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Profile Evaluation

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Profile Evaluation  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2018, 22:35
Hello,

I am a relatively non-traditional MBA applicant and I would really appreciate your thoughtful review of my profile.

I recent took the GMAT and received the following scores:
Quantitative - 49
Verbal - 34 (I did poorly on timing and ended up guessing the last 4 questions... I think this hurt a lot)
AWA - TBD
IR - 8

Overall GMAT score - 680

Ethnicity - Asian American
Age - 33

Education
Bachelor's in Chemistry with Specialization in Biochemistry; GPA = 3.52; University of Virginia (class of 2008)
Master's in Chemistry; GPA = 4.0; University of North Carolina - Wilmington (class of 2014) - I finished this while working at my current workplace.

Work experience
- Total 10 years of experience at a contract research organization (CRO) - Pharmaceutical
- I worked with various novel biologics and biosimilars, supporting 50+ clinical trials for 10+ global pharmaceutical companies - 150+ projects overall.
- I started my career in 2009 as a bench scientist (Associate Scientist). I was promoted 4 times since then; Scientist (2009) - Sr. Scientist (2011) - Associate Group Leader (2015) - Group Leader (2017)
- I am currently supervising a team of 10 people including a manager-level person and scientists.
- I have supported 2 FDA approved drugs and am currently working with 4 drugs in Phase III trial.

Key skills
- Client communication
- Project management
- Peoples management
- Drug research and development

Extracurricular activity (could be my weakness)
- I recently started supporting my wife's freelance makeup business. I was involved in client communications and contracts. This business is at an infant stage, so I don't think I can use this to support my application much
- I have been involved in various church activities, including children's ministry (language tutor) and college/adults group outreach. Nothing special here.


You might wonder why I started pursuing an MBA degree. Yes, I am quite stable at my current place and may have opportunities in other companies as well. However, the more I managed projects, the more I felt that I was lacking important management skills. I also wanted to learn how to manage a bigger group of people, and become an executive eventually. I really felt that more education is necessary, but I was not quite there to pursue an executive MBA. So I started preparing for a traditional MBA, focusing on management in particular.

I am not interested in finance, accounting, or investment banking. I am trying to stay in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical field even after getting an MBA.
My target schools are those in the top 15. I know my GMAT is weak, so I am curious what my chances are, and which schools I should consider. It would be greatly appreciated if you can share any advice.

Thank you in advance.
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New post 07 Oct 2018, 04:34
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A few thoughts on your profile/plans goingdown85:
  1. The career acceleration you have had looks good. You'd have to put that into perspective though - is it fast on a relative scale? Since you are from a bit of niche area, the onus on explaining the relative sense will be on you.
  2. While the motivation sounds fair, you'd need a lot more granularity in your post-MBA plans. Read here.
  3. For healthcare, it might be going for a more targeted approach at some of the schools here.
  4. Finally, MBA after 30 is pretty tricky. So GMAT handicap apart, that's another aspect you gotta be thinking about. It might be better to explore the Fellows programs explained here.

Hope this helps some.

Cheers,
_________________

MG (Manish Gupta)|The MBA Crystal Ball Team

Website: http://www.mbacrystalball.com
Email: mcb at mbacrystalball dot com

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New post 08 Oct 2018, 13:14
1
Hi goingdown85,

Thank you for your post. A few observations:

1. Age and Work Experience -- Applying to full-time programs when you're 10 years removed from undergrad (to enroll when you're 11 years removed from undergrad) will unfortunately place you toward the high-end tail from an age and work experience perspective. You have deep and meaningful experience in your field, including managerial experience and advancement, which is great, but if you attend events and chat with adcoms, you'll almost certainly find that they'll encourage you to consider EMBAs, 1-Year MBAs, or Part-Time MBAs. Those are likely a better fit at this stage.

(You'll find a handful of folks with extended work experience at most full-time programs, but those are often rather unique circumstances... ex-military or medicine or founded-and-ran a successful business, for example. Your work experience is unique in its own right, but I think it will be an uphill battle in terms of convincing adcoms "why now" for a FTMBA.)

2. GMAT Score -- The 680 GMAT places you outside the middle 80% range for T10 programs and toward the lower end of it for most T11-16 schools. Even if your work experience level were on target, I'd encourage you to improve your score if you're targeting the top 15. If you do end up evaluating EMBA, 1-Year MBA, and Part-Time MBA options, then you should check out the average scores and middle 80% ranges for the programs you're interested in. Your Quant is strong, and given the timing situation you mentioned on the Verbal side, it sound like the 680 doesn't quite reflect what your score could be.

Read More: Deconstructing the GMAT Arms Race

3. Why MBA / Why Now -- You'll really need to develop the specificity of your post-MBA and longer-term career vision and articulate how your science background plus the MBA equals or leads to those goals. Consider not only what industry you want to target, but also the company(ies) and roles you'd seek, and what impact you'd hope to have. Consider what knowledge, skills, and experience you already have that are relevant toward these goals, and consider what knowledge, skills, and experience you're missing and therefore need to acquire via the MBA. How exactly will you acquire those things at the programs you're interested in? What's the passion and purpose behind your career vision? How did the interest in the business side evolve, or grow out of what you did on the science side? How does the combination of the two (science plus business) uniquely position you for success and impact in your field?

Read More: Career Goals, Why MBA, School Research and Engagement, Passion & Purpose, etc.

Best Regards,
Greg
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New post 08 Oct 2018, 19:42
MG4MBACrystalBall

Thank you very much for your advice. The resources cited in your response were very helpful and definitely opened my eyes to various options available. Regarding the career acceleration, I would say that it has been pretty fast considering that I started from an entry level position. My colleagues are mostly older than I am, and some have doctoral degrees. However, I definitely understand that this does not put me in any better position as an MBA candidate.. in fact, I would think that my age and potential lack of career flexibility would put me in a worse spot.

I am certainly considering schools that have better connections with pharma. Do you have any suggestions? I guess a stronger GMAT would be critical for me no matter which program I consider (1 year, part-time, EMBA)? I have done some research around these programs, but could not figure out how realistically they would help me advance my career further. It does seem that my options are limited, so I would like to find any opportunities that would work better for me and work towards them. I am in an outsourcing industry and would be very interested in learning resource management and business development side of things. If there is any program that you recommend, please let me know. I really appreciate your help.
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New post 08 Oct 2018, 20:15
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AvantiPrep

Thank you so much for the detailed comments. I definitely understand your point on the potential disadvantage of my age and work experience. I have thought about other programs such as EMBAs, but I am still not sure if they would be worth the money and effort. I guess everything will depend on how I do it in school, but it has been quite difficult to gather what learning opportunities these programs would offer that would help me advance my career further specifically in pharma. I have been focusing my past 10 years doing research and project management, but I felt that my career progression would eventually come to a stop if I don't broaden my business knowledge and develop necessary skills. I will start thinking about the specific goals as I move forward with my applications. I am planning on re-taking the GMAT later this year, so I am hoping that I could do a better job this time.
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New post 08 Oct 2018, 21:58
goingdown85 wrote:
MG4MBACrystalBall

Thank you very much for your advice. The resources cited in your response were very helpful and definitely opened my eyes to various options available. Regarding the career acceleration, I would say that it has been pretty fast considering that I started from an entry level position. My colleagues are mostly older

<<snip>>

work towards them. I am in an outsourcing industry and would be very interested in learning resource management and business development side of things. If there is any program that you recommend, please let me know. I really appreciate your help.



One of the links I shared talks about the Healthcare MBAs - so start there.

The bar is not super high on GMAT when it comes to part-time/EMBAs. So if that's the route you take, I'd say focus on the applications instead.

All the best!
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New post 11 Oct 2018, 08:25
Thank you, goingdown85. If you'd like ever like to talk through some of those questions and considerations, please feel free to sign up for a Free Consultation. I'd be more than happy to chat: https://www.avantiprep.com/free-consultation.html

goingdown85 wrote:
AvantiPrep

Thank you so much for the detailed comments. I definitely understand your point on the potential disadvantage of my age and work experience. I have thought about other programs such as EMBAs, but I am still not sure if they would be worth the money and effort. I guess everything will depend on how I do it in school, but it has been quite difficult to gather what learning opportunities these programs would offer that would help me advance my career further specifically in pharma. I have been focusing my past 10 years doing research and project management, but I felt that my career progression would eventually come to a stop if I don't broaden my business knowledge and develop necessary skills. I will start thinking about the specific goals as I move forward with my applications. I am planning on re-taking the GMAT later this year, so I am hoping that I could do a better job this time.

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Founder | Avanti Prep
MBA Admissions Consulting
Sign up for a Free Consultation!

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Schools: Stanford '19
GMAT 1: 770 Q51 V44
Re: Profile Evaluation  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2018, 01:50
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Hi There,

Yes your GMAT is on the lower side - but you do have excellent work experience in an area that is relatively niche (from an MBA applicant pool point of view), and yet important. Your GMAT will obvioulsy be an important aspect of your candidature, but in your case, the emphasis placed on the GMAT could be lower than for other candidates.

You might need to explain why you are pursuing an MBA after so many years of experience - you would be on the older side of the applicant pool. But your explanation does seem credible.

I would encourage you to put in applications to top-15 programs. Perhaps Virginia-Darden could have a soft spot for a returning alum? Regardless, I'm sure other schools will evince interest as well.

Feel free to get in touch with us using the link below if you want to set up a discussion.

Best,
Karthik

goingdown85 wrote:
Hello,

I am a relatively non-traditional MBA applicant and I would really appreciate your thoughtful review of my profile.

I recent took the GMAT and received the following scores:
Quantitative - 49
Verbal - 34 (I did poorly on timing and ended up guessing the last 4 questions... I think this hurt a lot)
AWA - TBD
IR - 8

Overall GMAT score - 680

Ethnicity - Asian American
Age - 33

Education
Bachelor's in Chemistry with Specialization in Biochemistry; GPA = 3.52; University of Virginia (class of 2008)
Master's in Chemistry; GPA = 4.0; University of North Carolina - Wilmington (class of 2014) - I finished this while working at my current workplace.

Work experience
- Total 10 years of experience at a contract research organization (CRO) - Pharmaceutical
- I worked with various novel biologics and biosimilars, supporting 50+ clinical trials for 10+ global pharmaceutical companies - 150+ projects overall.
- I started my career in 2009 as a bench scientist (Associate Scientist). I was promoted 4 times since then; Scientist (2009) - Sr. Scientist (2011) - Associate Group Leader (2015) - Group Leader (2017)
- I am currently supervising a team of 10 people including a manager-level person and scientists.
- I have supported 2 FDA approved drugs and am currently working with 4 drugs in Phase III trial.

Key skills
- Client communication
- Project management
- Peoples management
- Drug research and development

Extracurricular activity (could be my weakness)
- I recently started supporting my wife's freelance makeup business. I was involved in client communications and contracts. This business is at an infant stage, so I don't think I can use this to support my application much
- I have been involved in various church activities, including children's ministry (language tutor) and college/adults group outreach. Nothing special here.


You might wonder why I started pursuing an MBA degree. Yes, I am quite stable at my current place and may have opportunities in other companies as well. However, the more I managed projects, the more I felt that I was lacking important management skills. I also wanted to learn how to manage a bigger group of people, and become an executive eventually. I really felt that more education is necessary, but I was not quite there to pursue an executive MBA. So I started preparing for a traditional MBA, focusing on management in particular.

I am not interested in finance, accounting, or investment banking. I am trying to stay in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical field even after getting an MBA.
My target schools are those in the top 15. I know my GMAT is weak, so I am curious what my chances are, and which schools I should consider. It would be greatly appreciated if you can share any advice.

Thank you in advance.

_________________

Karthik P.
Founder and CEO,
August Academy.

We are an India based MBA admissions consulting firm. We've been helping Indian MBA applicants (students belonging to the most competitive MBA admissions pool) since 2013. Several of our students study at top 20 schools in the US including Kellogg, MIT, Yale, Ross and Darden, top European schools including London Business School and Oxford, top Canadian schools like Rotman and top Asian schools like ISB and NUS. Our students have won over USD 2.1 Million in scholarships over the last 3 admissions years.

Schedule a free consultation with us.

Click here to view GMATclub verified student testimonials.

Click here to view all our student testimonials.


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New post 15 Oct 2018, 14:36
AugustAcademy

Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, UVA Darden is one of my top choices since I reside in Virginia. I am planning on giving another shot at GMAT while working on the applications, so I hope I can do a better job this time.

My main goal through an MBA is to develop business skills as well as connections within Pharma industry to have bigger role in drug development and marketing. That's why I initially was not looking into executive or part-time MBAs since they may have rather limited opportunities available (not being on-site). I may need consultation, so I will schedule a discussion shortly.

Thank you again.
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Re: Profile Evaluation &nbs [#permalink] 15 Oct 2018, 14:36
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