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Ask ApplicantLab

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Admission Consultant
User avatar
S
Status: Application Consultant
Affiliations: IvyLeagueEdge
Joined: 13 Jul 2016
Posts: 261
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
Schools: Yale (A)
GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V44
WE: Operations (Other)
Re: Ask ApplicantLab [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2017, 00:19
Luckisnoexcuse wrote:
Hi Maria
Please evaluate my profile and suggest points of improvement and my chances at the below-listed schools

Male
Age : 28
Nationality : Indian
GMAT : 740 (Q51 V38 IR 6 AWA 5)

Grad: Masters in Business Economics (Delhi University) with Marketing & Quantitative Techniques in Business as Dual Majors (Second Division)
- Elected Placement Team Member. Ideated and launched double internship program.

UGrad : BTech in Computer Science & Engineering from CSA University (First Class)
- Elected Sports Secretary, Student Engineering Society.
- Self-financed undergraduate education through part-time employment and scholarships

Work Ex : ~5.5 Years (India)

Family Business. (Two-Wheeler Dealership of TVS with 12 sub-dealership franchise)
Office Manager, June-2017 – Present
-Increased monthly sales by 20% by organizing various campaigns (Youth Apache RR 310 roadshow, Local elections vote campaign) in Q4 2017.
-Reduced the average turnaround time of bike service by 20 minutes through optimizing the entire process and efficient resource allocation without degrading service quality
-Individually sold ~90 vehicles to potential customers along with handling the sales team of 4

BHARTI AIRTEL LTD. (Policy & Regulatory Division)
Manager, Oct, 2015 – May, 2017
Bharti Airtel is a global telecommunications company with operations in 17 countries. Report to VP of Regulatory (Policy) and was responsible for research, processes streamlining, & international regulatory.
-Saved $100m annual cost to the company by providing support to win legal case against Telecom regulator; by conducting benchmarking of regulatory service-quality parameters of 33 countries; conducting interviews of C-level legal & regulatory executives of top global telecom firms & key members of global telecom associations; analyzed and presented key findings to Airtel Executive committee. Received appreciation email from company’s founder.
-Identified a cost-saving opportunity to streamline the regulatory approval process of the company’s telco infra in India; led a cross-functional (in-house & external) team of 10 in implementing the solution which resulted in 70% cost-reduction. Spoken as the most innovative initiative in the year in industry.
-Improved the efficiency of international regulatory filings by building a model that used data from 12 sources to identify improvement opportunities or flag delays.
-Managed, coached & mentored a team of three junior employees; Started and led the training session for entire legal & regulatory team on various primary and secondary research techniques.

DELOITTE US-INDIA PVT. LTD. (Advisory Division)
Associate, Nov, 2013 – Oct, 2015
-Devised market entry strategy into Sub-Saharan Africa for multi-million dollar media conglomerate seeking new inorganic growth opportunities in television broadcasting in Sub-Saharan Africa.
-Initiated the concept of ‘Deal Tracker Platform’ to help senior partners pitch their clients looking for investment/partnership opportunities in 6 industries across the globe.
-Member of USI-TMT(Technology, Media & Telecommunications) Club; Conducted cross-functional trainings on new cutting edge technologies and emerging trends in TMT sector.

ARANCA INDIA PVT. LTD. (Business Research Division)
Analyst, May, 2012 – Oct, 2013
-Engaged in market research, competitor assessment, industry benchmarking, best practice mapping, market trends, company profiles, feasibility / financial reports, ad-hoc research for the global clients.
-Conducted training sessions for various online databases to the new management recruits.

OTHER:
- Started “The Declutter Campaign” to promote donation of unused household items to the underprivileged people
- Strong follower of Dota 2 (online multiplayer strategy game)


Post MBA goals : Management Consulting in Big 4/MBB (Sector - TMT) ---> Head of corporate strategy (Telecom firm) ---> Chief Strategy Officer (Global Telecom Corporation)
Interested in : General Management and Leadership

PS: Shifted from Airtel to Family Business to support my father's health issues (Underwent operation, etc. and is perfectly fine now)
Target Schools:
Kellog
Sloan
Ross
Fuqua

Stern
UNC
McCombs
Tepper
LBS
Kelley
Said



Awesome Profile..
That said, Kellogg & Sloan will need a bit of a killer profile. Your profile would be sorta borderline with them.

Others are decently in your range, provided your goals, stories & essays, and LORs come out strong.
Did I mention you need time and dedication to prepare yourself well for them.

Feel free to discuss.
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Expert Post
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Applicant Lab Admissions Consultant
User avatar
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Joined: 17 Dec 2013
Posts: 42
Location: United States
Schools: HBS - Class of 2005
Re: Ask ApplicantLab [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2017, 10:53
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Expert's post
Hi there! I had sent a PM asking for a few extra details, and I don't think (?) I heard back yet, but I don't want it to look like I'm being derelict here, so I'll just make some educated guesses then :)

Just a few observations:

- The Grad degree in business economics -- when did you get that? Was it right after college? Was it recently? If it was recently, you might need to have a REALLY good explanation as to why you NOW need a SECOND masters degree (e.g. why you didn't simply pursue an MBA the first time?) If it was one of those "I went directly post-college" situations then there is more leniency.

- The impact on the family business is impressive! If the company has the potential to employ you post-MBA (ie, if their revenue levels are high enough that they could pay you a substantial salary later that could repay your sizeable MBA student loans) then that makes it extra-promising. ONE potential strong "story" for application purposes needs to be to want to go back to the family business and continue growing it in a new / exciting way (Dealership expansion? Acquiring competitors? Online sales?) so that one day you can be CEO and the King / Queen of Two Wheelers! I know this isn't what you mentioned but this could be a good story ---> if existing business is run "old school" then you can say that your experiences working in Big Cos have given you amazing ideas for transforming the business and now you need the MBA to make it happen.

- The good news is, the the other story about consulting in TMT works too, since you DO Have a background in it from Bharti / Deloitte. I get worried when people say they want to work in TMT but their prior experience is in, say, pharma. I'd caution against making it seem like you ONLY want to work for an MBB; cast a wider net in terms of firms so mention so that it's a realistic span (you don't want them to add an extra layer of scrutiny on your profile: "Does she seem like MBB will hire her?" Application process is hard enough; why make it harder on yourself?

- Bharti is a Big Name Company to work for, but regulatory type work is usually seen as being pretty boring, in the grand scheme of things. I'd downplay this experience a teeny bit in the application just because it's more "Academic" in nature (research; submitting filings) vs. action-oriented (work at family business; work at Deloitte)

- Glad to hear your dad's ok now. You can mention this career shift either in the core essays or in the optional essay -- you'll just need to "map" out where the story fits best in each school

- Also glad to see a range of schools on your list. This profile might be a bit more of a challenge at Sloan, LBS, and Said (your GMAT's good for Said but I'm getting a 'We look for world-changers' social enterprise vibe from them)

- If you're looking to apply next year, you could aim for the Early round at Duke.


Thanks!,
Maria


Luckisnoexcuse wrote:
Hi Maria
Please evaluate my profile and suggest points of improvement and my chances at the below-listed schools

Male
Age : 28
Nationality : Indian
GMAT : 740 (Q51 V38 IR 6 AWA 5)

Grad: Masters in Business Economics (Delhi University) with Marketing & Quantitative Techniques in Business as Dual Majors (Second Division)
- Elected Placement Team Member. Ideated and launched double internship program.

UGrad : BTech in Computer Science & Engineering from CSA University (First Class)
- Elected Sports Secretary, Student Engineering Society.
- Self-financed undergraduate education through part-time employment and scholarships

Work Ex : ~5.5 Years (India)

Family Business. (Two-Wheeler Dealership of TVS with 12 sub-dealership franchise)
Office Manager, June-2017 – Present
-Increased monthly sales by 20% by organizing various campaigns (Youth Apache RR 310 roadshow, Local elections vote campaign) in Q4 2017.
-Reduced the average turnaround time of bike service by 20 minutes through optimizing the entire process and efficient resource allocation without degrading service quality
-Individually sold ~90 vehicles to potential customers along with handling the sales team of 4

BHARTI AIRTEL LTD. (Policy & Regulatory Division)
Manager, Oct, 2015 – May, 2017
Bharti Airtel is a global telecommunications company with operations in 17 countries. Report to VP of Regulatory (Policy) and was responsible for research, processes streamlining, & international regulatory.
-Saved $100m annual cost to the company by providing support to win legal case against Telecom regulator; by conducting benchmarking of regulatory service-quality parameters of 33 countries; conducting interviews of C-level legal & regulatory executives of top global telecom firms & key members of global telecom associations; analyzed and presented key findings to Airtel Executive committee. Received appreciation email from company’s founder.
-Identified a cost-saving opportunity to streamline the regulatory approval process of the company’s telco infra in India; led a cross-functional (in-house & external) team of 10 in implementing the solution which resulted in 70% cost-reduction. Spoken as the most innovative initiative in the year in industry.
-Improved the efficiency of international regulatory filings by building a model that used data from 12 sources to identify improvement opportunities or flag delays.
-Managed, coached & mentored a team of three junior employees; Started and led the training session for entire legal & regulatory team on various primary and secondary research techniques.

DELOITTE US-INDIA PVT. LTD. (Advisory Division)
Associate, Nov, 2013 – Oct, 2015
-Devised market entry strategy into Sub-Saharan Africa for multi-million dollar media conglomerate seeking new inorganic growth opportunities in television broadcasting in Sub-Saharan Africa.
-Initiated the concept of ‘Deal Tracker Platform’ to help senior partners pitch their clients looking for investment/partnership opportunities in 6 industries across the globe.
-Member of USI-TMT(Technology, Media & Telecommunications) Club; Conducted cross-functional trainings on new cutting edge technologies and emerging trends in TMT sector.

ARANCA INDIA PVT. LTD. (Business Research Division)
Analyst, May, 2012 – Oct, 2013
-Engaged in market research, competitor assessment, industry benchmarking, best practice mapping, market trends, company profiles, feasibility / financial reports, ad-hoc research for the global clients.
-Conducted training sessions for various online databases to the new management recruits.

OTHER:
- Started “The Declutter Campaign” to promote donation of unused household items to the underprivileged people
- Strong follower of Dota 2 (online multiplayer strategy game)


Post MBA goals : Management Consulting in Big 4/MBB (Sector - TMT) ---> Head of corporate strategy (Telecom firm) ---> Chief Strategy Officer (Global Telecom Corporation)
Interested in : General Management and Leadership

PS: Shifted from Airtel to Family Business to support my father's health issues (Underwent operation, etc. and is perfectly fine now)
Target Schools:
Kellog
Sloan
Ross
Fuqua

Stern
UNC
McCombs
Tepper
LBS
Kelley
Said

_________________

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

Director
Director
User avatar
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Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 631
GMAT ToolKit User Premium Member Reviews Badge
Re: Ask ApplicantLab [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2017, 11:06
ApplicantLab wrote:
Hi there! I had sent a PM asking for a few extra details, and I don't think (?) I heard back yet, but I don't want it to look like I'm being derelict here, so I'll just make some educated guesses then :)

Just a few observations:

- The Grad degree in business economics -- when did you get that? Was it right after college? Was it recently? If it was recently, you might need to have a REALLY good explanation as to why you NOW need a SECOND masters degree (e.g. why you didn't simply pursue an MBA the first time?) If it was one of those "I went directly post-college" situations then there is more leniency.

- The impact on the family business is impressive! If the company has the potential to employ you post-MBA (ie, if their revenue levels are high enough that they could pay you a substantial salary later that could repay your sizeable MBA student loans) then that makes it extra-promising. ONE potential strong "story" for application purposes needs to be to want to go back to the family business and continue growing it in a new / exciting way (Dealership expansion? Acquiring competitors? Online sales?) so that one day you can be CEO and the King / Queen of Two Wheelers! I know this isn't what you mentioned but this could be a good story ---> if existing business is run "old school" then you can say that your experiences working in Big Cos have given you amazing ideas for transforming the business and now you need the MBA to make it happen.

- The good news is, the the other story about consulting in TMT works too, since you DO Have a background in it from Bharti / Deloitte. I get worried when people say they want to work in TMT but their prior experience is in, say, pharma. I'd caution against making it seem like you ONLY want to work for an MBB; cast a wider net in terms of firms so mention so that it's a realistic span (you don't want them to add an extra layer of scrutiny on your profile: "Does she seem like MBB will hire her?" Application process is hard enough; why make it harder on yourself?

- Bharti is a Big Name Company to work for, but regulatory type work is usually seen as being pretty boring, in the grand scheme of things. I'd downplay this experience a teeny bit in the application just because it's more "Academic" in nature (research; submitting filings) vs. action-oriented (work at family business; work at Deloitte)

- Glad to hear your dad's ok now. You can mention this career shift either in the core essays or in the optional essay -- you'll just need to "map" out where the story fits best in each school

- Also glad to see a range of schools on your list. This profile might be a bit more of a challenge at Sloan, LBS, and Said (your GMAT's good for Said but I'm getting a 'We look for world-changers' social enterprise vibe from them)

- If you're looking to apply next year, you could aim for the Early round at Duke.


Thanks!,
Maria


Luckisnoexcuse wrote:
Hi Maria
Please evaluate my profile and suggest points of improvement and my chances at the below-listed schools

Male
Age : 28
Nationality : Indian
GMAT : 740 (Q51 V38 IR 6 AWA 5)

Grad: Masters in Business Economics (Delhi University) with Marketing & Quantitative Techniques in Business as Dual Majors (Second Division)
- Elected Placement Team Member. Ideated and launched double internship program.

UGrad : BTech in Computer Science & Engineering from CSA University (First Class)
- Elected Sports Secretary, Student Engineering Society.
- Self-financed undergraduate education through part-time employment and scholarships

Work Ex : ~5.5 Years (India)

Family Business. (Two-Wheeler Dealership of TVS with 12 sub-dealership franchise)
Office Manager, June-2017 – Present
-Increased monthly sales by 20% by organizing various campaigns (Youth Apache RR 310 roadshow, Local elections vote campaign) in Q4 2017.
-Reduced the average turnaround time of bike service by 20 minutes through optimizing the entire process and efficient resource allocation without degrading service quality
-Individually sold ~90 vehicles to potential customers along with handling the sales team of 4

BHARTI AIRTEL LTD. (Policy & Regulatory Division)
Manager, Oct, 2015 – May, 2017
Bharti Airtel is a global telecommunications company with operations in 17 countries. Report to VP of Regulatory (Policy) and was responsible for research, processes streamlining, & international regulatory.
-Saved $100m annual cost to the company by providing support to win legal case against Telecom regulator; by conducting benchmarking of regulatory service-quality parameters of 33 countries; conducting interviews of C-level legal & regulatory executives of top global telecom firms & key members of global telecom associations; analyzed and presented key findings to Airtel Executive committee. Received appreciation email from company’s founder.
-Identified a cost-saving opportunity to streamline the regulatory approval process of the company’s telco infra in India; led a cross-functional (in-house & external) team of 10 in implementing the solution which resulted in 70% cost-reduction. Spoken as the most innovative initiative in the year in industry.
-Improved the efficiency of international regulatory filings by building a model that used data from 12 sources to identify improvement opportunities or flag delays.
-Managed, coached & mentored a team of three junior employees; Started and led the training session for entire legal & regulatory team on various primary and secondary research techniques.

DELOITTE US-INDIA PVT. LTD. (Advisory Division)
Associate, Nov, 2013 – Oct, 2015
-Devised market entry strategy into Sub-Saharan Africa for multi-million dollar media conglomerate seeking new inorganic growth opportunities in television broadcasting in Sub-Saharan Africa.
-Initiated the concept of ‘Deal Tracker Platform’ to help senior partners pitch their clients looking for investment/partnership opportunities in 6 industries across the globe.
-Member of USI-TMT(Technology, Media & Telecommunications) Club; Conducted cross-functional trainings on new cutting edge technologies and emerging trends in TMT sector.

ARANCA INDIA PVT. LTD. (Business Research Division)
Analyst, May, 2012 – Oct, 2013
-Engaged in market research, competitor assessment, industry benchmarking, best practice mapping, market trends, company profiles, feasibility / financial reports, ad-hoc research for the global clients.
-Conducted training sessions for various online databases to the new management recruits.

OTHER:
- Started “The Declutter Campaign” to promote donation of unused household items to the underprivileged people
- Strong follower of Dota 2 (online multiplayer strategy game)


Post MBA goals : Management Consulting in Big 4/MBB (Sector - TMT) ---> Head of corporate strategy (Telecom firm) ---> Chief Strategy Officer (Global Telecom Corporation)
Interested in : General Management and Leadership

PS: Shifted from Airtel to Family Business to support my father's health issues (Underwent operation, etc. and is perfectly fine now)
Target Schools:
Kellog
Sloan
Ross
Fuqua

Stern
UNC
McCombs
Tepper
LBS
Kelley
Said

Hi Maria,

Thanks for replying.Apologies..I was not able to get back to you on those ques..
The Grad degree in business economics was in 2010-2012. I am going to say that need more experiential learning (previous was more theoretical) and international diversity exposure towards my ST & LT goals. Also i need a bigger cohort to be able to learn more from collaborative peer-to-peer learning as previously my batch size was small and not much diverse (60)

I want to stick to my original plan of TMT consulting (target is top consulting firms such as Deloitte, Bain, MBB,....)

"- Glad to hear your dad's ok now. You can mention this career shift either in the core essays or in the optional essay -- you'll just need to "map" out where the story fits best in each school "..Thank you, Yes will explain in optional essay whereever required (basis school)

My target is R2 this year only and working full time on them these days (irrespective of where i am sitting/working)
Essays are taking shape ...

Keeping fingers crossed
:)
_________________

We must try to achieve the best within us


Thanks
Luckisnoexcuse

Expert Post
Applicant Lab Admissions Consultant
User avatar
B
Joined: 17 Dec 2013
Posts: 42
Location: United States
Schools: HBS - Class of 2005
Re: Ask ApplicantLab [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2017, 11:25
Luckisnoexcuse wrote:
My target is R2 this year only and working full time on them these days (irrespective of where i am sitting/working)
Essays are taking shape ...

Keeping fingers crossed
:)



Sounds great! JUST IN CASE you need help powering through so many schools' applications, in the ApplicantLab I have detailed step-by-step advice for how to tackle the essays for all of the schools on your list, from Duke's "25 things" to the NYU "pick six" to McComb's video introducing yourself.

Just mentioning in case it could be a useful resource -- it gives access to all schools' advice for what consultants like me usually charge for merely one hour of our time. If you're a self-starter (which it seems like you certainly are!) it could be a great way to guide / check your own work as you power through the next few weeks!



End shameless plug here
,
Maria :)
_________________

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

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 14 Mar 2018
Posts: 10
Re: Ask ApplicantLab [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 21:02
ApplicantLab wrote:
Luckisnoexcuse wrote:
My target is R2 this year only and working full time on them these days (irrespective of where i am sitting/working)
Essays are taking shape ...

Keeping fingers crossed
:)



Sounds great! JUST IN CASE you need help powering through so many schools' applications, in the ApplicantLab I have detailed step-by-step advice for how to tackle the essays for all of the schools on your list, from Duke's "25 things" to the NYU "pick six" to McComb's video introducing yourself.

Just mentioning in case it could be a useful resource -- it gives access to all schools' advice for what consultants like me usually charge for merely one hour of our time. If you're a self-starter (which it seems like you certainly are!) it could be a great way to guide / check your own work as you power through the next few weeks!



End shameless plug here
,
Maria :)


Hi Maria,

The R2 is over now. I want to do a ding analysis to prepare myself in a better way for R1 this year. I applied to 9 colleges in R2; got invites from 2; waitlisted in 1.
Can u suggest the way forward?

(with a heavy heart)
Thanks
Expert Post
Applicant Lab Admissions Consultant
User avatar
B
Joined: 17 Dec 2013
Posts: 42
Location: United States
Schools: HBS - Class of 2005
Re: Ask ApplicantLab [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 16:26
Hello -- apologies for the delay in replying; I was in an accident and had a serious concussion, and part of the recovery protocol is "no computers, no phones, no screens, no working", etc. At first, I TOTALLY planned to "cheat" on doctor's orders but found that when I tried to answer e-mails, etc., within only a few minutes the room would start to spin and my head would Hurt Very Badly, so I'm only just now starting to dig out from all that's accumulated!

Regarding a "ding analysis", I usually only offer those for hire me for them, because a thoughtful ding analysis requires thorough reading (resume, essays, recommendations if you've got 'em), explanation of leadership stories, and also research (looking on LinkedIn for your "resume twin"). While you did send me a message directly with SOME information such as GMAT score, VERY brief description of work experience, it wouldn't be enough for me to do a full ding analysis anyway.

However!

I can teach you how to do your own ding analysis:

- First, try to find your "Resume Twins". Once you figure out where other people from your company, with jobs similar to yours have ended up getting accepted, that can go a long way to narrowing things down. You said in your message that you're currently working for a family business, but for your previous employment at [Big Company] -- who from that company / your division has gone on to b-school? My blog post on resume twins is here: http://blog.applicantlab.com/mba-admissions-chances-determine-odds/

- Lack of a good Career Vision: the #1 reason otherwise qualified applicants get dinged is due to a weak Career Vision / "Why our MBA?" rationale. By this I mean -- if we assume a candidate meets ALL of the AdComs' "Hierarchy of Needs" and demonstrates clear academic, career, and leadership aptitude... then what explains a ding? Aside from "bad luck if three zillion other applicants look just like you", the answer is a career vision / why MBA story that is illogical, too vague, etc. The free trial of ApplicantLab unlocks my video and initial Career Vision lessons, which at a minimum should give you a sense if the Career Vision was moving in the right direction. You can see more of my thoughts there.

- In your email to me, you shared that you used to work for a Big Company in Industry X, then went to your family's business in an utterly unrelated field, and your stated career vision was "consulting back in Industry X" -- the industry you LEFT? This raises many questions: why did he leave Industry X to begin with? Doesn't the family business have more potential? Why is he willing to abandon his family business after working there for only about a year -- is this someone who does not know the value of loyalty? (schools value loyalty for many reasons, one of them being that they hope their ALUMNI will be loyal and cough up the Big Bucks for annual donations!)

- Lack of actual Leadership -- in the Hierarchy of Needs, Leadership is at the top. While I go into a discussion on "what leadership actually is, and what it isn't" in the Lab (here's a hint: simply being named a "manager" of something does not necessarily make someone a leader), in a nutshell one way to summarize it is: "Has this person been a positive change agent wherever they go? Do they push forth new ideas, even when not asked (ESPECIALLY when not asked) to make their employer, school, community a better place?". Lots of people who are perfectly nice, competent performers simply do "what is expected" in their job. Which is lovely! But it's not "leadership".


These were the things that I was able to glean from the information you provided me. Regarding how to develop a "plan of attack" for your R1 schools, I already have all of that advice within the ApplicantLab platform. :)


Thank you,
Maria


Consumer wrote:
ApplicantLab wrote:
Luckisnoexcuse wrote:
My target is R2 this year only and working full time on them these days (irrespective of where i am sitting/working)
Essays are taking shape ...

Keeping fingers crossed
:)



Sounds great! JUST IN CASE you need help powering through so many schools' applications, in the ApplicantLab I have detailed step-by-step advice for how to tackle the essays for all of the schools on your list, from Duke's "25 things" to the NYU "pick six" to McComb's video introducing yourself.

Just mentioning in case it could be a useful resource -- it gives access to all schools' advice for what consultants like me usually charge for merely one hour of our time. If you're a self-starter (which it seems like you certainly are!) it could be a great way to guide / check your own work as you power through the next few weeks!



End shameless plug here
,
Maria :)


Hi Maria,

The R2 is over now. I want to do a ding analysis to prepare myself in a better way for R1 this year. I applied to 9 colleges in R2; got invites from 2; waitlisted in 1.
Can u suggest the way forward?

(with a heavy heart)
Thanks

_________________

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

Intern
Intern
User avatar
B
Joined: 04 Dec 2017
Posts: 7
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.5
WE: Consulting (Computer Software)
Re: Ask ApplicantLab [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2018, 02:02
Hello Maria!!

Please help evaluate my profile for R1 admissions, starting this year, for some 1yr programs I have shortlisted in-line with my GMAT score.

Background and nationality: Indian, 32yrs
Undergrad Information: Computer Engineer - University of Mumbai| Total Aggregate – 59%
GMAT: 750 (Q49 V44 AWA5 IR6)

Target Schools: (in order of preference)
Cambridge Judge Business School
Oxford Said Business School
IIM – Ahmedabad
ISB – Hyderabad

Work experience and leadership:
Total Work Experience: 10.5yrs (Indian IT MNC)| 3 promotions & no job switches.
Work Function: IT Consulting - Product Delivery & Implementation/ Change Management
Domain: Retail/Corporate Banking, Wealth Management Systems, Online delivery channels
International Experience: ~4+ yrs (Africa & Singapore)

Key CV elements:
Led teams of 7-10 members and drove implementations with yearly consolidated revenues of over $1M for a tier-1 banking institution in South East Asia.
Implemented various product enhancements in record short sprints and enabled 30% savings in delivery timelines under org initiatives for SEA market.
Formulated and managed change across end users with a holistic exposure to existing business processes in the banking domain, for various South East Asian emerging markets.
Designed data migration strategy, mapped existing business processes, defined project milestones and coordinated with business teams to manage core-banking platform transformation projects at 5 Nigerian banking institutions.
Led cross-cultural project teams in Nigeria, with 7-10 Indian+Nigerian members, driving product implementations of key banking modules. Have a very good understanding of emerging market needs and limitations in technology adoption.

Community and Extra Curriculars:
Very keen debater and quizzer throughout my academic and professional tracks. Have represented my institutions over the years in multiple quiz & debate competitions at various levels.
Winner of Inter School Debate competition in Delhi-NCR, organised by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation of India.
Won Mumbai qualifier and represented the city at Inter-College Canara Bank Centenary Quiz in Bangalore.
Won multiple awards (Young Achiever Award/ OTS/ GEM Award) and appreciations for the various Implementation & Migration projects in Africa and South East Asia.
Completed Harvard ManageMentor e-learning Certifications, designed by Harvard Business School.
Published short stories and light verses in school newsletters and magazines. Being an avid debater and quizzer, I am very comfortable with public speaking and verbal communication, leading to effective leadership abilities. I am an Equity and Capital market enthusiast and love watching sports & documentaries.

Post MBA goals:
With 10+ yrs of IT consulting and product delivery experience, I am looking to target senior positions at product management/ownership roles, continuing in the technology space to leverage my business & life experiences to the fullest. I want to develop holistic business management acumen with Strategy as my concentration, so that I can learn the advanced principles of product management, promotion & pricing, marketing strategies and enhanced post-sales revenues. I am sure that a 1yr b-school program would expose me to new ideas & though-trains, and give me further clarity on the road to my goals.

I see myself transitioning into senior leadership roles with challenging responsibilities in the long-term, leading not just teams and product offerings, but organizational strategy & roadmap as well.



Thanks for your time!
Cheers :-)
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New post 06 Apr 2018, 17:56
Hi there!

I think your best bet for starters is to use my "Resume Twin" technique to start to figure out which schools might be feasible for you. You can read about this technique here. Since we know that the most important thing admissions committees are looking for is evidence of professional excellence (see my video on this topic here), then a good place to start is to look at where others who have a similar professional profile to yours -- people who have worked at your company, in your role, at your seniority level -- have been accepted.

+ Your international experience is one of the stronger elements that jump out at me here -- while there are easily hundreds, perhaps even thousands of "Indian IT males" in the MBA applicant pool, spending significant time abroad is relatively unique. It's good that it's spread out: Africa, SE Asia...

+ You're formally leading teams

+ FinTech is still a pretty "hot" field (vs. struggling fields, like oil & gas) and the career vision makes lots of sense given previous path

+ Solid GMAT score

On the perhaps trickier side:

- A little on the "old" side re: # of years of work experience. This is the biggest "Red Flag" in your profile.

- 3 promotions in 10 years -- is this an accelerated path, or is it slower than usual? If it's been faster than usual, be sure that one of your recommenders highlights that so that way I know that it's a faster than usual pace

- Difficult to differentiate vs. many many many other Indian IT project leaders. That $1M figure cited - was that the size of the budget you were managing (good) or was that the amount of revenue that flowed to the company for doing the project? If the latter, be sure to explain to the admissions person why this is a big deal, since a $1m revenue project doesn't sound that big (however, if your company usually only books, say, $100k projects, then it IS a big deal... so be sure to clarify that via the resume and/or letters of recommendation)

- Extra-curriculars mostly in college and aren't that impactful, but this isn't a big deal. For extra-curriculars, quality is better than quantity. Don't mention anything prior to college, and consider naming only 1 or 2 college extra-currics in your resume.


For Cambridge/Oxford, I'd urge you to submit in the earliest possible round, and be sure to highlight interpersonal skills on global / multi-cultural projects. Also be sure to find a great career vision "hook", esp. for Oxford. (You may find this ApplicantLab review from an Oxford admit to be interesting)

Also, I'd urge you to cast a wider net in terms of some other international programs so that you're not just targeting those 2. Has anyone from your firm made it into IE, HEC, etc.? Would you consider Canadian programs?


Thank you!,
Maria




teecay wrote:
Hello Maria!!

Please help evaluate my profile for R1 admissions, starting this year, for some 1yr programs I have shortlisted in-line with my GMAT score.

Background and nationality: Indian, 32yrs
Undergrad Information: Computer Engineer - University of Mumbai| Total Aggregate – 59%
GMAT: 750 (Q49 V44 AWA5 IR6)

Target Schools: (in order of preference)
Cambridge Judge Business School
Oxford Said Business School
IIM – Ahmedabad
ISB – Hyderabad

Work experience and leadership:
Total Work Experience: 10.5yrs (Indian IT MNC)| 3 promotions & no job switches.
Work Function: IT Consulting - Product Delivery & Implementation/ Change Management
Domain: Retail/Corporate Banking, Wealth Management Systems, Online delivery channels
International Experience: ~4+ yrs (Africa & Singapore)

Key CV elements:
Led teams of 7-10 members and drove implementations with yearly consolidated revenues of over $1M for a tier-1 banking institution in South East Asia.
Implemented various product enhancements in record short sprints and enabled 30% savings in delivery timelines under org initiatives for SEA market.
Formulated and managed change across end users with a holistic exposure to existing business processes in the banking domain, for various South East Asian emerging markets.
Designed data migration strategy, mapped existing business processes, defined project milestones and coordinated with business teams to manage core-banking platform transformation projects at 5 Nigerian banking institutions.
Led cross-cultural project teams in Nigeria, with 7-10 Indian+Nigerian members, driving product implementations of key banking modules. Have a very good understanding of emerging market needs and limitations in technology adoption.

Community and Extra Curriculars:
Very keen debater and quizzer throughout my academic and professional tracks. Have represented my institutions over the years in multiple quiz & debate competitions at various levels.
Winner of Inter School Debate competition in Delhi-NCR, organised by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation of India.
Won Mumbai qualifier and represented the city at Inter-College Canara Bank Centenary Quiz in Bangalore.
Won multiple awards (Young Achiever Award/ OTS/ GEM Award) and appreciations for the various Implementation & Migration projects in Africa and South East Asia.
Completed Harvard ManageMentor e-learning Certifications, designed by Harvard Business School.
Published short stories and light verses in school newsletters and magazines. Being an avid debater and quizzer, I am very comfortable with public speaking and verbal communication, leading to effective leadership abilities. I am an Equity and Capital market enthusiast and love watching sports & documentaries.

Post MBA goals:
With 10+ yrs of IT consulting and product delivery experience, I am looking to target senior positions at product management/ownership roles, continuing in the technology space to leverage my business & life experiences to the fullest. I want to develop holistic business management acumen with Strategy as my concentration, so that I can learn the advanced principles of product management, promotion & pricing, marketing strategies and enhanced post-sales revenues. I am sure that a 1yr b-school program would expose me to new ideas & though-trains, and give me further clarity on the road to my goals.

I see myself transitioning into senior leadership roles with challenging responsibilities in the long-term, leading not just teams and product offerings, but organizational strategy & roadmap as well.



Thanks for your time!
Cheers :-)

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New post 10 Apr 2018, 14:00
Hi Maria,

Please evaluate my profile and provide me some pointers to improve to apply this year!

Indian, Female, 31
Undergrad : Engineering in Computer science (Non IIT)
Gmat : 720 (Thinking of a retake ,aiming at 750)
Work ex : 6Y 8 M in an IT role
Work ex gap : 1y 7M
Domain : IT services in Retail/FMCG

Currently working for a Consulting firm as a Senior consultant that provides services to a Multilevel marketing business.
Does working with the Multilevel marketing firm come across as negative on my resume?

Post MBA goals : working with for profit Social enterprises in a higher management role or possibly create my own business.

Key CV elements : two promotions in 6 y 8 M.
Have single handedly delivered and led very critical projects for a client In europe.
Have been lauded for building a good rapport and delivery with the onshore team when the team impression about us was at the lowest.
Have been part of a team that delivered a critical project that helped save the a lot of money for the clients(not sure about the actual numbers)
Have managed teams with 2-4 members.
Have two international experience ,One being for 2 weeks and the other for 5 months.
Have been recognized by the management for being an outstanding performer in the critical projects.

ExtraCurriculars:

Have won many district and state level quiz competitions at the primary and high school level.
Was awarded by the dean for the final year project.
An avid traveler and an amateur photographer.
Keen learner of new languages , currently self learning Italian.

I don't have a specific list(Still researching) but would like to make it to a top program.

Please also suggest if we can use personal stories while crafting the application that led to the decision to pursue an MBA?

Thanks,
Go
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New post 10 Apr 2018, 19:26
Hi there! Let me unpack some of these, section by section:

Quote:
Hi Maria,

Please evaluate my profile and provide me some pointers to improve to apply this year!

Indian, Female, 31
Undergrad : Engineering in Computer science (Non IIT)
Gmat : 720 (Thinking of a retake ,aiming at 750)
Work ex : 6Y 8 M in an IT role

Ok, so at age 31 (and almost 7 yrs experience now, which would put you roughly at 8 yrs experience at matriculation) you are a bit on the older side for some of the tippy-top programs -- at least, the full time programs in the U.S. You may want to cast a wider net in terms of school selection, or look into programs in Europe or Canada that tend to be more open to more "seasoned" candidates.

If you think you can pull off a 750, then yes! Go for it! Given the level of competition from the Indian IT pool, you will not regret having a higher score.

Quote:
Work ex gap : 1y 7M

Hmm...This could be a pretty big red flag. Hopefully this gap occurred 1) a while ago [vs., say, now] and 2) had a good / explainable reason

Quote:
Domain : IT services in Retail/FMCG
Currently working for a Consulting firm as a Senior consultant that provides services to a Multilevel marketing business.
Does working with the Multilevel marketing firm come across as negative on my resume?

While Multi-Level Marketing as an industry is sometimes seen as being a bit dodgy, 1) YOU are not working for them directly and 2) You are probably driving good results / leading cool projects that involve skills that could be easily transferable elsewhere.

To the extent that they are your consulting firm's client, you have more distance. Also, you're probably not allowed to name them anyway (due to NDA considerations) and een if you did, if it's an Indian company, U.S. Adcoms probably won't know what it is anyway. Could you just say something like: "Lead IT projects for company's 3rd-largest client, a company in the [general industry the MLM is in] space"?

Quote:
Post MBA goals : working with for profit Social enterprises in a higher management role or possibly create my own business.

YIKES!!! Where does the "Social Enterprise" angle come in? I don't see anything in what you told me that says that you have any experience / credibility in this space. In the Free Trial area of ApplicantLab, you have free access to part of my Career Vision module, which explains what makes for a good career vision (and what doesn't) and why schools care.


Quote:
Key CV elements : two promotions in 6 y 8 M.

This seems a bit slower than usual? I think the usual expectation is one promotion every 2 years or so. If this has been an accelerated promotion path, then your RECOMMENDER for sure needs to point that out!
Quote:
Have single handedly delivered and led very critical projects for a client In europe.
Have been lauded for building a good rapport and delivery with the onshore team when the team impression about us was at the lowest.
Have been part of a team that delivered a critical project that helped save the a lot of money for the clients(not sure about the actual numbers)
Have managed teams with 2-4 members.
Have two international experience ,One being for 2 weeks and the other for 5 months.
Have been recognized by the management for being an outstanding performer in the critical projects.

These are all very good things, especially the international experience and the formal management experience. If you happen to have been handed the company's larger / most important clients, be sure to try to work that in too.

When other people from your firm go to get MBAs, where do they usually go? Do you have any Resume Twins you can look to for guidance?

Quote:
ExtraCurriculars:

Have won many district and state level quiz competitions at the primary and high school level.

Please, I beg you, don't mention anything from primary / high school in your business school application. As a graduate school application for future managerial, C-Suite talent, something as far back as primary / high school have no place there (unless it was truly something extraordinary, e.g. being on the Olympic team or winning an international competition). Leave this stuff out. :-)

Quote:
Was awarded by the dean for the final year project.

Eh, if you have room on the resume, you can leave this detail in (I assume this is from college?) -- but it's not going to really move the needle
Quote:
An avid traveler and an amateur photographer.
Keen learner of new languages , currently self learning Italian.

These things are great -- I especially like the Italian angle. For something like "Traveler" , I have specific advice in the Resume module of the Lab (I can't remember if it's accessible as part of the free trial or not) to advise to make this a bit more interesting on the resume, than just "Interests: Travel, photography", since honestly I'd estimate 85% of the applicant pool loves to travel! So try to put a slightly unique spin on it, such as: "Travel, especially in the Loire Valley" so it doesn't sound like almost everyone else.

Quote:
I don't have a specific list(Still researching) but would like to make it to a top program.

Given your age and your love of travel and languages, I'd recommend looking into European programs. They tend to be more open to older candidates (for example, 26% of the class at Bocconi -- in Italy, yay! -- is between the ages of 31-33, and 17% have over 7 years of experience), and an ApplicantLab client with a profile similar to yours (although: with 1+ year of international experience and leading teams of over 20 people) just was accepted to HEC. Plus, since they are less expensive, you will have less of a student loan debt burden, should you wish to pursue social enterprise after graduation.

In terms of U.S. schools, I'd be interested what your Resume Twin research pulls up. If your firm has a history of sending people to U.S. MBA programs, see if you can reach out to those folks who made it in and see what they think of your profile.

Quote:
Please also suggest if we can use personal stories while crafting the application that led to the decision to pursue an MBA?

OH! Not only "CAN" you use personal stories, I BEG THAT YOU DO SO! A big part of my lessons in the Lab is on teaching people HOW to write about their unique stories in the most effective way. A heart-felt personal story can really help make you more memorable, and can really help prove true commitment and passion in a way that the more clinical resume never could!!!! If the "personal stories" in question are relevant (and don't go into the realm of "Too Much Information" -- that is, use professional judgement here), then YES they not only are allowed but I'd VERY MUCH encourage you to include them!


Thanks!,
Maria
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New post 10 Apr 2018, 20:07
Dear Maria & team,

Wish to share my brief profile for your kind evaluation.

• Nationality: Indian
• Age: 38 (current)
• Gender: Male
• Current designation: Director
• Company: Big4 (PwC, KPMG, EY, Deloitte)
• Qualification: Chartered Accountant {C.A.}, like the CPA in the US
• Qualified C.A. in: 2007
• Total work experience: Post C.A.: 10 years (with KPMG - 7 years & PwC - 3 years); work ex before/ during doing C.A.: 3+ years with KPMG
• Graduation: Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) from India’s no.1 college (Sri Ram College of Commerce)
• Targeting any of the Top 10 colleges in the U.S.
• GMAT: Appearing in July 2018 (first time – hoping to score around 700-720).

There is so much more I can describe about my nature of work (international tax consulting) and the reason to do an MBA (primarily, career change), but I am sharing the key highlights (as per me!) for brevity.

Please do let me know how do you perceive my chances and does my age (& experience) work for or against me, thanks a lot!

Best regards,
Jayant


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New post 10 Apr 2018, 20:20
PS: And thank you for taking out time and guiding us in your webex presentation, it was absolutely useful! Cheers.


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New post 10 Apr 2018, 22:08
ApplicantLab wrote:
Hi there! Let me unpack some of these, section by section:

Quote:
Hi Maria,

Please evaluate my profile and provide me some pointers to improve to apply this year!

Indian, Female, 31
Undergrad : Engineering in Computer science (Non IIT)
Gmat : 720 (Thinking of a retake ,aiming at 750)
Work ex : 6Y 8 M in an IT role

Ok, so at age 31 (and almost 7 yrs experience now, which would put you roughly at 8 yrs experience at matriculation) you are a bit on the older side for some of the tippy-top programs -- at least, the full time programs in the U.S. You may want to cast a wider net in terms of school selection, or look into programs in Europe or Canada that tend to be more open to more "seasoned" candidates.

If you think you can pull off a 750, then yes! Go for it! Given the level of competition from the Indian IT pool, you will not regret having a higher score.

Quote:
Work ex gap : 1y 7M

Hmm...This could be a pretty big red flag. Hopefully this gap occurred 1) a while ago [vs., say, now] and 2) had a good / explainable reason

Quote:
Domain : IT services in Retail/FMCG
Currently working for a Consulting firm as a Senior consultant that provides services to a Multilevel marketing business.
Does working with the Multilevel marketing firm come across as negative on my resume?

While Multi-Level Marketing as an industry is sometimes seen as being a bit dodgy, 1) YOU are not working for them directly and 2) You are probably driving good results / leading cool projects that involve skills that could be easily transferable elsewhere.

To the extent that they are your consulting firm's client, you have more distance. Also, you're probably not allowed to name them anyway (due to NDA considerations) and een if you did, if it's an Indian company, U.S. Adcoms probably won't know what it is anyway. Could you just say something like: "Lead IT projects for company's 3rd-largest client, a company in the [general industry the MLM is in] space"?

Quote:
Post MBA goals : working with for profit Social enterprises in a higher management role or possibly create my own business.

YIKES!!! Where does the "Social Enterprise" angle come in? I don't see anything in what you told me that says that you have any experience / credibility in this space. In the Free Trial area of ApplicantLab, you have free access to part of my Career Vision module, which explains what makes for a good career vision (and what doesn't) and why schools care.


Quote:
Key CV elements : two promotions in 6 y 8 M.

This seems a bit slower than usual? I think the usual expectation is one promotion every 2 years or so. If this has been an accelerated promotion path, then your RECOMMENDER for sure needs to point that out!
Quote:
Have single handedly delivered and led very critical projects for a client In europe.
Have been lauded for building a good rapport and delivery with the onshore team when the team impression about us was at the lowest.
Have been part of a team that delivered a critical project that helped save the a lot of money for the clients(not sure about the actual numbers)
Have managed teams with 2-4 members.
Have two international experience ,One being for 2 weeks and the other for 5 months.
Have been recognized by the management for being an outstanding performer in the critical projects.

These are all very good things, especially the international experience and the formal management experience. If you happen to have been handed the company's larger / most important clients, be sure to try to work that in too.

When other people from your firm go to get MBAs, where do they usually go? Do you have any Resume Twins you can look to for guidance?

Quote:
ExtraCurriculars:

Have won many district and state level quiz competitions at the primary and high school level.

Please, I beg you, don't mention anything from primary / high school in your business school application. As a graduate school application for future managerial, C-Suite talent, something as far back as primary / high school have no place there (unless it was truly something extraordinary, e.g. being on the Olympic team or winning an international competition). Leave this stuff out. :-)

Quote:
Was awarded by the dean for the final year project.

Eh, if you have room on the resume, you can leave this detail in (I assume this is from college?) -- but it's not going to really move the needle
Quote:
An avid traveler and an amateur photographer.
Keen learner of new languages , currently self learning Italian.

These things are great -- I especially like the Italian angle. For something like "Traveler" , I have specific advice in the Resume module of the Lab (I can't remember if it's accessible as part of the free trial or not) to advise to make this a bit more interesting on the resume, than just "Interests: Travel, photography", since honestly I'd estimate 85% of the applicant pool loves to travel! So try to put a slightly unique spin on it, such as: "Travel, especially in the Loire Valley" so it doesn't sound like almost everyone else.

Quote:
I don't have a specific list(Still researching) but would like to make it to a top program.

Given your age and your love of travel and languages, I'd recommend looking into European programs. They tend to be more open to older candidates (for example, 26% of the class at Bocconi -- in Italy, yay! -- is between the ages of 31-33, and 17% have over 7 years of experience), and an ApplicantLab client with a profile similar to yours (although: with 1+ year of international experience and leading teams of over 20 people) just was accepted to HEC. Plus, since they are less expensive, you will have less of a student loan debt burden, should you wish to pursue social enterprise after graduation.

In terms of U.S. schools, I'd be interested what your Resume Twin research pulls up. If your firm has a history of sending people to U.S. MBA programs, see if you can reach out to those folks who made it in and see what they think of your profile.

Quote:
Please also suggest if we can use personal stories while crafting the application that led to the decision to pursue an MBA?

OH! Not only "CAN" you use personal stories, I BEG THAT YOU DO SO! A big part of my lessons in the Lab is on teaching people HOW to write about their unique stories in the most effective way. A heart-felt personal story can really help make you more memorable, and can really help prove true commitment and passion in a way that the more clinical resume never could!!!! If the "personal stories" in question are relevant (and don't go into the realm of "Too Much Information" -- that is, use professional judgement here), then YES they not only are allowed but I'd VERY MUCH encourage you to include them!


Thanks!,
Maria


Thanks Maria for your inputs!
Unfortunately my work ex gap is very recent n i have only begun working this month! Does it even make sense ,given my work ex and work ex gap, to apply at all?
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Quote:
Thanks Maria for your inputs!
Unfortunately my work ex gap is very recent n i have only begun working this month! Does it even make sense ,given my work ex and work ex gap, to apply at all?


Oof. You're in a tricky spot, since any gap in employment of more than three months is considered to be a red flag... so 1.5 years, especially recently, is tricky since your two recommenders will need to be: 1) your last boss who hasn't worked with you in over a year and 2) your current boss, who will have only worked with you for a few months prior to writing the report.

The issue with waiting another year (i.e. so that you have a longer track record with the new boss, as well as more distance between your application and the unemployment) is that you're already "too old" (according to conventional thinking) for many programs anyway.

There's one silver lining: almost every school gives you an opportunity to explain periods of unemployment (there is commonly a section in the application form asking you to justify any gaps of 3 months or more). At a minimum, that will give you a chance to explain the gap: why it happened, what you did during it, etc.

If you want to go ahead and try applying, you may as well -- just spend the next couple of months impressing the heck out of your new boss! (and asking for FEEDBACK early, since a very common recommendation question asks about your weaknesses). I continue to advise casting a wide net, and / or also you could perhaps wait another couple of years and pursue a part-time / executive program.


Thanks,
Maria
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Free Trial / GMATClub Reviews / Founder's interview with the HBS student newspaper

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New post 11 Apr 2018, 21:14
Hi there!

So, I think before we even GET to the whole "which programs should I look at" stuff, I think you need to first ask yourself if you need an MBA to achieve your goals? You say you want to make a career switch -- but to what? Is it something that you could do without the MBA? Is there some alternative to the MBA (e.g. a brief product management course, or a "certificate in marketing") that can help facilitate that change just as easily?

Alternatively, is the career switch one you can make, even with the MBA? Have you started asking recruiters in your future chosen field if they would hire a 41-year old freshly-minted MBA graduate? There are many typical post-MBA careers that may not be quick to hire someone at that age. For example, what if you went to work for, say, an investment bank at age 41 as an Associate, to find yourself reporting to someone who's still in their 20's? Also, certain lifestyle trade-offs that we're willing to make in our 20's are sacrifices we are NOT wiling to make in our 40's. So please do keep that in mind as well, if you are targeting some of the typical post-MBA paths like consulting or banking. TL;DR: even with a top MBA (which I think will be extremely difficult for you to get accepted to), I'm not sure many of those recruiters would be super-psyched to offer you a typical post-MBA level job.

At age 38, the most appropriate programs for you would be an "Executive MBA" and/or the specialized one-year programs, such as the Sloan Fellows program at LBS. This is another case where the 1-year MBA programs (such as those in Europe or Canada) do tend to be more "older applicant friendly", in part since a one-year program will have far less opportunity cost.

The tricky thing is, many of those programs are usually done by people who are being sponsored (paid for) by their companies. Not all of them, but most... and the one who aren't sponsored are fully self-funding the degree.

If you were planning to stay at your current firm, I'd advise you to start asking around (HR; the partners you work with) about what it would take to be considered for sponsorship for a program. If you're at a big firm, surely they've sent people in the past.

If not, then you need to start asking around / scouring LinkedIn to find a "Resume Twin" (blog post here) to see which other people from your firm, at you SAME LEVEL / years of experience ended up making it to an MBA program. Seeking out people with similar backgrounds at competitor firms is OK too. The good part of this exercise is that it will let you see a wide variety of pre-MBA / MBA school pairs -- that is, when the OTHER people from the big 4 accounting firms from India go to MBA programs, what did their pre-MBA backgrounds look like, beforehand?

You asked if your age works against you: I'm afraid that it does. The MBA degree is usually meant to be a catalyst for younger / early-career professionals... a bit of "rocket fuel" in what is (ideally) already a strong upward trajectory. Schools pride themselves on (and indeed some MBA rankings look at) the change in salary from (pre-MBA) to (post-graduation). If someone is already at a "post-MBA" level in the firm (in terms of seniority OR salary), then the question becomes: "Well... so then why do they even need the degree?". There are other considerations for older applicants too, but for the full time, top U.S. programs, the general rule of thumb is that age 30 / 8+ years of experience is usually the cut off (yes, there are always exceptions, especially for people from the military or those with PhDs, but for most people with standard career paths, this is the general thinking).

One thing you could is ask your firm if they'd be willing to sponsor your part-time MBA, and then, once your debt to them is paid (e.g. if they tell you that you must work for them for 2 years post graduation or something like that), THEN you try to make that career switch.


Thanks!,
Maria

jayantbakshi wrote:
Dear Maria & team,

Wish to share my brief profile for your kind evaluation.

• Nationality: Indian
• Age: 38 (current)
• Gender: Male
• Current designation: Director
• Company: Big4 (PwC, KPMG, EY, Deloitte)
• Qualification: Chartered Accountant {C.A.}, like the CPA in the US
• Qualified C.A. in: 2007
• Total work experience: Post C.A.: 10 years (with KPMG - 7 years & PwC - 3 years); work ex before/ during doing C.A.: 3+ years with KPMG
• Graduation: Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) from India’s no.1 college (Sri Ram College of Commerce)
• Targeting any of the Top 10 colleges in the U.S.
• GMAT: Appearing in July 2018 (first time – hoping to score around 700-720).

There is so much more I can describe about my nature of work (international tax consulting) and the reason to do an MBA (primarily, career change), but I am sharing the key highlights (as per me!) for brevity.

Please do let me know how do you perceive my chances and does my age (& experience) work for or against me, thanks a lot!

Best regards,
Jayant


Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum

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New post 12 Apr 2018, 05:54
Hi Applicant Lab,

Request you to kindly evaluate my profile for MBA from TOP B Schools and suggestions if any

Indian Male 28 (at time of applying)
College: IIT Roorkee (2008-2013)
Degree: Integrated Masters in Geophysical Technology
CGPA: 6.4/10
GMAT: 710 but giving it again and hopefully will score 730+

Work Experience:

1) Internship - Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), California - (Jun-Aug, 2012)
LBNL is a top US Department of Energy Funded Research Organization and operates under University of California Berkeley.

2) Senior Research Associate (Geophysics Research) - Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), California - (Aug,13-Feb,16)
I primarily worked on Geothermal Energy ( a type of renewable energy). My work included scientific research, Project handling, product development and also Business development (to get projects).Worked in a highly collaborative environment. Most of the projects were Department of Energy, USA funded.
I had 3 promotion during my stay at LBNL: Student Assistant -> Research Assistant -> Research Associate -> Sr. Research Associate

3) Technical consultant - for a private firm in India - March, 16 - Jun,16
Domain: Geothermal Energy

4) Founder of a Startup - June, 2016 - present
Objective was to work on Seismic Exploration Services for Geothermal and Oil and Gas in India. Didn't work out. Had many meeting with big PSUs but nothing concrete happened.

5) Individual Consultant at an International Consulting Firm (in over 63 countries) - (Oct,17 - present)
Presently working as an individual consultant (at the firm) in Power Sector and Renewable Energy space in India. Worked on some good projects
Clientele includes UNDP, British Petroleum, Indian Railways, World Bank and CLASP (USA based NGO).
Consulting projects on Solar, Wind, Distributed Generation etc.

Extra Curricular at College:
Management Team: Annual Cultural and Sports Festivals
College Sports Team Member : Soccer and Athletics
Member: College Choreography Section

NGO: worked at a newly founded NGO related to Environement

B School Choice:
Ambitious Colleges: HAAS, Stanford
Others: ROSS, SLOAN, YALE (list is long and I still have to decide )




Post MBA Goals:
Short Term: To work in a firm excelling in Environment Sustainability ( clean Energy, clean tech, sustainable development, etc.).
Long Terms: Start my organization (once again)

Kindly let me know your suggestions on how to make my profile strong and combat low GPA. What are the ideal schools I should apply and what are the chances of getting in and get a scholarship.



Thanks!
Ankit
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New post 12 Apr 2018, 07:43
ApplicantLab wrote:
Quote:
Thanks Maria for your inputs!
Unfortunately my work ex gap is very recent n i have only begun working this month! Does it even make sense ,given my work ex and work ex gap, to apply at all?


Oof. You're in a tricky spot, since any gap in employment of more than three months is considered to be a red flag... so 1.5 years, especially recently, is tricky since your two recommenders will need to be: 1) your last boss who hasn't worked with you in over a year and 2) your current boss, who will have only worked with you for a few months prior to writing the report.

The issue with waiting another year (i.e. so that you have a longer track record with the new boss, as well as more distance between your application and the unemployment) is that you're already "too old" (according to conventional thinking) for many programs anyway.

There's one silver lining: almost every school gives you an opportunity to explain periods of unemployment (there is commonly a section in the application form asking you to justify any gaps of 3 months or more). At a minimum, that will give you a chance to explain the gap: why it happened, what you did during it, etc.

If you want to go ahead and try applying, you may as well -- just spend the next couple of months impressing the heck out of your new boss! (and asking for FEEDBACK early, since a very common recommendation question asks about your weaknesses). I continue to advise casting a wide net, and / or also you could perhaps wait another couple of years and pursue a part-time / executive program.


Thanks,
Maria


do you remember any one at all admitted to good programs with a work ex gap ? I did try your resume twin method of finding a match. No luck yet! :(
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New post 12 Apr 2018, 16:39
goforgmat wrote:
do you remember any one at all admitted to good programs with a work ex gap ? I did try your resume twin method of finding a match. No luck yet! :(



I think the reason for the gap, as well as what you did with your time during the gap can make a big difference. AdCom members are people too -- and most people in this world have had to deal with family crises, medical emergencies (heck, I'm recovering from a bad concussion right now that's significantly sidelined me for weeks!), lay-offs, moving to be with a partner, etc. So as long as it's not: "I took time off b/c I threw a brick at my old boss' head and I just wanted to watch bad TV for a year".... OR "I took time off to study for the GMAT" (which seems "unfair" to AdComs; i.e., if it's seen as giving someone an advantage)...then it's possible to address the gap with maturity and tact. The one thing you CAN'T do is just sweep it under thr rug and hope that they simply won't notice it!

I once worked with someone who had a work experience gap due moving to another country for personal reasons, and then the work visa in that country falling through, so she applied for an MBA program. In that scenario, the length of unemployment was less.. about 6 months, if memory serves correctly, and this person was an otherwise strong profile fit for UCLA (a year or two less than their average age, solid GMAT, and REALLY strong work experience helping grow a large internet company...which is what I think got her in -- they were willing to overlook the unemployment and there was a perfectly understandable reason for it.

Given that, I think, if your "pre-unemployment" profile was competitive -- e.g. strong, positive impact at work, etc. and if you have a decent explanation for the time off, you may as well try. Either way though, do look at programs that tend to be more open to older / more experienced candidates. I'd also make an effort to go to things like MBA fairs where you might have a chance to speak with admissions officers face-to-face -- maybe you can explain the situation better in person vs. on paper?


Thanks,
Maria
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