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Profile evaluation: Top 5 MBA

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Joined: 15 Mar 2016
Posts: 12
Profile evaluation: Top 5 MBA [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2017, 13:59
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Hi,
Really appreciate your time in doing this and hopefully you find my profile interesting enough to evaluate.

Background
--------------
Work experience by application in 2017: 2 years at an F500 chemicals company in UK. (controls/automation engineer -> project engineer) 1.5 years as an Analytics Consultant at Deloitte.
Internship: With one of the major international orgs (WB, IMF etc).
Publications: 4, a couple in journals and a couple in industry magazines.
Extra curriculars: Many leadership roles in school, college and post-university including: school government, marketing head for large university clubs, promoting STEM education in local community, currently leading the deployment of solar power in rural India through a start up I started in graduate school (finalists in two major international social enterprise competitions).
Undergrad school/major: Imperial College, Chemical Engineering
Undergrad GPA: First Class Honours (UK System) ~ 3.8+ GPA
Other education/coursework: Grad School, Masters in Econometrics (3.82 GPA), Duke University
Race/nationality: Indian, Indian
International experience: Born in India, grew up in Thailand, 6 years in UK and 3 years in USA. I have worked in all four countries.
Sex: Male
Age: 28 at matriculation
GMAT Score: 730

MBA Info
------------
Goal of MBA: I want to be a leader in data science consulting. Post-MBA, join MBB and become a key part of their growing big data/analytics practice.
Target schools: H/S/W. MIT Sloan (Top choice), Columbia, Booth, Kellog, Fuqua, Yale, Tuck, Michigan, LBS, & INSEAD.
Point of worry: Recommendation letter from my current employer given only 1 year of experience. Also none of my recommendations will be from MBA graduates.
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MBA Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 1065
Profile evaluation: Top 5 MBA [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2017, 18:49
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Hi @urkdul;

Thanks for reaching out to me. I'm going to assume that by top-five you mean the usual suspects - Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago Booth and perhaps MIT Sloan.
It be nice if your GMAT score was 10 to 20 points higher, but with a 730 I would not worry about retaking the GMAT. Unless of course you feel like you left money on the table the last time you took it. If so, study for a few more weeks and give it a whirl again. The difference between a 730 and 750 could possibly be some scholarship money or greater financial aid. Again, retaking the GMAT (and getting a higher score) is not necessary, it's just a "nice to have" in my opinion.

Based on the rest of the information you gave me, I can tell you right now that you won't be DOA – dead on arrival. You have a fighting chance at all top-five schools. But alas. what kind of admissions consultant or expert would I be if I did not give you a little bit more? Here goes ...

With respect to the rest of your candidacy, I'm evaluating your "changes" by looking to see how well you fit with the culture of each school, as well as other important factors such as how well you could possibly answer the essays. I'm going to have to make some educated guesses based on the information you gave me. So bear with me.

With respect to Harvard and Stanford, it all really comes down to how mature and confident you are in telling your story. Can I get any more vague? Perhaps. Stanford's "what matters most" and HBS's "tell me anything about you that is relevant" essay questions are meant to elicit something so personal that it gets across who exactly you are as a person. There are less interested in what you have accomplished as they can see that on your resume or on the online application. They want to know the story behind the story. They want to know where it all comes from. They want to know where you're any to values, norms and beliefs come from. They want to see that you been tested and have honed or vetted your most sacred values and moral compass through a formative/transformative experience - one where you have been thrust into the limelight and perhaps forced to sink or swim. Most of all, you have to be believable and you have to write in a very authentic way. I posted more about addressing these essays here: http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/blog/ ... -overwrite
if you have this type of experience, and you are mature and confident enough to focus your writing on something (i.e. transformative) that may have happened earlier in life. If you not competent, then you will write about everything in a long chronological narrative – I call this the "the resume on steroids approach."

With respect to Wharton, the application has traditionally been very straightforward – a "goals" essay and a "what you bring to the table" essay. I don't anticipate you having a problem getting into Wharton. Now, I'm not saying that you can write anything and get in based on your stats. All I'm saying is that if you answer the questions on point, and you can pass the subsequent team-based interview, I would reach you as highly probable at Wharton.

You stand an excellent chance of getting into Chicago Booth as well. Of course with Booth, you have to answer their somewhat cryptic "look at a picture and tell us what you see" presentation essay. It's really not as cryptic or as arduous as I make it out to be, but at the same time it requires you to demonstrate an innate knowledge of "The Chicago Approach". If you don't know what that is, start reading. Basically, you have to tell them that you are a geek (or is it a nerd?). You have to be someone who has always demonstrated that you love learning simply for the sake of learning. But they don't see that in the presentation, you can have a hard time demonstrating that you fit in at Booth.

What about MIT Sloan? You should know that they are looking for "principled, innovative leaders". Oh, and they wanted all in a 250-word cover letter. In practice, that's like trying to jam 10 pounds of shit into a 5 pound bag. It's can be a mess. Basically, you have to get a couple of examples of where you been innovative an principled, or either innovative or principled ... into 250 words. Clear as mud? There is also an optional essay, which is a presentation – you can probably lean heavily on your Chicago booth presentation, but don't get lazy and cut-and-paste. Beyond that, you have to understand that MIT Sloan really doesn't care about your goals, so don't state any of that on the cover letter or presentation. They believe that past performance is the best indicator of how you will do in the future (at MIT Sloan.) What else? You have to understand what "Think – Act – Reflect" means. Give up? I'm referring to "action learning" at Sloan which pretty much permeates how they teach everything. Case study at HBS, action learning at Sloan. Based upon what you told me in your profile, I would definitely tell you to apply to MIT Sloan. It seems you have a strong mix of principled leadership – based upon your outside of the office experience. I'm sure you could conjure up an "innovation" example as well for your cover letter essay.

With respect to your goals, I get where you're going with your data science consulting leadership. Just keep in mind that your short-term goals have to build upon your current work experiences in your MBA. Your long-term goals have to build upon your short-term goals, but they also have to come from some type of personal passion, commitment or view of the world. So if you're stating that you want to be a leader in data science, they have to know why you have a passion for that. They have to know what you like about numbers or data science. So while Chicago booth meet these goals up without too much questioning, the HBS admissions committee may sit there and think that you are completely disingenuous because based upon the essay you wrote for HBS, they simply don't see where the passion is coming from, nor how being a leader in data science will "change the world." On that note, your goals for Harvard and Stanford have to be big – hairy – audacious – goals. No wimpy goals. You have to state in one way or another that you're going to change the world and the essays for both Harvard and Stanford GSB. No joke.

With respect to recommenders – no one cares if they have an MBA or not. Do not make the mistake of chasing someone down the doesn't really know you because they have three letters after their name – MBA. The most important thing – the most important thing - is that they know you well because they have worked directly with you for a reasonably significant amount of time. Your recommender knows you professionally of course, but they also know how you think and how you act and what motivates you on a personal level as well. So always have one of your recommenders be from your current direct supervisor. Per information you gave me, I would not worry about only knowing your current supervisor for one year. How long does it really take to get to know someone on a professional level? If you're working together each day, if they see the product of your work and your leadership each week, then how many months does it take to get to know you? Also, a year is enough because you should've had some type of meaningful impact at work in 12 months. At least I hope so.

Well that is my assessment of your candidacy. If you want to take this a step further and get on a call, please email me at mba@amerasiaconsulting.com. Be sure to reference this post by linking to it, and specifically ask to speak with me.

Respectfully,
Paul Lanzillotti

["quote="urkdul"]Hi,
Really appreciate your time in doing this and hopefully you find my profile interesting enough to evaluate.

Background
--------------
Work experience by application in 2017: 2 years at an F500 chemicals company in UK. (controls/automation engineer -> project engineer) 1.5 years as an Analytics Consultant at Deloitte.
Internship: With one of the major international orgs (WB, IMF etc).
Publications: 4, a couple in journals and a couple in industry magazines.
Extra curriculars: Many leadership roles in school, college and post-university including: school government, marketing head for large university clubs, promoting STEM education in local community, currently leading the deployment of solar power in rural India through a start up I started in graduate school (finalists in two major international social enterprise competitions).
Undergrad school/major: Imperial College, Chemical Engineering
Undergrad GPA: First Class Honours (UK System) ~ 3.8+ GPA
Other education/coursework: Grad School, Masters in Econometrics (3.82 GPA), Duke University
Race/nationality: Indian, Indian
International experience: Born in India, grew up in Thailand, 6 years in UK and 3 years in USA. I have worked in all four countries.
Sex: Male
Age: 28 at matriculation
GMAT Score: 730

MBA Info
------------
Goal of MBA: I want to be a leader in data science consulting. Post-MBA, join MBB and become a key part of their growing big data/analytics practice.
Target schools: H/S/W. MIT Sloan (Top choice), Columbia, Booth, Kellog, Fuqua, Yale, Tuck, Michigan, LBS, & INSEAD.
Point of worry: Recommendation letter from my current employer given only 1 year of experience. Also none of my recommendations will be from MBA graduates.[/quote]
_________________


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