Profile Evaluation for non-business student (Switzerland)

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Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

To me:
Male, European, German mother tongue, 26 years old

I went to university over a bit a longer way, after high school, I did an apprenticeship at the local government (it's a particular thing in switzerland to get first job experience). After that I went back to school to get admission to university. There I study History and Modern Chinese. My GPA will be between 3.4-3.6 (Top 10-20% in Switzerland)

Professional experience:
I have done different things. Well first I worked for the local government. I also did an internship at a local TV-Show in Switzerland (The Voice of Switzerland), worked as a Pizzaboy, Forest cleaner, and I am now working in two start-ups of which one is doing in sustainable investments/wealth management and the other is a Data Science start-up. In both I work very closely with the founders. Both jobs started out as 4 hours a week (10%), but after a very short amount of time I was able to get more tasks and proof my reliability so that I now work up to 60%, with tasks including customer contacts, marketing, accounting, small python projects (for the data science start-up) and small-scale trading and portfolio-management (at the investment start-up). This tasks weren't in my contract, I asked for them (if that's of importance).
A leadership position is difficult to achieve because the businesses are still quite small.

I did two summer schools, one about Business and Human Rights and one about Chinese economy and business environment.
I am a fresh member of a student's run think-tank, which tries to tackle the tomorrow's challenges such as Artificial Intelligence, Digitalization, Climate change, Globalization and so on by organizing tasks with experts or discussion panels.
I am aiming to become a member of an entrepreneur club, which is helping young entrepreneurs to make their ideas into businesses.

I am preparing for the GMAT, but there is no score yet. I aim at 700, but if I need to guess correctly I would rather say it will be between 650-680.

My target schools:
Harvard (I just write it, even though it most likely will be silly)
LBS (For the Master in Global Management, a graduate told me my chances wouldn't be that bad)
Oxford Said Business School (For the Master+MBA 1+1)
HEC Paris

Before I get bashed, I know that these schools are top-top and that my profile may not be a fit, not even a stretch. But I believe in improvement and I would like to ask you what I can do now during my studies (I still have 1.5 year left) to improve my overall impression and chances for admission to top-ranked MBA and Master in Management programs.

Thank you very much in advance for your help and time. Much appreciated.

Kind regards,


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by [email protected] » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:26 pm
Hi Marco,

You won't get any bashing from me - there are a lot of cool things about your candidacy. Still, I'd need to know more in order to really help you. For instance, when did you graduate? How many years of formal work experience do you have? Were any of the roles that you held full-time? If not, it sounds like you are on a great trajectory and could get there soon - might it make sense to apply after you achieve that on your resume? Also, what do you like to do for fun? Are you a leader in civic engagement or social interests outside of work? American schools care a lot about this - they want people who will lead clubs at school AND manage volunteer and charity efforts in their communities as alums. What do you want to do AFTER business school - both near and long term? Schools want a nice industry mix in terms of post-MBA ambitions. Your Chinese language and culture focus is super cool - do you plan on working with Asian markets post-MBA? There are a lot of Europeans in the luxury space focusing on Asian growth markets at most of the top American schools.

Another impressive thing about your candidacy is the entrepreneurial nature of your work and the impact and growing responsibilities that you have with your employer. You should definitely focus on that as much as possible in your essays.

Though the expected GMAT scores you mentioned aren't deal-breakers in their own right, you are correct that they may be on the lower end of the average range. That just means that you'll want your essays to be as polished as possible, emphasizing your unique profile and professional potential through description of your professional IMPACT thus far and how that relates to what you'll accomplish in the future. Basically you need to be super clear about what you want to achieve in your career, both immediately after school and 20+ years down the road, and how the school and your existing professional success will help get you there. You need to make sure that you pick goals that are unique and imminently achievable based on your prior professional success. As much as they *say* they value entrepreneurship and risk-taking, you need to make sure you present as a low-risk bet (professionally-speaking) for the AdComs to accept you.

Another thing that you need to keep in mind is how competitive US MBA admissions are for international candidates. This is because most top schools try to keep non-US students capped at around 30-40% of students. That's right - 60% of students from the United States and 40% of students from ALL OTHER COUNTRIES COMBINED. One of the tricks is knowing what makes your profile distinct (and in our experience, the majority of otherwise-qualified candidates MISFIRE, either by identifying the wrong unique traits, or by getting the trait right, but selling it wrong). But there's an even SIMPLER way to differentiate: having clear and achievable post-MBA goals, with bulletproof plans. This probably sounds self-explanatory but most applicants (especially international applicants) do this wrong. So, to be able to compel the adcom that you have so clearly identified the value of an MBA for you at this point in your life, and understand exactly how you're gonna exploit it toward specific short-term goals... is to take a major step ahead of your competition. Harder than it sounds. Much harder. But doable. As long as you do those two things (have clear/logical/achievable goals, and identify/sell your unique traits), you're gonna be golden. We've seen thousands of international applicants sink into this universal quicksand, and we really specialize in getting them out. We've developed a sixth sense over the years helping international folks in particular make their case. Email us if you ever wanna chat, or if you wanna do a more formal consultation, you're always welcome to hop over to this page: ... sultation/ and we'll get into it. Oh and take your time and really sink into that form, the more stuff you say, the meatier the chat.
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