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Manager
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Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 124
Concentration: Strategy, Sustainability
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V39
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New post 25 Mar 2015, 08:19
Hi,

I don't have too many people around me who've either pursued or who plan to pursue an MBA and that's why I'm looking to figure out where I stand.

-27 y/o Indian Male (will turn 29 by the time I start in 2016)

-GMAT 710 (49Q, 39V)

-Graduated in 2008 from a business school in UK with a degree in accounting and finance. Topped my degree in year one. Ended up with an upper 2.1 degree.

-planned on working in UK itself in order to get some international work ex but had to move back to India because of my fathers death (3 weeks after final term). Had to take care of family affairs so had to move back.

-working in the business development and strategy implementation division of a firm with interests across hydropower, textiles and education and annual revenues of over $100m. Have worked across all 3 sectors. Currently leading a team in implementing the expansion/diversification of the education vertical. The project is at an advanced stage of implementation and the financial rewards from the project have already started flowing in. The idea for diversification was my brainchild and thus I was made the team leader of the project. I'm also the youngest at the firm at a senior managerial role. I've held leadership roles across all the 3 verticals.

-short term goal is to make a transition to a top tier management consulting firm and work in new geographies (outside of India). Long term goal is to take up a senior management role at a fortune 500 firm. In my current role I'm coming up with and executing ideas that lead to improvement in business process and create value for the firm. I think a career in consulting will be a reasonable sell as my STG.

-Extra curricular: work with one of the most prominent environmental NGO in the country. Have been closely associated with environmental research over the last 4 years. Having lost my father to blood cancer I started a cancer foundation in his name and have raised over INR 1.5m which in turn was used to help underprivileged patients in their treatment. Also organize an annual blood donation camp. Also redrafted and implemented the corporate social responsibility charter at the firm with a focus on sanitation for the poor and improving female financial literacy. I've also worked for a member of parliament from 2009-2013 on devising a plan for development in the members parliamentary constituency.

-Target schools- Insead, Columbia, Hec Paris, etc
INSEAD's definitely my dream school. I don't have international work experience but I'm hoping that the fact the I studied abroad for 3 years and that my extenuating circumstances made me move back to India will help with my application at Insead.

-Besides the above mentioned schools I'd like to find out which other schools I can apply to?

Thanks for taking time out and helping people out here. Really appreciate it.

Regards
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New post 25 Mar 2015, 16:53
Hi - Thanks for reaching out for feedback. First, i am very sorry about your father. It is wonderful what you have done in his memory, helping other afflicted with blood cancer. Really admirable. Ok, now let's talk about your candidacy.

So, first and foremost I see that you are concerned that you won't be seen as "international" particularly with INSEAD, which is such a global program It is true, but please understand that that is just one of many, many metrics that adcoms assess, and it isn't one of the critical metrics. So don't be discouraged or concerned about that at all. You will be able t explain this in an optional essays if you feel strongly about it. In your case, due to why y returned to India, your essays will be additive in your application, not just explanatory, as it highlights characteristics about you that are venerable. Let's talk about the metrics that do matter and how to measure up in all of them

1) an ability to build confidence among the adcoms that you will be able to handle the rigor of the coursework - this is shown through a strong academic performance in college (more easily shown if you did a quant-focused major) and a strong score on the GMAT exam. You are in fine shape along this metric. Now, your GMAT score of 710 is good, but if you got that on your first attempt and that was a recent attempt I would encourage you to take it again, unless you walked of of the exam knowing that was the best you could do. I suggest you take it again, because although 710 is good, it is below the average of most top schools, so you want to show an effort to do better. Currently your verbal score is low. But don't worry. When we work with clients we make sure to mitigate a low verbal score by helping them craft strong resumes and essays. We make sure they speak to their communication prowess in their resume and have their recommenders also note it (if that makes sense).
2) a robust career-to date, one that shows progress, growth, acceleration relative to their peers, strategic thinking, leadership, teamwork, management of people and/or projects, innovative thought/action, versatility, impact/influence, and integrity among other traits - based on what you have shared about your career you have done a good job of addressing those themes. Now, what is critical is that you craft a business school resume that captures your professional story in a layperson friendly manner that also highlights those themes. This is part of our work with clients. We typically talk to clients for several hours before we then help them rebuild their resume. It is important to take it seriously. as the resume is often what the adcoms will read first in your app - yu want to make a string first impression. You want them to be eager to red your essays. What you don't want s for them to see that you aren't ready for business school because you didn't capture your experiences in a proper way. You also want to be sure to capture your experiences in an easy-to-read way. You don't want the adcom to have questions as they read your bullets, because you won't be next to them to answer questions. The same is true for the next big metric - career goals - they must be clear and have logic. Otherwise the adcom will have questions...let's talk more about that below....
3) Ambitious yet realistic career narrative/goals - ok, so you want to going into strategy consulting and then join a F500 company. That is VERY vanilla, meaning something lots of folks will say and very vague. This needs work. If this is really your career ambition, you need to talk about what specific practice group/industry you want to be a part of and why do you want to join a F5009 company...which one, in what industry? I ask these questions to test you...to understand your logic and passions. Right now, I don't grasp either. I need to be convinced that this narrative excited you and that you will excel. So if you partner with us we would play devil's advocate to make sure you have properly thought about your career options and crafted a narrative that once truly does excite you and will compel the adcoms, not make the, scratch their heads out of confusion.
4) A desire to be involved/give back - this is about extracurriculars during and after college. It looks like you have great involvement since college - admirable involvements. Right now, based on what's on paper, it looks like you may be light in terms of your involvement in college, in which case you would want to write an optional essay to explain why. adcoms believe the way applicants conduct themselves in college is indicative of how they will conduct themselves in business school. There may be reasons you weren't deeply involved in college...share that, candidly.
5) Fit with schools - right now, per your career ambitions, any top school would work for you. Fit needs t be more personal - it can be about class size, culture, programmatic offerings, global immersion opps, semester-abroad options, alumni networks, etc....right now I honestly can't tell you that the schools you have selected are right or wrong for you. Nothing tells me they are wrong for you. But I am dying to ask you questions to better understand your selection. I also want to help you shared your career goals so we can then more definitively define what schools are the right schools for you.
6) Life experience (god and bad)/color/depth/maturity/perspective - this is very hard to detect from what you sent me, as this is a sense one can only develop about someone after talking with them at depth. It's what we work very hard to help clients integrate throughout their applications so adcoms see them as distinct, unique. I can see that you have definitely had some life experience due to your father's passing. I want to know what else there is, and we then want to discern how to build that naturally into your applications.

Ok, so that is just the top of the iceberg. But it is a glimpse into your candidacy. I hope you find it helpful. If you would like to talk more over skype, just let me know. You can reach me at Kathryn Lucas (remover space between names) Square One Prep (removes spaces between words) dotcom. Sorry i had to write my email address that way. Urls aren't allowed in posts. Thanks!
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New post 26 Mar 2015, 07:10
Hey Kathryn,

Thank you so much for taking out time and posting such an extensive response.

I completely agree with you on Insead. I think the fact that Insead has so many essays might actually help me put across my stories in a better way. I think I with some professional help I can come up with interesting/different essays.

I know my GMAT at 710 is definitely on the lower side, especially when it comes to international students. I think I can improve my score by 10-20 points but seeing how I'm keen on applying to Insead for the Jan 2016 intake (deadline for which is 22nd April) I think I'll give my GMAT later.

So I thought most consultants get hired in generalist roles?
In the long run I would like to work at a large MNC such as GE, Boeing, etc in a senior managerial position and maybe lead its expansion in developing markets such as India. You're right my goals need a lot of work, that where I'll need professional help.

I won't say that my EC's were stellar during college but I was reasonably involved with the Business society, AIESEC and the Indian students organization also I held elected positions in 2 out of the 3.

I am mostly looking at schools in the US and some in Europe as well. Most important factors for me are- employment stats for international students (particularly in consulting), Alumni network and the brand recognition of the school itself. I'm not overly concerned with the other factors such as class size, etc.

I was wondering if this would help you in listing some schools that might be suitable? Also I'm emailing you right away
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New post 26 Mar 2015, 07:16
Hi - Why don't we now take this offline and talk over the phone/skype so I can offer you more guidance? Writing can be tedious, as I am sure you know! I'd like to be able to talk more fully and robustly with you. Would you like to talk? My skype id is k_luuuu and can be found by using my email address (kathryn-nospace-lucas-at-square-nospace-one-nospace-prep-dotcom)

Kathryn
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Re: Profile Evaluation request   [#permalink] 26 Mar 2015, 07:16

Profile Evaluation request

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