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Profile Evaluation - PhD

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Joined: 09 Aug 2019
Posts: 2
Profile Evaluation - PhD  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2019, 13:21
Dear Admissionado-Team,

I would appreciate your evaluation of my profile as someone targeting a Top 10 MBA program.

Please
  • advise on chances of a successful application and areas to improve,
  • address my GMAT score relative to my overall profile,
  • and suggest names of b-schools that might be receptive to my profile.

Thank you a lot for investing your time, this will be really helpful.
_______________________________________________________

Basic demographic info
I'm a 30 years old German male.
Might makes sense to mention working class background in essay.

Educational Background
Undergraduate degree: Bachelor in Business Administration, accounting major, GPA 3.6/4.0
Graduate degree: Master in Management, GPA 3.7/4.0
PhD in Management from German top university (department admits ~1/200 applicants), research stays at two European top universities
GMAT: 680

Work experience
- finance/consulting: 3 years, Big 4, promotion after 1 year, international exposure, project experiences (incl. minor leadership experiences) in financial valuation, change management, due diligence, large scale IT projects
- research: 2 years, acquired and lead research project at DAX30 technology company, C-level sponsorship
- IT/project management certifications

Extracurriculars
- mentoring two young professionals (working at MBB and in pharma), 3 years, focus on career/academic advice
- refugee relief, mentoring/child sponsorship, 1 year
- mentoring a group of high school students in business case development, teaching business know-how, 1 year, as part of a BCG initiative
- admission committee member for bachelor's, master's and PhD program
- apprentice trainer at the German chamber of commerce and industry

Short/Long term goals
Goal after MBA is to head for strategy consulting, preferably with focus on health or public sector projects.
After that, entrepreneurship in healthtec/educational sector.
Alternatively join VC fund and help bringing good ideas to life.

USPs
I think I might be able to differentiate myself in one or more of the following ways. Not sure though if AdComs are looking for these kinds of things.
- undergraduate degree earned along part-time job, graduate degree (masters) along full-time finance/consulting job
- first in family with academic degree
- studied management, then switched to applied computer science topic for final thesis to learn programming, thesis then got published in selective graduate publishing series
- secured three scholarships (ages 19-27): one from private company, two from German government (total >50.000 USD of funds)
- one supervised undergraduate student received award for his final project, another secured a scholarship

Recommendations
My PhD supervisors would probably write highly appreciative recs based on 4 years of intense collaboration, showcased by specific examples.
_______________________________________________________
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Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
Re: Profile Evaluation - PhD  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2019, 19:35
Hi there! Unfortunately getting into a top b-school is going to be a bit of a challenge for you for a few reasons. First, b-school adcoms are very wary of applicants who appear to be "career students." You've got a LOT of education under your belt already and, unlike other grad programs, b-schools actually really prefer to see work experience rather than multiple graduate degrees. They want applicants with real world experience that they can bring into class discussion. When you've already got so much education it's also harder to make an argument for the skill gaps you need to fill in b-school.

Your GMAT is also below average for top 20 programs. With a 680 you could target schools in the 20-35 range (we use US News & World Report) but anything higher than that will be a challenge. You are also above the average age at 30, which can pose challenges.

It looks like you do have some solid experience in consulting (the adcom will value that more than the research experience) but it does make it harder to argue that you need an MBA in order to land a ST role in consulting following graduation. Consulting is also a very common post-MBA goal, so it's tough to differentiate yourself & they will be comparing you against all the other applicants who have that same post-MBA goal.

In terms of entrepreneurship as a LT goal, that can be a tough one as well. If you say you want to start a company, the adcom will want to see the specifics of what you plan to do. You don't need a fully fleshed out business plan but you do need to be able to articulate what unmet need your company will fill, what your unique value proposition will be, and how you'll compete with existing companies that will have more resources that you will as a start up. VC could work, but you'll be competing against people with VC experience so if you take that route, VC is probably the better ST goal. Ultimately it all hinges on the LT goal: the purpose of the ST goal is to be the very best prep for the LT goal & the purpose of the MBA is to prepare you for both. Especially since you will face challenges in convincing the adcom that you need yet another degree, it will be critical to articulate strong, clear post-MBA goals so you can then articulate the specific skill gaps you need to fill in b-school to reach those goals.

In terms of LORs, the ideal is actually to have recommenders from a work context (ideally direct managers) since again, the adcom wants to see your impact in a real-world business environment. That's not to say you can't use a PhD supervisor but you'll want at least one recommender who managed you in an actual job.

So all of that said, I think b-school is an option for you if you are wiling to shoot a bit lower in terms of the school rankings -- and I'd definitely work on refining your goals. If you can improve your GMAT to the 720 range that will make schools in the 10-20 range more of an option for you.

If you need any help thinking through your strategy & your story definitely reach out to us. If you email Claudia at claudia@admissionado.com she can set you up with a free consultation with one of our MBA consultants who can take a look at your resume & give you some more detailed thoughts!
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Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

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Re: Profile Evaluation - PhD  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2019, 22:09
Intern
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Joined: 09 Aug 2019
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Re: Profile Evaluation - PhD  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2019, 06:06
Thank you for your comprehensive answer which was already really helpful.

I have one follow-up question.

In my profile description, I had neglected to include 2 additional years of relevant experience in a real-world business environment.
Factoring those in and assuming all issues other than age and "career student"-issues (GMAT, case for MBA, goals, recs) resolved, how would your answer change?
Admissionado
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
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Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
Re: Profile Evaluation - PhD  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2019, 20:07
It won't make any real difference for full time programs, but it would make you a stronger candidate for part-time programs (which tends to have students with more years of experience) -- I'm not sure if that's an option for you at all. With a part-time programs your age would be less of an obstacle & the are also easier to get into than their full-time counterparts. That said, the idea of a part time program is to work full time while attending & I'm not sure how feasible that would be for you.
_________________
Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado

==

***NEW Admissionado Products & Services! ***

If you like the post, give it a KUDOS!

Now, read up and get smart:

That'll get you started. Still have questions? Reach out, and let’s gab. 
Our only requirement is that you don’t prefer warm milk over cold milk. Everyone else, 100% welcome.

Email: claudia@admissionado.com
Young People: WhatsApp or WeChat (@JonFrankHBS)
Older: FacebookTwitterLinkedIn 
Oldest: 866-409-4753
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