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Joined: 21 Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Profile Review Request  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 08:21
Dear Team,

Am reapplying for an MBA this year (aim to apply in round 1). Applied last year, but was kind of gung-ho about it – got a semi decent GMAT score of 710 and thought I should apply in the later rounds (hastily written essays etc). Anyway, here’s my profile. Please be brutally honest!

Background:

Work Experience: Based out of Pakistan. Initial work experience in technology then moved to finance. Progression has been as follows.

1. 2.5 years in IT at a USAID project (project management roles, implemented SAP)

2. 0.5 years in IT project management at Big Tobacco (contractual role)

3. 2.5 years at a boutique investment bank (primarily debt restructuring and consulting/advisory work) – this one of a handful of firms of its kind in the country

4. 1.0 years at the largest bank in Pakistan in corporate and investment banking as a corporate relationship manager

Extra-curricular: Have mentored underprivileged kids on staying in school and also fund their schooling

Undergrad School/Major: BSc. Computer Science from local top-tier university. Here’s the problem – low graduating GPA (2.6), but there is some progression in grades over the course of the degree. Separated from the program for a year for low academic performance. Got readmitted and then placed on academic probation for my time there due to low grades (total course-work was 4 years but graduated in 5 years because of the gap year). Didn’t want to do Computer Science but university didn’t let me change my major – had to continue with it. Also explored all kinds of courses in the beginning and didn’t really think grades could be this big an issue. My undergrad experience is my Achilles’ heel.

Other education/coursework:

1. Certified application associate for the SAP ERM Human Resources Management module – although not relevant anymore since in finance

2. Cleared all three levels of the CFA program (cleared all exams in first attempts and in the shortest time period possible)

Race/Nationality: Pakistani

Sex: Male

Stats:

GMAT Score: 710 (Q49, V38)

Undergrad GPA: 2.6

MBA Info:

Goal of MBA: Getting into full-time investment banking or advisory roles

Target schools: Goizueta, Stern (reach), Columbia (reach), INSEAD – am open to suggestions

Tried last year, applied in the later rounds and got rejected from the following: Columbia, Stern, Fuqua, Tuck, Goizueta, Rotman.

Please let me know whether I stand a realistic chance in the target schools mentioned above. Also please suggest schools which are somewhat forgiving about my low undergrad GPA.

Appreciate the feedback guys. Thanks!
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New post 03 Jul 2018, 05:22
baldelementary wrote:
Dear Team,

Am reapplying for an MBA this year (aim to apply in round 1). Applied last year, but was kind of gung-ho about it – got a semi decent GMAT score of 710 and thought I should apply in the later rounds (hastily written essays etc). Anyway, here’s my profile. Please be brutally honest!

Background:

Work Experience: Based out of Pakistan. Initial work experience in technology then moved to finance. Progression has been as follows.

1. 2.5 years in IT at a USAID project (project management roles, implemented SAP)

2. 0.5 years in IT project management at Big Tobacco (contractual role)

3. 2.5 years at a boutique investment bank (primarily debt restructuring and consulting/advisory work) – this one of a handful of firms of its kind in the country

4. 1.0 years at the largest bank in Pakistan in corporate and investment banking as a corporate relationship manager

Extra-curricular: Have mentored underprivileged kids on staying in school and also fund their schooling

Undergrad School/Major: BSc. Computer Science from local top-tier university. Here’s the problem – low graduating GPA (2.6), but there is some progression in grades over the course of the degree. Separated from the program for a year for low academic performance. Got readmitted and then placed on academic probation for my time there due to low grades (total course-work was 4 years but graduated in 5 years because of the gap year). Didn’t want to do Computer Science but university didn’t let me change my major – had to continue with it. Also explored all kinds of courses in the beginning and didn’t really think grades could be this big an issue. My undergrad experience is my Achilles’ heel.

Other education/coursework:

1. Certified application associate for the SAP ERM Human Resources Management module – although not relevant anymore since in finance

2. Cleared all three levels of the CFA program (cleared all exams in first attempts and in the shortest time period possible)

Race/Nationality: Pakistani

Sex: Male

Stats:

GMAT Score: 710 (Q49, V38)

Undergrad GPA: 2.6

MBA Info:

Goal of MBA: Getting into full-time investment banking or advisory roles

Target schools: Goizueta, Stern (reach), Columbia (reach), INSEAD – am open to suggestions

Tried last year, applied in the later rounds and got rejected from the following: Columbia, Stern, Fuqua, Tuck, Goizueta, Rotman.

Please let me know whether I stand a realistic chance in the target schools mentioned above. Also please suggest schools which are somewhat forgiving about my low undergrad GPA.

Appreciate the feedback guys. Thanks!



Hi baldelementary


You should definitely apply in round 1 !

That probably alone did cost you the most of admission last year.


Your Work Experience and Extra-curricular activities is just fine.


Your undergrad experience is not your Achilles’ heel, don't think about it in that way, you progressed through time and learned from that experience.

Just be sure to address that in essay, don't be hasty this time :) , in a same way you explained here, just perhaps more elaborate.

Be sure to put as much details and examples as you can when you talk about you undergrad hardships.

SAP and CFA are really helpful, especially fact that you passed all three levels of CFA, that will help a lot in IB !

Now some useful facts :

Emory Goizueta average GMAT 678, with GMAT scores stretching from 620 to 740 in the 80% range, undergraduate GPA is in 2.87 to 3.85 range in the 80% range

Stern NYU Average Undergraduate GPA 3.51. , Undergraduate GPA Range (mid-80%) 3.18-3.81, Average GMAT Score 720, GMAT Score Range (mid-80%) 680-760

Columbia Business School average GMAT 724, middle 80% range of GMAT scores for Columbia was 690-760, in total, the lowest score was 530, the highest 790 , Undergraduate GPA (average): 3.5, Undergraduate GPA (middle 80%): 3.2–3.9

INSEAD average GMAT 708, with a total range from 620 to 780



Since you want more schools to add on your list I did some extensive research for you, based on GMAT:


Average GMAT scores for MBA in USA


1 Stanford GSB 733
2 Wharton (UPenn) 732
3 Chicago Booth 726
4 Harvard Business School 725
5 Kellogg (Northwestern) 724
6 Yale SOM 721
7 New York Stern 720
8 Tuck (Dartmouth) 717
9 MIT Sloan 716
10 Columbia University 715
11 Berkeley Haas 715
12 UCLA Anderson 713

13 Ross Michigan 708
14 Darden (Virginia) 706
15 UNC Kenan-Flagler 701
16 Cornell Johnson 697
17 Duke Fuqua 696
18 Washington Univ. (Olin) 695
19 McCombs (Texas-Austin) 694
20 Georgetown McDonough 692
21 Carnegie Mellon Tepper 690
22 Vanderbilt Owen 690
23 Foster (Washington) 688
24 Notre Dame Mendoza 682
25 Boston University 682


26 Florida (Hough) 681
27 Carlson (Minnesota) 680
28 Marshall (Southern California) 679
29 Emory Goizueta 678
30 Scheller (Georgia Tech) 678
31 Rice Jones 676

32 BYU Marriott 674
33 Carey (Arizona State Univ) 672
34 Iowa (Tippie) 670
35 Wisconsin-Madison 669
36 Kelley (Indiana) 668
37 Simon (Rochester) 667
38 Broad (Michigan State) 664
39 Fisher (Ohio State) 664
40 Smith (Maryland) 658
41 SMU (Cox) 656
42 Merage (UC-Irvine) 656



Average GMAT scores for MBA in UK


University of Cambridge (Judge) 680
Cranfield University 664
Warwick 658
Imperial College Business School 638
City University: Cass 635
Manchester Business School 630
University of Bath 610
Lancaster University Management School 601


Average GMAT scores for MBA in Europe | France, Spain, Switzerland



INSEAD 703 France
HEC – Paris 682 France
IMD 672 Switzerland
IE Business School 672 Spain
Mannheim Business School 671 Germany
IESE Business School – Navarra 669 Spain
SDA Bocconi 665 Italy
ESADE 660 Spain
University of St. Gallen 656 Switzerland


European School of Mgmt (ESMT) 645 Germany
The Lisbon MBA 645 Portugal
Erasmus University (RSM) 643 Netherlands
TiasNimbas Business School 620 Netherlands
University College Dublin (Smurfit) 619 Ireland
Vlerick Business School 600 Belgium


You will notice that I have put in bold schools that I recommend you to apply.

Those are great schools and fit your profile.

You will notice that in Europe there are some really great schools for you beside INSEAD.

You might have different preference, but instead Stern and Columbia, I would add some of those in bold.

INSEAD and Emory Goizueta should stay on your list, they are in your reach.


I am certain all this info and research will help you to decide what is best for you ! :cool:

Good luck fingers crossed ! :fingers_crossed:
_________________

Your kudos are much appreciated

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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 5991
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
Re: Profile Review Request  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 13:54
Unfortunately I think these target schools are going to fall more in the reach category for you. You've got a number of challenges: the GPA & academic probation, as you mentioned, which is quite a bit below the average for the schools you named, but also the fact that you are coming from a very tough demographic of Indian/Pakistani males from the IT industry. It's a group that tends to have very high GMAT scores (740+). In general you want to at least hit a school's average GMAT score but in your case you'll be compared to this demographic & your GMAT will be considered a bit below average. In addition, you've got more than the average years of work experience, which can make things tougher as well.

The good news is that you have some work experience outside the IT industry and, within this demographic, your career goals are somewhat unique (most Pakistani/Indian males coming from IT want to transition into either product mgr roles in tech or consulting). The fact that you are Pakistani rather than Indian will help as well. It's not 100% clear from what you shared here whether or not you have some strong examples of impact that you've had at work but that will be important as well in your application. The adcom doesn't just want to know what you did, they want to know why it mattered & the results you achieved.

In terms of schools, realistically I'd look at schools ranked in the 40s-50s (we use US News & World Report). And I agree that applying R1 this year & really giving it your all with the essays will definitely help as well. If you can get your GMAT score up to 740+ then I think schools ranked in the 20s would be within reach & schools in the 30s would be more of a target. Unfortunately the challenges of your GPA/probation, higher than average years of work experience, combined with the fact that you are coming from the toughest demographic out there when it comes to b-school apps are going to mean you need to shoot a bit lower when it comes to schools, but there are still some great options out there for you if you are really serious about getting the MBA!
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