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Ask Fortuna Admissions

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Re: Ask Fortuna Admissions [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2016, 14:21
Hi Melissa,

Thanks for taking the time to reply and for the insight!

Cheers,

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New post 21 Feb 2016, 15:06
Hi Fortuna

I got a quick question and really could benefit from your experience as former admission directors. I re-used my optional essay for applying to several schools. One of the topic in it is about my referee choice, why I chose these particular persons to write me a recommendation. Last week, I applied to Olin, which does not require nor accept any recommendation letter using the optional essay that I wrote previously and forgetting to delete the part about the referee choice, which is obviously not relevant for Olin.

My question is: in your opinion is it better to contact Olin and tell them about my mistake or should I just let it go and do nothing and hope it will be ok?

Thanks!

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New post 22 Feb 2016, 12:47
Hi Greenzie,

I sort of understand but need some clarification. So for Olin, you submitted a recommendation correct? You didn't submit the optional essay explaining why you chose this person because they don't offer an optional essay. So what exactly what written then in the reco?

Thanks for clarifying.
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New post 22 Feb 2016, 12:55
Thanks for replying, Melissa!

It's the opposite actually. I did not submit any recommendation to Olin. In fact, Olin does not accept any recommendation letter at all.

I did submit an optional essay to Olin, in which I explained about my referee choice, which of course is not relevant at all since there are no referee listed nor recommendation letter for Olin. I did this mistake because I was carelessly re-using an 'old' optional essay, which I used to apply to another schools.

Hope that it is clear now?

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New post 22 Feb 2016, 13:27
Aha, now I get it! I'm sorry to hear that happened. I'm afraid the best thing to do then is to reach out to the school and apologize for this mistake (when you submitted your application you may have received an email back confirming your submission - an email to reach out to them may have been provided). Better to acknowledge it than ignore it. It will not look that great I'm afraid that you made such a mistake but alas, we are all human and you can just mention you uploaded that document by accident and realized after the fact (they are very aware that people apply to other schools so there will be some understanding).

Good luck!
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New post 22 Feb 2016, 13:29
Thanks Melissa for your answer and sympathy. I will reach out to them.

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Pl review my profile and Suggest colleges I should apply to [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2016, 22:30
Age : 25
Educational Qualifications : Bachelors in Applied Petroleum Engineering
CGPA : 2.97, Equivalent percentage : 79.40%
Year of passing : 2012
Location :India

GMAT:710
10th: 89.8%
12th: 86.4%
TOEFL: 115


Work Experience
4 Years (By the time I will start applying it will be 5 yrs) in Reliance Industries Ltd. (India's largest private company with more than 40000 employees)
- Working as Workover Engineer (planning, executing and managing drilling and workover operations of oil and gas wells)
- Managing a team of 20+ engineers directly and more than 200 employees indirectly.
- Managing 200+ sites and 10+ Rigs (In-charge of all rigs).
- Revised and implemented operations procedures that led to reduction in down time from 15%(approx) to <2% effectively saving more than $5,000,000
- Take mentoring classes for new recruits (fresh graduates) and provide training to them about different oil and gas field operations.

Extracurriculars
- Teaching orphans, underprivileged children and illiterate adults via NGO subjects like Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Computers( More than 3 yrs now.)
- Team member of project's Table Tennis and Badminton team.
- Organized Free Health and Eye checkup camps, and Blood donation camps in various villages in India since 2013 , held half yearly. (Through company's CSR policy)

Target 1 : Full time MBA 2 years at a leading college
Target 2 : M Finance at a leading college

My questions :

1. An honest opinion about where I stand
2. What could I do to improve my case ?
3. As per my case, which are the schools that I should be looking at ?

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New post 29 Feb 2016, 11:30
Hi evilphilosopher, (nice name!)

Thanks for sharing your profile. You definitely have some great experience that will appeal to business schools.

Firstly, you've got a good amount of work experience, demonstrating accomplishments and strong leadership skills (managing team of 20+ plus 200 indirectly) - leadership is key for all business schools so this part of your profile is impressive for someone with just a few years work experience.

Your GMAT score is also terrific so that is not a concern at all.

All schools will be wondering who you are outside of your professional life and will be interested to learn about your hobbies and passions - looks like you have plenty plus great volunteer work.

From what I can see so far, you've got a terrific profile that could be quite competitive so from a quick assessment, you could have a great shot. The only thing that is missing is that I'm unsure of is your post MBA plans. Schools will look at is it achievable, an interesting path, why exactly do you need an MBA, will you be a future leader, will you make a difference in the world, etc?

Your post plans really depend on which school is the right fit for you. Where do you want to end up? Which industry, function, geographic location? Do you want to work in the US, in Europe? Go back to India? Do you want a school that specializes in a specific industry like a finance heavy school, a tech school? Do you want more of an international school? All of these factors will determine which school will be the best choice for you. And of course fit. You need to speak with alumni and students and find out which schools feels right for you. Attend information session in person or online or visit a bunch of campuses yourself. So it's really hard for me to say 'this school, or that school' is best for you. You'll have to do some research and start feeling it out for yourself.

Just keep doing what you are doing - excel at work, take on new projects (the schools will be looking at impressive accomplishments), keep volunteering and pursuing your passions, even take on something new (if you want an int'l school they will also look to your int'l experience and exposure so if you don't have much experience here, now would be the time to take that on eg. ask for an int'l assignment at work, travel, etc).

Hope that helps. Keep up the good work!
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New post 12 Mar 2016, 14:25
Hello everyone,


I would like to get your advice about my future plans. I am 22 years old. I have a low UGPA (2.76) from George Mason University (financial problems), and 4.0 for my master's degree from Georgetown University. My GMAT score is 770. I am currently in real estate field. I am planning to apply to London Business School or INSEAD in 4-5 years.

I know that building an alternative transcript can be very helpful for a person who has a low GPA and a story behind it. However, my "concern" is that I have a perfect GPA for my graduate school, and the classes that I took included foundations of real estate finance, foundations of real estate accounting, real estate investment trusts, real estate investments, and etc. I also passed Harvard Business School's new HBX Core program that has three classes, such as business analytics, economics for managers and financial accounting. I was wondering if building an alternative transcript could even be beneficial for me since I have shown that I can do well in quant/qualitative classes? I love finance and I was thinking about working on CFA designation. Would CFA benefit me more in my application than an alternative transcript?
I know that GPA is only a part of my application.

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Hi KananAzizli,

Great question - but not to fear! It is quite common where a candidate might have a low undergrad GPA - the ad coms are only human and they know that students can go through a major transformation those first years in university. Many people perform poorly for many reasons (first time being independent/on their own, immaturity, finance, family situations, etc). The important thing is you have an incredible Master's degree GPA and amazing GMAT score (though I don't know your percentiles for quant and verbal) so both of this will heavily compensate your low undergrad. I see no need to go out of your way to further compensate for your academics unless of course you really want your CFA then yes go for it! What I would do is make a statement acknowledging your low undergrad, give the reason and show how far you've come (Masters and GMAT scores + HBS courses) plus you can mention any quant/verbal skills you may use on a regular basis in your day job to validate your strong quant/verbal abilities.

Often in school applications they offer optional essay questions or an area in the data application forms where you can address this (or even attach a supporting word document where you can write about this). For LBS in particular in the data application form, there is a question that asks "Do you feel that your academic performance so far gives an accurate indication of your potential for success on the programme? If so, why? If not, why not?"

So it's here you could address this and just be honest with what happened.

Not to fret as you are still young and can prove yourself in your career and, to-date, you have an outstanding Masters GPA and GMAT. Do keep in mind that your GMAT score is only valid for 5 years.

All the best
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New post 24 Mar 2016, 11:58
Please help (Apologies, if this is not the right place to ask!)
SMU Cox (half ride) vs Carlson (zero scholarship)
I am planning to attend SMU. However, is Carlson really that good / much more prestigious ? Is it worth taking a huge loan for Carlson ?
However, i feel that Dallas job market > Twin Cities job market; and more so for internationals.
Post MBA goals (quite flexible, as I am an international)
Industry : Tech, Energy, Industrial goods
Role : Supply Chain/ Operations and Analytics, B2B Marketing, Strategy
If nothing works, I will try for Consulting.

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Hi Paul 25,

Extremely apologetic about not responding sooner... I was actually on vacation for a few weeks! Not sure if it's too late to reply but the schools are relatively clustered in terms of solid top 30 to 40 performance across the major media rankings. ( I was trying to copy a graph here but it's not letting me paste!)
The Dallas economy is performing more strongly, and certainly matches your post-MBA career goals in the energy sector (and to some extent tech, though even more so in Austin).
So I think you can feel confident about your decision to opt for SMU Cox... and congratulations on the scholarship!

Regards,
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New post 05 Apr 2016, 01:56
Thanks Melissa!
I have started the necessary formalities and paperwork for SMU Cox. Even though Carlson, and even Tippie (very generous scholarship), are great mid-western schools, I feel that my goals are well-aligned with Texas and career opportunities in Dallas-Fort Worth. As for Austin, I've been waitlisted at my dream school - McCombs for two straight years; it is time to move on. Am off to SMU Cox!

Regards

FortunaAdmissionsMJ wrote:
Hi Paul 25,

Extremely apologetic about not responding sooner... I was actually on vacation for a few weeks! Not sure if it's too late to reply but the schools are relatively clustered in terms of solid top 30 to 40 performance across the major media rankings. ( I was trying to copy a graph here but it's not letting me paste!)
The Dallas economy is performing more strongly, and certainly matches your post-MBA career goals in the energy sector (and to some extent tech, though even more so in Austin).
So I think you can feel confident about your decision to opt for SMU Cox... and congratulations on the scholarship!

Regards,

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Terrific!
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New post 18 Apr 2016, 06:26
Hello team Fortuna Admissions
HOWDIEEEE.. to anyone who reads this...!!

Now I have a very specific situation (thats what i think ) so i am submitting my info to which i would love to hear from anyone who has the adequate knowledge to address my concerns
Heres my BACKGROUND

10th grade=> 73%
12th grade => 74% (a science student)

Then i took an year off as i did not get into the a decent engineering college..Trust me here- i got into many colleges but all of them were Pretty much CRAP (sorry for the curse but i am being bluntly honest here)
In the mean time I assisted my father during the day and studied during night..I am not sure that experience will count for business schools nevertheless i am very proud that i did that as at an early age i got to understand as to how someone who runs an industry actually functions..
The Gap year proved fruitful as i got into GGSIPU Delhi plus i got a pretty good and a decorated college in the Capital city..
Engineering was Good in fact great ..

Aggregate=> 71%(B.Tech In Information tech)
Now to be honest with you guys i was working with my father during my engineering years as well ..I would literally pick up documents and do other chores for him (Yes He Paid Me too)

Here is the real problem why i wrote this piece =>
My age is 23 years and 330 days
I will be 24 next month..!!


I graduated in June 2015..
And from DAY 1 i have been working with my father in our Family business..
Initially i was hesitant to join him as i was an IT engineer and my family is into Footwear business. Then I started to love my job [Common we make shoes and other footwear's for a living. Who would not love that right :) ]
Now almost an year later i feel like i need to grow my business outreach..
Trust me when i say this - Work is Fine..But the glitch is => "i want to take my family Business to places" Actually i want that to be Awesome instead of just Fine (sorry for the choice of words )
Hence i need an MBA..
And to much of my surprise my father stands right by me in this decision..! In fact He told me that its a very mature move..!!

I know most of you might think its too early for an MBA
But honestly guys Waiting for another 2 or 3 years will not take my business anywhere .It will be in a stand still.

Plus i think i have the added advantage of working with my father in my initial GAP year where i assisted him if it counts.

So it goes without saying => I DON'T ONLY WANT AN MBA ; I NEED AN MBA..!!

secondly i am a bit confused about this work experience thing ..!!
Most of the business schools require 2 years of work experience in there applicants ..
What does 2 years mean?
till the program actually starts or till the time you fill out your application
If i apply in 2016 for fall 2017 admissions then by the time i actually start my school in September i will be having 2 years and 2 months of experience.. I guess that would do..???

WHAT ARE THE SCHOOLS I CAN TARGET ???

Top 20 can i get in ?
Okay Top30?
Top40?
i am flexible as long as it in the Top 40-45
Common Guys Help me get into top 40 at-least..!!!! I don't want to wait ..!!
I am into manufacturing shoes and other footwear so anything related to marketing and advertising would be Fabulous ..Plus i like Advertising.
Now if (only if) i wait another year( which probably would not do any good to my industry ) then will it increase my chances of getting admitted..

GMAT => Appearing this October..I think i can get a good score..i will try for 700 maybe ..I will Dig that (i have started preparing)

now to the most important part=>

Community services => I am an active part of an Organisation which rescues street dogs and treats them until they are healthy..I have been a part of this organisation from my engineering days ..the reason i do it it i honestly believe in the work we do..We organise dog shows too..

Positions held => "I am not given any designations actually .. I am responsible for marketing and supply ..Plus sometimes manufacturing too. Family business comes with several added responsibilities too :)
The Post MBA goals => " I WOULD LIKE TO RETURN TO MY HOME COUNTRY THE DAY AFTER I GET AN MBA . Off course i would like to do an internship however..But apart from that i have one any only one vision that is to Do Justice to my family business and take it to a level it deserves"

ANYONE WHO READS THIS Please Feel free TO POST any suggestions You guys Have for me... It will be really helpful..

Also i know that chetan2u Vyshak and Abhishek009 are Mathematics Wizards/Gmat experts and not admission consultants .But given that they have been super awesome in replying to every query i post(or anyone posts) i would love to hear from you guys as to what should i do..!! Any Advice guys?


Love and respect to everyone
Stone Cold
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New post 18 Apr 2016, 08:11
Hi stonecold,

Thanks for reaching out.

Firstly, to answer your question about work experience, schools look at the years you have when you start the program, so it looks like you will meet the requirement. However keep in mind for some schools, competition can be tough when you just have 2 or 3 years of work experience and often the average can be 5-6 years. So make sure you understand which schools are more open to new grads and/or people with just a couple years under their belt.

Secondly, it's a bit challenging for me to just list some top schools that you should apply to as there are lots of questions...
What country(ies) are you targeting ie are you just looking at US schools? Where would you like to be located? Are you looking for a 2 or 1 year program (assuming 2 here)? Are you looking for more a school that focuses a lot on entrepreneurship/family business (I'm guessing yes)? What's important to you in a school? (some schools are more finance focused, marketing focused, tech, etc) What is your home country? So I would try to narrow your search down a bit. Then start doing some research...attend information session, online events, visit campuses, speak to students and alumni. Schools are all about fit so you need to find the right one that you connect with and that feels right for you.


All schools though will be looking for how you have excelled in your career - what have you done for the family business - what accomplishments, and where did you demonstrate leadership? Schools also ask what your short/long term goals are so I would have a plan in place as to where you want to take the company. It's terrific that you've been working for the company for several years, even while you were in school. That alone demonstrates a lot about you - hard worker, multi tasker, motivated, dedicated to family business, and so on. You've definitely got a strong case as to why you need an MBA. Particularly coming from a tech and science background.

If you'd like a 30 minute (free) consultation with us where we can walk through you background, understand your goals and get to know you a bit better, we can definitely try and narrow your search down with you. http://fortunaadmissions.com/free-consultation/

All the best,
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New post 20 Apr 2016, 09:24
Hello Mellisa,
I will be really helpful to me if you give me a feedback on my profile-
Under Grad- Vellore Institute of Technology (India)-7.7/10-EE ( Last time I saw the ranking, it is in top 15, I am not sure if it is recognized in USA.)
Grad- Arizona State University-Master's in Electrical Engineering ( Power and Energy-Renewable energy focus) -3.3/4
GMAT- 720. Will Scoring higher help?. I am applying of fall 2018, so I have time.
First Job-
Bloom Energy- Fuel Cell company in Sunnyvale, California.-8 months.
Did some design, testing, commissioning of fuel cells. Learned about grid integration, IEEE standards etc. This job gave me a good understanding of American power Grids.
But unfortunately had to leave the company because of visa sponsorship issues.
Second Job-
A mid size engineering and manufacturing firm in California- 1 year and 6 months.
Worked as an electrical engineer-designing control houses, protection and controls of high voltage electrical substations. Both renewable and conventional. A purely technical job designing circuits :(. worked for clients like PG&E, Southern California Edison, Etc
I was leading a team of 5 electrical technicians during the commissioning activities.
Third & present job -
One of the most reputed EPC firms for power and energy- Planning to work for two and half years. (until mid 2018)
Designing high voltage electrical substations and relaying schemes focusing on renewables. Currently working on projects for Duke energy, nextEra, Entergy. I am trying to get into projects in Africa. ( keeping my WE short as I don't want to bore you with my technical details of the job)
I have 3 designers working for me.
Draw Backs-
1) I work in a purely technical field and it takes a very good time( to become an expert) to get into leadership roles. All the project leads in my company at least have 8-12 years of experience and managers even more than that. I am not sure if B schools understand this. (I was the captain of my school football team if that helps.)
2) Indian Engineer even through I never worked in India. I made my first dollar in USA.
Post MBA-
Consulting, hopefully in clean energy firms. Can even return back to my present company, we have our own consulting division which specializes in energy consulting. I am still trying to get my post MBA goals in order.
Target Schools-
Duke- They have energy specialization. Dream School!!-Close proximity to energy giants like Duke energy, NextEra etc.
McCombs- Second Preference.
Johnson
Anderson
Rice
Tepper
ISB
Marshall- For it's reputation in southern California. Why is it ranked so low?
Am I being too ambitious in the school list? Considering that I will be making atleast $115K p.a by 2020 if I stay in my present job. Not sure if it is worth my time and money if I step outside top 25.
I already have a H1B visa, I will be lottery exempt until 2021. I can get a H1B visa without lottery if I graduate before 2021. So I have to get into an MBA program by 2018 or else let go of the B school dream or apply to ISB or other international programs.
I am very keen on using the service of admission consultants as I have only one admission window.
Your inputs will be very helpful.

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New post 22 Apr 2016, 07:54
Hi sveniga4,

Thanks for reaching out.

You've got a great profile indeed. Even though you say your jobs have been quite technical, that's totally fine. It's not expected that you are in a senior leadership role. The plus side is that you seem like you've had quite a lot of responsibilities and have lots of management experience leading others. You can always explain in your application why you aren't more in senior leadership role as you described to me above (that it takes 8-12 years in your field). Int'l experience will also be of interest to the schools to make your profile more diversified so if you can get those projects in Africa, that would be terrific.
You also show leadership through being a team captain which is great. Any other extra curriculars you can speak to? Volunteering? On the student council? Other hobbies and interests you do outside of work?

The schools you've listed are definitely not out of reach. With your focus on clean energy, it makes a lot of sense for you to be focusing on Texas and California schools. Rice (Houston) and McCombs (UT Texas) are within the heart of the energy sector, and McCombs in particular is placing high numbers into renewables, matched by strong numbers into the consulting industry in general.
UCLA and USC also make sense, and are far more feasible to secure a place than Stanford and Haas, which also have an excellent track record in clean energy and significant faculty resources and research in this field.
I would also consider Michigan Ross, and agree that the Johnson School at Cornell can tap into other areas of Cornell University for expertise in the renewables field.
Alongside Duke I would take a look at Darden, in part because of its proximity to the Dulles Corridor and also strong consulting placement in a wide range of sectors.
Wharton and Chicago also have strong placement in the field, but may prove to be too selective.
While Vellore is a solid Indian engineering school, it does not carry the weight of the IITs, so you may want to retake the GMAT if you think you can find an extra 20 or 30 points on the test - this is simply a reflection of the volume of Indian engineers applying to the top 15 US schools, though the fact you have built a solid career in the US will help you to stand out from your peers.
Otherwise for the other schools your GMAT is fantastic. However I'm not sure what your percentiles are on the quant and verbal - they should be above the 75th percentile to stay competitive.

You've got quite a list so I would start researching the schools more, do some outreach, attend events, online or in person, visit the campuses to get a feel for the ones that really resonate with you. Speak to students and alum and try and find the right fit, then narrow it down and apply to a select few.

Good luck with everything and hope this helped.
_________________

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Melissa Jones | Fortuna Admissions - a dream team of former Admissions Directors from the world's top business schools

Interested in a free 30-minute admissions consultation? Sign up on our website http://www.fortunadmissions.com.

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Re: Ask Fortuna Admissions [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2016, 08:42
FortunaAdmissionsMJ wrote:
Hi sveniga4,

Thanks for reaching out.

<<snip>>

You've got quite a list so I would start researching the schools more, do some outreach, attend events, online or in person, visit the campuses to get a feel for the ones that really resonate with you. Speak to students and alum and try and find the right fit, then narrow it down and apply to a select few.

Good luck with everything and hope this helped.


Thank you for taking your time and reading my profile.
Some notable hobbies-
I play competitive soccer and I am a marathon runner. I ran several marathons over the past few years in different countries. I go backpacking to a country and run a marathon there. My last one was in Kyoto (Japan) in 2016.
I will give an another attempt to GMAT and try to score above 740. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have only one admission window to secure an admission. So I want to go all guns blazing towards my apps. I just don't want to get over ambitious and go out to schools which think I will not be a good fit of them ( in other words not up to their standards).
I thank you again for your time Mellisa. I will get back to you in a month after I attempt a retake.

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Re: Ask Fortuna Admissions [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2016, 09:01
Great idea. Go for it!

You've got some solid hobbies (not to mention it adds to your int'l experience in Japan). Also think about getting involved in some community work/volunteering from now on. This could also add value to your application if you haven't done much in this department recently. It's quite big for the US schools.

Hope to hear from you,
_________________

-Melissa and the Fortuna Admissions Team

Melissa Jones | Fortuna Admissions - a dream team of former Admissions Directors from the world's top business schools

Interested in a free 30-minute admissions consultation? Sign up on our website http://www.fortunadmissions.com.

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Re: Ask Fortuna Admissions   [#permalink] 22 Apr 2016, 09:01

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