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ElSantoVicioso Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:38 am
I am an Indian male.

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MBAApply Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:51 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!!
First, if you're looking at top 16 schools, forget about scholarships as an Indian IT guy. Scholarships are often used to attract folks who are underrepresented (by nationality or profession/profile) and/or who have unique/extraordinary experiences relative to the other admitted students for the school in question. As such, there's no need to give it to an Indian IT guy since there's a ton of them applying who they could choose from (and most will get dinged). Where scholarships are possible are in the top 30 and especially top 100 schools where a significantly higher GMAT than their average (i.e. a 720+ for schools whose averages are in the low to mid 600s).

In any case, the GMAT isn't an issue at all for you - it's not going to impact your chances since it's past a certain threshold for it to be a factor (720+ ).

Top 16 schools are going to be a stretch, but where you have enough of a shot that they're worth applying to 2-3 schools. I'd look at Ross, Darden, Duke, Cornell, Yale, Stern and UCLA. Schools in the top 8 are long shots for traditional Indian IT guys.

Top 30 schools are where your sweet spots are: focus on 3-4 from this list -- schools like Texas, Tepper, USC, UNC, Georgetown, Indiana, Purdue, Emory, Maryland.

_________________
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viidyasagar Community Manager
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Test Date:
November 15th
Target GMAT Score:
700+
GMAT Score:
700
Post Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:42 pm
Hi Alex,

I like your car analogy. Gives me a funny and clear picture of schools.

Need your help in evaluating my profile, here's a quick summary.

GMAT 700, want to apply this year
Age: 31 from Mumbai, India
My latest GMAT breakup (4th attempt and highest score)(Q 49 (81 percentile), V 36(80 percentile) for a 700).

Profile summary: I have over 8 years of research and strategy consulting experience, including about 6-8 months on international assignments. I am also a radio host with over 800 hours of live radio experience potentially reaching out to over 18 mn people in Mumbai (since 2008); solid community service of over 7 years. Have worked with over 500 slum children, street children, and orphans, helping them with their formal education, imparting vocational training and other soft skills, and conducting hygiene training. My GPA is 3.0 as per WES. (Undergrad in Electronics engineering, 2004 batch)

Career highlights -
1. Have quantitative results to show at my current workplace - Capgemini consulting
2. Past - 2009 - As a freelance consultant, I initiated and implemented a technology transformation project at All India radio (local government radio station) with results to show
3. Good cross-culture and leadership experience in my current and past roles

Additional information:

Short term goals - Pursue a career in social impact consulting, preferably at one of the top 3 strategy consulting firms....for e.g. BCG has a social consulting arm, if I am not wrong

Long term goal: Would like to keep my options open:
option 1. Specialize in social impact consulting either as an entrepreneur or as a consultant and bring my global learnings to India
option 2. Lead the transformation of radio in India, given my radio experience

Application experience: Applied to ROSS, Duke Fuqua, Darden, Carnegie Mellon Tepper, ISB, Wharton, and Cornell in 2010....got dinged by all without an interview.

Next steps:
1. Work with a committed admission consultant of high pedigree
2. Committed to learning from my past mistakes
3. Need advice on choosing schools given my age and profile - Schools of my choice (Insead, LBS, Booth, Kellogg, Tuck, Yale, Tuck, UCLA, Cambridge - visited campuses of LBS and Cambridge in August 2013) and which ones among these are stretch schools

Please help! thanks for reading!

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Post Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:50 am
viidyasagar wrote:
Hi Alex,

I like your car analogy. Gives me a funny and clear picture of schools.

Need your help in evaluating my profile, here's a quick summary.

GMAT 700, want to apply this year
Age: 31 from Mumbai, India
My latest GMAT breakup (4th attempt and highest score)(Q 49 (81 percentile), V 36(80 percentile) for a 700).

Profile summary: I have over 8 years of research and strategy consulting experience, including about 6-8 months on international assignments. I am also a radio host with over 800 hours of live radio experience potentially reaching out to over 18 mn people in Mumbai (since 2008); solid community service of over 7 years. Have worked with over 500 slum children, street children, and orphans, helping them with their formal education, imparting vocational training and other soft skills, and conducting hygiene training. My GPA is 3.0 as per WES. (Undergrad in Electronics engineering, 2004 batch)

Career highlights -
1. Have quantitative results to show at my current workplace - Capgemini consulting
2. Past - 2009 - As a freelance consultant, I initiated and implemented a technology transformation project at All India radio (local government radio station) with results to show
3. Good cross-culture and leadership experience in my current and past roles

Additional information:

Short term goals - Pursue a career in social impact consulting, preferably at one of the top 3 strategy consulting firms....for e.g. BCG has a social consulting arm, if I am not wrong

Long term goal: Would like to keep my options open:
option 1. Specialize in social impact consulting either as an entrepreneur or as a consultant and bring my global learnings to India
option 2. Lead the transformation of radio in India, given my radio experience

Application experience: Applied to ROSS, Duke Fuqua, Darden, Carnegie Mellon Tepper, ISB, Wharton, and Cornell in 2010....got dinged by all without an interview.

Next steps:
1. Work with a committed admission consultant of high pedigree
2. Committed to learning from my past mistakes
3. Need advice on choosing schools given my age and profile - Schools of my choice (Insead, LBS, Booth, Kellogg, Tuck, Yale, Tuck, UCLA, Cambridge - visited campuses of LBS and Cambridge in August 2013) and which ones among these are stretch schools

Please help! thanks for reading!
Sorry to hear about the dings - with your profile and background I'm surprised you didn't get into the lower ranked schools like Tepper (or even get interviews at Ross, Duke, Darden, Cornell). My hunch is probably a combination of the GMAT (if it was below 700 at that time) and quality of execution on the written application.

In any case, I think with your profile, here's where you stand:

Stretch: INSEAD, LBS, Booth, Kellogg, Tuck (choose 2-3 from this list; you need a bit of luck but you have enough of a shot that they're at least worth applying to 2-3 as long as you aren't limiting your school list to just this tier of schools).

Sweet spot: Yale, UCLA (you may want to add 1-2 more from this list - they are schools where you have a reasonable shot of getting into; maybe look at Ross and Duke again, or NYU).

Safety: any US schools outside the top 16 (Tepper), and Cambridge, Oxford. Look at 1-2 schools from this list.

_________________
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alex@mbaapply.com
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Post Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:56 pm
TOP 10 BEST PRACTICES FOR PREPARING YOUR MBA APPLICATIONS

This year will be the 10th year (!!) that I've been doing this under my own MBA Apply shingle. Surprising that I never put together something like this, but consider this some best practices I've learned in the 10 years I've been working with tons of applicants from practically all walks of life.

1. GET THE GMAT OUT OF THE WAY FIRST BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE.

Preparing for the GMAT exam requires focus, and you owe it to yourself to get the strongest score you can. While a high score won't be an asset, a low score can keep you out. For top 16 schools, aim for a 700 at a bare minimum, and ideally a 720+. For top 30 schools, aim for a 660 minimum and ideally a 700+. It's not impossible to prep for the GMAT while working on your applications (and you may have to do both in parallel if you have to retake it), but the more time you have to prepare for the GMAT, the better. In essence, aim to finish your GMAT by May/June in the year in which you intend to apply (either for the October Round 1 deadlines or January Round 2 deadlines).

2. VISIT A FEW SCHOOLS WHILE CLASS IS IN SESSION.

Regular classes are held from September to April (with August being pre-term for some schools, and May being final exam month for most schools).

School visits can be invaluable. You get first hand experience with what a business school environment "feels like" in a way that no website, brochure, discussion forum, or second hand information can provide.

Aside from the Q&A info sessions that adcoms may organize as well as sitting in on class, perhaps the most invaluable insight you'll get about a specific b-school (or just b-schools as a whole) is to talk to current students one-on-one, where they will be far more likely to open up "off the record". Offer to buy them a quick coffee, beer or even a meal. They are broke (or heavily indebted) students who will appreciate free drinks and food.

Again, visiting schools isn't about currying favor with the adcoms at all (the only people they will remember are those who make complete asses of themselves because of the sheer number of people they come in contact with in any given year), but for your own sake. That first hand experience will make it easier for you to write about what you want from b-school in a more personal, specific way.

Aim to visit a few schools. They don't all have to be your target schools. For example, if you're heading to Chicago to visit Booth, go and visit Kellogg while you're at it even if you don't plan on applying there. Or, if you're heading to Philadelphia to visit Wharton, take a quick day trip to New York and visit Columbia and Stern.

Visiting 2-3 schools will not only de-mystify what b-school is like, but it'll only help you hone in on what it is you want to get out of the b-school experience.

3. APPLY TO 4-7 SCHOOLS TOTAL.

Since there are way more folks of a comparable caliber applying than there are spots available at any one b-school, the admissions process can be a total crapshoot. As such, it's a numbers game. Apply to too few schools, and you won't maximize your odds. Apply to too many schools, and you'll dilute your efforts across too many schools.

Target around 4-7 schools to maximize your chances, with the expectation that it's unlikely you'll get into every school you apply to. Spread it out across a range of schools: 2-3 stretches, 2-3 sweet spots, and 0-1 safeties. "Stretches" are schools where you have enough of a shot that they're worth applying to, but you'll need a bit of luck to get in. Sweet spots are schools where you have a more reasonable shot of getting into given your profile. Safeties are schools where you are virtually guaranteed to get into.

4. AIM FOR A SWEET SPOT OF 5-10 WEEKS TO COMPLETE ALL YOUR APPLICATIONS.

Although completing the applications does take some time, effort and focus - there isn't so much to do that it is a full-time job. Give yourself at least 5 weeks, and at most 10 weeks to complete all your applications, with the expectation that you'll be working on it a few hours each week.

Anything less than 5 weeks, and chances are you'll be rushing to get them in before the deadlines. Anything more than 10 weeks, and you risk "overworking" and overthinking your essays (polishing them to a point where your second-guessing will actually worsen the quality of your written applications). There is only so much you can do before it ends up being an exercise in rearranging the furniture.

This means if you're applying for Round 1 deadlines, as long as you begin by mid- to late-August, you should be fine. And for Round 2 January deadlines, you should start on your essays no later than mid- to late-November.

5. FOCUS ON ONE SCHOOL AT A TIME.

Around 80-90% of your time and effort will be spent on the first 2-3 applications (or even the first 1-2 applications, depending on the degree of overlap in the essays for your target schools).

You will find that once you've completed a few schools, each additional school will take very little time. In fact, by the time you get to your 4th school and beyond, it can take a week or even just a day or two to get them done.

Even if the essays or messaging are different from one school to the next, there's a learning curve - once you're "in the zone" after having done a few and you have a more natural feel for writing b-school essays, you'll find that it progressively takes less time to complete each subsequent application.

Focusing on one school at a time will help you focus, while also giving you the best chance of completing your entire list of schools in the most effective manner.

You don't have to be dogmatic about completing them one at a time, but avoid working on them in parallel as much as you can. What this also does is it gives you time away from a particular application, and that time away is invaluable, because it allows you to revisit the applications with a fresh set of eyes before you submit. What you may find is that while working on your 5th school application for example, you discover some new insights that you can incorporate into your 1st school application - insights that you may not have come up with had you tried to juggle a bunch of school applications at once and feeling overwhelmed about it.

6. THINK, WRITE AND SPEAK IN PLAIN ENGLISH.

For many b-school applicants, they have forgotten how to write in plain English, because most if not all of the writing they have been doing since college has been in a corporate work environment.

Every industry has their own shorthand, jargon, and figures of speech - to the point where in some cases it has morphed into its own dialect that only people in that industry can understand.

Most applicants can write about their personal lives or anything they do outside of work in plain English (no one would ever say "My spouse and I consolidated into a mutually beneficial union due to our aligned interests"). However, a lot of applicants have never had to write, speak or even think in plain English at work, because everything at work is communicated in an industry dialect or "corporate speak." Just bear in mind that if you are talking about your work in a resume, essay, or interview - you will likely have to act as your own English translator.

One effective way to help you write in a clear way is to read your essays out loud. If it sounds stiff, abstract and formal - then it probably is. Your essays should sound like YOU outside of work. The language should sound like how you talk, except without the decorative "ums, ahs, you know's, see what I mean, like, yeahs, " and so forth.

7. HAVE OTHERS READ AND CRITIQUE YOUR ESSAYS.

Feedback is essential. That third person perspective is something you do not have when you're knee deep in your essays.

Get your friends, colleagues, family members, or even paid consultants to review your writing for clarity, specificity, economy and tone.

Chances are, you will get conflicting feedback. That's normal. Narrative writing is subjective, and not everyone will have the same opinion about your "story" - what you wrote, or how you wrote it. As the author of your narrative, it is a judgment call (and yours alone) as to what feedback to incorporate and what to ignore. Frankly, the entire application process is a judgment call from both the applicant's and adcom's perspective. However, you can make more informed choices about your essays (in whole or in part) when you get feedback from others who are not in your head.

8. GIVE YOUR RECOMMENDERS 4-6 WEEKS TOTAL TO COMPLETE ALL THEIR REC LETTERS - NO MORE, AND NO LESS.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but you do not want to give your recommenders too much time. The reason is simple: the more time you give someone, the more time they have to procrastinate. And the more they procrastinate, the more likely they'll rush to submit it at the very last minute. Don't project your own stakes onto others: yes, the applications mean a lot to you personally, so you'll be more motivated and uptight about every single little thing, trying to get everything done and to the tee. Your recommenders frankly don't have those stakes, even if they really like you, and as is human nature - they will procrastinate and sit on it if given the chance. You would too if you were in their shoes and being asked to write them for someone else.

Having said that, by all means, talk to potential candidates who you would like to write your recommendation letter a few months before the deadlines so that you can finalize who your recommenders will be.

But give them the materials to submit their recommendation letters around 4-6 weeks from the deadline. That way, they have enough time to write them to the best of their ability, but not so much time that they can completely set it aside and forget about it.

9. AIM TO SUBMIT IN THE 1ST OR 2ND ROUND; AVOID THE FINAL ROUND

For most schools, they build most of their class from their first two rounds, so by the time the last round comes around, there are few spots left and as such, the decision process is even more subjective and random. This is especially the case if you are a traditional applicant (finance, consulting, engineering, healthcare, corporate) because it's unlikely they will need or want any more traditional applicants by the time they review applications from the final round. If anything, they are hoping to fill the class with more non-traditionals from non-profit, military, arts/entertainment/sports, and so forth. Again, nothing is impossible, but if you can, avoid the final round.

If you are undecided between the 1st and 2nd round, just know that it makes no difference from an admissions perspective (your chances are the same). However, I have found that applicants who aim for the 1st round tend to be more productive, even if they are busier at work. The reason for this is simple: when you are busy at work, you have no time to navel gaze or to procrastinate. You just execute.

The 2nd round tends to be a more difficult deadline to aim for simply because of the holiday season: from Thanksgiving to the New Year, it's a dead zone. A lot of applicants mistakenly believe that because they have all the time in the world because they will be with their families or on holiday, they can focus on their application. And they are often wrong, because it's much harder to substitute between "personal time with family/friends" and "b-school applications". It's far easier to procrastinate and waste time when you have that time to waste, and there's this mad rush to complete the application nursing a New Year's hangover.

So ideally, aim for the 1st round, but know that the 2nd round is also fine (except that it'll likely be more difficult for you in terms of time management). And avoid the last round if you can.

The only exception to this is Columbia and Sloan - the only schools that have 2 rounds of admission. For both of these schools, treat their 2nd round as the "final round." In other words, for Columbia and Sloan, aim for their Early Decision and R1 deadlines respectively.

10. TREAT THE ENTIRE APPLICATION PROCESS AS PARALLEL TO YOUR CURRENT CAREER TRACK.

In short, don't quit your job to focus on the GMAT or the b-school application. It doesn't signal to the adcom that you're focused. Instead, it tells them that you're not as competent as the other applicants out there who can still put together strong applications even as they are juggling work, family and extracurriculars.

If you happen to be unemployed at the time of application, make sure you're staying productive on something, whether it's volunteering, working freelance gigs, or just something that is allowing you to continue moving your life in a forward direction. The last thing anyone wants to see is someone who is in a holding pattern in their life, as if b-school is some panacea they are waiting for before giving themselves permission to make life choices.

And this goes for those who are also currently employed. Treat the b-school application process as a parallel track. If you get in, it should be an *option* (the option being: "should I go, or should I stay in my current job, or even should I switch to another job?"). It should not be the only door you're waiting for to open.

B-schools want to accept people who don't need them, just like a bank tends to lend money to those who need it the least. B-schools appreciate enthusiasm, but there can be a fine line between enthusiasm and desperation, and there is no worse turn off than a desperate person.

The more you treat b-school as an option (and not a necessity), the more likely it'll come across in how you communicate in your essays as well as in your interviews. You're more likely to come across as confident and enthusiastic, as opposed to desperate and needy.

_________________
Alex Chu
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www.mbaapply.com

MBA_Geet Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:54 pm
Hi Alex

I have 12+years of experience in IT/Business Process Consulting ( worked in 2 countries India and USA) and aspiring for 1 year MBA.

My GMAT score is 650 ( Q41,V38)

I hope this not so good score can be balanced with my B.E (Engineering in Computer Science) - GPA: 3.7 and MBA-GPA:3.7 and leadership roles i play

Do i stand a chance with below programs
1. MIT-Sloan fellows MSx 1 year program or
2. Johnson Cornell's 1 year MBA
3. LBS's sloan program in leadership
4. INSEAD's exec MBA program

Your inputs please

MBAApply Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:39 pm
MBA_Geet wrote:
Hi Alex

I have 12+years of experience in IT/Business Process Consulting ( worked in 2 countries India and USA) and aspiring for 1 year MBA.

My GMAT score is 650 ( Q41,V38)

I hope this not so good score can be balanced with my B.E (Engineering in Computer Science) - GPA: 3.7 and MBA-GPA:3.7 and leadership roles i play

Do i stand a chance with below programs
1. MIT-Sloan fellows MSx 1 year program or
2. Johnson Cornell's 1 year MBA
3. LBS's sloan program in leadership
4. INSEAD's exec MBA program

Your inputs please
In short, you need to retake the GMAT. For the range of schools you're shooting for, you need at least a 700, and ideally a 720+ simply because you're up against a ton of other Indian IT/engineers with similar academic and professional backgrounds as you.

Since you have some time between now and the upcoming deadlines later this year, you owe it to yourself to focus on retaking the GMAT. There's a ton of resources on the Beat The GMAT site here. You can do it!

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

jegadhish90 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Posted:
5 messages
Post Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:15 am
Hi Alex,

Can you please provide your valuable suggestions based on my profile, I am planning to apply for 2017 intake.

Profile: Indian- Male; Engineer/24

GMAT: Right now attaining 690-710 in Kaplan practice tests and I am aiming to take the test after 6 months with an aim of 740+.

Education:

Undergraduate : Chemical Engineering from Anna University (One among the top 10 in India)
GPA: 7.6/10 (Top 15% in my class)

Masters in Engineering: Dual Masters in Chemical & Environmental Engineering from University of Toronto
GPA: 3.79/4

Work Experience:

1)Completed 2 four month summer Internships related to Chemical Engineering while doing my Undergrad out of which one was for India's highest ranked fortune 500 Petroleum company.

2) Completed a 6 month internship (after completing my masters) in a Oil and Gas firm in UAE.

3) Now working in Canada as a Junior Chemical Engineer for a mid-sized company.

Hoping to have 3 years of full-time work experience by the time of applying to B-Schools

Extra Curricular Achievements:

Undergrad:

Won 1st place out of 600+ teams which participated an International Engineering Event for designing a Solar Water Purifier.
Won Prizes in many notable national level Engineering competition.

Head of Organizing committee of Rotaract club:
Two notable achievements are

i)Initiated and organized two blood donation camps in association with the Cancer Institute of Madras which had 340+ blood donors

ii)Organized a Reclaim our Beaches campaign in to create awareness about the endangered Olive Ridley turtles were nearly 220+ people participated from all over the city

Worked with different NGO's to educate children in rural areas, Cleaned beaches on International Coastal Clean-up Day, renovated water tanks in schools and temples to provide clean drinking water and many more activities...

Masters:

i) Treasurer of Leaders of Tomorrow(a student club):
Organized monthly fund raising events generating profits from the first month which fetched nearly 900$ on the very first event

Prepared budgets, monitored expenses and income, and organized all documents for internal audit

ii) Executive member in Chemical Engineering Student Association- Lead a team of 15 members to organize a Chemical Engineering Networking Dinner Event

Post MBA:

Short Term: Work as a management consultant for the Top 4 consultancy firms

Long Term : After Gaining significant experience as a management consultant, I might start my own consultancy or aim to work in an Executive position for a FT-500 company.

I know much depends on our Essays and recommendations and I am hoping to work hard on my Essays & get positive reco's from my higher officials.

My Questions:

i) My aim is to apply for Top 20 b-schools. Will that be too ambitious?? Is Top five out of reach??

ii) My Undergrad GPA is bit on the lower side and also a non-IIT student(even though Anna University is on the Feeder Universities list according HARVARD website), whereas my Masters GPA is above average and from a reputable University(Ranked no 1 for Chemical Eng in Canada). Will my Masters GPA mask my UG's GPA or will my UG's GPA be weighed more??

iii)I still have three years to improve my profile, Is there anything specific I have to work on?

Hope you will kindly go through my profile and give your opinion about it.

I will be happy to give some more information based on my profile, if required.

Thanks

mygman Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
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Posted:
18 messages
Post Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:00 pm
Hi,

I've taken GMAT for 4 times, and it looks like 710(Q50, V35) is the best I can get. 
Now, I pretty much think that I'm done with GMAT and would like to focus on other preparations. 

Can you please evaluate my chances of getting into top 10 schools? 
I'm targetting HaasAndersonSloanWhartonRoss,Kellogg

Personal : 28 yrs old, Male, Asian 

Undergrad : Louisiana State Univ. Acct major, 1 year accelerated graduation w/ full scholarship (3.6/4.0) 

W/E : 
1. English Instructor for 2 years in Korea - Taught and managed about 100 students, launched new online education programs, made around $100K/year (I've learned how to interact w/ people and to communicate effectively, I took this job right after college b/c I needed to support my family ASAP, and this job was the perfect option for me at that time.) 

2. Semiconductor Industry - Corporate Development for 4 years - Launched 2 new biz targetting market size of $10B total (Started seeing actual sales arise, made a few collaborations & consortiums, and performed fve in-house consulting PJTs w/ top MBAers. 

Extracurricular : Founded 2 volunteer groups focused on educating children at local orphanage.(spending weekends on it) 
Discharged of Air Force as a Staff Sergent (2 years of service) 

Letter of Recommendation : Expect pretty good ones from recommender. One of the recommender, my part-leader, is a Ross alumni. 

Goal : Still weighing whether to focus on consulting / corp. development in IT industry such as Google, Intel, Amazon, and Facebook. 

Do I stand a chance to those targetting schools? It seems that 710 is a bit risky score to apply to those schools. 

Can you provide any feedback? 

Thank you in advance for your precious advice.

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Post Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:12 am
jegadhish90 wrote:
Hi Alex,

Can you please provide your valuable suggestions based on my profile, I am planning to apply for 2017 intake.

Profile: Indian- Male; Engineer/24

GMAT: Right now attaining 690-710 in Kaplan practice tests and I am aiming to take the test after 6 months with an aim of 740+.

Education:

Undergraduate : Chemical Engineering from Anna University (One among the top 10 in India)
GPA: 7.6/10 (Top 15% in my class)

Masters in Engineering: Dual Masters in Chemical & Environmental Engineering from University of Toronto
GPA: 3.79/4

Work Experience:

1)Completed 2 four month summer Internships related to Chemical Engineering while doing my Undergrad out of which one was for India's highest ranked fortune 500 Petroleum company.

2) Completed a 6 month internship (after completing my masters) in a Oil and Gas firm in UAE.

3) Now working in Canada as a Junior Chemical Engineer for a mid-sized company.

Hoping to have 3 years of full-time work experience by the time of applying to B-Schools

Extra Curricular Achievements:

Undergrad:

Won 1st place out of 600+ teams which participated an International Engineering Event for designing a Solar Water Purifier.
Won Prizes in many notable national level Engineering competition.

Head of Organizing committee of Rotaract club:
Two notable achievements are

i)Initiated and organized two blood donation camps in association with the Cancer Institute of Madras which had 340+ blood donors

ii)Organized a Reclaim our Beaches campaign in to create awareness about the endangered Olive Ridley turtles were nearly 220+ people participated from all over the city

Worked with different NGO's to educate children in rural areas, Cleaned beaches on International Coastal Clean-up Day, renovated water tanks in schools and temples to provide clean drinking water and many more activities...

Masters:

i) Treasurer of Leaders of Tomorrow(a student club):
Organized monthly fund raising events generating profits from the first month which fetched nearly 900$ on the very first event

Prepared budgets, monitored expenses and income, and organized all documents for internal audit

ii) Executive member in Chemical Engineering Student Association- Lead a team of 15 members to organize a Chemical Engineering Networking Dinner Event

Post MBA:

Short Term: Work as a management consultant for the Top 4 consultancy firms

Long Term : After Gaining significant experience as a management consultant, I might start my own consultancy or aim to work in an Executive position for a FT-500 company.

I know much depends on our Essays and recommendations and I am hoping to work hard on my Essays & get positive reco's from my higher officials.

My Questions:

i) My aim is to apply for Top 20 b-schools. Will that be too ambitious?? Is Top five out of reach??

ii) My Undergrad GPA is bit on the lower side and also a non-IIT student(even though Anna University is on the Feeder Universities list according HARVARD website), whereas my Masters GPA is above average and from a reputable University(Ranked no 1 for Chemical Eng in Canada). Will my Masters GPA mask my UG's GPA or will my UG's GPA be weighed more??

iii)I still have three years to improve my profile, Is there anything specific I have to work on?

Hope you will kindly go through my profile and give your opinion about it.

I will be happy to give some more information based on my profile, if required.

Thanks
Rather than repeat myself, here's some blog articles I've written about prepping for b-school years in advance, as well as in the year in which you're applying:

http://www.mbaapply.com/advice2.htm#positionformba

http://www.mbaapply.com/advice2.htm#forrestgump

http://www.mbaapply.com/advice2.htm#fewmonthschances

Basically I can't tell you how to live your life over the next few years. It's your life, your choices, your values. In other words, your career choices and achievements shouldn't be limited or defined by your chances for b-school admission.

Rather than worry about your competitiveness for b-school 3 years from now, focus on being the most accomplished person you can be NOW, which is your full-time job.

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

MBAApply Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:19 am
mygman wrote:
Hi,

I've taken GMAT for 4 times, and it looks like 710(Q50, V35) is the best I can get. 
Now, I pretty much think that I'm done with GMAT and would like to focus on other preparations. 

Can you please evaluate my chances of getting into top 10 schools? 
I'm targetting HaasAndersonSloanWhartonRoss,Kellogg

Personal : 28 yrs old, Male, Asian 

Undergrad : Louisiana State Univ. Acct major, 1 year accelerated graduation w/ full scholarship (3.6/4.0) 

W/E : 
1. English Instructor for 2 years in Korea - Taught and managed about 100 students, launched new online education programs, made around $100K/year (I've learned how to interact w/ people and to communicate effectively, I took this job right after college b/c I needed to support my family ASAP, and this job was the perfect option for me at that time.) 

2. Semiconductor Industry - Corporate Development for 4 years - Launched 2 new biz targetting market size of $10B total (Started seeing actual sales arise, made a few collaborations & consortiums, and performed fve in-house consulting PJTs w/ top MBAers. 

Extracurricular : Founded 2 volunteer groups focused on educating children at local orphanage.(spending weekends on it) 
Discharged of Air Force as a Staff Sergent (2 years of service) 

Letter of Recommendation : Expect pretty good ones from recommender. One of the recommender, my part-leader, is a Ross alumni. 

Goal : Still weighing whether to focus on consulting / corp. development in IT industry such as Google, Intel, Amazon, and Facebook. 

Do I stand a chance to those targetting schools? It seems that 710 is a bit risky score to apply to those schools. 

Can you provide any feedback? 

Thank you in advance for your precious advice.
Your GMAT is fine - it's not going to make or break you at all. Put it to rest, rather than retaking it yet another time, as 4 times is more than enough.

As for your target schools, I think you have enough of a shot given that you have a pretty solid professional profile (most adcoms won't be a fan of the teaching English in Asia thing, but you recovered from that with 4 years in corp dev in tech).

Stretch: Haas, Sloan, Wharton, Kellogg
Sweet spot: Anderson, Ross

Basically you have too many stretches and too few sweet spots. Given your goals, I'd eliminate either Wharton or Kellogg, and then add 1-2 more sweet spots (Duke, Darden, Stern, Cornell, Yale), and maybe 0-1 safeties in the top 30 (Texas and Tepper come to mind if you're interested in tech post-MBA).

Beyond that, it's really about doing the best you can on the written applications and interviews. Good luck

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

mygman Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 Nov 2009
Posted:
18 messages
Post Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:30 pm
mygman wrote:
Hi,

I've taken GMAT for 4 times, and it looks like 710(Q50, V35) is the best I can get.
Now, I pretty much think that I'm done with GMAT and would like to focus on other preparations.

Can you please evaluate my chances of getting into top 10 schools?
I'm targetting Haas, Anderson, Sloan, Wharton, Ross,Kellogg.

Personal : 28 yrs old, Male, Asian

Undergrad : Louisiana State Univ. Acct major, 1 year accelerated graduation w/ full scholarship (3.6/4.0)

W/E :
1. English Instructor for 2 years in Korea - Taught and managed about 100 students, launched new online education programs, made around $100K/year (I've learned how to interact w/ people and to communicate effectively, I took this job right after college b/c I needed to support my family ASAP, and this job was the perfect option for me at that time.)

2. Semiconductor Industry - Corporate Development for 4 years - Launched 2 new biz targetting market size of $10B total (Started seeing actual sales arise, made a few collaborations & consortiums, and performed fve in-house consulting PJTs w/ top MBAers.

Extracurricular : Founded 2 volunteer groups focused on educating children at local orphanage.(spending weekends on it)
Discharged of Air Force as a Staff Sergent (2 years of service)

Letter of Recommendation : Expect pretty good ones from recommender. One of the recommender, my part-leader, is a Ross alumni.

Goal : Still weighing whether to focus on consulting / corp. development in IT industry such as Google, Intel, Amazon, and Facebook.

Do I stand a chance to those targetting schools? It seems that 710 is a bit risky score to apply to those schools.

Can you provide any feedback?

Thank you in advance for your precious advice.Your GMAT is fine - it's not going to make or break you at all. Put it to rest, rather than retaking it yet another time, as 4 times is more than enough.

As for your target schools, I think you have enough of a shot given that you have a pretty solid professional profile (most adcoms won't be a fan of the teaching English in Asia thing, but you recovered from that with 4 years in corp dev in tech).

Stretch: Haas, Sloan, Wharton, Kellogg
Sweet spot: Anderson, Ross

Basically you have too many stretches and too few sweet spots. Given your goals, I'd eliminate either Wharton or Kellogg, and then add 1-2 more sweet spots (Duke, Darden, Stern, Cornell, Yale), and maybe 0-1 safeties in the top 30 (Texas and Tepper come to mind if you're interested in tech post-MBA).

Beyond that, it's really about doing the best you can on the written applications and interviews. Good luck

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







Thanks Alex for your advice.
I will take your suggestion into consideration.
Would Tuck be sweet spots for me? If it is, I would love to consider that option.

Best regards,

mygman Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 Nov 2009
Posted:
18 messages
Post Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:31 pm
mygman wrote:
Hi,

I've taken GMAT for 4 times, and it looks like 710(Q50, V35) is the best I can get.
Now, I pretty much think that I'm done with GMAT and would like to focus on other preparations.

Can you please evaluate my chances of getting into top 10 schools?
I'm targetting Haas, Anderson, Sloan, Wharton, Ross,Kellogg.

Personal : 28 yrs old, Male, Asian

Undergrad : Louisiana State Univ. Acct major, 1 year accelerated graduation w/ full scholarship (3.6/4.0)

W/E :
1. English Instructor for 2 years in Korea - Taught and managed about 100 students, launched new online education programs, made around $100K/year (I've learned how to interact w/ people and to communicate effectively, I took this job right after college b/c I needed to support my family ASAP, and this job was the perfect option for me at that time.)

2. Semiconductor Industry - Corporate Development for 4 years - Launched 2 new biz targetting market size of $10B total (Started seeing actual sales arise, made a few collaborations & consortiums, and performed fve in-house consulting PJTs w/ top MBAers.

Extracurricular : Founded 2 volunteer groups focused on educating children at local orphanage.(spending weekends on it)
Discharged of Air Force as a Staff Sergent (2 years of service)

Letter of Recommendation : Expect pretty good ones from recommender. One of the recommender, my part-leader, is a Ross alumni.

Goal : Still weighing whether to focus on consulting / corp. development in IT industry such as Google, Intel, Amazon, and Facebook.

Do I stand a chance to those targetting schools? It seems that 710 is a bit risky score to apply to those schools.

Can you provide any feedback?

Thank you in advance for your precious advice.Your GMAT is fine - it's not going to make or break you at all. Put it to rest, rather than retaking it yet another time, as 4 times is more than enough.

As for your target schools, I think you have enough of a shot given that you have a pretty solid professional profile (most adcoms won't be a fan of the teaching English in Asia thing, but you recovered from that with 4 years in corp dev in tech).

Stretch: Haas, Sloan, Wharton, Kellogg
Sweet spot: Anderson, Ross

Basically you have too many stretches and too few sweet spots. Given your goals, I'd eliminate either Wharton or Kellogg, and then add 1-2 more sweet spots (Duke, Darden, Stern, Cornell, Yale), and maybe 0-1 safeties in the top 30 (Texas and Tepper come to mind if you're interested in tech post-MBA).

Beyond that, it's really about doing the best you can on the written applications and interviews. Good luck

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







Thanks Alex for your advice.
I will take your suggestion into consideration.
Would Tuck be sweet spots for me? If it is, I would love to consider that option.

Best regards,

MBAApply Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
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Posted:
203 messages
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Post Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:05 am
mygman wrote:
Thanks Alex for your advice.
I will take your suggestion into consideration.
Would Tuck be sweet spots for me? If it is, I would love to consider that option.

Best regards,
Tuck would be considered a stretch for you, as it's in the same tier as Kellogg, Booth, and Sloan.

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

MBAApply Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
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Posted:
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Post Fri May 09, 2014 9:07 am
In the 10 years I've spent as an admissions consultant, one of the things that often comes up for many applicants is evaluating a school's overall reputation. There are a ton of rankings publications out there, and they all rank order the schools in a different way (and changes in ranking from one year to the next changes according to these publications). But if you take the rankings publications as a whole over many years as well as poll alums and recruiters informally, you'll find that schools tend to cluster in tiers or groupings (where schools in each tier are essentially the same in terms of overall reputation). Furthermore, there isn't really a "top 5" or "top 10" -- schools tend to cluster more as follows: top 3, top 8, top 16 and top 30 (or "non-top 16")

SCHOOL RANKINGS BY TIER

Top 3: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton (Wharton straddles the top 3 and top 8).

Top 8: Booth, Kellogg, Columbia, Tuck, Sloan, Haas (Haas straddles the top 8 and top 16)

Top 16: Ross, Duke, Darden, Stern, Cornell, Yale, UCLA

Top 30: Tepper, Texas, USC, UNC, Emory, Maryland, Rochester, Georgetown, Indiana, Purdue

Outside the US:

INSEAD/LBS are roughly comparable to the US top 8.

IMD is more comparable to an executive MBA than a traditional full-time MBA.

Oxford, Cambridge, Rotman, Queen's and Ivey are comparable to the US top 30.

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

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