I am planning to apply to B Schools in R1/R2 this year for 2021, and I would love some input from you, if possible. I have a rather weak profile, and wanted to know the kind of schools I can hope to get into.
· Male, Indian, 25 years old
· 10th standard result: 9.2/10 CGPA (converts to ~87%)
· 12th standard result: 84%
· B. Sc. from Delhi University (Hindu College): got 69%
· MA (Psychology) from Delhi University: got 65%
· GMAT: 750
3 years (4 at matriculation), all working at Ipsos (the world’s 3rd largest Market Research firm).
Current designation: Senior Research Executive
· Decent progression at my job: got 2 promotions in 2 year this year (first one was from Management Trainee to Research Executive, but our probation period as MT is 1 year, so i have counted that as a promotion. Let me know if I shouldn't.). I am on track to be promoted to Research Manager in next year (that'll be my 3rd promotion in 4 years - counting the jump from MT to RE)
· My job basically includes conducting Qualitative market research studies for corporate clients. The role involves winning, executing and delivering projects end to end à writing proposals, executing projects/studies, analysing data (qualitative) and delivering reports/presentations. Involves a lot of client relationship management and project management.
· Impact at my job: I admittedly haven't done anything particularly unique in terms of doing things differently, but I’ve consistently delivered above expectations, always handled more responsibility than my designation asked for. Have been handling clients almost independently since I was a Research Executive (usually something Research Managers do). I have also been able to increase the overall revenue (in terms of value of projects won) from my key client by almost 100% in one year (we did ~70000 USD worth of business with the client in the 1st year I was assigned to them, and close to 130000 USD in the 2nd year (by this time I was managing the client nearly independently). I know the absolute numbers are small, but that's really to do with the scale of the industry and how large individual projects usually are (as well as the conversion rate of INR to USD).
Highlight - helped the country's 2nd largest tobacco manufacturer to decide upon the appropriate price point/products to enter a new market with, and presented the findings to the company's C-suite.
· Leadership: while I haven’t gotten official direct reportees, I’ve been unofficially managing 1 junior for the last 1 year.
· Not much, but I was Vice President of the Debating Club in undergrad. I dont have much in the way of competition/tournament wins, but I did mentor a lot of juniors within the club. Also helped organize a number of Debating tournaments à involved finding sponsors, handling logistics, etc.
· Been teaching underprivileged school children 1-2 hours a week since the last few years (sort of like 1-1 tutoring)
Why I want to do an MBA:
The silly childlike reason - I have always been fascinated by just how marketing/advertising influences and shapes the way people think, and I like working with people. Which is why I did psychology in post grad and went into consumer research.
My current industry (Market Research) is honestly not very lucrative with limited growth opportunity. Additionally, MR feels like a bit of a 'Support function' where I am providing data and insights to the people making actual decisions. I want to be in that core team, which is driving decisions regarding a brand, and taking long term strategic decisions regarding where a brand should go.
While my Psych degree and MR experience give me a strong grasp of consumer needs, as well as some understanding of the life cycle of a marketing campaign/product test (understanding consumer needs, segmentation, concept testing, taking feedback on product/campaigns, etc.), I dont have a strong grasp of the 'harder' (as opposed to softer aspects) side of running a brand, esp. in terms of conceiving and implementing marketing strategies, or the skills needed for brand management (P/L analysis, or anything really). I am hoping an MBA will supply me with these.
POST MBA Goal: I want to go into marketing/brand management in Tech or CPG - these are two industries whom I have had as clients as a market researcher, and whose consumers I feel I understand). While CPG is much more of a fit, Tech just seems more glamorous and attractive
Now, I know my profile is not very strong, but I would like to get a sense of what schools would be viable, vs. which are hopeless.
Schools I am sort of considering (a very wide net as I am early stage in the process of shortlisting):
- Canada: Ivey, Rotman
- UK: Cambridge Judge, Oxford Said, Warwick
- Singapore - NUS
- US - I am very skeptical of applying because of the job uncertainty due to visa issues. But do you think I have a legitimate shot at any T20/25? (I am hoping that graduating from a T25 would give one a reasonable shot at guaranteed employment as an international)
- Europe (havent given much thought to France/Spain/Italy as I fear the language barrier might hamper employment opportunities)
1. Do you think I have a reasonable shot at any of the schools I have mentioned?
2. Will my MR experience be considered relevant for going into marketing? I am wondering whether I should go for a 1 year or 2 year program? If MR to Marketing would be considered a career 'pivot' and my prior experience is not useful, I might be better off at a 2 yr program (but my top choices like all UK schools/Ivey are all 1 year).
3. I would also like to know what are the things I can do to improve my profile (take additional online courses maybe, etc.)?