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Ask GyanOne:Indian applicants for global top 30 MBA programs

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GyanOne Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Ask GyanOne:Indian applicants for global top 30 MBA programs

Post Fri May 30, 2014 3:30 am
Aiming for Wharton, MIT, Kellogg, Yale, or INSEAD (or other top 30 global MBA programs) THIS YEAR?

Indian candidates applying to global top 30 B-schools, please feel free to post your queries here. Our assessment will be highly detailed, candid, and honest, in order to help you select the right schools and gauge your chances at top MBA programs. While we are open to evaluating profiles without GMAT scores, we encourage you to post here after you take the GMAT, as it is difficult for us to assess chances based on broad expected GMAT score ranges.

Some success stories and general links which will be of relevance and help to aspiring Indian MBA applicants:
Real Estate professional makes it to Kellogg, Yale, and McCombs
Indian IT male engineer makes it to Tuck, Tepper, and McCombs
Merchant Navy professional makes it to INSEAD and HKUST
Indian college senior makes it to Yale!
Indian engineer (11+ yrs experience, IT background) makes it to HKUST
Experienced Operations professional makes it to IMD
Advice for Indian MBA applicants
Advice for Indian IT candidates applying for an MBA

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kamlesh14u Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:45 am
Hi GyanOne,
Thanks for your valuable advice. I am not from IT sector, i have 4 years of work Ex in Engineering & designing of Control systems and 6 years of work Ex in managing of control system project.
Will surely get back to you after my GMAT.

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GyanOne Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:49 am
Hi Kamlesh,

Most schools across the geographies that you have mentioned would be open to your candidature given the credentials you have stated. However, you should also keep the following in mind:

a) With 10 years of experience, you are at the point where some schools will start suggesting their Executive MBA programs as better fits. There are many others that will be open to your candidature provided you can make a strong case for a full-time MBA.

b) While the PMP and Leadership exposure helps, you seem to be an IT candidate (we could be wrong here, but your stats seem to be pointing in that direction). As you belong to an overcrowded applicant pool, differentiation (especially for someone like you who already has managerial responsibility and lots of exposure) will be critical. If you are from the IT industry, look at ttp://www.gyanone.com/blog/indian-it-male-mba-applicants/" target="_blank">this article

c) Don't take the GMAT lightly. When starting off with their prep, many people tend to assume that they can easily make it to the target score they have in mind. Work commitments, personal priorities, and lack of organized preparation can all play havoc with your objectives. Start looking at 700+ as realistic when you start hitting around that much on your mock GMAT tests. Again, this is not supposed to be critical of you or even specific to you, but just a piece of advice as you are yet to take the GMAT.

d) Overall, don't worry so much about which schools will accept you at this stage. Focus more on getting a great GMAT score, and then putting in strong applications. Once you have taken the GMAT, feel free to come back and ask further as we will be able to suggest more relevant MBA programs for you then. In general, in terms of US schools, Kellogg, Wharton, Tuck, and Columbia are programs that are open to older candidates (list not exhaustive). In Europe, LBS, INSEAD, and IMD are schools that you might like to look at.

For a general list of B-schools across the regions you have mentioned, click here

Feel free to come back with further questions on any of these aspects or something more.

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kamlesh14u Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:45 am
Hi GyanOne,
Thanks for your valuable advice. I am not from IT sector, i have 4 years of work Ex in Engineering & designing of Control systems and 6 years of work Ex in managing of control system project.
Will surely get back to you after my GMAT.

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Post Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:49 am
Hi Kamlesh,

Most schools across the geographies that you have mentioned would be open to your candidature given the credentials you have stated. However, you should also keep the following in mind:

a) With 10 years of experience, you are at the point where some schools will start suggesting their Executive MBA programs as better fits. There are many others that will be open to your candidature provided you can make a strong case for a full-time MBA.

b) While the PMP and Leadership exposure helps, you seem to be an IT candidate (we could be wrong here, but your stats seem to be pointing in that direction). As you belong to an overcrowded applicant pool, differentiation (especially for someone like you who already has managerial responsibility and lots of exposure) will be critical. If you are from the IT industry, look at ttp://www.gyanone.com/blog/indian-it-male-mba-applicants/" target="_blank">this article

c) Don't take the GMAT lightly. When starting off with their prep, many people tend to assume that they can easily make it to the target score they have in mind. Work commitments, personal priorities, and lack of organized preparation can all play havoc with your objectives. Start looking at 700+ as realistic when you start hitting around that much on your mock GMAT tests. Again, this is not supposed to be critical of you or even specific to you, but just a piece of advice as you are yet to take the GMAT.

d) Overall, don't worry so much about which schools will accept you at this stage. Focus more on getting a great GMAT score, and then putting in strong applications. Once you have taken the GMAT, feel free to come back and ask further as we will be able to suggest more relevant MBA programs for you then. In general, in terms of US schools, Kellogg, Wharton, Tuck, and Columbia are programs that are open to older candidates (list not exhaustive). In Europe, LBS, INSEAD, and IMD are schools that you might like to look at.

For a general list of B-schools across the regions you have mentioned, click here

Feel free to come back with further questions on any of these aspects or something more.

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GyanOne Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:35 am
Quote:
Hi All,

Please evaluate my profile for acceptance with scholarship chances in the listed schools. Also, please recommend if I should include any other school to my list.

Nationality: Indian
Age: 29 (at matriculation)
Total Work Ex: 7 Years or 84 Months (at matriculation) in IT
International Ex: 1 Year in UK
Education: Bachelor in Technology - Mechanical Engineering
CGPA : 8.86/10 (top 1% of a state university, not IIT/NIT)
GMAT: 610(sept 2012), 650(may 2014), 770(june 2014)

Career Goal: Work in Consulting or IT Project Management for 3-4 years after MBA, then return India to do PhD in business and join education sector. OR join non-profit organisation (dream World Bank).
I consider large-scale IT project management is something that I should target based on my experience, but I would explore non-profit sector in b-school.
School Choice(preference): Small Class size, Case Study Method, Smaller City, Chances of Scholarship
Target Companies post study : Delloite, IBM, Accenture, (big 4 will be a dream)

Work Exp. Details:

Working in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) from 2008. Have completed 2 projects till now and continuing the 3rd.
1st Project: I was instrumental in Bank Of America and Merrillynch database merger when I was only 1 and half years experienced. The job involved prolong 1 month co-ordination between 5 different teams (2 client and 3 vendors) of over 30 associates. I got lot of appreciations for this and became offshore lead for a 7 member team with so less experience. My reportees included people with experience 1-8.

2nd Project: I was selected for establishing banking domain account for 1st TCS office in a new city. I started the project from scratch and completed successfully. The new location had faced number of challenges including environment and project set up, shortage of skilled labor(both technical and managerial), quality regulation (absence of intercity disaster recovery setup) etc. This project also had same number of reportees with similar level of experience.

3rd and Continuing Project: Working for an insurance client in UK. Job involved establishing new development centre in new location and currently business analysis and project lead.

Also, I have mentored around 15 people so far.

Personal Background:
From a poor rural India , where I walked barefooted for 5 KM daily to attend school till my secondary education. I have funded my entire education and had additional financial responsibility. I had to leave studies for an year before my engineering for this. I could not get involved in extra curricular activities cause there was no scope in my initial years and later I worked on two jobs(one full time in TCS and part time as private tutor - though its illegal) until I came to UK.

Volunteering:
As I have said I could not do much for lack of time. However, I have participated in various corporate sustainability activities from TCS. From my initial 2 years,each week for 2 hours I tutored english for an underprivileged school. Then for 2 years in a women leadership program for rural india and 1 year for computer and english training for tribal students. The women leadership training was successful by making the participants win ward member election and now 4 of the 15 are representing 3000 villagers each. I got involved in all these activities as these were the causes for my childhood suffering.

Entrepreneurship:

Although I do not consider myself an entrepreneur, I have successfully set up a gym for my friend. After I moved to the new city for my 2nd project, I found the locality had only 1 gym and there was a lot of opportunity. The venture did not demand much involvement, so initially I tried to approach banks for loans, who did not trust me. I gave the idea to my friend and we worked together for the setup. Investment was $100,000, operational expenditure monthly - $3500 and revenue - $8500, with targeted break-even in 2 years.

Recommenders:
Two of my ex-supervisers, who are also aware of my involvement in corporate sustainability.

Schools:
1. Darden Business School, University of Virginia
2. Kennan-Flagger Business School, University of North Carolina
3. Tepper Business School, Carniege Mellon
4. Rotman Business School, Canada
5. Melbourne Business School, Australia
6. Judge Business School, Cambridge, UK
7. Cornel, Johnson

Questions:
1. Should I revise my school list ?
2. What to highlight and what to ignore in my essays ?
3. What are my chances of getting scholarship ?
4. How do I stand against my competitors ?
5. Any advice ?

Regards,
Ahmed
Hi Ahmed,

Thanks for posting. We took the liberty of copying your post from the link that you provided so that all information is available at one place for this brief assessment.

First of all, you do have an outstanding GMAT score. Congratulations for that. There are few people who can jump from 650 to 770 in just one month - you must have quite a story there (or perhaps that was a typo and your 2nd attempt was in May 2013 instead of May 2014....?). No matter, it is 770 that you go with now, which is excellent.

Your career goals, at least the way you define them here, can be improved upon. Are you simply trying to move from development/project management roles in IT to IT consulting or is strategy consulting your goal? You will have close to 8 years of experience when you enter an MBA program, and that is above the median and average of all your target schools. Coming in this late for an MBA, you need to define the need for it well. Taking up a non-profit plank at this stage of your career and professional life is not going to be easy, either from an MBA Admissions or even a personal perspective.

On your specific questions, here is our response:
1. Yes, you should consider revising your school list. There seems to be little here in terms of consistency. Also, those seem to be way too many geographies to target. Don't just go for decent programs across geographies, narrow your focus and attention to select schools that will help you achieve your career objectives.
2. This question has a very detailed answer, and cannot be exhaustively covered in this short post. Some of the things you might consider including are your international experience and your social initiatives. One point you may consider not emphasizing too much is your disadvantaged background - struggle will invite understanding and empathy at best, but not applause, especially for top schools. This does not mean not talking about your struggles at all, but simply understanding that you should not make them the center piece of your candidature.
3. Your chances of scholarship are ok - not too high and not too low. The GMAT score helps, but that is not all there is to it.
4. The answer to this will depend on the school you talk about and the parameter you consider. Not a point for you to focus too much on, though.
5. One piece of advice would be that you should not get swept away with your GMAT score, excellent thought it is. Understand that application success is a result of multiple factors, including choosing the right schools. Also, don't ignore the fact that you are from the IT industry - an over-represented pool of applicants by any measure.

If you want a more detailed (free) profile evaluation, with specific emphasis on other questions you may have, you can contact us through this link:
Free MBA profile evaluation by GyanOne

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Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:14 am
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Post Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:57 pm
MBA Essay Samples : Beware of using them!

With multiple schools to apply to, and different essays for each, the pressure for putting in all the required elements and yet stick to the word limit can be immense. Of course, reviewing your essays multiple times and incorporating the feedback obtained from others also saps your energy. At this time, some applicants can feel fatigue and make the fatal mistake of looking for MBA essay samples online - some for outright usage, others for ‘inspiration’. Read more

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Post Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:44 am
MBA after Teach for India

Every year, we have the opportunity to speak to a few bright and enterprising young men and women who have spent two important years of their life volunteering for Teach For India. They are looking at an MBA after Teach for India (TFI). We also occasionally come across people who ask whether a Teach for India Fellowship will help improve their chances for an MBA and differentiate their profiles. To those people, if they happen to be reading this article, read our advice here: http://www.gyanone.com/blog/mba-after-teach-for-india/

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kamlesh14u Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:33 pm
hi gyan one,

following is my detail:
-I have 10 yrs work exp.
-I am a PMP.
-with 6 yrs of managerial exp
-have international exposure
-Yet to give GMAT

Just want to know what all top colleges in US, Europe and Australia accepts student with 10 yrs of exp and GMAT score (700+).

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GyanOne Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:51 am
Consulting after MBA seems to be the preferred career choice for the vast majority of MBA applicants today. For some, it is an escape from the comparatively monotonous corporate life they have had so far. For others, it is a dream that involves getting the chance to work on new projects frequently, travelling, and helping clients fix their companies. Whatever the allure, the fact is that consulting after MBA forms the predominant career choice for B-school applicants when they apply.

Consulting post MBA: What are the opportunities?

Strategy consulting: Firms within this classification typically carry out the most ‘interesting’ work - helping large firms and CEOs chart out strategy, align their vision with their offerings, enter new market segments, or create new growth plans. Most strategy consulting firms work with the top management of their clients. The biggest names in this space are the ‘Big 3′ (McKinsey, BCG, and Bain), but there are also others like AT Kearney, Roland Berger, and to a more limited extent Accenture, while some others like Booz and Monitor have now been acquired. Getting into a career with strategy consulting firms requires strong domain knowledge within a particular industry or function, strong academic credentials, and of course awesome case interviewing skills. An MBA is definitely an asset and is required for growth beyond a point for most firms. Read More

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RamaK88 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:09 pm
GyanOne wrote:
Hi there RamaK88,

Thanks for writing in.

With a 730 on the GMAT, you have definitely helped your chances by differentiating yourself on that count. 5+ years of IT consulting is also a plus, though it means you are part of the over-represented Indian IT pool. This pool, as you know, is quite crowded, though IT consulting (instead of a pure developer role) does give you a bit of a differentiator there.

On the academic front, apart from your GMAT, you do come from a tier 1 college in India (NSIT/the former DCE), which is another plus. Taking your GMAT thrice is not an issue. It is your latest score that counts, and in your case fortunately that is also the highest one. You cannot convert your GPA to the 4.0 point scale directly by division - use an online service such as WES if you need an officially accredited conversion, or else just leave it on the 10.0 point scale. Most schools will be able to interpret this just fine.

On the ECA front, the sports achievements do matter, thought at six months the NGO bit isn't likely to make much of an impact, judging from what you wrote (if your involvement here goes beyond what you have mentioned, feel free to add on - this assessment is limited to what you have mentioned). You don't need certificates for everything you did, but you do need stories of leadership, achievement, and effort.

As far as the schools go, INSEAD is going to be a tough bet with no international experience in your applicant pool. The US top 10 is not going to be easy either. Still, we would like to go deeper before we make that assessment and take a final call. Can you send us your detailed profile by submitting it on the following link for a detailed profile evaluation? : Free MBA profile evaluation by GyanOne

Finally, before we sign off on this response, here are some articles for you to look at. These are meant for Indian IT applicants.
Indian IT Males: Thinking about an MBA program
Choosing the right MBA program for Indian IT applicants

Feel free to get back with follow-up questions or clarifications.
Hi GyanOne: thank you for a very detailed profile evaluation. You have really answered all my queries very well. Highly impressed with your analysis and your expertise. Yes I moved to IT consulting from developer role because I knew that I did not want to code. However I am not sure if I can move to strategy consulting after my MBA. Is IT consulting experience relevant for strategy consulting? Otherwise I will look for other roles in IT only.

I know I am from the IT pool and will face the odds and was hoping my GMAT score will help to compensate. But I can see now that it will not be so simple. I have decided to drop INSEAD from my list, and have mailed you for a more detailed evaluation. Please see and respond.

Also, thank you for the links to articles you gave me. They were fantastic. Waiting for your response on my profile.

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GyanOne Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:07 am
Hi there RamaK88,

Thanks for writing in.

With a 730 on the GMAT, you have definitely helped your chances by differentiating yourself on that count. 5+ years of IT consulting is also a plus, though it means you are part of the over-represented Indian IT pool. This pool, as you know, is quite crowded, though IT consulting (instead of a pure developer role) does give you a bit of a differentiator there.

On the academic front, apart from your GMAT, you do come from a tier 1 college in India (NSIT/the former DCE), which is another plus. Taking your GMAT thrice is not an issue. It is your latest score that counts, and in your case fortunately that is also the highest one. You cannot convert your GPA to the 4.0 point scale directly by division - use an online service such as WES if you need an officially accredited conversion, or else just leave it on the 10.0 point scale. Most schools will be able to interpret this just fine.

On the ECA front, the sports achievements do matter, thought at six months the NGO bit isn't likely to make much of an impact, judging from what you wrote (if your involvement here goes beyond what you have mentioned, feel free to add on - this assessment is limited to what you have mentioned). You don't need certificates for everything you did, but you do need stories of leadership, achievement, and effort.

As far as the schools go, INSEAD is going to be a tough bet with no international experience in your applicant pool. The US top 10 is not going to be easy either. Still, we would like to go deeper before we make that assessment and take a final call. Can you send us your detailed profile by submitting it on the following link for a detailed profile evaluation? : Free MBA profile evaluation by GyanOne

Finally, before we sign off on this response, here are some articles for you to look at. These are meant for Indian IT applicants.
Indian IT Males: Thinking about an MBA program
Choosing the right MBA program for Indian IT applicants

Feel free to get back with follow-up questions or clarifications.

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RamaK88 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:58 am
I would like a profile evaluation from you if possible.

My profile particulars are as below:

Experience: Worked 5 years for a big-4 IT firm across three cities in India. Joined as a trainee and am now at a Team Leader position. Won three promotions to get here. I have travelled a lot in India but never outside for work. My work has mostly been on IT consulting engagements (for the first year it was development).

GMAT: 730 overall score, and GPA of 8.1/10.0 from a non-IIT engineering college in India (NSIT) and I graduated in Computer Science. I have taken GMAT three times, is that a problem?

Interests outside work: Have been volunteering for an NGO for more than six months now, and I have represented my company at some corporate debating events. Played some cricket at university levels (lost my certificates), and used to be part of my state under-17 cricket team in school (I never played though, I was part of the 16 but never the final 11).

Is it possible for me to get admitted to US top 10 or Insead? Also, how do I convert my GPA to 4 point scale (simply divide by 2.5?) Can you suggest 2-3 schools that I can look at? Also, is losing my extra-curricular certificates going to be a problem?

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sukriti2hats Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:38 am
GyanOne wrote:
Hi Sukriti,

Thank you for getting this thread started off. It is not really true that top schools in the US do not accept 3-year bachelor degrees from India. Schools such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Columbia, Tuck, and Duke (list not exhaustive) do accept 3-year degrees from India.

You cannot apply to the full-time MBA programs at these schools as you are yet to complete your bachelor's. However, some of them do accept applications from outstanding college seniors (e.g. Yale with their Silver Scholars program). Check out this link for more information on this: Yale Silver Scholars and other MBA programs in the US that accept college seniors

Overall, your profile is quite good with excellent academic performance, extra-curricular participation and achievement, and good leadership experience as well. Low academic performance in one semester will not harm your application, as you have made up for it by strong performance in subsequent semesters. You are well-suited for applying to top Master in Management programs. Try and stay on course for your target GMAT score of 700 and take care that you do not slack or push back your GMAT dates. This is something that we have seen happen to a lot of college seniors, who push back on their GMAT dates owing to academic pressure and later find they do not have enough time to give the GMAT their best. We are not saying that this is something you will do too, but just thought we would mention it.

To answer your specific questions:
1) Yes, you do stand a good chance at top MiM programs. See more success stories of MiM applicants and college seniors here: Admitted to Yale Silver Scholars; HEC Master in Management: program details and a success story; Top Master in Management programs in Europe cracked!
2) See this link for a more comprehensive comparison of the MiM and the MBA: MBA v/s Master in Management
3) No, your degree will not be a hindrance if you apply 2-3 years down the line for reasons noted above. Here are the steps we think you should take:
a) Focus first on the GMAT. A good GMAT score will help improve your chances at top programs so that needs to be tackled first.
b) Next, decide on the programs you are targeting for MiM and apply there. Be aware that for a 2015 start, most MiM programs have their deadlines in Fall 2014. You can look up a list of top Masters in Management programs here . Make sure that you do not miss any deadlines.

Hope this helps. Happy to offer more advice and suggestions as needed.

Warm Regards,
GyanOne
Hi

Thank you very much. The evaluation done by you has not only increased my confidence but has also motivated me to study hard for GMAT. I will surely follow the steps mentioned by you, to the core. As for the deadlines of MiM programs, I will be submitting my applications by Nov 14 for the program of fall 15, I hope that will not be an issue. I have already started working on my essays and contacted people for LoRs, only GMAT left. Once again, thank you very much.

Regards
Sukriti

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