help, e.g. raise the average GMAT score at the school. I'd be curious where your colleagues have ended up getting their MBAs, and if THEY have gotten scholarships. Might not hurt to ask around.

And yeah, I think your reach schools are "Reachy", but they are not, like totally delusional :) (trust me, I meet a LOT of well-meaning but unrealistic folks in this line of work!) -- you might as well give those programs a shot!


Thanks!,
Maria
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New post 28 Jun 2019, 03:04
Hi Maria,

Just wanted to know your thoughts on my profile.

24 Male from India
under grad in Engineering

Work Experience
Have 2 years of work experience in an IT company as a programmer analyst.

Extra curricular
Playing Sports
-Have certificate for playing and winning competitions in college level for soccer, chess and athletics
- captianfor the college chess team
Participated in a couple of events and volunteered in organizing the same.
- Eg., National level Tech fest held at our college

Goals post MBA
Take care of my family business along with starting up my own company.

education scores
grad - 7.3
Plus 2- 91.6
Xth - 7.8
GMAT - 620

My main concern in my low gmat and work exp.
Haven't worked in the family business yet.
Fear that i fall into the typical Indian applicant pool

Want to get into Sloan, NYU and top notch schools offering best value for leadership potential and strategy
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New post Updated on: 26 Jul 2019, 07:32
Hi @ApplicantLab/Maria!

Could you please help evaluate the below-mentioned profile:

Qualification: B.E. (Hons.) in CS from BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus (6.94 CGPA)[Avg. in BITS Pilani is 6 CGPA as compared to 7 in other top institutes] (BITS Pilani is among the top 5 institutes in India, and has the lowest acceptance rate)

10+2(97% score), 10th (9.6 CGPA)

Work Experience (Duration, Role, Company, Industry)
3 years experience
current:
V.P Sales & Marketing for the Middle East Region, Partner (Based out of Dubai) of a 100 member sized startup in Advanced Technology Domain -AR/VR/MR (since 2018 Sept)
previous positions held:
AVP Business Development, Noth India Region( Based out of India)
Business Development Executive(Based out of India)

previous company and role: (2016-2018)
Software Development Engineer at a UK based MNC, that operates to provide insights in digital marketing for its clients (worked based out of India)

Test Score
GMAT 710 (Q50 V35 IR-8 AWA-5)

Interested in: Full-time MBA


Geography / Class Start Year preference:
The USA for classes starting in Fall 2020

Detailed Profile:
Professional:

Part of the 3 member executive team(Leading a 20-30 sized team) responsible for expanding business in the Middle East Region as the VP Sales & Marketing, Middle East Region, also partner to the company-on boarded multiple clients including Dubai government
Base job function: B2B sales of advanced technology franchises of virtual reality products in niche markets such as India and the Middle East(A challenging thing but aced it)
Responsible for funding of around a million dollars for the company (10% of the total fundraised)-( AVP Business Development))
Part of the Indian expansion strategy team responsible for formulating the business expansion strategy in India (AVP Business Development)
Responsible for the sale of 15 B2B franchises across the country generating a direct revenue of over 0.54 million USD ( Business Development Executive).

Previous Company and role:
Responsible for ingestion and management of all the data of the digital marketing insights company with revenue of 300M USD, a data-driven marketing insights company

Extra-curricular:

Professional:
Elected twice as the Vice-President Education(also founding) at a corporate Toastmasters club, a 35 members club that went on to win the district level impromptu speech championship. My introduction of J.A.M in the club activities gained citywide recognition and played an important role in producing elegant impromptu speakers
Awarded the prestigious "competent leader" certification for my leadership and contribution to toastmasters

College Level:
Selected for representing the state of Rajasthan in National Level Sports(Martial Arts)[Started learning only in University but went on to win tournaments and get selected for nationals, a rare case]
Won Silver in the national sports fest organized by the college
Part of the University Team- also taught self-defense classes to students and women as a community activity as part of the team

Joint Secretary for a fest organizing dept. (50 members, Dept. responsible for registrations and security during all the three fests of BITS Pilani)-Responsible for recruitment and internal operations of the department, assigning roles, keeping the members of the dept. happy. Brough out simple innovation that brought better results in the productivity of and harmony among members.

Joint Secretary for Community Association (The largest regional association in University with 400 registered members)-Responsible for planning and coordinating all events that represent the community culture of a region)

Cheif campaigner for a general secretary candidate who went on to win the second place(of 5)- A special story where I was brought in when the candidates' team disbanded due to some circumstances and I had to build the campaign from scratch, also featured in the alumni magazines later

2 projects under a renowned MBA professor at BITS Pilani, to research self-perception of students about their innovation levels and how to improve the same(also some other courses related to management-Principles of Management, HRD, Creative Thinking, etc.

Volunteer for university-wide Blood-donation camps and some other activities

I believe my background and perception would add value and diversity to any class at the top MBA colleges. I'm looking to enter either the tech or consulting industry after my MBA and to enter a class where I could learn from people with a diverse background instead of from more people like me.
My long term goal is to start a tech company and would prefer a class where there is a good mix with a balance of both tech and non-tech backgrounds to network with.
I realize that my GMAT is low compared to similar undergrads from India, but I'm willing to concentrate on representing my profile to business schools in the best way possible and can hope at best it would compensate for my relatively low GMAT. Taking GMAT again is something that wouldn't be possible given my commitments and existing time taken.

Do let me know if some other info would better help you in evaluating my profile.

Thanks and regards,
Raj

Originally posted by rajavskm on 20 Jul 2019, 01:22.
Last edited by rajavskm on 26 Jul 2019, 07:32, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 26 Jul 2019, 05:54
Hi Maria!

I am currently in the early stages of navigating through the Vision module. For the non-profit objective, you mention it is best to have a specific cause, as well as demonstrable experience. I think this is very helpful advice and wanted to get your thoughts on how I was thinking of approaching my vision.

I have been in boutique consulting for 2.5 years now, doing strategy and operations work with a lot of different industries and firm sizes. I really enjoy consulting, though I question how much fulfillment I would get from the typical MBB partner track post MBA. In this firm, I am leading our pro-bono program, providing consulting services on a pro-bono basis. To date, we have only done one project, which has now lasted a year (ongoing). I have really enjoyed this, as I am of the belief that if you want to save the world, you should do what you are best at (i.e. I love animals but I'm not a vet, so I think of what am I really good at that would help a vet save animals). This pro-bono initiative is a step in the right direction, and has helped inform what I'd like to do long-term.

I've always worked for small businesses, which I loved because I get to learn tremendously from working directly with owners, and getting my hands dirty in a wide array of topics. I've also done a fair bit of volunteering throughout my life, but this is the first time I am using my career to volunteer. My past experience includes tutoring/mentoring, dog walking, orphanage, web design, etc., so quite varied.

To sum up, would you say consulting for NFP a specific enough vision, if I expand upon all the opportunities I saw in my time at NFPs for driving operational improvements, defining good strategies, etc. - all things their limited staff does not necessarily have time to do but could drive huge impact. I was thinking of doing this as an independent consultant long-term, which would make me affordable, but also means I don't need to let go of the aspects of consulting I currently love as I evolve in my career.

Thank you so much for your time and I love the website!
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New post 02 Aug 2019, 07:01
Hi Maria,
Would love to get your thoughts on my profile

Education - 6.83/7 in Business Mngmt From an Indian Uni
GRE - 326 (Q 161 V-165)
Age and Nationality - 25 yo Indian Female

Work Experience
1 year with an e-commerce Startup in the Early learning Educational space. Was one of the first employees, setup business operations for the startup from scratch
1 year with a tech company in New York City - worked as an analyst in the Marketing Dept. Can show significant impact at work
Currently with the family business in India - Its an educational publishing house - I manage the digital products as a result of the recent strategy change of introducing more digitally inclined products.

Why MBA?
I want the company to foray into EdTech but lack the technical skills and knowledge looking to gain that while also learning about the VC industry, networking and other entrepreneurial skills.

ECs
Worked with NGOs that work towards educating kids from the financially weaker sections

Target Schools
Kellogg, Ross, Rotman, Cornell and Tuck

Please let me know how realistic my target schools are?
Thank you!
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New post 02 Aug 2019, 15:36
Hi Maria,

Could you please let me know your feedback on my Profile.

Nationality: Spanish
Sex : Male
Age : 28

GMAT Score: 720 q48 v41 IR8

This is my first attempt. I did GMATPrep 1 and 2 and I got 730 Q50 v41 and 760 Q50 v44 so I think maybe I should retake.

Education Background:
Industrial Engineering - University of Sevilla (Spain). 6.7/10 (According to WES it would be a 3.0 in the GPA system but I am not sure how would the AdCom see it).
Exchange in University of Zaragoza (Spain) for 1 year.
Erasmus Exchange in Politecnico di Milano (Italy) for 1 year.


Work Experience: I am going to start from the latter. And divide it between full time and part time:

FULL TIME

November '18 to Present. I am working for a Spanish Engineering Company as Responsible for Sales and Business Development in Dominican Republic (I am an expat). We mainly work with hotels, either building new ones or renovating existing ones (We make electrical, plumbing, HVAC and telecomunications installations). My counterparts at hotesl range from Maintenace Managers for single Resorts to Coporative Technical Chiefs or Expansion Directors. Since I am here we have had around 25 Million dollars in sales.
I dont manage anybody directly since I am the only person within the commercial department in the country but I have to manage people of other departments often. I also have quite an exposure to the our company C-suite. My boss is the General Manager for the Americas (we have offices in Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Miami) and when the CFO, COO and CEO come to visit the country I spend all the time with them, I prepare their agenda, go to the meetings with the clients with them, go to diner, etc.
I am the responsible for sales but I also perform technical job when needed, I have had to cover for colleagues holidays and be site manager for weeks in some projects (think +200MM$ Resorts with around 1000 rooms).

April '16 to October '18. I worked as a Business Development Manager for Spain and Latin America at a Polish Company, manufacturer of construction materials. I work remotely from Spain and I traveled within Spain and all over Latin America (Mexico, Chile, Panama,..). I was able to open several markets in which we had no previous presence and build network of distributors as well as engineering/designer companies that recommended our products in their projects.

October '15 to March '16. I worked as an intern within the Export Department of the abovementioned Polish company.

Decemeber '12 to May '13. While I was doing my Exchange Year in Zaragoza I work as an intern within the Quality Operations department at the factory General Motors had there.

PART TIME

April '16 to Present. I have been working as Business Development Consultant or "Agent" in my free time. These are some of the deals I have pulled off:

- I got a contrat for a portuguese company, food producer, with the largest hipermarket company in Russia. They had never sold anything in Russia.
- I worked as an agent in Spain for an Indian Company, producer of wearing parts for agriculture. They had no previous clients in Spain and I found a very good client that is now buying around half a million dollars per year.
- I have made some imports of agricultural machinery from Germany/Austria to Spain.


Post MBA Goals

I am not sure yet. I know what I will write on the admission application. I will say that I want to switch careers and work for one of my clients (Hotels) within the expansion department. That I have the How-to's and technical knowledge of Hotel Projects in the Caribbean and I need the mba to have a better global view of business and to learn about the financial part of the investments.


LOR

I would get one from my previous supervisor (Polish Company). But I have doubts regarding who to ask for the second because I dont think Its a good idea to ask my current supervisor. They are giving me more responsabilities each day and I am afraid he would change his attitude towards me. My options are:
- Ask a colleague at current company. For example chief of purchasing in the country (same level as me, not above not under).
- Ask one of my clients of part time freelance jobs.


I need the MBA program I apply to have STEM certificacion. These are some of them, could you tell me which ones are realistic options for me?

This is what I would think
Dream: Wharton
Reachy: Fuqua, Darden
Maybe my level: USC Marshall
Safe: Simon


Thanks in advance Maria.
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New post Updated on: 13 Aug 2019, 18:02
Hi Maria. Would like to have your insights on my profile as well .

I plan to apply to the MBA Programs of Cornell, Cambridge, Darden, and NUS in 2020, 1st round - hopefully marticulating in 2021.
Could you kindly share your thoughts on how I would stand as an applicant to those schools and if there is any area I should improve to be a stronger applicant?

Background and nationality: Born and raised in Indonesia.

Age and gender: 26, female.

Undergrad Information: I graduated from a local private university in my country, majored in finance, with 3.8 GPA (3rd highest in my batch). Usually got an A for quant subjects.

GMAT:
690 (Q49, V34, IR6) - consistent with all of my mock tests scores

Work experience and leadership:
- Started as an intern in a corporate banking division of a British multinational bank.
- Sponsored and selected as one of the management associates for 1,5 years.
- Deployed and got an early promotion to be an Associate in Custody and Fund Management Services, been almost 1 year now. I am the project manager mostly for:
1) New overseas global banks/fund houses that want to invest in my country.
2) Local fund houses that want to invest both in my country and overseas.
I work intensively with Clients basically to ensure their infrastructures, channels, and all of their requirements are fulfilled in order for them to invest. The arrangements include the securities type, account structure, legal documentations, our service coverage, channels etc.
My role is very Client-facing and involves a lot of working across divisions (e.g. Legal, Product, Operations). Though I don’t have anyone reporting to me yet, my roles require a lot of people management skill because we need to make everyone works together to achieve smooth delivery in every project with tight time frame.
All of these contribute to additional 7 digits annual revenue in USD.

International experience:
- Had a 1-month business trip in Shanghai and just recently 1-week workshop in Vietnam.
- My role involves working with overseas branches and Clients. Majority of my overseas clients are from UK & US. Some of the projects I handled are also related to Brexit.
- I used to study Mandarin for 1 year in Taiwan due to personal interest in Chinese history and culture. As I wanted to visit certain places in China and connect with the people, I thought I needed to be able to speak the language.

Extracurriculars:
- I am a regular facilitator that teaches slum-kids in Jakarta. What I and other facilitators teaches is not school-subjects like math, English, etc, but more about our community, family, daily-life, and future. Our goal is to inspire the kids to dare to dream. I usually do this twice a month.
- Quite-active in church activity. I’m usually in charge for the weekly bulletins or for church-usher role (the one responsible for seating guests and maintaining the order of the services).
- Organised company-wide fund raising by selling clothes, bag, etc. Managed to raise around $7000 in 3 days. The amount is donated to fight blindness in my country.
- Was an MC for company-wide run-for-a-cause event.
- I admit I was more focused in academic during my undergrad, so I didn’t have any meaningful leadership activity during that period. I have been trying to make up for it post-college.

MBA and post-MBA goals:
I want to join a specific Unicorn tech-company in Indonesia that has been expanding its fintech division as a product manager. As I am also in charge for partnership between my Clients and fintech, overtime I grew stronger interest in fintech.
To achieve smooth career-switch, I realize I really need to build my skills in analytics and strategy because I am not really exposed to those in my current role.
(And this makes me really hopeful to join Cornell as it has immersion learning that concentrates in digital technology!)
I believe this goal is quite achievable since I’ve found plenty of people switching-career to tech/fintech right after MBA (from all sorts of industry).


Would really appreciate any feedback from you. Much thanks in advance! ;)

Originally posted by aidyn on 06 Aug 2019, 04:53.
Last edited by aidyn on 13 Aug 2019, 18:02, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Ask ApplicantLab  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2019, 05:01
I am happy to find this post. It's so informative!
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Profile Review - Indian, Male, 28 years, CFA, Silver Medalist  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2019, 05:13
Hi All,

Would appreciate if the experts can evaluate my profile:

Indian, Male, 28 years, CFA, Silver Medalist
GMAT: 680 (Q49 V35, IR5, AWA 6)

Work Experience - 6.5 years as of Dec 2019

1. Working as an Independent Consultant (self-employed) to a UK Investment Banking firm. Currently working on 6 deals looking to raise $1 million - $10 million and working on one another Indian company to divest its stake outside India. The work involves consulting and discussions with founders/ senior directors on business, due diligence, fund raising requirements and preparing pitch book, IM and interactions with investors representing the companies. The work gets more interesting since I work closely with the founders and senior management and addressing concerns of investors over companies’ operations, strategy and product from financing point of view.

2. Three Years of experience as a valuation analyst in a consulting firm
• Lead a team of 5 analyst for valuation engagements on financial reporting and tax compliance for startup and private equity funds. Also performed valuations of complex securities for distressed/ illiquid assets and ad-hoc research based due-diligence activities
• Extensively trained, mentored and brought onto production floor, 3 MBA freshers, 1 Chartered Accountant and 1 Chartered Financial Analyst to manage valuation engagements under limited supervision
• Handled 3 engagement partners and collaborated with managers and associates to assist in due diligence and valuation of companies through all development stages, from seed funding to pre-IPO stage.
• Collaborated with directors to set up 2 new service offering and single-handedly setup and scaled the team to 7 members in 1 year.
• Lead the engagement on valuation of a Canadian healthcare medicinal weed-based company for fund raising activity. Independently worked on strategic planning projects, gift tax and M&A activity.

3. Another 3 years of work ex in an MNC and an equity broking firm - covering Indian macroeconomics and banking sector and global coverage of metals and mining companies.

Academics:
• CFA Charterholder, Liberal Arts (Major - Finance, Minor - Economics; awarded BBA Hons with diploma in liberal arts)
• Silver Medalist and was among the top 2% in academics throughout the college tenure.
• Hosted industry leaders for workshops, lectures and interviews by co-founding 2 clubs – a Management Club and an Entrepreneurship Club in collaboration with IIT and IIM alumnus.
• Presented research papers at National Level

Extra-curricular
• Current - Art and Craft activities including designing, teaching and creating customized greeting cards, wax sculptures, oil painting, and other DIY creative activities.
• Previous - NGO activities (teaching underprivileged, organizing Global Village through AISEC, raising AIDS awareness campaigns, etc.) in college days.
• Previous - Inter-College Table Tennis (Singles) winner


Post MBA Goal
Post MBA in Finance, would I am looking to move to Buy-side roles (VC/PE) firms or would move to consulting profile.

Queries:
1. Which schools should I target to apply in India, Canada and US?
2. I know my disadvantage is the low GMAT score. But I would like to go ahead and apply for US B-schools with this score. Which schools should I consider as a safe zone which also have a reputation in the finance industry? Helping me getting placed in the financial services industry... (considering I may not get a suitable buy side profile due to non-US citizenship/ work visa issues or consulting due to low GMAT score) Since most of the Buy Side (PE firms) are small firms and may be hesitant to hire on H1 work visa.


Thanks!
GMAT Club Bot
Profile Review - Indian, Male, 28 years, CFA, Silver Medalist   [#permalink] 13 Aug 2019, 05:13

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