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# Ask Alex @ MBA Apply

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Re: Profile Evaluation? - F/32/8yrs we in finance/700/3.60 [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2011, 08:03
hello212 wrote:
Quote:
3) Ivy league undergraduate business school.

How'd you like Wharton?

yeah gave it away too much huh? Wharton was fine. It was a long time ago
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Re: Profile Evaluation? - F/32/8yrs we in finance/700/3.60 [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2011, 17:08
Thanks for the frank response. I definitely vacillate between being excited to get a MBA and wondering if it's worth the money and effort.
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Re: Profile Evaluation? - F/32/8yrs we in finance/700/3.60 [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2011, 12:38
Excellent response Alex,very impressive. Thanks
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Re: Profile Evaluation? - F/32/8yrs we in finance/700/3.60 [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2011, 21:20
wow. thanks so much for the very thoughtful reply. you really hit it spot on. as i read your post, it was as if you were reading my mind. i take lots of risks in my personal life (except that I call them adrenaline rushes) but taking risks professionally seems very difficult. i do want to affect a real career change and am networking with as many people as possible to try to figure things out. thanks again for the extra push.
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Re: Building a profile for business school [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2011, 00:01
F**k it,this is who i am. Take me or Leave me !

Hands down brilliant,Alex.
Respect.
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Re: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: RACE AND PRESTIGE [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2011, 20:10
One question, when you say "economic and cultural input of non-Western communities is considered mainstream", what does it mean exactly ? I mean, contribution where, in which fields, and how exactly the contribution can/will be measured ?
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Re: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: RACE AND PRESTIGE [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2011, 20:34
In plain English -- as Diwali, Chinese New Year, and Cinco de Mayo become celebrated to the same degree as St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day and Christmas. Or when tandoori chicken is as American as pizza. Or when Anandalingam is seen as American a name as Russo. Basically, when non-western cultures in the US are as mainstream as the Irish, Italian and Jewish. Or when the executive teams, political leadership, and so forth are more or less reflective of the general population (i.e. about half white, and not overwhelmingly white male like it is now). Again, all trends are pointing towards this being inevitable, although it'll likely take another 10-20 years of gradual change before it reaches that point.
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Re: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: RACE AND PRESTIGE [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2011, 20:52
So this does mean that the US will remain the epicenter, despite the purported rise of places such as the BRIC economies ? In other words, success and clout inside the US will considered more prestigious even after 10-20 years ?
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Re: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: RACE AND PRESTIGE [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2011, 21:07
In short, yes.
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2011, 10:03
Yes, the Office Space one has been around for quite a few years now haha but still funny
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2011, 12:09
Thanks guys for these incredible and funny insights. It's very interesting to see how stereotypes work, but hey, there is always some truth to them. I will take the stereotypes into account for my round 2 apps.
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2011, 13:21
Alex, I think you should include Lexus and Infinity in the category of the up and coming luxury.
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Re: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: RACE AND PRESTIGE [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2011, 13:32
Interesting commentary, but if you don't list race in your application how do they know? And are there other disadvantages to doing so?
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Re: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: RACE AND PRESTIGE [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2011, 14:53
About 10-15% of American applicants don't declare their ethnicity - usually in defiance. But based on surnames and the resume it's not hard to figure out most of the time what your ethnicity is.

I mean, if your last name is O'Brien, McDonnell, Rossi, Andrews, Kozlowski, etc. the chances of you being anything but Caucasian are pretty slim. Chung, Kim, Iguchi, Yamamoto, Hong, Wong, etc. Or Rodriguez, Santos, Cervantes. Even if you're African-American, it's not that hard based on first/last names and extracurriculars or colleges that are culturally black to figure out that you're African-American (most of the time).

In any case, it doesn't hurt your chances as an American not to declare your ethnicity in that list, because whether you do or not the adcom can figure that out pretty easily most of the time anyhow.

Where it gets a bit more murky are those who are multi-racial - which is only going become more common to the point where in 20 years time those who are more than one "ethnicity" will likely be a huge minority (if not a majority eventually). What is "mainstream" will change, as it has already from generations past (i.e. if you look at many white Americans today whose families have been in the US for generations - their lineage is all over the place - not uncommon to have those who are part Irish, Russian, English, German and Greek, or whatever mixture of a bunch of European backgrounds).
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Re: If business schools were car brands (updated) [#permalink]

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30 Dec 2011, 06:55
nice bravo
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Atypical profile [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2012, 14:43
I hope this message finds you well. I was just wondering if you could do a quick assessment of my potential candidacy for a top US MBA program. Specifically, I am targeting HBS and Booth. Please find a quick summary of my story below.

I am a 27 y/o Canadian male. My cumulative GPA is dismal (approx 2.0), but in my last 10 credits I have a GPA of approx 3.7 from a top two university in Canada. The reason for the huge discrepency between my grades is that my mom developed a life-threatening illness while I was in the beginning stages of undergrad (thankfully she is ok). At that time, however, I became the sole income in my household and foolishly tried to balance working a menial full-time job and school. Needless to say, school suffered badly. During this time, I was actually inspired to start my own company. After gaining some market traction, I successfully applied for a government-sponsored entrepreneurial loan in order to expand our operations. At the time, I was the youngest person in Canada to ever receive government-funding in excess of \$100k for a new venture. We used that money to open an office in Asia, as well as start a second, complimentary venture. At this time, I truly grew up and decided to put my education on hold (because I was going to be the first person to graduate university in my family, I think that I put unnecessary pressure on myself to stay enrolled throughout our family's ordeal). After a couple of years of strong growth, we ended up selling both companies to investors.

After the sale of both companies in December of 2009, I took a few months off to travel and re-enrolled in school to complete my undergrad. In March of 2010 I became restless as I waited for school to start, and I decided to apply for a consulting job for the summer. I knew that their application periods were done, but I felt that it was worth sending out a few emails. I ended up receiving a 6-week offer from one of the top 2 managament consultancies, and then through my performance, I was extended an additional 14 weeks and offered a full-time position. As it stands, I am the only off-cycle intern ever brought in by this firm in North America, and I was offered the job after only the first interview. Given that I have a humanities background, I decided to forego the offer of employment and pursue my MBA instead.

Aside from my formal work experience, I have also been one of the founders in a non-profit, and I currently manage a network of 7 homework clubs for students in high-risk areas of my city.

Essentially, I am curious about your opinions on my background, and whether my CGPA will preclude me from admission into a top MBA program. I am currently studying for my GMAT, and I have been consistently scoring in the 760-770 range. My college registrar already knows my situation, and has offered to write a letter on my behalf justifying my previous grades.

Thank you for your time.

Cheers
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Re: Atypical profile [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2012, 11:26
Stretch: Booth, Kellogg, Sloan, Columbia, Tuck, Haas (pick 2)
Sweet spot: Ross, Duke, Darden, NYU, UCLA, Cornell, Yale (pick 3-4)
Safety: outside the top 16 (pick 0-1).

Yes, your situation is more unusual than other applicants, but that isn't necessarily a selling point (it helps because there's less of a chance of blending in, but it can be a liability because it causes concern about whether you can fit in with what they're looking for). What adcoms care about in this day and age is employability, and in your case it's going to be an issue, since you've mostly worked for yourself, and by applying to full-time b-schools it sends mixed signals about your success: because if you had some amazing success as an entrepreneur, you wouldn't be applying to b-school in the first case (you would be using your funds to start another venture and you would be *hiring* MBAs, not becoming one).

To be honest, you need to focus on your work experience, not on getting more credentials. That opportunity with the consulting firm may have passed, but you need to get some solid work experience to complement what you did before with your own business.

Also, your GPA will be an issue - yes you had some personal circumstances, but the reality is, others have had similar kinds of challenges and still managed to maintain respectable grades. In short, there really is no excuse especially when you're up against folks who have had strong profiles *and* who may have also faced difficult circumstances.

Yes, you've had a more unusual story to tell, but at the same time you have to go into the process accepting the reality that adcoms will still prefer the cookie cutter mgmt consultant with strong numbers simply because they are a known quantity (lots of people like them) - it's the risk averse choice for the adcoms and in this economic environment, there is a flight to safety (they are less willing to take a chance on applicants). So that's where you stand with the above schools, and where schools like H/S/W are going to be long shots simply because you're up against more than enough blue chip applicants who they would much rather take (and even within that group of cookie cutter blue chip applicants - it's still hard for them to get in!). That's why you should focus on other schools where you at least have more of a chance like Booth, Kellogg, etc as stretches and other schools in the top 16 as sweet spots.
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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
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GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V0
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GMAT 4: 700 Q48 V38
GMAT 5: 710 Q45 V41
GMAT 6: 680 Q47 V36
GMAT 7: Q42 V44
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GMAT 9: 740 Q49 V42
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Profile Eval. 760 GMAT with little and atypical work exp. [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2012, 15:43
Hey Alex,

Fist time long time.

I have a rather weak application, I believe, with the expection of a decently strong showing on the GMAT. My goal is to attend a high profile program, and my question for you is just how high profile can I get. Below is a summary of my application and a list of schools roughly ordered by rank. If you can, I would like to know where in the range of schools my application falls (if in the range at all).

GMAT: 760 with 49Q (85%) and 46V (99%)

GPA: 3.28 from Boston College, Majored in History with concentration on Neocolonialism in Latin America (so History with a fair amount of econ and international business thrown in).

Work Experience: Went to Portland, OR after college expecting to be mentored by and work for a independent hotel developer. Unfortunately because of the market I ended up just working at a hotel. I did oversee a department with 20 reports and run the hotel without supervision every night from 3-11pm (so some leadership experience to salvage from that).
I left that job and bounced around for a few months before getting a job in the finance dept with a very large but also very local commercial real estate company. I then moved to a third commercial real estate company and am currently doing new media marketing for them.

Extra C: I am very active, but mostly in independent type activities. I am a distance runner, I throw pottery, I freedive and spearfish, and do long distance kayak expeditions and deep sea kayak fishing. I don't think I'm uninteresting, but I don't have much to show in the way of club/organization leadership.

Why Business school: I come from a family of entrepreneurs in Latin America (my mother is Nicaraguan, but of Irish decent), and I would like to get back to my passion, which is thinking about the inequalities of that region. I am a career switcher who wants to study social enterprise and entrepreneurship so that I can be equipped to make large scale impacts raising up certain populations in Latin America.

So where do you think I might fall in the list below, and where would I fall if I were to wait and spend the next year working for a well know non-profit or social enterprise? Starting my own small social enterprise?

NYU
UCLA
UNC
Texas
USC
Georgetown
Boston U
Wake Forest
U Washington (Foster)
George Washington (DC)
Fordham

Thanks for any insight you can shed.

Best,

John
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Re: Profile Eval. 760 GMAT with little and atypical work exp. [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2012, 22:32
Honestly I think you're in range for the schools you listed.

What works in your favor is that your GMAT is higher (and for those outside the top 16 - significantly higher) than the majority of admitted students. As such, with your profile I think you should have no problems getting into schools outside the top 16 (i.e. every school on your list except for NYU and UCLA). For schools like NYU, UCLA and other top 16 schools like Ross, Duke, Darden, Cornell or Yale, I think you have enough of a shot that they're worth applying to around 2-4 schools (maybe choose 2 more other than NYU and UCLA). And from the schools outside the top 16, you can pretty much limit it to 1-3 schools at most: maybe UNC, Texas and USC.
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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: Russian Federation
Concentration: Technology, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V0
GMAT 2: 700 Q V
GMAT 3: 740 Q40 V50
GMAT 4: 700 Q48 V38
GMAT 5: 710 Q45 V41
GMAT 6: 680 Q47 V36
GMAT 7: Q42 V44
GMAT 8: Q42 V44
GMAT 9: 740 Q49 V42
GMAT 10: 740 Q V
GMAT 11: 500 Q47 V33
GMAT 12: 670 Q V
GMAT 13: 680 Q V
WE: Supply Chain Management (Energy and Utilities)
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Re: Profile Eval. 760 GMAT with little and atypical work exp. [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2012, 06:40
Alex,

Really appreciate the expertise. You have given me an anchor point to work from and narrow down my application pool.

Based on your advice I am now thinking I will apply to Georgetown and UNC and then use my other three to four applications to target maybe UCLA, Darden, NYU and then a big reach to Northwestern or Columbia, just incase they're feeling generous the day they read my app.

Again I appreciate the help Alex. I checked out your companies website and will give you all a call if I am finding it difficult to be compelling on my own.

Best,

John
Re: Profile Eval. 760 GMAT with little and atypical work exp.   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2012, 06:40

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