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Undergraduate: Bachelor of Financial and Investment Analysis from a leading college within Delhi University. Secured a 76%, which translates into First Division, with distinction. Placed among the top 10 students of the course. Interned at a large public sector bank in the Investment Management division.
Have cleared level 1 of CFA qualification and presently preparing for level 2 (June 2012)
GMAT Score : 760 (QA 50; VA 42) AWA : 5.5
Current Work Experience:
- Recently (Feb 2012) joined as Deputy Manager in the Corporate Strategy and Planning team of a large consumer goods company - Activities under the purview of the position include annual operating plans, 3-year strategic outlook, business scenario planning and forecasting, and building of internal capabilities and value drivers through process design and compliance
Previous Work Experience:
- Worked for about 20 months at a UK-based business research firm, as Analyst (10 months) and Senior Analyst (10 months) in the Strategic Services team - Worked across a broad range of industries, including telecom, consumer products, and pharmaceuticals; focus on risk assessment, industry and market analysis and growth strategy formulation - Work included: - Strategic decision-support (China procurement setup options, best cost country sourcing, etc.) - Industry analysis (including size and growth, competitive landscape, trends and drivers, and Porter’s analysis), and - Company analysis (including business overview and strategy, operating metrics, revenue and cost analysis, and industry and competitive bench marking) - Responsible for end-to-end delivery of projects, conduction primary and secondary research to draw insights, and guiding new analysts on complex projects
Some key projects undertaken:
- Spain Hotel Industry – Profitability Assessment - Assisted a leading private equity player in assessing profitability determinants of various hotel operating models in Spain - Built profitability models for hotels with various ownership structures, of various quality levels, and in different geographies (under present, pessimistic and optimistic scenarios) - Recommended investment opportunities based on profitability models and qualitative risk assessments
- China Procurement – Competitive Intelligence and Global Integration - Assisted a global wine and spirits company in understanding various internal and external factors hindering the adoption of its sourcing platform in China - In-depth evaluation of various sourcing setups, practices followed by other FMCG companies and identification of key success factors for a sourcing operation in China - Mapping of market insights with current organizational practices to recommend action areas
Other organisational Initiatives - Part of recruitment team - Visited college campus as part of the company's recruitment drive, and conducted test, group discussions. and interviews for selection of students - Trainer - Conducted a wide range of training for new joiners and lateral hires; modules for training encompassed all project and research-related activities - Rolled out the Visual Arts Library (a repository of analytic and visual tools) for use by employees across the organisation
Extra-curricular activities - Part of college team that rolled out the inaugural issue of a quarterly magazine pertaining to our course and set plans for succession; oversaw two issues before graduating - Participation in business plan competitions at college level - Participation in various sporting competitions at school and college level - Participation in various public speaking competitions at school and college level
Current Plans: - Continue learning in the Business Strategy team on the present organization, and build on skills acquired at previous employment - Understand dynamics of corporate function, and assist in formulation of group-level strategy - Apply for full time MBA program in Fall 2013 in a top-tier B-school
Long-term Goals: - Leverage skills acquired in the Strategy domain and the MBA to work at a reputed company in the consulting vertical - Leverage academic background in finance to provide a value proposition marrying both streams of learning
I am planning to apply for the fall 2013 session.
Please advise on the programs I should be targeting and the schools I have a chance of cracking.
I think you have a strong profile for top 10 b-schools, and because you have a strategic consulting focus, you could not go wrong with any of them. You might want to reverse engineer your vision to target schools for whom your ideal consulting recruiters show favor. Some companies are known to recruit at specific schools. WHere I think you stand out as an applicant from India, is you have a broad, team based consulting background already, which is very valuable to b-schools because you become a real resource in the classroom for cracking cases and adding to the general discussion.
Thank you for your input. I have tried to distinguish myself from the Indian-IT-Male candidature, and I'm relieved that it comes across.
Among the top-10 business school, are there any particular that you would recommend based on my profile?
As of now, I'm considering applying to Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg, Wharton, Sloan, Booth, and Columbia. I understand that most, if not all, of these schools may be out of reach due to limited work experience (3+ at time of matriculation). The idea is to be aggressive this year and target only the top schools - and next year, I can adjust my choices based on results this year. I'm thinking of this approach as Fall 2013 isn't a strict deadline in terms of career path, and I might look at Fall 2014 as well if I don't get into a top-10 school this time around.
Also, based on the above, which of Stern/Tuck/Ross would you recommend as possible attempts this year?
You might consider just giving all three a shot, keeping in mind you will need a good re-applicant strategy for next year if you don't get in. A reapplicant strategy is simply a plan to improve your profile in the subsequent 12 months in time for the next application season.