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Ask MBA Crystal Ball

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New post 03 Dec 2019, 09:15
1
PROFILE EVALUATION FOR CANADIAN MBAS FOR FALL 2020.

DEMOGRAPHICS : Indian Male, 25 years old.

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE : B-Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from SRM University, Chennai (2017)
CGPA – 8.6/10 OR 3.44/4

WORK EXPERIENCE : 2.5 years in Software consulting from Tata Consultancy Services, Mumbai

LONG TERM GOAL: To become a Marketing head in a Canadian/International company of repute in Sports/Music/Travel/FMCG/Retail/Consumer Electronics industries AND To settle in Canada with a PR.

SHORT TERM (post-MBA) GOALS : entry-level marketer/Marketing manager in the above industries OR join Management Consultancy for a few years then become a marketer in those industries.

I’ve taken a few UG-level credit courses and online courses in MGMT, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship to help me facilitate my transition from Software to Marketing.

TEST SCORES:
GMAT – 710 (Q48, V40, IR 5, AWA 5)
IELTS Academic – 8.0 (L-8, R-9, W-7, S-7)

EXTRA-CURRICULARS:
1. Committee Member & Marketing Head of the SRM University Cycling Club
2. Cleared with distinction Grade 5 exam in “Drum-kit” conducted by Trinity College of Music, London, 2008.
3. Successfully completed BRM-200 (Brevet d’Audax), a 200 km cycle race conducted by Mumbai Randonneurs division of Brevet d'Audax, France in 12 hours and 10 minutes in February 2018.
4. Since 2015, have been a regular member of The Indian Stammering Association (TISA), a not-for-profit organization by and for people who stutter. Since 2018, have been the Co-coordinator for the organization’s Mumbai chapter. Website: https://stammer.in/.
5. Regular participant and host of Mumbai Drum Circle, a community drum circle specialising in Djembes (South African hand drums).

**Interested in only 20+ months MBA program to get 3 year Work permit after graduating. Hence, IVEY, Queen’s, Simon Fraser, uOttawa, etc are OUT.
**NOT interested in colleges in Quebec due to liabilities of not knowing French. Hence McGill, Concordia, HEC are OUT.

TARGET PROVINCES: Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta

Colleges Applied so far:
1. McMaster (DeGroote) Co-op MBA -> Interviewed; awaiting final results.
2. UCalgary (Haskayne) Daytime MBA -> Submitted in R2
3. York U (Schulich) MBA -> Submitted in R1

Profile Evaluation required for:
1. University of Toronto Rotman – MBA
2. University of Alberta – MBA
3. UBC Sauder - MBA
4. Brock University Goodman – MBA ISP
5. Carleton University Sprott - MBA

Could you help me understand my initial profile evaluation for these above 5 programs?
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New post 03 Dec 2019, 20:45
chinmayrav wrote:
PROFILE EVALUATION FOR CANADIAN MBAS FOR FALL 2020.

DEMOGRAPHICS : Indian Male, 25 years old.

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE : B-Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from SRM University, Chennai (2017)
CGPA – 8.6/10 OR 3.44/4

<<snip>>

Could you help me understand my initial profile evaluation for these above 5 programs?

Thanks for posting on our thread chinmayrav. A few thoughts on your profile evaluation:
  1. The academic arc looks decent since SRM is a decent brand and your GPA is above average too (?). The GMAT is ok - at about hygiene for at least the top schools. In general, one can easily add 20-30 points to a given school's average. Check here for average GMAT scores.
  2. The professional experience seems to be the weakest link - at least in so far as you have described. Being part of one of the largest pool of applicants means that you have to double down in articulating the differentiation, whatever possible. The other thing to bear in mind is that the average experience is in the 4-5 years range at most schools out there. That can make applying this year a bit of tricky proposition overall.
  3. For reasons mentioned here, we don't speculate on school selection chances. However, given your personal preferences and filters, the school list seems to be the right one.
  4. The ECs arc looks to be the most solid part of the profile. So make sure to use it well.
  5. It will also be critical to connect the dots well. Marketing roles from IT, and in general too, are pretty tough to break into for international MBA grads, even more so in the type of industries you are targeting. It would be prudent to bring a bit more realism there.

Hope this sparks the right thoughts. Do reach out directly for more.

Cheers,
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New post 17 Dec 2019, 21:28
Life after consulting: Exit options

One of the most coveted roles across bschool campuses, many consulting careers are short-lived, two to three years long. Consultancies have an “up or out” culture, meaning that many of those who feel they can’t make it to partner level, change jobs. Little wonder then that consultancies have a turnover rate of 15 to 20 percent.

In this post, we explore the various reasons people move out of consulting, and the multiple career options it opens up for you.

Read more
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New post 31 Dec 2019, 21:58
Hello and Happy New Year!

If you could spare the time to evaluate my profile, it would be greatly appreciated! Any and all feedback and comments are welcome.

Age:
23 (Plan to apply in 3-4 years)

Ethnicity:
Korean-American

Academics:
Top 10 U.S. University (not known for engineering)
GPA: 3.61 (Majored in Mechanical Engineering and Minored in Finance)

GMAT:
740 (49Q, 41V)
(2nd attempt; thinking about retaking the GMAT again to achieve a score of 760+ due to my demographic)

Experience:
Engineer
100% in the aerospace industry (including internships)

Current Job:
Engineer at Fortune 100 Aerospace Engineering Firm

Intended Post-MBA Career:
1.) Management consulting (MBB), using my experiences in the engineering industry (both small and large firms) to help clients with problems unique to the intersection of business and engineering.
Or
2.) Program Manager at current company, using my engineering background, industry experience, and business education from an MBA.

MBA Schools:
Reach: HBS, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Booth, Columbia
Target: Kellogg, Haas, Ross, Stern

Thanks in advance.
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New post 01 Jan 2020, 08:03
1
SimbaJSK wrote:
Hello and Happy New Year!

If you could spare the time to evaluate my profile, it would be greatly appreciated! Any and all feedback and comments are welcome.

<<snip>>

Reach: HBS, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Booth, Columbia
Target: Kellogg, Haas, Ross, Stern

Thanks in advance.

SimbaJSK, a few thoughts on your profile evaluation:
  1. The academic pedigree certainly helps. Where did the GPA put you, relatively in the class? The GMAT score will be a good one to go with it. A higher score always helps but don't break your head too much on it.
  2. The professional profile sounds ok. However, it would be important to understand the actual work, achievements and differentiation therein. Aero is not a big feeder industry and since you have started early, will be good to explore other avenues.
  3. While consulting is ok, PM may not necessarily be so - unless your firm hires MBA grads for such roles; usually rare.
  4. You haven't mentioned anything on the ECs front. Here is why ECs matter in your MBA application.

For folks in your situation, we usually suggest a deep dive for Profile Building. So, check it out.

Cheers,
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New post 15 Jan 2020, 22:54
How to answer brain teasers in interviews for Consulting & Investment Banking jobs

If you thought that interviewers at management consulting and investment banking (IB) interviews use brainteasers to put candidates at ease and bring in some light-hearted moments, you will be scratching your head after reading this: these mindbenders have a larger purpose.

Want to know more? Read here
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New post 28 Jan 2020, 21:37
MBA without work experience

The norm in India is to do MBA right after undergrad. This is not the case globally, creating a constant tussle and dilemma for Indian students.

In this blog post, we explore the pros and cons of doing MBA without experience as well as options in geographies such as Canada and Germany.

Want to know more? Read here
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New post 12 Feb 2020, 20:26
What skills does an MBA give you?

While an MBA is a ticket to corporate super-stardom for many, a lot of candidates vying for it don't fully comprehend the actual skills that go behind making the degree a valuable one.

In this article, we will discuss the skills that become a part of a good business training. Skills that may not be a part of the formal curriculum, however, manage to creep into the training process by virtue of the learning experience.

Want to know more? Read here
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New post 26 Feb 2020, 03:53
McKinsey vs BCG vs Bain vs Big 4 (Deloitte, EY, KPMG, PwC): Differences & similarities

They come with various names - the big 3, big 4 and the likes. In this article, we try to make some sense of the giant management consulting firms that still hold the top place when it comes to an MBA aspirant.

We look at the big 3, MBB and then, move on to Big 4, including a comparison between the two.

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New post 11 Mar 2020, 03:11
How to select the right career after MBA

Prudence says that MBA grads, before committing to such a big investment, would have already thought through your career plans.

However, that may not always be the case. Besides, it is not uncommon for plans to undergo changes as you go through a (hopefully) transformative MBA experience.

How then should you decide your career after MBA? We take a look at this question with tips from a top bschool representative.

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New post 25 Mar 2020, 03:07
Executive MBA in Australia from Melbourne Business School

An Executive MBA is a great way to gain new management skills while holding on to your job and salary.

However, EMBA programs have a higher experience requirement, specially when it comes to management exposure.

How do you navigate this when you may not have the requisite experience? We present the story of a candidate who managed to do just that.

Want to know more? Read here
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New post 06 Apr 2020, 16:18
Hi Team,

I am primarily interested in applying to ISB this year, and would like your invaluable advice as to how I can improve my profile to increase my chances of a convert.

My background is as follows:
Indian male, 24 years

Work-ex (everything in India)
1. Currently working with a luxury fashion and retail startup as a Strategy Consultant (7 months) (not a well known company, but well respected in the Indian fashion industry) (1 promotion)
2. 21 months with a bulge bracket Investment Bank in its Investment Banking team (2 promotions)
3. 2 years as an intern with a Big 4 Firm's Deal Advisory team

Education
1. Chartered Accountant (Top 5% of the class)
2. Completed all 3 levels of the CFA Program, USA
3. University (Bachelors of Commerce, graduated with the highest possible GPA, Top 5% of the class)
4. High School (Stood 3rd in Mathematics, Accounts, and English across the State)
5. School (Top 3% of the class)

ECAs
1. Represented and captained my school at various football and athletic tournaments, and was also selected to represent the State and college football teams
2. As a volunteer with 2 non-profits, taught English, Mathematics, and Football to school going children. Also, involved in community outreach programs through the firms I have worked at
3. Elected to the Development Councils at work and university, where I helped organize multiple events
4. Possess a keen interest in personal finance, and actively aid friends and colleagues in charting out financial plans for themselves
5. Black belt in Karate, have participated in and won the Best Speaker award during Model United Nations, etc. (but back in school, so this won't carry any weight)

GMAT
700 (Understand that this is on the lower side, and I will take the GMAT again if you feel that this score will hamper my application. If it's not going to pose a hindrance, I'd rather focus on work. What would you suggest?)

Goal
To work in Corporate Strategy at a multinational firm, and eventually move up to the C-Suite. Believe that an MBA would certainly speed this up, and equip me with the invaluable management skill sets that will come in handy down the line.

Advice on how to improve my profile so that I have a chance of getting admitted is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
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New post 06 Apr 2020, 20:53
stuggle wrote:
Hi Team,

I am primarily interested in applying to ISB this year, and would like your invaluable advice as to how I can improve my profile to increase my chances of a convert.

My background is as follows:
Indian male, 24 years

<<snip>>
Advice on how to improve my profile so that I have a chance of getting admitted is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


stuggle, a few thoughts on your profile evaluation:
  1. Your academic pedigree looks good given the CFA certification. CFA helps in MBA applications. The GPA is good however, it would be useful to know the brand of your undergrad.
  2. The professional profile looks quite intriguing. It would be imperative to connect the dots for the adcom given the non-obvious career move you've made. Always useful to understand the brand of your employers, especially the IB. Given that you are at a (noname?) startup, it becomes doubly important.
  3. The ECs involvement is diverse and quite a few. However, always think about impact and how will you communicate that. If you don't have a solid answer to that, work towards ramping up the impact quotient there. Mere participation and presence doesn't mean much.
  4. The GMAT is indeed a tad below or just at the expectation. Given your overall profile, I'd not bother about it a lot if ISB is the only school you are looking at. However, it is always good to apply to more schools. Also, if you think you can boost the score, it always helps.
  5. Corporate strategy roles out of campus tend to be few and far between. What if you don't get it? Think of a solid plan B. Strategy at a small (?) startup is not a common role - be prepared to justify and explain that move and connect it forward. Also, given the current crisis, there may be some brakes to what you can focus on the work front. In absence of that, might be worth considering that retake.

Hope this helps some. With a well articulated application, there is enough here to put in a strong application. Go for it!

Cheers,
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New post 07 Apr 2020, 13:48
Thanks for the prompt response, MG. Your insights are helpful.

1. I did my undergrad from HR College in Bombay.
2. Sure, I was not aware. I worked at Citi Bank, and interned for 2 years with Deloitte. Was hoping that these brands would help cover for my current startup, which is not well known. My rationale behind moving from IB was to get end to end industry exposure early on, which a major MNC would not afford me. Also, I do not see myself in a solely advisory role long term, so sticking with IB did not make sense to me at that time.
3. Noted your point regarding impact in my ECAs. Will focus on bringing that out. Would it make sense to focus on the 'helping friends and colleagues with financial planning' bit?
4. Well received. Think I will give it another shot, and try bringing the score up if I can.
5. Thank you for highlighting this. Plan B would then be to work in consulting out of campus, before moving into the industry at a later stage. Was hoping that my move to a startup, albeit a small one, would show that I have already taken small steps towards this transition, but fair enough, I think your point makes sense, and I will try to justify it better.

Thank you once again for taking the time out and sharing some useful advice!
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New post 07 Apr 2020, 21:44
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stuggle wrote:
Thanks for the prompt response, MG. Your insights are helpful.

1. I did my undergrad from HR College in Bombay.

<<snip>>

Thank you once again for taking the time out and sharing some useful advice!

stuggle, HR college is good pedigree.

The move from Citi to a no-name startup is pretty drastic indeed. Usually, one would make such a move but to a late stage one. The rationale provided by you won't cut it fully so work on that too.

Financial planning, unlikely and too informal - nothing stops anyone from claiming to have done that too, right?

Work on that post-MBA pitch more. Feel free to reach out directly for more discussion.

Cheers,
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New post 08 Apr 2020, 14:04
Thank you, makes a lot of sense to me. I will take the GMAT again, and then get in touch with your team.
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New post 22 Apr 2020, 04:29
How to get into ISB

The Indian School of Business is a choice destination for several Indian candidates given it's impact on one's career and remuneration.

Getting into ISB is no child's play of course.

In this blog, we present an ABC of how to make it in.

Want to know more? Read here
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New post 05 May 2020, 22:53
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A day in the life of a consultant

Management consulting remains one of the most sought after jobs for top MBA grads globally.

Most consultants would say that there is no such thing as a 'typical day' in their lives. However, there are some things more or less common between the work days of a consultant.

In this blog, we try to give you a glimpse of that.

Want to know more? Read here
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New post 21 May 2020, 18:03
Hi, can you please review my profile?

*Background*

Overview:
I’m looking to bring a strong sense of purpose in my career by transitioning fully to social impact. I’ve always wanted to go into social impact full-time, but I needed to build a niche and valuable skillset before doing so. Regarding marketable skills, I feel ready now, but I need an MBA to help me transition.

Work experience:
I'm currently a Product Manager in Internet Business in a Multinational Telecommunications company. I have 5.5 years of full-time experience, all in Telecommunications product management. The firm I work for is one of the top ones in my country, Bangladesh, and is a part of the 10th largest mobile network operator in the world. I've gotten regular, formal awards (Marketing Award for six quarters out of the twelve quarters of my employment till date + Employee of the month multiple times) at work, and my portfolio has increased with time. I can back my achievements with solid numbers.

Some career highlights
- Successful completion of 1-month international assignment & placement in HQ
- Former Management Trainee with fast track progression to Managerial role, within only 2.5 years of my career
- Project Manager for the first telecom merger in Bangladesh
- Product Manager for Facebook's Freebasics program in Bangladesh, which focuses on giving internet connectivity to the bottom of the pyramid, launching it for the first time in my country

On the side, I'm a director at my family business which focuses on government and non-profit sector consulting. I do business advisory for non-profits, and one of these non-profits was founded by an Oxford Said MBA alum. My area of expertise is "mobile tech & communications for development".

Extracurriculars:
During my undergrad I won multiple international & national awards in social entrepreneurship competitions. One of that was GSEC organized by the University of Washington's Foster School of Business. My team had beat out MIT in that competition. I was also awarded by Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, for winning Yunus Centre's social entrepreneurship idea competition. I've coordinated nationwide charity drives back in my undergrad, 100+ people reporting to me.

Other coursework:
I finished MBA Math and I scored 100% in all of the MBA Math courses.

Nationality: Bangladeshi

Sex: Male

*Stats*

GRE Score:
My GRE total is 328, with a breakdown of 169 in Verbal, 159 in Quant, 4.5 in AW. I'm also done with my TOEFL with a 113/120.

Undergrad GPA:
I graduated from the best business school in my country. My alma mater has alums in top business schools all over the world, including the business schools that I plan to apply to.

My 3.13/4 CGPA (Major- Finance) is measly though. I dived into ECAs during my first two years, achieving great success at the expense of my academics. Reprioritized and did very well in academics during my third year. During my fourth year I contracted Hepatitis E just before my final exams, and my CGPA took a nosedive. My last year’s GPA was 3/4 versus my third year’s GPA of 3.7/4. I had the choice of postponing my studies for a year or taking a bad hit to my CGPA, & I chose the latter due to financial reasons. Anyways, even after taking my horrible fourth year in account, my last two years' CGPA is 3.35/4, so there is an upward trend there.

*MBA Info*

Goal of MBA:
Working in social impact on the side has actually inspired me to enter social impact full-time post-MBA, perhaps joining my family's business on a full-time basis, and/or starting a sister organization to the family business focused on my area of expertise. My area of expertise, Telecommunications, is very important for social impact in my country, Bangladesh. Our internet connectivity is almost entirely mobile communications dependant.

Working in a large private organization has not given me the training I need to embark on an entrepreneurial venture or engage full-time in expanding a family business. I need an MBA to make me ready.

Target schools:
I plan to apply for the 2021 intake. My top favorites are- Said, Judge, Yale, Haas, Kellogg, Tuck, Johnson (P.S. Regarding Said and Judge, I made sure that I am eligible despite my CGPA, even though their websites give off a different impression)

My next favorites are- Stern, Fuqua, Ross, UCLA, LBS, INSEAD, Darden, Tepper, UNC, Foster, Goizueta, McDonough, Owen, Mendoza, Scheller, Rotman

I'll winnow down this list with further research.

However, I want a reality check so that I can focus on the schools which I actually stand a realistic chance at. For example, I don't think I'll be able to make it to Haas, Kellogg, Stern. I plan to resit the GRE to raise my Quant, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to make the time for it.

I'll also welcome suggestions on schools that I may be missing out on, which are good fits for me.

Posted from my mobile device
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New post 22 May 2020, 06:51
Naseef wrote:
Hi, can you please review my profile?

*Background*

Overview:
I’m looking to bring a strong sense of purpose in my career by transitioning fully to social impact. I’ve always wanted to go into social impact full-time, but I needed to build a niche and valuable skillset before doing so. Regarding marketable skills, I feel ready now, but I need an MBA to help me transition.

Work experience:
I'm currently a Product Manager in Internet Business in a Multinational Telecommunications company. I have 5.5 years of full-time experience, all in Telecommunications product management. The firm I work for is one of the top ones in my country, Bangladesh, and is a part of the 10th largest mobile network
<<snip>>

Haas, Kellogg, Stern. I plan to resit the GRE to raise my Quant, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to make the time for it.

I'll also welcome suggestions on schools that I may be missing out on, which are good fits for me.


Naseef, thanks for the detailed note. Here are a few thoughts on your profile evaluation and plans:
  1. The academic pedigree is good given the fact that's its from a feeder program. GPA definitely matters and that, in combination with the GRE can make for a moderate/weak overall academic arc. A retake will certainly help. However, the articulation in terms of explanation for the up/down trend of GPA will be critical in your optional essays. With a strong GRE, top schools might be willing to look past this hurdle!
  2. The professional profile looks pretty solid given the brand association and PM work which in many ways, is a post-MBA role. It would be good to see if you've been able to use some of that in your family business too.
  3. The family business association can nicely double up for your extracurricular involvement. Use that well. The post-MBA pitch will have to be thought through and developed well. Social sector is not a big recruiter of international MBA grads, in case you have that in mind for the immediate term. But overall, it can be fleshed out for a powerful message.
  4. For reasons mentioned here, we don't speculate on school selection and chances. That being said, I don't see why, with a slightly stronger score, you can't have a shot at some top league programs out there!
  5. You may want to read this from a social entrepreneurship angle.

Hope this helps some.

Cheers,
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball   [#permalink] 22 May 2020, 06:51

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