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Ask Ivy Groupe MBA Admissions Consulting

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New post 05 Dec 2018, 11:22
Hello there!

I'm applying with a GRE score this season...looking at Q//161 V//154.

I know this is low, but it's the best I have right now though I hope to retake it after submitting apps. The GMAT did not go well for me.

Nonetheless, I will have about 5 years of experience upon matriculation. I used to work at a major global bank in finance (client facing role) and transitioned to a top tech company (caliber of Fbook).

I started an international non-profit that has led me to unique speaking opportunities around the country. I'm also a published author. I graduauted from a top undergraduate school (right below the ivies) with a 3.5. I have a pretty clear vision of how I intend to drive my career going forward, but my test scores are really holding me back.

Do you think this is a massive showstopper at top business schools like MIT, Northwestern, Stanford? I am hopeful about retaking it but I have no visibility yet on what my improvement may look like. Will my scores dismiss me from even the initial cut? Advice?
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New post 06 Dec 2018, 08:28
Hi priyasaloni2017,

Thanks for your message. Note that many schools will not allow you to submit another score after the deadline - you'll have to check each school's policy around that.

While you are not necessarily out of the running with a lower score, it does make it a lot harder and everything else in your application will have to be extremely strong (essays, rec letters, etc.). I always think it's best to apply when you can put your best foot forward - if you can retake prior to the deadline and get that score up, that would be the best course of action.

Best,
Shaifali
_________________
Ivy Groupe, Founder/CEO
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Website: https://www.ivygroupe.com
Blog: https://www.ivygroupe.com/blog
Email: info@ivygroupe.com
Phone: 646.801.5190

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New post 18 Dec 2018, 09:51
Note: This post first appeared on Ivy Groupe's blog

How to Approach Business School Essays

Business school essays are an opportunity for candidates to share aspects of themselves with the MBA Admissions Committee in order to provide a more holistic picture of who they are; however, many candidates are daunted by the prospect of writing essays for business school applications. Based on my experience and that of clients whom I have worked with, by approaching the essay writing process in a systematic way, it can actually be quite enjoyable. If you are facing writer’s block, follow the steps below to get your juices flowing.

Read the question

Make sure you clearly understand the question that is being asked – read the question, re-read it again, and then re-read it yet again. Too many times I’ve seen candidates respond to a question without addressing what the question is asking. As you read the question multiple times, think about how you would go about answering it. Jot down some thoughts and notes (and no need to worry about grammar/word choice at this point; this is meant to be a very informal exercise).

Here are some questions to think about as you start to write down some points: What will you try to convey in the essay and how will it fit in within the context of the entire application? How will you structure the essay?

Read more here.

Applying in the near future? Contact us at https://www.ivygroupe.com/contact or info@ivygroupe.com to request a free 20-minute consultation with our Founder, an HBS grad and MBA admissions expert!
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Ivy Groupe, Founder/CEO
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Website: https://www.ivygroupe.com
Blog: https://www.ivygroupe.com/blog
Email: info@ivygroupe.com
Phone: 646.801.5190

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New post 21 Dec 2018, 05:48
I am aiming for Universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, London Business School, INSEAD - France and Manchester.

GMAT Score: 630 - Q49, V27.
IR - 4.0
AWA - Not yet received.

Profile:-
Age : 27
Nationality : Indian.

Languages:
Proficient: English
Fluent: Tamil, Telugu,Hindi With Neutral Accent
Intermediate: French (Neutral Accent),Malayalam
Limited: Kannada,Arabic( Reading and Writing).

Countries Worked: India, Kuwait, France, UK.
Years of Experience : 4
Domain : Automotive Software(3 years), Oil and Gas(1 year).

Education: Masters in Computer Science (France), Bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (India)
GPA : 4.0 in Bachelors.

Extra Curricular Activities: Distinctive performance in Math Olympiad, International Rubiks cube solving and Semi-professional Chess Player.

Leadership Qualities: Site Management of around 300 people in Kuwait. Management of Supply of Materials for a project as a single point of contact.
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New post 28 Dec 2018, 12:56
Hi all,

I would appreciate any feedback you could provide on my profile for Wharton, LBS and INSEAD

- Age 22 at matriculation, Mauritian
- GMAT 740
- ACCA and CFA qualified. Completed ACCA at the age of 18 and CFA program at 21. However, no GPA given I did not attend any university. Wharton, LBS and INSEAD confirmed that my ACCA qualification will be equivalent to an undergrad degree.
- Spent 2 years and 4 months at Ernst and Young in the Corporate Finance Department with 2 promotions.
- Currently a Private Equity Analyst at the biggest bank in Mauritius - will have about 1 year of experience in PE at matriculation
- Post MBA goal is to work in PE
- Volunteer - Currently a volunteer at the round table association helping the homeless people and a mentor for the CFA research challenge to university student
- Member of the toastmasters club and regularly practice kickboxing
- Speak and write both French and English

Thanking you in advance for your feedback.
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New post 30 Dec 2018, 10:36
Hi

Need some help in identifying the b-school shortlisting.

Education: B TECH + MBA
Overall Experience: 8 Years
Current Role: Senior Product Manager at a FinTech startup in India
Expected role after MBA: Business Head in a product organization

Score: 720 (Q49, V40)

I have shortlisted following schools:
Wharton
Stanford
MITSloan
Columbia
INSEAD
Booth
Harvard

My current MBA is from one of the premium institutes in India and I don't intend to change the industry. Do these schools make sense? Should I add any more to the list or remove few?

TIA
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New post 31 Dec 2018, 13:59
Hi niclam2203,

Thanks for your message and for sharing your profile. You have a solid professional trajectory and strong GMAT score, but I would view Wharton as more of a stretch and LBS and INSEAD as somewhere in between a stretch and target, primarily since your extracurricular activities are on the average side. If you can step up your involvement in your extracurriculars and demonstrate more leadership in those endeavors, that would help to bolster your profile. I hope this helps!

Best,
Shaifali
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Ivy Groupe, Founder/CEO
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Website: https://www.ivygroupe.com
Blog: https://www.ivygroupe.com/blog
Email: info@ivygroupe.com
Phone: 646.801.5190

Click here for GMAT Club Reviews!
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New post 31 Dec 2018, 14:07
Hi Target750Plus,

Thanks for your message and for providing information on your background. The schools on your list would be stretch schools for the following reasons: 1) You come from a tough demographic (Indian), which tends to score higher on the GMAT, 2) You already have an MBA - therefore, you will have to be very clear as to what value a 2nd MBA will provide you with, and 3) you are on the older side with 8 years of work experience. I would suggest adding more schools to your list (would look at schools ranked in the 15-25 range). I hope that helps!

Best,
Shaifali
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Ivy Groupe, Founder/CEO
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Website: https://www.ivygroupe.com
Blog: https://www.ivygroupe.com/blog
Email: info@ivygroupe.com
Phone: 646.801.5190

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New post 06 Jan 2019, 09:39
Hello everyone,

I am planning to start my 2 years full-time MBA program in fall of 2020. My goal is to get into top programs (HBS, Stanford, Booth, Tuck, Northwestern).
I have been working in USA since 2 years as Business Consultant for a State Company. This is my 3rd year with them. I am also a part of a organization here which deal in mental health and girl child education.

All I want to know what kind of score (GMAT) and profile are good enough for IVY league program. I went into counselling once for this and they told me that I don't have profile that fits and Ivy league student.

I am a Computer science Engineer from India and I have worked there for a year and after that I have been working in USA. I am here with my husband who is post doctorate researcher.

Please let me know what are the factor I need to keep in mind if I want my profile to able to crack into Top 10 MBA programs.

Thank you,
Harshita
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New post 07 Jan 2019, 14:08
Hi Harshita1993,

Thanks for your message and for sharing your background. Since you are from the Indian demographic, you will want to aim for a 740+ on the GMAT for the top 10 schools. With respect to the profiles that the top business schools are looking for, that is really more of an art than a science - in a nutshell, the top schools want to be able to understand your professional background/trajectory, what you do outside of work, your academic credentials (grades in college and GMAT score), what your post-MBA goals are and how you are able to "connect the dots" in your story, and why you are seeking an MBA. All of these factors play a role in shaping a candidate's profile.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Shaifali
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Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Website: https://www.ivygroupe.com
Blog: https://www.ivygroupe.com/blog
Email: info@ivygroupe.com
Phone: 646.801.5190

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New post 09 Jan 2019, 00:13
Hello dear, nice information about MBA Admissions Consultants. As top MBA admission consultants, we find that most people we work with initially feel confident in their resumes — after all, it’s something they already have on hand, and it’s helped them secure their current job. But a business school resume is actually a little different from a professional resume. It’s important to know those differences and make sure you carve out some time to work on your MBA resume early in the application process. A few months ago, I have taken the services from Grace Education, who advises college, MBA, and graduate applicants to gain admission to top programs like HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, Kellogg, Tuck, Chicago Booth, LBS, and INSEAD.
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New post 25 Feb 2019, 12:17
Note: This post first appeared on Ivy Groupe's blog

Nailing The MBA Application As A Nontraditional Candidate

Those with non-traditional backgrounds often believe they are at a disadvantage when applying to top-tier MBA programs, but that is definitely not the case! Non-traditional applicants can often stand out from the crowd because of their differentiated experiences and what they can uniquely offer their class. However, as a non-traditional applicant, there are a few key areas of the application that you should absolutely nail in order to be competitive.

Clearly articulate your story and emphasize the skills/qualities that business schools value

While all applicants to business school need to be able to convey their story and why the MBA is important with respect to accomplishing their future career goals, this is especially true of non-traditional applicants where it may be tougher for the Admissions Committee to “connect the dots.” As a non-traditional applicant, you should be able to explain why you decided to pursue your path and how the skills/qualities that you have gained in your prior and current professional roles are important ones that business schools value. For instance, did you demonstrate leadership in your role(s) and have impact? Did your take the initiative to creatively solve a problem?

Read more here.

Applying in the near future? Contact us at https://www.ivygroupe.com/contact or info@ivygroupe.com to request a free 20-minute consultation with our Founder, an HBS grad and MBA admissions expert!
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Ivy Groupe, Founder/CEO
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Website: https://www.ivygroupe.com
Blog: https://www.ivygroupe.com/blog
Email: info@ivygroupe.com
Phone: 646.801.5190

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New post 05 Apr 2019, 23:40
Hi,

I am having trouble choosing between Cornell MBA and HEC Paris ( Jan intake)
My post MBA goal is to work in the consulting space.

I would greatly appreciate your guidance in helping me decide

Thanks.
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New post 07 Apr 2019, 08:58
Hi kalyani2095,

Congrats! The decision as to where to go is a very personal one, but below are some questions to think about:

1) What does recruiting/placement look like for each of these schools in the consulting space?
2) What is the ROI for each school? Take into account costs, scholarships, etc.
3) Intangibles like strength of alumni network
4) Where are you planning to settle post-MBA?

Hope this helps!

Best,
Shaifali
_________________
Ivy Groupe, Founder/CEO
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Website: https://www.ivygroupe.com
Blog: https://www.ivygroupe.com/blog
Email: info@ivygroupe.com
Phone: 646.801.5190

Click here for GMAT Club Reviews!
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New post 03 May 2019, 14:18
Note: This post first appeared on Ivy Groupe's blog

Mitigating A Weak GPA When Applying To Business School

One key area that business schools will evaluate as part of your application is your academic performance, both during college and on the GMAT/GRE. While both the quantitative and verbal aspects are, of course, evaluated, in my experience, business schools tend to put a little more emphasis on the quantitative side.

The bad news? Your undergraduate GPA is what it is – if it is weak, you unfortunately can’t change it.

The good news? There are ways to show the Admissions Committee that you are analytically and quantitatively inclined, and therefore, will be able to handle the rigor of the MBA curriculum.

Score well on the GMAT/GRE

This almost goes without saying, but if you have a weak GPA, then you will want to make sure that you score well on the GMAT/GRE. What does it mean to score well? Essentially, aiming for at least an 80th percentile across both the quant and verbal sections of the exam. A strong GMAT/GRE score will help considerably with respect to giving the Admissions Committee comfort that despite a weaker GPA, you won’t struggle academically as an MBA student.

Read more here.

Applying in the near future? Contact us at https://www.ivygroupe.com/contact or info@ivygroupe.com to request a free 20-minute consultation with our Founder, an HBS grad and MBA admissions expert!
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Ivy Groupe, Founder/CEO
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Website: https://www.ivygroupe.com
Blog: https://www.ivygroupe.com/blog
Email: info@ivygroupe.com
Phone: 646.801.5190

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New post 04 May 2019, 08:10
Hello IvyGroupeCEO!

Could you please evaluate my current profile and provide advice on how to proceed? I’m struggling with a low GMAT score after 4 takes (also nervous about being an Asian American applicant) and would like to know if my target schools are even realistic. I think it’s possible I could reach a 700 with a 5th retake but nothing higher. What would I need to achieve to get my foot in the door for an interview? Full disclosure, I don’t plan to apply for a few years as I recently graduated from undergrad.

Asian/White Male
American (Midwest)

GMAT: 670 (43 Q, 39 V, 7 IR, 6 AWA)
GPA: 3.9 (Summa Cum Laude)
Major: Finance (1st); Marketing (2nd)
Undergrad: Top Regional Private University (Midwest)

Work Experience:
[*]Top tech company early-in-career leadership program (non-technical, marketing & intl focused)
[*]Fulbright scholarship (teaching university students in Asia)
[*]6 internships in undergrad (insurance, government, healthcare & consulting)
    2 Fortune 500 companies
    U.S. Senate
    1 intl internship (China)

E.C.:
[*]Extensive involvement in LGBTQ+ organizations (youth focus)
[*]Student government leadership in uni (oversaw large budget & ran in prez campaign)
[*]Heavy service involvement in uni (leadership in alternative breaks)
[*]Studied abroad in Southern Africa (political science focus)[/list]
***Seeking to con’t involvement LGBTQ+ and education-focused orgs. over next few years

Honors:
[*]Fulbright scholar
[*]Thesis publication on K-12 teacher tenure in U.S. public schools
[*]Top 15 student award in uni (2 years in a row)
[*]Guest speaker at undergrad’s state of university address, intl LGBT conference, etc.
[*]Pell-grant recipient & paid my own way through uni via merit & need-based scholarships

Recs:
[*]Confident I can obtain 2 quality recs from supervisors and possibly alums of a Top 10 program

Desire for MBA:
[*]Short-term: to obtain qualifications and skills needed teach business and/or leadership classes to undergraduate students as an adjunct prof.
[*]Long-term: desire to run for public office and/or work in public policy/government, focusing on education and intl relations

Target Schools:
[*]Dream: Yale SOM
[*]Next Preferences: Haas, Kellogg
[*]Others: NYU, LSE, Georgetown
***I’m seeking programs that are more international and government/public policy focused. Are there any others you think I should consider?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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New post 04 May 2019, 15:07
Hi IvyGroupeCEO

I know this thread is mostly for MBA aspirants, but can you please review my profile with respect to strength of application for a US Top 20 PhD program?

Profile
- Indian, Male, 30 years old
- GMAT 720 (Q47, V42) in first attempt (May 2019), planning to retake in 4 weeks time and hoping to improve score to at least a 750.
- Planning to apply to Top 20 PhD programs in US in Marketing Specialization (Consumer Behaviour track)
- Schools of Interest (in almost that order): Fuqua, Ross, Kellogg, Columbia, Carlson, Stern, Anderson, Yale, McCombs, Smith (University of Maryland), Foster, Kenan-Flagler

Academic Achievements:

PG: MBA from MICA, Ahmedabad (#1 School in Marketing and Communication, GPA 3.15/4)

UG: B.Tech from IIT Dhanbad (Top 10 in Engineering Schools, GPA 4.0)

School: Intermediate - 95%, High School - 96%

Work Experience:

5+ years of work ex across:
1. Research-based consulting in marketing and communications for a global advisory firm (Publicly traded in US, subsidiary of Gartner)
2. Advertising and Digital Marketing stints at a)leading media and publishing company in India, and b) Top 10 Digital Marketing Agency in India
3. Product Marketing for a tech startup (helped in growth from beta to USD 500K ARR in 16 months)
4, Currently working as the Product Marketing lead for one of the products of an Indian SaaS unicorn

Marketing and communications has been at the core of all my roles, and the diversity in application is something that has broadened my understanding for marketing, at the same time I have been able to narrow down on what it is that specifically interests me about marketing - consumer psychology and motivation. The key skills that I have developed through my work exp. are consumer behaviour research, market research, and marketing and communication strategy design.

Research Experience

No formal RA/TA experience but I have research experience in the form of:
- an MBA dissertation thesis
- couple of live research projects during b-school
- one original research work in my MBA internship (was judged the 2nd best research project amongst all interns, and I was offered a PPO)
- multiple unstructured consumer research projects in my consulting and advertising jobs (the reason for my continued growth in consumer behaviour understanding at an academic level)

Co-Curriculars
1. Have won a bunch of prestigious national-level marketing and business case competitions during b-school (some of them included substantial market research components)
2. Have held positions of responsibility at both PG and UG levels - Member of the community radio and rural outreach team in b-school, and Founder of the Literary Club in UG

Extra-Curriculars

1. Sports: Inter-collegiate level football and badminton during UG and PG
2. Fitness: Certified Crossfit Level 1 Trainer (attained certification as a personal goal, but I've extended my passion for fitness to the community and now teach part-time at the Crossfit box where I workout)
3. Performing Arts: Won several awards for debate, poetry, and quizzing at school and inter-school levels
4. Hobbies and Interests: I like to study cultural influences in music and cinema and vice versa, like to study sociology and psychology and I plan to do a few introductory courses on Coursera to further my learning, and I'm deeply interested in sustainability and clean tech.

Why PhD?

I have always been leaning towards a career that involves critical thinking, research, and 'knowledge production'. While my current career progression has been fulfilling, it has been a bit tactical, and I want to move towards a deeper, more cognitive immersion into the study of marketing, and want to be creating new knowledge in the field, instead of merely using existing theories and models. I am looking to develop an expertise, both theoretical and practical, that lies at the intersection of marketing and psychology, specifically with respect to understanding consumer motivation and psychology towards intangibles such as time, mortality, and adventure.

What after PhD?

Currently undecided. Even though a career in academia is the most obvious choice, I would love to explore a way to bring the knowledge I gather in those 5 year back into the real world and devise method to apply that knowledge (I know this isn't the answer most PhD AdComs want to hear, but on the other hand from what I've researched PhDs are finding increasing acceptance in the industry due to their specialized knowledge, and the demand-supply gap in tenure-track positions for PhDs seems to be worsening by the day).

Questions
- Are my target schools realistic with my current GMAT score? If no, according to my current score, what other schools would you suggest? As I mentioned earlier, I am planning to retake the GMAT, and improve my score to around 750.
- What areas in my profile would you like me to work upon? I plan to apply for Fall 2020 admit, R1 application cycle for PhD programs is Sep-Dec, and even Jan in some of the schools.

Would appreciate a profile review and any advice you may have for me.
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My GMAT debrief: 12 weeks to 720 --> 3 weeks to 750
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New post 05 May 2019, 14:56
Hi NHUANG,

Thanks for your message and for sharing your background - it's really great that you are thinking about your MBA at this early stage. Unfortunately, though, it's really tough to provide customized, actionable advice to a candidate (especially this far in advance) without really digging into their background (since a candidate is so much more than their stats and what's provided through bullet points). If you're interested, you can learn more about our Pre-MBA Package here, which is meant for candidates just like you who are looking to bolster their profiles!

Best,
Shaifali
_________________
Ivy Groupe, Founder/CEO
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Website: https://www.ivygroupe.com
Blog: https://www.ivygroupe.com/blog
Email: info@ivygroupe.com
Phone: 646.801.5190

Click here for GMAT Club Reviews!
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New post 05 May 2019, 15:02
Hi variantguy,

Thanks for your message and for sharing your background. Unfortunately, we don't provide advice on PhD programs (MBA admissions is our core area of expertise). Good luck with everything!

Best,
Shaifali
_________________
Ivy Groupe, Founder/CEO
Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting

Website: https://www.ivygroupe.com
Blog: https://www.ivygroupe.com/blog
Email: info@ivygroupe.com
Phone: 646.801.5190

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New post 11 May 2019, 06:08
Hello !

I am planning to apply for MBA program in IVY league colleges. My aspirational course is Joint 3 year MBA program (MIT Sloan+ HKS) or (GSB +HKS).
My profile:
Nationality: Indian
Gender: Male
Age: 26
Graduation: MSc. in Economics (5 year Integrated Course)
College: IIT Kanpur (2010-2015)
CPI: 7.6/10

Work Experience:

A) Management Consultant at BCG (2015-2017)

Worked as an Associate at BCG right after college. Worked at BCG India office for 2 years on 7 projects across multiple functional (Technology, IG, Consumer Goods & Public Sector) & operational areas (HR, BPO, Strategy etc.). In one of the project, worked directly with VP, HR of a MNC to design a career architecture for their firm, it was an IP.

During my last project, I got exposed to public sector & found my interest in working with Government especially in development sector, which led to my current firm.

B) Management Consultant in Governance Consulting Start-up, 2017-Current (~22 months)

Worked on ambitious project with a Philanthropic organisation (BMGF) & Ministry of Agriculture. Worked directly with Principal Secretary & his team to create a technical platform (dashboard) for taking key decisions. My main role has been to diagnose issue in different aspects of Agriculture (Markets, credit, insurance etc.) & designed both tech & non-tech solutions. I have designed, conceptualised & spearheaded product development for 3 problem statements. Hence, I have had product manager experience in addition to a seasoned consultant. I also got promoted from an associate (N-3 to manager) to a Consultant (N-2 to manager).

Extracurricular:
Back in College I was actively involved in Student politics since my 1st year & later represented students as President, Students' Gymkhana (IIT Kanpur). I also was the Captain of Institute's Table tennis team. I also graduated in Music (6 year course in Tabla) (this is before College)

I have not taken GMAT yet but am confident that I will get 700+ score

I have few requests & queries:

a) Request you to kindly evaluate my profile & suggest if I should reconsider my target colleges. My second preference is 2 year MBA at MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Tuck, Stanford, Ross.
I am also tad bit interested in Rotman given high chances of getting PR there & settling in Canada, given it is tough to get same in US (Haven't done research on this, this is based on Anecdotal info. from colleagues & friends), kindly de-mystify this.

b) I want to explore tech role (product management) now which aligns well with my post MBA plan. Would it be detrimental if I shift my job from my current role to pure tech role or any other similar role ?

c) Due to a family medical emergency, I am moving to my hometown for 2-4 months (basically I won't be working given lack of jobs in my hometown). Will this affect my profile? If I am unemployed during R1 application submission, who would be my 1st Recommender when I am not employed ? I am positive that I will get recommendations from my ex-manager at BCG, current start-ups (immediate manager or client) & college professors (for HKS).

d) Also whom should i prefer for recommendation, my client (Principal secretary with whom I have worked very closely or my immediate manager) ?

e) I plan to take help from an admission consultant once I done with my GMAT (June Mid). Given this, what should be my plan/timeline for approaching recommenders, hire a consultant ?

Thanks
GMAT Club Bot
Re: Ask Ivy Groupe MBA Admissions Consulting   [#permalink] 11 May 2019, 06:08

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