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Paradosso's profile

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Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 283

Kudos [?]: 140 [0], given: 3

Location: Milan
Schools: Wharton, LBS, UChicago, Kellogg MMM (Donald Jacobs Scholarship), Stanford, HBS
Paradosso's profile [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2008, 03:48
Hi Alex,

I'm going to be the first to take advantage of your very much sought advice. Thank you for your time and attention. I'll be glad to have your input on my school selection and chances for R2, in which I'm applying to:

- Chicago - Wharton
- LBS

Age, gender, ethnicity: almost 27 (almost 28 at matriculation), white male, Italian.

Education: BA (Hon.) with a major in marketing and business administration from Bocconi UG (best management college in Italy). GPA 28,2/30, final mark 110/110. Semester abroad at Strathclyde (UK). Member of International Students Association.

GMAT: see under my avatar :)
TOEFL: 113/120

Work Experience (3 years at matriculation):

- 20 months at a boutique MC firm in Italy: promoted after one year, given an intern and a full-time analyst to manage after one year, substantial contribution in selling the extension of a major engagement, acted as the company reference point for IT procurement and integration with parent company when the firm was acquired;

- 9 months now in a major MC firm (top 3): international engagement (Ukraine, Switzerland, Italy) as well as international team (Ukrainian, Russian, Dutch, Italian), should be promoted to a post-MBA position in one year. First-year evaluation as a top performer in my peer group.

Extracurriculars:

- junior teacher at local sailing club, organized sailing race with about 100 participants;

- head of non-editorial activities for the leading italian music webzine (until I went working as a consultant), negotiated two deals with major players in the online advertising business.

- hobbies: fountain pens, wetshaving, billiards.

Career Goal:

- Short term: move to the US in a product management role in an Internet-based company, as a manager in a major or co-founder in a startup.

- Medium-term: transition into a value-add focused PE/VC fund leveraging my experience.

Weaknesses:

took me one year more than expected to graduate, due to family matters. I also feel my extracurricular are not up to par with other applicants though leadership could emerge in my professional career so far.

R1 results:

HBS: no word yet (so ding or w/l)
Stanford: no word yet
Kellogg (MMM): admit --I would like your input on which school to choose should I get H/S dings and 3 R2 admits, given my career goals.

Thank you again,

Paradosso

Kudos [?]: 140 [0], given: 3

MBA Admissions Consultant
avatar
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2453

Kudos [?]: 566 [0], given: 0

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2008, 14:03
Congrats on the Kellogg admit. At the minimum, you've gotten into at least one great school so everything else from here on in is just icing on the cake.

For schools outside of HBS and Stanford, you should be competitive so long as you put in a strong application - again these things are obviously subjective, but between Wharton, Chicago and LBS you should be able to get into at least one of them as well. Stanford and HBS you should also be in the mix, but the thing is you're also competing against other Bain/BCG/McKinsey types like yourself, and it will probably be a little harder to stand out from that crowd (even though yes, there aren't many Italians applying, nationality alone won't get you over the hump; it still comes down to your application and luck).

For b-schools, you are a low risk. You have a strong educational background (great school in a field directly related to your occupation - business) and blue chip work experience. As such, in this kind of job market you will have a less difficult time finding a decent job because of it, and schools do account for that.

As for whether you should go to the MMM program or not, it depends on what you *actually* want to do and whether you're up for the extra workload of a dual degree (MMM was traditionally for those going into old school manufacturing; not sure how much good it will do you vs a regular MBA if you're looking to work at an Internet company). At this point, you don't have that option so you might as well keep it in your hip pocket for now. Once you get in, then a *real* discussion can happen about your choices. Good luck
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com

Kudos [?]: 566 [0], given: 0

Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 283

Kudos [?]: 140 [0], given: 3

Location: Milan
Schools: Wharton, LBS, UChicago, Kellogg MMM (Donald Jacobs Scholarship), Stanford, HBS
Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2009, 06:57
Alex,

as you predicted, I was able to pull some other admits in R2. I am now facing a very difficult decision on which I would welcome your input.

With reference to what I wrote three months ago, I was admitted at Booth and at Wharton (also waiting for LBS).

My career goals have stayed what they were: basically, I want to get into Internet services VC, and I reckon the best way to do this given my present situation is to gain experience as a product manager in a major company in the field (Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook), or, ideally, serving a VC-backed startup.

I have to choose among Kellogg MMM, Booth and Wharton. I have made the following points to myself:

- From a management point, Kellogg and Wharton seem on par (all majors recruit at both), Booth seems at a disadvantage.
- From a VC point of view, I sense Wharton may definitely have an edge, but I'm not sure about how much will it count (as a Wharton graduate, I would welcome your input here).
- Kellogg's scholarship is important both for the money in itself (I have $0 net worth) as well as a signalling tool (to VCs it may look impressive, but again I'm not sure how much it will count, to me it's a sign that they will really want me). I am waiting on scholarships from Wharton or Chicago, but I deem unlikely they will match the Kellogg offer.
- The MMM program seems a good fit for my plan, however there's probably no one there who has a VC background (not the case at Wharton) and most people will go into IB/consulting/GM for industrial companies. So I might be a lone soul there (again: advantage or not?). A couple of people have gone into what I want for myself from the MMM, but they had relevant experience before. The MMM is also an Engineering Management degree, which may be relevat to my target industry.
- I also want to dabble with healthcare, which I don't know anything about right now, and I understand Wharton stands a definite advantage there.

Basically, as of now, it seems to me that Kellogg and Wharton have an edge on Chicago (not as strong in my target industries). As per choosing between Kellogg and Wharton, I feel it comes down in the end to how much advantage could the allegedly superior Wharton brand give me in the VC arena (also, Wharton has a better global brand, which could always be useful).

I would like to have your evaluation both on the overall feasibility of my career plan (I am an international too, so this could all be more difficult than it seems on paper), as well as about the choice I have to make and facets of it I may have forgotten in my analysis so far.

I am sure to speak on behalf of the whole GmatClub community when I say that your answers have been providing a great deal of honest and precious insight. It's worth reading all of your posts as they always include elements of value for everyone and not just for the person who asked for your help. That's definitely impressive.

Thanks,
Paradosso

Kudos [?]: 140 [0], given: 3

MBA Admissions Consultant
avatar
Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2453

Kudos [?]: 566 [0], given: 0

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Paradosso's profile [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2009, 10:32
Congrats on all the admits!

It sounds like you're leaning towards Wharton because it's a better fit for you (other than Kellogg giving you money and that the engineering mgmt may have some relevance to your post-MBA goals).

Here's the thing with VC. It's ultimately about your ability to establish contact and network. A disproportionate number of VC partners that actually have MBAs (and not all of them do - it seems like around half or less than half of them do) come from Stanford, Harvard and Wharton in that order -- beyond those three, there are very very few from other schools. Having said that, the fact that VCs with MBAs come from these three schools primarily can give the illusion that you by going to these schools will automatically give you some huge advantage in getting in.

It really doesn't. Sure, if you went to one of these three schools you can call them up and say "hey, I went to your school!" but the reality from the partners' standpoint you are as much a stranger as some other random MBA or kid who's calling them up.

You need an IN that is more than just "hey, I went to your school" which involves some sort of mutual introduction or relationship -- mutual introductions being made by an entrepreneur who was funded by the VC, or by a friend, ex-colleague, etc. who knows the VC well. Or even a prof.

Now, where going to these three schools can give you some advantage is the fact that you will be surrounded by more classmates who share similar interests as you do. There's a network effect there - job leads and contacts also come from fellow classmates, and it helps being around people who are following the same path - also from a morale standpoint because the job search can otherwise be a lonely process without a support group of fellow classmates who are in the same boat (and where you can help one another). That is where going to a school that has more interest in VC can help (and in this case Wharton probably is a better fit that way, and had you got into Stanford - then Stanford would've been ideal since it's right in the heart of it all).

One way to make your decision is to see if you can get access to people in the VC and/or entrepreneurship clubs at both schools. Go to the school where you feel the clubs and the students involved in this specific area (VC and entrepreneurship) are more active.
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com

Kudos [?]: 566 [0], given: 0

Re: Paradosso's profile   [#permalink] 30 Mar 2009, 10:32
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