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Please evaluate the following profile and provide guidance.
Personal - Indian/Male/29 yrs
GPA, major, school – 67%, Computer Science Engineer, College ranked 35th in India including IITs & NITs
GMAT with breakdown Scheduled coming September. Targeting 720+
Resume highlights, including company name, job titles and promotions Worked with India's second largest software exporter for 7.3 yrs
Career Progression - Software Engineer -> Module Lead -> Programmer Analyst -> Domain consultant Moved into consultant role (Domain consulting group) through internal gating process with multiple interview rounds. Recommended by previous project leaders
Worked with four major clients (Fortune 500) in financial services space. Lead consulting side of the engagement with two clients
International exp - 3 yrs US Geography (Durham, Minneapolis, NYC, Richmond)
Activities in addition to my performance measures- Took part in recruitment drives Anchored one of the presales RFP Published POV (organization level) - Retirement services Developed a case study (project level) - Ramping up resources Devised targeted communication for one of the practice with audience 1500+
Extracurricular involvements IEEE member in Undergrad Active member of Toastmasters International Member of NGO dedicated towards teaching and healthcare of children in need Donations to multiple programs including World food program
Awards, patents, publications, etc... Certifications - Association of Mutual Funds India (AMFI) - Mutual Funds Basic NSE’s Certification in Financial Markets (NCFM) - Securities Market Basic
Presented paper in IIT Roorkee (while in undergrad)
Interesting personal facts - countries lived in, challenges faced, unusual interests Countries lived in - India & US. Also visited Canada – Quebec French cultural fest Challenges faced - Took care of undergrad funding myself Interests - Cooking, Dancing (Bollywood & Salsa), Yoga. Joined Language exchange program (in Minneapolis)
B schools targeted i) Duke Fuqua - NC ii) ISB Hyderabad India iii) UNC Kenan Flagler - NC iv) UCLA Anderson - CA v) McCombs UT - TX
Reasons – i) Ranking - Under top 25. ii) Geography - SE, SW. From long term perspective, I prefer job opportunities in these regions. Iii) Relatively Fair chances of getting scholarship iv) Plan to major in Sales/Marketing/General management
Additional background info I moved out of previous employer in Dec 2011. Since then I haven't joined any other employer.
My aspiration of moving into client facing group (IT sales/key account mgmt/engagement) looked like a farfetched dream due to lack of qualification ie. MBA and experience. Didn't want to move to any other IT mammoth simply because they all run in same fashion and I would have ended up in same function and position
Tried for client servicing opportunities with budding organizations but to my hard luck they all either asked for qualification or core business dev experience. Got just one chance but got rejected for same reasons
Jan-June 2012 was kind of break period. I waited for right opportunities. Did some freelancing work. Also, made some personal plans, which were on back burner for long, priority.
Now I am preparing for GMAT and planning to apply for 2013-2015 class
Questions i) Is the targeted school list good enough or should I research for some more schools also? ii) Do I need to write an optional essay explaining my move out from previous employer? iii) Any additional thoughts to help me in my application process?
Hey there Vish, Sorry it took us soooo long to get back to you, we took a little holiday there. Anyhow, we are revved up and ready to rock.
So, first of all, it's a bit tough for us to give you any sort of evaluation without a GMAT, so let's wait on that before we get into specifics there. Obviously though, your big obstacle is being unemployed. Schools do not generally take too kindly to the unemployed, and the longer you are unemployed, the less good it looks, and that, compounded with your Indian/Tech background will make things tough at top schools. You have to first see what you can do to "fill the time". Meaning you aren't working, okay. But what ARE you doing?? How is this advancing you? How is this bringing you closer to your goal?? The Adcom is gonna be VERY curious to hear answers to all these questions. and yes, this is something you absolutely MUST address in your optional essay.
Finally, besides your GMAT, the best thing you can do at this point to help your application is to get a job. I know it's a bit of a catch-22 because you want the MBA so that you can get a better job, but it's the truth... Best,
Yes, I am thinking on similar lines. I will get a job as soon as possible.
Regarding how I spent my break period -
i) I did a lot of self study on sales cycle, strategies, pricing/engagement models, commercials & bidding, solving case studies etc....knowledge required to perform the role, I was looking for.
ii) Met with some of the professional contacts, who started their own business, to understand the challenges and effort required to take a plunge
ii) I worked with a friend who is in a startup - Mobile app dev and content mgmt. He needed my help to define sales plan and strategy to project his company. Also provided directions to restructure his website and to increase his company presence through social media.
iii) I knew that I need to work on public speaking and presentations skills. So I joined Toastmasters club.
iv) I had the realization that there is a lack of career counseling for kids, who are from low economic background. So I specifically joined NGO towards this cause. I attend this NGO every week, where I teach and provide career guidance to the kids.
v) I visited places like - Goa, Rajasthan (Western India - Rich in heritage and culture), Kolkatta (Eastern India), Champa village (saw how day to day life runs and how is it different from cities)
Please let me know your thoughts on above points as far as optional essay is concerned. What points should I highlight or should I keep low.
Numbers 2,3,4 are very interesting, because they are CONCRETE actions you have taken. And that is the key to be CONCRETE. After all you can't write "Well I met a bunch of business people and chatted with them"... it's just not as strong as "collaborated on Startup x" That's the key. And if you have RESULTS, then you are in even better shape. so for example if in joining the NGO you did more than just volunteer, but say raised 10,000$, then that is something! And that's the sort of things that I and the Adcoms would be looking for.