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Joined: 02 Jan 2015
Posts: 6
Location: Philippines
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
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New post 12 Jul 2019, 01:08
Hi Avanti Prep -- Planning to apply in the 2020 intake (Round 1 schools being Kellogg, Columbia, MIT, Stern). Would love to hear your thoughts on my profile below:

Filipino, Male, 29 years of age, 7 years of work experience

Educational Background
BS Management Engineering, an honors program in Ateneo de Manila University
Merit Scholarship from the Bank of the Philippine Islands for four years

GMAT: 720 Q48 V40
Undergraduate GPA: 2.96

Work Experience:
[3 years in Technology/E-Commerce]
Currently founding head of strategy and business intelligence at a tech-enabled logistics company in the Philippines, tasked with setting up the business intelligence and data science infrastructure of the company, and spearheading various strategic initiatives. Led the team that developed the business case and model for the spin-off of the logistics arm of a leading South East Asian E-Commerce company, obtaining >10M USD funding accordingly.

[3 years in Management Consulting] Worked at a boutique US-based management consulting firm, specializing in strategic sourcing and marketing analytics. Also headed recruitment initiatives of the firm in the Philippines.

[3 years in Education -- concurrent] Was a part-time lecturer for IT management at my undergraduate university

[1 year in Consumer Goods] Worked for a multi-national beverage conglomerate as a commercial finance analyst, specializing focusing on the company's innovations projects.
Short-term Post MBA goal
- Chief Interest: Helping build startups from the ground up as a venture launcher in South East-Asia. Hoping to leverage MBA network, and build holistic skills in order to build credibility, and more effectively lead.

Long-term Post MBA goal
- Create a technology start-up focused on improving infrastructure in the Philippines

1. Founded a university orchestra in 2008, and grew the community to over 300 members in 10 years. I am part of the orchestra in an advisory role (chiefly dealing with fundraising and alumni engagement).
2. Passionate about data science: I teach after-work python and data science courses to interested people in my current company
3. MOOC Certifications from Coursera on Machine Learning and AI
4. I give talks on the start-up industry, and on financial model development
Avanti Prep Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 08 Aug 2017
Posts: 307
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New post 12 Jul 2019, 11:59
Hi arnveller,

Thank you for your post. Here are my thoughts:


I really like your full-time work experience; it may be three different jobs in seven years, but they're all super legit (or at least seemingly so), they all bring something MBA-relevant to the table, and there's an ever-expanding trajectory to them -- building a core finance and innovation skill set at the first job, broadening and solidifying that experience and skill set via consulting, and then deploying all of that in a leadership capacity through which you've had to conceive of initiatives and build them (presumably via deep collaboration and partnership with a diverse range of people). There also seems to be some very quantifiable contributions and business impact there as well (not necessarily listed for your first two jobs, but I'm sure it's there, and I'm sure you could unpack the value and detail the impact you had with clients via consulting).


Your extracurriculars sound interesting as well. If we were to chat, I would want to learn more about the university orchestra to begin to theorize how to properly unpack and communicate that. Other than some of the teaching, it seems to the main (and possibly only) community-facing pillar, so I'd be curious to know who the members of the orchestra community are; what the orchestra does (perhaps beyond performing); what impact it's had on the people in it and on the communities in which it operates; whether there are any unique events, accomplishments, or relationships lurking within it; how you built the initiative, recruited people, connected with people, and brought (potentially diverse or different?) people together behind a common cause; where you might have stumbled and what you've learned along the way, and so on and so forth. If that material is rich enough, the community orchestra could become the main focus of some of your essays (such as Kellogg #1, for example) or play a meaningful role in others (depending on essay questions and topics).


I'd also like to discuss your GPA. Any noteworthy context to share there? Do you know what your class rank or percentile was? (Like was that an average-ish mark?) If that's truly a 2.96 out of 4.00 (as commonly interpreted), then unfortunately I do think it will dampen things for you. If, however, your school had some super strict engineering curve whereby (hypothetically) a B- (2.67) was the immovable class average, then it is essential to make that clear, and ideally be able to prove it (like if it were printed somewhere on your transcript), rather than you just "saying" that was the case. You've got a unique background and great experiences (contingent on how well you articulate them, per above), so they may be able to look past the GPA. Were there any courses in which you did particularly poorly? An even higher GMAT could help make up for the GPA situation, a 720 isn't going to win you brownie points, and a 740 sure would be nice (if it were only that easy!), but in context of your experiences and broader background, I feel "okay" about the GMAT score.


I do think that your career goals need work. I know you can't write a ton in a profile review, but both feel vague and abstract, and you'd have a very challenging case to make as to what exactly those goals look like, how they're a logical and coherent extension of what you've done to this point plus an MBA, why you need an MBA from one of these programs to achieve them (particularly the short-term goal... both really need to be way more specific before we start wrestling with how A-B-C that you've done before plus X-Y-Z that you acquire via the MBA enables these goals), and why the admissions committee should be feel comfortable about accepting you with these post-MBA plans. On the long-term front, the infrastructure focus seems to come a bit out of nowhere, does it not? The good news is that all of this can be brainstormed, developed, and addressed. (Check out this blog post for more to think about with respect to goals, schools, why MBA, etc.) Last comment is that you're on the higher end of the age and work experience range (middle 80% of 3 to 7 years at CBS, 3.5 to 7 years at Kellogg, you will have 8 at enrollment). But if you do a superb job with everything else in this paragraph (why MBA, why now, etc.) -- and everything else in general! -- I don't see it as holding you back.


You've got a tough slate of schools and you can't change your GPA, but you *can* control how well you tell your story and articulate your passions, goals, ambitions, and vision. I'm not sure whether you're also looking ahead to Round 2, but if you were to think about slotting in another school, I think that another from the T10-15 range would help balance you out, or a school that sits "between" the M7 and Stern (and possibly others from there or elsewhere in the rankings, depending on what exactly your priorities and risk tolerance are). If you have any questions or would like to further the conversation, please feel free to email me at or sign up for a Free Consultation via this link: We can cover a lot more (in a much more nuanced manner) and begin to theorize how to address the topics above.

Best Regards,
Greg Guglielmo
Founder | Avanti Prep
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Profile Evaluation Request   [#permalink] 12 Jul 2019, 11:59
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