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School selection advice please

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Author Message
Joined: 09 Jun 2013
Posts: 66

Kudos [?]: 13 [0], given: 13

Location: Australia
GMAT 3: 730 Q49 V41
WE: Engineering (Other)
Premium Member
School selection advice please [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2014, 03:43

I'm keen to get your thoughts on my chances of admission at my choice of schools.

Background: Male, 26, Naturalised Australian (Indian heritage)
Undergrad: BE, Electrical Engineering from top 3 engineering school in Australia.
Graduated with first class honours, Deans Honour list for all years at uni.
Studied on a full fee faculty scholarship (which is uncommon for an international student here)
GPA: 3.65+ (As per a basic converter, Weighted Average Mean of 80)
GMAT 730, Q49, V41 IR 5 AWA 5.0

Work experience:

1) Internship within the R&D arm of a Japanese technology company ( think Canon, Fujitsu, Nikon)
2) A small telecomm company for 6 months post graduation
3) Presently employed at a global construction and engineering firm for the past 3 and half years (think Bechtel, Jacobs, AECOM)
- started on the graduate program
- promoted once.
- accredited deputy project manager internally to assist with major project delivery and about to receive project manger status.
- Have worked on a diverse range of projects from commercial developments to large scale defence infrastructure upgrades.
- Primarily been involved in the delivery of a A$850m+ harbourside commercial development in Sydney over the past year and half. Project is currently in construction and I'm taking
on a greater role on site.
- Nominated to be on the key account management team for one of our major clients which accounts for A$150m+ in revenue ANZ wide. Responsibilities include
liaising with client managers across different offices within ANZ, planning regular meetings with client and tracking actions, and developing a short term and a longer term account
growth strategy - great exposure to some big picture stuff!
- Will be undertaking a secondment to our UK office in 2 months.

Notable Extracurriculars:

1) Student mentor with the international student services for a short time during university.
2) Member of the graduate committee representing my business line at my workplace. Was part of a team of graduates that organised charity fundraisers, professional networking events, professional development events such as tech talks by industry experts.

ST goals: A more traditional path of working with a reputed global strategy consulting firm and work in their Construction and Engineering/ Infrastructure practice.
LT goals: Would like to return to the industry and leverage upon my experience in strategy consulting. Look to take on an internal strategy role.

Target schools: R1: MIT: Sloan, Tuck, Duke and HBS.
R2: Kellogg, Haas, LBS and McCombs.


1) Am I being overly aspirational on my target schools and need a reality check? I wasn't going to apply for HBS until I attended a HBS webinar on engineers in industry who are currently studying at HBS and it got me thinking. I've done a fair bit of research on Tuck & Duke and feel that I would be a good fit with the culture in both these schools. MIT: Sloan- As an engineer I have immense respect for the uni and also attended one of their international events here in Sydney last year.

2) Should I not mention on my app about my impending secondment to the UK as it doesn't appear to line up with the overall story but it's a great opportunity for me personally - Hence want to undertake the secondment.

3) IR 5 is a little bit low - not sure what happened during the test. Should I specifically address this in the optional essays? I don't want to retake the GMAT unless you feel that I should. I did score a IR 7 on my previous attempt.

4) Extra curriculars- This is the weakest aspect on my application as I do not have any significant leadership roles outside of work. How badly will this impact my application?

Thanks very much in advance. Please let me know if you need any other specific info.


Kudos [?]: 13 [0], given: 13

Expert Post
mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 2594

Kudos [?]: 237 [0], given: 0

Re: School selection advice please [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2014, 07:36
Hi-- thanks for your post!

You've got a good start for a solid profile.... let's break it down further.


-solid academics & GMAT (necessary, though not sufficient ;), to gain acceptance to b-school-- you have to show you can handle the academic rigor of the program of course)
-there aren't as many applicants coming from Australia at US b-schools
-international experiences
-analytical & quant skills
-project management skills
-experience working with others/clients etc
-mentoring experience

Potential challenge:

-ensuring you stand out from the crowd and that your app is 'remembered' so to speak. Spend some time brainstorming about all aspects of your life and what makes you who you are; and what you bring to the table that maybe others do not, and aim to get that across in apps. Also really work on those essays to make them engaging and memorable.

To your q's:

1) HBS could be a challenge, yes, in my view; not that you have major weaknesses per se, more that they get SO many very strong applicants that it could be tough. Generally your school list otherwise sounds reasonable, though possibly long, even when split over 2 rounds... just be sure to keep in mind how much time each app can take, and that essays differ, and also that your recommender will need to put in that much time too (or have multiple recommenders).

2) Sounds like additional international experience; sounds good to me!

3) I would not worry about the 5 IR.

4) Yes could be stronger; at this point there's not too much you can do unless you go get involved in something now. ;) Just do in depth where appropriate about what you DID do, and maybe what you plan to be involved with on campus where it makes sense.

Good luck! Let us know if you have any questions or would like to speak further.

And enjoy London if you go-- lived there 3 years, LOVED it! ;)

Jen Kedrowski

mbaMission Insiders Guides:
Free Consultation:


Kudos [?]: 237 [0], given: 0

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