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MBAApply Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:37 am
eki wrote:
Hi Alex,

My Background:

Indian Male, age 36.
Engineer from National Inst of Technology
PG in telecom management

Experience :
All 11 years in sales as Account Manager / Sales Manager in leading MNCs (Microsoft, Oracle, IBM etc.) Have a successful career so far.Fast track growth in company. One of the youngest Regional sales managers, top gun award etc. Managed large accounts, competitive customer base, increased market share etc.

GMAT : 710 (Q 49 , V 39)

Extra carricular :

Nothing great. Usual stuff like quizzing, dramatics, leading college committees, work with NGO etc.

Acads : 78% in engineering. In top 10% of class in Post graduation.

International Exposure :

Been to 9 countries but never studied or worked there. All of them were short visits (sales planning, account meets, leisure etc). Worked with colleages from other countries.

Target Schools :
LBS, INSEAD.

Why MBA :
a) Get into strategy consulting or work as strategist in a tech major b) work outside India

I know that my profile has following limitations :
1. Over aged
2. No international experience
3. Indian IT applicant (though I am in sales)

I request for your feedback and my chances of getting into LBS or INSEAD.

Regards,
Eki
Eki,

You seem to have a good handle on your profile -- you're right about the key things that will set you back. However, there's not a lot you can do about it since you are who you are. You can't change your age or nationality, and you can't go back in time to change your profession. Having said that, these aren't total deal breakers for the Euro schools.

As you know, LBS and INSEAD are big on international exposure and experience. A good majority of the class are folks who have spent considerable time living and/or working outside their home country (and a number who have done so in multiple countries). In your case, what you need to do is to emphasize as much as possible your interaction with your colleagues from different countries as well as your visits abroad for business. From there, it's just a matter of doing the best you can on the rest of the essays and having your recommenders emphasize the fact that you work in a global/diverse environment.

Good luck

_________________
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www.mbaapply.com

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Post Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:14 pm
IS BUSINESS SCHOOL WORTH IT?

One of the most basic but important question I get from folks is whether an MBA is worth it (and in particular, a full-time program).

The debate seems to have been going on ad infinitum, with sentiment ebbing and flowing with the state of the economy.

From a practical standpoint for many folks who are deciding on whether to apply or not (or whether to attend or not * after * they have gotten admission!), the answer may be clearer than you’d expect.

1) CONSULTING: AN MBA IS BASICALLY A PREREQUISITE

Regardless of your prior professional background, if you’re looking to work as a management consultant at firms like McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Monitor, LEK, Accenture, Deloitte, etc. then an MBA is worth it, because you don’t really have much choice: you’re highly unlikely to get hired without one.

Even if you are a consultant looking to upgrade your brand (i.e. you work at a small no-name consulting firm and hoping to work at McKinsey), your chances are slim unless you get an MBA. And even if you are looking to stay at your current firm, you will likely be highly encouraged to go back to do an MBA (read: your chances of getting promoted to a post-MBA position are slim unless you have one).

Moreover, for many of these firms, you essentially have to shoot for the top 16 US programs (and LBS and INSEAD in Europe), since these consulting hire the majority of their incoming associates from these programs. You will get some MBA hires who did not go to these schools, but they are a minority. They will also hire some folks from law schools or direct industry hires, but for the most part, consulting firms have a highly structured (and highly stratified) recruiting process that focuses on a select number of schools.

2) FINANCIAL SERVICES: AN MBA IS A MUST IF YOU DON’T HAVE A FINANCE BACKGROUND

Regardless of what aspect of financial services you’re looking to work in - investment banking, equity research, sales/trading, asset management, private equity, hedge funds, venture capital, commercial lending/underwriting, insurance, etc. - if you don’t have a finance background and looking to make a career switch into it (even if you have corporate/business experience), then you’ll have a very hard time getting these jobs without an MBA.

The culture of financial services doesn’t value the MBA to the same degree as consulting, but it is often seen as a passport to getting in the door for those with no prior relevant experience. And areas such as investment banking focus their recruiting efforts almost exclusively on top 16 MBA programs.

Also, if you’re in a “back office” or “middle office” role at a financial institution (or you’re in any support function such as IT at a bank), and you’re looking to make that switch into revenue generating functions as listed above, then an MBA is worth it to re-brand yourself because it’s hard to make that switch without one.

While some schools have introduced specialized Masters’ programs in finance, these programs are still relatively new compared to the established MBA programs. Basically, if you had the choice, the MBA is the better bet and will give you more access to recruiters than a specialized masters program.

3) NON-BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS SEEKING A CORPORATE CAREER IN THE US

If you are coming from a non-business profession (engineer, science researcher, lawyer, doctor, military officer, teacher, athlete, artist, etc) and looking to transition into business job function, then an MBA can be extremely valuable. Although not a must like it is for consulting or financial services, getting an MBA is certainly worthwhile enough since making that transition into a business career will be easier and faster.

“Corporate life” basically includes the two industries above (consulting and financial services), but also any job function on the business side in any industry: marketing, operations, financial planning/corporate finance, business development, corporate development, human resources, investor relations, etc. In many of these jobs beyond the college entry level, they require either relevant prior experience or an MBA (and most of these firms will not hire you to start alongside fresh college grads at the entry level).

4) BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS SEEKING TO SWITCH INDUSTRIES

Basically, an MBA makes it much easier if you’re looking for a fresh start (without having to fully start over) in a new industry. For example, you’re a brand manager at a consumer products company who is looking to switch into business development at a green technology firm. Or, you’re an investment banker looking to work in sports marketing.

This also applies to social enterprise and non-profit, since the kinds of jobs you would be aiming for on the admin/managerial side tend to be staffed by “corporate refugees” who previously worked in the private sector, and tend to hire people in their own image (i.e. those with business backgrounds and/or with MBAs).

Of course, it’s certainly more possible to make this switch without an MBA (unlike the other three situations above), but an MBA will make it a lot easier for you to make that switch without having to take a huge step back in pay and responsibility.


So if any of these four things applies to you, then the answer is easy: an MBA is worth it (assuming you believe these careers to be worth pursuing), even without considering any of the intangibles or personal factors, such as the network, taking two years off for personal “me” time, discovering new interests, learning more about other careers, and so forth.

SO WHEN IS THE MBA NOT WORTH IT FROM A CAREER STANDPOINT?

Simply put, an MBA won’t have much benefit from a career standpoint if you are already working in a business job function AND you’re not interested in switching to consulting or financial services.

For example, if you’re a banker or PE guy who wants to stay in finance (in any capacity), an MBA won’t be worth it from a career standpoint, because an MBA isn’t going to make it any easier for you to change from one firm to the next, or from a PE to a HF and back again. It ultimately comes down to your transaction experience, network, and the job market in the industry - when it’s hot, you will have firms coming to you; when it’s cold, an MBA won’t help you land jobs that don’t exist.

Or if you’re simply looking to move up the ladder in your industry in a similar job function, then you don’t need to go back full-time: consider doing a part-time MBA or an executive MBA down the road.

Finally, if you’re looking to start your own business in the short-term, you are better off investing that money in wise counsel and getting that business off the ground right away while the idea is still hot in your mind, rather than spending two years in business school where you will learn mostly “book knowledge.” The biggest problem with business schools and entrepreneurship is that business schools unwittingly teach students to conceptualize their way through problems as a substitute for rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty. In plain English, they confuse analysis for execution, and running your own small business often lives and dies more on the latter than the former.

THE MYTH OF THE LONG-TERM

Forget about the long-term value or even the medium-term value of an MBA. The reason why is simple: it’s debatable, it’s a matter of opinion, and it’s ambiguous. You will get more conflicting and differing opinions on this than you would on what it will do for you in the immediate term (i.e. right after graduation). Furthermore, if the value of the MBA in the short-term is limited at best in your situation, then it’s not going to be any more valuable in the medium- or long-term.

When deciding whether an MBA is worth it to you or not, focus on the short-term benefit: what it will do for you in terms of recruiting while you’re an MBA student? Will it give you access to the kinds of jobs you want immediately after graduation? While it may seem cynical to disregard the academics - the reality is, the MBA is a professional degree whose main purpose is to turn students into employable business professionals after graduation, so the academics aren’t an end in itself, but a means to that end. While business schools would like to say that they want to teach you knowledge that you can use for your entire career long-term, the reality is, the kind of knowledge and decision-making you do in the long-term will have little to do with what you learned ten years prior in b-school, and more to do with your recent experiences and lessons learned in the past three to five years. Again, the value of what you learn in business school is most relevant (if not exclusively relevant) to your first few years after business school.

In plain English, the MBA is ultimately about helping you secure the kinds of jobs in the short-term you want that you couldn’t have gotten without the degree (or would at least make it a lot easier for you to secure those kinds of jobs). That, more than anything else, dictates whether the MBA will be worthwhile to you.

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Post Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:34 am
DOES LEGACY MATTER?

Some applicants have had family members or relatives attend the universities they are applying to - and the question that inevitably comes up is: does it matter?

In short, it does to varying degrees.

First, "legacy" tends to mean *immediate* family members (parents, siblings) and spouses. So your uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, in-laws, long-term girlfriend/boyfriend/fiance/fiancee etc won't really count as legacy.

Secondly, it matters more if your immediate family member was an alum of the business school itself (and not just the parent university). It's not make or break, but if you're on the margins, it can really help. If your immediate family member was an alum of another school within the university (i.e. they went to the university's medical school), it will be marginal.

Finally, it tends to matter more with certain universities, particularly those in the Ivy League (Harvard, Penn, Columbia, Dartmouth, Yale, Cornell). With certain private universities like Stanford, Duke, Northwestern and NYU, it can also help (but they don't care quite as much as the Ivies). For public universities like Berkeley, UCLA, Michigan and Virginia, it will likely be marginal at best. And finally, for MIT - it is known not to matter at all, since institutionally they seem to pride themselves on being the antithesis of the Ivies. Of course none of this is "official" as no school will ever admit openly that legacy makes a difference, but it does.

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emahir Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun May 12, 2013 7:11 am
Dear Alex,
I've been a regular at your replies on various B-School forums..

I have acceptance from ND (100% tuition waiver) & UNC KFBS.

It would be great if you could advice, what you would have done given the choices I have. To study at UNC, I would have to take up loans including the co-signer one to finance the program.
Can it be a risk worth avoiding or taking in the long run?

Here is my profile in brief:
Education - Engineering from Delhi University (GPA-7.2/10)
Work Exp - 12 years (Working as a Program Manager with a top mobile co.)
Have been leading medium to large teams
Extensively travelled to US, EU, Japan, Korea for business (~2 years outside India)
GMAT - 750 (Q50, V41)
Activities - not much except, Sports, painting
Post MBA - Continue in Technology, specialize in product planning and marketing

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Post Sun May 12, 2013 9:17 am
emahir wrote:
Dear Alex,
I've been a regular at your replies on various B-School forums..

I have acceptance from ND (100% tuition waiver) & UNC KFBS.

It would be great if you could advice, what you would have done given the choices I have. To study at UNC, I would have to take up loans including the co-signer one to finance the program.
Can it be a risk worth avoiding or taking in the long run?

Here is my profile in brief:
Education - Engineering from Delhi University (GPA-7.2/10)
Work Exp - 12 years (Working as a Program Manager with a top mobile co.)
Have been leading medium to large teams
Extensively travelled to US, EU, Japan, Korea for business (~2 years outside India)
GMAT - 750 (Q50, V41)
Activities - not much except, Sports, painting
Post MBA - Continue in Technology, specialize in product planning and marketing
Congrats on the admits! I would take the free education - both are decent schools, but UNC isn't miles better than ND, and you will thank yourself for being debt free as you enter the job market post-MBA.

Another way to look at it is if you take on a loan, the estimated loan payments are roughly $1,000 per month for every $100,000 in debt (assuming a 15 year term) - and maybe more since the interest rates on student loans these days are unreasonably high. Furthermore, these loan payments are NOT tax deductible (neither the interest nor the principal) if you make more than $80,000 per year (which is a reasonable assumption to make coming out of b-school). So this is after-tax money.

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kedar Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:01 pm
I want to check with you about my candidature. What schools do you suggest.

Thanks for sharing your insights.

GMAT: 710 (92%) [ Q: 50 (92%); V:35 (69%) ]

Education:
MS in Computers [GPA: 3.7]
Btech in computer [First Class with Distinction / 3.8 GPA]

Demographics:
IT / Indian / Male / Age 31

Work
Company: Top IT company- 7 years. Part of Enterprise Resource Planning business that helps companies use technology to help make an impact on their customers, environment, and at the same time, save expenses and realize profits.

Impact

helped enforce new guidelines by W3C regulating body that made internet accessible to people suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.

Part of KY Agricultural weather center to provide county wise weather forecast to the farmers in USA to help them make effective farm management decisions in USA. Right from potential evaporation, to live stock heat and cold stress information is made available to them using precision(hourly weather change) to extended ( 6 hours gap) forecasts.

Motorcycle group - fun group that we formed to organize tours, and short rides. sometimes we mix fun rides with something related to community

Awards:
1. Project Leader for the United Way of King County, a non-profit that solves communities’ toughest challenges.
2. MSN Team Award 2008 for proactive spirit and contribution to build cross team effort.
3. Awarded “The Duke of Edinburgh” award instituted by HRH prince Philip - United Kingdom
4. Recipient of Kentucky Graduate Scholarship for academic excellence.
5. Ranked 63rd of 100,000 in National Mathematics Talent Exam in showing excellent aptitude for sciences.

Certified:
1. Certified in Sanskrit language - world’s oldest language and spoken by only 1 of 200,000 people in the world.
2. Financial and Managerial Accounting to supplement my understanding of the Financials of the ERP business.

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Post Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:27 am
kedar wrote:
I want to check with you about my candidature. What schools do you suggest.

Thanks for sharing your insights.

GMAT: 710 (92%) [ Q: 50 (92%); V:35 (69%) ]

Education:
MS in Computers [GPA: 3.7]
Btech in computer [First Class with Distinction / 3.8 GPA]

Demographics:
IT / Indian / Male / Age 31

Work
Company: Top IT company- 7 years. Part of Enterprise Resource Planning business that helps companies use technology to help make an impact on their customers, environment, and at the same time, save expenses and realize profits.

Impact

helped enforce new guidelines by W3C regulating body that made internet accessible to people suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.

Part of KY Agricultural weather center to provide county wise weather forecast to the farmers in USA to help them make effective farm management decisions in USA. Right from potential evaporation, to live stock heat and cold stress information is made available to them using precision(hourly weather change) to extended ( 6 hours gap) forecasts.

Motorcycle group - fun group that we formed to organize tours, and short rides. sometimes we mix fun rides with something related to community

Awards:
1. Project Leader for the United Way of King County, a non-profit that solves communities’ toughest challenges.
2. MSN Team Award 2008 for proactive spirit and contribution to build cross team effort.
3. Awarded “The Duke of Edinburgh” award instituted by HRH prince Philip - United Kingdom
4. Recipient of Kentucky Graduate Scholarship for academic excellence.
5. Ranked 63rd of 100,000 in National Mathematics Talent Exam in showing excellent aptitude for sciences.

Certified:
1. Certified in Sanskrit language - world’s oldest language and spoken by only 1 of 200,000 people in the world.
2. Financial and Managerial Accounting to supplement my understanding of the Financials of the ERP business.
As an Indian IT guy in his early 30s, here's where you stand:

Stretch: Ross, Duke, Darden, Yale, Cornell, Stern, UCLA, INSEAD, LBS (choose 2-3 from this list)
Sweet spot: Tepper, Texas, UNC, USC, Emory, Georgetown, Maryland, Oxford, Cambridge, ISB (choose 3-4 from this list)
Safety: anything outside the top 30 (choose 1-2 from this list)

This would be the case even if your GMAT verbal was stronger (which right now is a concern). If you have the time, you may want to retake the GMAT to boost that verbal to ideally an 80% or greater (even if your quant suffers a little that's not a huge deal).

As for your age, there's nothing you can do about that. Yes you're on the older side, but all you can do is focus on putting forth the strongest application. You can't explain away your age, as it is what it is.

Finally, just know that there's nothing really wrong with your profile - it's just that the Indian applicant pool is amongst the most homogeneous of all (virtually all the applicants have engineering backgrounds, analytical/quantitative, overwhelmingly male, and have very similar work experiences and extracurriculars). Basically, you're up against a lot of folks with similar profiles as you and as such, beyond just doing the best you can on the applications, it does come down to a lot of dumb luck as well because the adcoms have to make some tough decisions that are highly subjective.

The good news is that you are still competitive for decent b-schools, and a lot of it comes down to a combination of realistic expectations and targeting the right range of schools rather than applying to too many schools that are beyond reach.

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Post Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:35 am
AN MBA FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP? AN ALTERNATE PATH

One of the most common aspirations of many MBA applicants and students is wanting to start a business of their own one day. In prior posts, I have cast doubts on whether an MBA is even worth it for aspiring entrepreneurs (at least those who are looking to start a business in the short-term), but I also recognize that it's just my opinion that others may disagree with. So what I write below assumes that if an MBA was worthwhile for an aspiring entrepreneur, what is one way to navigate the transition from MBA student to entrepreneur?

There are many hurdles in making this a reality. The economic cycle certainly matters, since in good times one is more likely to be optimistic and risk taking compared to bad times when it may be wiser to hunker down. Financial circumstances also matter: with many MBAs taking on significant debt to pay for school, it may be too much to take on that much risk in the shorter-term. Another blindingly obvious hurdle is simply not having a compelling enough idea - that one is in love with the idea of entrepreneurship, without a specific enough business concept in which to channel all that love.

Oftentimes though, as great as all these hurdles may be, the biggest one is simply fear of the unknown. Even those who have started their own side businesses before, there can still be this fear of taking that big leap into becoming a full-time entrepreneur - because the stakes are much bigger if one is looking to make a full-time living from the business.

And in many ways, the psychological shift from working for someone else to being one's own boss is a big leap not unlike any major life transition (becoming a spouse, to becoming a parent, and so forth). It not only changes the way you work, but changes the way you see your work. And that can be a scary thing because it plants a series of self-sabotaging questions in the back of your head that you may be afraid to answer:

If it fails, will I be tough enough to cope with the aftermath? If it's successful, what if I don't like being an entrepreneur?

We are as scared of failure as we are of success, especially when we anticipate that it involves upending our status quo (making a big shift in what we do and who we are in the workplace) to even make that leap. For many aspiring entrepreneurs coming out of business school, it will mark the first time they would be working for themselves on a full-time basis.

Being one's own boss has been romanticized in our culture, and so much emotional energy can be invested in the fantasy of being the next great pioneer, the next self-made billionaire. And I think most people with notions of starting a business recognize on an instinctive level that it's not all roses, because if it were that romantic and glamorous, there would be a lot more entrepreneurs out there.

Regardless of which hurdles are the key drivers in preventing you from making that leap, one alternative is this:

Work for a startup.

You don't have to start your own business right away. While work cultures can vary from one startup to the next, at many startups the chaotic and fluid nature of your workweek and responsibilities requires a different mentality than working for an established company.

Working at a startup (or a more established VC-backed company) can give you a taste for what's to come. Not only will you get broader responsibilities that have a more direct impact on the company, you will also have more leeway to define what your responsibilities are, as well as initiate and execute ideas without running into a clusterf*ck of committee meetings and approvals. Even if you officially have a "boss" (usually the founders), it can feel more like you're working WITH them and not FOR them.

While it's not the same as actually running your own company as a founder/CEO, working at a startup can give you experience in the trenches - allowing you to experience what it truly feels like, while giving you a bird's eye view of what the founders are going through. And experiencing that startup environment will either scare you away from it, or embolden you in the future to start your own. Or you can walk away from it still unsure, but with that experience, there's less "fear of the unknown" should an opportunity to start your own business comes up years (if not decades) down the road.

Again, if you have a business idea and you're ready to go full steam ahead, go for it! But if you don't have one, you're unsure, or there's hurdles you can't overcome at this point in your life, don't fret -- you can always work for a startup for now, make the most of that experience and take it from there.

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ob2 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:09 pm
Hi

What about someone like me that has a clinical healthcare background but want to transition my career to healthcare consulting. I have 5 yrs work experience with no gaps, working at a non profit health center, a BS in dental hygiene from SIU, 3.4 gpa and 690 gmat. Will programs like Booth and Kellogg look down at me for having a non-business career? Yes I understand I need a retake on gmat to be more competitive but I'm worried more about the work experience part. Btw, I'm only applying to part time programs..

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Post Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:29 am
ob2 wrote:
Hi

What about someone like me that has a clinical healthcare background but want to transition my career to healthcare consulting. I have 5 yrs work experience with no gaps, working at a non profit health center, a BS in dental hygiene from SIU, 3.4 gpa and 690 gmat. Will programs like Booth and Kellogg look down at me for having a non-business career? Yes I understand I need a retake on gmat to be more competitive but I'm worried more about the work experience part. Btw, I'm only applying to part time programs..
First, a 690 should be good enough for Booth/Kellogg part-time programs. Of course if you believe that you can score higher without much additional effort in prepping for a retake, go for it.

Also, adcoms will NOT look down on your background. In fact, it's the opposite. Healthcare industry experience is coveted by adcoms, and it'll actually be an asset (especially when you're up against boatloads of finance, IT and other professionals). They are looking for folks with non-business backgrounds: each year there will be a steady stream of ex-military officers, healthcare professionals (doctors, physician assistants, nurses, technicians, administrators, etc.), engineers, and non-profit/public service professionals. They not only add diversity to the incoming class, but they are also the very folks who will get the most out of the academics itself. Good luck

In short, I think you are competitive enough that they're worth applying to, and you should have a reasonable shot of getting in.

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morgan.holl Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:38 am
Alex,

Thanks for sharing your insights in this forum over the past few years. I am leaning heavily towards using an admissions consultant due in large part to my non-traditional background and my concern surrounding recommendations. I’ll follow up this post with a personal email, but in the mean time, would you mind giving my stats a once-over?

Personal stats:

28 (29 at matriculation), white male, married, U.S. Citizen

GMAT:

730 (49Q, 40V), 5.5AWA, 8 IR

Academics:

*Undergraduate degree from UVA, 3.04 GPA, double major in economics and Spanish; low GPA due in part to rough first year; dean’s list 2 of my final 4 semesters; studied abroad in Spain

*Graduate class in civil-military relations and defense budgeting taken at the Naval Postgraduate School; with 60% international student body from countries Nepal, Italy, Germany and the U.A.E.

Work Experience:

*6 total years as a civil service employee of the U.S. department of defense, working in manpower analysis and program analysis; experience concentrated in resource management policy formulation, organizational design, strategic planning, and manpower mix (optimal use of military/contractor/GS employees)

*2+ years working in the Pentagon for Office of the Secretary of the Army

*1.5 years working in Atlanta for a major Army activity (employee of month awards and promotion while here)

*Current job: 2 + years working in Germany for organization responsible for U.S. defense policy, security cooperation and military engagements in Africa. Creator of an unprecedented resourcing tool that will synchronize $700M of programs, manpower and complex legal authorities for Defense activities on the African Continent; for work, awarded employee of the quarter (out of ~700 civilian employees); promoted to lead analyst position

In all organizations and during every rating cycle, I received the highest possible ratings and beat out peers for highly coveted raises

Extracurriculars/Additional Info:

*President, Stuttgart Chapter, American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC); Organize volunteer activities, solicit speakers and plan monthly networking luncheons for 120+ active members; various vice president roles from 2009-2013; award winning essay published in Armed Forces Comptroller magazine

*European chair, International Development Committee, Association of Government Accountants (AGA): Lead efforts to establish AGA’s first European chapter; initiate social media communication platforms and facilitate web-based training opportunities for European AGA members

*Speak near-fluent Spanish; taught English in Madrid to small classes of business professionals and children after graduating from college

Government certifications: certified defense financial manager w/ acquisition qualifier (CDFM-A), certified government financial manager (CGFM)


Goals: In the short term, utilize MBA to transition to public/social sector consulting. Over the long haul, I hope to return to public service, championing access to data, creating better decision support tools, and improving talent management and recruiting practices.


Schools currently on my radar: Duke, Yale, UNC, Emory (10-20 range)

As an aside, do you have any thoughts on how ADCOMs are starting to consider IR scores? Just want to know if a high IR score might help my profile with certain schools more than others

Thanks again for your thoughts!

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Post Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:15 am
morgan.holl wrote:
Alex,

Thanks for sharing your insights in this forum over the past few years. I am leaning heavily towards using an admissions consultant due in large part to my non-traditional background and my concern surrounding recommendations. I’ll follow up this post with a personal email, but in the mean time, would you mind giving my stats a once-over?

Personal stats:

28 (29 at matriculation), white male, married, U.S. Citizen

GMAT:

730 (49Q, 40V), 5.5AWA, 8 IR

Academics:

*Undergraduate degree from UVA, 3.04 GPA, double major in economics and Spanish; low GPA due in part to rough first year; dean’s list 2 of my final 4 semesters; studied abroad in Spain

*Graduate class in civil-military relations and defense budgeting taken at the Naval Postgraduate School; with 60% international student body from countries Nepal, Italy, Germany and the U.A.E.

Work Experience:

*6 total years as a civil service employee of the U.S. department of defense, working in manpower analysis and program analysis; experience concentrated in resource management policy formulation, organizational design, strategic planning, and manpower mix (optimal use of military/contractor/GS employees)

*2+ years working in the Pentagon for Office of the Secretary of the Army

*1.5 years working in Atlanta for a major Army activity (employee of month awards and promotion while here)

*Current job: 2 + years working in Germany for organization responsible for U.S. defense policy, security cooperation and military engagements in Africa. Creator of an unprecedented resourcing tool that will synchronize $700M of programs, manpower and complex legal authorities for Defense activities on the African Continent; for work, awarded employee of the quarter (out of ~700 civilian employees); promoted to lead analyst position

In all organizations and during every rating cycle, I received the highest possible ratings and beat out peers for highly coveted raises

Extracurriculars/Additional Info:

*President, Stuttgart Chapter, American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC); Organize volunteer activities, solicit speakers and plan monthly networking luncheons for 120+ active members; various vice president roles from 2009-2013; award winning essay published in Armed Forces Comptroller magazine

*European chair, International Development Committee, Association of Government Accountants (AGA): Lead efforts to establish AGA’s first European chapter; initiate social media communication platforms and facilitate web-based training opportunities for European AGA members

*Speak near-fluent Spanish; taught English in Madrid to small classes of business professionals and children after graduating from college

Government certifications: certified defense financial manager w/ acquisition qualifier (CDFM-A), certified government financial manager (CGFM)


Goals: In the short term, utilize MBA to transition to public/social sector consulting. Over the long haul, I hope to return to public service, championing access to data, creating better decision support tools, and improving talent management and recruiting practices.


Schools currently on my radar: Duke, Yale, UNC, Emory (10-20 range)

As an aside, do you have any thoughts on how ADCOMs are starting to consider IR scores? Just want to know if a high IR score might help my profile with certain schools more than others

Thanks again for your thoughts!
As far as I know, schools are still focused on the composite score (the IR is still too new, and even then, the AWA has been around for more than a decade and they still don't really look at it).

In short, I think you may be selling yourself a bit short. You have a very strong professional profile - and one that isn't cookie cutter consulting/finance. Yes your GPA may be lowish but two things in your favor: first, you're on the older side so college is ancient history; secondly, your GMAT is strong. So it's not going to be as big a deal as you may realize (this isn't law or med school admissions). Being non-traditional with a strong GMAT, solid leadership, international and analytical experience is actually a very good thing. Again, the only knock on your is your GPA, and in the big picture it's not fatal especially when you have a lot going for you (in other words, adcoms are more than likely to overlook your GPA given everything else you bring to the table).

You may want to look at 2-3 schools in the top 8 as your stretches (where you have enough of a shot that they're worth at least applying to). Sweet spots are top 16, and safeties are top 30. You may even want to give H/S/W a shot as you have an outside shot there to be honest.

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alex@mbaapply.com
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Post Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:57 pm
I'm sure many of you have seen the NYT article about gender issues in b-school:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/08/education/harvard-case-study-gender-equity.html?_r=0

What do you guys/gals think?

I personally think the gender disparity is a more complicated issue than what they say here.

Also, I wouldn't go so far to say this is a take-down piece on HBS, but the fact is, you can find d-bag, misogynistic fratty guys at any b-school. There's that element in every b-school, but it's just *one* social group of many, especially at larger schools with 500+ students.

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Post Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:57 pm
Hi Alex,

Have been following your thread for quite some time and would like to congratulate you on the exceptional job that you have been doing in guiding all the applicants. Could you please nudge me in the right direction as I have been pondering over this question for too long.

My profile
Age 27 years
Work Experience 7 years in the IT industry. However, since the last 3 years I have been involved in setting up high performing teams to manage applications for US telecom giants.
Co-Curriculars University Level tennis player, Represented Organization at National Level Quiz Competition, Associated with Organizational CSR and owner of some highly popular internet forums.
Target Industry Consulting
GMAT 730 (Q51 and V38) 710 (Q49, V38, AWA2.5, marred by a wrist injury). The preparation was hasty on both the occasions.
Past Just one application submitted so far and was dinged after R2 interview by Booth in 2011

My queries
1. What are my stretch, fit and safety schools in your opinion?
2. Should I aim for a higher GMAT since I believe I can bump up my Verbal score with a little prep and go for R2?
3. What are the prospects of a scholarship and does GMAT play a crucial role there?

Thanks in Advance!!

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Post Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:12 pm
ElSantoVicioso wrote:
Hi Alex,

Have been following your thread for quite some time and would like to congratulate you on the exceptional job that you have been doing in guiding all the applicants. Could you please nudge me in the right direction as I have been pondering over this question for too long.

My profile
Age 27 years
Work Experience 7 years in the IT industry. However, since the last 3 years I have been involved in setting up high performing teams to manage applications for US telecom giants.
Co-Curriculars University Level tennis player, Represented Organization at National Level Quiz Competition, Associated with Organizational CSR and owner of some highly popular internet forums.
Target Industry Consulting
GMAT 730 (Q51 and V38) 710 (Q49, V38, AWA2.5, marred by a wrist injury). The preparation was hasty on both the occasions.
Past Just one application submitted so far and was dinged after R2 interview by Booth in 2011

My queries
1. What are my stretch, fit and safety schools in your opinion?
2. Should I aim for a higher GMAT since I believe I can bump up my Verbal score with a little prep and go for R2?
3. What are the prospects of a scholarship and does GMAT play a crucial role there?

Thanks in Advance!!
What is your nationality and gender?

_________________
Alex Chu
alex@mbaapply.com
www.mbaapply.com

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