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Need an evaluation please (International profile)

This topic has 1 expert reply and 1 member reply
zephir21 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
10 Mar 2009
10 messages
2 times

Need an evaluation please (International profile)

Post Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:02 am

Last edited by zephir21 on Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:56 am; edited 1 time in total

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Graham MBA Admissions Consultant
18 Sep 2008
270 messages
Followed by:
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Test Date:
August 1998
Target GMAT Score:
GMAT Score:
Post Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:46 am
Dear zephir21,

Thanks for your post!

Please see my thoughts below:

1) Nationality, Languages and Age
You clearly have a unique background across Africa, Europe and the Middle East. It's also nice to posess fluency in English and French as well as some basic Arabic. This should work to your advantage when it comes to standing out in the applicant pool (assuming you can showcase the unique experiences/viewpoints you've gained from your multicultural background). At 25, you are more or less in the sweet spot for applying to full time MBA programs in the top-tier.

2) Education + GMAT
This section seems promising. Which French engineering school did you attend? Polytechnique (X)? Central? Supelec? The leading MBA programs are familiar with the French Grande Ecoles system and see many candidates from leading engineering schools in Paris - hence I am curious to know if you went to one of the top programs. Also, what were the grades you received - even if on a x/20 scale? Do you have a sense of how you performed relative to the rest of your class? How did you do in your 'prepas'? Which 'prepas' did you attend? This is another consideration for the adcom. Again, things sound promising here, but in order to assess your education fully, I'd need further information.

Your GMAT result is decent - right around the average for your target schools. While your verbal score and AWA are a bit weaker, they are sufficient for a non-native English speaker. I'd only recommend revisiting the exam if you were highly confident in your ability to secure a higher score (e.g. 730+) or if your academics are less impressive upon close inspection (e.g. you didn't do that well relative to peers, you didn't go to one of the top programs in France, etc). Otherwise, I don't think you need to focus on this aspect.

3) Work Experience
Your international internships are a nice touch - although internships are rarely a focal point for one's applications. The bulk of your career to date has been with a mining company in France, which sounds like it has afforded you some management opportunities and placed you on a fast track for more senior management (as evidenced by the promotion you seem to be anticipating for later this year). Of course, as a candidate with an engineering background, your task will be to showcase your business saavy, interpersonal skills and managerial experience - since the adcom may otherwise assume that you are more of a technical engineer than a future manager, etc. Note: lots of talk about "Lean Six Sigma" will likely fall on deaf ears in the admissions office - since they will view this as operations/manufacturing jargon, and not as the sign of a candidate with the power to convey his work in layman's terms.

You mentioned that if you get the two year post (promotion), you will quit for b-school. Does your employer know this? If not, do you have managers at the firm who are willing to write your recommendations for b-school?

4) XCs
Your XCs sound like they were decent in college, but perhaps lacking at the moment. Are you doing anything on a regular basis at present? Horseriding? Volunteering? Playing in an informal soccer league? This is an area that European candidates are traditionally weak in, but I worry that it sounds like you really haven't done much (beyond work) since graduating from school. Is this accurate? If so, you may want to work to revive some of your hobbies and activities, as the schools look carefully at this element.

See our post on this very subject for tips:

5) Goals
It sounds like you have the beginnings of some interesting goals back in Africa. You'll obviously need to refine this substantially for the admissions process, but you've got the start of a plan in place. As you move forward with the admissions process, think about how each of the programs on your list might help you reach your goals. You might also think about whether or not you have a short-term step in mind - prior to starting up your own firm.

You mentioned that you are considering HBS, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Chicago and Kellogg. Is there any reason you have targeted this group of schools (beyond the fact that many would say they are the top 6 in the world)? Do you feel that each of them has the entrepreneurial expertise, operations coursework, global management offerings and ties to industry that will help you in your African venture? The reason I ask is because these programs are all different from each other, and your list at present sounds more rankings-based than career-based. You may want to do further research and better understand your desired fit before applying. The Clear Admit School Guides provide solid school-to-school comparisions for this sort of exercise.

As to your chances, you clearly have an interesting profile that should lead to competitive applications at the top schools. Whether you make the cut at the top schools will depend on some of the factors I've outlined above in terms of your academics, recommendations, career goals and XCs. Feel free to send along your resume (info@clearadmit.com) if you'd like to have a free assessment of your background via phone with one of our counselors.

Best of luck,


Graham Richmond
Clear Admit, LLC
215 568 2590

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zephir21 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
10 Mar 2009
10 messages
2 times
Post Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:26 am

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