trips123 wrote:Hi Sameer,
I would really appreciate if you could help me understand where I am going wrong in my application approach. I applied in 5 schools in EA/R1 and have already received 3 dings. All three dings were without interview.
I feel that one of the weaknesses in my application is having a very common post MBA goal but I still don't understand what is wrong with that? Also, do you think this may be due to the weaknesses that I mentioned earlier (above average age and ordinary goals).
Thanks for kickstarting this thread.
I'm sorry to hear about the dings. Each application requires a considerable amount of time and effort (not to mention money), so it's always heartbreaking to hear such news.
trips123 wrote:Following is a summary of my profile application:
Years of WE: 6
Undergrad GPA: 3.71 (from India)
Grad GPA: 3.91 (from Big 10 School in US)
Major: Undergrad and Grad degrees in Industrial Engineering
Area of Work Experience: Operations Management in Manufacturing Setting
Desired field post MBA: Consulting with focus on Operations/Strategy management
From what you've shared, I don't see any obvious red flags, but there is one area where I'd like to probe you further. Let me first share my thoughts on the overall profile first.
Your entire focus so far - in academics and in your work life - has been on the operations, manufacturing, industrial engineering. The acads (specially the grad performance) are pretty good and so's the GMAT. And in your post-MBA goals you are expressing an interest in taking your career to the next logical stage within the same domain that you are so familiar with. I would see that as a huge advantage.
In fact, if (as you've pointed out) your age is slightly about the mean for these schools, then you are being extra cautious by sticking to your comfort zone and reducing the risk. As an Adcom member, I'd actually be more concerned if someone with your profile would start talking about moving into I-Banking, Venture Capital or any other area where you have little to leverage vis-a-vis the other MBAs from your class and outside. Not that it's impossible though (and I'm speaking from personal experience).
Now my query. When you say common/ordinary goals, I'm trying to understand what you meant? Could you please give me a few examples of uncommon goals?
trips123 wrote: 2) Goals do not stand out (could be more compelling)
This is where I wanted to dig a little deeper. I don't see an issue with the goal you've chosen. But I'm curious to know how impactfully you've presented your case. Have you been able to tie-in your goals seamlessly to your pre-MBA experience? Have you justified the schools role in the transition process? If you were to look at moving into a consulting role, what would be the hurdles you are looking at?
If a formal ding analysis isn't possible, you could probably ask someone who's familiar with b-school applications to have a look at your essays and point out potential gaps in the storyline. Maybe it's just a matter of plugging in that missing piece or maybe it's a little more complicated than that.
But a third party perspective might help you gain some clarity before you hit Round 2 apps with a vengeance. And of course, Yale and Tuck are still open for you.
One area that we've left completely open is Recommendations. Are you sure your recommenders did a good job of vouching for your skills, capabilities and potential? Or a more basic question to ask, are you sure you chose the right recommenders?
I've come across cases, where the candidate has done a brilliant job with the essays, but the feedback that trickled in later pointed a finger at some elements within the recos (can't get into the details here). And that threw the spanner in the works. Not saying that would be the case here, but something you might want to look into anyway.
Good luck with your R2 apps and with the Tuck/Yale decision.
If you need help along the way, let me know.