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From Zero Admits to Three M7 offers (Indian Male, 30+ age, 2nd MBA)

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Joined: 23 Nov 2016
Posts: 181
Location: United States
Schools: Booth '21 (M)
GMAT 1: 770 Q49 V47
GPA: 3.5
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From Zero Admits to Three M7 offers (Indian Male, 30+ age, 2nd MBA)  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2019, 14:57
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It's important to state upfront how grateful and fortunate I feel to finally be in this position. So many aspects of the MBA application process are out of one’s control, but below I’ll try to highlight the major learnings I had following a zero admit season and then a fantastic results season. GMAT Club has been the one constant throughout this journey which started in Dec 2016 and I am greatly indebted to all the wisdom floating around in the threads.

I received 4 US schools offers in all - Chicago Booth, Kellogg 1Y, Columbia J-term, Duke Fuqua ($)
I attended the Booth Admit Weekend recently and I’m extremely excited to be joining the Chicago Booth Class of 2021 in the fall.

Background
Indian Male, 30+, 7+ years of work-ex (5 years of work-ex in India and then 2+ years in US).. all with the same company. Industry is information services + data analytics and most of the work was in client account management.
Undergrad in Arts from Indian public university, MBA from top 10 Indian school. Average to Low GPA.

GMAT journey - link is in my signature. I started at 710 level on GMAT Prep test and with some work ended up getting a 770 on my 1st attempt (Q49, V47, IR 5, AWA 5.5). Of course getting this score was a huge boost and shot in the arm which encouraged me to continue on the application journey.

I’ll try to highlight my thought process on the key aspects of my application journey

Admission Consultants
I went into my first application season laughing at the exorbitant costs of admission consultants. I considered myself highly self-aware and with decent language skills to write good essays. I realized at the end of the season that I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and my apps were pretty bad (generic, low impact, no clear narrative). Biggest learning was that MBA applications are for a particular audience (AdComs) and you have to appeal to the audience, not to yourself.

After the crisis of zero admits I decided to go all in and leave nothing to chance. I used the following -

--Applicant Lab - most value for money item of entire process. Highly recommended.
--EssaySnark - ding analysis & profile review
--Akshat Srivastava (My MBA Journey) - 3 school package (Booth, Kellogg 1Y, Columbia J-term)
--August Academy - 3 school package (Wharton, Ross, Fuqua)
--mbaMission (Melissa Blakeslee) - hourly services (2 hours)

I think all of these resources played a vital role in my success. I was able to bounce off multiple ideas and test responses across consultants. Of course, I don’t recommend everyone to work with so many people/resources, but I do recommend hiring a consultant even if for 1 or 2 schools. They are like your professional PR people who will help you make the best pitch for your candidacy. If you can get similar guidance from current students or alumni, that can also work

Post-MBA Career Goals
Career Goals is an aspect which is critically important but I didn’t realize that fully until it was too late. In my first season I went with “consulting” goals and even though I had made it specific (which industry practice at what firms), it was too common of a goal for my demographic and did not give an edge to my candidacy. In my reapplication season I devised a better career goal which was more unique and more clearly specified why I need the 2nd MBA. I think career goal is most underrated part of the application, and one which needs to be taken very seriously.

Essays / Career narrative
After reading my Essay Snark ding analysis, I was in denial and dismissed their critical feedback. But after going through the reapplication season I re-read the ding report, and it was spot on. I was able to clearly understand why my essays were generic and not impactful. I stated my past experience and my future goals but never explicitly linked the two through the MBA thread and specific skills I seek. My consultants helped keep me on track in the 2nd season and my essays were crisp, high impact and very meaty. Each sentence was useful.

School Selection
I was much smarter with my school selection the second time around with the benefit of greater understanding of the process and useful advice by consultants. I spread out my options across different types of programs given my age/work-ex/2nd MBA situation and didn’t apply to programs which are traditionally not so friendly to profiles like mine (MIT, Yale etc)

Performance Overview
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Joined: 27 Jul 2018
Posts: 30
Location: Canada
GPA: 4
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Re: From Zero Admits to Three M7 offers (Indian Male, 30+ age, 2nd MBA)  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2019, 16:21
Congratulations!

A fellow 30+ year applicant here haha
Your success story give me some hope after all ?

Good luck in your MBA!

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Retired Moderator
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Status: Winter is coming
Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 296
Location: United States
Concentration: Technology, Strategy
GMAT 1: 730 Q50 V40
GMAT 2: 760 Q50 V42
GPA: 3.9
WE: Engineering (Computer Software)
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Re: From Zero Admits to Three M7 offers (Indian Male, 30+ age, 2nd MBA)  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2019, 17:24
Nicely written. Thanks for sharing! Good luck with your MBA! :)
stoiczoan wrote:
It's important to state upfront how grateful and fortunate I feel to finally be in this position. So many aspects of the MBA application process are out of one’s control, but below I’ll try to highlight the major learnings I had following a zero admit season and then a fantastic results season. GMAT Club has been the one constant throughout this journey which started in Dec 2016 and I am greatly indebted to all the wisdom floating around in the threads.

I received 4 US schools offers in all - Chicago Booth, Kellogg 1Y, Columbia J-term, Duke Fuqua ($)
I attended the Booth Admit Weekend recently and I’m extremely excited to be joining the Chicago Booth Class of 2021 in the fall.

Background
Indian Male, 30+, 7+ years of work-ex (5 years of work-ex in India and then 2+ years in US).. all with the same company. Industry is information services + data analytics and most of the work was in client account management.
Undergrad in Arts from Indian public university, MBA from top 10 Indian school. Average to Low GPA.

GMAT journey - link is in my signature. I started at 710 level on GMAT Prep test and with some work ended up getting a 770 on my 1st attempt (Q49, V47, IR 5, AWA 5.5). Of course getting this score was a huge boost and shot in the arm which encouraged me to continue on the application journey.

I’ll try to highlight my thought process on the key aspects of my application journey

Admission Consultants
I went into my first application season laughing at the exorbitant costs of admission consultants. I considered myself highly self-aware and with decent language skills to write good essays. I realized at the end of the season that I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and my apps were pretty bad (generic, low impact, no clear narrative). Biggest learning was that MBA applications are for a particular audience (AdComs) and you have to appeal to the audience, not to yourself.

After the crisis of zero admits I decided to go all in and leave nothing to chance. I used the following -

--Applicant Lab - most value for money item of entire process. Highly recommended.
--EssaySnark - ding analysis & profile review
--Akshat Srivastava (My MBA Journey) - 3 school package (Booth, Kellogg 1Y, Columbia J-term)
--August Academy - 3 school package (Wharton, Ross, Fuqua)
--mbaMission (Melissa Blakeslee) - hourly services (2 hours)

I think all of these resources played a vital role in my success. I was able to bounce off multiple ideas and test responses across consultants. Of course, I don’t recommend everyone to work with so many people/resources, but I do recommend hiring a consultant even if for 1 or 2 schools. They are like your professional PR people who will help you make the best pitch for your candidacy. If you can get similar guidance from current students or alumni, that can also work

Post-MBA Career Goals
Career Goals is an aspect which is critically important but I didn’t realize that fully until it was too late. In my first season I went with “consulting” goals and even though I had made it specific (which industry practice at what firms), it was too common of a goal for my demographic and did not give an edge to my candidacy. In my reapplication season I devised a better career goal which was more unique and more clearly specified why I need the 2nd MBA. I think career goal is most underrated part of the application, and one which needs to be taken very seriously.

Essays / Career narrative
After reading my Essay Snark ding analysis, I was in denial and dismissed their critical feedback. But after going through the reapplication season I re-read the ding report, and it was spot on. I was able to clearly understand why my essays were generic and not impactful. I stated my past experience and my future goals but never explicitly linked the two through the MBA thread and specific skills I seek. My consultants helped keep me on track in the 2nd season and my essays were crisp, high impact and very meaty. Each sentence was useful.

School Selection
I was much smarter with my school selection the second time around with the benefit of greater understanding of the process and useful advice by consultants. I spread out my options across different types of programs given my age/work-ex/2nd MBA situation and didn’t apply to programs which are traditionally not so friendly to profiles like mine (MIT, Yale etc)

Performance Overview
GMAT Club Bot
Re: From Zero Admits to Three M7 offers (Indian Male, 30+ age, 2nd MBA)   [#permalink] 11 Feb 2019, 17:24
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From Zero Admits to Three M7 offers (Indian Male, 30+ age, 2nd MBA)

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