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Joined: 13 Jan 2018
Posts: 13
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New post 06 Oct 2018, 20:32
35M, 710 GMAT, 3.63 GPA, 11 years experience. I would like to apply for Round 2 this year.


Work Experience:

    11 years for a South East Asian (SEA, think: Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore) energy company. Started out as a operations engineer in a refinery (3 years), shifted gears to corporate strategy as a portfolio analyst (3 years). Seconded to Canada to manage a multinational joint venture for 4 years. Back in home country now as a manager in internal audit.

    Same company all this time but didn't stay in one position for too long and have a good view of the entire energy value chain.

    Granted a full sponsorship (leave from work, tuition, living expenses) from work to pursue an MBA and will have a job waiting for me when I get back.


    Not much since I started work (have 3 kids). Was president of my country's student association when I was in college 12 years ago, organized interstate games and gala dinners.

    Running (marathon runner), cycling and big coffee enthusiast (I roast my own beans and have 6 types of coffee brewers, find me on r/coffee)

    Undergrad school/major: Top 5 public university in Australia, sponsored by the company too. Double degree graduate in Chemical Engineering (First Class Honours) and Business Management (Dean's List)

    Race/Nationality: South East Asian - based on heritage, I think I would qualify as a URM


    GMAT: 710 (Q48, V39) - just took it two days back. Got a 100-point increase from my first time in Aug. No plans to retake.

    Undergrad GPA: Chemical Engineering - 3.63. Business Management - 3.39

MBA Info

    Goal of MBA: I'll be returning back to the company upon graduation (with strings attached!) so I have chartered out my journey in the company. I want to head the business development unit and do strategic acquisitions to move the company away from conventional oil and gas to the new frontier. Having an MBA would address areas where I lack in experience: corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and deal making. Long term goal: to be CEO of the company and call the shots. Essentially, I see myself growing in the organization.

    I really enjoyed strategic planning when I was in corporate strategy and have identified it as one of my key strengths when problem solving. So I would like to get some fundamentals in strategic thinking to round out and further build on this interest. An MBA would be perfect for that. Have this idea to have an external consultant mindset when tackling issues internal to the organization and would like to expand that further

Target schools:

Brand name is a big deal for me, it has to be known in my part of the world: Harvard, Stanford (reach). MIT Sloan, Booth and Haas (target) and LBS (safe school, more because of age).

    When I had a 610 GMAT, I was considering going for the one year Sloan Fellows (MIT and Stanford) as the cohort fits my age and experience better. But with a 710, I think I can give the full MBA a shot. I know I will be the oldest in class but I'm quite young at heart.

    The company has been sponsoring staff with similar profiles to Harvard, MIT, LBS, INSEAD and IESE over the last 5 years so there's a relationship built between the company and these schools which I think would help my chances.


I think I have a narrative to draw upon on adaptability and my cross cultural exposure and experience. Few questions:

    With my stats, is 35 (36 when matriculating) too old to get into Harvard or Stanford?

    Also, I heard the main risk of admitting students >30 is the employment factor post graduation. But since I'm going back to the company, does this become a non-issue?

    I want to focus on telling my story rather than take the GMAT again, so is the 710, together with my GPA, sufficient to tick the academic rigor checkbox

Many thanks.
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 19 Apr 2018
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New post 10 Oct 2018, 16:21
Hi and thanks for your post.
You have an interesting profile and it's nice to see you have thought a lot about the application process.

As you mentioned, the average age is closer to late 20s, so the key is really convincing the admissions committees why it makes sense for you to now get your MBA. This is where your essays are critically important. And yes the fact that you have a guaranteed job lined up upon graduation is definitely in your favor.
I agree that with a 710, as well as strong leadership experience at work, it is worth applying to a full time program. Harvard and Stanford are reach schools for almost everyone, and since their average GMAT is 730+, that is the case here. Sloan, Booth and Haas have averages around 720 so I agree that applying to a couple other schools is a smart idea. These top schools are all so competitive that they can't admit all the qualified applicants, even those with extremely high GMAT/GPAs.

I feel that your work experience can help differentiate you, so hopefully you will be able to elaborate on compelling leadership experiences where you really made an impact on your teams.

Good luck and let me know if you'd like to sign up for a free consultation to discuss your story.
Michael Guttman
Senior Consultant, mbaMission

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