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Profile Review Please

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 10 May 2011
Posts: 13
Location: United States (AL)
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
Profile Review Please [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2011, 15:34
29/male/US citizen/asian

Undergrad: Psych with Management minor at top 50 univ. in US
GPA: 3.0 (Management classes average GPA was 3.5)
GMAT: not taken yet

WE: 7 years
1. 6 years in management consulting in China
2. 1+ years in company I founded and operate in US

I began my professional life in China after graduating. Joined a Big 4 in their consulting division as an analyst, managed a change management module of a larger project successfully, worked my way into their strategy division (reserved mostly for MBAs and experienced consultants), assisting in multiple market-entry strategy projects.

Found my way into a consulting firm that allowed for immense amount of exposure to C-level clients, instantly began leading projects in market-entry and growth strategy for Fortune 500's. Project sizes increased each time, also expanding into international markets (Russia, Mexico, India)

Brought over to a consulting firm specializing in PE advisory, namely strategic and commercial due diligence for top PEs with activity in China, investment target evaluation, and market entry/growth strategy for PE portfolio companies. Led multiple project including a project for a top 2 IB's PE leg, another IB's PE portfolio company, several more, and wrote and presented several investment theses for the world's top PE firms.

Founded and currently operate a company in Silicon Valley in a green industry. Roughly 2-3 years deep exposure to this industry as a result of working with the PEs.

Industry expertise: industrial machinery and materials in renewable energy & green tech

Goals: It's been a rough but satisfying experience with a lot of setbacks and barriers. I love what I do but I also have to be realistic. Long term I want to grow my company to be a nationally recognized and used brand in this industry. Short-term, I would like to work in a VC or PE that focuses on investments in green tech and sustainable energy and be based out of China (ideally find one that focuses on my current industry as I do have a strong network in this in China). I have a lot of experience evaluating companies financially and commercially but I would also like to play an operational role in one of the portfolio companies (really getting my hands dirty).

EC: I honestly did not have much time with EC activities given my 80+ hour work weeks since day 1 of my career.

Schools aiming for: stanford, wharton, hbs, booth, haas, columbia

Appreciate any advice you have Alex. Thanks.
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Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 2453
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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New post 19 May 2011, 08:55
HBS, Stanford: a big stretch because of your age as a traditional candidate (consultant; yes you're not cookie cutter, but you're not a non-traditional guy either in the grand scheme of things); for folks like yourself, they are really focused on people who are 3-5 years out of school. You may feel you have more to offer than someone younger than you, but that's not the point; they still want younger

Wharton: stretch, but within range; not as preoccupied with age as HBS and Stanford, but you're still up against some extremely blue chip and/or accomplished candidates; you may feel you're this amazingly impressive candidate, but there are enough of those out there as well who feel the same way about themselves.

Booth, Haas, Columbia: sweet spots; you should have a reasonable shot of getting in (but by no means are these schools safeties -- for you or for any other applicant).

All of this assumes that you've got a rock solid application and interview (and assuming you aren't writing about "I wanna be in VC or PE" narrative which will more likely than not cause a lot of eye rolling amongst adcoms).
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com

Intern
Intern
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Joined: 10 May 2011
Posts: 13
Location: United States (AL)
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
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New post 19 May 2011, 10:35
Alex, many thanks for the great feedback. Puts things into perspective even though I knew where I stood. Will definitely keep everything you said in mind.

For H/S/W is there anything I can "do" to counterbalance age and being a traditional applicant? Would significant achievement in growth of my company be considered?
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Joined: 26 Dec 2008
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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New post 19 May 2011, 16:20
The catch-22 you face is this. If the company you founded is really going gangbusters, why would you be foolish enough to let it go and spend $100K in tuition plus living expenses over 2 years to go back to school? If it were really that compelling of a business, you would be working on it full-time. If you can afford to let it slide for 2 years while you go back to school, it's unlikely to be that compelling of a business. (And if you say that the b-school will be an 'investment' in your business like other applicants in the past may have tried to do, adcoms simply won't buy it - they will either think you're lying, or you're incredibly naive). If you're going back to school, it's to leave whatever it is you are doing now -- behind. You are leaving it behind so you can start a new career, a new job, to do something else (even if it's related to what you did pre-MBA, it's still a fresh start). This may sound a bit harsh, but it sounds like you really really want to go back to b-school, and you're willing to say whatever and do whatever it takes to get in -- if that is really what's driving you, then your company isn't really that big of a priority is it (because you're leaving it behind).

I'm not going to tell you to not apply to H/S/W. There's plenty of folks like yourself (read: Asian) who seem to be more hung up on the school brand than folks from other cultural backgrounds that I'm sure you'd be kicking yourself if you didn't try at all. Go for it. Get it out of your system. Just know that you're a square peg trying to insert yourself into a round hole. As you would for any other school, you should do whatever you can to showcase your strengths for H/S/W applications, but know that that's still not going to change the cold hard fact that these adcoms want them younger and you don't fit the kind of profile they really covet. If you get in, consider yourself incredibly lucky and blessed (like many H/S/W admits). If you don't get in, don't feel crushed about it. If you really believe that you can succeed, don't let the H/S/W decision affect your confidence. Plenty of folks out there who do just fine without it.
_________________

Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
http://www.mbaapply.com

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 10 May 2011
Posts: 13
Location: United States (AL)
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
Re: Profile Review Please [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2011, 09:02
Hi Alex,

Yes I absolutely have a strong desire to go to b-school. I won't get into the details here about my current company but I do believe it is a compelling business and hopefully can return to the industry, whether it be through my own company, or via PE/VC.

I really appreciate your putting things into perspective for me and as you can see I'm pretty set in at least trying. Thanks so much for your frank advice!
Re: Profile Review Please   [#permalink] 20 May 2011, 09:02
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