Chances of getting into top 20 school

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Chances of getting into top 20 school

by chzd » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:34 am
Hi,

This is my first time posting here but I have been following this forum for a while. It has been very helpful in convincing me to pursue a MBA over other options. I was hoping to get some insight into my chances of getting into top 20 MBA programs.

I am an Indian male with PR in US. I have a Bachelors degree from a top 10 Computer Science school in US with a 3.3 GPA. I am planning to take GMAT in a couple of months and hope to get somewhere between 650 - 700. I have 2 years of work experience. I am currently a software developer at a Fortune 100 company. My current role is mainly technical. I did not have a lot of opportunities to showcase my leadership in my current role. However, I have done internships in college where I had to do some project management, promote an open source software to mid level management etc.

Based on my profile, what are my chances of getting into a top 20 school ? Are they considered a stretch for me ?

Target schools:
UT
Virginia
Duke
Kelloggs
UCLA

P.S: Do top 20 schools look at high school achievements and coursework as well ? I have done the International Baccalaureate Diploma program in high school and I have taken the Business Management course in IB.

Thanks in advance,
SM

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by westsidah408 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:30 pm
Hi chzd,

First and foremost: no, high school is too long ago to be relevant unless you were an Olympic athlete or something. Try to focus on the most recent achievements, but since you have less than the average years of experience, undergrad should be okay as well.

It would be hard to evaluate whether you would get into a top 20 schools or not without also knowing your goals. Indian/IT/Male is a very competitive demographic and with only 2 years of experience and <700 GMAT it would reduce your chances considerably. That said, it's not impossible.

Another thing I would like to point out is to not focus on the rankings. Use them as a guideline, sure, but consider your goals and profile, and also definitely consider your fit with each school. Fit is different for everyone. For me, it was the diversity (cultural as well as professional) of the class, the location (urban vs. rural), the clubs, etc. You should also consider finances and recruiting strength for your desired goals.

Since you've just started the process, take your time and research. Enjoy the experience. You will learn a lot about yourself.

Hint: "Kellogg's" is not a school. "Kellogg" is. If you mention the cereal brand in your essays that is likely an immediate ding. :)

Good luck!
chzd wrote:Hi,

This is my first time posting here but I have been following this forum for a while. It has been very helpful in convincing me to pursue a MBA over other options. I was hoping to get some insight into my chances of getting into top 20 MBA programs.

I am an Indian male with PR in US. I have a Bachelors degree from a top 10 Computer Science school in US with a 3.3 GPA. I am planning to take GMAT in a couple of months and hope to get somewhere between 650 - 700. I have 2 years of work experience. I am currently a software developer at a Fortune 100 company. My current role is mainly technical. I did not have a lot of opportunities to showcase my leadership in my current role. However, I have done internships in college where I had to do some project management, promote an open source software to mid level management etc.

Based on my profile, what are my chances of getting into a top 20 school ? Are they considered a stretch for me ?

Target schools:
UT
Virginia
Duke
Kelloggs
UCLA

P.S: Do top 20 schools look at high school achievements and coursework as well ? I have done the International Baccalaureate Diploma program in high school and I have taken the Business Management course in IB.

Thanks in advance,
SM

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by ivyctor2010 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:01 am
Hi

Considering schools you are targeting, you work experience is on lower side. Typically, top 30 B-Schools would expect you to showcase leadership experience, good career record demontrating future potential.
It would be helpful if you can share your career goal so that we can advise you on strengthening your profile. Say, if you want to make a career in finance and you are pursuing some specialized course (such as CFA etc), your applications gets lot of credibility.
Achievements at high school level are not "high selling point" but you can definitely mention in your essay in a meanigful manner.
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by CriticalSquareMBA » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:32 pm
Hi Chzd,

I'd like to thank the other posters to your thread and some of what I write below will agree and expand upon what they wrote. Some of my notes below are distinct and I hope you find them useful.

1) Work Experience: There are certain components of your work experience that are a plus (e.g. Fortune 100 company, etc.), however, it is the general nature of your profession that would require close attention. As an Indian male in the IT industry, you are probably aware your competitor pool is significant. Therefore, I would urge you to view your work history as a story. What does that story tell others about you? What does that story tell others about where you are headed? If the answers to those questions aren't exactly clear, or aren't as strong as you might hope for, that's an indication that you should assess your work history honestly. To speak candidly, 2 years is generally considered on the low side. Schools look to fewer years of work experience when the experience is accelerated (e.g. investment banking or consulting).

2) Academics: It is great that you went to a top 10 Computer Science school - clearly, you know what you're doing behind a computer! However, your GPA is not a differentiator and places you below the 50% mark for each of the schools you have listed. Therefore, your undergraduate experience is not going to particularly strengthen your application from a purely academic stand point. However, there is much more to college than just grades. How involved were you? Was there a trajectory there or a unique experience that sets you apart? Or a passion that you have continued long after matriculation? If so, those things can be woven into your story.

3) GMAT: A goal of 650 to 700 is going to put you, once again, in the bottom 50% of GMAT scores to most of the schools below. Please don't get me wrong, a 650 - 700 is a great score and definitely one that takes hard work but, once again, it won't be a differentiator in your application. In other words, it won't cause a school to view you as a top candidate (on its own merit). As a tip, focus on your Verbal section to drive your score higher as linear improvement in Verbal has a disproportionate impact on your total score. A note of caution: most schools do look to your Quant score so the overall story should leave no doubt in their mind that you are quantitatively solid (4 of your 5 schools offer Quantitative Analysis / Statistics & Ops Research as a concentration).

4) High School: As the other posters have mentioned, High School is generally out of the question. Some schools explicitly state any examples must be from the past 3 years, for example. My advice to my clients is that high school should only be used to establish a trajectory or history. For example, perhaps in high school you became very involved in Habitat for Humanity which you continued throughout college and ended up as a junior board member last year. In that instance, high school experiences are relevant. However, for grades, coursework, etc. they should not be considered. Keep in mind, you are applying against others who have years more work experience and just as diverse experiences at college. The burden to stand out is on you and you need to pick examples that truly showcase leadership and passion. Chances are (and I could be wrong but generally speaking) those experiences aren't from high school.

5) Rankings: While factors others than ranking are important, I would like to emphasize they exist for a reason. You are paying a lot of money for the experiences, network, and prestige you need to further your career. Another poster mentioned culture, fit, etc. and I would agree whole heartedly. Within the top 20, look for programs that fully align to your goals and personality.

Generally speaking, I would recommend strengthening various components of your application in the next year or two before applying but if you were to apply now, I am not saying your chances are zero. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, either send me a private message or sign up on our website. Sometimes having a conversation can help you determine where you want to go and how best to get there.

Best of luck!
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by rohitaba001 » Fri May 03, 2013 4:09 pm
I am also looking for admission to the various top management programs across the globe. I am targeting the top 20 B-schools. Looking for PhD programs in Finance/operations management/HR.
My profile:

1.10th-95.4%
2.12th-76.8%
3.Bachelors in Electronics and Communication from Cochin University of Science and Technology-74.05%
4.Currently pursuing Joint Master Degree in Microelectronics offered by Tenische Universitat Munchen, Germany and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
5. DAAD Scholarship holder(offered by the German government for academic excellence)
6. GRE(revised): Quant-163 Verbal-157 AWA-3
7.TOEFL-112
8. Offered scholarship at school
9. Work experience: 3 months at UST Global(IT company)resigned to pursue higher studies

I was told that my GRE score of 317 would correspond to 660 on GMAT scale.
My queries:
1. Is there any chance of me getting accepted to the Phd programs in the top 20 b-schools?
2. Can anyone help me in writing a very good SOP?
3. Can I pursue a career in the industry after my PhD? How is PhD valued wrt an MBA?

Rohit