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New post 11 May 2018, 14:30
Hi there! And whew, this is a tricky situation!

I'm going to send your question to ApplicantLab clients from the Philippines to see if they might have any thoughts, since I am not an expert in the post-MBA recruiting scene in the Philippines. They might not know either! But if they do, stay tuned.

In the meantime, let me break out your question / my thoughts into a couple of buckets:

- The "which MBA should I consider?" bucket: For starters, I'd never ever ever advise that someone put all of their eggs into one basket for ANY school. So right off the bat, I'd advise you to look at several schools. INSEAD for sure... do the other major Asian schools (NUS, CEIBS, HKUST, to name a few) send people to the Philippines after graduation?

If the answer to that is "yes", THEN the question becomes: "Well, ok, at what salary level?" In many cases, salaries may be adapted to local cost of living, so the same job that might pay $150k in, say, NYC might pay half that in another market...and yet! The person making less may in fact have a higher standard of living than the NYC counterpart.

-The "Do you even need an MBA at all?" bucket: So. Um. Do you even need an MBA at all? You say that you've been having trouble finding a job since your current consulting firm is only known in your current local market. But... surely, if the skill-set is transferable... surely it's the skillz that matter more than the company name?

Some other options to perhaps consider, especially since an MBA will = 1 - 2 years of your life and easily $100k+ in expenses:

  • Spend time in Manila with your wife, networking and getting to know people, to see if any leads appear... assuming you've already been hitting up LinkedIn to try to find people in your extended network who are already there?
  • If literally NO ONE is even giving you the time of day, consider that perhaps your current resume is not adequately highlighting your transferable skills?
  • Can you try to get a job in Australia for a global consulting firm that could then later transfer you to the Manila office after a year or two? That could still land you in Manila after the same amount of time, but without the hassle / expense of the MBA.
  • If the plan is to settle down in the Philippines long-term, wouldn't an MBA from the local market carry a strong amount of brand weight / very strong local networks? And the cost of the degree will be far less. This is similar to what I tell people who want to live in Los Angeles for the rest of their lives: UCLA and USC should be in their top school choices, because people graduate from those programs and then never leave LA and so the alumni network is insane.
  • This is certainly going to be, by far, the least popular idea I've got, but -- is it possible that you might (???) have to take a pay-cut to move to Manila? For example, if the job market does not support $100k+ salaries the same way Oz does... your standard of living might still be amazing, even if the dollar amount is lower. AND/OR you may need to take a pay cut / demotion to get in at a lower level at a global consulting firm in Manila. Many, many people in life who want to make some sort of "switch" will often take a lower-paying job / a backwards move for a year or two in order to invest in their career for the long term.

Of course, you should probably pursue some of the above paths simultaneously!


Best of luck to you!,
Maria


tanzimislam wrote:
Hi All,

For a while now I have wanted to do an MBA but for different reasons from why I want to do it now.

Previously, I was only interested in pursuing an MBA to break into consulting. However, now the primary motivator behind pursuing an MBA is to work in Asia and primarily the Philippines.

My wife has recently moved to the Philippines to start Med school and I have been looking for work there albeit with limited success. I have a civil engineering background but I am working in management consulting in Australia and I think my struggles are sort of coming from the fact that although I am in consulting my firm is really only known in the local market.

And as such, I wanted to get the opinion of the community here on which MBA program they felt would give me the greatest possible chance in snagging a role in the Philippines that paid quite decently ($100k plus).

From my research INSEAD seems to be the most logical choice but I am also reluctant to put all my eggs in one basket.

I am open to any and all suggestions and happy to answer any questions.

Thanks team,

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New post 11 May 2018, 23:15
Hi Maria,

Thank you for the in-depth response. I have considered a lot of what you have said already, for instance with networking, I have more or less exhausted all of my potential plays/cards available. The only thing I can do more is that I could potentially keep at it since these things take time and I have only been at it for about 2 months.

In terms of translatable skills, I think a lot of my skills are translateble, however, I have sort of a niche background where I work primarily in infrastructure advisory and I don't think that sort career path has fully taken off in the Philippines yet. I know only off PwC and KPMG that do it and even they only have a very small service offering in that area.

I have considered some of the other Asian MBA's hat you mentioned and again I am not so sure how much 'prestige' they hold for say some of the bigger firms not just in the Philippines but worldwide also.

I was primarily considering INSEAD, LBS and the Oxbridge institutions but outside of INSEAD, I am not sure how much pull they may have there. And that's what I was trying to gauge from the MBA community here.

Thanks a bunch Maria appreciate the response!

Cheers,
T
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New post 12 May 2018, 12:16
Yeah, hopefully other folks in the broader GMATClub community might be able to help -- this is the "Ask ApplicantLab" thread, and alas, the Philippine post-MBA employment market is not my area of expertise :( (my specialty is helping people get in to programs... I'm not as well-versed on the career services side of things) But maybe other people will weigh in!



tanzimislam wrote:
Hi Maria,

Thank you for the in-depth response. I have considered a lot of what you have said already, for instance with networking, I have more or less exhausted all of my potential plays/cards available. The only thing I can do more is that I could potentially keep at it since these things take time and I have only been at it for about 2 months.

In terms of translatable skills, I think a lot of my skills are translateble, however, I have sort of a niche background where I work primarily in infrastructure advisory and I don't think that sort career path has fully taken off in the Philippines yet. I know only off PwC and KPMG that do it and even they only have a very small service offering in that area.

I have considered some of the other Asian MBA's hat you mentioned and again I am not so sure how much 'prestige' they hold for say some of the bigger firms not just in the Philippines but worldwide also.

I was primarily considering INSEAD, LBS and the Oxbridge institutions but outside of INSEAD, I am not sure how much pull they may have there. And that's what I was trying to gauge from the MBA community here.

Thanks a bunch Maria appreciate the response!

Cheers,
T

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What is ApplicantLab?

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Learn more now:

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New post 12 May 2018, 12:39
OH MY GOSH -- Ankit, I am SO SORRY! This message completely slipped through the cracks!!!

So, a few things:

Regarding "how to combat a low GPA" -- the GMAT is going to be your best friend here. I know the GMAT strikes fear in the hearts of applicants, but instead, anyone with ANY concern about their undergraduate background needs to embrace the GMAT as "the great equalizer", since it helps show the admissions committee that your mental chops are up to the task of handling their rigorous programs!

So the good news is, you can really undo a lot of the GPA "damage" (so to speak) by getting a really strong GMAT score.

The less-good news is, I'm not sure a 730 would be quite to the level of results you'd be aiming for. I think for the top programs, ideally a 750 - 760 would make that stronger case you're hoping to make. Either way, your intuition is on track that 710 will probably not make you competitive at the programs you'd be aiming for.

For the start-up -- it's a little confusing that you say that it's "until present..." but based on the description ,it seems like it's no longer operating? If you're no longer working on it, just be sure to reflect that in the resume / application form, to avoid confusion.

Your current role seems interesting, especially if the work with BP has given you a chance to work overseas (or, at a minimum, work with overseas clients). This could help complement your earlier experiences living in the U.S.

The one thing that isn't totally clear from your message is how strong your leadership experience is -- e.g. as an "individual consultant" , are you literally just working alone, by yourself? Or are you leading effective teams? The more group-leadership experiences you can talk about, the better.

In terms of school choice, I'm a little bit worried that the leadership profile may not be super-competitive -- which, if we assume at GMAT of 730, I think means you may want to consider casting a wider net for schools to look in to. It's NOT that the GMAT is "THE" be-all and end-all, but everything in the application balances, like on a complicated, multi-faceted scale... and folks who are able to overcome lower test scores usually do so via having flawless college records and, more importantly, proving incredibly strong impact in their work. The description of your current job certainly gives you TONS of credibility as an ENERGY SCIENCE NINJA ROCKSTAR! ... but it's not clear how much of that ninja-rocking-out has involved leading and persuading and inspiring other people.

So....I mean, yes! Apply to those top schools because hey, why not... but also, if you really want to go to an MBA program, you may need to broaden the range a bit.

Some other programs that have good "energy" offerings are Duke and UT Austin. You may also want to look at Oxford -- they are trying to attract people who are trying to solve Big Global problems, and the renewable energy story coupled with a GMAT that is 30+ points above their average, could make you interesting. Finally, if the start-up really is your dream, look into the #1 school for entrepreneurship, Babson, which is an excellent program for anyone with start-up ambitions. I visited their campus / program two years ago and I was so impressed that I texted my husband that I want our our (then five-year old) son to go to Babson for college. (Hey, it's never too early to start thinking about these things, eh?)


Thanks!,
Maria



ankit1345 wrote:
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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Hi Tanzimislam,

Maria asked me to take a look at your post over here at GMAT Club and let me give you a few thoughts from my end. Just for your reference, I've spent most of my life in the Philippines and our family business is in executive recruitment and coaching (with core clients in the Finance and Consumer sectors). I also worked at MBB in Southeast Asia and in the Asset Management Business (so I've got good coverage of the Finance and Consulting fields myself). So now that that's out of the way, here goes:

1. Do you need an MBA at all: Honestly, most of the top-level recruiting in the Philippines won't require it and most of the executive level jobs (CFO, CIO, other C-level roles) just look at it as a 'wow' factor (and in that case, HSW comes to mind rather than other MBA programs). If you're looking at management consulting - MBB typically recruits an MBA from M7 (and even then, mostly HSW as well). If you're looking at PE - there are a couple of great places (Macquarie Infrastructure Fund and Equis Infrastructure Fund) that do recruit talent (but they do tend to look at overall experience rather than any educational cred). Those are probably the only jobs that pay $100k+.

2. Which MBA to go for: Based on my response to #1 above, you can see that M7 (and HSW) works best for both consulting and executive-level roles (if you have the experience for it). But given your situation, I'm not sure if it will be worth it.

3. Pay cut: Honestly, anyone planning to make $100k in the Philippines will find it very challenging. Cost of living is quite low and you may be surprised to find how comfortable life is at even half that amount. You're looking at a nice 2BR condo, a full-time maid, a nice car, and enough money to send kids to great schools.

But do reach out to headhunters - they may be of some great help to you in your job hunt. But I'd definitely keep my options open. Goodluck!

tanzimislam wrote:
Hi Maria,

Thank you for the in-depth response. I have considered a lot of what you have said already, for instance with networking, I have more or less exhausted all of my potential plays/cards available. The only thing I can do more is that I could potentially keep at it since these things take time and I have only been at it for about 2 months.

In terms of translatable skills, I think a lot of my skills are translateble, however, I have sort of a niche background where I work primarily in infrastructure advisory and I don't think that sort career path has fully taken off in the Philippines yet. I know only off PwC and KPMG that do it and even they only have a very small service offering in that area.

I have considered some of the other Asian MBA's hat you mentioned and again I am not so sure how much 'prestige' they hold for say some of the bigger firms not just in the Philippines but worldwide also.

I was primarily considering INSEAD, LBS and the Oxbridge institutions but outside of INSEAD, I am not sure how much pull they may have there. And that's what I was trying to gauge from the MBA community here.

Thanks a bunch Maria appreciate the response!

Cheers,
T
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New post 16 May 2018, 10:31
Hi Maria, hope you could evaluate my profile below:

Background:
- Male
- Dual Citizen: Filipino and US
- Born in the US but lived my whole life in the Philippines
- Turning 26 this December

Work Experience - total around 5 years at matriculation
- Did 1 year in a boutique alternative investment manager
- Now in my 3rd year in Corp. Dev for one of the largest corporations in the Philippines
- Promoted twice - once in my first job and once in my second job

GMAT: 740

Education
- Math in Top 3 university in the country
- GPA: 2.5/4. 2.5 is around average in my class. No excuse for the low GPA other than being unfocused and immature.
- CFA Charterholder.

Extracurriculars
- Opened my own neighborhood sundry store. Operated for a few months and made some money but had to close down because there wasn't enough foot traffic
- Been doing volunteer work the past 5 months - teaching financial literacy classes to less fortunate

Goal
- Corp Dev/Strat for a F500 in the US
- Eventually go back to the Philippines to do Corp Dev or start my own fund

Targets
- Booth, Kellog, Tuck, Ross, Stern, Darden, McCombs

Questions
1. How likely are my chances with each school (particularly my M7 choices)?
2. Would the CFA charter lessen adcoms’ fears of my academic capabilities? The exams are relatively quant-heavy and were taken more recently than my college classes. Additional classes to offset my GPA aren’t really an option in the Philippines.
3. I'm also planning to address my GPA through optional essays. Is it okay if I just become straightforward and tell them I was lazy but I'm better now?
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New post 20 May 2018, 20:25
Quote:
Hi Maria, hope you could evaluate my profile below:

Background:
- Male
- Dual Citizen: Filipino and US
- Born in the US but lived my whole life in the Philippines
- Turning 26 this December

Work Experience - total around 5 years at matriculation
- Did 1 year in a boutique alternative investment manager
- Now in my 3rd year in Corp. Dev for one of the largest corporations in the Philippines
- Promoted twice - once in my first job and once in my second job

GMAT: 740


So far, so good! Your age / 4 years of work experience is right at the average, and the 740 GMAT (assuming it's a well-balanced score and the Q is a 49+) is solid. The avg GMATs for programs are steadily creeping up every year, but with a 740 you should be "safe", so to speak. Also, you seem to have "blue chip" (regional / local market) blue chip work experience.

Quote:
Education
- Math in Top 3 university in the country
- GPA: 2.5/4. 2.5 is around average in my class. No excuse for the low GPA other than being unfocused and immature.
- CFA Charterholder.


Ok, so it's going to be on you to explain in the optional essay that 2.5 / 4.0 put you smack-dab in the middle of the class; if not, the assumption will be that you were near the bottom. So if you were at the 50% range of the class, or certain "quartile", maybe you can express it that way. In terms of the maturity issue, was there an upward trend in the grades, or were they choppy the whole way through? If there was improvement, you can also point to that, and then also mention the GMAT as evidence of your ability to handle the program.

Quote:
Extracurriculars
- Opened my own neighborhood sundry store. Operated for a few months and made some money but had to close down because there wasn't enough foot traffic
- Been doing volunteer work the past 5 months - teaching financial literacy classes to less fortunate


This part isn't quite as strong. Starting with the 2nd bullet point first: I differ from other admissions consultants on stuff like this. Some of my peers in this space will say things like: "If you haven't done much volunteering before applying, then hurry up and try to cram something, anything, in in the months leading up to application season to fill that gap". I take a different view. IMHO, admissions people are, for the most part, a pretty smart / perceptive bunch. Do you have any idea HOW MANY people start "coincidentally" volunteering 6-12 months before applying to MBA programs, having previously done JACK SQUAT volunteering? It's. A. Lot. Of. People. Even if it truly was a coincidence, and even if this is some sort of new-found love of teaching, I think it runs the risk of looking like: "Oh cr*p! You mean I was supposed to be doing volunteer work all this time for my MBA application? ARGH, let me find something now!!!" I worry that it might run the risk of looking insincere.

There are other ways to prove that you'll be an engaged member of the campus community -- e.g. perhaps by pointing to things you've done to make your employer's company culture a better place, e.g. mentoring, etc.

The sundry store is another puzzler. On the good side, it shows practical business experience, and the lessons from the failure might make some good fodder for essays and/or interview questions. On the other hand, it might also make them question your judgment -- retail can be a notoriously difficult space (along with, say, restaurants), and unless your corp dev job is for a retailer, one might ask why you decided to do this, was it well thought-out, was it a good idea to give up after only a few months, etc.? I'm on the fence about this one. I think a lot of it wil come down to allaying some of the concerns (e.g. "I spent 6 months doing a detailed feasibilty analysis....") to show that it really was well-thought out plan and not something done (and then abandoned) on a lark. There is a small voice in me wondering if maybe it doesn't get mentioned at all, JUST IN CASE it ultimately raises more questions than it answers? Hmm. It's tricky.

Quote:
Goal
- Corp Dev/Strat for a F500 in the US
- Eventually go back to the Philippines to do Corp Dev or start my own fund


The corp dev/ strat post-MBA goal is a good one, esp if it's in the same or related industry you're in now. The Career Vision module in the Lab will help you create something strong (don't worry -- you can access the part I'm talking about as part of the free trial). Talk about how the MBA will make you better at it. The U.S. citizenship helps a lot in terms of allaying fears about "argh, will he need to get a visa?"

The long-term goal might need a bit more refinement. Is Corp Dev really the terminal title you'd want to have? In which kind of company? And for "fund" if you mean "investment fund" then the question becomes: "Well ok, is he studying strategy, investing, or both? If he wants to do investing long term, then honestly why bother with the strategy job first; why not jump directly to investing post-MBA? If he really likes investing more, then why did he only do that for 1 year vs. 3 years in corp dev.?" In my experience (and I say this as a former Corp Dev person myself] the long term path for corp dev tends to be: 1) corp dev long term (though many people honestly feel restless after a decade or so 2) operational role -- eg. recommending a JV and then getting to run it 3) forming an advisory company to consult to firms that may want strat / M&A / etc. advice but who don't have the resources to hire an full-time team.

Quote:
Targets
- Booth, Kellog, Tuck, Ross, Stern, Darden, McCombs


This list seems like a good start. You also might want to throw Columbia in, esp since SO MANY U.S. corp dev offices are based "at the heart of business", in NYC. If you really do want to do corp dev post-MBA, I'd make trying to get to NYC for school a priority. (I mean, unless the industry you're in right now is NOT an NYC-heavy one). INSEAD might be good for "global" strategy jobs. Did you leave Columbia and Wharton off the list due to concerns about the GPA? If so, I'd agree with your trepidation, but if you wanted to throw your hat in the ring, you might as well give them a shot? This is assuming that the impact at your current company has been strong / you've been a top performer in the group. Has anyone else from your company / dept gone on to US MBA programs?

Oh! Also! Cornell has an "Emerging Markets Institute" that might have some great resources if your long term goal is to live / work in the Philippines: https://www.johnson.cornell.edu/Emerging-Markets-Institute/About

Quote:
Questions
1. How likely are my chances with each school (particularly my M7 choices)?
2. Would the CFA charter lessen adcoms’ fears of my academic capabilities? The exams are relatively quant-heavy and were taken more recently than my college classes. Additional classes to offset my GPA aren’t really an option in the Philippines.
3. I'm also planning to address my GPA through optional essays. Is it okay if I just become straightforward and tell them I was lazy but I'm better now?

[/quote]

I think your chances are solid, perhaps not "Stellar" due to GPA concerns and again, the level of leadership / impact at work is murky given the description above (I get why you were being vague, for the sake of privacy, but I don't know if you're viewed as a "solid but average" performer, or if you're a "Star" in the group who's been a real stand-out). Thankfully, the 740 GMAT should help allay academic fears. The CFA helps, but it doesn't hold as much weight as the GMAT. Re: the "additional classes to offset GPA", well, there are online courses via, e.g. UCLA extension, so the geographic constraint can be overcome that way.

Re: the optional essay, yes, bring it up, since it will be the "elephant in the room", but try to include the elements I mentioned above -- to counter the fears.

In ApplicantLab I've got a ton of step-by-step advice on how to structure these essays, how to approach the different schools' different essays, etc. in case you think it would be helpful!


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

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New post 23 May 2018, 18:53
Hello,

I would appreciate it if you could evaluate my profile and provide feedback. Thank you!

Currently, 26yr old Asian American Male. 27 at Matriculation.

College- 2 yrs at community college (3.8 GPA), then 2 years at UC Riverside (3.15 GPA). Combined GPA ~3.5. GPA fell at UCR due to familial obligations of taking care of a sick relative. Will use optional essay to discuss this.

GMAT: GMAT Prep Test Score of 740 (49Q 41V) Let's assume I will score between 720-740 on the real test.

Work Exp
1.5 yrs- Wealth Advisor at Guardian Life. My team and I specialized in working with business clients on insurance and investment programs, corporate tax planning, and business succession planning. I took this role out of college to really strengthen my soft skills (boardroom presentations, relationship building, communication, etc..). I am a huge believer in working on my professional skills and at the time, my soft skills were lacking in my opinion.

What will be ~3.5 yrs (at matriculation) as a analyst in Product Management at a Top 15 P&C Insurance Company (~$4B in revenue). I love the work I do. This role marries two interests of mine- data analytics and leading cross functional executive level projects within the company. I have plenty of quantitatively-backed examples of the impact I have had. The P&C insurance industry is going through a transformation and it will be heavily disrupted within the next 10-15 years by autonomous vehicles. I aspire to be a leader of a top 5 insurer in the long run and guide the industry through the changing landscape.

Extracurriculars: Vice Chair of a Young Entrepreneurs non-profit organization for 4 years. I was brought in to grow the membership base, and I was able to grow it from ~300 to now over 2,400 members. We provide entrepreneur education and community to grow and collaborate. I also started a volunteer program within this organization and we have volunteered over 3,000 hours at local food banks, beach clean ups, Easter egg hunts, soup kitchens, local libraries, etc..

Organized a basketball team through work. We play in a local men's league. I will somehow incorporate the importance sports (and basketball, specifically) has had in my personal and professional development over the past 18 years.

United Way Rep for 2017. Organized fundraisers and food drives at work. Launched our first Annual Silent Auction which raised more money than any other event.

Short-Term Goal: To work in strategy consulting (MBB, Deloitte, ATK, etc..)

Target Schools: Columbia, MIT, Kellogg, Ross, Fuqua, Darden, Cornell, NYU, UCLA. I will shorten this list but those are the schools I have an interest in.
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New post 25 May 2018, 12:25
Hi there! My comments below:

LakersFanCali wrote:
Hello,

I would appreciate it if you could evaluate my profile and provide feedback. Thank you!

Currently, 26yr old Asian American Male. 27 at Matriculation.

College- 2 yrs at community college (3.8 GPA), then 2 years at UC Riverside (3.15 GPA). Combined GPA ~3.5. GPA fell at UCR due to familial obligations of taking care of a sick relative. Will use optional essay to discuss this.

GMAT: GMAT Prep Test Score of 740 (49Q 41V) Let's assume I will score between 720-740 on the real test.



The higher GMAT is a relief -- while the lower GPA can definitely be explained via a thoughtfully-constructed optional essay, you'd need the higher GMAT score to help show these more elite schools that you can play ball (GET IT? BECAUSE YOU'RE A LAKERS FAN) academically. I love the GMAT because it's the "great equalizer" -- the standardized nature of it helps level the playing field for folks who may not have had an opportunity to go a snooty-pattooty undergrad. So if the GPA is on the lower side, you can balance it out -- picture a see-saw -- with a higher-than-average GMAT.

Quote:
Work Exp
1.5 yrs- Wealth Advisor at Guardian Life. My team and I specialized in working with business clients on insurance and investment programs, corporate tax planning, and business succession planning. I took this role out of college to really strengthen my soft skills (boardroom presentations, relationship building, communication, etc..). I am a huge believer in working on my professional skills and at the time, my soft skills were lacking in my opinion.

What will be ~3.5 yrs (at matriculation) as a analyst in Product Management at a Top 15 P&C Insurance Company (~$4B in revenue). I love the work I do. This role marries two interests of mine- data analytics and leading cross functional executive level projects within the company. I have plenty of quantitatively-backed examples of the impact I have had. The P&C insurance industry is going through a transformation and it will be heavily disrupted within the next 10-15 years by autonomous vehicles. I aspire to be a leader of a top 5 insurer in the long run and guide the industry through the changing landscape.


Oh my gosh -- ok, so I'm not gonna lie... I first started reading about "insurance" and I thought: "Yeeks", ONLY because it's USUALLY seen as being a sort of snoozy / boring field. That, and also the earlier experience from the first job is OK but the NEWER job is way more interesting and I LOVE the career vision of figuring out liability insurance for autonomous vehicles. That is sexy as hell. (while you're at it, could you also figure out liability for those damn motorized scooters? One of them plowed into me at top speed while I was walking on a sidewalk a couple of months ago, knocked me unconscious, and gave me a grade 3 concussion! (it's illegal for them to be on the sidewalk). These new "disruptive" transportation models will need disruptive insurance solutions and I am SO HERE for this career vision. BTW, it won't just be about figuring out the actuarial tables (since the actuaries do that), but I think also new ways to deliver / sign up for this insurance. That is, if someone signs up for a motorized scooter, would you require that the company track if that person is riding it (ILLEGALLY) on a side-walk, and thus charge the company more accordingly, if its riders are recklessly endangering pedestrians like yours truly? In other words, is there a tech / GPS component to this that other types of insurance have not needed before? Ability to sign up via mobile phone / via the app? Tracking each user's maximum speed? For things like self-driving Ubers, tracking whether or not the braking system is working or has been disabled? etc. etc. etc. WOW. Look at me -- I'm totally into thinking about this. You've managed to make insurance interesting -- quite a feat!

Quote:
Extracurriculars: Vice Chair of a Young Entrepreneurs non-profit organization for 4 years. I was brought in to grow the membership base, and I was able to grow it from ~300 to now over 2,400 members. We provide entrepreneur education and community to grow and collaborate. I also started a volunteer program within this organization and we have volunteered over 3,000 hours at local food banks, beach clean ups, Easter egg hunts, soup kitchens, local libraries, etc..

Organized a basketball team through work. We play in a local men's league. I will somehow incorporate the importance sports (and basketball, specifically) has had in my personal and professional development over the past 18 years.

United Way Rep for 2017. Organized fundraisers and food drives at work. Launched our first Annual Silent Auction which raised more money than any other event.


Solid extra-currics, especially the first one. Tons of people do the United Way thing so it's "nice" but in a "meh, nice" way -- JUST because it's SO common. The first one is strong and basketball as an enduring hobby is good.

I'd tread lightly re: "what basketball has taught me" as a core essay topic, unless the topic is explicitly asking you about a non-work experience and how it's shaped you. Just my 2 cents there.

Quote:
Short-Term Goal: To work in strategy consulting (MBB, Deloitte, ATK, etc..)


On this, I'd tread even more lightly. You career vision is cool + it ties in to your past... but is strategy consulting really the interim step that will most get you from Point A to Point C? Check out the free career vision advice module in the Lab and hopefully it will explain why, IMHO, you might want to pick another short-term goal to write about.

Quote:
Target Schools: Columbia, MIT, Kellogg, Ross, Fuqua, Darden, Cornell, NYU, UCLA. I will shorten this list but those are the schools I have an interest in.

[/quote]

I think this is a good start -- you may want to consider the Early round at Columbia. In terms of prioritization, I'd then choose NYU and Cornell -- JUST because their proximity / links to / connections with NYC, which is where I think a lot of insurance companies have their HQs (?) could be good for you. Since I'm not a big Insurance Industry Expert, I'd then prioritize next based on other places where the big insurance cos are located / where do you want to live long-term? Not sure this is quite an MIT story, BUT of course I don't know ALL the details of your experience -- you may as well throw your hat in the ring. Kellogg might work -- I think you'd really need to convince them that their program offers what you need and that you're not simply chasing rankings. Ditto for Fuqua / Darden. In other words, they might say, "Hey, nice kid. Bright. Motivated... too bad we can't actually help him?"

If this advice was helpful, please do check out the detailed step-by-step guidance I have for each of those schools' essays in ApplicantLab... as the new questions come out as summer rolls around, I update them with extensive details / advice that can help you tailor your story to each school!


Thanks!,
Maria

(L.A. resident and mom to a big Dodgers fan!) :)
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Re: Ask ApplicantLab   [#permalink] 25 May 2018, 12:25

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