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Joined: 28 Nov 2017
Posts: 3
Location: Indonesia
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
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New post 15 Oct 2018, 01:03

would be great if you could provide some inputs on my chances at the following schools:

Target Schools:
-LBS, Cambridge, Oxford, INSEAD

-Nationality Indonesian (~10 years), moved to Australia for a while (<1 year) but spent most of my life in Singapore (>10 years).
-Speaks English, Chinese, Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia fluently, but most comfortable with English.
-Age 27, 4 years working experience upon matriculation.

-Economics major & History minor at the National University of Singapore (is this school actually well-known outside Singapore?)
-Relatively lower GPA, but 2:1, around 4.1/5 CGPA - first year GPA was extremely low, but pulled grades back up towards the end, and university dean's list (top 5%) in one of the academic years. My school is also infamous for imposing a harsh bell curve, should I explain this in the optional essay?
-Also did a 6 month exchange in Tokyo, Japan, national top 10 university in the country.

750 (Q49,V42,AWA6.0)

Work Experience:
-(1st job) 1 year at at a startup providing AI-based ERP solutions, as IT/marketing consultant. Job was too technical and decide to move out of the role.
-(2nd job) almost 3 years as management consultant at a large, but regional (& therefore less well-known internationally) Japanese consulting firm. typically involved in go-to-market/strategy projects for Japanese clients into emerging countries, most notably Indonesian geography considering my background.
-Several examples as project leader for smaller projects, and also examples on managing up and taking leadership as task leaders in many projects.
-Career progression from business analyst - associate consultant - consultant in 2.5 years, also awarded top analyst award last year on basis of average project quality scores in FY2017.
-2 internships during university, one in Singapore government organization, and the other in Shanghai, China (3 months overseas internship).

Co-curricular activities:
-Publicity head in Economics society, but unfortunately no other significant leadership roles during university.
-However, as I've always been interested in history and cultures, I've been volunteering at the national museum of Singapore for almost years (on monthly basis, on average), mostly helping out and managing galleries for visitors to the museum, guiding tours at museums, basically enhancing visitor experience there!
-avid trekker, basically trekked many mountains in the region (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand etc.) and also other countries such as New Zealand, Everest Base Camp etc.

Post-MBA goals:
-either continue consulting at other consulting firms, but preferably on projects involving technology or real estate,
-OR going into internet retailing firm in the region. This space has gotten very exciting in Southeast Asia (with many Chinese, Japanese, local players trying to get a slice of this E-commerce pie), so I'm excited to be able to utilize my background/languages/consulting to shape this landscape. Especially considering that Indonesia is projected to be one of the largest Internet economies by 2022!

Realistically speaking, what are my chances at the schools? possible for partial scholarships as well? Thank you very much in advance! :)
User avatar
Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 6437
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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New post 17 Oct 2018, 15:51
The bad news is that your school & your companies are not that well known & that low GPA as you point out. However, therein more good news than bad news. :) The good news is that your strong GMAT will help you for sure, you can use the optional essay to briefly speak to the GPA & point out that your later years are more representative of your ability, you've got solid extracurriculars that are unique (and you've shown consistency there) and although your companies are not well known that is not necessarily a bad thing - you can use it to your advantage & differentiate yourself, especially since you've got some unique international experience that the adcoms will like. Post-MBA consulting goals are fairly common so it would potentially make sense to chose a more unique path there to help differentiate yourself, especially since it is unlikely you'll be able to choose a focus on tech or RE early on in a consulting career unless you really are at a boutique firm. I think your focus on Indonesia is cool but if we were working together I'd want to talk through your goals a bit more to make sure they're as strong as possible.

All in all though I think you do have a shot at these schools assuming some strong essays & some strong goals! If you want to talk through any of this in more detail definitely reach out to Claudia at & she can set you up with an MBA Consultant. Julie Bowman is one of our most experienced consultants with a background in strategy consulting & would be a great fit for you!
Jon Frank
Founder, Admissionado


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