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# Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates

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25 Aug 2011, 01:26
Business & Creativity: You could be dull in another era. Not this one.

Charismatic, mesmerising and creative. Three adjectives that are associated with the Advertising industry (what were you thinking?). Unfortunately the same 3 adjectives are seldom used while referring to MBAs or mainstream business. In a world where following ‘best practices’ (nice way to say, ‘stop getting creative’) gets incentivised, clichéd terms like ‘thinking out the box’ generate sarcastic laughter more than inspiration.

So we asked Vrinda Gupta to share some perspectives with us, about lessons that we can learn from the advertising world to add a little more zing to our day-to-day work. Vrinda completed her graduation in Advertising from Pennsylvania State University (consistently being on the Dean’s List) and has worked in New York, Los Angeles and Mumbai with the some of the best names in the business – from Nike to Nickelodeon (not saying that just for impact). Over the next few blog posts, Vrinda takes us into the overlapping worlds of creativity and business. ... Read more
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Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

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28 Aug 2011, 00:27
alokag wrote:
4. I have 7 years of Post MBA Experience in leading Corporate – CITIFINANCIAL / HDFC BANK / TATA CAPITAL - Retail Consumer Finance - (NON IT BACKGROUND)

Alok,

You've shared a lot of info about your professional accomplishments (promotions, salary growth, awards). But I'm still not sure what exactly you do. Are you into personal loans, investments, micro-credit, asset based lending..?

alokag wrote:
7. Languages - Hindi / English / Tamil / Bengali ( if this helps in diversity ?)

Most Indians speak multiple languages. If you are planning to work in other countries where Tamil or Bangla are the official languages and where you will be utilising these skils, then it would be an advantage. Otherwise, I'd say don't stretch this one too much.

alokag wrote:
- Based on voluntarily work – we educated 27 villages about Financial planning
- Convinced 874 families to enroll for the program

Nice work, sir. Proud of you. Please keep the momentum going for such initiatives after you get into some top school.
_________________

Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

Senior Manager
Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 435
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Kudos [?]: 71 [0], given: 15

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28 Aug 2011, 07:10
MBA Essays: No NGO, Non-profit, social work experience?

After taking their GMAT test and scoring a 700+, many MBA applicants start thinking about the rest of their MBA application components and that’s when they start realising about the (most perceived) gaps and flaws in their otherwise bullet-proof armour. Then they resort to last-minute workarounds to cover up those shortcomings. And the results can be far from what you expected.

That’s the issue of approaching the MBA admissions as a checklist process. Let’s do a role-play. You are doing a status-check on your MBA application.

GMAT score: Done, 730 [smirk on the face]…I’m such a stud
TOEFL: Done, piece of cake [smirk still on]
Extra curriculars: Some sports work in college days…aah..how I miss the cheerleading…and the cheerleaders! [smirk expands to a silly grin now]
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Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

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28 Aug 2011, 10:30
deleted

Last edited by dutchgerman17 on 29 Jun 2012, 00:06, edited 1 time in total.
Manager
Joined: 26 Sep 2010
Posts: 151
Nationality: Indian
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, General Management
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28 Aug 2011, 12:17
Hi Sameer,

Thanks for a great thread. I am sure a lot of folks who're posting their profiles fall into the Indian/IT applicant pool. I understand that applicants in this pool are required to differentiate themselves from the crowd but it is not clear what form this differentiation can be.

Can you just give a few examples on this 'differentiation' so that I can shore up my credentials? Maybe some example extra-curricular activities.

thanks
IndigoIntentions
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You have to have a darkness...for the dawn to come.

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31 Aug 2011, 01:59
hi sameer,

I am in asset based lending.

Senior Manager
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31 Aug 2011, 11:17

We’ve found out a very effective way of punishing, I mean rewarding folks who comment excessively on our blog posts. We pester them incessantly to write guest posts until they give in. Latest case in point – Mr Ashok Kadam – aka MBA Roadie. In his inimitable bindaas style, our friend narrates his story. | Read on
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Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

Senior Manager
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31 Aug 2011, 12:00
alokag wrote:
I am in asset based lending.

Thanks Alok. Now the following point makes so much more sense. And it sounds impressive as well.
Quote:
• Managing a business of 600 crores INR per annum with a team Size of 120 people.

For INSEAD, LBS, Kellogg, a much higher GMAT would be good. For IMD, I know someone who got in with a very low GMAT score (lower than the range you are expecting), but he had a pretty unconventional profile.

When's the GMAT test?
_________________

Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

Intern
Status: She was my last high !!
Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 40
Location: India
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V45
WE: Programming (Computer Software)
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Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 7

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01 Sep 2011, 05:42
.
_________________

It seems what's left of my human side,
Is slowly changing in me...

Last edited by devilmaycry2709 on 23 Mar 2013, 08:31, edited 1 time in total.
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02 Sep 2011, 02:45
Hi Sammer,

I am Gaurav (24 - will be 25 in november/IT/Male). I would need your feedback on my profile based on my targeted schools. I am aiming for the latest batch in 2012 (jan or any other near Feb or March).

1. Today i took the GMAT and have scored only 690 (Q50 - %92, V34 - %69). AWA awaited.
2. I graduated from IP University in Information Technology in 2008 with 73.66% marks. Though in the common entrance test of IP University held in 2004, I scored a 12th rank all over India. And, thus was awarded an annual scholarship by the University throughout my B.Tech.
3. Xth - 84%
XIIth - 85%
4. I have 3 years of Experience in IT industry. Currently working in Amdocs India since June 2010 as Senior Subject Matter Expert on Mainframe systems in Telecom domain. Before that worked in Steria India Ltd as software Engineer in the Banking Domain
My responsibilities include:
-Peer reviews within the team
-Development, support and testing
-Actively lead the project from designing to the final deployment.

Have been recognized as a highly efficient employee within the team and also has been awarded certificate for the excellent work performed at the job.

7. Languages - Hindi / English

Extra curricular Activities
- Won 1st prize in Face painting competition held in the current company.
- Dramatics - Received several prizes from Universities and colleges in Delhi for the group play performed at the annual cultural festival of the college in 2006.
- Also, took part in the Group Dance at the annual cultural festival of the college in 2005
- Active Member at the Students Society IETE of the college. Actively involved in organizing the annual cultural festival of the college.
- Awarded certificate from National School of Drama while in School.

Hobby:
Love to play Table Tennis - conducted TT tournaments inside the Company. Haven't got chance to organize at corporate level yet.
Love travelling - have traveled almost all of India. Recently went to Japan.

Target:

- Full time MBA INSEAD / ISB/ National Singapore university/ Carnegie Mellon/ Darden

Queries:
- Is the current score of 690 together with respective &tiles in verbal and quant are sufficient for the B-schools i am aiming for. Moreover, if these schools are a stretch for me, then what all Top 40 or Top 50 B-schools I can aim for.
- How is my current IT profile together with the kind of work-ex I have.
- What all I can do to improve my profile.
- Do I need to retake the GMAT.
Senior Manager
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02 Sep 2011, 08:20

by D Murali

If you are located in South India and are one of the 185,000 subscribers to The Hindu Business Line newspaper, you would've possibly read it already.

For the others, here's an online link to the article that picks up a few key points from the book 'Beyond the MBA Hype'.
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Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

Senior Manager
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10 Sep 2011, 11:21
dutchgerman17 wrote:
GMAT: 690 (Quantitative: 45, Verbal: 38). Will be taking GMAT again to get at least 20-30 more points.
When are you getting the new score? Before you submit your Round 1 applications?

Quote:
2. Diploma in Chemical Technology: 3 years - 75.7% (First Class with distinction), Institute: Kongu Polytechnic, India
3. Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering - 3 years - 74.8% (First Class), Institute: Periyar University, India
4. Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering - 2 years - 1.7 (B+, Good), Institute: University of Kiel, Germany
Three degrees under the belt already and preparing for the 4th one! I admire your tenacity, sir.

Quote:
complex, multi-disciplinary research activities that contribute to the development of (new) product principles, that through further development lead to new products or the solving of (new) application and process problems with existing products. I execute, improve and develop laboratory tests with predictive value towards field performance (performance in steel/tin plate rolling mills).
Ayyo ende amme! Pleejh to simply, saar, for the regular peeples!

Quote:
To be more specific, I develop environmental friendly, but low cost, rolling oils, lubricants, wet temper fluids and corrosion preventives for steel/tin plate rolling mills.
Aah! Better.

Quote:
Target Schools: INSEAD (Jan 2013), IMD (Jan 2013) and LBS (Aug 2012)
Good choice, buddy. Aren't you looking at Oxbridge?

Quote:
Within a year I can get the permanent resident status in Netherlands, the status might allow me to find jobs without work permit at least in a few European countries.
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Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

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10 Sep 2011, 12:10
Post-MBA career: Rotational programs and what they offer

‘An MBA widens your horizons’ is an oft-heard statement that has degenerated into a truism (pretty much like – ‘A high calorie diet widens your waistline’). Can’t argue with both. But if you have too many options to choose from, wouldn’t that leave you confused? (rhetorical question, you don’t need to answer that) After graduating, everyone may not be interested in the most-sought-after roles in management consulting, corporate finance or investment banking. There may be many who prefer ‘industry’ roles … Read entire article »
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Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

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13 Sep 2011, 11:23
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Last edited by dutchgerman17 on 29 Jun 2012, 00:07, edited 1 time in total.
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15 Sep 2011, 07:31
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Last edited by dutchgerman17 on 29 Jun 2012, 00:07, edited 1 time in total.
Senior Manager
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16 Sep 2011, 03:08
Testimonial from another forum.
bblast wrote:
Excuse me people for interrupting your discussions with Sameer via this post. I am posting here to testify that the MAP process can be very useful for a lot of guys out there. People are just starting off with GMAT on XYZ forum, but they know nothing about the application process and the difficulties that can come on way.

The MAP process is by no way comprehensive, but it gives u a lot of details into the strengths and weaknesses in your profile. In fact I suggest that you go for the MAP pretty early in ur road to MBA. MAP process is a must especially for Indian applicants who set out MBA journeys just to change their fields and do not research MBA programs and end up wasting a lot of money in vain. I have been through the wretched app process last year with a poor GMAT score. I ended up wasting so much money and not even a single admit !!!

Guess what I am back with a better GMAT and the first thing I took after over a year of research IS MAP.

Finally I think you guys can take my words for sure. I can't be someone who Sameer paid to write good stuff about his services ! I am the "bblast"- an XYZ forum original!

Sorry for the unrefined language Sameer .

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Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

Intern
Status: INSEAD - my dream school !! :-D
Joined: 08 Jul 2011
Posts: 22
Location: India
Concentration: Operations, Strategy
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V39
GPA: 3.6
WE: Operations (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

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16 Sep 2011, 03:47
Please evaluate my profile - Questions are at the end

DEMOGRAPHICS: Indian/Male/23

GMAT: Yet to take. Consistently scored 720-750 in the prep exams taken. Expect the same score in GMAT.
Plan to go for an MBA degree in around 2015. Reason: Financial constraints & lack of work experience.

EDUCATION

Delhi University, Faculty Of Technology -- New Delhi, India (Aug 2006 – Jun 2010)
Bachelor Of Engineering, Manufacturing Processes & Automation SCORE: 74.0 % -- top 15% in a batch of 60 -- Academic scholarship recipient

Senior School Certificate (CBSE, India) -- 90.8 % (2006) -- School Rank 1 -- Academic scholarship recipient
Secondary School Certificate (CBSE, India) -- 95.0% (2004) -- All India Rank 16 and District Rank 1-- Academic scholarship recipient

WORK EXPERIENCE

Working as Drilling Fluids Field Engineer in Halliburton Energy Services Group, No.2 energy services company in the world. Based in India (July 2010 - Present)
I provide technical consultation and the following On-site services to clients:
• Drilling fluids formulation and maintenance. • Contingency management
• Fluid testing and well site data analysis • Documentation and costing
• Inventory & associated logistics management • Ensuring adherence to HS&E standards

• High responsibility job; I solely represent my company to the client on the field.
• People management or leading people is a part of my job. Often have to improvise at work.
• I have not done anything extraordinary or exemplary at work yet except maybe securing 3rd position in a class of 20 during a 3 month training program (I do not really consider this an achievement).
• Mostly technical and analytic work and it is expected to be the same in the coming 4 years or so, although with increased responsibilities and more complex operations.
• My job profile provides a fair share of international experience for work as well as work related training. I also get frequent opportunities to work with expats when working in India. I have work experience in India, Houston(USA), Papua New Guinea, Indonesia.

EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

• Freelanced on a strategy consulting project for a small scale production firm in India. Because of the great results of the project, the company granted me another project (operations optimization) next summer for its sister concern.
• Worked as summer intern in a startup analytics & business modelling firm in India on a market research project for 2 rival automobile brands.
• Worked as summer intern in a IT services giant in India.(Completely irrelevant to my profile - this was my first internship ever in first year of college - served as a first step towards corporate grooming)
• Served as the Vice-President of the organizing committee of the annual cultural festival of my college - 4 day fest with footfall of about 20,000. Led a team of about 120 people in different departments.
• Served as PR coordinator of an NGO in New Delhi region for an year.
• Worked as Creative Head in the filming of the first ever promotional video for my college.
• Served as Head of Student Council in school - led various teams in cultural, academic, technical and sports events management.

INTERESTS: • Fitness Training Enthusiast • Amateur Nutritionist • Avid Basketballer • Science Fiction Reader

LANGUAGES KNOWN: English (Proficient), Hindi (Native), Punjabi (Native), French (Basic - No Certification)

POST MBA GOALS

Operations management roles preferably in the energy sector (Not very keen to change careers though not totally opposed to it). I am keenly interested in energy sector consulting and hence open for jobs in general management consulting firms but in relevant roles.
My goals are subject to change and refinement as I progress in the industry in terms of knowledge and experience.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

I feel, in about 5 years time, I would be able to save more than 20 lac INR for MBA through systematic investments which I have already started implementing.
I am interested in ISB and IIM A(PGPX), as an MBA degree in India would definitely cost less than one abroad. But on the other hand, I really want to have global exposure preferably in Europe - INSEAD is my dream B-school . Only constraint is lack of finance.
More interested in a one year program.

QUERIES

1. Please provide a general evaluation and let me know about specific strengths and weaknesses of my profile. And any advice on how to improve/correct them over a long period of time to suit my goals. Also, if you don't mind letting me know which part of my applications may be too unproductive to mention.
2. Since, I have been working only for 15 months now, how much work experience should I gain in order to achieve desired goals? Is my target of 5 years a decent choice?
3. Suggest some schools (if possible) which would best serve my interests considering my financial constraints.
4. All of my extracurricular activities, except for my personal interests as listed, are a thing of the past now. This is due to the hectic nature of my work. Is a that a negative point?

Thanks in anticipation !!
Really appreciate the mentoring for MBA aspirants.
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16 Sep 2011, 04:46
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Last edited by dutchgerman17 on 29 Jun 2012, 00:08, edited 1 time in total.
Senior Manager
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24 Sep 2011, 02:24
GMAT preparation: Why you should not over-focus on it

Three applicants with different profiles decide to apply to bschools:

Rishi (Chhupaa) Rustom:
IT professional | 2 years work experience | GMAT score 740 (confident of cracking 770+)

Gautam Gulgulaa:
Marketing professional | 6 years experience | GMAT score 640 (got 630 in the first attempt)

Arundhati Champavati:
HR professional | 4 years experience | GMAT score 710 (pleasantly surprised as she was getting 650-680 in practice tests)

They are all willing to take the GMAT again. What advice will you give them? Hold on to your answer and read on.
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Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

Senior Manager
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Posts: 435
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Kudos [?]: 71 [0], given: 15

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24 Sep 2011, 02:33
dutchgerman17 wrote:
Is ebook version of Beyond The MBA Hype available?

Cheapest option is to get one of your friends/colleagues who are travelling from India to carry a few extra copies to share...like it usually happens with MTR ready-to-eat meals, Lijjat papad and Baidyanath cough syrup.
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Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates   [#permalink] 24 Sep 2011, 02:33

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